The only daytime meal on weekends is brunch.
The argument: brunch is now the most important meal of the day out west. The proof: the growing number of daytime options throughout Perth, not just at cafés but at restaurants keen to get a slice of the growing brunch-time trade. Regardless of the motive, the message is clear: locals and visitors alike are spoiled when it comes to brunching options. Slip on your finest athleisure wear and start the day the right way.
Panda & Co
Being called “inauthentic” could sound damning for a café that serves Asian-inspired brunch dishes but this inventive eatery in the CBD wears the label with pride. When your offerings include pillowy breakfast bao filled with egg, bacon and hash brown, who needs convention?
45/87 Bulwer Street, Perth, (08) 9328 5935
Mary Street Bakery
Mary Street Bakery might have outgrown the corner site for which it’s named (since opening in 2013, the Highgate original has sired spin-offs in West Leederville, as well as in CBD landmarks QV1 and Allendale Square, which launches this month) but the original remains the weekend brunch crowd’s destination of choice. Much of the menu is designed to show off the bakery’s handiwork – soft-boiled eggs with golden soldiers of buttered toast, say, and steak sandwiches freighting thick wads of grass-fed beef – but recently appointed chef Gerrard Mitchell ensures all plates are equally gratifying. A neatly trimmed finger of pork belly lacquered with tamarind and served with kimchi and coconut rice stays faithful to the café’s flavour-first mantra. And just-cooked prawns with rags of citrus-cured baby snapper, crunchy discs of fried masa, brightly coloured vegies and orange juice is a fun take on ceviche.
507 Beaufort Street, Highgate; 0499 509 300
Slowly but surely, neighbourhoods along Perth’s Midland railway line are reinventing themselves as lively, cosmopolitan enclaves. First, there was Mount Lawley and its main thoroughfare, Beaufort Street, then equally vibrant Maylands. Now it’s Bayswater’s time in the sun. One of the leaders of this makeover is Tbsp, a plucky café doing a fine line in good eats and coffee. While it’s entirely possible to start the weekend with its pulled pork omelettes, very good burgers, French toast and other hearty favourites, Asian flavours are the calling card. Thus, filled doughnuts (available on weekends) have creams perfumed with black sesame, yuzu and pandan, while the house porridge is a chicken congee. It’s a small space so queuing is pretty much a given on weekends. Go early or go late but whatever you do, just go.
10 King William Street, Bayswater; (08) 9371 9334
Healthy. Wellness. Delicious. These three words rarely feature in the same sentence, yet Post, the hotel restaurant at Como The Treasury, is a notable exception to the rule. Peruse the breakfast menu. Here’s a fritter of finely grated zucchini with smoked salmon and lemony cottage cheese; there’s a slab of “real toast” made of nuts and seeds topped with crushed avocado. And the Como Shambhala wellness menu proves that good-tasting and good-for-you needn’t be mutually exclusive. Never fear, though, eggs and bacon are on-hand for those feeling less-virtuous.
1 Cathedral Avenue, Perth; (08) 6168 7822
Shadow Wine Bar
The grown-up brunch offering at Alex Hotel’s in-house restaurant Shadow Wine Bar is yet another reason to love weekends. As she does at lunch and dinner, chef Sue Hutchins keeps the brunch edit tight. Crumpets come adorned with mascarpone, honey and berries while a fried egg is the VIP addition to a restorative porchetta roll. Supplement your meal with a celery Gimlet or Bloody Mary and you’re pretty much set for greatness.
214 William Street, Northbridge; (08) 6430 4010
Bread in Common
You know and I know that Bread in Common produces some of the finest loaves in the West. In the morning, that baking prowess extends to pastries of a higher order, outstanding jam doughnuts and Portuguese custard tarts chief among them. Otherwise, salmon omelettes and smoked-ham-and-cheese toasties chime loudly with this converted warehouse’s cool, earthy and zero-pretention vibe.
43 Pakenham Street, Fremantle; (08) 9336 1032
Even if the temperature is a little too fresh for a swim at nearby Cottesloe Beach, brunching at this seaside cantina is your guarantee of an excellent start to the day. The Il Lido menu is picked out in various shades of good-for-you. At one end, there’s the health-minded likes of bircher muesli and a five-grain porridge, while the opposite end of the spectrum stars waffles with confit duck, an ode to London’s prosaically named Duck & Waffle. If you need them, excellent drinks, including one of the state’s finest Italian wine cellars, are always to hand.
88 Marine Parade, Cottesloe; (08) 9286 1111
Following recent renovations to the (formerly) alfresco dining area at Propeller, this North Freo powerhouse is now better equipped to welcome guests over the colder months. While the aesthetics have changed, Kurt Sampson’s knowing way with Middle Eastern flavours is as reliable as ever. Baked eggs are served turlu turlu-style, essentially a Turkish take on ratatouille, while knafeh – a cheese pastry soaked with sugar syrup – blurs the lines between sweet and savoury, brekkie and dessert.
222 Queen Victoria Street, North Fremantle; (08) 9335 9366
Image credit: Dion Robeson
8 On The Point
Meet your new favourite Perth dim sum restaurant. As you’d expected from a venue in the shiny new On The Point development in East Perth (see also The Deck at Ku De Ta), this opulent Chinese restaurant has no shortage of designer style but a well-oiled kitchen supplies the substance to 8 On The Point. The weekend queues can be maddening but superior renditions of favourites such as har gow, soupy xiao long bao dumplings and chicken’s feet are worth the wait.
306 Riverside Drive, East Perth; (08) 9221 2288
Someday Coffee Co.
All the owners of this bubbly corner café wanted to do was open a neighbourhood hangout. The result is something with much broader appeal. While guests come to Someday Coffee Co. from near and far for the cheery service and to marvel at the fresh-faced interiors, good coffee and food underpin Someday’s appeal. Be good with a Buddha bowl and smoothie or begin the road to recovery with the big breakfast.
445 Cambridge Street, Floreat; 0422 777 558
Main image: Mary Street Bakery