In Short: The Picnic delivers food that pleases your eyes, and delivers on taste. Family and pet friendly, and easily accessible with the option to have a picnic lunch prepared for you.
What’s better than spending an afternoon in the park with a great little playground and a cool sea breeze blowing through Sydney city? A café of the calibre of The Picnic within the grounds as well. I recall seeing a flood of posts from Instagram in 2016 as The Picnic took the café scene by storm. We’re here in the 2nd month of 2017 and while the Instagram posts have slowed just a touch, the popularity hasn’t waned. On a Saturday afternoon it’s a 20-minute wait for a table but with the park, lots of shade, and in a pinch there’s Westfield next door for the ultra restless, the wait does not get laborious. The decor is bright with yellow umbrellas lining the edges, white picnic tables and chairs, and vines of green lining the roof. Our table is located next to a mini herb garden, with the aromas of mint and coriander. The Picnic is filled with a cosmopolitan crowd from the just-turned-1-year-old, to millennials, right the way through to baby boomers and beyond.
While we peruse the menu trying to decide between so many interesting dishes, our drinks arrive. Mavis ordered a watermelon and lychee from the cool down section of the drinks menu. A long sip reveals a bright, fruity flavour, with a nice hit of mint and the lychee adds a sweet punch. It’s the kind of drink that is hard to put down, as it refreshes and soothes.
Diving into my flat white, after stirring through a teaspoon sugar, and I detect a robust flavour with caramel notes. There’s a touch of acidity up front, but that fades away to a creamy, smooth coffee, that’s a delight. The milk temperature is perfect. Campos beans are used at The Picnic, and the barista crafts the coffee expertly which I have found Campos beans need.
They say you eat with your eyes, and never is it truer then when my plate is placed in front of me. Not Quite French Toast may have garnered all the likes in 2016, in 2017 though, the Hotcake Pavlova has to be a candidate to take over the mantle. It’s a beautifully plated dish. A quenelle of mango sorbet with freeze dried strawberry sits on top, surrounded by fresh strawberries, kiwi fruit and passionfruit. There are shards of meringue, toasted coconut, and blueberries, and there’s a beautiful play between the sweet mango sorbet and tangy passionfruit. Injections of sweetness from the strawberries, and the familiar texture of meringue ensures there’s a never-ending depth of flavour. The hotcake is thick, fluffy and generous, and absorbs the fruity flavours. It tasted every bit as good as it looked.
Transitioning from sweet to the savoury, Coco and Viner Mavis went with her selection of the Burwood Burger with sweet potato fries for mains. I think I may have said in past posts, that burgers can be a messy affair, as there seemingly is a competition in Sydney to get the fattest, almost oversized, patties bursting out of the buns. Luckily, with the Burwood Burger that’s not the case. All the ingredients are contained between the milk bun; a chunky wagyu patty topped with bright yellow melted cheese. I appreciate the juicy and moist meat with that unmistakable richness that comes with wagyu. With slices of tomato and a secret sauce with a distinct mustard flavour, it will undoubtedly satisfy any burger lover’s craving for a good hamburger. Sweet potato fries were something different, yet worked perfectly with the burger. Sweet and salty; crispy, yet soft, in the middle.
Befitting a café that appeals to families, there’s a great little menu for the kids with 4 choices for breakfast and 3 choices for lunch. As usual, Sammi will seek out chicken if it’s on the menu, and settles for the spring chicken. Chicken tenderloins are grilled with herbs and presented with shoestring fries. I sneak a taste and well, it ended up being a couple of little sneaky bites. Each of the tenderloins were cooked through perfectly. They were tender and seasoned to perfection.
Our first foray into Burwood and it’s one for one with The Picnic. We enjoyed the food, and also the service. A neat touch was the ordering system, with an automated process to keep you informed of when your table is ready. Give the ‘burbs a go and try The Picnic when in the inner west.