After reading an article on the Top 5 places to visit in North of Sydney being the Incinerator it was our a visit list but always thought it way too far to venture out...
We came on a Sunday afternoon at 1:45pm. There were lots of people sitting inside shielding themselves from the chill, but the outside was nice and quaint for those who can withstand the harsh winter's air.
The inside of the Incinerator Cafe is very rustic with earthy wooden tones. The front courtyard is almost like a picnic cross paddock, perfect for big groups, families, and pets welcome. The Incinerator is also home to an Art Gallery on the basement level.
Their coffee is The Grounds blend, including single origin black. Today's brew was Colombian which was mild and pleasant.
We ordered four dishes: The "Special" French Toast, Duck Liver Parfait, Chargrilled Octopus, and Jeff's Hand-made Gnocchi.
The French Toast was stunning and surprising.
Atop sweet toast is ice-cream, a waffle cone, fairy floss, berry compote, seasonal fruits, and POPPING CANDY! We didn't really pay close attention to the menu before ordering and missed the candy, so having it pop in our mouths was definitely a pleasant shock! Although it was a sweet dish I didn't find it overly sweet, the french toast did a good job as absorbing the sweetness and balancing the components.
Duck Liver Parfait.
The parfait itself was rich and very delicious but I found it quite hard to balance with the date chutney and toasted pear which I left most of on the plate. Great for sharing with groups as I don't recommend having this as a main...
The Chargrilled Octopus was a miss for me.
I found that the flavours didn't match and the olives were super overpowering and distracted the attention away from the Octopus. The thicker Octopus pieces were really tender but the thinner ones were quite chewy. (-0.5)
If there is anything to travel 10kms on Sydney's rubbish Sunday public transport for is Jeff's hand-made Gnocchi. It may not look like anything special but one bite and you'll see it's an absolute revelation. All the gnocchi I've had in the past is slightly chewy - not Jeff's! An ex-fine dining and ex-restaurant owner himself, this famous Gnocchi maker is now in Willoughby modestly pushing brunches... how lucky for me!! (+0.5)
Instagram factor: Great spot to get photos especially outside. The dishes are on the edge of classic and outside the box.
Rating on Zomato: 5/5