CAFE 58, Palmyra
by JENNY D’ANGER:
WHEN I was a wee tacker at the kindy across the road, this funky cafe was the local deli.
As I told my visiting mother-in-law as we waited eagerly for our lunch, I have fond memories of my kindy days, including being milk monitor, and taking the leftover tiny bottles to feed the cats next door.
She surprised me by ordering a prawn laksa ($19), as I doubt her small village in Devon has heard of such an exotic dish.
Then I remembered she had been with us in Sydney’s Chinatown a few years ago when we worked our way through a swag of dishes at a laksa food hall (we avoided the tripe version—blech). Over that week we discovered laksa can be as varied as the number of stall there were, as this generous serve exemplified.
Cafe 58’s was a thick ochre-coloured broth, not clear as most I’ve had, but you couldn’t beat it for flavour, a rich peanut base overlaid with a chili zing and the spices of the orient.
Prawns, vegetables and thin noodles crowded each other and the M-I-L struggled to the valiant end determined not to miss a delicious morsel.
My crab linguine ($24) was chock-full of meat, along with cherry tomatoes and roasted capsicum, but I’m not sure what happened to the asparagus, after finding just one small piece.
With a simple lemon and olive oil dressing it was tasty, but missed the garlic hit I’d expected from similar dishes elsewhere.
Service started off with an efficient rush, but seemed to drop off when it came to collecting dirty plates, despite there being a small army of young waiters.
We’d already checked out the mouthwatering selection of cakes on display, so when we finally got some attention we knew just what we wanted—a pecan and caramel tart and a lemon meringue ($7.50).
Both were great, the pecan sweet and rich and the meringue sharp and delicious, especially with a couple of very good coffees.
Lovely place, but perhaps a little more training on the details for the young staff wouldn’t go astray—there’s more to working at a cafe than looking cool in black.
58 Carrington Street, Palmyra
open Wed–Sun 8am–8pm