In 1911 the first sod of soil was turned not far from The Tramshed Cafe in Narrabeen. It was a much different place back then with forward thinking people trying to advance their coastal/rural, much smaller, world on the Northern Beaches. One hundred and seven years later and there are no longer tram lines to Narrabeen, Sydney is trying to get their very expensive and very late tramline up and running and one antique tram has been restored and sits at the entry of the cafe, an honour to the tramline that used to run from Brookvale to Narrabeen. We head on up to Narrabeen and check out the new cafe that has remarkably restored a tram that looked beyond salvage.
THE TRAMSHED CAFE HISTORY:
What a huge and wonderful restoration of the tram! The transformation is sublime! Back in the early 1900s can you believe Sydney had the largest tram network in the Southern Hemisphere!! With the increased ownership of cars and then the boom of buses it was decided tramlines would be ripped out. Melbourne integrated and kept them in the CBD whereas Sydney decided 50+ yrs later they made a mistake and is reinstalling them.
The Narrabeen tramline ceased operation in 1939 and what a wonderful thing it is to see The Tramshed Cafe paying homage to a bit of local history and integrating trams with a cafe and eventually with one huge children’s playground. The tram on-site was put into circulation originally in 1933 and is tram Number 1753.
THE TRAMSHED CAFE VENUE:
The venue is located next to the Ambulance station on Pittwater Road in Narrabeen, you cannot miss it, just look for the big green tram! It completely covers the front of the cafe. The inside is quite large and much warmer than when we visited at the start of winter. One side of the cafe can be completely opened to the outdoors and soon-to-open children’s playground. The playground is completely fenced so no need to fret about kids running onto the road while you enjoy a much needed caffeine hit and some cakes.
The best part of the experience when visiting The Tramshed Cafe is that you can actually head on board the tram, sit down, read a paper with your takeaway coffee. You can’t have your full breakfast on the tram but kids can play on it and you can sit back and relax on it (maybe not at the same time kids are playing). I managed to embrace my inner child and squeeze into the driver’s booth – loved it!! I even incorrectly made choo choo noises haha.
Another impressive part of The Tramshed Cafe worth noting is their environmental initiatives, something more venues need to embrace.
Bravo to some of their environmental initiatives…..
- In the event of takeaways, they stock BioPak Green packaging, which is certified carbon neutral and after use can be recycled or commercially composted
- They only provide paper straws and are a member site on “The Last Straw” campaign
- Selected and invested in equipment that reduces the use of single use plastic packaging – e.g. virtually no plastic milk bottles used on site
- They compost coffee grinds and vegetable scraps as much as possible and offer these free for local gardens
- They recycle as much packaging as possible from the production process
- Single use drink bottles are collected which are recycled as part of the Government’s Return & Earn initiative
- They consciously support local supplier’s, where possible to reduce reliance on freight
The menu is created from Head Chef Bikash Khadka and is a truly modern Australian menu. It is not directed towards one cuisine type. It is multicultural and there is something there for everyone. It’s quite standard but enjoyable and tasty in it’s options. From granola, to pancakes, bacon and egg rolls and big breakfasts they then offer a wonderful vegetarian Kale Quinoa breakfast I ordered and then trashed for veggoes by adding bacon haha.
For lunch they have some burgers, wraps, fish and chips, salads and a pasta but one that interests me is something that sounds a lot like a Ploughman’s share lunch, The Platform Platter to Share. And don’t forget to grab a juice, a smoothie and desserts from the display cabinet. And I have I mentioned yet they are both licensed and BYO?!?!
It should be noted they have quite a large and fantastic sounding Kid’s Menu – the venue is definitely one for the whole venue. This is a venue I can see being very successful for mothers (or home dads) to bring kids in strollers and have meet ups. Kids can play, all can eat and parents can relax!
WHAT WE ORDERED AND WHAT WE THOUGHT:
- KALE QUINOA NEST – Crispy kale, tri colour quinoa, goats cheese, spicy dukka, salsa verde and soft poached eggs (with added gourmet mixed mushrooms and a side of bacon)
- THE TRAMSHED BIG BREAKKY – Eggs your way, bacon, roast tomatoes, mushroom, hash brown, avocado, chorizo, tomato relish and sourdough
Coffees were satisfying, the beans are from Sydney local roasters, The Little Marionette, and they did make me a big mug of tasty Decaf Moccha (don’t judge me) haha.
I usually loathe kale and bag it out like everyone else having a go at the hipster lettuce but for some reason this just read so well I had to have it. And I honestly don’t think I would order anything else if visiting The Tramshed again – wonderful flavours, textures and deliciously healthy. I highly recommend the mushroom addition but the bacon is only necessary if you just can’t do a baconless breakky.
Good friend Onika smashed the Big Breakky and it was what you would expect. It was large, ticked all the boxes and would satisfy most people. We weren’t a fan of the relish so just skipped that and devoured everything else.
THE TRAMSHED CAFE food ticked the boxes, it isn’t Chef’s Hat food, but it is delicious cafe food that can satisfy everyone. The venue is a marvel and will make parents and kids very happy with the soon to open playground. And both kids and adults (with inner kids) can have a lot of fun playing on the beautifully restored Tram #1753.
SCORE BREAKDOWN: 2/3 food, 2/2 service, 1/1 drinks, 1/1 venue & ambience, 1/1 cost, 1/1 toilets and 0/1 bonus
THE TRAMSHED CAFE DEETS:
PH: 02 9970 7486
395a Pittwater Road, Narrabeen, NSW 2101
PRICING: The most expensive meal is $22-
Daily: 7am – 5pm
LOCAL DELIVERY: No
VEGETARIAN OPTIONS: Yes – minimal
GLUTEN FREE OPTIONS: Yes – minimal
KID FRIENDLY: Yes
*** Spooning Australia dined as Guests of The Tramshed Cafe ***
For more reviews of Northern Beaches Restaurants – check them out HERE