Avenue Road Cafe, Mosman

We are having the most glorious final burst of summer here in Sydney.  I’ve never known May to be so warm.  And I’m not complaining either.  It’s perfect conditions for going out for lunch and sitting in the sun and feeling those warm rays before reality sets in and it’s all over until next Spring.  On one of the days last week when it was 25C (77F), with not a breath of wind or a cloud in the sky, I took advantage of the heavenly conditions and went out to lunch with my friend, Sharon.

Avenue Road

Avenue Road

We talked about where we might meet and we both agreed we didn’t want to sit indoors, we certainly didn’t want to sit in the shade, we knew we didn’t want to eat pub fare, and that we wanted the location to be central for both of us so our choices were being consistently narrowed.  A few days before however, Miss Arabella had insisted I walk her to the pathology lab for a blood test.  ‘You know where it is, just get yourself there’.

‘I need you to come with me’.

‘What for?’

‘I hate having my blood taken and I’ve been putting it off for ages because I don’t want to go and I don’t want to go on my own so I need you to come with me’.  For heaven’s sake; what I don’t understand is how someone can be so excited about going off on their own to get their belly button pierced yet so terrified of having a blood test.

‘Okay; all right; I’ll walk you to pathology’.  On our journey, we walked down Avenue Road and I saw a cafe the was busy and bustling and in the full northern sun with plenty of outdoor seating along the footpath.  Perfect!

Tables line the footpath

Tables line the footpath

Avenue Road Cafe is a bit of an institution for residents in the area so it’s very surprising that somehow I’d never been there.  Our waitress was from the Netherlands and it was her first day on the job.  She showed us to an outdoor table where there are cushioned benches and when needed, there are blankets for your knees and overhead heaters.  The cafe is licensed and so as both Sharon and I are about to celebrate our birthdays, and as Sharon is about to leave me for three weeks in New York, the occasion called for a glass of sparkling wine.

Upside down lamps hang from the ceiling

Upside down lamps hang from the ceiling

The menu has a lot of variety with things that aren’t so standard for a cafe which is a pleasant surprise.  Sharon wasn’t terribly hungry so she ordered the Tandoori Chicken Wrap.  For a wrap, it was well presented and it had very tender chicken with plenty of yoghurt dressing.  Sharon loved the pickled daikon that came with it.

Tandoori wrap with pickled daikon, cucumber and minted yoghurt dressing $12.50

Tandoori wrap with pickled daikon, cucumber and minted yoghurt dressing $12.50

My appetite was larger and I ordered one of the specials which was fried soft polenta with seasonal truffle mushrooms, young green asparagus and balsamic reduction.  This was fabulous and I loved the variety of mushrooms and the beautifully soft polenta with a crisp outer edge.  However, there was no asparagus to be seen.  Not a spear!  Fortunately, I didn’t feel the dish was lacking in any way.

Fried soft polenta with seasonal truffle mushrooms, young green asparagus and balsamic reduction $18.00

Fried soft polenta with seasonal truffle mushrooms, young green asparagus and balsamic reduction $18.00

I thought we should try a couple of the sweet things offered.  We ordered the florentine which had lots of nuts but I felt it could have done with some glace goodies.

Forentine $3.50 served on a pretty plate

Forentine $3.50 served on a pretty plate

We also ordered a ‘shortbread man’ which was so cute I wrapped it in a napkin and took it home for Alfie.

Shortbread Man $3.50

Shortbread Man $3.50

Sharon and I had a really enjoyable lunch.  It was fabulous to be able to sit outside and enjoy the warmth of the sun in the middle of May.  The food was innovative and fresh and perfectly prepared and the menu had so many temptations it was difficult to make a selection.  Good company and lots of laughs elevated the experience to being one of the best cafe lunches ever.  And then sadly, we both went back to work.

The bar area

The bar area

Verdict:  Delightful

Avenue Road Cafe:  185 Avenue Road, Mosman, NSW 2088

Ph:  9969 8999

A mass of pretty lights inside the cafe

A mass of pretty lights inside the cafe

And, by the way, the pathology unit said they didn’t have time to take Arabella’s blood.  We have to go back first thing tomorrow.

The outdoor tables are very popular, day and night

The outdoor tables are very popular, day and night

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  1. What a lovely way to spend time with a good friend. The shortbread man was very cute and I’m curious what the florentine was made of … sliced almonds?

  2. What a splendid place for lunch on a gorgeous day. 🙂 We’ve been having wondrous weather too and I absolutely love it. Winter can hold off for as long as it wants. 🙂

  3. Glad you are having wonderful weather, hope it last a while. What a wonderful way to spend lunch time – great company and great food.
    Laughed out loud reading about Arabella going off on her own to get her belly button pierced yet so terrified of having a blood test. Typical teenager.

  4. Looks great Charlie, I cant believe you’ve never been there ….lol. Looks like the perfect choice for such a sunny day

  5. Looks like a great day to sit outside. Today was lovely and I can’t believe that it will be winter in a few weeks’ time!

  6. How lucky that Arabella is so scared of blood tests! Otherwise you might not have stumbled upon this little gem. 🙂

  7. I laughed at belly button piercing being easier than getting blood drawn. Kids!

    I’m thrilled that you found another restaurant that wasn’t a disaster. Things are turning around for you. 🙂

  8. I’m glad you enjoyed your lunch Charlie, and Happy Birthday indeed sweetie! Despite the absent asparagus the meal seemed OK, that must be a nice change after so many disappointments. Miss Arabella should shout you a nice coffee and another shortbread if you have to escort her back to the lab, maybe on the way back in case she feels faint. It’s nice to know she still needs her mummy sometimes 🙂 xox

  9. Looks like it ticked all the boxes! I’m a bit with Arabella…I hate blood tests! Wouldn’t be lining up for piercings either though.

  10. G’day! It’s always great to take a break and catch up with friend Charlie, true!
    Love the cookie you too home for Alfie and glad you were not disappointed with your meal too!
    Cheers! Joanne

  11. You did a good deed, and ended up finding the perfect cafe for the occasion. How good is that! the food looks delicious, and how nice to sit outside in the sun. We are having a warm sunny burst as well, such a treat in May.

  12. Isn’t it great to catch up with a friend and just chill and dine in this resto? The forentine and shortbread man both look nice and cute. I may just keep them as souvenir, LOL. Nice find!

    Gourmet Getaways

  13. Company and a lovely lunch! Sounds like you can try something different on the menu very soon 🙂

  14. I’m glad you’re having some sunny weather, as I believe your last few summers have been a bit lacklustre. This cafe looks like just the sort of place to soak up the sunshine, and a varied menu is always a nice surprise. They have excellently styled shortbread men, too!

  15. Yum! Would love to eat that truffle mushroom dish too. One of those times when the vegetarian dish actually outshines the ones with meat — love it when that happens!

  16. What a lovely place. The food you each chose sounds delicious to me. And, I agree that something different than the standard is always welcome.

    I bet Alfie loved the cookie. How thoughtful.

    And I think it’s awfully sweet that Arabella wants her mom along to get blood drawn.

  17. How nice to have that final breath of summer…those are special days. Love the upside down lamps!

  18. AAwww, such a good mum you are!!! Gotta love those Indian summers , Charlie! We are having record lows here in the States, for May! Stop hogging all the warm weather, will ya!! 😉 What a pretty little spot…and the food looks amazing!! xoxo

  19. LOL..I can never figure out what makes Katie tick. Glad I’m not alone. Looks like you found a super spot for lunch…what fun decor!

  20. Oh, the sun the sun! It seems to me that I cant live without him and here I am in Canada, taking a glimpse here and there. I love how summery this place looks like, I’m coming and reading you from time to time Charlie, hugs and kisses my friend!

  21. Weather has also been awesome in New Zealand, a bit chilly in the morning, but glorious blue skies throughout the day, well except for maybe today as the clouds are getting blacker ready for the rain we are suppose to be getting 🙂

  22. What a fabulous place to enjoy a scrumptious meal. We too have been having wonderful autumn weather. I am dreading the thought of winter though.
    Have a wonderful day Charlie.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  23. Did you tag along for the piercing too? Blehhhh…
    Good to see you are enjoying the last of the gorgeous weather, apparently its been gorgeous here in the Berra too. Love that little colourful gingerbread man, gonna pop that on the ‘to cook’ list. Hopefully we still have a wee while before the beanies, thermals and 17 layers of clothing to survive arrives. Wishing you a wonderful rest of week. 🙂

  24. Cool alternative decor & georgous tasty plates of food, for sure!
    Thanks for the cool review!

  25. It’s the same in Melbourne it has been the warmest May! The past week has actually been quite nice 🙂 Ohh what a nice cafe you’ve found! I really liked the sound of fried polenta i think it’s getting to that time of the year I want comforting food all the time hehe

  26. Yes, I think I have plants about to flower, they think its spring. Have not used any firewood either.

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