Sydney Foodies will be delighted to know that they don't have to travel into the edgy inner west suburbs of the city to dine at the coolest new cafe in town. A brand new joint has just swung open its doors out in the burbs - in the quiet back streets of North Ryde to be exact.
This funky cafe is called The Dining & CO. It is owned and operated by Justin Park. He is obviously a fan of bringing quality cafe food to surburbia, as his previous venture was the popular Big Treehouse Cafe in Rydlamere. Justin has also done stints on the pans at 5 star hotels, and was previously the executive chef at Peter Doyle's restaurant at the Quay.
The Dining & CO. has an on trend moncohrome and wooden fit out, and there are some metallic touches spashed around which creates a very modern feel. With a polished cement floor and exposed lighting, this spacious cafe would be at home on any inner city street. Tables of various sizes fill the inside, with smaller tables lining the outside of the cafe (blankets are provided to curb the chill on wintery days). The centre table has a stack of menus on it, so grab one on the way to your seat, then order at the front counter when you are ready.
Coffee is by master roasters Campos. The barista at the Dining & CO. brews a nice strong flat white that will give you the perfect jolt to start your day, or to keep going later on. For those that aren't addicted to the coffee bean, you will enjoy the cafe's selection of T2 teas (both standard and organic) as well as shakes, smoothies and frappes in various flavours.
The all day breakfast menu covers all of your cafe favourites but with a few modern twists. Take the French toast for example. This dish is truly sublime. Not only does it look stunning but every morsel that hits your mouth is a taste sensation. Made with brioche and served with vanilla mascarpone, berries, maple syrup and pistachio snow, this is the sort of dish that will have you returning to Dinning & CO. over and over again.
If you prefer savoury items to start your day, then the shakshuka is a worthy choice. This little pan of deliciousness is full of spicy tomato and capsicum sauce, with choirzo and slow cooked eggs. On the side there are two wedges of Turkish toast to help you mop up the sauce at the bottom of the pan. Even the staple of bacon and eggs will have you salivating, as it is served with a delicious BBQ aioli. Corn fritters, eggs benny, and pancakes are all there as well, and if you are just after something light there is a selection of baked goods available on the front counter.
At lunch time the menu steps it up a notch, with choices ranging from a healthy grilled baby calamari salad with lentils and chick peas, to a protein packed sirloin steak with mushroom sauce and chips. Burger lovers will rejoice that they can get their mouth around a good old fashioned Aussie beef burger that is packed full of pineapple, bacon and beetroot. The prosciutto pizzeta with fig, gorgonzola and rocket sounds mighty fine, as does the confit trout with brown rice salad and beetroot foam. True vegetarians may find it difficult to find an option on the lunch menu, however as the breakfast menu runs all day, there are suitable herbivore choices included on that.
Being located in suburbia, Dining & CO. is obviously very family friendly. From the stack of high chairs, to the ample space to park prams, to the plastic plates for kids (and the shelf of toys), this cafe welcomes families with open arms. There is a kids menu at lunch time, as well as babycinos available. Toilet facilities are also on site, in case an emergency strikes.
Once upon a time it was difficult to find a decent cafe out in the burbs of Sydney. However thanks to chefs like Justin Park (who are willing to bring their talent to the people), suburban dwellers don't have to travel very far at all to find a decent caffeine fix and superior food, in a cool and funky environment.
This cafe offers superb food at a great value for money cost,, the service is excellent and coffee
is of a high quality
Only gripe is the $20 minimum eftpos usage. With the prices so well priced it is difficult to get a meal and coffee for under $20. And the type of clientele it attracts does not always had cash in their pockets.
I have eaten there twice. And would have been three times had it not been for this silly rule.