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Baxter’s at Bridgepoint, Mosman

When Archie isn’t at Uni or at the gym or busking on trains or spending time with his girlfriend, he’s working in Baxter’s Cafe.  Baxter’s opened just a few months ago.  When the previous old and tired cafe that is on the ground floor of the shopping centre closed down, the site was given a total re-fit and now opens onto a very sunny north-facing alfresco dining area where, during the day, is where I like to sit.

The interior of Baxter's

The interior of Baxter’s

The cafe is open for breakfast and lunch and serves typical cafe fare like steak sandwiches and burgers with chips and wraps and sandwiches with a variety of drinks including beer and wine.  I often taken Alfie there for a drink after school – not for a beer but for a malted vanilla thick shake; his favourite.

The bar area

The bar area

But there’s more to Baxter’s than good cafe fare to enjoy in a sunny location.  There’s also (sometimes) live music provided by a gorgeous waiter and so far he’s only had one complaint.  When Archie finished singing one day an elderly lady said (loudly so Archie could hear), ‘Thank God that’s over’, which Archie thought was hilarious.


But beyond the cuisine and the singing waiter, the owner of the cafe is from Sri Lanka and so every now and then he opens his cafe in the evening and puts on a Sri Lankan feast.  All previous Sri Lankan nights have been completely booked out with disappointed drop-ins having to settle for takeaway.  When I heard about these nights I immediately thought of my good friend Deb-zie who is married to Sunil who hails from Sri Lanka.  I rang them and asked if they would like to join us for a Sri Lankan feast and they were only too keen.

So one night this week we met at Baxter’s.  Unfortunately, because of the time of year, it wasn’t possible to sit outside which would have given the dining experience less of an eating-in-a-shopping-centre experience but with the weather warming up, it won’t be too long before we can dine al fresco.

Once we were seated I looked at the menu and was surprised at how reasonably priced the food is.  Entrees and desserts are just $7.00 and there’s a set price for a main course of just $20.00.

I had black dhal cutlets for an entree and we all laughed at how there was nothing black about them.  They were served with spiced coconut and a yoghurt and reminded me of arancini balls.

Black Dhal Cutlets $7.00

Black Dhal Cutlets $7.00

Carl had the fish cutlets and the fish had been freshly purchased that morning from the Sydney Fish Markets then minced and turned into little balls, again, reminding me of arancini balls.

Fish Cutlets $7.00

Fish Cutlets $7.00

For a main course I had a lamb curry that had been cooked in coconut and then fried because Sri Lankan curries tend to be dry curries.  It was served with deviled okra, dhal, eggplant pickle, rice and a papadum.  The curry was wonderfully fragrant and the meat incredibly tender.  The pickle was a great accompaniment and it was lovely to have okra because that’s not a very common ingredient in Sydney.  The dhal was also very good and with its mild flavour was a good contrast to the spicy curry.  The papadum was crispy and crunchy however rather than being given just one on the plate I would have preferred to have been able to order them as a side dish and see a big basket of them set down in the middle of the table and indulge in as many as I liked because Carl says they were better papadums than normal papadums.  Sunil loved the flavour of the curry but for him, it needed a lot more heat – he loves his chillies!

The lamb curry dish

The lamb curry dish

I found the presentation of the main courses a little odd.  I’m not used to eating off a metal compartmentalised tray and it conjured images of dining in a prison.  The other problem with metal trays is that they’re not heated so it’s hard for the food to stay hot when placed on a cold tray.

Compartmentalised plates

Compartmentalised plates

Carl had the swordfish that had also come straight from the fish markets and (as usual) had no complaints.  He said it wasn’t over-cooked, was moist and fell apart.  The swordfish curry was served with deviled potato, dhal and a tomato chutney with rice and a papadum.

Swordfish Curry

Swordfish Curry

Carl enjoyed his swordfish!

Carl enjoyed his swordfish!

For dessert there was the choice of Wattalapam which is a kitul palm-baked custard with rose water and it was served with a raspberry coulis and ice cream.  I certainly have never had a Wattalapam before.  It’s a custard made from coconut milk and in texture it was a lot like a creme brulee; beautifully smooth and silky.  The coconut flavour was very evident and pleasantly perfumed by the rose water.

My

My Wattalapam

The other choice for dessert was the Love Cake.  This is a cake that is very common in Sri Lanka and is made with semolina, nuts, rosewater and spices like cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.  I could smell the spices as it arrived on the table.  The cake was deliciously moist with an evident honey flavour and an interesting texture.

Carl's dessert

Carl’s dessert

My friends and I experienced a wonderful night in a casual setting with attentive service and interesting cuisine.  The service was speedy and all meals arrived at the same time which is always a blessing.  It was an inexpensive night out and we could BYO with corkage being just $2.00 per person.  Sunil was pleased to be able to enjoy cuisine from his country right here in Sydney and he gave his compliments to the chef.

The singing waiter wasn’t there – he was at home babysitting his little brother!

Finishing with a coffe

Finishing with a coffee

If you would like to attend the next Sri Lankan curry night, you absolutely need to book.

Baxter’s Cafe, Bridgepoint Shopping Centre, Mosman.  Ph:  9969 4536

Love Cake with ice cream

Love Cake with ice cream

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Comments

  1. I would demand more singing waiter time! What a fun spot for dinner or a milkshake 🙂

  2. Does Archie ever sleep?

  3. Hi Charlie, delicious spread, love the cake with ice cream. 🙂 Nice place to dine.
    Have a wonderful weekend.

  4. What an overall delightful experience, even without the singing waiter. Have to appreciate Archie’s reaction to the elderly woman’s comment.

  5. I love the plates and how they are separated. I’m a picky eater and I usually hate when things touch ( I know, crazy ) so this is perfect for me. This looks like a lovely dinner, thanks for sharing!

  6. All delicious-sounding dishes. I agree with you about the metal compartamentalised serving dishes though.

  7. Wow, I wish we had that type of cuisine diversity where I live! Sounds fabulous. (I’ve been gone but now I’m back!) XO

  8. That lamb curry looks so good! I actually love the dishes… I feel like that could become a trend in hipster Brooklyn 🙂

  9. I remember fondly the divided thali plates of India, so that is a plus for me for casual eating. The food looks good and I can imagine that it is a fun place to eat.

  10. Nice! I have a friend from S. India and I have heard of similar foods to these. I LOVE spices and travel out-of-town to go to an market they call “International” but is really South Asian.
    You are so fortunate to have fresh fish!

  11. The desserts look fantastic!

  12. Now this sounds like a meal I would totally enjoy (sans the metal plates), but like Liz, I would totally insist on the singing waiter! I’ve never had Sri Lankan food, but from your description I would love the flavours. What a lovely evening you must have had.

  13. Sounds like a fabulous night! The food looked great – the serving on metal compartmentalised plates is the norm, I think, that’s often how food at Indian/Malaysian restaurants is served up!

  14. Perhaps the elderly lady could have requested that the waiter sing a song from whatever era represents ‘music’ to her. 🙂

    Sounds like a lovely and very affordable meal.

  15. You seem spoilt for choice up there in Mosman. Funny how Carl always gets a great meal every time. My husband is like that and it does make for an easy life when they are happy to eat anything. I’ve had boyfriends who are the complete opposite. On of the reasons they stayed boyfriends and never became husbands.
    Carolyn

  16. That’s my kind of food – and price too. I eat a lot of Indian food as my son loves to cook it. They use stainless steel quite a bit, and when I was in India I also got used to it, so I don’t have those other associations. Looks as if you had a great night out.

  17. That lady who wasn’t appreciative of Archie probably didn’t have her hearing right 😉 That dinner is fantastic value. I remember the first time I ate off their compartmentalised trays it was at Maya Indian sweets. I thought it was fun and definitely good for OCD people 😉

  18. I certainly would like to go. Those trays are quite common but they do need heating f they are going to us them. When are you going next and when is that waiter sort going to be there?

  19. oops typing errors sorry….thats use them and heating them if ………

  20. Thank you for another address to pass onto Sydney friends! Am warmly laughing as just washed my thali plate after an early lunch: simple – just chicken dansak, rice, dhal, eggplant brinjal and raita witha few chutneys thrown in. Perhaps it is because about 70% of my everyday food is Asian of some kind but I naturally use thali plates [5-7 compartments depending] almost every day to keep the components apart until I want to mix them and have done so since I was a teenager. Vicki mentions casual meals: yes, sure – but when curries pile out of my kitchen and especially for buffet meals I have a number of sets for formal dinners. One should naturally warm them up as one does a china plate . . .

    • Just back for a short comment: am surprised quite a few readers believe thali plates to be some inferior way of presenting food, whereas often they cost hugely more than say Villeroy & Boch, being made by top artists with the most exquisite designs and decorations, ie family heirlooms to be handed down! Maharajahs also ate and eat off metal, even tho’ it used to be gold. The alternate [especially in Thailand, Malaysia etc] is of course the tray service, with a dozen-odd separate beautifully decorated containers for the variety of dishes served at each meal . . .

  21. G’day Charlie, Looks to have been a delightful night, true!
    Love a good Sri Lankan curry and love dishes very hot and spicy too!
    Cheers! Joanne

  22. This sounds like a great meal – and I guess this is where Archie’s fans can skulk, hoping for a glimpse of him off stage!

  23. It sounds like Archie has landed a great job and this cafe sounds like a great place for an after school milkshake, and of course, for an occasional Sri Lankan feast!

  24. Do you tip him!!!

  25. I laughed at the woman who commented on Archie’s singing. I LOVE his singing so tell her to move on. 🙂

    Just the thought of metal trays would turn me off. Maybe I’m a snob, I don’t know – it just seems weird.

    The found sounds really good but I’d want a basket of papadums too.

  26. Sounds like a fabulous evening out.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  27. Mmm everything looks fabulous. I love big Indian food feasts like this!

  28. That looks like a lovely meal, it’s always interesting when cafes re-invent themselves one or two nights each month, this is when the real love for food is evident. Good luck to the singing waiter – When Archie’s famous that old lady will be saying… I remember when… GG

  29. This is such a nice place,must be fun for Archie to work there.
    The Sri Lankan food looks delicious, very well presented and tempting.

  30. I’d certainly book if I lived closer Charlie, it’s great that they can give diners a taste of home 🙂 The metal trays are pretty de rigueur for this cuisine although they definitely lose heat fast that way. Archie must sleep about 2 hours a night with all his commitments, no wonder he needs so many chipolatas to keep his strength up! Xox

  31. I actually really like those plates, though I can see how the food would go cold quickly. You are so spoilt for choice where you live for great places to eat out xx

  32. Metal plates? What are they thinking? moving right along … I’m not at all familiar with Sri Lankan food but your meals sound delicious. Being served fish that fresh is such a treat and, like Carl, I would have taken full advantage of it.As for that woman, i just don’t get it. No one forced her to sit there. You don’t like the music, leave and let those of us who enjoy the music do so in peace.

  33. MMMM,…all of the plates of food that you shown us here look very appetizing. But the metal plates isn’t that stylish at all,… They can chahnge that into lovely modern plates,… 😉

  34. Totes laughed when you clarified that you didn’t take your son to drink beer….LOL The love cake looks and sounds yummy! So cool that you can spend time with loved ones and enjoying a good meal. The plates look cool, but I see your point about the food getting cold! Take care…xo

  35. Wattalapam and Love Cake are two treats I’ve wanted to try for years now. You lucky thing!

  36. What a lovely place to dine with friends! It looks like an establishment I would very much enjoy. Each dish looks great, but I’d really like those desserts. And what a good value, too! 🙂

  37. Good friends good food, what a terrific night! I think I’ve tried Sri Lankan food twice in my life and I hope to try more dishes next time I have a chance! Looks so delicious!

  38. 7 dollars Australian for a starter??? Wow, that is reasonable… *very* reasonable indeed. The photos look lovely – sounds like a wonderful place. I can well understand the disappointment of drop-ins being turned away but at least they could get takeaway. No such luck for me on the one time we dropped in to my favourite restaurant in Paris.

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