Cats and Dogs at Black Cat White Cat Cafe / by Amanda Jones

Look up Black Cat White Cat in Google and your first result may not be a newly opened café in Mulgoa, south of Penrith. In 1999 a Serbian film released under this name chronicled the story of opposites, summarised in the titular felines. 

Brenda Cullen, chef and co-owner of the café, relates the move to the relationship between her and Chrissie, “we're chalk and cheese; she's got the gift of the gab and I've got the gift of the do.” 

Lucky for those visiting, Brenda is in the kitchen cranking out hearty breakfasts, brunches and lunch options, while Chrissie is working the coffee machine and welcoming all and sundry. When asked which cat is which, Brenda notes that appearances can be deceiving, “She reckons she's the white cat but I don't think she's so angelic but I'll take the black cat.”

When the cats do come together, good things happen. Black Cat White Cat sprung from a somewhat serendipitous beginning, as on the afternoon after being turned down at the first premises, they inquired after, this site became available. Living nearby had allowed Brenda to see the potential in what was until then an under-utilised space, and in the past three months since opened, it’s been a whirlwind of finding out what works for the regulars while also bringing a little of Brenda’s own flair. The smoked fish brunch has snowy river trout along with smoked salmon and cod, plated up with sea vegetables from Victorian freshwater rivers. As the café hits its stride, Brenda hopes to incorporate more native plant foods as part of a focus on lesser appreciated Australian products.

The café itself is set in the township of Mulgoa and expands out from the main structure which houses the dining room and a function room to a sprawling garden overlooked by a veranda. Dogs and kids are welcome to roam and the café is located on the way to popular weekend drive spots along the Nepean river.

Catering to the needs of travellers, Brenda and her locally-based team are exploring options such as picnic baskets for those on the move, or food fairs for those who are able to linger a little longer. Either way, coffee here is from Western Sydney roaster Black Drum Roasters, and has been received in Mulgoa with broad acclaim. 

For those looking to make a trip away from Sydney city life, Black Cat White Cat will have you sorted.