Tucked away in Glenhaven is a favourite café of the locals’: The Tuckshop.
A brother cafe to the famous Castle Hill cafe, The Baron, is The Tuckshop. Situated in Glenhaven, a semi-rural suburb between Castle Hill and Dural, this cafe is great for catching up with locals. The Tuckshop has a simple, rustic atmosphere with lots of yellow tones and accent colours to brighten up even the gloomiest of days. By the door were rugs and blankets in a wicker basket available for customers to use: rugs for takeaway picnics across the park on sunnier days and blankets for cold days like the day of my visit. These thoughtful touches made the café more inviting and personal.
Inside there was only one big table for customers to share, cafeteria-style, and a bench with stools by the window. Outside provided similar seating that encouraged customers to sit together, facilitating casual conversation and new friendships. I could see locals bumping into each other and catching up as they sat at the large tables. It’s one of those places that produced an atmosphere that a city cafe cannot – laid back and friendly as everyone knows each other. Despite the grey skies, the yellow striped umbrellas brightened up the area and it really seemed like “Glenheaven”.
When we arrived, there was only a handful of people but by the time we left, the cafe was completely packed! There were even two adorable dogs roaming around as their owners sat down at the table and soon after, the dogs too were calmly seated on the bench and floor.
The staff were young and trendy, wearing casual clothes and bright smiles. On the wall, surrounding the menu tray, were brown paper bags with handwritten specials, reminiscent of our primary school lunch orders. I ordered the Cheesy burger that came with fries as well as their special Apple Crumble shake and my friend ordered the special Pumpkin soup. After ten minutes our orders came out on rustic, metal tableware: cafeteria-style.
The cheeseburger contained a smoky beef patty, cheese, onion, with thick pickle slices held together with the triple combo sauces, mayo, mustard, and ketchup, in between two soft buns. While the patty was juicy and the sauces generous, the bun’s integrity did not last and it got messy very quickly. It’s not a burger for a first date but rather one I would eat with a close friend. The fries, described on the menu as Old Bay fries, were perfectly golden shoestring fries with various spices sprinkled over it. The only downside was that the thin fries quickly lost their heat to the cold weather but that did not hinder us from eating them all.
The shake was exactly as labelled: Apple Crumble. The bottom and top of the shake were coated in crumble that somehow maintained their crunchiness and the shake did not disappoint with its creaminess and flavour. I was sad that the drink was finished so quickly and would have been happy to order another.
My friend’s soup came with two pieces of toasted bread with melted cheese on the side of a thick pumpkin soup. Upon tasting it, it reminded me of a thick curry that would pair well with naan bread. Packed with flavour and steaming hot, it was great for the cold weather, but I would not have been able to finish the whole soup and it appeared so for my friend who left a small amount but happily finished off my chips.
Pros and Cons
While the service, food, and atmosphere were great I would still be hesitant to come again during colder days unless I was to take it away. There were customers who stopped by for a quick takeaway coffee and snack, hopefully on their way to warmer places. Parking is convenient as The Tuckshop is located right next to a small car park but I imagine it would get quite busy during peak hours. The cafe is also dog and kid-friendly with a kids menu, spacious, and pram-friendly, with Glenhaven Oval just across the street with a playground to treat the kids. It may also be a bit hard to find but just keep your eyes out for the bright yellow umbrellas!
The overall experience was very pleasant, and I would love to visit again when the sun comes out to play. As we got there before the rush we didn’t have to wait long for our food, but online reviews claimed that on the weekend, the service would slow down and there would be a wait for food to come out. The Tuckshop received consistently great reviews for their coffee and food and seems to be a shining star in Glenhaven.
Seven things you never knew about the Hills
Elena is our MasterChef mentioned Tuckshop
The only disappointment at The Tuck Shop in Glenhaven is also the best part about it