Imagine being invited to a picnic. You sit down, ready for some dips, cheese and OJ and then someone whips out a carved cylinder of watermelon and Coco Pop-coated French toast. This is the reality at The Picnic. Burwood’s new outdoor eatery is part cafe and part luxe picnic.
You’ve got two options. Either sit down in a leafy pagoda built around the park’s open-air kiosk (the kind that were ubiquitous at Saturday sport games), or grab a mat, some takeout and sit under a tree. If you email ahead you can even order a banquet in a basket. “We package it up with a variety of premium cured meats and cheeses, sandwiches, salads, cold-pressed juices and some of our house-baked pastries,” says Picnic’s owner, Jad Nehmetallah. The only problem – no watermelon French toast.
The eat-in menu has a bunch of dishes you probably won’t find elsewhere in the Burwood area. That watermelon and French toast is served surrounded by edible flowers, fresh fruit, Persian fairy floss, a berry reduction and dulce de leche. There’s a seasonally flavoured pannacotta granola (The Picnic has served lavender, vanilla and pandan falvours so far); coconut-water iced coffees with mint; and a Lebanese-inspired breakfast board with skillet fried za’atar eggs, haloumi, labneh, pickles and either bacon, Egyptian-styled air-dried beef or lamb merguez. “I wanted to tie in my Lebanese heritage but incorporate different cultures and styles,” Nehmetallah says.
You might expect a mash of tartan colours and plastic cutlery at a picnic-inspired cafe, but this is far more elegant. “I didn't want the traditional picnic with red-and-white gingham. I wanted a modern-European feel,” says Nehmetallah. The cafe is simple, with a white-and-yellow colour scheme with a Grounds of Alexandria-level of greenery that’s spread across the perimeter of the cafe’s gazebo, under its ceiling and all over the tables.
The Picnic Burwood
Burwood Park, corner of Park Avenue and Burwood Road
(02) 9745 1034
Tue to Sun 8am–4pm