Warm and welcoming

Warm and welcoming Head chef Michael Russell hard at work in the One Picket Fence kitchen, Honeysuckle. Picture: Andrew Pearson Photography

One Picket Fence at Honeysuckle. Picture: Andrew Pearson Photography

One Picket Fence at Honeysuckle. Picture: Andrew Pearson Photography

Head chef at one Picket Fence, Michael Russell (far left). Photographs on wall by Andrew Pearson Photography. Picture: Jonathan Carroll.

TweetFacebook One Picket Fence, Honeysuckle | GALLERYThis cafe on the corner of Merewether Street and Wharf Road, in the Harbour Pier building, opened just a fortnight ago. FAST, fresh and affordable takeaway food in Honeysuckle and a menu that accommodates mostdietary requirements. Office workers have been quick tosay hello to the new kid on the block, One Picket Fence.

FRESH: One Picket Fence Cafe’s head chef Michael Russell. Photograph on wall by Andrew Pearson Photography. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

The cafe in the Harbour Pier building on the corner of Merewether Streetand Wharf Road is a joint venture for Novocastrians Debbie Cook and Angela Sutton. Hamilton locals might recognise Cook, whoowned The Spot for nine years.

Newly-appointed chef Michael Russell has been busy developing a menu that is fresh, affordable and adaptable.

“We try to cater for all diets by providing as many alternatives as we can,” Cook said.

“Breads and meats can easily be changedto suit customers’ choices or requirements. For example the Katsu chicken burger has the option of eggplant to replace the chicken.

“Michael’s aim is to have each item on the menu adaptable to be vegan, gluten free, dairy free and so on.”

One Picket Fence sourcesproducts from the Hunter region where possible and uses sourdough and pastries from the Bread & Butter Project, a social enterprise bakerywhere 100 per centof the profits go towards improving the lives of the less privileged.

“We have sourced our coffee from a small specialty roaster, enabling us to have a blend of our own. We want to givecustomers the best coffee we can give them,not justa brand,” Cook said.

The cafe’s decor is fresh, clean, colourful and modern.Combined with the friendly and personalised service, the end result is a spacethat iswelcoming and warm.

One Picket Fence’slunchboxes have proven popular– a gourmet sandwichcoupledwith a sweet treatand a drink or coffeewill set you back$13.Also popular in the two weeks since the cafe opened has been the house-made muesli with coyo yoghurt and fresh berries ($14.50); corn fritters with tomato relish, harrisa-spiced yoghurt,rocket, poached egg ($14); and the double bacon and cheese burger served with beer battered chips ($15).

There is alsoa display of freshly-made sandwiches to grab and go, as well as salad boxes, fresh fruit salad and muesli cups.

“Our point of difference is that we offer an affordable modern, cafe-style menu as well as a takeaway menu to cater to office workers, visitors to the CBD and local residents.For us, it’s all about the customer,” Cooksaid.