In the days before I returned to study (aka when having $10 was mere pocket change and not a big deal), Jason and I were on the ‘neverending quest for the perfect breakfast’.
We came close a few times. In mid 2007 (hazy on this) we fell in love with what was then the Old Swan Brewery. Before they changed hands they served amazing cooked to order breakfasts with New Norcia toast, Nudie fruit juice and fabulous coffee. I even had a black vienna coffee once where instead of a pile of revolting whipped cream they floated some beautiful King Island double cream on top. Bliss… but sadly three or four breakfasts and one amazing anniversary dinner later they’d been taken over by Frasers (hazy again) and told us they were switching to serving a buffet breakfast. Kell ‘does not do’ buffets. Well….I will make an exception for the Hyatt but that’s another story.
We dabbled with some other places. Nothing really standoutish. Dome obviously got a few visits but only due to a relatively consistent fare so no nasty surprises. 44 King street was a favourite for quite a long while too but nothing quite had the same allure to us as that first brekky at Swan did. Sayers in Leederville is the only other cafe to have come close if not surpassed our memories of OSB.
The same can’t be said for trips to the southwest where we’ve had some lovely meals…(Palandri springs to mind). High on the list of “best brekkies ever” was a place we visited the day before we got married in 2008. Harvest Moon was a little restaurant at the (heartbreakingly now closed) Moondance Lodge in Yallingup. Everything was organic and all the herbs, vegies etc were grown on site. Breakfasts were strictly for guests which we didn’t know at he time yet they happily welcomed us and spoilt us accordingly. I had field mushrooms with a crunchy parmesan topping and it was served on freshly handmade lavender bread. Lavender! And I really enjoyed it, despite lavender being on my list of most hated things in the world. I am truly devastated that we will never be able to go back.
In Victoria in 2009, we had many wonderful breakfasts because well a) I did my research and b) hello, it’s Melbourne. Awesome times were had at Degraves Espresso (french toast), Earthly Pleasures (pumpkin & pesto on sourdough toast) and what we still refer to as our ‘extreme breakfast’ at Richmond Hill Cafe & Larder. We only had 1 opportunity to visit it and it was full to bursting with a 20min wait. Outside was cold, wet and incredibly windy. Much to the staff’s bewilderment we asked to sit outside. We managed to eat a beautiful breakfast (vanilla quince porridge with honey seed clusters for me) between storm fronts and it’s one of our favourite memories of our trip.
Now it often irks Perth people to be compared to Melbourne, but I don’t think I have ever made any apologies for wanting to be a Melbourne girl like my younger sister is. We just had consistently good food and service over there at a decent price. Three things which I am certainly not dismissing as existing in Perth (I know they do), however in my own experience, they are rare. So whenever I hear about something having a Melbourne feel, I’m very interested!
Enter The Imp in Victoria Park. A decent coffee so close to home? Really? Yeah yeah I know there are plenty of places in Vic Park that do coffee. Shush… I’d read good reviews but I’d also heard that it was really, really busy and hard to get a seat. So therefore a weekend day was out and we decided to go for a cruisy brunch.
It was busy when we walked in and we looked like we’d have to get a counter seat by the sink. Luckily someone left within a few minutes and we got a seat along the wall. Seats so… comfortable and squooshy!
I’m so impressed by the attentive, happy, polite, friendly staff who didn’t need coffee instructions. I think I will burst with happiness. Jason chose a full cooked brekky and I had the banana crepes with creme fraiche because quite frankly I miss bananas like you wouldn’t believe. They’re still $13 a kilo over here. Everything was so good that we settled in for a second coffee which at 3 ristrettos(?) per glass was maybe not the best idea but was good at the time. We left with a slice of yummy malty banana bread for me as the crepes were very yummy but not quite enough food given how I’d been feeling.
Which by the way was much better after visiting The Imp. I’d been in a bit of a fragile mood and really needed some care, smiles and some good food. I’m so relieved that they delivered all that in spades.
Just two things before I finish – My 50mm lens (with it’s crop factor making it more like a 70mm blah blah…) is not suitable for the small room and I can’t wait until I have a 35mm and I wish the cafe had a menu on their website as I like to choose before I go out.
Anyway, the quest is far from over but I think we will be hanging around this place a little more often once we have some more funds coming in. =)
*Note* – I am neither a food critic nor a dedicated food blogger. I just love photographing food. A lot.