Housed in an 1866 cottage, from the street, Percy Plunkett looks quaint and historical behind its white picket fence. It’s named for one of the cottage’s former occupants, who resided on the site for more than twenty years from 1921. Mr. Plunkett’s 1946 obituary in the Wagga Wagga Daily Advertiser heralded him as “one of Penrith’s most popular citizens” celebrating his community-minded contributions from being part of the mounted Police to being a hotel licensee.
Now in the hands of local foodie, Phillip Hallani, the café builds upon the idea of localism both in the Matt Woods (Killing Matt Woods) fit-out, the tradies who worked on it, the staff they employ and the products they use. Inside, the once-neglected heritage-listed cottage has been opened up by converting the rabbit warren of dark and small rooms into a soft grey series of light-filled spaces befitting a contemporary café; with modern lights being the only signature Woods touch. It was rammed on the day I dined, because high winds had driven everyone inside, away from their beautiful outdoor seating. This is a bummer because, being located within the carpark of Nepean Village, a busy shopping centre, it’s teaming with screaming kids.
Staff do their best to be warm and welcoming, and I’m quickly buried within a quite good locally roasted (Parramatta) MotherSky Latte ($3.80) in a reasonable time when you consider the crowds. Menu changes are happily accommodated with my dining companion’s gluten-free Percy’s Plate ($23) losing the lamb sausages at her request. It’s a simply arranged collection of blistered tomatoes presented on the vine, golden fried haloumi, poached eggs and sliced avocado with tomato relish.
House-made condiments are also a standout on my overstuffed Moreton Bay Bug Tempura Tacos ($22). Pineapple chutney suits the crisp, flaky white crustaceans, pickled Asian-inspired salad, chilli salt and sesame dressing. Bar for the influx of young mums and their offspring and the historic architectural bones, Percy Plunkett has all the trappings of an inner urban café.
146 Station Street, Penrith
Ph: (02) 4721 8947