This busy little café on the banks of the Canning River, overlooking plenty of natural space and a decently sized playground has plenty of potential. It has a lot going for it, in terms of its location, easy parking, big bucket of toys for the kids plus a cake cabinet full of tasty looking food including some really intriguing raw food treats as well as freshly made muffins and slices. There are some thoughtful touches like the basket of blankets for those really cold Perth winter mornings, and the kids entertainment packs for sale on the counter.
A group of five of us visited late on a Friday morning. We took a table out on the verandah, which had a lovely view out to the River. A look at the clock told us that it was 11.26am and a quick word to the kitchen told us we had to order breakfast within four minutes or wait until noon for the lunch menu to start. We could probably have ordered cakes or treats from the cabinet in the intervening time, but we were hungry, so we quickly rushed through a breakfast order.
The cafe is situated near the banks of the Canning River
The menu is relatively simple but with plenty of vegetarian dishes as well as the option of having a number of dishes made gluten free. Considering most of the 'gluten free available' dishes contain bread in its standard form, I'm not sure if they offer a gluten free bread, or just no bread, but it is great to see the option being offered.
Breakfast choices include the big breakfast $25, which is offered all day, a bacon and egg 'brekkie bun' ($12), French toast with berry compote and 'real' maple syrup ($16) as well as a vegetarian fry up ($20, also available all day).
I chose the roasted field mushrooms on sourdough toast, with crumbled Danish feta and dukkah ($19). Despite its simplicity, this dish can be a powerhouse of flavours if it has the right ingredients and quantities, but unfortunately the mushrooms were a bit bland, the feta was stingy and the dukkah… well, I couldn't find any evidence of dukkah on mine or the other mushroom dish that we were served. Pity, what was an ok dish could have been brilliant with a bit more generosity from the kitchen.
There are four variations of eggs benedict available – with wilted spinach ($17), leg ham ($18), bacon ($19) and smoked salmon ($21). Generosity wasn't an issue with this dish, with the two poached eggs and three slices of salmon literally drowning in the sauce.
There are also two house-made baked bean options on the menu: you can get just the spicy baked beans on toast ($12) or the bigger and better version for $21 which comes with poached eggs, bacon and chorizo. It looks a little difficult to eat with its chunky cut chorizo and large slices of bacon, and my friend admitted it wasn't at all spicy as advertised, but it looked like a substantial dish that otherwise fulfilled its promise.
I have to mention what is probably the most unusual drink option I have yet come across – cherry juice. Available in a short or long version, I had to see what this $2 drink was all about. It came out in an espresso cup, and was warm. It tasted like the juice you get from tinned cherries (which I love by the way) but it may have been freshly squeezed. I have never had freshly squeezed cherry juice (and seriously, how many people have?) so I cannot compare with the tinned version. I quite liked it, but if you're a bit more conventional, they obviously have a number of tea, coffee and juice options.
Lunch kicks in at noon, and while smaller than the breakfast menu it offers a range of meals including soup ($15), burgers ($17), frittata ($11), an open chicken sandwich ($13) and fish and chips ($23).
They also offer the intriguing sounding vegetable fritters with spicy tomato hommus, roast pumpkin and salad for $19 or if you prefer to graze, tasting plates for one or two people with olives, Turkish bread, chorizo, hommus and Greek yoghurt ($13/$17).
Canning River Café is simple and tries hard to be a family friendly destination in a very family-oriented spot. I think when things are busy, and the awkwardness of the menu changeover between 11.30 and 12 means that service can be a little abrupt, but if you wanted a cruisy breakfast or lunch in a great natural setting, especially if you're with kids, then the Canning River Café is an easy place to be.
Yes delightful location, toys ,blankets and dog friendly with bowl of water supplied. On my first visit the savoury dish I requested was not fresh as I couldn't gets my knife through the pastry. On my second visit I purchased coffee and cake the cake was stale my partner ordered a dish
Which he said was was dry and tasteless. The coffee is good!!! Does cater for a gluten
Free menu. I love the location but won't
Waste my money again on the food . Too many staff on as well.