By Franz Scheurer
The Palm Land nursery has always been one of my favourite spots to wander and relax on Sydney’s North Shore. An abundance of native plants and a beautiful, peaceful Japanese landscaped garden with wonderful water features, stocked with huge multicoloured carp, and hundreds of superb bonsai plants to chose from, in the attached Imperial Gardens. There is a shop selling great Asian artefacts and the nursery is full of statues, wind chimes and water features.
Now they have built two pagoda style huts and opened a café that serves breakfast and lunch from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm every day.
The simple menu offers five dishes and a daily pasta. The ‘Cold Soba Noodles’ served with wasabi, shallots, shredded seaweed and oriental dressing are well presented and the dressing is both authentic and good. The ‘Thai Beef Salad’, thin slices of rare roast beef fillet, fresh herbs, cherry tomatoes and green mango, with lime and coriander dressing, is refreshing and tasty, although ripe, fresh mango is no substitute for green mango! The pasta of the day is fresh, tasty, al dente and plentiful. The variety of cakes on offer is excellent and they taste wickedly moreish.
They also serve a variety of superbly fresh juices, good coffee and a mean real iced coffee. The food is good, the service friendly, corkage a mere $ 2.50 per bottle and value for money superb.
The pleasant, almost serene atmosphere and the easy, informal setting are like a tonic for the stressed urbanite of today. I recommend at least one visit and if it does not help consult your doctor.
Buddha Belly Café
(at the Palm Land Nursery)
327 Mona Vale Road
Terrey Hills NSW 2084
Tel.: 02 9450 1504