The Grounds destroys three hours of the morning for a reasonable $20 per head. Thus, it is better bang-for-your buck than Taronga Zoo and on par with Gold Class Cinema.
Amazingly, the site is a converted Four N Twenty (FNT) pie factory. Food historians tell me the FNT R&D team were not talented enough to outcompete the pie’s arch nemesis, the burger. The moment fried-chicken-in-a-burger hit Instagram, life was over for the pie. Some well funded entrepreneurs bankrolled a new establishment.
There are multiple eating areas, a coffee roaster, bakery, market stalls, a florist and a mini-farm. Almost everything is edible except for the pig, Kevin Bacon.
Rumour has it that they considered turning the old meat rendering room into a yoga studio (unconfirmed).
The bakery itself stands up as a viable competitor to Artisan incumbents Sonoma and Brickfields. For example, they offer Charcoal Sourdough. If you follow the NBA, then prejudice may suggest black > white.
The Grounds Bakery – 2 for $10.
Distractions aside, does the cafe experience deliver?
Grounds harvested Sydney’s most popular cafe staples and made them pretty. Very pretty. This means it is impossible to go wrong regardless of dietary requirements.
A consistent theme is immaculate presentation offset by stingy portions. After much stress, we opt for a salad and omelette. It takes 15 min to receive service, and then 5 min for the food to arrive.
Note the garnish of rocket on each dish, presumably applied with tweezers. Next level plating skills.
Grounds Brekkie Bowel ($18) – avocado, potato, pickled beans, sprouted seeds, torn herbs,
pearl cous cous, broken egg and toasted nuts
More sophistication in this salad than my vocabulary. The chewy-crunch combo is powerful, as is photographing fine ribbons of zucchini.
The fun ends with the camera. I hate the dish because it is too small. It is very hard to enjoy a salad without protein. A side of smoked trout or a roast chicken comes to mind.
King Crab Omlette ($22) – crab meat, free range eggs and crème fraîche with a zucchini & herb salad
An obese seal attempts to mount an elevated, moss-covered rock. Exhausted, he rolls to the side in defeat. That’s the only memory I have of this dish. I recall the flavour to be similar to a cheesy omelette with leaves.
Wife’s comment ‘I like the dill, I need carbs’. Whilst at the time I didn’t know what dill was, I agree on the requirement for bread.
The two meals are easily polished off and we depart with haste and little desire to return.
– Food (♦♦♦♦) – slightly amp’ed up cafe standards, faultless presentation.
– Value (♦♦♦♦) – highly accessible pricing at ~$20/head.
– Other (♦♦♦) – a very food court, impersonal vibe. Massive turnover reminds me of a wedding dinner.
– Overall (♦♦♦♦) – tasty feed and decent value that falls well short of the dreaded wait times.
Will I be returning?
My two visits to date is one more than I would recommend.
Due to my ‘generous‘ scoring, happy to show my image, and that of the daughter.