Who is Bradley Neil? I’m the business owner of Carlo’s. I’m someone who is focused on providing a good customer service experience, quality produce and quality on a plate. I’m from Batemans Bay and moved across to Wagga about seven years ago. My wife, Melissa, and I have always loved going out and enjoying fine dining. And for us, it was an opportunity (running Carlo’s) to be able to provide outstanding service and a great product to the wider community. I have a two-year-old and a seven-year-old. I love scuba diving and being under the ocean.
Best recent dining experience: Se7en Cafe in Batemans Bay. It’s a newly opened little restaurant on the river and I had a really nice breakfast experience. In Wagga, it was HIDE Steak and Bar and Uneke Lounge.
Favourite cuisine: Vietnamese. I mainly like Asian food.
The ingredient I cannot live without: I could not live without salt.
Most embarrassing pantry item: Deb Instant Mashed Potato.
How many Weet-Bix do you do? Probably 12. I’m a big eater. I like food.
Best coffee spot in Wagga: Oh, that’s going to be Carlo’s.
Favourite coffee: Cappuccino with two sugars.
What’s your coffee blend? Bear and the Beard from Seven Miles Coffee Roasters.
What’s the weirdest coffee order you’ve received? An espresso with three sugars.
Next big thing in the Wagga food scene: Al Maghrib. Mustapha will do well down there. It’s really nice to see some different cuisines come into the area.
Favourite place to lunch in Wagga: I like Uneke Lounge.
A must-try on our menu: For those who haven’t tried, our hash brown stack (two hash browns with wilted spinach, bacon, a poached egg, mustard hollandaise and paprika) is a popular choice.
Most used ingredient at Carlo’s Cafe: Bacon.
Your top pick for dessert: Dessert would be the Belgian waffles with maple butter, house brownie, ice cream, fresh berries and strawberry crumble.
My biggest culinary influence: I like Luke Nguyen and his style of cooking and travelling around. I also like Rick Stein at Bannisters from the South Coast.
Favourite cookbook: The Songs of Sapa by Luke Nguyen.
Who I admire in the Wagga food and wine scene: Meccanico. I think they have done really well in the Wagga food and wine scene.
What are this week’s specials at Carlo’s Cafe? We don’t have them, but we are looking into rolling out some specials.
Death-row meal: Goodness. That’s a big one. I said to my wife, ‘I’d go banquet’, but I think I would go seafood – fresh scallops, oysters and lobster, and a nice Corowa scotch.
Dream destination: I would like to go to the Maldives.
My biggest fear: That’s a hard question. I’m really customer-focused, so my biggest fear would be something not going right out to a customer. My biggest fear as a parent is if something happens to my beautiful babies.
My least-favourite food: I like all food.
My top-three cooking tips: Use fresh produce. Cook in a timely manner and ensure that it’s plated up nicely.