Recent Home Living Property Culture The Team North Shore Living
Recent Home Living Property Culture The Team North Shore Living


Written by Emma Brancatisano

Photos by Des Harris

As winter sets in, chilly nights call for fireplaces, a glass of red and a hearty roast. This spells Sunday nights at The Garden Tap, a country-style pub that has etched itself into the North Turramurra casual dining scene since it opened in 2013.

“We serve up a delicious roast and our band plays live music. You can’t move in here on a Sunday!” owner Rick Nelmes told McConnell Bourn.

“We wanted to become the local bar for residents in the area and I think we have become that.”

Walk into The Garden Tap and its dark, wooden interior, fireplace and assortment of bar stools will transport you to a charming pub in central London.

While roast pork and crackling may be on the table on Sundays, a decent menu of mains, munchies and the usual spread of drinks are up for grabs any day of the week.

But Nelmes’ story goes back further. For years, he has had his finger on the pulse.

Formerly a dentistry, The Garden Tap was born to tail the success of his next-door restaurant, The Cook’s Garden, opened in 2009.

“North Turramurra was pretty much off the radar back then. Everyone said we were mad to be trying a restaurant here,” Nelmes said. “But it worked, and the whole area has changed ever since.”

With ten chefs and a small yet seasonal menu - that never strays far from its beef tenderloin (the “best you’ve ever had!”) or its crowd-favourite soufflé for dessert - The Cook’s Garden resembles a fine dining experience.

But it’s a label that doesn’t sit well with Nelmes.

“Fine dining is in a tough spot at the moment. While there are certainly more restaurants and bars around now, there’s a move towards good quality, casual dining,” Nelmes said.

And so the restaurant and bar are merging.

“We are moving into more nibbly food at The Garden Tap, and The Cook’s Garden is turning into a gastro pub,” Nelmes said.

With every turn, Nelmes has in mind what the diner wants: a simply delicious, casual meal in good company.

The Cook’s Garden & The Garden Tap
272 Bobbin Head Road, North Turramura | 02 9144 5086

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