Vanessa: I am constantly on the look out for good breakfast/brunch locations and so far my quest has made me realise that we are very spoilt for choice in Sydney for such options. As I reside in the inner west, I feel pretty lucky to have so much of that choice around me with the bustling cafes of Rozelle, Petersham, Balmain and Abbotsford all within a convenient radius.
An impromptu catch up with friends brought us to Prato Cafe & Diner, a very local establishment for us in Abbotsford. Having driven past it many times I was pleased that the general consensus was to dine there.
Prato has a very spacious dining area which has a home-like feel to it. It has a centrally running long table which is perfect for large groups or seating a number of people, provided they don’t have proximity issues with strangers! There are a number of various sized tables scattered inside as well as on the verandah overlooking the garden, which would be my preferred location if the weather was nice.
We settled in and immediately ordered up a round of coffee, they use Campos which generally is an indication that the coffee will be good…and it was.
Both the breakfast and lunch menu are well priced and very extensive. They have so many options which sound intriguing, it makes it difficult to choose. This is not a bad problem to have! I was also pleased to learn that the ingredients used are organic and they prepare most items onsite including their smoked goods.
As there were four of us, we decided to get a mix of breakfast and lunch items (since we were on the verge of the lunch hour anyway) so we could try a few different things. I should also note that this is very much a child friendly café and as such they have ensured there are options for the kids as well.
From the breakfast menu we ordered the Croque Madame with house cured ham, gruyere and egg ($18) and a serving of the Buttermilk Hotcakes with blueberry, marcapone and organic maple syrup ($18). When the meals arrived the first thing we noted was the generous portion size, meaning you definitely are getting bang for you buck. The hotcakes (a serving of three) were rich, fluffy and warm with the right amount of toppings to balance the sweetness. A great choice for any lover of pancakes – of which we had one with us who was impressed!
The croque madame was somewhat disappointing for me mainly because of the richness of the dish. The cured ham wasn’t to my taste and the fried egg on top, whilst it was cooked perfectly, just added further to the richness which I personally found a little too heavy for a breakfast choice.
A must try on the menu, in my opinion, is the Bruschetta with homemade feta, baba ganoush, fried cauliflower, chickpeas, parsley and preserved lemons ($14). This was delicious, the saltiness of the feta and baba ganoush mixed with the tartness of the lemon and the texture of the fried cauliflower made for an incredible combination. It will be hard to go past this when I return. It was also a generous portion size for the price and the dish is available for breakfast and lunch.
We also tried a seeded roll filled cured ham and slaw. It’s a simple meal but tasty and a good option if you are looking for something fairly light.
Having eyed the nicely presented display of cakes up on the counter when we entered, we were keen to sample some so it was a yes to dessert all round. We did exercise some control by opting to share. We chose a serve of the Carrot & Walnut Cake with Crème Cheese Frosting as well as the Orange and Poppyseed Cake. I’m so glad we chose these two as they were ultra moist and not too sweet so rounded of our meal perfectly.
I will gladly return to Prato, there is so much on the menu that is worth a try. The Café’s inviting atmosphere and well-thought meals make for a very pleasant dining experience. Check it out, especially if you are an inner west local!