Taking upcycling to a whole new level, The Shed, is setting the bar. Located in Queens Park in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, this now relaxed and chilled out cafe was in its former life a dilapidated storage shed.
Thankfully the owners have kept a lot of the old charm of this brick building, with the addition of sliding glass doors making it airy and light filled. The cafe's prime position next to the children’s playground and playing fields makes it an instant hit with mums and dads. With plenty of room to throw a ball about, the outside seating area is a haven for pampered pooches and their owners.
Setting up shop in mid 2013 for breakfast and lunch, The Shed has now swung its doors open in the evenings Thursdays to Saturdays. We dropped by on a lovely summer evening and took up residence at one of the outside tables.
The evening menu is a grown up version of the daytime offerings, catering for those just wanting a light snack or a full three courser. Great to see plenty of thought too has gone into catering for vegetarians and gluten intolerant patrons.
Ordering at the counter, we kicked off with the parmesan crumbed artichokes with garlic aioli and the lemon and thyme marinated prawns with salsa verde, both from the sharing menu. To quench our thirst we had a Little Creatures Pale Ale and a Margan Family Chardonnay, both favourites of ours.
The grilled prawns were plump and juicy and perfectly accompanied by the light lemony salsa verde, just right for a summer’s evening– needless to say they were devoured pretty quickly. The crumbed artichokes were a bit nondescript I’m afraid, with the crumbs being the predominate flavour. I had in my mind the artichokes would be more lightly coated.
Between courses we enjoyed sitting back and watching the dogs play whilst the sun went down.
For the mains we went for the pea, artichoke & rocket orecchiette with lemon oil and the sticky marmalade bbq beef short ribs with pan fried greens on a creamed mash.
The veggie pasta was a generous size and looked and tasted really fresh with loads of crunchy peas and peppery rocket – my only gripe would be that it was a bit too oily and there was no offer of parmesan. I think the parmesan may have gone some way to counterbalance the oiliness. Kevin’s marinaded bbq ribs had a lovely sweetness but wasn’t overpowering, with the beef just falling off the bone. The mash and broccolini went well with the ribs, the creamy mash soaking up the marinade juices.
Two courses down we were back up to the counter to order some desserts and another couple of glasses of wine. Sensible portion sizes at The Shed make it easy to fit in three courses which is not something you can say these days about many restaurants.
Poached peach with mascarpone and pistachio and a soy crème caramel were the order of the day, with the only other option being a cheese board.
The poached peach was very refreshing but would have benefited from more of the mascarpone cream. Lucky for Kevin I was willing to share my generously sized scoop of ice cream which came with my crème caramel. The crème caramel wasn’t as creamy as I’ve experienced elsewhere but I put this down to being made with soy milk. Nonetheless it had a nice caramel flavour to it.
Desserts consumed we bid farewell to our fellow diners and headed home. I’m sure The Shed will become a favourite dinner haunt with locals however I can’t help feel that with prices being comparable with other nearby restaurants, a transition from cafe to restaurant in the evening with table service and BYO would make dining here a more enticing option.
Have you dined at the Shed?
The Shed, Darly Road, Queens Park, Sydney
Tel: 02 9380 9350
Opening hours: Breakfast & Lunch: Mon-Fri : 7am-3pm; Sat-Sun: 7am-4pm; Dinner: Thurs-Sat from 5pm