On a quiet day browsing Instagram I noticed a new cafe opened relatively close by called Dining & Co. Through careful stalking, I had sussed out their menu and saw the huge range and diversity it had to offer. I had also found out it was the new baby of the owners of Big Tree House in Rydalmere, which I’ve visited a while ago.

On the way, we got genuinely lost in the suburbian streets of Ryde, almost under the impression that maybe the cafe didn’t exist at all. However, after turning a corner there it was, snuggled in between local shops.
The cafe itself was spacious with a beautifully simplistic design and lots of room for a pram if necessary. Parking was also relatively easy with ample spaces available directly in front of the restaurant. 

The menu itself was extensive with a good combination of classics and creative variations on some favourites. The menu wasn’t overwhelming – it was easy to find something that suited us on the day and with enough items to draws us for a return trip.

 Breakfast Board
Normally Lachlan’s predictable brunch order is a bacon and egg roll or the big breakfast platter, but there was something about the Dining & Co’s Breakfast Board he couldn’t say no to.
Maybe it was the salmon and prosciutto, maybe it was the fact he could pick how he wanted his eggs or maybe because he saw the word ‘haloumi’ and just went “yes!”.

It’s almost like all the best breakfast ingredients (minus bacon) was combined into a board of champions. Overall a really good combination. Each element could be mixed and matched to have a different flavour combo with every mouthful. He particularly enjoyed the combination of pan fried haloumi with the finger lime and avocado, with a mouthful of runny gooey yolk (big thumbs up for onsen eggs). The only questionable thing was the beetroot relish – it just seemed like a lot of relish and didn’t quite balance the dish. Although it did go quite nicely with the haloumi, we didn’t use it with anything else.

Smoked Salmon and Eggs

 I can’t look past having smoked salmon for breakfast, especially when it’s paired with poached eggs and sourdough. The first thing I noticed was that the eggs were beautifully poached and were oozing beautiful yolk when I broke into it. Again the beetroot relish was present but it didn’t quite suit this dish in my opinion. The salmon was nice and briny, nothing necessarily special but still good regardless. It was a huge shame that there wasn’t enough dill creme fraiche because a more generous quenelle would’ve been the perfect combination. The sourdough was fresh and beautifully sour, but it was a little on the crunchier side than I would usually prefer – it was super tough to cut through and could completely tear up the inside of your mouth if you weren’t careful.

Eggs benedict with crab
One of the more interesting twists to classic favourites was the crab eggs benedict. Although there is the option for the traditional eggs benny, we couldn’t pass up this opportunity to try this appropriation.
Although visually it looks quite bland we could already see the hollandaise was silky and the crab was creamy.
On the first bite, the hollandaise was wonderfully buttery and was perfect with the briny sweet crab and rich yolk.

The only thing is that although the description did mention there would be some roe, although it was visible I would have liked a little more because those pops of fresh brininess would’ve completely elevated the dish.

Chorizo and Eggs

It’s hard to go past baked eggs; they’re comforting, warm and hearty all in one. But Dining and Co take the idea of baked eggs and takes away the ‘baked’ part. They were very generous with the chorizo which was nice and the onsen eggs brought more moisture to the spicy chorizo. Although, I felt like it lacked that sauce that makes a dish like this more comforting. There was only so much yolk to dunk the proportionately large bread into. Overall an okay dish and very generous but personally would’ve liked a little more sauce. 

Ricotta Cheesecake

I couldn’t help myself and had to have a peer through the dessert window to see what was on offer.
The Ricotta Cheesecake was a perfect size and was calling my name that day so I had to.
The cake itself was soft, moist and although seemed small at first sight was brilliantly rich with cheesy goodness. Alongside a coffee, this is the perfect rich finish to a hearty brunch.

Dining & Co is a nice local cafe with a range of classic favourites and a few twists and changes. 
It’s the perfect place for locals to gather for breakfast or a long lunch. The owners have created a comfortable and well lit space where the food is completely highlighted and it’s not hard to find something you’ll like – maybe even love. 

I’m keen to come back and try the rest of the breakfast menu or the lunch menu soon. 

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Written by Jay Santiago (the.eatventures) 

@mister_eats
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