After being in Sydney for nearly 8 months, I was finally able to find my way to The Grounds of Alexandria. It was a long journey (a bus, a train and a few kilometers of walking away to be exact) but it was worth it. And I must say, this time of year is the perfect time to go there. The days are warming up nicely so it’s neither too hot nor too cold. Perfect weather to be outdoors and enjoy a light meal or just a cold/hot beverage and cake!
*WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS MANY MANY MANY PICTURES* 🙂
The location is a bit outlandish, in a sort of industrial area but it is only a 15 minute walk from Green Square station so it is fairly accessible for those planning to go by public transport.
The setting of the whole place is really beautiful. Archways everywhere, beautiful flowers, water features, you feel like you’re in a fairy tale.
There are actually 3 eating areas at The Grounds (which you can read more about HERE).
- The Cafe
- The Potting Shed
- The Garden
To be honest, I thought there would just be the one cafe so I stuck to the plan and went there but I can’t wait to try out the others on my next visits.
At The Cafe
I found that most cafes that serve any form of iced coffee, don’t offer a side of simple syrup to go with the drink. Some cafes overly sweeten your drink or just omit it altogether (like here). Similar to providing sugar on the table for hot beverages, it would makes sense to provide a simple syrup for iced drinks as sugar (especially raw sugar doesn’t dissolve in cold drinks).
This was a really good sandwich. Really fresh ingredients and you could taste all the individual components. Sandwiches like this can easily turn into one big mush but it wasn’t the case here. If you like that really fresh, clean flavour this will be perfect for you.
However, I like really bold and tasty flavours (I couldn’t taste the chilli mayo?) so this was just lacking in that department but otherwise loved it.
The portion of this dish is realllllly big. You get 3 halves!! My mum and I had one each and had to bring the 3rd one home. I wonder what happens to the 4th half though? They keep it for the next order? Lol Unless it’s a really wiiiide loaf that gets cut into 3? Hmm…
Seared Tasmanian Salmon (gf/df) (on a classic niçoise salad with organic leaves, tomatoes, fresh horseradish and soft cooked free range egg) $22
The dressing was spot on and I loved that the olives provided a burst of flavour. As for the salmon, I was asked how I wanted it cooked. I asked for medium but got well done. I don’t see why I was asked in the first place.
Time for dessert
This menu is honestly the prettiest and most beautiful menu I’ve ever seen. The artwork is amazing!
Now that I look back at the menu, one cup of tea and slice of cake costs $12 but I was charged for the slice of cake $9 and a cup of English breakfast $5 separately. I got charged $2 extra. Arrgh.
This was so novel for me as I’ve never seen tea served like this but I like it!
All the pastries and breads are displayed at the front counter.
The tiered cakes are displayed in bigger refrigerated showcases in the back.
I’m guessing these 2 cakes are probably for special orders. They look very artisanal and rustic.
The brownie was so good. Chocolatey, gooey, nutty, had a good amount of bitterness from the caramel mousse on top.
The strawberry chiffon was alright. It lacked sweetness and the sponge was too dense and heavy to be called chiffon sponge. When you think of chiffon cake you think of the lightness, fluffiness and airiness of the sponge but this one just left me puzzled. The mascarpone chantilly cream had little to no sweetness to it as well as the strawberry compote. There was also no sign of orange anywhere in the cream. Overall, it was the most disappointing dish of the meal as I really love a good sponge cake.
I walked past the see-through pastry kitchen and saw a few girls working but none of them looked up to give us a smile. Seeing that they work in the eye of the public, I think they should be a little more friendly and aware of customers that may be looking at them.
Quick tour of The Cafe
Walking around The Grounds
The flowers are one if not the best part of The Grounds.
Kevin Bacon & friends
Right at the entrance of The Grounds, there is a small pen with a few farm animals. I was most excited to see the pig, Kevin, but he was just laying there. Probably sleeping lol. Maybe it was his nap time…
My overall experience was good. It’s a great environment to be in – super chilled, relaxed and beautiful. The service was awesome. We were seated immediately upon arrival (there was only 2 of us and we got there at around 1pm on a weekday) and our waiter, Eric, was really kind and helpful. He told us that on the weekend, you can wait up to 2 hours just for a table for 2 so maybe avoid going on the weekend if you can. It’s a great place for an outing with friends and family.