Bianca: A recent move to Meadowbank means I’ve been on the hunt for some new local cafes. I’m fortunate to be right on the Ryde River Walk and I love to be active. So when I can marry two of my favourite things…. I go eat pancakes. Clearly!
Big Tree House Cafe is just over a 50 min walk or a pretty leisurely 25-minute cycle from ‘The Meadow’ and sits on a suburban street in Ryadalmere. It’s quite a little funky cafe, something I could imagine easily sliding into the inner city. They were turning over a pretty solid trade early one sunny Sunday. I returned 3 times over a 4 month period.
My Skim Cappucino $3.50 was pretty decent, not overly milky but I did have to add a bit of sugar to reduce the bitterness on two separate occasions. Their Skim Mocha is worth mentioning, one of the better ones my mum has had.
So this ridiculous pancake obsession of mine is not slowing down and I’m committed to eating every good pancake this city has to offer. And I have to be honest, the Ricotta Pancakes -w/caramelised banana & honey cinnamon butter $15 was one of the main drawcards. Perhaps not the prettiest but they sure made up in flavour, I’m a big fan of butter on pancakes so I appreciated the addition. The pancakes were light and fluffy but I would have preferred a thicker, plumper pancake. I enjoyed the fresh fruit, particularly the sour blueberries. The grapes were a little random… Still, pretty decent pancakes and if I was in a real fix I know they aren’t too far away.
Returning a few months later and it seems the pancakes have had a facelift. Thicker and fluffier and without those strange grapes. With more seasonal fruits, definitely an improvement. And so pretty!
The ol ball and chain went with a dish I can no longer find on the menu. Essentially a Shakshuka -w/ added bacon. He was instantly pretty pleased but that was followed by a slight disappointment as the sauce got sweeter and sweeter the more he ate.
Generally, if I don’t see pancakes on the menu, I go to my fall back. Brioche French Toast – w/vanilla mascarpone, maple syrup & fresh berries $11. Before I say anything else… the prices! The dish anywhere within 5km of the city would be pushing $16. The flavour was very similar to the pancakes, as most of the ingredients, were replicated for both dishes, including those grapes 🙁 But this was a great French toast, crispy and full of flavour. The Vanilla mascarpone adding just a touch of sourness.
Corn Fritters -w/ poached egg, bacon, avocado and tomato relish $15 is great if you’re wanting something hearty. With bursts of sweetness from the corn kernels, the dough not overly cumbersome. The avocado needed a bit more seasoning for my tastes and the egg was perfectly poached.
I knew I was going to be tempting fate when I ordered the Big Tree Beef Burger -w/beetroot, bacon, pineapple, lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese & aioli with chips $18. Oh boy, as soon as it came sauntering over to the table I knew I made a mistake… Its construction was haphazard with everything going all over the place once you got stuck into it. The patty takes most of the blame, overcooked, over mixed and flavourless. No-one was sadder than me.
A real shame about my last lunch at Big Tree House but there are some tasty dishes and for a local cafe, it’s still up there.