Just like a cafe in Paris, the dream behind Watts on Crown is to create a one-stop-shop for every dining desire. The man behind this vision is chef and owner, Hamish Watt, who cut his teeth at none other than Neil Perry’s Rockpool and who has spent the last decade working in the Britain. With wife and front-of-house, Tiffany, the duo hope to transform the old Vespa site on Crown Street into a neighbourhood hangout with a wine bar, formal dining area and a top-notch bistro menu.
With two-levels, the restaurant’s space is a combination of bar, cafe and dining areas. Upstairs acts as a formal dining room with black and white walls, wooden floorboards and rectangular mirrors framed with heavy gold lacquer while downstairs offers a latte-sipping scene with an open counter bar and a mix of both stool and table seating.
The menu is similarly multi-faceted with an array of small plates available throughout the day and then separate breakfast, lunch and dinner menus. The food is classic bistro fare, with dishes such as chicken liver parfait, scotch eggs and goats cheese stuffed zucchini flowers however, of worthy mention was an entree of ceviche with a seawood and sesame salad. A wasabi oil lined the plate, creating a bitey zest to the toasted sesame. The roast barramundi had a crisp skin, while the flesh was moist and rich in flavour. A fennel puree was rich and luscious while julienned snow peas created a welcome crunch and freshness. There is also a strong emphasis on native ingredients with one of their signature dishes featuring a roast kangaroo loin with roasted beetroot, poached rhubarb and Agro Dolce sauce.
Offering over 100 wines, most of which are available by the glass, drinking at Watts on Crown is not going to break the budget. If you are dining upstairs, guests can also BYO at $6 a bottle. This family-friendly local restaurant also offers offsite catering and the entire space can be booked out for functions up to 60 (upstairs).
With renovation plans in sight, Hamish and Tiffany have hopes to create an alfresco dining area out the back, complete with a small herb and vegetable garden for the kitchen.
Read more about Watts on Crown here