The sleepy inner west suburb of Forest Lodge has been undergoing a massive development over the past year or so, particularly with a mass of apartment buildings going up around the Harold Park area. We’ve been driving past frequently watching the development spread and wondering what kinds of businesses would be opening nearby to services the burgeoning community.
The answer is the Tramsheds at Harold Park. The old Rozelle Tramway Depot, originally built in 1904, has been beautifully refurbished to create a place for locals in this growing area a place to meet, eat and fulfil other vital day-to-day needs.
While the Tramsheds was obviously built to satisfy the need for services in this area (where previously there has been none), it’s also a gorgeous destination for people all over Sydney to drive to and enjoy as an outing.
The building is home to a variety of businesses, the majority being food-related, but also including a medical centre, nail bar, hair salon and supermarket. There are grab-and-go type of outlets and seating areas that look a bit like an upmarket food court, as well as table service cafes and fancier restaurants. Something, really, for everyone.
When driving to the Tramsheds, be aware that if you park inside their parking lot it will cost you. Under 1 hour is $3, between 1 and 1.5 hours is $8. 1/5-2 hours is $13. A bit steep in my opinion, so we exited before taking a ticket and found street parking across the street – free for two hours.
Inside the Tramsheds you’ll notice a full-size restored tram as the centrepiece to the building. If you want to go inside, enter through the door for the Butcher and the Farmer cafe that is on the outside, next to the main entrance.
If your kid is particularly enamoured with the tram you can eat inside it on the tiny tables. We found the tram to be fantastic entertainment for our daughter while we waited the 20 minutes for our table in the cafe.
As we visited on the 2nd weekend after opening, I expected that it would be somewhat chaotic, and that it was. It felt to us like the staff are still finding their feet. I’m sure that in a few weeks they will have settled into a routine and the whole centre will be running smoothly.
We chose to dine at the Butcher & The Farmer mainly because it was next to the tram. The waitstaff seemed a bit overwhelmed at the large amount of people who had come to dine, but were friendly and helpful during our stay.
The breakfast menu we ordered from was on the small side, but had all the types of food we would regularly want to order – wholesome food with enough vegetarian options for me to choose from, and something plain for the fussy five-year-old. (It’s worth noting the adorable Splashlings toys that accompanied us – they’re so great for taking out dining.)
My husband and I both ordered the Avocado, Tomato & Meredith Sheep’s Feta (with basil on farmer’s toast, $16), plus a coffee for the hubbie ($3.5).
We ordered the little one the Poached Eggs (on farmer’s toast, $12) which they obligingly scrambled for her when we asked, plus a Blueberry, Strawberry & Raspberry Smoothie (with yoghurt and milk, $8).
The avocado on toast dishes hit the spot. Fresh soft bread, creamy avocado, tomatoes bursting with flavour. The coffee, according to my java-addicted spouse, was excellent, and he was thrilled with how large it was. Our daughter’s smoothie was similarly massive, so best shared between two. Her scrambled eggs were absolutely delicious – so good it’s a shame they’re not on the menu.
I did think the dishes were a tad bit expensive for what they were, however. Similar dishes cost a few dollars less in other up-market cafes in the inner west.
We strolled around the rest of the Tramsheds to check it out and were impressed with the various businesses we saw. At the moment, they include:
Middle Eastern spiced grilled meats, vegetables and exotic salads.
Belle’s Hot Chicken
Famous fiery chicken and natural wines from Australia and abroad.
Serving up simple and delicious Latin American and Spanish inspired tapas.
Boxing Works (gym)
Butcher and the Farmer
A paddock to plate restaurant, retail butchery and takeaway.
Takeaway coffee and pastries.
Chambers Cellars (bottle shop)
A new bakery, pizzeria and mill.
Fish and Co.
Connecting diners to the ocean, with a food story showcasing sustainable and local seafood.
Flour Eggs Pasta
Fresh authentic pasta made the original Italian way.
By The Little Marionette, the perfect place for your morning coffee or afternoon pick me up.
My fave gelato of all time. Choose from 35 flavours on their regular menu, plus 5 daily specials.
Harold Park Medical Centre
A family medical practice open 7 days a week for appointments or walk-in consultations.
An authentic Vietnamese restaurant.
Moe & Co. (hair salon)
My Donut Box
We love their Nutella-filled donuts.
Organic bulk foods, nuts, seeds and spices.
Osaka Trading Co.
A modern Japanese menu with a seafood focus.
An Old World England-themed bistro and brewery.
Local, market and farm fresh produce, a delicatessen and daily supermarket staples.
The Depot Nail Bar
One final note about the Tramsheds: they have the fanciest parents’ bathroom I’ve ever seen. It’s massive, clean and, dare I say it, almost elegant! An absolute winner for all the families.
1 Dalgal Way
Forest Lodge, NSW 2037
Hours: Daily, 7am-late
Phone: 02 8398 5695
Access: The building is fully accessible for wheelchairs and strollers. The path leading to the Tramsheds, however, has some steps on the footpath, so strollers and wheelchairs will need to go up the main road instead. The cafes we dined in had tables that were very close together so not suitable for wheelchairs or strollers. The rest of the Tramsheds, however, had wide spaces and seating that looked much more suitable.