Join me on my travelling and nom nomming adventures!
The first two thirds of every year, for me, always seems to be a whirlwind of public holidays, frantic bookings and overseas trips. Not that I’m complaining, mind you. It’s just that life always seems rather duller towards the end of the year. In fact, this was exactly why I started this blog about this time last year – I figured, if I can’t be on holiday, why not reminisce about my holidays instead?
It’s just as well that my other great obsession in life apart from travel is one that can be indulged in at home just as well as overseas. Better, in fact, as I have the luxury of time to really relax and savour my surroundings. I’m talking, of course, about noms.
Eager to not let the post holiday blues grip me as they did last year, I have been busy scheduling several food related meet ups with friends who don’t mind waiting for a few snaps to be taken before they’re allowed to dig in. Last weekend saw O and I basking in a glorious spring day close to the sea, the temperature balmy and the sky as clear and blue as only Perth does best.
The location? The Shipping Lane in North Fremantle, situated right below a block of trendy apartments and across the road from swimmer Eamon Sullivan’s eatery, Bib and Tucker. Parking was plentiful and a breeze, and as I walked across the path to my destination, I wondered how nice it would be to live in one of those apartments, with both the beach, breakfast and delicious dinners situated so conveniently close. I’m sure my personal trainer would beg to differ!
Actually, there’s also a dinner menu, but as we were there at noon, these were the 3 menus that were relevant to us. Which was just as well because O and I were already feeling rather overwhelmed as it was with the choices! So I did just as any self respecting foodie would have done in such a situation and ordered 1 item from each menu.
First to arrive was my fresh pressed rainbow juice ($7), a refreshing blend of carrot, apple, lemon and beetroot. It wasn’t particularly rainbow in appearance, but it certainly was fresh with well balanced sweetness and acidity.
Next came the salmon aburi ($15), which was beautifully presented in a long and slender bamboo platter. But what is that faint crackle that seems to be emanating from the dish? That would be the popping candy, a genius touch if ever there was one, adding not just a hint of sweetness but also a delightfully playful snap, crackle and pop with every chew. So good it had to be photographed twice!
Our only complaint? The soya sauce was given as an afterthought in a Chinese teacup sized bowl with no spout, about two thirds filled, as inelegant and wasteful as it was inconvenient, leaving drips and ring marks all over the table as we struggled to pour just a dash over the little wasabi mound on our platter. It’s a good thing we care more about the food than finesse!
Appetites whet, we could hardly wait to dig into our main meals. Luckily, these were brought out not long after. My smoked salmon with avocado, spinach, honey mustard, truffle oil, poached egg, potato, crispy bacon and capers ($21) wasn’t quite what either of us had pictured. Both of us had envisaged an intact salmon fillet neatly stacked onto avocado, spinach and potato, with crispy bacon, capers and a poached egg on top. Instead, the dish turned out to be more like a salad with salmon shreds.
Fortunately, the dish didn’t disappoint. Although the salmon lacked a strong smoky flavour, the flesh was tender and nicely complemented by the capers, honey mustard and truffle oil. The egg and avocado added much needed creaminess to a dish that otherwise may not have satisfied my post workout appetite. As it was, I felt the dish struck that perfect balance between satiety whilst still being a light and healthy option. My personal trainer would have been proud!
O ordered the guacamole on toast ($13) with 2 poached eggs on the side ($4), which I must say looked rather average. Indeed, we both felt the guacamole tasted rather bland, lacking in both saltiness and acidity. The salt factor was easily countered by eating the guacamole with the feta that had been crumbled over the top, but we still felt that the dish cried out for a squeeze of lemon or lime. On top of that, the toast came unbuttered and without any butter on the side, and as a consequence was a little too dry. The saving grace was the side order of perfectly poached eggs which wobbled beautifully and retained the smoothest, glossiest sheen I have ever seen in a poached egg. This was not plain luck, as all of the eggs brought to us were poached to equal perfection, cooked through yet still molten gold in the centre.
To finish, I ordered my usual long macchiato topped up ($4.50), while O had the Marrakesh tea ($6). I’m told the tea was nicely aromatic without being overly spicy. Unfortunately, it’s hard for me to be overly positive about my coffee, which left a bitter and sour aftertaste.
The wait staff were attentive without being obtrusive, and more importantly, more than happy to acquiesce to customer requests such as indoor vs outdoor seating.
Casual and relaxed with expansive views of the sea, you’d be hard pressed to find a better location for a lazy weekend brunch. Except for that other eatery right across the road, of course. We loved the incorporation of industrial elements into the interior decorating, such as the shipping container framing the mirror across one end of the room.
We thought the breakfast items were reasonably priced, but the sushi was expensive.
Monday and Tuesday: 7am-5pm
4/1 Freeman Loop, North Fremantle, Western Australia
We thought the breakfasts were average and therefore are unlikely to return for that. I definitely couldn’t recommend the coffee. However, as steeply priced as they are, the single serve of sushi that we had piqued our interests. I’ll be back to try more from the sushi menu!
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