Hey there guys, it’s Dad-Venture time!
And today I again found myself in the Eastern Suburbs within the lovely town of Berwick. Cue “we aren’t in Kansas anymore” montage please. On this sunny and warm day, I had planned to catch up with Dad-Ventures’ biggest fan Ashleigh, and as I made the trip across the Westgate bridge, she had already found the perfect place for us.
Situated in the green and flowery Pioneers park lies ‘Primary @ Pioneers park’ which has been in that very spot since the year 1869 where it operated as a Primary School. This place has incredible history however has now been fully transformed into a modern rustic style restaurant and café that is so obviously appealing to the locals. The place was chock-a-block and it was mid-morning on a Wednesday.
The first thing I have to say about this place is that the coffee is incredible! The Felici roast blend was smooth without any hints of bitterness or acid. I honestly haven’t had a coffee that tasted this great in so long. The menu offers something for everyone but after some deep perusal Ashleigh and I decided to order the Crispy Fried Chicken Bao, a serve of chips and a side salad. Oh, did I mention we were ordering a little on the light side today?
The Crispy Fried Chicken Bao was first to hit our table and was presented quaintly as shown below. The pops of colour in the fresh ingredients were portioned around the plate and all tasted fresh and consistent with traditional Chinese flavors. The boa buns were soft and light and were a tasty blanket for the fried chicken strips. There was not a hint of dryness in the chicken which was perfectly deep fried and juicy. I absolutely loved the chilli mayo, the creamy texture worked so well with the shallots, onion and pickles and I knew after the first bao bun that I wanted more and more.
It’s true that no good story starts with a salad, however at Primary @ Pioneers Park I can definitely say that the side salad tasted exactly like how ALL side salads should be. It most definitely wasn’t pre-mixed and just dumped on a plate like you will find at some restaurants. No, it was pleasantly portioned and each ingredient was perfectly and lightly coated in a lemon dressing. I really got a sense from Primary that there is an attention to detail from behind the scenes that contributes to making this a stand out place to dine.
Primary was originally an actual Primary School that holds so much history, but unfortunately, none of that is on display or incorporated into the dining experience here. I would have loved to see some of that history come to life somewhere in the restaurant, however… who really cares when the food and coffee are so WORTH IT.
As we were leaving, we couldn’t help but grab a YoYo to go go! The buttery sweet biscuit just melted in my mouth. What a Wednesday!
My verdict: WORTH IT for mains priced at $21.
ALSO: be sure to drop me a message or email if YOU would like to join me on my next Dad-Venture!
Check out Dad as he loads up a Bao full of fried Chicken goodness.
Has been reviewing restaurants all around the Western Suburbs (and beyond) of Melbourne since 2017.