The Incinerator Cafe, Willoughby. ‘The Pancake Files’.

[invite] Bianca: With perhaps one of the most striking buildings in all of Sydney, the Griffin Willoughby Incinerator built in 1934 now restored to its full glory is home to an art studio, community gallery space and a cafe, The Incinerator. It’s always quite a joy to stumble on little discoveries like this, our grandparents live around the corner and we used to play in Hallstrom Park as kids.

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Sunday lunch trade was in full swing when we arrived, our visit co-coincided with the start of spring so we were blessed with gorgeous sunny weather. It’s incredibly family friendly, with an outdoor area and the cosier cafe space, indoors.

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With the approaching warmer weather we thought we’d give the colder drinks a whirl. The Pineapple Juice $8.50 got a big tick from me and the short stack. We were equally enamoured with the Chocolate Tim Tam Shake $8.50 and the Acai Smoothie $8.50 (that got a MASSIVE thumbs up from the mother unit and Short Stack).

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Short Stack pointing to his drink of choice. “THIS!!!”

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There are separate breakfast/lunch menus but we were lucky to have the staff organise the pancake & French toast dishes for us but more on those later… I will say the menu prices are on the high side for a cafe but in terms of quality, taste and portion size it’s a fair price to pay.

So good it’s written twice on the online menu, the Crispy zucchini flowers stuffed with haloumi, broad beans and Tunisian tomato salad $24. Delicious, luscious creamy filling, complemented wonderfully by the light crispy batter. We were BLOWN away by the flavour of the tomatoes, in essence, a simple dish but everything was executed wonderfully.

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The staff were keen for us to try a new Trout dish that didn’t quite hit the mark for us. Perhaps more because of the accompanying salad, as the trout was wonderfully flaky and melt in the mouth tender.

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The Incinerator Club Sandwich -w/ turkey, bacon, lettuce, corn remoulade & egg $19 was quite the behemoth. You’ll need to unhinge the jaw to get a good gobful of this sandwich. We requested ours without the egg and our only other feedback would be some sort of sauce as it was a little on the dry side. But good clean flavours.

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And the dish to travel for, no question. Is Jeff’s handmade basil and ricotta gnocchi with asparagus, Parmesan and burnt butter & sage sauce $25. I was not expecting this dish to be as good as it was… sentiments shared by all of us on the day. Soft, silky smooth gnocchi, generous shavings of parmesan and crisp sage leaves. I even think the Nonni would love this dish!

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And the best part of any meal, the sweeties. Both sweet dishes are new to the menu. The Unicorn French Toast with a thick block of spongy brioche, filled with chocolate will definitely hit the spot for those drawn to the sweeter side of life. The berries adding a note of freshness, fairy floss doesn’t really do much for me and used here I’d say it’s more for decorative effect.

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My preference for sweets always leans towards pancakes. Shock horror, who knew? And the Apple Crumble Hotcakes are gooduns. Light, airy pancakes. The poached apples added some warmth and freshness (it’s definitely more of a wintery pancake dish) and all tied together by the crunchy crumble. I’m not too well versed in Northside pancakes but this is a very strong option, the pancakes as the base themselves were executed perfectly!

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Ness and I already discussed bringing our Nonna back, she’d love it!


*For Food’s Sake dined as guests of The Incinerator.

The Incinerator Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Author: forfoodssake

A Sydney food blog.

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