The Cooks Larder, Avalon

April 6, 2011 — 10 Comments

After watching my niece play soccer, I wandered up the Northern Beaches, to Avalon. I love Avalon. It has village feel, with plenty of choices of places to eat, and some cute little shops (such as one selling decorator items for beach-houses). Avalon has a relaxed feel, without being grungy as beachy places can be, having an understated style.

We settle on having lunch at The Cooks Larder. I don’t think it has any identifying signs from the street, but the locals sure know it, judging by the constant stream of people we saw looking for a table. I can understand why.

It was the first day out of daylight savings, so I was hungry early. We got a table at just the right time: at the end of the breakfast service, and just before lunch began to be served. Good timing.


Our table was in an ideal location on this sunny autumn day, looking out into the street, so we could watch people strolling by (and cute gentleman driving his mobility scooter to do his grocery shopping, complete with a Ferrari flag at the back!). The restaurant has these old hand-beaters hanging from the ceiling along the wall:

Cute. And at the back of the restaurant, there is a shop selling all sorts of delightful produce. Apparently they also have cooking classes, including for kids during the school holidays.


The menus at The Cooks Larder sure do looking interesting. Here are some items from the current lunch menu, to give you a feel for what they offer:

  • Homemade pork terrine or chicken liver pate with onion marmalade and sourdough toasts.
  • Antipasto plate, with homemade marinated, chargrilled vegetables with bocconcini, caramelised balsamic and sourdough.
  • Zuchini fritters with cucumber, watercress, mint and fetta salad.
  • Prawn, lemon and fennel risotto.
  • Homemade linguini with zucchini flowers, ricotta and herbs.
  • Grass-fed scotch fillet steak sandwich on sourdough with onion marmalade, mayo and rocket, fries – thickcut.

While waiting for our lunch to arrive, we saw the last of the breakfasts go by, and they looked fabulous. The ingredients are fresh, interesting, good quality, and the serves generous.

The restaurant is not licensed, but they accept BYO, and there are two bottle-shops very close by.


I wanted to leave room for dessert, so ordered the oregano, chilli and garlic marinated squid with lemon, aioli and rocket salad:

The squid was tender, with that gorgeous char-grilled taste. I couldn’t really taste the distinct flavours of the marinade, but it was tasty. The lemon and olive oil dressing on the rocket salad went so well with the rich aoili and squid. A light, yummy dish.

The person I was with ordered the croque monsieur with free range ham, gruyere, homemade ketchap and greens:

The sourdough bread was nutty and rich, with the outer sides being crunchy, and in the inner side soft. The sandwiches were piled thick with beautiful ham. The homemade ketchap was strong and rich, a perfect complement to the ham and cheese. That sure was a good-sized serve.


I saw the list of desserts before ordering the main course, and the only question was which to order:

I ended up choosing the pecan, fig and maple syrup cake with caramel sauce, served with vanilla bean ice cream:

I love figs, so I loved the richness of the figs with the maple syrup, with the soft pecans throughout the cake adding some texture to the cake. The caramel sauce was a good one, not too strong or thick, matching the cake well.

So, my first visit to The Cooks Larder was a good one. With the interesting menu, the relaxed atmosphere, the great location, I’ll be back. I’d particularly like to visit for breakfast next time.

Up the road

After leaving the restaurant I saw this:

I couldn’t resist taking a photo. Funny, heh!


Here are the details about The Cooks Larder at time of posting. Please check their web site for more current details.

Web site
Address 21-23 Old Barrenjoey Rd, Avalon, NSW, 2000
Phone (02) 9973 4370
Open Breakfast: 8am – 12pm, 7 days
Lunch: 12pm – 3pm, 7 days [3-6pm light menu]
Dinner: 6pm – late, Thursday, Friday and Saturday
Menu Modern Australian. Breakfast $10-$17, Lunch Mains $18-24, Dinner Mains $28-29.
Cooks Larder on Urbanspoon

I know this was for lunch, but I’m thinking about breakfasts out. Where do you like to go for breakfast?

10 responses to The Cooks Larder, Avalon


    Aww I love the rotary whisk display. Gosh I remember having to use those in the good ol’ days. It always seemed to take forever! The squid looks delish and gah, I’d be staring for ages at that dessert menu!


    Hi Helen, yes the old, slow, hard-work, rotary whisks – a fun element there. The place does have style, both in decor and quality of food.


    Stop, Kiss & Leave. I love it! It’s a shame Avalon is so far away for me, seeing I don’t have a car. There’s no way I’d be getting a bus up there from the Inner West!


      I thought instead of setting up Free Hugs here zones, a Stop, Kiss and Leave one would be way more interesting 🙂

      Oh dear, relying on public transport, heh. Well some day when you feel like a day out, a bus ride up the northern beaches will be a good thing. It’s a beautiful part of the world, with the refreshing views of the beaches and Pittwater.


    ooh love the hand whisks and hahaha that sign is gold! LEAVE!!! run away!!


    All those desserts look wonderful. I would have a hard time trying to choose something from the list.

    sam@cookslarder October 26, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Just came across your lovely blog. So pleased you have a good day in Avalon and enjoyed the food – great shots! Hope to see you again…. Sam


      Hi Sam! Thanks for your kind comments. Yes, I look forward to getting back to The Cooks Larder. Any excuse to visit Avalon is good!

      Thanks for the link to your blog, too. You’ve got some gorgeous photos on there!

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