Bistro on Cinders, Armidale NSW.

January 19, 2011 § 10 Comments

I’m not a big fan of lunch. it flummoxes me. The problem is I LOVE breakfast and I LOVE dinner and, well, lunch just seems to get in the way of maximising that consumption. So here I was yesterday, minding my own business and filling up on breakfast beans at Bottega (yes, I may be obsessed) when I am invited out to lunch. Sure, I think to myself, licking the remnants of spicy tomato sauce from my lips and eyeing the raspberry friands that adorned the counter, I’ll go along for the company and just order a vegetable juice or a cup of tea. Blushers my darlings, I failed. I gorged. I loved it.

What, you may ask, is the straw that broke the camels back?? Why look no further than Armidale’s Bistro on Cinders.



Cinder’s Lane in Armidale is a cute little back street with a rather sophisticated air. This bistro opened back when I was still living at home but it has since been taken over by the lovely Marie and Vinko, who I had the pleasure of meeting fresh off the plane from their Vanuatu holiday when I went in for lunch. And what a lovely couple they are! I walked in with The Pharmacist and Mrs Brady to be greeted with hugs and smiles and handshakes. What a nice way to start a meal! Shortly after we were seated, Vinko came over with ‘the usual‘ coffees for The Pharmacist and Mrs Brady, and during the meal he kept a watchful eye on refilling my glass of water.



Now I really wasn’t hungry at all but the menu was a little ohhhhh and I succumbed. Mrs Brady said the servings were a nice smallish size and there were a number of light meals to choose from so how could I say no?? In the words of NB: “Well, I don’t want to be ruuude!”

Lunch is written on the blackboard each day and will reflect what was fresh at the markets and in the whim of the kitchen. I was having a hard time to decide between Beetroot salad, white wine, lemon and garlic calamari or the pate. And then the table next to ours ordered a chicken pot pie, from which the delicious aroma sent me into fits of confusion. Perhaps I could ask for a bite…??



In the end I ordered the duck breast on Asian snowpea salad with coriander, chilli and lime. The salad was the size of a neat deck of cards, topped with 6 generous slices of tender, juicy duck breast. I couldn’t fault it. Both my dining partners ordered prawn fettucine which was made light by capers, lemon and dill.

I also learnt that Vinko will not stop grinding the pepper until you say thankyou – so keep an eye out!



The 40 or so minutes that we were there saw the cafe filled inside and out (there’s a sweet courtyard out the side door) and large white plates of delicious looking food kept walking past me in a dangerously tempting display!

Bistro on Cinders opens for breakfast and specialises in scrambled eggs, mushrooms and pikelets (although turkish toast is the only bread on offer). During the summer months they  open weekend nights for dinner and you might find yourself tempted by ‘Kinkawooka’ mussels or marinated lamb rump with minted peas and roast capsicum.



So now I’ve given you food for thought for breakfast, lunch and dinner – I think there’s little else to do but road trip to Armidale and check it out!!



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