Sydney Chef Justin Park’s new cafe, The Dining and Co, is tucked away where you would least expect to find it. The surprise location is Avon Street in the leafy residential part of North Ryde. With Campos coffee and delicious cafe food practically on their doorstep, this place has already become a hit with the neighbours.

  The Dining and Co Cafe    The dining and co  The Dining and Co Cafe

Its worth mentioning that this isn’t Justin’s first cafe venture, he was the previous owner and head chef of the popular Big Treehouse Cafe in Rydalmere. He has also worked in the fine dining circuit as executive chef at Doyle’s at the Quay. He sold the Big Treehouse recently and opened The Dining and Co because he wanted to offer diners a bigger space where they could relax in ambiance to enjoy high quality cafe food, coffee and service. Justin also scored a bigger kitchen which has allowed him to be more creative with his cafe menu.

  The Dining and Co Cafe  The Dining and Co Cafe  The Dining and Co Cafe  

I called into the Dining and Co for a late lunch on a quiet Sunday afternoon. The cafe is a large airy space with rustic tables, scented candles and splashes of colour beaming from several vases of bright beautiful flowers. I relaxed with a coffee, before deciding what to have for lunch.

The Dining and Co Cafe  dining drinks  The Dining and Co Cafe 

The Dining and Co menu offered all day breakfast and Lunch options and cafe style drinks. As I browsed through the menu I noticed cafe classics like the good old egg and bacon roll  listed alongside dishes with more exotic ingredients like finger limes, caviar, truffle and slow cooked 63 degree eggs. In fact, the menu here was way above my cafe expectations. I was tempted to try the Tasmanian Salmon fillet; confit salmon with crispy skin and black rice, fennel, swiss chard, pink grapefruit, walnuts, fetta, finger lime, wasabi caviar, rice crisp and beetroot foam. With  choices like this, it was hard to make a decision.

 The Dining and Co Cafe  The Dining and Co Cafe  The Dining and Co Cafe

I ended up ordering two items from the lunch menu starting with a beautiful Calamari Salad. This was a delicate salad of grilled baby calamari, lentils, chickpeas, salad leaves, gourmet tomatoes watermelon radish and preserved lemon tossed and dressed in a light sherry vinaigrette. The plate was finished with parmesan crisps and char grilled lemon. The calamari was so tender that it practically melted in my mouth.

The Dining and Co Cafe  

The dish that really took my breath away was the Chicken Breast. The chicken was cooked twice, firstly souse vide, vacuum sealed in a low temperature water bath to keep it tender and juicy, then seared to crisp up the skin which added an extra depth of  chicken flavour. This was matched perfectly with a silky corn puree, kipfler potatoes and a pickled onion and mushroom sauce. Truffle caviar and pretty lotus crisps gave the plate some extra flourish.

The Dining and Co Cafe  The Dining and Co Cafe  The Dining and Co Cafe 

When my chicken arrived I had to remind myself that I was eating at a cafe because the presentation of the food was more like fine dining. The chicken was succulent tender and indulgent. Whats surprised me even more was the price, the Chicken Breast  was listed on the menu at 21 dollars, great value for an amazing plate of food.

The Dining and Co Cafe  The Dining and Co Cafe  The Dining and Co Cafe

I couldn't fit in dessert but I noticed some tempting pastries and cakes on display at the counter, I must try one or two of those next time.

The Dining and Co has everything you could want in a cafe destination, great coffee, big breakfasts, heathy gourmet cafe food (at a reasonable price) and friendly service. I have a feeling the appeal for this place will spread further afield than their local area in Ryde, its a cafe food experience worth travelling for!


The Dining and Co

Address: 11 Avon Road North Ryde

Telephone: (02) 83857063

Hours: Mon-Fri 7am - 4pm,  Weekends 8am - 4pm

Menus are available on The Dining and Co Webpage


Our lunch was compliments of The Dining and Co, opinions expressed in this post are our own.