The Garden is the new farm to fork restaurant with a passion for quality and sustainability.
“Who grew the carrots used in the Summer Vegetable Fricassee? Which farm did the free-range eggs come from? What have the cows been grazing on?” – I’m a solid believer that the only stupid question is the one you didn’t ask, and The Garden at Wests Ashfield Leagues Club has all the answers.
Farm to fork concepts are sprouting up more and more across Australia, which is great. What’s even more impressive is when the chef personally sources produce directly from the farmers. Especially when it’s in a venue you didn’t expect.
The Garden looks more like a well-styled conservatory than a restaurant inside a leagues club – This venue does fine dining in a casual setting with ease. The Garden (and its kitchen) answers to Chef Oliver Heath, the Oliver Heath who worked at Blue Hill in New York aka the 48th best restaurant in the world. Heath and his team spent six months travelling across Australia to source the finest produce to cater to The Garden’s hungry diners – The criteria? Quality and sustainability!
The venue is generous in size, comfortably seating 300 people in an Italian alfresco-style dining area. The kitchen, bar and café area are all open-plan so guests can enjoy the kitchen theatrics, and did we mention the wood-fire pizza oven? The space is drenched in natural light, and boasts lush vegetation that would make any greenhouse owner jealous.
The menu is as diverse and colourful as the ingredients. Allow me to elaborate: ‘Blue Corn Bread’ baked with hand-milled flour ($12), ‘Fried Oysters with Tartar Sauce’ breaded in panko ($14), the ‘Grass-Fed Burger’ with house-made pickles and relish ($16), or the ‘Market Fish’ selection served with seasonal vegetables ($28).
They’ve also got the vegetarian and gluten-free crowd covered with dishes like the gluten-free ‘Farmers Plate’ with cuts of pasteurized beef, chips and seasonal vegetables ($24), the ‘Vegetarian Pasta of the day’ ($16), or a ‘Summer Vegetables Fricassee’ ($12) if you want to see some fresh-produce magic.
Make sure to bring the whole gang in for ‘The Garden Family Roast’ – 9 hour slow cooked whole Dorsip Dorper lamb shoulder or grass-fed topside of beef served with roast vegetables, onion puree and gravy ($70).
The Garden has done a stellar job with their kitchen, venue, and concept – Their website reads ‘Good Food From Good Places’. We hear that! The friendly and well-informed staff are happy to give you pointers with the menu, and the restaurant is kid-friendly.
Wests Ashfield Leagues Club
115 Liverpool Road, Ashfield NSW 2131
(02) 8752 2000
Check out their website for bookings or to take a peek at their menu.