The Lord Mayor of Sydney opened the Gardener's Lodge Café in Victoria Park on Saturday. The cafe is on the corner of Broadway and City Road, Camperdown in Sydney, between the Sydney University campus and the CBD. The cafe serves breakfast from 7am to 11:30am, then lunch (it is not open for dinner but can be booked for functions).
The catering style is described as modern Australian menu with a bush-tucker twist. The "big breakfast" was good, but the only hint of "bush tucker" was a bush tomato sauce. In a similar style to the Charcoal Lane Restaurant Melbourne, the cafe provides on-the-job training for Aboriginal people. The staff coped well with the crowd at the opening.
The restoration of the historic building won the Valuer General Heritage Award from the Australian Property Institute NSW. The outside of the building retains its 1888 façade by Colonial Architect to NSW, James Barnet. But inside I was disappointed to find a modern stark white bistro look, with few traces of the original building left. In particular the use of small LED down-lights is not in sympathy with the building’s heritage (there are LED lights which fit better with historic buildings).
The building has very limited space for tables inside. There is an outdoor table area, but this needs a cover to be added to block the harsh Australian sun.