Far from Perth-fect: reviews from the Wild West

It’s been a little over a month since ATOTB ventured over to the Wild West, and we’ve had a little time to process our foodie adventures. There were some absolute stand-out experiences during our time on the sunny West coast, and for that we thank the kind people at Pleased To Meet You, Pound Coffee and Addison + Steele. As for the others? Have a read for yourself below!

Gordon St Garage

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The first stop on our Perth food adventure, Gordon St Garage. Soapy pancakes, overcooked eggs bulked out with a mother load of onions, horribly slow and inefficient service. Only the one coffee here, Kochere from Ethiopia, was sweet and very light, and a little floral. Unfortunately it was hard to discern anything else as there was just too much sweetness in the cup. In these times of over saturation in the coffee market in Australia you need to stand out. The little things like speedy and attentive service will make or break any cafe. You can forgive mediocre coffee and food if it is brought promptly and with a smile and some knowledge. A shame that this wasn’t the case here. Overall, an overrated venue that is average at best.

4/10 – earning all four points for the coffee.

Gordon St Garage on Urbanspoon


 Typika Artisan Roasters

typika

Stop number two on our Perth adventure: Typika Roasters, Claremont @typikaroasters /// Cold brew and long black, both from Burundi. Cold brew was a little grassy, but the long black was smooth and sweet. Service was top notch, these guys are passionate and it shows. Thanks to Andy, head barista, for the chat and extra attention, really appreciate your time!

6/10.

Typika Artisan Roasters on Urbanspoon


 Pound Coffee

pound

Big love to Justin + Irene at @poundcoffee for letting us crash their coffee roastery today, and taking the time to show us around. We were lucky enough to sample some freshly roasted Ethiopian coffees through Clever, and are super excited to taste some of the Colombian Popoyan we left with!

10/10.

Pound Coffee on Urbanspoon


Old Faithful

faithful

Perth’s answer to Melbourne’s Meatmother, Old Faithful was just that – an old faithful. Reasonably priced for the serves, and an above average range of American-style barbecued meats, definitely a no-fuss venue worth revisiting if you want to get exactly what you order. Once again, service was unnecessarily flustered and confused, which we’ve unfortunately come to realisation is standard in Perth. The FoH staff were not very accommodating, even after we had moved tables at their request to make room for a larger group, and we had to ask for a menu at least six times before the staff even took note that we had been waiting 20+ minutes. Here’s hoping they switch to a more efficient table service + keep the bar separate in the future.

7/10.

Old Faithful Bar & BBQ on Urbanspoon


 Ace Pizza

ace

Soft serve with a squeezy bottle of self-serve salted caramel topping, popping candy, and as much chocolate Ice Magic as you’d like? It’s like the adult version of my greatest childhood memories of the Pizza Hut dessert buffet have come true. The service at Ace was indeed ace, and the soft serve situation was pretty magical. We were a little disappointed with the brownies which were dry in texture and nothing outstanding for the $14 price, but it wasn’t anything a little salted caramel couldn’t fix!

7/10

Ace Pizza on Urbanspoon


La Veen Coffee + Kitchen

Unfortunately, we only had time for a takeaway from La Veen and didn’t manage to snap a photo, but this Ethiopian espresso (from old Melbourne favourites, Proud Mary’s) was one of the best we had in Perth. You can always count on Proud’s beans to be consistent, and whatever they’re doing behind the machines at La Veen is doing Proud’s proud.

9/10.

La Veen Coffee & Kitchen on Urbanspoon


Pleased To Meet You

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Boy, are we pleased to meet you, Pleased To Meet You! You have single-handedly restored our faith in the Perth food scene – every single dish was an absolute hit, but special prizes must be awarded to your Coconut Ceviche, Pulled Pork Brioche Slider, Reuben Bao, Navajo Fry Bread w/ Salsa + Baby Chicken Habanero. These guys could give their Melbourne counterpart, Supernormal, a solid run for their money!

pleased 2

We were so pleased to visit Pleased To Meet You the first time, we made sure to pop back for our last Perth supper! Excellent food from the kitchen, some sweet tunes to round it out + ace service from John + Terry behind the bar. We would sincerely recommend that other venues in Perth come watch and learn. These guys are definitely doing this hospitality thing right.

9/10.

Pleased To Meet You on Urbanspoon


Harvest Espresso

harvest

Well plated, well balanced, and properly satisfying breakfast. Loved the Peanut Butter and Banana Fried Brioche – every element was balanced well and the dibs wasn’t overly sweet. Not too sure about the vanilla cure for the Salmon Gravlax though, we felt the dish needed a little more acidity to break through the richness. Didn’t try a coffee as the list for today is quite extensive, but matcha went down a treat.

7/10.

Harvest Espresso on Urbanspoon


 Bench Espresso

When I lived in Perth three years ago, the Perth specialty coffee market was just taking off, and Bench – using Five Senses – were one of the best. As an old regular, it pains me to say that our most recent visit was a bit of a disappointment. Perth coffee prices have settled somewhat since I lived here, but I still can’t, and don’t know how places can justify a charge of $1 for a single origin coffee. If the coffee was of a higher standard, both in sourcing and preparation, then maybe, but this was not the case, the pricing simply was not reflected in the product.

5/10.

Bench Espresso on Urbanspoon


Small Print

smallprint

Small Print

Small Print was on our absolutely-must-go list, on recommendation from many in both the Melbourne and Perth coffee industries, but it was a disappointment of epic proportions. I almost wish I hadn’t wasted some of my daily caffeine intake on the three sips of espresso I sampled from these guys. Not only was their work area horrendously dirty and disorganised, I spied them placing clean dishes on a tray containing about an inch of dirty dish water. The coffee itself was roasted in house by Dukes, and unfortunately the filth in the workspace and the lack of care put into the presentation of the store, was reflected in the coffees we were served. We ordered three espressos – two on the same single origin, and one on the house blend. The two SO’s should have been identical, however were completely different in both taste and size. We also noticed that the portafilters and heads weren’t cleaned beforehand, doses were not weighed, shots were inconsistent in timing and also not weighed.  In the fifteen or so minutes we were there, there were around twelve dockets (including ours), so there really was no excuse for the unkept environment, particularly when working in a space that is so open.

Honestly? 0/10.

Small Print Bakery & Roastery on Urbanspoon


 Addison + Steele

addison

In sharp contrast to our earlier visit to Small Print, Addison + Steele are absolutely killing it in the Perth coffee scene with Melbourne-based Small Batch coffees. We sampled one each of the Candyman house blend, Imbachi + Samboni on double ‘spros and even got a preview of one of their new filter offerings. Believe me, you need to get down here and try it ASAP – think lavender, lemon meringue, and citrus peel, and a mouthfeel creamier than, well… I am probably going to go home, change my pants, and return as soon as I can.

10/10.

Addison & Steele Speciality Coffee on Urbanspoon


Architects + Heroes

architects

Architects and Heroes are the first in Australia to use the Alpha Dominche Steampunk coffee maker commercially. After sampling some coffees off Melboune’s Think Tank coffee’s machine at this year’s Melbourne International Coffee Expo, we were very excited to see the machine in action in a commercial environment and how it coped with coffees less than ninety-plus. Using yet another Melbourne roaster, Code Black, we tried a filter flight of Rwanda – Mwasa on Steampunk, Costa Rica – Palmilera also Steampunk, and a Chemex of Colombia – La Primavera. We were fairly impressed with the Rwandan, but unfortunately less so with the other two. As far as filter coffees in Perth go, it wasn’t the worst, but was definitely not the best. Maybe they just need a little more time to fine-tune their Steampunk process.

6/10.

Architects and Heroes on Urbanspoon


Hong Kong BBQ

hkbbq

I’ve been coming to HKBBQ with my family since I was a small child, and there is honestly nothing better. It’s always the first place my mother wants to go, and was  obvious visit during our time in Perth. The duck is some of the cleanest, tastiest, and moist you will ever taste, and their Bitter Gourd fried with Salted Egg Yolk is to die for. A little more expensive than old favourite student hangouts in Northbridge like Good Fortune and Regal on Roe, but you will definitely taste the difference. I cannot recommend this enough!

10/10.

Hong Kong BBQ House on Urbanspoon


Humblebee Coffee

humblebee

Ethiopian Wote pour over – bright floral notes with berries and candied citrus peel. Delicious, and definitely in our top 3 filter coffees in Perth!

9/10.

Humblebee Coffee on Urbanspoon


Mary St Bakery

mary

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We were pleasantly surprised by our visit to Mary Street Bakery. While there were no stand-out dishes amongst our pickings (Fried Chicken Pancakes, Ragu Pappardelle, Autumn Poached Fruits), and to some extent, some components seemed to come straight out of a pre-made packet, it was what it was. The milkshakes were exactly what we needed to cure our coffee hangover from the previous day’s adventures, and the salted caramel inside the donut was particularly tasty though the donut was a little dry. Still, service was consistent, and overall we were shown a better experience than at other venues throughout the week.

6/10.

Mary Street Bakery on Urbanspoon


Gabriel Chocolate

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gabriel chocolate 2

Gabriel prides itself on sourcing and roasting their own cacao beans from around the world, and the care that is put into each product is shown in the final result. A small, independent roastery in the Margaret River region, they are up against fierce competition from well-known players, The Margaret River Chocolate Company, but are definitely setting themselves apart by treating their products with the utmost respect. Don’t come here expecting to the showered with free samples of Cadbury-esque chocolates – with small batch productions and individual regional tasting notes for each origin of the cacao beans, this is an experience more like a wine tasting or specialty coffee cupping, than a mass produced chocolate factory tour.

9/10.

Gabriel Chocolate on Urbanspoon

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4 thoughts on “Far from Perth-fect: reviews from the Wild West

  1. Looks like you didn’t actually make it to small print. That picture you posted is from the foyer of the bhp building not the cafe you might have been seeking (which is downstairs under print hall. close though…) Although run by the same company and same dukes roasting I wouldn’t judge small print by this as it’s just there to serve business people in a rush. I hope this helps.

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    • Hi Mitch,

      Thanks for the heads up! Unfortunately, we saw the Small Print branding in the BHP building and assumed it was the true venue. Despite this, as a representation of the Small Print brand, we were appalled at the quality of the product we received and the cleanliness of the store. Whether Small Print or not, they weren’t busy and the state of the store was appalling. For those who aren’t regulars, this experience may well be the first and last impression of the cafe.

      I’m disappointed that we didn’t in fact make it to the real cafe, and will definitely give Small Print another chance next time we’re back West. Hopefully we’ll land at the right place!

      ATOTB

      Like

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