In the week since writing this article, this fledgling café and its exuberant earth-mother owner KC are in free-fall as the ‘Corona crunch’ wreaks havoc on their business.
In line with social distancing restrictions, Cafe Prosper has restricted its service to kerb-side pickups, and pickups in cafe in accordance with social distancing rules.
The cafe is running a reduced menu but the good news is that Singapore chicken is still on the menu, and when you read Michelle Taylor’s review, you’ll be glad it is.
If you are in Fyshwick, show them some love.
Hidden away within the HIA Home Inspirations building on an industrial corner of Fyshwick, Café Prosper is helping me fulfil a bucket-list meal.
Engrossed in the plate of Singapore chicken rice on the table, I can literally taste the care that has gone into this ultimate comfort dish.
Poached in its own broth and seasoned with pandan leaves, garlic and shallots, the chicken breast is tender and juicy. A streak of aromatic ‘Asian pesto’, a sauce made from smoking oil poured over smashed shallots and ginger, tops the chicken. The rice, first fried with garlic and ginger, then gently cooked in that fragrant chicken broth, could stand on its own as a meal.
Alongside the chicken rice sits a small plastic container of chilli sauce. The words ‘chilli sauce’ conjure up a vision of the glutinous sweet chilli sauce you get from a supermarket, but this sauce, house-made by KC, is worlds away from that stuff.
From the tang of fresh lemon juice, the heat of three different varieties of chilli and a hit of garlic, this chilli sauce makes you wish you had trained your tastebuds to handle more heat.
Owner KC is proud to feature her take on Singapore chicken rice from her homeland in among the amalgam of Aussie and Asian dishes on the menu.
“I grew up eating Singapore chicken rice for breakfast, for lunch, for dinner, for supper. It has to have that full-flavoured chicken taste, from the rice to the chicken. We serve it with cucumber and tomato slices here, and with a bowl of broth, then my homemade chilli sauce and the soya sauce. The whole package is comforting.”
“The pandan leaf has a unique scent to it and it brings out the flavour of the meat. It is the flavour, the fragrance of this leaf that marks this dish as South East Asian.”
Café Prosper has worked hard to build up their reputation for customer care since their grand opening in November. KC’s nurturing nature is evident in her food and how she runs the cafe.
She endeavours to remember her customer’s names and preferences.
“At the end of the day, people want to be remembered. That’s why we have repeat customers. ‘No one goes out of this café hungry or unsatisfied’ – that’s my motto. We do what we can to bring value for money and to fill up the stomachs of the tradies and the local office people that we mostly cater to in this area.”
Just don’t expect to find cold sandwich wraps or a traditional chicken Schnitty here.
“No cold wraps,” KC shakes her head. “I am not a big fan of cold wraps. After a six-hour day, you want something that warms you up, so you feel comforted. I want to provide comfort food.
“And I do not do schnitzel at ALL,” she laughs. “My deep-fried chicken is very different from a schnitzel! Even though it is deep-fried, it tastes light and fluffy, it doesn’t soak up the oil.”
Her fried chicken’s crispy golden coating gives way to succulent meat. And she’s right – it doesn’t taste greasy at all. Just that scrumptious crunch that is so moreish!
KC cuts no corners in the kitchen. She makes all the cafe’s sauces from scratch and bakes her popular cookies fresh on site. The cookies disappear quickly each day. My peanut butter cookie is perfect with one of barista Felix’s cappuccinos. His cappuccino is smooth coffee, and its foam is that perfect ‘melted marshmallow’ consistency, with the drink itself creamy all the way to the bottom.
In non-coronavirus times, you could also tuck into traditional café fare like bacon and egg rolls, fish and chips, or a beef or chicken burger (with KC’s fabulous fried chicken). In the current environment, it’s best to call ahead to see what they’re cooking. Or go on a bit of an adventure and order a taste of KC’s homeland.
Cafe Prosper is located at 2 Albany St in Fyshwick in the Home Inspirations building.
It is open from 6:30 am until 3:00 pm weekdays, and from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm on Saturdays.
Order your Cafe Prosper meal on Ubereats or call them direct on 6280 5678.