The Hanging Ladder, Balmain

posted in: Cafes & Restaurants, Life | 0

by Jessica Matthews

The Hanging Ladder BalmainWell this was quite the find and I can’t wait to go back. You may not realise how excited I am by this, but I am extremely fussy – about food, location, decor and ambience, and let it be known my lunch at The Hanging Ladder ticked all the boxes!

Firstly a little background, this cosy cafe used to be a French restaurant and the owner of The Hanging Ladder was the chef here. He has since taken over the lease, given it a beautiful transformation and turned it into a divine cafe. If you’re reading between the lines you will notice I said he was a chef at a French
restaurant, what do French Chef’s do well? You got it, sweets. I will get to that later…

Parking – a key factor when we consider a venue as suitable for us mums! I went on a Friday lunch time and easily parked in the street opposite and walked across the crossing (2m from their front door). All the streets around them are either 2 hour
free parking or all day, so no problems here.

Prams – I saw 2 spots suitable; the first just near the entry with a view to the street. The other spot was further inside the cafe. Ask Kylie (the manager) or Andrew (the owner and chef) and they will be more than happy to help you find a spot to park your pram! The Hanging Ladder Balmain

Seating – who loves a “Friends” style cafe with comfy lounges around a coffee table? Well, The Hanging Ladder has this as well as table and chairs, so whatever you prefer is available. The cafe is a converted terrace so there are lots of lovely nooks and crannies to sit in. We sat on the middle level which over-looked the beautifully sunkissed outdoor courtyard. You can even enter from the back lane-way and bring your dog! #bingo. Near where we sat was a lovely fish tank too. On the lower level there are more lounges and table/chairs as well as an area for our kiddies (oh yes, now you are interested!). Options for the rug rats included chalkboard (with available chalk!!!), col
ouring in books and crayons, toys (such as kids dominos and entertaining baby/toddler toys!). Ava was a regular visitor down there as she swapped what she had and worked her way through the options!

Food (best part!). First let me tell you, in the courtyard they have a herb garden wall and all the herbs and flowers they grow are used in their cooking (amazing I know!) and yes all the flowers grown are edible!

I went there with my step mum, sister and my 4yo daughter so we got to try a few items that I can provide feedback on. The kids menu had breakfast and lunch options e.g. grilled herb marinated chicken breast and chips, toasted sandwiches (including classic cheese toasties), eggs on toast, beef burger and more.
The Hanging Ladder Balmain
I had the roast pumpkin, pistachio and quinoa salad with roast chicken added and it was delicious! The salad dressing was light and tasty and all the ingredients worked so well. My step mum had the lamb sandwich (lamb was the melt-in-your-mouth type!) and my sister had the beetroot salad but added beef. Check out those pretty flowers in there and all edible! Ava had the ham and cheese toastie along with a kiddie size milk – she was super happy! I also had a green juice which was so lovely and I am told coffee was on point too (I don’t drink coffee but my sister is a nurse, works night shifts so is a big lover of coffee and was very happy!).

It was my step mum’s birthday so I snuck up to the front counter to see what options there were sweet wise (remember earlier I said lets come back to this, well its NOW!!) and I was greeted by SO many options, all of which Andrew makes onsite. Some options on the day were homemade chocolate brownies, lemon meringue tart and chocolate butter pudding (I will stop now so you all don’t get angry because you can’t have them right now!). I went for the brownie and mini lemon meringue tart (they had 2 sizes so perfect for those dieting!).

The brownie was so soft on the inside and it was out of this world. The lemon meringue….. the lemoniness (yes I made a word up) of the tart was SUBERB!! It was the perfect tart and sweetness. The meringue was soft and light and the pastry was just…wow. They both tasted homemade and were amazing!!

The Hanging Ladder BalmainOverall, I think you gathered I like the food. In terms of being kid friendly, there is plenty of room to go on a double date with your mummy friends plus kiddies, and because of the separate zones it feels like you’re a special guest. Not to mention Kylie and her waiters were very attentive. I would give this place 10 out of 10 – there was nothing I could fault. I can’t wait to go back on the weekend
for brunch with my family!

Jess xx


  • The Hanging Ladder – 485a Darling Street, Balmain
  • Open Mon/Wed-Fri 6am to 4pm, Sat/Sun 7am to 4pm, Closed Tuesday.
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