Thursday, 28 January 2010

The Naked Fig Cafe, Swanbourne

Flat whites!

Ross' tart (at the back) & Renée's eggs Benedict

We both had the day off today so we decided to try out something brand-spanking new: The Naked Fig in Swanbourne. We have never really hung out in Swanbourne and tend to haunt the inner city suburbs so we really didn't know what to expect! A couple of our friends raved about it so we were pretty excited!

The location is pretty breathtaking - think 180 degree ocean views. We didn't actually realize it was on the beach (we thought it was in the group of shops near the railway!) so when we pulled up we immediately regretted no bringing our bathers as the water was super blue and sparkly! Darn!

The Naked Fig is in a big massive shed-like building (think contemporary-Australian design, complete with corrugated sheeting) that Ross thinks will date - much like the vacant 90s building next to it. I got the vibes that this wasn't really 'us'! We were shown to a nice table on the decking and the service was great - we immediately got chilled water and menus and our coffee orders were taken. No faulting them there! I looked around at the crowd and noted the demographic was much older than what we were used to. Ross and I argued a fitting description and we came up with 'Golden Triangle Suburban Family' so not really our bag... however it's definitely somewhere you would take people visiting WA as they would be blown away by the view!

Our coffees came out and I was initially impressed but on an after thought we agreed they were super milky as we prefer ours a little stronger! The menu was pretty standard with some interesting twists such as pancakes (which looked amazing I ended up having food envy) with poached pear and berries ($15), eggs on fire- a spicy chili corn cake with eggs, avocado and bacon ($18) and fig toast with fig jam ($8.50). I decided to have another stab at eggs Benedict ($16.50) and Ross ordered the 'A bit of a Tart' ($17.50) which was spinach, asparagus, poached eggs on puff pastry and hollandaise sauce.

Out they came and they looked pretty similar...haha! I actually thought my meal had with wilted spinach so was a little disappointed with the dry baby spinach but the I'm pleased to report the hollandaise was great with just the right amount of tang. My eggs were cooked well and the bread was tasty. Ross' consensus was 'good'.

Overall we were a little underwhelmed...we couldn't really say establish why but it didn't live up to expectations? It was just kind of 'meh'...

The Verdict

Coffee 3/5
The Eggs (the meal!) 3/5
Service 3.5/5
Atmosphere 1.5/5

Overall 11/20

Would we go again?
Probably not...unless we were taking out 'older' relatives from overseas!


Naked Fig on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Toast, East Perth

Great coffee

Cute vintage water bottles

Renée's Breakfast

Ross' Breakfast

Renée and I headed down to Toast in East Perth this morning for our weekend breakfast. Toast is on the Claisebrook Cove waterfront, next to The Royal, which gives you the opportunity of eating inside or out. As Renée's shop is a short drive away from East Perth it seemed a good opportunity to check it out. And it has an all-day breakfast menu, so late-risers such as us won't miss out!

One of Toast's most endearing features is its vintage inspired decor like the 1950's red vinyl chairs but especially its water bottles - vintage French bottles of all different shapes and colours. Together with the colourful plastic cups for water, they are truly fantastic!

Toast offers an interesting menu, with both regular options such as eggs Florentine ($14.90), plus a range of more interesting-sounding options such as polenta toast with mushrooms, French toast with black cherries ($11.90) and sardines on toast. Today Renée chose the eggs Benedict ($14.90), and I had mint and feta pancakes with smoked salmon and a sour cream and chives dressing ($17.50)

Service here is good - our Ricard Anisette water bottle was delivered within seconds of us sitting down, and my coffee order was taken while still waiting in line to order. And the coffee was delicious, with the right amount of coffee, milk, temperature and foam; a respectable effort in a city where baristas are so inconsistent. For those with more backpacker-like tendencies, you'll be pleased to note that Toast will happily serve champagne and beer with your breakfast meal (BYO).

The food was another matter. Although sounding mouth-watering delicious on the menu, we both found that the balance was not there. The hollandaise sauce was much too acidic, the salmon overpoweringly salmony and the pancakes too oniony. The more subtle flavours were masked - either of us could not taste the eggs, and the pancakes were not particularly minty or feta-y (ok i'll stop adjectivising nouns now). While the intent was there, the execution could do with a little more work.

Renée took with her a muffin to eat for lunch which she described as pretty tasty and a good balance of flavour! So not all was lost!

Overall, Toast is a great place to enjoy a coffee and cake whilst admiring their collection of water bottles and pretty cute view of East Perth!

The Verdict

Coffee 4/5
The Eggs (the meal!) 2.5/5
Service 4/5
Atmosphere 3/5

Overall 13.5/20

Would we go again?
Perhaps... just for coffee and cake?


Toast on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Greenhouse, St Georges Tce, Perth

Greenhouse Takeaway Window!

Ross' Breakfast

Renée's Breakfast

Greenhouse is Perth's latest "sustainable" restaurant/bar - it features roof-top gardens, recycling of water, worm farms for kitchen waste, recycled furniture, etc. The Greenhouse was originally installed in Federation Square by designer Joost Bakker, but unlike Melbourne's Greenhouse this one is a permanent feature at the new Enex100 on St Georges Tce in the heart of Perth's corporate strip. It's instantly recognisable by its 4000 terracotta pots fastened to the outside walls, and we decided to try out their breakfast.

We had previously been for drinks just after it opened and we promised we would return to try out the delicious looking menu. We really loved the decor and enjoyed the use of recycled objects and wood(recycled from the old Greenhouse). I loved the row of alcohol bottles hanging over the bar on blue rope. Overall the vibe is laid back with a splash of clever design.

The Greenhouse offers a array of classic favorites like eggs and soldiers ($10), staples such as pancakes ($11) and eggs & toast the way you prefer ($10) and some interesting alternative options like watermelon, strawberry & labne rosewater salad and brekky pizza. Ross was worried that like many organic restaurants, the Greenhouse may be all about the concept, enjoyed by people who liked to think that they are eating sustainable even if the food was border-line uneatable. How wrong he was!

As it was the first time at Greenhouse I decided to go for my all time favourite brekky combo: poached eggs with a side of spiced beans. Ross decided to test out the poached eggs as well but with a side of wild mushrooms and potato bravis. We both orders flat whites. As a rule of thumb I find if a place can't do a good coffee its rare we'll return...really there is no excuse!

Luckily for Greenhouse they served up a decent cup of coffee, along with cute foam patterns! But it was the poached eggs that completely won the day; we had never seen any eggs cooked like this before. Poached eggs as a general rule are either soft so that the yolk spills all over the plate when you cut into them, or they are overcooked with a solid yolk. Greenhouse's eggs came out looking wobbly, but when we cut into them we found the yolks had a creamy consistency - and they tasted amazing!!! They were simply divine! The eggs, free-range organic from Margaret River and are poached in their shells. Our waitress confided that she doesn't think she will ever get sick of them, and we can't blame her!

My spiced beans were tops with just the right amount of spice and Ross said his mushroom were excellent (just for the record I detest mushrooms as much as Ross detests tomatoes....!). The potato bravis were alright but it was a bit like having wedges for brekky and not really our cup of tea.

The service was a little slow at the start- took a while to get menus (oh, and they will show you to a table, don't just sit down as you might be told off.....) but once we ordered it was pretty quick coming out and we couldn't really fault them!

We'll definitely eat at the Greenhouse again; it was a bit of a bitch to find a park but overall a great experience.

The Verdict

Coffee 3/5
The Eggs (the meal!) 4.5/5
Service 3.5/5
Atmosphere 4/5

Overall 15/20

Would we go again?
Yep just for those eggs...they were amazing!


Greenhouse on Urbanspoon