There seems to be a retro obsession at the moment in the Sydney dining scene with tuckshops, milkbars and diners popping up all over the place. These places are the home of dude food, hot diggity dawgs, wings, burgers, awesome fries and even more awesome milkshakes. And all of this food is ideal tucker for kiddliwinks as long as you remember to hold the chilli sauce!
Located on the outside of the Forestway Shopping Centre, The Old Civic offers a welcome respite after navigating one of the most frustrating car parks I think we have ever come across. It took us a good 20 minutes to find our spot on the roof and this was mainly due to the fact that the car park is so POORLY designed.
We climbed down the stairs from the roof top car park and arrived at The Old Civic just before lunch time, which turned out to be a smart move on our part. Breakfast is served until 11.30am and lunch begins service at 12.00pm. So our arrival at 11.45am meant that there were some spare tables - the breakfast crowd had buggered off and the lunch time feeding frenzy was yet to begin.
We were greeted by some super friendly staff and shown to our table. Waiting for us on the table were a couple of mega pad activity packs and colouring pencils. I'm not sure if the family that had used our table before us left them behind or if they are provided by The Old Civic (I think it was the later), but my boys made the most of them!
On each table you will also find your clipboard menus, cutlery and napkins in a cute tin pot as well as a couple of bottles of spicy looking sauce. Just make sure your little ones don't pick up the hot sauce and start playing with it! My youngest picked one up and was just about to squeeze some on his finger, thinking it was tomato sauce!
There is enough room at most tables to park your pram or stroller but when the place is packed it may be a bit difficult to navigate through the crowd (just like that frustrating car park!). There are high chairs available for little bottoms to sit on and I think most kids will love the booth style seating as well as the mini stools around the tables in the centre of the diner.
The menu at The Old Civic has a distinct Americana theme to it, actually more like south of the border flavour. It is reasonably priced and you can have something light or something completely wholesome. We didn't try The Old Civic's coffee but they were doing a huge takeaway trade, so I'm presuming it must be good! Just to let you know you order and pay at the counter for your meals. We obviously ordered right on the dot of 12 midday and it took less than 15 minutes for our meals to arrive. Service was spot on the whole time we were at The Old Civic.
The kids menu is small and perfectly formed. I was very excited to see that you could choose between hot chips and raw vegetable sticks as a side with all of the kids lunch items. I so wish more child friendly dining venues in Sydney offered this as an option. Price wise, it is good value for the size of the servings. The little bulls both wanted hot diggity dogs and that is what they got - being the typical boys that they are, they chose the "fried potatoes" over the raw veg. The portions that came out were huge and they barely munched through them.
Now for us big kids there are so many seriously delicious items to choose between. My pulled pork and slaw panini was a cracker and I love my gherkins! The kids ate the crisps and I devoured the panini and ended up with very greasy fingers thanks to the home made chipotle bbq sauce oozing deliciously everywhere. And wasn't it handy that as a Mumma, I always have a pack of my wipes in my handbag, as the serviettes provided weren't not going to clean up this tasty little mess.
Mr Munch ordered the Chicago Dawg - such bloke food. It was a big smoky sausage smothered in all sorts of sauces and mustard and finished off with some cheese. He clearly enjoyed it, as there was a massive grin on his chops as he savoured every last bit of it. I should also mention that the chips were amazing - really crunchy and ever so lightly seasoned. If you are just after coffee and a treat, make sure you check out the front counter as there were some scrummy looking fresh muffins waiting to be gorged on.
By the time we left The Old Civic, the place was packed to the rafters with a decent size queue waiting to score a table. We needed a pit stop, so we paid our bill and headed into the shopping centre. We had a quick squizz at some of the shops, and to be honest, the centre is in need of a bit of a nip and tuck - it was retro daggy, not retro cool. However it does contain an amazing looking Providore down the back where we picked up some supplies for dinner.
So my dear parents if you love your dude food and all things retro Americana, I suggest you get your skates on and head to The Old Civic in Frenchs Forest....but just allow yourself a bit of extra time to park your hot rod x
Shop 15, Forestway Shopping Centre,
Cnr Forestway & Warringah Rd, Frenchs Forest, NSW
(02) 7901 0009
Mon - Wed: 6:30am-5:30pmThursday: 6:30am-8:00pmFriday: 6:30am-5:30pmSaturday: 7:00am-5:00pmSunday: 8:00am-4:00pm