You’ve got to love a place that has a bit of a story to tell. Many come to Burnt Orange to catch up, celebrate or bring out-of-towners to this gorgeous venue perched on the ridge of Middle Head. It’s pretty obvious why. Secluded location, lofty positioning with views through tree-tops, and panoramas of the harbour, The Heads and Vaucluse.
The Federation building was constructed on unused military land as the Mosman Golf Clubhouse in 1924, but thanks to the outbreak of World War II, its life was cut short sixteen years later when the army took control. Saved from demolition, it was used to accommodate army personnel, later converted into two flats and eventually shut down along with the barracks in the late 1990’s.
Stepping onto the wide, wrap-around veranda at Burnt Orange immediately makes you appreciate its location. On cold, blustery days it may not be so much fun obscured by plastic blinds, but when the sun is shining it’s a breezy spot that invites you to settle in and linger for a while.
Mornings see locals and families getting their fill on just about anything you’d expect to find on a breakfast menu. Eggs, pastries, grains and breakfast boards. There’s something for everyone.
Lunch, for us, was the perfect way to unwind from that typically horrendous Military Road traffic. Some booze would have helped, but with the mercury hitting a very humid 34°C already, that would have brought on snooze-time. Although, the extensive international wine list was a little tempting.
Additional to the dishes we sampled, seeing what came out of the kitchen was cafe food done with finesse.
The sound of Hervey Bay scallops (28.6) with palm hearts, citrus, ginger & chilli was too tempting to pass up. Whilst I’m not entirely sure where the palm heart or chilli came into the picture, the scallops themselves were just as scallops should be. An abundance of herbs provide mass greenery, with the occasional pop from pink grapefruit. An undoubted fresh start to any lunch spread.
The ravioli (28.6) was nothing short of divine. House-made and filled with slow-cooked Suffolk lamb, the lightly seasoned soft pillows wade in a shallow pool of what tasted like parmesan broth. Something we wished there was more of. A few greens are flecked throughout the dish: the likes of broccolini, artichoke and snow pea leaves.
Eyeing off a beef burger and the signature fish pie going to another table gave rise to a little food envy, but all was well as we had one more plate to get through, plus order desserts.
There was no holding back with the house-smoke ocean trout (28.6), generously bulking up a salad that also contains beet, egg, leaves and freekeh. The pickled onion and cauliflower provided a nice, sharp bite. Loved this, despite the lack of the promised sumac on the trout.
Cronut fans can sample a Rocher variation of the pastry that’s trending across Sydney at the moment, or tuck into a salted caramel ice cream sandwich.
Moroccan orange & almond cake (14.3) it was, for us. Lightly warmed, topped with sugared almonds and citrus syrup. Some crème fraîche creamed it up nicely.
The hands-down winner went to the ricotta with fresh figs (14.3). And we’re pretty chuffed to see the ricotta is made in-house. Thanks to slices of fresh fig, berries, dried fig and honeycomb, the cheese required no sweetening; so it was nice to have it in complete raw form. And how gorgeous does it look?
Additional to the food at Burnt Orange, those that have a penchant for shopping can get their fill in the retail store. Clothing, cookbooks, ceramics, gifts, you name it.
hnf & co. dined courtesy of Burnt Orange.