Come the weekend Miss CK and I are always looking for places to eat, or more specifically, places to eat some kind of breakfast/lunch mish-mash. Don't get me wrong, the Wild West has some great eateries but 90% of them are a combination of Vietnamese and Thai with a smattering of Korean and, recently, Japanese. Sometimes you have a craving for good old bacon and eggs. And ever since the Blue Star Cafe at Wetherill Park closed for Stocklands' massive renovations we've been at a loss for an inexpensive, no fuss breakfast.
Enter Bonnyrigg Garden Centre and the lovely little Harvest @ BGC Café Bar; Western Sydney's entry into the trendy inner-west cafe category. And a worthy entry it is. You might think you've come to the wrong place at first when you pull into their little car park and wander up the ramp into the garden accessories store. As we did when we first walked in and thought, "Are we sure there's a cafe in here?" But walk on through the store and out into the garden centre proper and you'll find a set of steps up to a decking area and the Cafe.
Ideally, you'll want to sit outside on the decking to enjoy the sun and appreciate the view out over BGC's array of flowers and bushes and shrubberies. It really is a nice, relaxing view that I didn't take any pictures of for some stupid reason. Unfortunately, you'll also get to appreciate other diners' second-hand smoke. Our meal was preceded by a table nearby finishing their cigarettes and closed off by a table of three ladies behind us who promptly fired up and started puffing in our direction.
If you're a smoker or don't mind your bacon and eggs smoky then you'll probably be fine. Otherwise you may want to consider sitting in the far less impressive indoor area. Given that the majority of the dining area is outside on the decking it's a little disappointing that it's not a non-smoking restaurant. Or doesn't have a sectioned off smoking area.
With that out of the way, on to more important things; The Menu. The food is modern European with the menu changing to suit the seasons. They are also fully licensed with a small selection of boutique beers and wine.
The Breakfast menu - available all day - is fairly standard with a selection of toasts, omelettes and the always important Big Breakfast which comes with eggs (cooked to your choice), bacon, tomato, mushrooms, handmade sausages, potatoes, baby spinach, baked beans and a baguette.
For lunch you can choose from a variety of sandwiches, salads, burgers or steak. Most importantly they have beer-battered chips, a delicious delicacy sadly overlooked by many pubs and restaurants.
After much deliberation I ordered poached eggs, bacon, baby spinach and tomato with a crusty baguette (a selection that doesn't appear to be on their current menu) and Miss CK ordered the chicken salad.
You certainly couldn't fault the meals or the service and our waiter was a wonderfully charming and friendly gentleman. The food arrived in quick order and, after the obligatory photos, we set to it. The egg and bacon was delicious, the eggs cooked through with just the right runny yoke, the bacon crisp and salty and the baguette every bit as crusty as promised.
The chicken salad was good although we did find a piece or two that may have been a tad undercooked. And the creamy salad dressing didn't really complement the cucumber and semi-dried tomatoes although I had no problems cleaning up the leftovers. For drinks, in addition to the afore-mentioned beer and wine, they have a range of juices and iced coffees and soft drinks, from which I ordered a marvellous iced coffee - served in the now common-place jam-jar mug. As a treat I rarely allow myself, it was delicious.
They also have a gazebo in the middle of the garden which is available to hire for functions. Although their website doesn't currently have any info on pricings. Miss CK and I were admiring it on the way out thinking it might be a fine venue for a (very) small and intimate engagement or birthday function.
Given the picturesque surrounds and the friendly service, we're certainly looking at stopping by there again. Be wary when you approach the counter to pay the bill though as the selection of delicious looking sweets and treats available in the display case may just sway you to add a few extra items to your bill.
Cafe Harvest @ BGC - 02 96105366 - is open 8am to 4pm (Kitchen closes at 2.30pm) daily and can be found at the Bonnyrigg Garden Centre on the corner of Elizabeth Drive and Wilson Road in Bonnyrigg.