The Mall (George Street) has become an 'eat street' for Windsor. George Street is a long street where cafés, restaurants and outdoor eateries sit side by side. Some, at the top of George abut historic Thompson Square and most along the length of George occupy buildings with a long history – Macquarie Arms pub (1814) probably outranks all of them with Bistro 1840 following close behind. Most cafes open early and close around between 3pm and 4pm.
Keep in mind as you read that we are not food critics.
Our comments are strictly based on our palate, which perhaps lacks some sophistication. But we know where service is prompt and staff are happy and cuisine is prepared with care. Produce is fresh and desserts are neither soggy nor overloaded with sugar. This is the context surrounding our comments.
Address: Shop 3, 70 George Street
(across from Macquarie Arms)
Phone: (02) 4501 1257
Hours: Open daily 7am - 7pm
This is the newest of the eateries on The Mall and the first of a traditional bakery. Opening in April, the proprietor is French trained in the art of baking. But, it seems baking is in his gene pool – as his grandfather and uncle are also bakers. Growing up in Vietnam, our young baker was influenced by the French - hence the array of French delicacies, all made without yeast. Here in Sydney, he found his passion for making bread while under the tutelage of a French instructor. As an artist, he understands the language of the dough as he works with it. Delectable breads and heavenly sweets make for a wonderful morning - all are baked on site - and the Artisan coffee is freshly brewed as you wait.
The charming and unique décor of Le Pain is not to go unnoticed. Beautiful imported windows hang on the walls along side greenery in baskets. A built-in coffee bar and display windows filled with colourful sweets and large loaves of bread are the work of a serious artist. Stop by for lunch or a light dinner - at a great new addition to Windsor.
Fortunately for those who come to Windsor to eat, some things do not change. Year in and year out, Windsor Seafoods continues to serve up terrific selections. If you want fresh calamari, prawns, or battered fish and chips, Windsor Seafoods offer the best in the area! Perhaps this is why so many return, year after year.
Address: 88 George Street
Phone: 02 4577 3647
Hours: Open daily 11.30am lunch; 5pm - 9pm dinner
Family-owned Windsor Chinese is perhaps the longest-serving restaurant in the area, at 37 years old. Reliability, consistency and longevity keep the locals returning. Now, following in the footsteps of his father, a young Adrian Yen is determined to maintain the excellent reputation.
Recently with our family, we ordered the garlic prawns and the serving is quite large. Each in our party orders for their tastes and grudgingly, we share. Adrian's philosophy is communal dining: make your choice and be prepared to share. Families find this an accommodating restaurant where children are welcome. Over holidays, we recommend booking for your group.
Frequently Adrian creates a new menu item – customer input is the first test, do we like it? Then the chef tests the time required to create the dish. Chinese cuisine requires spices – some subtle, others hot – and at Windsor Chinese, every dish provides an individual flavour of its own, so the 'tests' gather valuable and necessary input. If the two 'tests' meet the criteria, the item is added to the menu. Look at the menu board on the wall for these new experiments!
There are several rooms in this restaurant so large groups fit in easily and the experienced staff know how to adapt to last-minute crowds. The décor is as it has been for many years and some would label it old-fashioned. However, if the establishment meets our criteria – cleanliness, pleasant staff, appetising cuisine and serving-size suitable – we are happy.
Day in, day out, every weekday, a scene repeats itself, with little or no variation. By noon the sushi bar is filled to overflowing. Perhaps if you are lucky, a side-table is vacant. We are surprised to find the sushi bar comfortably crowded on a Thursday at 4pm. It seems customers are here during all open hours. On weekends and during school holidays, families arrive – Aussie kids have developed a palate for sushi.
We watch the staff prepare for the lunchtime onslaught. Neat, precise and efficient, they cut, roll and arrange each delicate piece on gleaming white china. Spicy tuna, white tuna, snow crab, tempura shrimp or a mizu roll – each is superb and the presentation is flawless.
WonderSushi is one of a few eateries open for dinner on The Mall on George Street.
Address: 250 George Street
Phone: 0408 316 157
Hours: Open 6AM Mon – Fri, 7AM Sat, 8AM Sunday
This little café at the foot of George Street with its 1900s Windsor ambience serves up fresh, fresh salads – our choice – a chicken and house-made pesto salad with avocado is perfectly seasoned. For many locals, ‘breakfast served all day’ is the big temptation at Lime & Coconut with fresh eggs, gluten-free bacon and divine sourdough toast. All day -- there are so many breakfast choices.
When summer temperatures soar, old-school lemonade is a perfect pick-me-up or a cool Lime & Coconut milkshake enjoyed in the cool of this early Windsor building. Crispy salads or a veggie burger keep the heat at bay.I
The 'back room' with its fireplace and comfy chairs is so reminiscent of early Windsor -- this is the spot to relax away from the office -- there is a constant flow of locals throughout the day . The coffee or the healthy Ovvio tea with a touch of honey brings them in again and again. Check out the sweets in the display case if you have a sweet tooth -- don't we all?
The menu changes seasonally and sugar-free, gluten-free or dairy-free options are available.
The Loft Café has been in full bloom since 2016 with clever interior design – pillows, hand-hewn wooden tables, lots of creative ambiance and great music playing continuously creating excitement and an upbeat feel. All said, the ambiance is well thought out, but it is the delicious food that brings 'the hungry' back -- day after day. This petite cafe is often packed with diners in little corners, outside in the courtyard or the main room.
Specials change weekly – availability of fresh produce, fresh seafood and quality meats drive the menu. We recently tried a terrific Sweet Potato & Lentil soup and our companion sampled a smashing BLT. For all you pie-lovers, savoury pies are cooked on site. Fancy a lunch with wine? BYO corkage applies.
George Street Loft is expanding the ‘Locals at the Loft’ dinner to a monthly event. A guest chef creates a unique menu and thereby, the dinner theme. In May, the theme, ‘Feasting with Love’ was a bit mysterious, perhaps the title of a movie, but owner, Margo Keegan and chef, NJ Lime delivered a fabulous dining experience, complete with the music of acoustical guitarist, Shannon Kenny.
Keep a watch out for future special 'Locals at the Loft'! Check out The Loft's Facebook page.