Sydney's Inner West
The Garden is a new farm-to-fork restaurant now open in Wests Ashfield Leagues Club.
Built around the premise of 'Mindful Eating', The Garden champions simple good food with vibrant flavours, making informed decisions about what to buy and where to buy it from and eating seasonably to reduce waste. Pretty much everything is made in-house from local suppliers using season produce.
Executive Chef Oliver Heath believes the modern chef has a responsibility beyond the food they cook. The philosophy behind The Garden is to provide a farm-to-fork restaurant that builds a relationship between the farmer and the broader local community. Their website lists the provenance of the ingredients used with the view to educating their diner, in fact they encourage you to ask about the ingredients in your dish and where they come from. It's all about education and transparency which serves their vision of 'Mindful Eating".
The Garden is however more than just a restaurant! It's also a cafe and a bar and has a wonderful little kids play area. You can also book a table online.
Kids Night is Tuesday night at The Garden! There's kids entertainment provided with free face painting and balloon twisting and a FREE ice cream with every kids meal purchased! That's all in-addition to the Kids play area that's available all week long!
Kids meals are $7 and include any pizza from their extensive menu (made in a 7" size), a burger, fresh fish fingers, chicken schnitzel, chicken salad or pasta. They were all pretty popular at our table! There are some great colouring activity books and pencils handed out also - that's if they will be happy sitting at the table colouring when Kozi & Pinky are painting faces and making balloon creatures!
Our ages ranged from 10 to 3 and they all found a little something for them which meant some uninterrupted conversation for us. Also the meals arrive pretty quickly too which is always a good thing when you're eating out with kids!
If you're after an uber kid-friendly venue for an excellent weeknight meal... Tuesday nights are ow sorted folks!
Wow! We were blown away just walking into The Garden, it's beautiful... it makes you want to stay all day (there's free wifi too which might mean we actually do!).
The first thing we noticed was the assortment of spaces, choose a table in a cosy little secluded corner, or perhaps a large table for a group, there's lounge chairs to enjoy your coffee by the fireplace or pull up a bar stool and order a cocktail or a Batch brewing company beer. (Oh and if you need the facilities.. it's one of the nicest bathrooms we've been to in a while, Parents Room is fully equipped too!)
The atmosphere is relaxed just so calm and lovely. The menu is amazing, not too big, not too small with plenty of choice - the Kids Menu has a Chicken Salad on it! Yay! The menu is divided into Small Plates, Main Meals, Salads, Pizzas, Sharing Plates and Side Plates so come for lunch or dinner, starving or just "I could eat" and you'll find something suitable.
We chose a selection as always... The Lamb Ribs ($14) were melt-in-your-mouth good, small though - as you would expect from the Small Plates Menu. We also tried The Farmer's Plate ($24) ... delish and on this day came with a lamb sausage and a couple of lamb ribs (it varies). The vegetables were so fresh and perfectly cooked, the size was perfect. The Burger ($16) produced a few groans from both the diner and also from those of us who stole a chip... yum!
It's not often that I'm struck with order envy for someone's salad but the Foraged Salad ($16) had me second guessing my choice (oh well there's always next time), the Garden Salad ($16) also exceeded expectations with walnuts, pickled veg and feta. A side order of Scorched Cauliflower with Labne ($5) - ordered purely because I wanted to try it and not because I was hungry - was incredible I don't think I've ever had a better cauliflower side dish.
Now disappointingly we didn't dessert... we will be next time though! The menu includes House-made Gelato ($10), Home-made Fruit Pies ($10) or an Aussie Cheese Board ($18).
Honestly, our visit to The Garden feels unfinished... there's so much more on the menu that we have to try with their Share Plates at the top of the list - who could go past The Garden Family Roast Plate for 4 with a 9hr slow cooked lamb shoulder! We'll also be back to check out Kids night on a Tuesday with free kids entertainment so stay tuned and we haven't een touched the incredible Pizza menu, we'll be back in The Garden very soon....