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You’ll know you’ve arrived at this popular little breakfast/brunch spot in Victoria Park if you find yourself waiting for a table outside together with a small crowd around you and a small clipboard in hand. Known for being one of the better places for a coffee in Perth, Harvest Espresso maintains a following despite the sometimes long waits by focussing on quality. The coffee beans are 5 senses, and the food is produced with care and presented with flair. They also have a menu that changes seasonally, so I like to time my visits throughout the course of the year for each new menu that is released.
This weekend, I turned up to Harvest already knowing what I was going to order. Having been here a few times, I knew to turn up for a late lunch at close to 1pm. Sure enough, I was able to head straight in and got a table immediately. I ordered the salted cod brandade fritters served on a bed of scrambled eggs and topped with nori fennel sour cream and apple witlof salad. The dish was a perfect melding of textures, from the crispiness of the fritters contrasting with their potato mash like centres, the creamy eggs, and the fresh crunch of the salad. The eggs were cooked beautifully. However, all in all, the flavours weren’t as bold as other dishes I’ve tasted at Harvest in the past.
My lunch buddy had the chargrilled chicken and vegetable toasted ciabatta sandwich. I’ve had the pulled pork sandwich before, and loved the salty sweet flavours. The chicken sandwich is just as tasty with the sweetness of pumpkin complementing the chicken and aioli well. The ciabatta is toasted perfectly at Harvest, with a slight crunch that also complements well with the softer textures of the fillings.
As we hadn’t had breakfast, we also ordered a dessert to share, the pineapple and almond baked slice with lemongrass foam, yuzu pearls, pineapple gel and fried quinoa. Now, I’m a real sucker for presentation, so I’ll admit I was sold the minute the plate was set before me, all golden and white and pretty with tiny purple flowers against a trendy black plate. But then I tasted it, and for the first time ever, I was telling myself I needed to return before the next seasonal menu replaces the current one. The almond slice was substantial yet not heavy, moist and not too sweet. The other elements provided bubbly, powdery, slightly sticky and crunchy textures, as well as a slight tang and saltiness. The result is a dish that is highly complex in its interplay of flavours and textures. If you eat only one thing at Harvest this spring, make sure it’s this!
Here’s my favourite savoury dish I’ve ever eaten at Harvest, from several seasons ago, the Bubble and Squeak – poached eggs and potato cake with pumpkin puree and vegetables – also a dish rich in contrasting textures and flavours.
Service can be a bit hit and miss depending on how busy they are. I once waited close to an hour for my meal, and when I pointed this out to the staff, they were not apologetic about it and even a little rude. Since then, I’ve worked out that it’s best to avoid coming at the peak breakfast, brunch and early lunch times. If you turn up roughly between 11am-11.45am or after 12.30pm, you’re more likely to be seated quickly and to be served with a smile.
The premises are small and a little crowded, but I like the rustic feel of the place.
Pretty standard for Perth. The seasonal menu ranges from $16.50-$22.50, the ciabatta sandwiches are mostly $13.50 and a (hot) coffee is $4.
629 Albany Hwy, Victoria Park
Phone – 9355 5884
That time I waited a particularly long time for my meal, I vowed never to return. Yet here I am, not only swallowing my words but raving about the pineapple and almond slice. Why? The food really IS that good. Go try it for yourself and let me know what you think!
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