August The Old Place
SHOP 4, 707 MILITARY RD, MOSMAN
02 9968 4244
Despite sounding like a reference to an old English novel, there’s nothing cryptic about the name of August the Old Place. Owner and chef, DS Moon’s birthday is in August and the cafe is housed in a gorgeous 19th century building in central Mosman – an ‘old place’ amongst its more modern neighbours.
The modern restaurant could be called a neighbourhood venue, one that locals enjoy visiting for a midweek meal and others can frequent for a special occasion. It ticks all the culinary boxes, offering refined all-day dining in both indoor and alfresco settings.
This approachability is something that DS wanted from day dot. Having emigrated from Korea over 15 years ago in pursuit of his culinary dreams, he began as a chef at numerous five-star hotels in Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane, before landing a job as a sous chef at the luxurious Sheraton on the Park. For August The Old Place, his first solo venture, he has partnered with his wife Claire, who manages the restaurant.
DS’s fare is fresh and local, and falls under the modern Australian umbrella, with great attention placed on presentation. The all-day breakfast ranges from a Maryland crab cake benedict with Sriracha remoulade and patatas bravas, to an indulgent French toast with wood-smoked bacon, saffron poached pear and golden maple syrup.
For lunch, go light with a king prawn salad tossed with avocado, mango, watermelon, green beans and quail eggs, or choose the hearty lobster and mushroom risotto, bursting with shimeji, shiitake and swiss brown mushrooms, and topped with bottarga. Kids will delight over the Super Mario bolognaise or the Nemo fish and chips.
For a leisurely afternoon tea, order a coffee and one of their delicious sweets. Choose from madeleines, friands, blueberry cheesecake or a crack-worthy crème brûlée. Drinks range from cold-pressed juices with all manner of fruits and vegetables to the sugar rush milkshakes packed with cookies and cream or Golden Gaytime.
Stay for dinner and start with a couple of share plates. Cheesy and crispy king crab croquettes with horseradish and Sriracha remoulade are bound to go down well, as will the chargrilled octopus with pork XO sauce and saffron mayonnaise. Larger sharing plates include a honey-glazed whole duck with lavender and cherries and a 13-hour slow-cooked Moroccan lamb shoulder with zucchini.
Want something all to yourself? Mains vary from a smoked duck breast with fig, pumpkin puree, asparagus and Jerusalem artichoke, to steamed New Zealand pipis with black bean and shaoxing rice wine. A grilled section offers Angus scotch fillet or corn-fed spatchcock, with the choice of either truffle mash or broad bean pea mash as a side. Round it all off with an apple crumble tart, served with caramelised balsamic, and vanilla ice cream.
Whilst the name might not allude to English roots, the look certainly does. Like a British tea house, the front terrace is quaint and perfect for an afternoon cuppa. Inside is much like a parlour, with French cafe chairs and a fireplace giving a feeling of old world charm, complemented by jade wall tiles, stained glass windows and hardwood timber floors.
A fantastic addition to the Mosman dining scene, August The Old Place offers friendly service and upmarket dishes in a picturesque setting.