I have a client in Terrey Hills, Urban Tadka – an amazing Indian restaurant (plug plug). One of the owners insisted I try Forestway Fresh as I would love it so introduced me to the owners and off I headed one early weekday morning for breakfast. TASTING DECK is a cafe/ restaurant located in the back corner of Forestway Fresh, a Fruit, Veg and Fresh Produce Shop of huge proportions.
TASTING DECK VENUE:
Forestway Fresh is a fruit and vegetable institution of Terrey Hills/ Frenchs Forest. It has been there for as long as fruit has been grown as far as I know. In the last year it has gone through a mammoth renovation and now reminds me of a Fresh Produce Shop crossed with a Bunnings. It is absolutely huge and offers a range and quality easily capable of rivalling Harris Farm.
Besides its size it has a carp park that can house a hundred or more vehicles and they added a marvellous cafe with a wood fired oven. And the fruit and veg part of the venue is close to a full blown grocery store. I am pretty certain I even saw cleaning products for sale and their meat section and pre-made meals is enough to feed your entire house without visiting a Coles, Aldi or Woolies.
The TASTING DECK, located in the back right hand corner of the venue, is a large cafe with less than ten tables inside and an outdoor covered patio that could sit a hundred or more. It’s not like a cafe at Bunnings where you stop for a quick coffee mid shop, it’s a full blown destination that I have already booked in a date for my second visit, this time with the parents. The outdoor patio also looks over a large playground area for the kids, so you can easily enjoy a long lunch up in Terrey Hills and relax with a coffee to finish while the kids tire themselves out.
Renovations were complete near on a year ago but it still feels brand spanking new. I got to tour the kitchens, store rooms and prep areas and the place is MASSIVE behind the scenes. I have never seen a kitchen so clean – this place runs like a very well oiled machine.
One thing to note:
The Grocery Store closes at 6pm every day, the cafe closes at 330pm (with coffee until 430pm). Do not be shopping here on your way home from work. It would be an ideal place to stay open to 8 or 9pm – I would be buying pre-made dinners here on the way home for sure!
WHY IS IT SO GOOD?:
You might be thinking “why the hell is he reviewing a cafe in a fruit and veg shop?” but there is a reason I am banging on about this place. It is the best cafe I have dined at in 2018 so far.
Forestway Fresh not only sells fresh produce, they also make a HUGE range of packaged food that they sell. I have taken home aiolis, lasagnas, granolas, shepherd’s pie and pesto. It is all made on site. I gawked at berry compotes, their own herbed or sweetened nuts in the process of being made, and I kicked myself for not buying prosciutto chips. And that is only scratching the surface of what they make. The kitchen team is making making making constantly. And if that isn’t enough for them – they also do catering.
Not only that but they also make nearly everything in the cafe. And all the meals in the cafe are prepared or cooked with all the ingredients they sell in the produce store. It is a genius idea and if anything is looking less than perfection in the fruit and vegetable section they can make something with it in the cafe. Waste is reduced and they offer an amazing value-add section in the cafe. They aren’t located in the middle of a residential area so to buy here you must drive so to have the value-add cafe is a well thought out plan that will prove successful.
I visited TASTING DECK for breakfast but check out their menu HERE – the lunch menu also highly impresses and their dessert section has me sitting here in a pile of drool reading it. They also offer a kids section on the menu.
WHAT I ORDERED:
- Multiple Juices (these weren’t actually ordered but delivered): Apple, Broccoli and Ginger, Watermelon, Pomegranate and Mint and lastly a simple Orange
- Forestway Fresh Fruit – seasonal fresh fruit and berries, buffalo yoghurt, pomegranate honey and Forestway granola
- Calabrese Breakfast – rosemary infused eggs, prosciutto, truss tomatoes, pork & fennel sausage, pepe e patate (charred capsicum & potato) and pane di casa
- Ricotta & Buttermilk Hotcake with flamed meringue, roasted macadamia nuts, blueberry compote and Canadian maple syrup
WHAT I HAVE EATEN AT HOME:
- Shepherd’s Pie
Their talented Head Chef, Brad, has come from working in 5 Star Hotels in Dubai and his experience in the kitchen matched with his training of the staff has created a nuanced menu that is miles above what you would expect from a venue like this. Giving a chef of this calibre open access to a fruit and vegetable shop with this much produce and then allowing him the opportunity to create all the things the store sells is another tick of genius for Forestway Fresh/ TASTING DECK.
THE FOOD BLEW MY MIND:
Firstly the juices – the fruit can’t be any fresher, I am sure they literally walk out into the store and select the fruit off the shelves! The Apple, Pomegranate and Mint won for me, I have a place in my heart for pomegranate. The mocha was delicious and their ceramic saucers were beautiful – nearly dropped it in my bag haha.
Then came three breakfasts because I am way too skinny!! The Forestway Fresh Fruit bowl is a healthy masterpiece. That presentation was so wonderful I didn’t want to eat it. The light sprinkle of granola throughout adds nice texture. Speaking of the granola, they gave me a bag of it to take home and it is my morning cereal at the moment, one of the best granolas I have had, it blends in a lot of nuts and other wondrous delights.
The single best breakfast of 2018 so far…….
Next up was the Calabrese Breakfast, no word of a lie, my single best breakfast of 2018 so far. Standing at the wood fired oven and taking pics of this baby cooking was a highlight. The stick of rosemary laid on the eggs while they cooked – the only way I am cooking my eggs now! The pork and fennel sausage was drool worthy and the prosciutto mixed with the pene e patate was absolutely delicious. This was the one I finished and will have again!
And to finish off the meal, a large fluffy and unique buttermilk and ricotta hotcake. Only the one – it was as thick as about three or four however. The flamed meringue was perfection with the artwork of fruit, nuts and flowers on top and I poured an abundance of maple syrup on top trying to get a pour shot. Well, that was my excuse anyways.
I have already planned my second visit to the TASTING DECK at Forestway Fresh. It currently holds my award for Best Breakfast in Sydney for 2018 (so far). Having a cafe venue in a Fresh Food Grocery is a work of genius, nothing tastes fresher. Time for a Terrey Hills breakfast road trip peeps. A perfect score from me.
SCORE BREAKDOWN: 3/3 food, 2/2 service, 1/1 drinks, 1/1 venue & ambience, 1/1 cost, 1/1 toilets and 1/1 bonus
TASTING DECK/ FORESTWAY FRESH DEETS:
PH: 02 9486 3340
2 Myoora Rd, Terrey Hills NSW 2084
PRICING: Medium cafe prices – most expensive dish is $26-.
7 days: 7am – 330pm (keeps serving coffee until 430pm)
Forestway Fresh is 7am – 6pm 7days
LOCAL DELIVERY: No
VEGETARIAN OPTIONS: Yes
GLUTEN FREE OPTIONS: Yes
KID FRIENDLY: Yes – there is even an outside play area
*** Spooning Australia was invited to review TASTING TABLE by the venue – the meal was comped by the venue ***
For more reviews of Sydney Cafes – check them out HERE