Prato Cafe & Diner

This place: Smack bang in the middle of suburbia, the restaurant could easily be mistaken for somebody’s century-old cottage house complete with high ceilings, wooden floorboards, and a quaint verandah overlooking a lovely wild (but kempt) garden in both the front and back. On top of the casual dining experience, there is even a random assortment of things – e.g. flora and useful or just interesting things – for sale.

The food: The kingfish carpaccio salad was sublimely beautiful. It came with a generous serving of raw kingfish too. The flavour was interesting – the salty capers mixed with the sweetness from the raisins, and then add to it, these fine violet shoots (I don’t know my vegetables, and was too embarrassed to ask what they were), rendered the salad refreshingly delicate and explosively tantalising. I’m usually not a salad person (although strangely enough I’ve been having more and more of them recently…), but this just worked so well together. Of course, the downside was, it was hardly enough to constitute a main dish, but luckily, my food buddy had ordered the smoked trout dish which I happily poached and gobbled down until I was finally satiated (and he, feeling a bit nonplussed, I’m sure). In terms of breakfast meals, his dish was decent, and well-cooked. The trout was lightly salted, the egg was crisp on the edge and gooey in the middle. There was an unsparing amount of hash. And the whole display – just gorgeous.

Suffice to say, I was quite impressed.

These were just two dishes on the menu; the breakfast and lunch selection is plentiful, so I feel like I will definitely be back to try them all…

The next time you’re in this neck of the woods, give this place a visit. Or if not, make a point to go here anyway.

Kingfish carpaccio salad

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 House Smoked Trout with Fried Egg, Potato Hash, Herbs and Sourdough

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Prato Cafe & Diner on Urbanspoon

Three Williams

J’s review: Now that I’ve been here, I feel like this place has been hyped up to some extent. It’s true that their narnies are great – we ordered three from the menu (prawn, brisket and chicken) and they were all oozing with harmonious flavours. The beef brisket narnie was my favourite because it was melt-in-your-mouth tender. The sauce and gherkins inside really set it off. In saying that, all meats were cooked to perfection. The naan bread itself was unfortunately nothing special. The highlight of my experience was definitely the chips and the generous side serving of aioli for dipping – they are the best chips I’ve had in a while. The cauliflower salad wasn’t bad but wasn’t good either, so kind of average I suppose. I think where Three Williams did poorly was their non-coffee drinks. We tried the home-made peach and vanilla soda which turned out to be watered down peach with no vanilla at all. The peanut caramel shake was basically peanut butter diluted with milk. The caramel was missing so my drink was more savoury than I would have liked. I enjoyed the first couple of sips but after trying the narnies, the flavour of the milkshake felt weak. Overall, my experience balanced out into something that was kind of average, especially when the wait of about 20-30 min for a Saturday lunch and the prices were factored in. I would definitely recommend the narnies and the chips, but I was left feeling “meh” about the other food.

E’s review: the gradual gentrification of Redfern has birthed a hip hub of eateries. On my way to the Three Williams, the roads were littered with small cafes and an eclectic mix of world cuisines…will definitely be coming back to this part of the town to review more places! The entrance to the Three Williams was unassuming, you might have almost missed it as half of the restaurant is below ground level – were it not for the many many people sitting around outside waiting for a table. Once inside, it’s as big as a warehouse. On a warm Saturday afternoon, it was packed with couples, cohorts of 8+ tables, and even families with their bubs (it is advertised as ‘family friendly’ and high chairs are provided).  Now like J, I’ve heard great things about this place, and I really wanted to check it out for myself. The waitress was friendly and prompt. We decided to go for the popular and recommended choices (see below). I did not find the narnies to be at all spectacular. They were definitely quite edible, and immaculately served, but all the flavours were too bland for my liking. The brioche fared a bit better. The toast was sweet, and faintly crunchy. It could have done with a bit more maple syrup, but otherwise, it was well-balanced, and not too heavy. I ordered the cauliflower salad and I have to say, I quite enjoyed it. It was a bit different from regular salads. Although I was disappointed that my cauliflower was a bit soggy and not very caramelised, I found the mix of pomegranate seeds, walnuts, tabouli and quinoa to be quite harmonious. The chips reminded me of KFC chips, with a bit more of a crunch to it. I’ve had better, but I’m not complaining either. I have nothing to add in terms of the drinks, J’s review is spot on about them. In all, I had higher expectations, and considering it was a 15min walk from the station, I would have liked my food to have had more of a punch to them. Also, I was left feeling a little hungry afterwards (the portions aren’t too big), but then again, I’ve also been told that I’m a big eater, so opinions may vary on this aspect.

 

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The menu.

 

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Home made peach and vanilla soda, $12 for a bottle.

 

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Crunchy brioche french toast topped with blueberries, yoghurt, roasted pecans and maple syrup, $14.

 

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Beer battered chips with house aioli, $7.

 

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Caramelised cauliflower tabouli with quinoa, walnuts and preserved lemon salad, $14.

The narnies:

(from left to right) chicken, brisket and prawns 

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Three Williams on Urbanspoon