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Sunday, 23 January 2011

If only all Golf Club Houses were Like Burnt Orange Cafe

Summers in Sydney are something to crow about. This one has had a bit of a rough trot though recently, alternating between tropical showers and long overcast days accompanied by relentless heat. But Indra was kind to us the day we had a family birthday lunch Burnt Orange Cafe, in Mosman.

It is a spectacular location, a place that truly reminds you of Sydney's history and why it is such a beloved city. The cafe occupies the old 19302 golf club house at George's Head.  Being a historic building in the Headland Park are the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust, have done a  generous reservation making it a great complex to visit even if you were planning on having a picnic and not dining in.

It was filled with the proper well-to-do types for whom Sydney's north shore is home and our large group certainly caught their attention as we sauntered past in various family lots. But so well nestled were we around the large wrap round verandah all other diners were soon forgotten. Oh the verandah, that deserves its own special mention. It was around 30C on my car thermostat when we arrived, but the sheer size and shade provided by the wrap around verandah kept us all comfortably cool.  There is something romantic about them for me, perhaps attributable to being from tropical stock (Fiji) with sugar plantations and plantation houses in our blood. I wanted to wear white gloves and sip ice tea! Instead I opted for a lovely elderflower pressé (this is where I admit this is my first time having had elderflower after hearing about it for years and it did not disappoint) which seemingly delivered the same nostalgic sentiment I was after.

When it came to the food, I will admit it was a little difficult to be too adventurous in such a massive group (most of whom I was meeting for the first time and found my camera disquieting!), I was not blown away by my dish, a poached chicken salad. It was overdressed and the combination of asparagus, avocado and orange slices didn’t complement or enhance each other in any particular way  - some texture or crunch would have been nice to ‘soak up’ the dressing. At least one dish was returned from our table as well. The rest of the meals however did look fantastic and there lots of satisfied lady-like murmurs of appreciation at the table.

Despite that, the birthday cake that was served was absolutely magnificent. Rather than faffing about bringing in a cake, one had been ordered through the cafe (happier for both parties it seems). An orange almond cake was served and it was heavenly. Rich, moist with generous frosting, it was melt in your mouth delicious.  The coffee accompanying it was also very good (but did not leave me yearning the second cup – that’s my ‘test’). So if an escape from the Mosman shops further in the heart of the location is needed an afternoon tea and cake excursion to the cafe could be just the ticket.

Burnt Orange is unhurried and unpretentious.  The wait staff, though young and amusing, were attentive and patient.  We were never ushered out and left to congregate as free as you please.  In fact we had the struggle of dragging everyone from their tables multiple times!

The cafe also boasts a large retail store (and more upstairs that I did not venture to see) of various bric-a-brac and giftware as well as a well stocked foodie specialty store (which I tend to find can be as much about interior decorating than ‘must have’ pantry items).   You can linger to heart’s desire in the complex.

I will certainly be adding to this to my list of places to visit in future particularly with visitors to the city and keep an eye out for the rabbits in the garden - great for kids!  Check out the photos on their website www.burntorange.com.au as they do the complex far more justice than my amateur snaps (including the mobile ones!).

Burnt Orange

1108/1109 Middle Head Road

Sydney NSW 2088

(02) 9969 1020

Open Daily 8:30am-5:30pm

Posted via email from Radhika's posterous

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