7 July 2023

Five minutes with Bradley Neil, Carlo's Cafe & Restaurant

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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two men in cafe kitchen

Carlo’s owner Bradley Neil and chef Braiden Harpley. Photo: Shri Gayathirie Rajen.

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.

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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.

cup of coffee being poured

Carlo’s Cafe uses Seven Miles Coffee Roasters. Photo: Carlo’s Cafe & Restaurant.

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.

balsamic mushrooms

The balsamic mushrooms are a must-try. Photo: Carlo’s Cafe & Restaurant.

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.

 Belgian waffles

Bradley’s top dessert pick is the Belgian waffles. Photo: Carlo’s Cafe & Restaurant.

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.

Buttermilk chicken burger

The buttermilk chicken burger features a soft milk bun with crispy buttermilk chicken, maple aioli, house pickles, cheese and mixed leaf. Photo: Carlo’s Cafe & Restaurant.

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.

wraps in cafe

Carlo’s offers a catering service with a wide range of delicious options. Photo: Carlo’s Cafe & Restaurant.

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.

READ ALSO Five minutes with Luke Walton and Kym Fraser, Niagara Cafe

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.

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