As we sit outside in the Yard at Camperdown Commons a song lyric comes to mind: “Here comes the sun, doo-doo-doo-doo. Here comes the sun, and I say it’s alright, Little darlin’, the smile’s returning to their faces.” (I also thought about “my milkshake brings all the boys to the yard” but I wanted to keep things more mature).
From young couples, groups of friends, young families, parents and adult children – everyone is enjoying the sun beating down, the chilled Yard with English pub vibes, the farm next door and the space – along with the music skipping across the lawn from the live band. This place has it all – including a diverse menu catering to every whim of the perfect afternoon to evening outside.
You may remember we recently tried Camperdown Commons here, and due to the venue being a place for many tastes, we went back to enjoy an afternoon lunch in the Yard for a unique experience.
The team at Camperdown Commons are currently experimenting with the menu, designing food that works for the space and for the crowds. There’s innovation here, tender care for the food to please your tongue and fill your belly.
The big winners are the pizzas, which are house-made, with a dough that’s been rising for 36 hours, deliciously undulating mountains of gently toasted pizza bases. Ours is topped with garlic prawns ($26) and a slight lemon zing. The chewy, flavoursome base is the real hero and the cook from the outdoor oven gives a slight char for some more robust elements. There are gluten free versions of every pizza if you wish. We had the BBQ Chicken with pepper and aioli ($24). Less undulating, but certainly moorish and un-put-downable.
For a more upmarket fare we tried the specials. The Barramundi with pepperonata ($22). A perfectly cooked generous serving of crispy skinned barramundi with broccolini. A perfect serving size at likely some of the most reasonable prices in Sydney. The Porchetta Plate ($29) comes with salad, hearty chips and pita bread for a comprehensive meal. Biting into the Porchetta, the crunch of the crackling could be heard from two suburbs over. WOW. The time taken to take that crackling to crackling, browned perfection of sizzling goodness surrounded tender – almost confi’d melt in your mouth pork.
Buffalo chicken ribs ($14) are an unusual cut of meat to be seen on a menu. These are gorgeously marinated in a light spicy sauce and quickly cooked to keep the chicken tender and juicy. Again, some of the best value in town. We’ve had $24 chicken wings that have been fewer in number and lesser in taste. The team here really considers how they pack flavour punches into the food.
A comprehensive wine list accompanies the stellar food offerings at again, reasonable prices. From a Spanish Sangiovese ($13pg) to a Syrah Rose from Provence ($11pg) that is so light it’s perfect for hot days as a refreshingly clean, bright drink. The Robert Stein Reisling ($12pg) another fresh winner. Beers on tap are as you’d expect with local brews and international favourites.
Overall, I’m in love with this place. The exploration of food ideas the team is taking is inspiring as they feel out what the community will best respond to. The venue itself has so much potential to be Sydney’s best and with the continuously curated menu, the explorations within the wine list and the service combined, I’ve no doubt it will be.
CAMPERDOWN.COMMONS 31A Mallett St, Camperdown, NSW 326
The Cafe – Open daily from 7:30am-2pm
The Yard – Fri & Sat 12pm-8pm, Sun 12pm-5pm
The Dining Room Restaurant -Fri & Sat 12pm-8pm, Sun 12pm-6pm