Tag Archives: Perth

Toastface Grillah, Perth CBD

I know I’m late to the party with Toastface but damn – that tiny little toasted sandwich bar down one of many of Perth’s seedy-looking alleyways is an absolute gem.

It’s everything you need in a quick-fix hangover/breakfast/hunger cure.

The graffiti-covered walls, complete with a mural honouring namesake rapper Ghostface Killah, house one of Perth’s cheapest and most delicious coffee and sandwich menus.

Before work early on a Tuesday morning the place was nearly deserted, save for a couple of keen sandwich fiends, so it was quick and easy to order.

The coffee is everything you need at 7am when you’ve had interrupted sleep, and followed by a fresh orange juice it’s the perfect reminder why fresh is best.

Nearly all of the sangas on the menu have just three ingredients, proving that quantity isn’t better than quality. The apple and gouda option ($8) sounds odd on paper but in reality it makes so much sense. The gouda and ham keep the traditionalists at bay, while the slivers of onion and apple add a sweetness that cuts through the cheese.

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For the price, and the simple sandwich deliciousness, you’d be silly not to head to Toastface Grillah for a feed.

Monday to Friday – 7am to 4pm

Saturday 9am to 4pm

Toastface Grillah on Urbanspoon

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The Precinct, Victoria Park

There’s something oddly satisfying about taking yourself out for breakfast, if only for a short one.

The perfect morning, despite feeling worse for wear, called for a visit to The Precinct: a place I’d heard good things about but never really bothered to see for myself.

This hip little place is smack bang in the middle of Vic Park and doesn’t look like much from the outside, but upon closer inspection there’s something quite coolly understated about it.

I opted for a bench seat so I could stare meaningfully in the distance. It could have worked against me, though, because I was forgotten for a while after my coffee came. Still, it was a delicious coffee.

After a week of craving something sweet for breakfast I decided to get it out of my system and ordered the banana bread with berry compote, mascarpone and candied almonds and a fresh orange juice.

I wasn’t disappointed. If I wasn’t craving sugar so much I think the massive stack of banana bread (it’s basically cake, right?) would’ve put me into a sugar coma.

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The top piece was deliciously soft and moist with a kick of cinnamon, but as the stack got closer to the bottom the bread became drier and drier. However, smothering the pieces in the light mascarpone and tangy berry compote with a strategically placed almond on top managed to do the trick.

Sitting at the bench listening to quiet indie music and busy cafe breakfast noises while trying to decide whether I’d eaten too much was a morning well spent at The Precinct.

Except maybe next time I’ll order something a bit less I-feel-sorry-for-myself-so-I’m-having-cake-for-breakfast and a bit more I’m-a-functioning-adult-and-I-eat-healthy.

Monday to Friday 9am – late
Saturday 8am – late
Sunday 8am – 10pm

The Precinct on Urbanspoon

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Tuck Shop, Northbridge

Tucked away in the quieter streets of Northbridge is Tuck Shop, a tiny but busy, unpretentious cafe with a distinctly corner shop feel.

Astroturf-covered seats and chic chairs line the outside of the corner cafe whose interior, while not as bright and breezy as you’d expect, is full of produce, chalkboard-style walls and funky lights.

For 8am on a Saturday it was surprisingly busy considering it was in a quieter area of the Northbridge foodie scene – although, in some circles, that could add to its appeal.

It didn’t take long for our waitress to arrive to take our coffee order, but it was quite a while before I could down my much-needed espresso.

For a small cafe the menu was long and diverse: you could order chilli con carne or pork belly for breakfast instead of the usual bacon and eggs.

I opted for a more breakfast-oriented option and ordered the bruschetta with goat’s curd, avocado, basil salad, tomato and grilled bacon, while my friend ordered the chilli con carne.

The time between ordering and food-on-table wasn’t the greatest, but if you’re in a rush on a Saturday morning then you’re not doing it right.

The bruschetta was probably the best I’ve had in Perth. It was creamy and tangy without being unbalanced, and the bacon was a great addition to an already well-loved breakfast option. The basil salad, drizzled in a balsamic reduction, was clean and fresh – exactly what you feel like first thing in the morning.

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The chilli con carne looked tasty and rich, like it could fill you up until well past lunchtime. I was given the thumbs up by my breakfast buddy – it was clearly a winner.

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Although the service left a little to be desired as everyone appeared to be quite stressed, the food they put on the table is delicious.

Tuck Shop is one of those places that you wouldn’t know much about unless you’d been directed there by a friend considering it’s not in the heart of the cafe strip, but it’s certainly more than worth the extra two minute walk.

Just don’t get there after 9am – you might have to wait in a fairly lengthy line. But that’s always a good sign.

Tuck Shop

178 Newcastle Street

Open for breakfast and lunch every day except Monday.

Tuck Shop Cafe on Urbanspoon

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Circa, Mount Lawley

Brand new bistro and wine bar Circa on Mount Lawley’s Beaufort Street strip is easy to miss, painted black and tucked away opposite Malt.
Once I walked in I was taken aback. Although it was dimly lit and narrow, it was stylish and overly confident.
Unfortunately, we were sat at the back corner of the restaurant next to the doors to the kitchen so we didn’t experience the ambience the designers were going for.

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To start we ordered the chorizo, smashed broad beans and manchego crostini and field mushroom and valdeon arancini with arrabiata sauce and were both surprised and disappointed – the chorizo dish was packed full of flavour but the arancini were a little lacklustre as the rice wasn’t fully cooked.

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Our waitress promptly cleared our table as we ordered our mains and a bottle of Salitage pinot noir.
Minutes later we were presented with a wine that we didn’t order, and when we asked for the correct wine we were told that she “didn’t think we wanted the more expensive bottle”. Slightly insulted, we thanked her when our pinot arrived and anticipated our main.
My spaghetti with crab, lime, chilli, white wine and crème fraiche came moments later and I nearly forgot all about our wine mishap; it was beautifully presented and smelled delicious.

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However, my partner was disappointed after being given the wrong main. Originally he’d ordered the ricotta gnocchi with tomato and pecorino ragu and basil crumbs but was given the beetroot ravioli. The two sound nothing alike, and the waiter was most apologetic that our waitress had gotten it wrong. About five minutes later he came back with the right main and I could finally stop feeling guilty that I was eating first.
The house-made spaghetti was perfectly cooked, and the serving of crab meat was generous. The chef was clearly very experienced – each ingredient in the dish had its own part to play and came together to form a pasta dish that was light but flavoursome, and even the chilli was cut to perfection in fine strips.
As always I couldn’t finish my main, but had saved some room for dessert.
I ordered the fried Venetian custard with blood orange ice cream and pistachios, and although it wasn’t something I usually order, it was an excellent decision.

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The custard was velvety yet crispy on the outside and the blood orange ice cream was subtle, while blood orange sauce brought out the flavours of the ice cream and cut through the rich custard.
In the end it was a night that could have been much better, right down to the smaller details of decent seating to the more important details of service and knowledge of the menu.
Maybe wait a few months until it finds its feet – it’s still got a way to go.

Circa
676 Beaufort Street
Monday to Thursday open for lunch and dinner
Friday open til late
Saturday open from breakfast til late, and Sunday from breakfast til dinner

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Cantina 663, Mount Lawley

Cantina has become a solid Mount Lawley establishment; everyone knows what it is, everyone knows what to expect and every week it’s packed for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
We thought we’d be the first people there as we trudged in from the cold, miserable weather right on opening time but surprisingly people had already started to arrive.

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Moments after we sat down at our window seat we were offered menus and water, and every few seconds I’d glance up and see the dedicated runners heading to City to Surf and feel slightly guilty as I pored over the delicious things on the menu.
The pancakes were incredibly tempting but I opted for the braised brisket, potato and spinach ($22) while the man typically ordered the steak sandwich.

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I didn’t know what to expect but it wasn’t what arrived in front of me. The fried egg was a welcome surprise and added a ‘breakfast’ element to the dish while the meat itself was so flavoursome I could’ve eaten it without all of the other things on the plate. The potato was cut into small chunks that were creamy and easy to eat – I only wish they went easy on the parsley.
The entire meal was covered in an oniony-vinegary jus that went so well with everything I was disappointed when there was only a tiny bit left by the end of the meal.
The verdict on the steak sandwich backed up my meal choice; “Yeah, it was nice, but yours was better.” Internally I smiled with pride.
What I love about Cantina is that it doesn’t have a typically breakfast-style menu. While there are bacon and eggs, pancakes and muesli on the menu there’s also a steak sandwich or brisket or fritter, and that makes for a delightfully unique way to the start the day.

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Cantina 663
663 Beaufort Street
Monday to Saturday, 7:30am til late
Sunday 7:30am til 3pm

Cantina 663 on Urbanspoon

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The Laneway Lounge, Perth

As Perth’s newest bar, The Laneway was packed, popular and pumping. It wasn’t late into Friday night when I noticed the lit-up sign hidden down the end of a Murray Street lane, and when I saw the line of people waiting patiently on red carpet to get in I figured it’d be worth checking out.
Inspired by the jazz era, it’s dimly lit but alight with an electric atmosphere; the bar staff are serious, the decor is a little tacky and the drinks are delicious.

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We managed to score ourselves two seats at the bar, and despite it being a busy night the barman was ready to go. I didn’t manage to check out their cocktail list, but a nip of Belvedere vodka set me back $12.
As a brand new nightspot it’s got a great Friday night drinks vibe and great ideas, but I’d wait a few months to come back for dinner and suggest that the staff turn their frowns into friendly smiles – for now it needs to iron out the kinks to blossom into a place where every hipster needs to be seen.

The Laneway Lounge also has live jazz in the dining room.

The Laneway Lounge

414A Murray Street

Tuesday to Saturday, 4pm – 12am

Laneway Lounge on Urbanspoon

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Gordon Street Garage, West Perth

Originally a garage, the aptly named Gordon Street Garage has been fitted out with funky furniture, art and a feeling of reinvention all the while keeping true to its auto-electrics origins.
It’s owned by Nic Trimboli, who has Balthazar, E’cucina and Little Creatures under his belt, alongside Daniel Goodsell and Graham Arthur who collectively own Il Lido and Duende. They’re all respectable eateries in their own right, so it makes sense that their latest venture is as loved by customers as it is.

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Not only does its breakfast rival the best but its lunch, dinner and wine menus prove that it’s at the top of its game.
For just after 7 in the morning, staff members were very pleasant and friendly; however, that could be down to coffee from their specially selected coffee and in-house roaster.
The Gordon Street Garage’s menu is not pretentious and its selection of tea, coffee, juice and cold drinks would satisfy both the loyal foodie and more relaxed diner.

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Being the first people there we had no trouble with service and tea and coffee was delivered quickly and without fuss.
I ordered the house smoked salmon, potato and zucchini hash brown, spinach, poached egg and béarnaise ($21) and, like the other times I’ve been there, wasn’t let down.

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The salmon wasn’t overly smoky but it had a very distinctive flavour complemented by the tangy and creamy béarnaise while the potato and zucchini hash brown was a little crispy, a little salty and a lot delicious. There were two poached eggs which was a nice surprise, so despite the dish looking on the smaller side, I left feeling full for hours.
The orange and grapefruit juice ($7) I sipped on tasted more like orange than orange and grapefruit, but was still refreshing with lots of ice.
The Gordon Street Garage is somewhere you’d meet a friend or date for a casual meal, and on the casual dining scene it’s one of Perth’s very best.
For breakfast, get there before 9am; after that it’s harder to get a table. Also, good luck walking past the cake cabinet without stopping to grab something sweet and tasty.

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Gordon Street Garage
16 Gordon Street, West Perth
Open Monday to Sunday
7am til late

Gordon St Garage on Urbanspoon

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