The Fig / by Amanda Jones

Let me let you in on a little secret. Down by Blue Gum Creek, out the back of Kenthurst is a family-run café that is serving seasonal casual dining to those in the know.

Owner Allison Gardner, who runs the venue along with her two daughters and a small team of staff, has been letting the word spread gradually throughout the communities on the northern edge of Sydney.

“We rely on word of mouth,” noted Gardner, who avoids advertising beyond social media.

A chosen strategy, Gardner has previously worked in hotels and bars, and for a time was a hired gun, brought into to get start-up hospitality venues off the ground.

But, having grown up in the Hills, The Fig has brought her back.

“I've known this business since I was younger so I like the setting. I think the business has got huge potential with the outdoor-indoor [dining area].”

The structure itself is over forty years old and retains the original mudbrick from its first construction. While this can be challenging at times for a modern café, it gives the place a sense of heritage, and means that the focus is on the coffee, food and service.

“It started out as a landscaper and artist and he used to have his art gallery in here. ... The whole property is about seven acres.”

Guests can dine in the high-ceiling dining area, or spill out onto the deck and paved areas, shaded by vines which grow on trellises above.

As the area was once Sydney’s food bowl, before suburbia encroached upon the farmland, Gardner maintains the connection to nature’s cycles.

“We change our menu every three months. We just try to keep everything very fresh, keep it going with the seasons.”

While that might be the catch-cry of every recently opened café in our origin-conscious city, Gardner noted that it is what supports the food that you may see on Instagram and Facebook that makes for a rewarding dining experience.

“You've got to be able to back it up, not just look cool on ‘insta’. You've got to be able to have good quality food and service at the same time.”

Keeping this in mind, all the items on the menu are made in house, and The Fig avoids foods which are prepared elsewhere. Keeping things fresh is also the live music that happens on Sundays and, of course, the locally roasted coffee from Coffee & Co. Roasters.

Keep an eye on The Fig, word is there are changes in the works.

The Fig

1 Annangrove Road, Kenthurst
Tue – Fri, 9am – 4pm // Sat – Sun, 8:00am – 4pm