The Picnic located at the corner of Burwood Road and Park Avenue is a prettily executed outdoor concept. People can either pull up a picnic mat on the grass and order food to eat or they can sit at picnic tables in the undercover restaurant and brunch or picnic to their heart's content. The food is an Instagrammer's delight - pretty dishes bathed with lots of natural light. The Coco pops French toast is pretty and pink while the Burwood burger is a solid offering.
"Don't worry about us, we share everything. We're like a Mormon family*," I explain to our waitress when we order drinks for everyone and ask for everything to put in the centre of the table family style.
*Apologies to any Mormons out there if I have (quite conceivably) misunderstood the religion.
Our group of five: me, Mr NQN, Belinda, Louise and Viggo are like a mismatched family. Louise usually plays mum slicing up the food into five portions while Belinda and Mr NQN usually fight like siblings. Today they're giving each other stick and start arguing about travel routes and food choices. "Go eat a fruit salad!" says Belinda while he rolls his eyes at her driving routes.
But share style really is picnic style and so I can't imagine anyone better to try out The Picnic with. We are waiting at the corner of Burwood Park and Park Avenue where there's a yellow and white striped banner and white wrought iron furniture.
Click and drag for a 360° look
On weekends they don't take bookings and the waiting time at around 11:30am is 45 minutes to an hour. If the idea of waiting this long fills you with dread, you can also borrow a picnic rug and order picnic food from the kiosk or shop at the nearby shopping centre while waiting for a text from them telling you that your table is ready.
The menu is broken up into sections from "All Day", "Til 11:30am" and "Lunch" and alas we're in too late although a table near us seem to have two things on the til 11:30am menu at 12:30pm. We order with our waitress - she's friendly but others are less warm.
The drinks arrive. It's a bit like Goldilocks and the three bears. The berry smoothie is a little too tart while the Nutella pretzel looks good but lacks an identity either way and for $12 you want to be wowed because that's an expensive drink. And can we agree that putting a smear of Nutella on the outside of the glass is really impractical? But on the upside the the watermelon lychee is delicious and juuust right.
The Picnic Sandwich is an open faced sandwich with Schulz wagyu beef, jamon serrano, truffle salami, lettuce,tomato, figs and topped with grilled halloumi. It is served with smoked paprika dusted shoe string fries. I particularly like the figs and halloumi on top with the jamon serrano but I don't think it needs as much topping as it has as it is a bit hard to eat. We all like the crunchy spicy fries.
Louise aka mum cuts the burger up for us. This is a safe, crowd pleasing choice with a juicy wagyu patty, oak lettuce, tomato, secret sauce and American cheese on a soft milk bun with smoked paprika fries. It's soft and juicy with two layers of melted cheese on top.
This is pretty but alas we found it lacked a lot of flavour. It sounds great though: 21 hour slow cooked lamb with organic quinoa, lentils, spinach, kale, roasted almonds, roasted beets, baked sweet potato and aged Manchego chevre. The flavours sound like they're there but alas they're not. Lamb really benefits from spices and flavourings and we often find lamb is an underseasoned meat when we eat out. We realise half way through that the sweet potato is missing from it and even adding salt and pepper doesn't help. There's a lot of corn but there's no mention of corn on the menu so we're guessing it was a last minute replacement for the sweet potato.
You can order picnic platters for 2 or 4 people. This is the one for two people although we're guessing from the size of the platter they simply load up the same platter with more food. There's a blue cheese and manchego, silverside, prosciutto, salami, beetroot dip, labne balls, bread and fig and passionfruit halves. There are olives too but they sit on a most curious red sauce that tastes like a thickened strawberry topping. This is a really odd with the olives.
This "Not so French" is best eaten when hot when the Coco Pops on the outside are crunchy. It is served on a round of watermelon with dabs of dulce de leche, berry reduction, fresh berries, Persian fairy floss and pistachio. It's delightfully pretty and is just made for taking a photo of or Instagramming.
We try a couple of the ice blocks that come out on a chopping board with a scattering of pomegranate and shaved coconut. The "Figs and Cream" is a burnt honey cream with a bruleed fig in the centre - this is pretty mild and milky. I prefer the lychee rose with fresh lychee and rose infused cream with raspberry coulis.
Although rain was predicted it turns out to be a beautiful sunny day. And as with a picnic, you're best to pick a gorgeous day and sure there are birds and flies but that's the whole outdoor eating and picnic concept. The bill is a pleasant surprise at $36 a person which is not bad considering how much we had eaten although next time I think I'll go straight for the food and bypass the drinks.
So tell me Dear Reader, do you split your food with friends? Do you have a group of friends that are family to you? And what do you think of the picnic concept? And what are your thoughts on the chocolate on the outside of milkshake jars? Pretty or impractical?
This meal was independently paid for.
Corner of Park Avenue and Burwood Road, Burwood, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9745 1034
Open 8am-4pm Tuesday to Sunday, closed Mondays