Tucked away in West Pymble, The Sawmill is a gorgeous hidden gem. It is a wonderful family-run restaurant which serves the most delicious food in a warm and inviting setting. Wendy Brockbank went along for a taste of Italy.
It was a sunny Sunday morning when my family and I visited The Sawmill for breakfast. From the moment we walked in, we were greeted warmly by a friendly waitress, who showed the establishment is used to welcoming families. She showed us to our table, and asked if we required a high chair, then handed around activity packs for our kids. We were off to a great start!
But while The Sawmill caters perfectly for families, our fellow diners were a mix of young couples and more mature couples, groups of girlfriends catching up, guys catching up, plus older parents with their teenagers and sets of grandparents. Clearly, the place offers something for everyone in its warm setting and with a menu that is precise but has a broad appeal. It was lovely to look around and see such a mix of clientele enjoying their brunch in such a friendly environment.
If you don’t always associate an Italian eatery with breakfast or brunch, The Sawmill shows you are missing out! As soon as the plates arrived we could see the food was beautifully presented, and moments later we discovered it tasted as good as it looked (not to mention the generous portions meant there was plenty to fill hungry tummies).
What We Tried:
- Bacon & Egg Toast
- Fruit Salad
- Mushy Greens
- Breakfast Skillet
- Corn Fritters
Our five-year-old son loves scrambled eggs, so we decided on the Bacon, Egg & Toast ($10) from the kids menu. I forgot to ask for no bacon, but to our surprise when the dish arrived our normally fussy boy wanted to try some! I wasn’t expecting a good response, so was shocked when he said he liked it and ended up eating it all. Happy days!
Ordering for our three-year-old son can be tricky as he is very particular with what he likes. Although fruit salad wasn’t listed as a standalone meal, observant dad noticed it available as part of another platter, so we thought we’ ask if The Sawmill could do a fruit bowl for him. It was no trouble at all! Out came a big bowl of fruit served with natural Greek yoghurt. The little man got stuck right into it, in fact so quickly I didn’t even have a chance to snap a proper photo!
For me, I decided on the Mushy Greens ($21), a combination of wild mushrooms and spinach, topped with two perfectly poached eggs and slices of haloumi (or as my kids love to call ‘squeaky’ cheese), and all served on a slice of toasted sourdough. I understand that this is one of The Sawmill’s most popular breakfast dishes and I can see why. I just love all things mushroom, and the salty cheese perfectly offset the rich umami of the mushroom, while the gooey golden egg yolk was balanced with the crunch of the sourdough. Delicious!
My husband chose the Breakfast Skillet ($24) which consisted of bacon, roasted tomato, sausage, blood (black) pudding, potato rosti, baked beans, poached egg and sourdough all served in a heavy iron skillet. Let’s just say he polished off the entire pan nicely and was one very content man. Being English, he loves a good fry up and so his standards are high. He gave this dish a big thumbs up! Don’t they say that an empty plate is always the biggest compliment?
The only complaint our daughter had was that “I can’t decide, everything sounds good!” Eventually she decided on the Corn Fritters ($24) which are hearty rounds served with beetroot, tomato, avocado, haloumi, poached eggs and bacon. The fritters were studded with sweet kernels of corn and absolutely loaded with crisp bacon and creamy avocado.
To wrap up the gorgeous breakfast we ordered a round of excellent coffee, made with the Sawmill’s own blend. If you are not a coffee drinker, then there is also a fantastic selection of organic teas from Rabbit Hole Organic to choose from.
Special Treats to Try:
The Sawmill’s Susan’s recent trip to Italy has seen her introduce some authentic Italian treats to local families:
- Ging Seng (or ginseng coffee): A hot espresso with ginseng extracts. To me, ginseng is better known as an Asian ingredient rather than Italian. But as I discovered, it is a very popular drink in Italy as an alternative to your standard coffee, thanks to its health benefits. It is gluten and lactose free, thus perfect for those with food intolerances. The drink itself doesn’t have a strong coffee flavour like an espresso, but tastes more sweet and earthy with the recognisable ginseng flavour.
- Caffe de Crema: A cooling Italian iced coffee which can be found in Italian coffee bars during the summer months. I would describe this as similar to a coffee soft serve, consisting of a cold cream which was very smooth with a lovely hint of coffee. This was a great way to finish off my meal, Think of it as a mini dessert after breakfast….And why not? It was delicious!
While we stopped in for breakfast in the late morning, it is is served all day. There’s a lovely lunch menu too that has a similar fresh, spring feel thanks to the brand-new menu The Sawmill has just launched. The dinner dishes take on a more traditional Italian feel with a range of clever and classic wood-fired pizzas and silky pastas, all matched to lovely Italian wines. The restaurant is fully licensed, with options for BYO on Monday and Wednesday evenings. The Sawmill is hugely popular place for functions, from small office lunches to Christmas parties and more.
So, if you are looking for that place which ticks all the boxes for great food, top service, lovely ambience, easy parking and is family-friendly….then The Sawmill is the place for you! And thanks to its local address, we no longer have far to go (like the inner city!) for great brunch options. We are lucky to have such a great restaurant right here on the North Shore! I encourage you to come and check it out – you won’t be disappointed! I am already planning our next visit back to try out their Breakfast Platter for Two.
The Essential Details
- Address: 7 Duneba Ave, West Pymble NSW 2073
- Phone: (02) 9498 6565
- Website: The Sawmill
- Parking: There’s plenty of parking spaces available in front of the shops, plus street parking on the surrounding residential streets
- Toilets: Yes, and a separate baby change room
- Child friendly: Yes, high chairs, activity packs and kids menu available
- Opening Hours:
- Monday, Wednesday, Thursday: 7am – 3pm / 5:30pm – 10pm
- Tuesday: CLOSED
- Friday, Saturday: 7am – 3pm / 5:30pm-10:30pm
- Sunday: 8am – 3pm / 5:30pm-9pm
*The Sawmill provided this meal free of charge as part of their work with NSM, however all opinions are the author’s own.
For more ideas of dining options and things to do on the North Shore, browse our Out & About section.