I know I’ve already written a blog post previously on Three Williams cafe in Redfern. The infamous brioche, those narnies, and (in my opinion) the best thrice-cooked beer-battered chips in Sydney. So when I was invited to Three Williams once again for a boozy brunch to preview a few items on their new menu and to celebrate the establishment’s obtaining of their liquor licence, I simply couldn’t refuse. What better way to spend a lazy weekend afternoon than with good food and drink, surrounded by people just as passionate about food as you are? We start our meal with a drink: choose one of the house beer or the house cider or one of their “pimped sodas” – house soda with vodka or gin. The house beer is a Little Creatures pale ale, while I went for the cider, a Batlow apple which was quite sweet and very easy on the palate. No bitterness or beery-ness to speak of. Some of the others went for the pimped sodas, which arrived complete with striped straw.
We start with a brunch item, the Chorizo and Haloumi Stack ($19). It’s grilled chorizo layered with eggplant, baby spinach and haloumi. Stacked on top of sourdough and topped with a fried egg, then served with house cranberry dressing.
I was a little uncertain about the cranberry sauce at first, as the only savoury thing I’m used to pairing it with is turkey but it went surprisingly well with so many different savoury elements here. A beautifully runny sunny-side up fried egg, juicy chorizo and melty haloumi – but for me, the star of the dish was the eggplant; smokey, tender and so flavoursome. We had this brunch item with a Del Fin Del Mundo sparkling (because a champagne breakfast is always the best of ideas) sourced from Argentina ($8 a glass/$39 a bottle).
A little more amber in colour than your usual sparkling, there were beautifully delicate fragrances of tropical fruits and a long red fruit finish.
Next up, some more chorizo sausage with the Squid and Chorizo Salad ($18): grilled squid and chorizo with rocket, radicchio, roasted almonds and a balsamic glaze.
Now this was my kind of salad! The chunks of chorizo were a little on the salty side for me, but I loved the tender, smokey curls of squid; if you haven’t figured it out yet, I loved food that has been smoked! Interspersed with crunchy almonds, bitter radicchio and peppery rocket, it was tied together with a slightly sweet and sour balsamic glaze. We paired this salad with a glass of 2012 Tomero Torrontes ($11 a glass/$45 a bottle).
Sourced from Salta, Argentina, it was one of the most beautifully fragrant white wines I’ve ever had the pleasure of sticking my nose into. Fresh and fruity, with aromas of rosehip, lychee and jasmine. Minimal acidity, smooth and full-bodied, with a very soft finish. Onto our main course, which was to be a big affair. Narnies, sides, and wine. There was reaching over one another for bowls of chips and aioli, topping up of wine glasses and conversation bubbled and flowed. Even if I were not a food blogger, as a foodie and social creature, I love these moments in life. There was such an idyllic moment it could have been the advertisement for Exclusive Vines, the providers of the gorgeous Argentinian wines for our boozy brunch. For our mains, we shared bottles of the 2012 Tomero Malbec ($12 a glass/$43 a bottle), which was my favourite wine of the event. Sourced from Uco Valley in Argentina it had the texture of a cabernet sauvignon, with flavours of blackcurrant, plums, figs and vanilla. Rich and robust, but still a little sweet and lingering on the palate.
Shall we go through the dishes one by one? I do believe we shall. Death for me: the Tempura Battered Onion Rings ($6) arrived first with the Beer Battered Chips with House Aioli ($7)
The onion rings were beautiful. Shatteringly-crispy rings of Spanish onion, the tempura batter consistently light and even. I wouldn’t have stopped eating them if it weren’t for my favourite chips, which were perfectly seasoned as always. These chips are truly incredible; the aioli is perfection, not garlicky in the slightest, and the chips stay crispy throughout your whole meal – which is terrible because when your other plates are being cleared you will insist on leaving the chip bowl on the table so you can keep on going at them. Lethal. The narnies. We had the Lamb Narnie ($10) filled with slow-cooked lamb, cumin-spiced eggplant, rocket and sriracha mayo.
Out of the narnies I’ve had here, this wasn’t really my favourite. The lamb could have done with a little more time in the slow-cooker as it wasn’t quite at that “falling apart” stage, but it had been cooked well flavour-wise to eliminate that gamey flavour that lamb often has. I would have loved more sriracha mayo with this to pack a bit more of a punch, or for the cooking juices to have been boiled down into a jus to have the lamb tossed back into it. Similarly, the Pork Narnie ($12) with pulled pork shoulder, carrot slaw, chilli caramel and fresh mint and coriander, could have done with more of the chilli caramel as it was a little on the dry side for me and that chilli caramel was pretty darn good.
We even had dessert. I was straining at this stage, but when I saw the beautiful berry yoghurt cheesecake that had been made for us specially by the pastry chef at Three Williams, how could I resist?!
Because of course you’ve got to finish a good meal with something sweet. A smooth, cream cheese and yoghurt filling, berry jelly topping and a deliciously buttery biscuit base full of ANZAC biscuit flavours with coconut and maple syrup. So much yum with a good coffee.
Their amazing pastry chef makes cakes and sweets daily using fresh, seasonal ingredients and can create tailored cakes for groups and events subject to availability. For more information, contact the Three Williams team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Last thoughts? I wish this place was darn closer so I could get my mitts on those chips more often! Although perhaps it’s a Godsend that this gem is a healthy trip from home for me 😦
613a Elizabeth Street Redfern NSW 2016
(02) 9698 1111