An old Walter Burley Griffin-designed incinerator has been re-imagined as a beautiful café with high ceilings, an open kitchen and plenty of outdoor seating
It’s a building with strong bones. First built in the 1930s, and one of only eight of its kind, this design monument (and one of the city’s most attractive waste disposal units) lives again thanks to partners Alexis Lindsay and Jono Slingo. Clean geometric lines meet rustic sensibilities here, where copper anglepoise lamps are mounted on the walls and a giant, candle-wax-covered table doubles as a waiter’s station. (While we’re on it, it’s weirdly hard to pin down staff for water refills, coffee and the bill.)
The slick, open kitchen pumps out a menu of wood-roasted meats. They do a lamb shoulder salad with pickles, onions and Jerusalem artichokes; pulled pork buns, and whole fish with pickled beets. But we go for the chicken. It's torn and tossed through bitter leaves and quinoa, and interspersed with blobs of smoked yoghurt. A nice idea, but the reality is slightly wet - we’d like to see a little more wood-smoky meat and a little less yoghurt. They also do some fairly massive sandwiches. Try juicy scotch fillet on sourdough, heavy on the butter, cheese and pickles and served with a side of crinkle cut chips.
The Incinerator is also extremely mum-friendly, judging from the traffic jam of prams out the front and the blight of thirsty netballers after a Saturday game. To that end, there’s a series of smoothies like the apple-heavy ‘boot camp green’, and a whole selection of fresh-bottled juices by Emma and Tom’s. Milkshakes, however tempting chocolate Tim Tam sounds, are disappointingly thin and icy. The coffee from Alexandria darlings the Grounds is still worth an order.
Generally speaking, this is a pretty solid north Sydney café. A few bumps here and there can only be smoothed out with time.
|Venue name:||The Incinerator|
2 Small Street
|Opening hours:||Mon-Sun 7am-4pm|