Join me on my travelling and nom nomming adventures!
My home internet is back at normal speed, yay! Time to catch up on all those post ideas and drafts I had. And there’s not a moment to lose because one of my goals for this year is to eat at and review as many of the top 100 restaurants in Perth as named by STM (Sunday Times Magazine) last year!
It was quite by chance that I ended up at one of the top 100 this past Saturday. A friend and I had booked ourselves in for a special New Year treat at my regular day spa, Djurra.
I discovered this place a few years ago through a Scoopon deal, and since then, I’ve been coming roughly every 4-8 weeks (depending on what’s on my schedule) for facials, massages and waxing.
I was lucky enough on my first visit to have been assigned to Michelle. She strikes the right balance between being friendly by exchanging simple pleasantries at the start of each treatment, yet being unobtrusive during the treatment itself when all you want to do is relax by retreating into your happy place. For me, this means slipping in and out of zzzzz’s. Bliss. More importantly, I find her massage pressure just right, firm but but not painful. She’s also pretty good with the eyebrow shaping. And the products used at Djurra are almost exclusively Aveda. All of these things made it an easy decision for me to stop trying out other day spas, and to make Djurra my regular haunt for some R&R when needed.
On this particular day, though, we were in for a real treat. 4.5 hours of Nourish and Nurture. Without giving too much away (I don’t want to take away that element of surprise should you decide to go and spoil yourself also), I’m talking scrubbing, wrapping, kneading and cleansing from top to toe, finished off with a mani, pedi, hair wash and blow dry, and if desired, makeup, so you can step out the door and straight to your party for the night. The 2 of us? We were so relaxed by the end of the night that we decided to skip the makeup, just grab a quick dinner nearby, and head home. For more relaxation. It’s tiring doing nothing, you know?!
Anyway, it was during our manicure that Michelle asked me what we were doing afterwards. I sheepishly told her the plan to just grab a quick bite nearby and then turn into lazy couch potatoes for the night. This was when she told me to check out the new-ish Bread in Common, just round the corner to the left from where we were. One thing about me is that I have a memory for text and certain visuals that scares some people (but sadly does not apply to names and faces). Immediately recognising Bread in Common as one of the top 100 from the list that I had skimmed through last year, I decided to pay it a visit.
I loved the place the minute I stepped into the large warehouse like space with its row upon row of long benches, dangling light bulbs and exposed brick walls. I know I’ve said before that this grungy look is possibly on the verge of becoming too cliche (here). But in Fremantle? I think it perfectly fits in with that laidback Freo de Janeiro feel and consequently, it works.
I love vintage and I love quirky, so it was to my delight that the homemade raspberry lemonade ($5) is served in one of those mason jar-like mugs. The drink was refreshing, but some may find it a little bland. I think it’s great that this lemonade is not overly sweet, but it could have done with a bit more tang and a stronger raspberry flavour.
My friend’s salmon dish ($27), on the other hand, really packed a punch in terms of flavours. The broth was light yet tasty, and those dark crispy bubbly pieces of seaweed on top added a lovely umami flavour as well as textural contrast.
We also shared a side of asparagus, spinach, red onions and olives ($19). The vegetables were cooked well, but there was an abundance of tarragon which I really could have done without. I don’t like liquorice though, so depending on taste preferences, you may actually enjoy the aniseed flavour that the tarragon adds to the dish.
For dessert, I ordered the flourless chocolate cake ($18), served with a combination of fresh, jellied and dehydrated berries, and a quenelle of burnt toast ice-cream. I’m sure I’ve said it before, a beautifully presented dish is already halfway to winning me over before I’ve even brought spoon to mouth, and the desserts at Bread in Common are certainly beautiful to look at. The chocolate cake very nearly won me over completely with its moistness, the tanginess of the berries to cut through the sweetness of the cake itself, and that rather unique ice-cream that curiously did remind me of burnt toast yet in a very pleasant way. Towards the end though, I found the last few spoonfuls of chocolate cake just a little too rich.
My friend was on to another winner with her choice of the cheesecake mousse ($18). This turned out to be something like a deconstructed cheesecake, with quenelles of mousse and sorbet perched atop pieces of crushed up shortbread, again a combination of fresh and dehydrated strawberries, and some coulis. A bit of a mess, yet somehow pretty and enticing at the same time. This dessert was a lot lighter than the chocolate cake, perfect for summer. The flavours were more carefully balanced between sweetness and tanginess, and there was a very pleasing contrast between the crispy, sticky, soft, creamy and icy elements that brought another level of complexity and enjoyment to the dish.
The waitstaff were pleasant, friendly and attended to us in a timely fashion.
The space is casual but trendy, very much reflective of its locale. STM lists Bread in Common as one of the top choices for Sunday lunch, and I agree that it would be a great place to spend a relaxing Sunday afternoon eating and drinking with a few friends.
The dishes are a little on the pricey side for the portion size, as is the beer ($9 for Rogers). Cappucino was charged at $4.
Monday to Thursday 10am-10pm
Friday to Saturday 9am-late
Closed public holidays
43 Pakenham St, Fremantle
Tel: 9336 1032
From Djurra (4/61 High St, Fremantle; Tel: 9336 6081), turn left out the door and left again at Pakenham St. You’ll seen see it across the road to your right. I’ve attached a map showing the 2 sites for your convenience.
Although a little on the pricey side, I enjoyed the food as well as the casual yet edgy feel of the place, and would recommend stopping by if you’re in the area. Better yet, if you’re looking for some real indulgence or feel that you’re in need of a holiday but can’t get away, why not pamper yourself by booking in at Djurra and then walking round the corner for dinner and drinks? I’m already planning a return visit myself. After all, I don’t know if you noticed, but not ordering bread at a place called Bread in Common is somewhat of a serious oversight in my books!
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