Despite being part of the fecund Manning Valley, Taree isn’t exactly known for its eateries. This town, which is home to more than twenty thousand people, is far enough away from Sydney that current café trends are slow to penetrate menus, so what you’re likely to find are honest, retro favourites. With that in mind, don’t approach the town’s most popular café, Raw Sugar, expecting acai bowls and turmeric lattes.
What you will find is all your breakfast standards, from Toasted Banana Bread ($8.90) served up with cinnamon and honey ricotta cream and tart rhubarb conserve, to a decent French Toast ($17.50).
The latter comes with maple syrup, a pot of whipped cream from a can, and more of the texturally great rhubarb conserve, full of whole pieces of the crimson-hued vegetable.
The menu’s only left-of-centre option is the Prosciutto and Fetta Scrambled Eggs ($19.90). Served on unbuttered (my pet gripe, despite the accompanying butter packet) Turkish toast, this dish blends the prosciutto and fetta into the scrambled eggs, along with some baby spinach and tomato. It adds textural and flavour interest without destroying too much of the airiness from the golden eggs, with the juicy cherry tomatoes and greens helping it avoid the too-salty trap.
Coffee, across a strong Flat White ($4), Latte ($4) and a Cappuccino ($4), performed well. Served at the appropriate temperature, there was decent crema with a reasonably robust body in all three drinks.
As a reasonably large café with both indoor and outdoor seating, I was happy with the morning wait time. We enjoyed sitting outside under the large umbrellas, taking in the morning traffic on this relatively sedate main drag. Leafy green palms help to soften the exterior surrounds, making it slightly more pleasant than the plain interior if Taree’s weather is being kind.
Raw Sugar Cafe
214 Victoria Street, Taree
Ph: (02) 6550 0137