They say it is better to regret something you have done, rather than regret something you haven't . So when I left Chapels on Whatley yesterday after indulging in breakfast at lunchtime, I was actually really wishing I had been more adventurous and tried something a bit more exotic.
The Asian furniture and artwork is also available for sale
Despite its very Anglophone name, Chapels on Whatley is actually a blend of Asian influences including Tibetan and Korean. It is an exotic space, with high wooden ceilings, brick walls, and a range of Asian furniture and artworks, all combining to make you feel warm yet encourages you to strain around to check out what's behind you.
Open for breakfast, lunch and weekend dinner, Chapels also has a shop behind it which sells a range of Asian decorative items and furniture including the heavenly sounding Tibetan singing bowls and brightly coloured paper parasols.
When I was offered the breakfast menu (it was noon) I couldn't help myself, and ordered the pancake stack with maple syrup, crispy bacon and bananas ($16.50). I'm a sucker for breakfast, any time of the day. It was a decent sized served, but I felt all elements were overpowered by the thick, sticky syrup which had the consistency of honey rather than thin, drizzly maple syrup.
My mum ordered the Thai Beef Salad ($16.50) and despite the strange inclusion of toast and butter on the side, the salad was very generous, both in size and the quantity of beef, very fresh and perky with clean flavours. It made me wish I had been more adventurous and ordered the Kim Chi pancakes instead. Kim Chi is sour Korean pickle, the predominant ingredient is cabbage and it featured heavily across the menu. It must be a house speciality and made me realise that I need to be a bit more adventurous.
I found the breakfast and in particular the lunch menu to be a strange mix of normal 'Australian' options such as toasted 'flatinis' ham/smoked salmon ($14.95), savoury scones ($14.95) and soup of the day ($12.95) and Eastern options such as Tom Yum soup ($14.95), Korean sour salad ($12.95) as well as the Thai Beef salad and Kim Chi pancakes. Most of the Asian dishes include toast on the side, which is a little strange, but it is New Norcia bread, so I guess that makes it a bit better. Perhaps.
All day breakfast options include burcher (sic) muesli ($12.95), Ozzie breakfast ($22.95) and boiled eggs and soldiers ($9.95). Being heavily influenced by Asian culture, there is an entire menu dedicated just to teas, and they all come served in the most beautiful porcelain teapots including Royal Doulton, Wedgewood and Royal Albert.
There was one other menu, and it is another regret that I did not have the chance to order from it – the dessert menu. Full of both desserts and cakes, plus a glass case of other delicacies such as colourful macarons, Chapels looks like it could survive quite happily just being a beautiful tea and cake destination. Perhaps this is why they have just started a new High Tea option as well.
Apart from a few mixed messages on the menu, Chapels on Whatley is a popular, attractive space.