Not one to hang out in any kind of ‘club’ restaurant or cafe, I was inspired to make a detour from the M4 and explore the mighty Penrith Panthers entertainment complex. A complex it is – there’s even a hotel next door! From the outside, the imposing building looks more office complex than entertainment domain, with larger-than-life statues of black panthers guarding the entrance. The multi-levels house restaurants, showrooms and gaming rooms, bars and clubs, and offices, which at 10am are quiet. If Kelly’s Cafe is deserted, as it is during my visit, the large open dining area feels more cafeteria than cosy cafe. The bright Vegas-style lights of the cavernous gaming room that’s adjacent to the cafe pulse and ping, and if you aren’t that way inclined can be a bit much. The scones are neither good nor bad, and don’t taste particularly fresh. The two sachets of jam are a copout (I ask for a few more), and the cream, although tastes like real cream, is lightly whipped and aerated. I appreciate the two biscuits with my cuppa, and it adds a nice touch.
Tea: A range of Pickwick tea bags and several T2 loose-leaf teas (although not in T2 cannisters) served in a teapot.
Overall: The cafe you go to when you don’t want to be too far from the gaming tables.
Location: Penrith Panthers, 123 Mulgoa Rd, Penrith NSW 2750
Ph: 02 4720 5529 penrith.panthers.com.au
Reviewed in November, 2016