Mr Watkins | Penrith
If you haven’t taken a stroll down the High Street of Penrith for some time, you might be in for a shock. There’s a change in the air, where Edison bulbs, potted palms and old books upcycled as menus are in and the dingy glow of flashing neon cheap eats and dusty old for lease spaces are out.
Celebrating one year since the birth of the neighbourhood bar, restaurant and café, Mr Watkins has fast become local legend.
When you have an experienced team who have worked in some of Australia’s leading hospitality venues, you know you’re in for a treat. Everything from the morning coffee to the midnight craft beer and the seasonal dishes in between are sourced and crafted with care and side of quirk.
Front of house
Open from 6am, the leafy front of house is where all the morning magic happens, waking up the regulars with freshly ground lattes, delicate pastries and their signature bread pies.
And what is a bread pie I find yourself asking? It’s a remake on the classic sandwich iron style sandwiches just like your mum used to make, except with next level fillings like spag bowl, pulled pork, franks and beans and mac and cheese.
Teas, coffees, and a range of sparkling organic drinks fill the cafe menu with the addition of a few cheeky wine suggestions to complete that Sunday brunch experience.
While it may be all coffees and scones out the front, come dinner time the place is transformed into a hub of live music (on selected days) buzzing crowds, themed event evenings, share platters and award-winning cocktails.
Whether you dine as a group, a dinner date or even solo, everyone is welcome and there's that feeling that you're right at home. If you’re in the mood for a shared feast, make sure you try the beef Asado served with onion rings and fragrant chimichurri, add on a side of potato braves with bloody mary sauce. You don’t win friends with salad so the greens with paprika butter is a safe choice when it comes to a good dose of veggies.
A select range of gourmet hot dogs are also one of the signature items on the menu and are ideal for when you’re after a lighter meal. Indulge in the likes of The Frankie, made up of liquid cheese, house tomato sauce, mustard mayo and bbq onions. If you feel like something a bit different then go the ‘ Boerie” of garlic butter, Monkey gland sauce, crispy onions and cheddar. (ps: no monkeys were harmed in the making of the sauce).
It takes years of knowledge and experience to be able to create a base of constant crowd pleaser cocktails and a variety of craft beers that sit just left of centre. Fortunately the Mr Watkins crew have nailed it, with an ever-changing and experimental cocktail list that isn't afraid to bring some of the influences of the kitchen into the shaker.
There's often craft beer-themed evenings for those who fancy a cold tinny or a pint, showcasing many of the Aussie brewing greats like Newtown's Young Henry's and HOPE estate.
Find out what why Sydney's west has gone crazy for this dapper of a place that's just the right mix of class and crazy.
467 High Street