Three Williams: Redfern, Sydney


After a set of ski trips for me, and a set of dance classes for VP, we made our next brunch stop at Three Williams with PT this weekend. This is a place I’d seen on the list of the best French Toast several times on UrbanList, and other friends loving the food here, so I’d been curious for months if it lived up to the hype.

One will find out pretty quickly that I’m not a huge fan of sweet breakfasts. In fact there have only been three times in the last few years that I’ve actively gone for something sweet at a cafe. I wasn’t too interested in the savoury items on the menu, so I decided if there was any time to find out if this French Toast was everything it was cracked up to be, this was the time.

So, the entrance to this place isn’t exactly a standout. In fact, if it weren’t for the group of people already waiting for a table at 10am on a Saturday and VP standing outside, I would have missed it completely. I really wasn’t expecting lots of people to be here at 10am on a Saturday given previous outings! Luckily the cafe has benches out in the sun so you’re not standing around for a while. The hostess had a very good memory as well, remembering faces of all the people requesting names. No more than 10 minutes later and we had a table.

Also, when we offered to wait a bit longer because PT was running late, she said we had a really good spot and we should get the table if we wanted. Points for hospitality!

Left: Single Origin Batch Brew. Right: Banana Smoothie

The menu is a little rigid, and by this I mean there are various dishes that are all specific in nature. You can’t just get eggs benedict done your way, for example. But that’s fine, and it’s an all day menu with specials every so often (they are doing a truffle menu right now!)

The first thing I ordered was a cold Single Origin Batch brew. I’ve come to love and appreciate Cold Brew, something VP is at odds with me on whether it’s “real coffee,” but whatever. It’s super tasty, it doesn’t need milk or sugar, and I appreciate it on days like these when winter is getting warmer. VP wouldn’t have any of it. That banana smoothie, on the other hand… yum yum!

It took some time for the food to get out, so I’d suggest not smashing your drink of choice down immediately because you might be waiting a while for food. However that’s to be expected, given the seating capacity and how busy it gets. But the food arrived and the expectations grew.

Maple Bacon Blini

First up is the Maple Bacon Blini. Maple bacon, silverbeet, poached egg, chives and a bacon crumb on a buckwheat pancake. It was bigger than VP was expecting, and that golden-yellow apple hollandaise looked amazing. If you think I’ve colour corrected that photo, go order it for yourself. If not for the bacon I would have ordered this and swallowed it whole. VP was also surprised to see not one, but two poached eggs. We love our eggs. You’ll find that out about us pretty quickly too.

PT opted for The Joe, which is a small burger with a fried egg, bacon, potato scallop, tomato relish and kewpie mayo. I like my savoury, but this had bacon, so that was a no-no for me, and also I prefer to have less hand-held items for breakfast. PT liked it, but it’s not for me. To me this was a bit of a bland-looking meal, which would be ideal for those who aren’t too hungry. However, those scallops looked so crunchy, and I actually thought it was fried chicken at one point!

The Joe

Now, I came here for French Toast. As I mentioned before, this isn’t my norm. I like savoury breakfast, for a few reasons:

  • I’m not a huge fan of that much sugar in the mornings
  • Savoury items are usually more consistent in the cooking
  • The sweetness of pancakes, waffles and french toast are usually overdone
  • I like warm meals for brunch, and some sweet things aren’t that warm.

However, like I said before, this place is reputed for its French Toast. So, challenge accepted, let’s order this item on their menu.

I realised looking at the menu in-house it is different to the one online. This was called the Golden Gaytime French Toast. I like Golden Gaytimes, so I figured this probably had to be pretty good. My dish was actually the last one to arrive to the table:

Golden Gaytime French Toast

Oh. My. God.

I will give this one negative rap: it held true to the fact that sweet brunch meals are usually too sweet. I was full of sugar and I didn’t manage to finish it. But, just look at it! It’s really pretty to look at. There are fresh strawberries and dried strawberries that gives it a bit of a sour kick. The toast is cornflake coated and gives it this really good crunch. And those waffle balls. Did they know I love waffle balls?

It probably didn’t even need that caramel sauce, given there was vanilla ice cream to add liquid to the dish and prevent it from making the mouth too dry, and the caramel probably added to the sweetness factor. But I had a lot of fun eating this, and a lot of fun staring at this picture later in the day.

So the hype was justified in my opinion. I’m sure the recipe varies every now and then, but this current version of their French Toast is pretty damn amazing. Event with the sweetness – I was very thankful I opted for a milk-less coffee trying to get through this delight!

And second point for hospitality: the waitress never rushed us, and asked if we wanted more drinks. I am very appreciative of places that, despite their turnover, never force their patrons to leave within a certain period of time. Good food, good service, good space – a big win in my opinion.

Three Williams


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