The pictures for this post have been waiting for some accompanying words for a few weeks now. Mostly because I’ve been quite busy (and lazy), but also because I knew the second I was reminded of the sight of those egg yolks drooling all over my breakfast again, I’d want to be sitting on a wobbly wooden chair at Mrs. S straight away. It’s Sunday evening and I’m full of BBQ, but I reckon there’s room for a little bit of what you see before you.
Mrs. S is pretty out of the way for most, on the corner of a busy cafe strip in charming Maylands. We arrived before 10am on a sunny Sunday morning, and joined the back of the short queue. The place was packed out and we could see the chefs working hard through the pass while people waited for their food. We were offered a friendly smile and a coffee while we waited, and shown to a table within a few minutes. The waiter handed us a couple of menus, attached with a clothes peg to an old kids book.
I instantly fell in love with Toasted cornbread, bacon, poached eggs and maple syrup ($13.50); I love cornbread, and all the other ingredients for that matter. JM went for a simple Free-range scrambled eggs on toast ($12). I ordered a long mac, and JM had an apple juice and English breakfast tea. I joined the queue and made myself hungry by staring at the cakes and pastries on offer. On placing our order, I was disappointed (understatement) to find out they’d run out of cornbread. Disaster. I ordered the Full breakfast ($19.50) instead.
The coffee was well made and went down a treat, while the freshly squeezed apple juice was full of sweet orchardy flavour, though not as good as at Cranked. I tortured myself by taking sneaky sideways glances at a girl eating the cornbread dish next to me, but our food turned up after a while and I dived in to take away the pain.
My dish was a great combination of distinct flavours: sourdough toast topped with two perfectly poached eggs, italian sausage, mushroom, mixed baked beans and bacon, with a side of the house-made ketchup. The highlight for me was the beautifully roasted mushroom, rich with butter and faintly thymey. The sausage was fantastic, while the bacon was a great product but I prefer my fat crispy. The baked beans were the only let down: a nice mix but the sauce was a touch acidic and under developed, and the beans slightly hard, so not quite soaked or simmered to perfection.
JM loved her eggs; buttery and well seasoned on a nice wedge of that sourdough toast. I quote: “They were the best scrambled eggs I’ve ever had”. Strong words. The ketchup was a great accompaniment, rich and savoury. Everything the bean sauce should have been, in fact.
Mrs. S is our favourite breakfast place to date, and we’ll gladly be back to queue for more. I just hope they keep some cornbread for me…
Mrs. S | 178 Whatley Crescent, Maylands | 08 9271 6690
I’ve spent a fair bit of time wondering where the 1.7 million people living in Perth actually are. Suburbia seems to be pretty deserted in the evenings and on weekends, rain or shine. In four months on shore, I reckon I’ve nailed it; everyone is either shopping or eating. A couple of weeks ago, JM and I headed down to Sayers in Leederville for breakfast, where a fair percentage of that 1.7 million were packed inside. We were lucky enough to get our timing right and grabbed a table outside near the front door, where a constant blast of hot breakfasty air rushed past. A bunch of Saturday morning joggers were milling around outside, waiting for a table where they could undo all the hard work.
There’s a lot of good stuff on the menu, and I really struggled. I was tempted to go for the bacon and egg with a side slosh of hollandaise, but ended up picking the potato rosti, poached eggs and bacon, with spinach and onion jam ($19.50). JM went for the chorizo baked egg ($19.50) and left the buttermilk and dark chocolate hotcakes for another day. She also ordered an english breakfast tea, and I had a long black with a side of hot milk. The drinks came first, and JM fell in love with the twee teapot. My coffee was fantastic and lasted about 3 minutes. I wish I’d ordered two.
The food took 20 minutes to arrive, which I thought was good going given how busy the place was. I sat on my hands while JM took the photos, before getting stuck in.
My dish was a portion: a thick wedge of pan roasted rosti, with two slices of bacon, two poached eggs and a bundle of wilted spinach, all topped off with a fistful of rocket and shaved parmesan. The rosti was pretty good. Personally, I prefer them flat for maximum crispy surface area. This one was well flavoured and buttery, but could have done with a few minutes in the fires of Mount Doom to crisp up before serving. The bacon was great, and the spinach added a much needed earthy bite and illusion of healthy eating to what was a very rich dish. The eggs were perfect. If that last photo doesn’t make your stomach growl, you’re reading the wrong corner of the internet.
JM’s chorizo baked eggs were delivered in a mini frying pan on a tiny wooden board, topped with melted cheese, roasted tomato, sourdough toast and a bunch of rocket and parmesan. Diving in, it was clear that this was the heavily buttered child of an omelette and a serve of scrambled eggs. This was so rich. It might not look huge, but it’ll fill you from top to bottom, I guarantee it. The chorizo was deliciously firm and meaty, and the tomato added acidity and a big hit of rosemary. For me, the eggs were slightly under-seasoned; easily solved with a pinch of salt and pepper.
This was a top-class breakfast. Like most good things it wasn’t cheap, but if you’re lucky enough to find a seat one weekend morning, I highly recommend you park your behind and order something. We’ll be back (smoke me a kipper).
Sayers | 224 Carr Place, Leederville | http://www.sayersfood.com.au/
I tend to be a savoury food person. Left to my own devices on one of those days where three courses just won’t fit, it’d be an entrée and main for me without fail. The world can be a cruel place sometimes: JM is the polar opposite. Her world revolves around dessert.
On the other hand, we share a love of tea and cake. We do that a lot.
So, on our way back up the coast we called in at The Pickled Fig, located just off the beach on the South side of Freo. Despite the location, the view was a tad underwhelming. And it was windy and cloudy, but we can’t really hold that against them can we?
The Pickled Fig is very set up for its beach-side location, with as many tables outside as in. It also has some cool deco and a quirky interior. I particularly liked the lighting, probably because it looked similar to my attempts at installing light fittings.
We were still reeling from our huge brunch so decided to share. JM doesn’t like coffee, so I stared longingly at the espresso cheesecake before dragging myself back to reality to survey the rest of the dessert cabinet. We settled on apple pie. JM also had a dark hot chocolate, and I had an affogato.
The apple pie was … ok. We liked the pastry, which I’m pretty sure was a suet recipe. Deliciously thick and crisp at the crust end, while a bit limp and underdone at the pointy end. I realise I’ve made that sound negative, but it isn’t. I like pastry a bit ‘fudgy’. Sadly the filling was disappointing: flavourless and quite dry. That familiar, comforting fondue of sugar and natural apple juice was totally absent. The accompaniments of strawberry compote and a generous quantity of whipped cream were welcomed with open mouths.
JM’s dark hot chocolate also missed the mark. I quote: “Not hot enough, not creamy enough and not chocolately enough”.
My affogato on the other hand was delicious. The ice cream was top-notch and the espresso was smooth.
We probably won’t be back to The Pickled Fig. This was sadly another example of the “don’t eat food on the sea-front” which we’ve been experiencing lately. There must be some exceptions out there?
The Pickled Fig is in The Entertainment Book 2011-2012 (25% discount).
The Pickled Fig | 21 Ocean Dr, South Fremantle | http://www.thefig.com.au
So we’d been fancying breakfast. We usually start the day with a bowl of cereal or a Nature Valley granola bar (JM and I share an unhealthy obsession with these). Sometimes on the weekend an over- enthusiastically tall stack of pancakes and two strong teas will make their way to the bedside table.
But today, a long week in work and the promise of a sunny Saturday morning led us to the West End Deli. We parked up in a nearby side street and followed the promising smells of bacon, coffee and baking bread to the shop front, which was buzzing with chatter. A quick scan of the twenty or so tables told us we were in for a wait, but we were handed a menu and shown to a window-side table within ten minutes by a friendly waiter.
Were you on a tour of West Perth looking for a rental, you’d probably take one look at the peeling paint, chipped plaster and yellowed plastic fittings before politely thanking the estate agent and getting out of there. None of the crockery matches, and I don’t think there’s a table that doesn’t wobble in the whole place. Now, the term ‘shabby chic’ grates on me like fingernails on a chalkboard, but we reckon it’s pretty cool. Somehow.
I’ll be frank; there ‘aint enough stuff on the menu, at least not breakfasty stuff. Maybe I’m being unfair and was just a tad bitter not to see my favourite eggs Benedict there. JM was up for eggs; scrambled, on toast ($12), with a side of bacon ($5). I love eggs, but spotted mushroom terrine with blue cheese butter ($8) nestled amongst the side dishes to go with my toast ($7). As well as complimentary glasses of water, which were kept attentively topped up, JM ordered a tea ($3.50) and I had a mocha ($3.80). The drinks turned up first. The tea was English breakfast loose leaf; business as usual. The mocha was served in a glass, capped thickly with rich frothed milk and cocoa powder. It was very smooth and delicious in its own right, but I would have preferred a stronger dose of coffee.
Then the food. These guys make their own bread, and it’s right up my street. A nice springy and slightly dense texture, kind-of sourdoughy. We each had two thickly sliced and lightly toasted pieces. JM’s dish was impressive, and huge; two or three perfectly fluffy scrambled eggs and three slices of very thick-cut bacon (about 6mm). The eggs were buttery and well seasoned, and the bacon was firmly meaty and oozing with salty juices. JM loved it but struggled to eat it all (cue my fork).
My mushroom terrine didn’t look great, but was warm and dripping with blue cheese butter. The texture was nice and firm but the earthy mushroom flavour that I love so much was shadowed by just a little too much parsley. I mopped up the last of that savoury butter with my toast crusts, so it can’t have been that bad!
At just over $40 for two of us, it’s not cheap, but it’s no ordinary egg on toast either. Will we be back?
West End Deli | 95 Carr St, West Perth | http://www.westenddeli.net.au/