If the tractor parked out the front of doesn’t give it away, the homely lounges, exposed wooden beams and corrugated iron doors just might. The Barn at Adamstown blends warehouse and farm shed to create a laidback, rustic eatery with a distinctly urban feel.
There are loads of tables of all sizes indoors, as well as outside under umbrellas, plus lounges, and benches to watch the the world go by. A huge book exchange encourages a drink and meal at your leisure, and I can just imagine how cosy it would be in winter drinking a hot chocolate and hearing the rain on the roof while engrossed in a good book.
Today, it’s summer, but the space isn’t hot. It’s quite open allowing any breeze to drift through. There are a few rather friendly flies, but this is Australia.
The menu has breakfast and lunch options, but the full menu is available all day.
The food is a mix of old favourites, classics with a twist, new creations and modern munches. There are interesting choices for vegetarians and vegans, and those steering clear of gluten. Perfect with a cup of tea is the fruit and nut sourdough with ricotta, tasted seeds and honey. Likewise the eggs your way on soy linseed sourdough with cultured butter. The Barn promotes cultured food where possible based on its digestive-system-aiding qualities and presence of healthy bacteria.
The eggs are from Cornucopia and feature in quite a few dishes: the B&E classic (with cheddar and caramelised onion); Eggs Jennie (with mustard hollandaise, wilted greens and salmon or ham); the big Barn Breakfast (bacon, roasted tomatoes, mushrooms, sausages, hash, sautéed greens and eggs your way); and a fresh version of avocado on toast, known as the Standard, with tomato, feta, dukkah and herb salad.
For those who are ‘bowl’ devotees, there are plenty at The Barn. A Beauty Bowl is a brimming rainbow of colour and flavours with cherry tomatoes, quinoa, sweet potato and zucchini fritters, hummus, beetroot relish, avocado, haloumi, broccolini and a poached egg. You can also get beautiful acai, pitaya and cacao bowls that almost look too good to eat … almost.
The lunch offerings are fewer, but with an all-day menu that point is moot. Try an Italian-leaning white bean and tomato bruschetta with cashew cheese and balsamic on sourdough. Shredded and spiced chicken tacos channel a taste of South America with bright purple pickled cabbage, chunky fruit salsa and loads of warming chicken rolled into two soft tortillas. The salsa is super fresh with green apple and red onion, the avocado dressing is creamy to offset the spice in the chicken.
A Mediterranean-influenced Salad from the Sea gets ideas from a Nicoise salad, but has its own identity on the plate. Seared smoked salmon sits next to a wedge of cos lettuce with panfried prawns perched on top. Sliced barbecue potatoes and pickled fennel are the support crew and a heady garlic yoghurt dressing ties it all together. A great summer salad, just bring the mints for afterwards.
The fritters from the Beauty Bowl get a chance to be the centre of attention when three are served on house made pita with gloops of hummus and a fresh salad. There’s a whole lot of flavour on this plate with peppery rocket, acid tomatoes, salty feta, plenty of seeds and nuts and sweetness from the odd grape. The fritters are balls, not patties, and although light, it’s quite satisfying.
While many come in for the Crema Coffee Garage roast, there are also speciality lattes (beetroot, turmeric and even Bounty flavours), plus fresh juice, kombucha and frappes. The milkshakes and smoothies are perfect on a summer’s day.
Order at the counter when you’re ready, and service is efficient and the kitchen moves fast. There’s music, sometimes live acts, but it’s not so loud you can’t keep chatting.
It’s on a corner facing Brunker Road and there is plenty of parking along there, or in neighbouring streets, to allow you to enjoy an unhurried meal. Offering great food and a relaxing atmosphere, The Barn is ready with welcoming arms.
- What: The Barn, corner Mandalong and Brunker roads, Adamstown
- Contact: 4952 8315
- Hours: Breakfast and lunch, 7 days
- Owners: Matt and Natalie Austin
- Head chef: Sarah Kokkin
- Accessibility: Yes - to cafe, but no toilet.
- Take note: children’s menu, takeaway.
- Bottom line: food $6-$24; drinks $2-$8
- Must try: A mango smoothie and Salad from the Sea.