West End Deli in the other part of West Perth (it's near Beatty Park) has one of the most unusual breakfast menus in Perth. Sure, you can get eggs, toast, muesli and bacon but the eggs are slow-cooked, the bacon is Elmars and the muesli is made from quinoa. This ain't no ordinary breakfast.
West End Deli is consistently well reviewed no matter where you go. From its unassuming daytime persona as a friendly place to enjoy breakfast and lunch, four nights a week the Deli slips into something more sexy and becomes a fine restaurant serving dinner.
But we were there for breakfast. And it was quite difficult to say the least. I always look for the more unusual breakfast offerings, the things I can't make at home. At most places it is an easy choice, there may be one or two intriguing options on the menu. At West End Deli, I kept needing to ask for more time: I couldn't decide.
A large section is dedicated to 'eggs and their sides'. You start with a $12 serve of eggs cooked in one of four ways, and your choice of either toast or baguette (their ultra-popular-always-sells-out baguette, just saying). The 'sides' include Elmar's double smoked bacon ($7), mushroom terrine and blue cheese butter ($6) and black bean and pork rib cassoulet, sour cream & chives ($6).
My husband ordered the poached eggs with a side of tomato, chipotle, ricotta & coriander ($6). He admits he expected the tomatoes to be cooked, but instead they were large, seasoned disks of deep red, flavoursome fresh tomato, and a tangy – almost sweet – chipotole sauce and ricotta. It was a wholesome and filling dish – he didn't eat again for hours.
Me, I was stuck between the tortilla, beef, fried egg, corn, jalapenos & coriander ($21) and the salmon dish. In the end I was so curious about Tasmanian salmon, sesame spinach, slow egg & miso broth ($19) I needed to try it. It was a soup, yes, but full of traditional (and non-traditional) breakfast ingredients.
The egg was slow cooked and deliciously runny, and left to float invitingly in the miso broth. The salmon was sliced finely and allowed to cook slowly in the soup, while the Japanese pickles were unexpectedly sweet. Bunches of enokitake mushrooms were not mentioned on the menu, but added a delicate bulk to the dish.
It was a really delicious dish, and for many people would be welcome as lunch or dinner. It may not be your first choice for breakfast, but one to try if you're not interested in bacon and eggs.
This really is the place to go if you're looking for non-traditional breakfasts, as there is another section on the brunch menu with offerings such as the west end steak and mushroom pie, tomato relish and house salad ($14). For breakfast.
The room at West End Deli is simple yet cool. Wooden chairs hang from the walls and are entwined in wire and used as light fittings. A wall of mirrors and frames deceive the eye. The big front windows give you a good view of an otherwise ordinary residential street, or if you prefer you can watch the kitchen staff working their magic in the open kitchen.
Breakfast is offered every day except Mondays from 7am, and no bookings are taken. This isn't a problem during the week, but on weekends you simply need to try your luck and be patient. It is certainly worth the trip, and unlike practically every other café in Perth, the drinks menu is just as interesting as the food menu. It's nice to see a little imagination in this department.