Foodie Teacher Swaps Classroom for Cafe

Opening in April 2017 by former Castle Hill Public school teacher, it’s easy to see where The Schoolyard Cafe gets it’s unique name. Whilst still teaching, Meg Wong created her own cake business – ‘Hooray Cakes’. Meg loved working with food so much she decided to open her own café to sell the cakes through. Meg enlisted the help of her brother, Simon McDowall, to run the café’s kitchen. Simon’s good friend Andy worked alongside him and has now taken over as head chef. With Meg’s mum responsible for many of the condiments including the lemon curd and dukkah, it’s easy to see how a foodie family influence could encourage Meg to swap the classroom for the hospitality business.

Counter Bar and Cool Water Station

Offering a fresh, family-friendly atmosphere with lots of clean lines and touches of green, there is plenty of seating – from long shared tables to a counter bar with stools, and tables for two. The school-themed decorations give a really nice touch, including the elaborate water station, which looks like a very upmarket school bubbler area.

The food is delicious and modern yet focuses on the healthy side, with dishes such as Chia Acai Jar for breakfast and a Vege Stack or Salad Bowl for lunch.

All Day Breakfast

While the kitchen closes at 2:30, breakfast is served all day, and includes the decadent Ricotta Waffles with seasonal fruit, and a lemon curd that could only be home-made. The waffles are so fluffy and light, and are freshened up well by the fruit. The drizzle of maple is mostly for decoration, or added sweetness for those who are really keen.

with seasonal fruit and house made lemon curd

Breakfast or Lunch – You Choose

The Avocado Toast is beautifully layered on Sonoma sourdough. With the popular inclusions of cherry tomatoes and fetta, you can add poached eggs if you’d like. The special attractions in this dish are the romesco and generous sprinkling of homemade dukkah, with final garnishes of basil, radish and pea shoots.

Another great savoury dish suited to either breakfast or lunch is the Mushroom Toast. The mushrooms are first oven roasted, then pan fried in butter, garlic, and thyme, deglazed with lemon and parsley before being topped onto a toasted slice of sourdough. The added poached egg and shavings of smoked parmesan, along with a smear of salsa verde, give this dish an incredible flavour that has to be tasted to be believed.

with poached egg, smoked parmesan and salsa verde

How Can Something This Tasty be Healthy?

For a healthy and delicious salad you can’t go past the Falafel Bowl with fresh kale, quinoa, cherry tomatoes, cucumber spirals and roasted beetroot hummus. The crispy falafel balls are decadent and filling, while the sweet hummus makes you forget it is a salad. Garnished with parsley mint and shaved carrot, and dressed with a house made tahini sauce, you’ll have to convince yourself it’s actually healthy.

with kale, quinoa and beetroot hummus
Easy to find in the small and quaint Apple Tree Shops, it is a treat to find parking that you don’t have to fight for. With coffee supplied by Mecca and brewing with a La Marzocca machine, you’re guaranteed a great local spot to drop in for a quick takeaway, or sit for a while and relax with a good magazine.

The Schoolyard Café
4/132 Shepherds Drive
Cherrybrook NSW 2126
P: 9980 8010
Open: Tues to Fri 7am to 4pm, Weekends 8am to 3:30pm
W: The Schoolyard Cafe