The Incinerator Cafe

Modern Australian cuisine in a heritage setting

The Incinerator Café in Willoughby is a place I had been looking forward to taste-testing. Occupying the ground level of the Walter Burley Griffin designed Willoughby Incinerator building this is a chic, modern café, with much to offer.

Originally built in the 1930’s as one of thirteen incinerators designed by Burley Griffin and Eric Nicholls, the place fell dormant in 1967 before being revitalised by Acme&Co architects in 2011, transforming it in to a café and art gallery.

Built in to the hillside, the café is “upstairs” on the ground level and directly below the café is the Incinerator Art Space which has regular art exhibitions.

The menu at the Incinerator Café is characterised by fresh, seasonal produce and a selection of premium quality pastries.

As we walked in there was a table bursting with cronuts; chocolate, cinnamon and honey glazed offerings. They looked like they would be an ideal accompaniment to “The Grounds” coffee which the Incinerator Café serves.

Before we tried a cronut, we had a light, fresh lunch. The Incinerator menu is small, but focusses on food that is seasonal and fresh.

Incinerator Salad NicoiseI had the Salad Nicoise with smoked salmon and my dining partner had the chicken and quinoa salad with smoked yoghurt, peas and green chilli. The café is licensed so you can select a glass of wine or a fresh juice to go with your meal.

This was a Saturday lunchtime and although a little noisy and busy, the food arrived promptly. The salad was “rustic” in appearance and the smoked salmon very tasty.

The chicken and quinoa salad was plentiful and tasty and the smoke yoghurt was well balanced and perfect for the chicken. This was a good dish well balanced and a good “zing” from the fresh, green chilli.

Incinerator CronutsDesert was a cronut and coffee.

We selected the chocolate cronut which was beautiful. The croissant part of the cronut was light and the chocolate was strong and melting. A cronut was a perfect treat to share with a really good cup of coffee.

The Grounds coffee comes from The Grounds of Alexandria and they really know their stuff when it comes to make a good, strong and balanced brew.

Expect to pay $20 – $25 for mains and $8 – $9 for a glass of wine.

The Incinerator Café
2 Small Street, Willoughby

Tel: 8188 2220

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About Mike Coles 354 Articles
As publisher and chief content contributor to The Kuringai Examiner, I have an interest in all things on the North Shore, particularly news, sport and food. I'm always on the outlook for something unique and original to bring to my readers.