It's a jackpot moment to find a haven of home-made baking in an unfamiliar suburb.
Jammy Cow cafe is in a small shopping arcade off Mona Vale's main drag. Inside, a bright, striped window seat with colourful cushions teams with a number of small tables. One wall is painted red. Another holds a large mirror to create an impression of space. Customers can also sit outside.
The service is friendly and quick once you've made up your mind. But that's the hardest part. Everything in the glass display is enticing, from sausage rolls, sandwiches and pies to tiny caramel tarts and thick lemon slices.
It's no lottery that the food here is good. The owner, Clare Hammond, was a chef before she opened the cafe four years ago. Evidence of her fresh, home-made philosophy is everywhere: from the fridge full of take-home dinners to the stack of cookbooks on the counter top.
The lamb and rosemary pie ($9.50) has a latticed pastry top jammy with caramelised juices that have oozed out during baking. The filling is packed with soft, shredded meat and is heavy on tomato. It could be saucier, but is still an exceptional pie.
From a selection of five quiches, we choose mushroom, spinach and goat's cheese ($6.50). The pastry is crisp despite being reheated.
It's difficult to detect the goat's cheese but the whole button mushrooms are good.
A side salad costs $3.
T2 loose-leaf Earl Grey tea is served in a teapot ($3.50) and Five Senses provides the coffee.
A flat white of single-origin Colombian beans ($3.50) is perky with good strength.
However, we're mistakenly served a large flat white of the house blend instead of the regular size, and we find it's too strong and bitter.
It doesn't dampen our enthusiasm, though.
We leave Jammy Cow thinking one thing: bingo!
Address Shops18/19 7 Bungan Street, Mona Vale 9979 8999
Open Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm; Sat, 8am-3pm
- 9979 8999
- Opening Hours - Mon-Fri 8am-5pm; Sat 8am-3pm.
- Author - Rachel Lebihan