Saturday, February 04, 2006

Cooks Larder, Old Barrenjoey Rd, Avalon

Cooks Larder, Old Barrenjoey Rd, Avalon
Saturday 4 February, 2006

I have been keen to visit this place for many months. Avalon is not somewhere I would think of visiting for a meal but after today's experienced there's definitely a reason to return.

As soon as I drive across The Spit I feel as though I am on holidays. By the time I reach Avalon I could have flown to Brisbane. It feels like a million miles away and things are definitely more relaxed. The Cooks Larder is located in the heart of Avalon - a village atmosphere with boutique shops and beauticians. It is situated between a Subway and a children's hairdresser. Upstairs are some apartments that look like they have been designed & decorated by the contestants from The Block.

I was expecting the Cooks Larder to be larger but it's a compact space with an impressive deli section, kitchen with 'cooking school' mirror hanging above and cafe. The cafe tables and chairs spill out onto the sidewalk. It's inviting and I'm thrilled to learn they serve Allpress coffee - skim flat white please.....

Today I was lunching with some old Uni buddies who I haven't seen for 8 years. Within minutes it was like time hadn't passed and we'd only seen each other yesterday. Deciding what to order was difficult as everything sounded appealing. There's menu offerings and blackboard specials. We decided to start with some sour dough with Cook's Larder chef's blend olive oil and caramelised balsamic vinegar (all the bread is supplied from the Sonoma Bakery) - delicious.

For lunch we ordered:

- Pumpkin & feta puff tart with salad;
- Lamb chops with chick peas; and
- Soba noodles with fresh ginger & prawns.

All the meals were beautiful. Even though there was a steady stream of guests we weren't hurried and sat for a while before ordering more coffee & tea and these sensational mini chocolate muffins.

The staff are welcoming and happy to chat although they are all busy. It's relaxed and I've now found a reason to return to Avalon.

Cooks Larder - 21 Old Barrenjoey Rd, Avalon - (02) 99734370


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