Address: 658 Old Northern Road, Dural
Opening hours: Open for breakfast and lunch seven days a week
Dural is not a place that usually comes to mind when thinking of a nice place to eat lunch at. However, B and I were reviewing our options one day and she suggested to go to this place as she was hooked on their chilli jam. Dural is about a 20-30 minute drive from our area. We arrived at Wildpear Cafe on a Wednesday at the peak of the lunch hour, around 1pm.
Located right off Old Northern Road, with its own parking, Wildpear Cafe was relatively easy to find. However, I didn’t fancy the gravel road at all. It felt like we were in the sticks- which we kind of were.
We got a table promptly and although it was a weekday, the cafe was packed with diners chatting animatedly, despite being a weekday. B and I took seats outside, and looked over the menu. Wildpear had lots of delicious sounding options for lunch so we both had a hard time deciding upon what we wanted. Finally, B decided to get the Steak Panini ($19) and I ordered the Pan Fried Gnocchi ($24.9).
Our dishes were served after about a 15-20 minute wait. The Pan Fried Gnocchi had a very different texture to what I’m normally used to, due to being fried. It wasn’t very soft, and was instead springy and chewy. The serving size wasn’t generous for the price. Overall, I liked all the elements of this dish. The chorizo, cherry tomatoes and parmesan worked well with the sauce and the texture of the gnocchi. This is a good dish for pasta lovers who aren’t a fan of super soft gnocchi.
B’s Steak Panini ($21.9) was one of the best steak sandwiches I’ve eaten in my life. The steak was juicy and flavoursome, with perfectly caramelised onions and bread that was toasted just the right amount. It came with a side of chilli jam that B had been particularly hankering for. She had ordered the Steak Panini just for the chilli jam. We relished eating the chips with the chilli jam, although the chips were a little bit undercooked.
The Pear Sundae with vanilla ice cream was unexpectedly delicious. The pear was poached and served with scoops of vanilla ice cream, salted caramel sauce and nuts. The poached pear was soft, sweet and its mild flavour was accentuated well by the salted caramel sauce, while the nuts and vanilla ice cream added a contrast of textures.
Although B and I left feeling satisfied, I felt that the service fell short of good. The staff had served us promptly, but failed to smile or provide an excellent customer service. For our mains and shared dessert, it cost about $60. Though we came on a weekday for lunch, Wildpear Cafe was crowded, so I’d recommend early to avoid a queue. Other than that, the food was great, so despite the average service, I would definitely return.