Wednesday, 19 January 2011

The Crowded House, South Fremantle


avocado on toast

Frenched toast

Today we are staying with the other set of parentals (this time with my parents who live south of Fremantle), and so today was a morning excursion day with mum/grandma! After a bit more Urbanspoon research we gave our old favourite Aubergine a miss in favour of the new South Fremantle café The Crowded House.

The Crowded House looks like it has been newly renovated; it sits in an old limestone-walled and wood-floored building. The interior is split up into a couple of seating areas and is spacious. Wood-top tables fit the decor perfectly, and there are also leather couches and low tables for those just looking for coffee. To summarise the decor; it's the perfect place to take your mum for brunch! We entered through the red door, sat down, and were attended to with water and menus.

The menu is short, but put together well with a range of options. I had oatmeal with banana, walnut brittle and lavender honey ($13.50) and Renee had avocado on toast with coriander, spring onion & lemon ($12) with a side of poached egg which was accepted without a blink by our waitperson even though eggs were not listed as a "side" on the menu. Our parental representative chose Frenched toast which comes with stewed strawberries, chocolate sauce, brioche and crème fraiche ($16). Mum loved her Frenched toast, and Renee thought the avocado on toast was absolutely delicious, and didn't need the poached egg add-on (I note that she didn't complain though!). The poached egg was very soft, almost watery in consistency, and was easily soaked up by the bread. My oatmeal was equally as good as the other meals, and came with a circle of walnut brittle served upright in the oatmeal. At the end of the meal, all of our plates were scraped clean!

flat whites, long macc topped-up & iced coffee

The coffee was also very good. Two flat whites and a topped-up long macc came out first, and as we enjoyed them so much we ordered seconds of flat whites plus an iced coffee. I've now decided that long maccs will be the level meter, as often a long macc will be strong and bitter. The Crowded House's macc was delicious, and much better than the maccs on offer elsewhere. Their iced coffee was also delicious, being strong but balanced.

Tallulah was welcomed by The Crowded House, even though she was a little grizzly this morning. Renee found to her delight that the spacious bathroom included a changing table, and thus scores extra points! Parents with prams should note that there are a couple of low steps to negotiate to get in, but nothing too challenging.

The Verdict
Coffee 4/5
Eggs (the meal!) 4/5
Service 4/5
Atmosphere 3.5/5
Total = 15.5/20

Tallulah's score = 4/5 (Tallulah's mum thinks everyone should have changing tables!)

Would we go again? I think my mum is hooked; time to take dad out, mum!

Website I'm sure they will improve it soon!

The Crowded House on Urbanspoon

Hoopla Espresso, Kensington

toasted vegetable with pesto flatbread

ham & cheese croissant, flat white and kid's books!

vanilla cheesecake

more coffees!

Poached has returned to Perth. Temporarily living with the parentals while looking for more permanent accommodation, we decided to find somewhere to have a morning brunch nearby. A quick search later, we discovered a new place in Kensington called Hoopla Espresso, located in a little row of shops near the intersection of Douglas Avenue and South Terrace. Hoopla is a fairly new establishment which prides on their ability to serve up a good coffee. And serve up a good coffee they do well!

We started off with flat whites ($3.90) each. Hoopla do not serve up a stock-standard blend, but rather Dark Horse blend roasted with various ingredients, with aromas of cherry and red capsicum - yum! This is coffee with serious flavour, and definitely scored high with us. Puritans may not like the flavouring, but we did; we went back for seconds (with cake!), grabbing another flat white and a topped-up long macc. These were just as delicious (breaking a disturbing trend elsewhere for average second coffees!).

To the food - Hoopla's menu is limited; you won't find egg on their menu. They serve up things like toast ($4), muesli with vanilla yoghurt and fresh fruit ($6.50) and some assorted paninis. I ordered a ham & cheese croissant ($6.50) and Renee had a vegetarian and pesto flatbread toasted panini. Both meals were good, but nothing to write home about, it's all about the coffee. We did decide to have a slice of vanilla cheesecake ($5.80) with our second coffees, and it was good; thick and heavy, but not rich. I don't know how they achieved that combination, but it made the cheesecake very edible!

Renee multitasking!

Hoopla encourage children, with some kids books lying around. We also noticed that there was lots of room (for prams). I had fun reading some Winny the Pooh to Tallulah. We were saying how well Tallulah was behaving. Then I noticed a wet patch on her top and asked "did you spill water on Tallulah?" "No." "Well she's wet, and its spreading, and it's kinda yellow tinged... oh!" We decided that was a good time to leave!

The Verdict
Coffee 5/5
Eggs (the meal!) 2.5/5
Service 4/5
Atmosphere 3.5/5
Total = 15/20

Tallulah's score = 4/5 (Tallulah enjoyed having kids books to read, and appreciated that there was lots of room for parents to park prams)

Would we go again? Yep, anytime we're in South Perth with the parentals, Monday to Saturday.

Hoopla Espresso on Urbanspoon