[Sydney, Australia] For café lovers, no visit to Sydney would be complete without stepping into The Grounds Of Alexandria.
In fact, I would write “Grounds of Alexandria” into a list for “What to do in Sydney” along with the usual suspects of Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge, Darling Harbour, and Sydney Fish Market.
I described to my friends that this is the mother of all cafes. After a visit, they didn’t think I was exaggerating. “Must come back again”.
Transformed from an old pie shop which existed from the 1920s, this is a ‘mega café’ which is a coffee roaster, café, bakery, bar, kitchen garden, weekend market, florist and a mini-farm all rolled in one.
You may have heard of Kevin Bacon the actor, but the other ‘Kevin Bacon’ the pig is a star in its own right over a grounds. Sooooooooo cute (and you may swear off ham momentarily)! His other friends such as Bradley the lamb are darlings to the kids.
The main and only things that would likely piss people off, are the wait and crowd.
Grounds is packed at all times of the week, especially during the weekends due to the markets. The first time, I got a table for two inside the café in about 20 minutes. Though my next visit with a group turned to be a table waiting and chairs taking experience which lasted close to an hour – we sat at the outdoor area. Winter no problem.
While I won’t say the food is show-stopping, come-on, the quality of meat and fresh produce, especially the beef makes all that difference to what we have been used to back home.
The ‘Ground Burger’ (AUD$19.00) made of ground beef brisket, cheese, lettuce in a toasted brioche bun served with beer batter fries, would be king if we ever considered the usual fast-food princely. Fries were crazy-crisp delicious, especially dipped in accompanying sauces such as pesto or ketchup.
Bakes were of varying quality, with the tarts being our favourites for its play of textures and layered fillings (chocolate with caramel were pleasure- inducing), while some of the cakes hit a dry spot.
As The Grounds of Alexandria is a landmark known for its coffee research and testing facility, the single origin beans used of some of the best quality, creating well-balanced, rich and aromatic cups.
What defines this space is its mood – electrifying, almost carnival-like, yet easy-going, where everybody seemed genuinely happy just grabbing a burger and cuppa, enjoying bonding time like never before.
I don’t think any other countries, other than Australia, can replicate a ground quite like this.
The Grounds of Alexandria
Building 7A, No 2 Huntley Street Alexandria NSW Australia
Tel: +61 2 96992225
Plan your trip via public transport: http://www.transportnsw.info
Cafe & Roastery: 7am – 4pm (Mon – Fri), 7:30am – 4pm (Sat – Sun)
Potting Shed: 11:30am – LATE (Mon – Sun)
Markets: 8am – 3pm (Sat – Sun)
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