Cnr Burwood Road and Park Av
Burwood, NSW 2134
I went to bed early on Saturday night, full of optimism about getting up early to nab a spot in Surry hills for brunch. But when I woke up, I realised my plans had been foiled by daylight savings. It was a full hour later than I had planned on getting up, and the odds of getting a table now had become slim indeed.
Thankfully, it’s still only 9:20, and there’s a good selection of cafes much closer to home. After a quick search, I decided on The Picnic Burwood, and we were there by 10.
Situated in the middle of Burwood Park, this is a fully outdoor cafe that would be far from ideal in the middle of winter, but on a warm spring morning it was heavenly. The canopy dripped with flowers and foliage, providing a bright, cheerful place that really set the mood for an idyllic Sunday brunch.
It was a bit warm for my usual flat white, but not to worry – the drinks menu here is extensive. The Coco Espresso ($7) is an unusual, yet surprisingly effective combination of robust cold brew coffee and sweet, mellow coconut water. I can see why the menu would sell it as ‘the BEST hangover cure’, but you certainly don’t need to have had a big night to enjoy this.
Like the drinks menu, the food menu is huge, varied, and interesting. There’s a middle-eastern slant, but really the influences are global. And the best example of this? The lamb kofta spring rolls with miso harissa mayo and Grana Padano. But as tempting as the more indulgent options were, I was feeling rather virtuous that day, and the Açai Bowl ($16) was perfect for the warm weather. Despite being healthy, this was far from boring. The blend of acai and banana was sweet and smooth, in contrast to the handful of crunchy granola. There’s the usual selection of fruit arranged around the edges, but it’s the generous amount of coconut flakes that gave it a summery tropical vibe. This was pretty much everything a good açai bowl should be.
The Picnic Fave ($18) was my other healthy pick. It was a fine example of smashed avocado, topped with marinated heirloom tomatoes, creamy labneh, and a handful of nuts and pomegranate, all on a base of arrestingly dark charcoal bread. I went and ruined the healthiness however with the addition of Sujuk ($4.5), though it was absolutely worth it. The sausage was bold and meaty with just a hint of spice, adding a richness to the creamy smashed avo and zesty tomato.
Despite my sleep-in, brunch turned out to be a success. There’s plenty left on the menu that I want to try, especially on a day that I’m feeling less virtuous. And with summer just around the corner, the prospect of outdoor dining sounds better than ever.
Rating: 13/20 – the best kind of picnic.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.