The Shed is bright and fresh café, located on the top floor of the Westfield shopping centre at Woden, south of the city. It is part of a larger franchise across Sydney, however it is the first to open in the ACT. The cafe opened at the end of April (2017), just over two months ago at the time of writing, however it has already got the locals talking about its reasonably priced meals, large servings and exceptional coffee. Who doesn't want all this in the one café?
After a few friends had mentioned this cafe to me more than once, I did a "walk by" one busy weekday, to see what they were talking about. As I got closer, I saw the crowds of people before I saw the café itself, as there was a long line of people waiting for coffees and every table was taken in the open seating area. Just a few days later, on a cold winters weekend, it didn't take much convincing for my family to hop in the car and spend the morning in the warmth of a large shopping centre, with a promise of good food and coffee (and a possible baby chino for our daughter!)
On our Saturday morning visit we were pleased to see there were plenty of empty tables when we first arrived, however there were only a few left by the time we finished. The cafe seating area is large and open with a stunning crystal chandelier shimmering over the top of it. According to their website, they pride themselves in providing "home-style cooking in an urban oasis", which is just how it appears. The décor consists of polished wood, little pots of greenery and some cute references to its name - with the menus tucked into stands in the shape of hammers and the numbers were made of hand trowels!
The breakfast menu has an extensive range, with prices ranging between $10 - $15 for most meals. Whilst we were thinking about what to order, we watched a parade of earthenware plates being served to other diners with large servings piled high, looking fresh and well presented. See the full menu here. We decided to choose the Twisted Avocado and Magic Mushrooms, both at $12.90, with a latte and a freshly squeezed orange juice. With friendly service and quick delivery of drinks and meals, it is the ideal spot to take a rest from your shopping - or as a destination in itself.
Both meals were equally as delicious and deceptively filling, with a generous amount of toppings and extras on each one. Under each stack of delicious ingredients were slices of cut multigrain loaf, which were lightly toasted and particularly more-ish. These reasonably-priced breakfast meals rival any other café that we have been to in Canberra, in the convenience (and warmth!) of a shopping centre.
As our daughter had just eaten a big breakfast at home, she was more than happy to have a "dotty cookie" for her morning tea, which they presented with chocolate icing sugar dusted onto the plate. Much to her delight, they had baby chinos with marshmallows - and much to our delight, they were free!
Dotty cookie and baby chino (minus the marshmallow which had already been eaten)
The Shed was a pleasant surprise at Westfield Woden. It is always refreshing to stumble upon a café in a shopping centre which serves up fresh and healthy food, matched with exceptional coffee. It is the ideal place to meet up with friends for a meal before doing some shopping, as a quick stop for a cuppa or to simply treat yourself and enjoy a meal on your own. On our visit, many people were on their own enjoying a hearty breakfast with a mug of steaming hot coffee, leisurely reading the weekend paper. It is that kind of relaxed, unhurried place. If you enjoy good coffee, also check out Espresso Room downstairs in the centre, or Café Cherry Beans located just down the escalators from The Shed.
Although The Shed has everything you need to start the day on the right note, their lunches look equally as healthy, creative and wholesome. They are also open until 7pm on Friday nights for late night shopping, so you could enjoy any one of these meals (below) for dinner as well. Why don't you delay the shopping for an hour, and treat yourself this weekend?
Sliders, soups and salads. Source: Original photos from The Shed Facebook