Big Tree House Cafe, Rydalmere NSW

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The yummy Eggs Benni for breakky.

It is a delightful to find a city centre styled cafe in the north-western Sydney suburbs.  Vehicle parking is much easier, the Opal card relevant bus from both Parramatta and Eastwood does pass by on the adjoining Park Road (but alas only on weekdays) and there is a train station at Dundas (but on  the much maligned City Rail Carlingford line, with not very regular trains and the need to change at Clyde).   

Putting all these minor transport irritations aside, I reckon the Big Tree House is a gem of a place, with a relaxed atmosphere, tree lined roads, friendly staff, Campos coffee and a variety of creative menu items for breakfast, brunch and lunch.  The setting is residential but the mood can be hipster in an area bound by Kissing Point and Victoria Roads.   My experience there has been its popularity with youngsters, families, hipsters, trades, business twosomes, women's groups, mates and dates.

Spaghetti with prawns, rocket, sourdough, cheese and a squeeze of lemon.

There are not many items on the menu as I reckoned, but several specific items stand out.  

Goats on Toast and the Big Tree House Burger are its signature offerings, with the latter having its cheese and aioli plus pineapple and beetroot raising the taste stakes.   The Goats On Toast is the main reason to check this place out - organic nuts sit on the bed of sourdough, and the French goats cheese has drizzled honey on the side.

I highly recommend its unique prosciutto and melon sandwich, even if you are not in  hurry, for this is one to savour and experience.    A preferred choice especially with my female friends is the fresh prawn and mango salad -  and this creative offering here comes with avocado, cucumber, passion fruits sauce and pickled ginger, a touch of Asian and a touch of fusion.   Accompany all this with a Virgin Grape Mojito!   The attention to detail at the Big Tree House comes off as a significant point in its menu and presented dishes.

For brunch or breakky, I love the corn fritters, lovingly served with tomato relish, poached egg, avocado and bacon.  Another special treat, which I am eyeing, is the asparagus and saute mushroom, drizzled with truffle oil and accompanied by the ubiquitous poached egg and mushroom bites.   The croissants have double smoked ham and Swiss cheese inside, part from the home made Big Tree House jams.

Sweet-tooths have two recommended choices - first in the ricotta pancakes, swiped with honey cinnamon butter and served with caramelised banana;  and second, but not least, in the Brioche French Toast, which comes with fresh berries, maple syrup and vanilla Mascarpone.

Counter view, the barista machine and the board menu.  Help yourself to drinking water on the left.

The main counter lets you see through the kitchen, often abuzz with preparation, garnishing and presentation.   There are a few tables only the pavement, the cafe faces houses and I prefer indoor seating.   Customers are comfortable to while away chatting within their own space, young mummies bring in their welcome infants and kids.  You serve your own drinking tap water at the side and the food comes in a timely manner.  

The young barista Paul is enthusiastic and chats with lunchers with a smile.  A central bar top has reading materials placed.  I felt as if I had dropped by a mate's place, the feel is wooden rustic.  Next time it's onwards go for the three mushroom crepe!

Big Tree House Cafe88 Calder RoadRydalmere NSW 2116Nearest Cross road - set of lights with Park and Calder RoadsClosed on TuesdaysOtherwise open from early morning till around 4pm.