Thursday, August 26, 2010

Creme brulee at Carss Park Cafe

On Sunday we had lunch at the Carss Park Cafe and Grill for Bruce's mother's birthday. Carss Park is a bit of a hidden gem on Sydney's south-side. The cafe is surrounded by 5.2 hectares of parkland and bush by Kogarah Bay on the Georges River. The park and the suburb were named after William Carss, a Scotsman who purchased 119 acres of land at Kogarah Bay in 1863.  The sandstone cottage he built from stone quarried on site, still stands today, as do many other historic remnants from that period.

As we ate lunch,  families picnicked, fathers played soccer with their kids, and walkers strolled along the promenade by the old tidal baths, built in 1934.

While the cafe does not list gluten-free options on the menu, the staff, particularly Trudy, seemed well-informed on the subject.  There were about six mains which were gluten-free, but they were also happy to adjust dishes such as removing the cous cous from the grilled marinated lamb with roast vegetables and baby spinach with salad with a mint yoghurt dressing (which everyone else had for lunch).

In the end I chose the pan-fried barramundi fillet with celeriac puree and romesco sauce with snap peas. I was not disappointed; it was delicious with a nice mix of flavours and textures. Other main options included chorizo, pea and mushroom risotto with fresh thyme and parmesan, duck breast with rosemary-roasted potatoes and a pickled quince and roast capsicum salad, five-hour slow-roasted pork hock with savoy cabbage and chat potatoes, and grilled scotch fillet steak with brocollini and red wine jus. 

While everyone else in the party had birthday cake for desert (full of gluten) I enjoyed a delicious orange creme brulee from the cafe's sweets menu.  And then it was time to walk off our lunch with a stroll through the park and an amble by the bay.

Carss Park Cafe is open seven days for breakfast and lunch, and on Thursday, Friday and Saturday for dinner from 6pm.

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