The current residential development along the Princes Highway from Wolli Creek and beyond in the southern suburbs of Sydney is making it the latest foodie destination with new shops, cafes and restaurants opening as well as creative makeovers of old favourites. It’s a brand new community which is rising up along the Highway that was once our own Auto-Alley.
Recently, I’ve explored some of the restaurants and coffee shops in Wolli Creek just opposite the station. It’s a mixture of culinary delights with a big Asian influence amongst the food offerings. The neighbouring suburb of Banksia is feeling these ripples of change most notedly is the Banksia Hotel, a classic suburban local old pub which has received a massive makeover. The success of the Rocksia just down the road proves that it is worth investing in the local scene, as they provide realistic destinations for those not wishing to travel to far from home.
Opening its doors into a rejuvenated urban watering hole along with the new Banksia Bistro, a brainchild of celebrity chef Colin Fassnidge bringing his gastro pub food expertise to suburban Sydney. Looking back, I was a big fan of the Four In Hand in Paddington when Fassnidge was the head chef of the iconic pub in Paddington, oh well, it’s history now. His expansion to suburban Sydney certainly brings a lot of smiles and excitement to food affecionados who prefer to dine out away from the city. Banksia Bistro offers a variety of snacks, mains, steak, sides, desserts and kids menu.
Banksia Bistro is located along the Princes Highway with easy access to transport, Banksia train station is nearby and lots of parking that’s why we like it here. The restaurant is modern with an airy and open atmosphere with a nod to its historical past, big dining space with a kids play area and a private dining. You can watch the chefs as they prepare your food in the open kitchen. Cocktails are well priced and there is a good selection of wine and beers. There are clover green cushions to support your back on the benches, a nice Irish touch, after all Fassnidge was originally from Ireland.
It’s an upfront payment when dining, order and pay at the counter. You will be given a number and when ready, the floor staff will bring the food to your table. Here are some of the selections from the menu that we’ve ordered during our visits including specials. (Note: specials change constantly so some of the dishes may no longer available.)
Crumbly and golden Crumbed Mushroom $10. The mushroom with cheese sauce filling was tasty, oozing with gooey cheesy juice. A side of fresh snow peas and slices of radish with aioli lemon added a fresh flavoursome and cleansing taste on the palate.
Savoury fillings wrapped in a flaky puff pasty, this good old favourite Sausage Roll ( Suckling Pig) $12 was wickedly rich, chunky and delicious. The Gentleman’s Relish has a slight fishy taste a good partner sauce to the roll.
I’m a bit lost in translation here! The Sesame Prawn Toast $15 was alright but I’m afraid it didn’t tick all the right boxes. I was anticipating a golden colour not dark coloured prawns, some were crunchy others not. The saving factor was the dipping mayonnaise and the lemon wedge.
Melt in your mouth moment with Banksia Made Gnocchi $15 (small) with pea and fetta sauce. Pillowy texture and delicate in flavour, this dish is an absolute decadence on a plate, a delight for both vegetarian and those wanting a lighter option. Serving for a large size is also available at $24.
For fish lovers, the Oven Baked Fish (trout) $26 is an impressive centrepiece, gorgeous pink flesh falling off the bone. The added fennel, sorrel and pickled seaweed works wonders with this dish. A must order! (Fish type changes all the time, check out before you order).
Look at the shine on the Black Angus Beef Burger $19. Served pink in the middle, the burger is firm yet springy and oozes juice in every bite. The out and in sauce, melted cheese and pickles added a depth of flavour to the burger alongside homestyle crispy, thick and golden chips. This burger and chips is a match made in heaven!
Desserts to die for! We’ve tried both, Collin’s Dulce de Leche $10, a white chocolate ice cream sandwiched between two caramalised wafers and ‘Maltesers’ $12, chocolate delice, malted ice cream, malted crumbs and cocoa powder. These are truly indulgent desserts for those sweet tooth cravings.
With Sydney’s massive urbanisation and ongoing infrastructure projects, it’s good to see that there are places now in the suburbs to dine in and relax without going through the harrowing prospect of travelling into the CBD. Banksia Bistro have lifted their game and set the bar high, we love this place!. It’s a family friendly pub offering something for all. There is also a bottle shop, accommodation, chill out space, TAB-Sports area and pokey lounge if you fancy a punt.
Bistro Banksia 288 Princes Highway Banksia Sydney Tel 02 9567 6389 IG @banksia_bistro
Bar Hours: Monday – Saturday: 10 am – 4 am Sunday: 10 am – 12 am