The newly revamped section of the Macquarie Shopping Centre offers yet more ways to part with your cash. On my way to Passiontree Velvet, I must admit, I do get waylaid by all the pretty, new and shiny things, who wouldn’t? Currently, this is Sydney’s only Passsiontree Velvet, but my second try after my visit to Westfields Carindale, Brisbane, earlier this year. The layout is same, the only difference is the lighting; the Macquarie Centre is moody and dim and feels cosy although it’s an open plan café in the middle of the concourse. I try both the plain and fruit scones, with a hint of microwave. They are also slightly dry, but it is after 3pm. The jam is slightly better than average, but still for $13.50, you would expect a bit more than good quality tea and double thick cream.
Tea: An interesting selection of Harney & Sons loose-leaf teas served in a good-sized pot.
Overall: A tea room vibe and the best on offer at the Macquarie Centre.
Location: Macquarie Shopping Centre, Corner Herring and Waterloo Rds, Macquarie Park NSW 2113
Reviewed September, 2015
Met2 Cafeteria on the top-level of the iconic Woolworths at Town Hall Station, is not only a rare find but also a blast from the retro past. It reminds me of my childhood in the 1970’s when I ate salty crinkled cut hot chips in a bucket that I put on a plastic tray and slid along the cold stainless steel rungs to the cashier in the yellow uniform. That was at the Coles/K Mart in Waratah, Newcastle, and I wonder if it’s still there? Like American diners, supermarket cafeterias are nostalgic bolt holes and Met2 is the only one in existence that I know of. Sitting serenely atop the busiest Woolies in Australia – well, definitely Sydney – the café shares a floor with a photo lab and a kind of Internet café and whatever Woolies is trying to spruik that week. Not many people know about it, as most don’t make it past the ground floor. There are booths and a menu that reads like RSL restaurant menus, think chicken vol-an-vont, fish Mornay and all types of steaks, and I love it. If only the staff dressed in pastel coloured uniforms that were so popular in the 70s and 80s, which would really top it off! The scone on the other hand is far from enticing; more sweet bread roll than light fluffy scone. The jam is at the better end of the average spectrum but the cream is the star, fresh and thick. Go for the fun of it!
Tea: A basic range of tea bag teas served in a small pot.
Overall: A nostalgic trip down memory lane.
Location: Woolworths Town Hall, Level 4, Cnr Park & George St, Sydney NSW 2000 Ph: 02 9264 1927
Reviewed September, 2015
It’s all happening at King Henry’s Court. Operating out of an original church dating back to the 1860’s, the café/restaurant/function space/gift shop is a hive of entrepreneurial activity. Today, there are no Hen’s, Birthday or Anniversary Parties happening, but there’s a steady stream of locals heading through the front door for lunch. On the left hand side upon first entering the historic church, there’s a section devoted to inexpensive trinkets and giftware. Actually, it’s hard to know where the gift shop ends and the restaurant begins. Trinkets hang from and cover every available surface throughout the building – or are they part of the decorations? I don’t linger long enough (I’m on my way to the restrooms) to find out – my loitering might upset the full house of diners. It’s officially one of the last few days of winter and I pull up a chair in the front courtyard, leaving the majority of the diners to their trinkets, and soak up the sun. The scones are a bit dry and don’t taste particularly fresh even though it’s just pushing noon. The strawberry jam is average – super sweet – and although the whipped cream could be thicker, is the standout for me. The service is outstanding. I watch super friendly and efficient staff effortlessly assist elderly patrons and mothers with prams, especially as they tackle the front steps.
Tea: A basic range of Dilmah tea bags served in a very small Japanese iron teapot.
Overall: A popular and centrally located local hangout.
Location: 74 Henry St, Penrith NSW 2750 Ph: 02 4721 1155 www.kinghenryscourt.com.au
Reviewed August, 2015