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The Blackwood Pantry - Cronulla NSW

All systems go at the barista bar.

Chef Rob Lechowicz comes with pedigree to the Blackwood Pantry, in Sydney's iconic shire - Sutherland - and great Aussie beach hub, Cronulla.   Call it lifestyle, name it personal achievement, for Rob is part of a three person team behind this delightful easy going village gathering point with a buzz and culinary adventure.  Rob, together with Paul Pisani and Daniel Sorridimi, has collaborated on a menu with careful harmonised ingredients that bring out their best in taste and culinary outcomes, as well proving an optimal and practical selection of alcohol offerings, teas and coffee blends.

Brewtown Newtown lost Sam Cornish to man the exacting barista quality at Blackwood Pantry - and it shows.  Roasted beans are sourced from Artificer, Reuben Hills and Edition, so there is no lack of lack of choice. 

Chef Rob was the Executive Sous Chef at the Greenhouse in London and the Premier Chef-de-Partie at the Chateau Cordeillan Bages in Pauillac - both are establishments blessed with two Michelin stars.  On the day of visit, Rob can be seen focused intense at his passion behind the open kitchen counter, a vibe that spreads to his hard working staff, who maintain a friendly interactive despite a busy afternoon.  They do not insist on a customer ordering at the counter as many other cafes do.  When they ask how everything is, it is not perfunctory but with an effort to know how and why, in a natural way.
It did not take long to be served after deciding and ordering. 

The menu pricing is attractive.  Kids can have their crispy chicken and chips, plus even Paddle Pops! Or an interesting fruit salad.   Not for them, though, the cocktail on a pineapple, lychee, coconut and mint Slushee.  French toast comes with white choc....and wait, there is also ginger and poached Sichuan peaches.

One of the best things I settled for, not wanting anything too strong at this time of the day, was to ask for the salted caramel milkshake, with an awesome idea of having honeyed pop corn on this  - it did awake the child within me.  The young lady who brought this amazing creation to me was as delightfully astounded by the milkshake as me.

A signature dish, the Buddha Bowl is popular with the fairer gender. Toasted almonds, lemon squirts and a buttermilk dressing are sprinkled over the essentials of Quinoa and kale, strengthened by roasted cauliflower and pickled red cabbage.  I am not sure of this myself, although I acknowledge the good resulting texture  - perhaps it is just too green fro my taste.   

I prefer the Morning Glory (not the stir fried veg as common in Vietnam) which has a solid base of Tandoori roasted sweet potato and chorizo slices to hold up kale, a soft boiled egg, avocado and pickled red onions, before being dressed by goat's cheese.   Yum, heavenly and healthy...

Miss Piggy when served, above and when devoured by me, below - one of the most tasty crackling pork belly, in generous portions as well, accompanied by dollops of goats cheese, Chimichurri  sauce, rocket and roasted  peach slices.   All served on a toasted Ciabatta.  The green sauce from Argentina goes well with grilled meats as many ranchers and ranchers at heart will tell you.

Roasted rib eye is given an Asian theme, with pomegranate, Thai basil, Spanish onions and eggplant.   Lamb shoulder is Dukkah glazed and given a garnish of lime, basil, grape, zucchini and green apple.  These softens the character of the meat whilst also providing more balance on the taste. 

 Looming prawns are served with tomatoes.  The ever present eggs is given a poached treatment Turkish style accompanied by Paprika, mushrooms and yoghurt, a delicate combination for those who want to have light but yummy.

Daily delights at the front counter - but there are also salads, cured stuff and perhaps less sugary stuff.

In the variety of teas,  apart from standards like Masala Chai, Jasmine and Egyptian Rose, there is a curiously named "Inhale, Exhale" option that contains the rather interesting combination of  flavours of fennel seeds, peppermint, lemon myrtle and nettle leaf.   So Byron Bay, perhaps?

 A jug of Sangria laced with peaches, mint and strawberry sensations, golden ale, Peronas, Poker Face label reds and whites, cider  - these are the easy options for a drink before the eat.  The Blackwood pantry reinforces the increasing trend in Aussie set ups for combining a more vigorous licensed bar instead of just captivating with the food.

On tap is the Newtowner from Young Henry's summer ale  - a must have.

Honeyed pop corn are lavishly topped over my salted caramel shake - wah wah!

I cannot wait to get back when I can!
The Blackwood Pantry is located at 5/33 Surf Lane, Cronulla NSW.  Not far from Woolworths and a block away from South Cronulla Beach.

Opening hours are from 630am to 4pm for weekdays (closed on Mondays) and from 7am to 4pm on weekends.
Contact +612 9544 4857
Bookings are not available, come as you are.

Blackwood Pantry Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 


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