About Cafe Patina

Cafe Patina is run by husband and wife team Stewart and Hilary Wallace. For the past four years the team have operated the restaurant with a simple ethos; to choose as best they can to serve food that nature has made.

Stewart Wallace was engaged as the Head Chef at The Coonanbarra Café in 1992.

After a successful three years of developing and growing the business, he left to open the acclaimed Grand National Dining Room at the then newly renovated Grand National Hotel in Paddington.

With a decade spent travelling the globe and opening restaurants in London and Cape Town, he returned to Sydney in 2001 as Executive Chef at Café Sydney, and for the past twelve years has been the Executive Chef of Garfish Restaurant Group.

He’s now returned to the suburb he grew up in as a child, to rebirth the old Coonanbarra Café into the new Café Patina at Wahroonga Village Stores.

The Café has undergone a refurbishment and total kitchen fit-out; adopting a contemporary design inside, focusing on simple colours and quality fittings, with a nod to the classic heritage style. The Café still has its unique leafy outlook under generous awnings, providing a serene environment to enjoy a complete café experience.

The menu is Modern Australian café food bringing the famous ‘Snapper Pie’ and ‘Salt and Pepper Squid with Chilli Jam’ to Wahroonga locals. We focus on honest, whole food comfort cooking, supporting regional producers and providing organic produce where possible, with plenty of healthy dietary alternatives available.

What Patina means


  1. a film or incrustation, usually green, produced by oxidation on the surface of old bronze and often esteemed as being of ornamental value.
  2. a similar film or colouring appearing gradually on some other substance.
  3. a surface calcification of implements, usually indicating great age.

What Patina means to us

The name patina came to us as an easy, simple, catchy name which suits, and sounds good for a restaurant.

Upon further research we could see an obvious synergy with the meaning behind the word patina and the wonderful history the site has had as a successful cafe for over 25 years; in its 132-year life as a Sir John Suleman designed, heritage-listed property, which over its time has had many different uses.

The building simply oozes patina!