Asian Studies and Journalism graduate living in Perth. Freelance writer and pop-culture devotee.
Published January 13th 2012
For a while now, the 'Planet' stores have been iconic in Mt Lawley as a one stop locale of video, music, books and clothing. Now they're expanding further into the Beaufort st strip with a café of their own – The Daily Planet.
Perched on the corner of Walcott and Beaufort, the latest addition to the Planet family has an enviably central location in the Mt Lawley café strip; it's within walking distance of the Scotsman, the Astor, an armful of boutique clothing stores and is literally attached to its sister stores of books, CDs and DVDs.
The interior is spacious and the decoration pleasing in its simplicity: not quite the bare concrete minimalism of Highgate's Soto, but not garishly offensive either. On my two visits there the staff were friendly and attentive, although seemingly uncommunicative with each other as I had my coffee order 'dropped' from the system both times (which then became a bit of a hassle to re-order).
Besides the location, the all-day breakfast menu is probably the café's biggest strength, however, it's also a bit of a mixed-bag. There are a number of meals that can be made vegetarian or vegan friendly (a massive plus if you have trendy friends who are immersed in a Safran Foer book) but the prices tend to be a little inconsistent. Eggs as you like for less than $10 is great, but paying $16.50 for a small serve of Bircher muesli and yoghurt – not so much. Avoiding the trap my health-nut friend fell into with the Bircher, I ordered the Spanish Huevros Rancheros (neatly dodging the vegan option to enjoy my chorizo) and fell in love.
The lunch menu starts kicks off at 12pm and averages about $14, but its selection pales in comparison to the breakfast menu. Options of premade sandwiches, warmed Turkish bread w/dip and fish cakes are saved by the addition of the steak sandwich. On paper, The Daily Planet looks almost too good to be true; sought after location, successful sister stores for you to peruse with your coffee and an expansive breakfast menu. Unfortunately, despite being open for such a short time there already seems to be a general consensus that I'm going to reluctantly agree with; it's not living up to the hype that preceded it. The organization just isn't there yet.
Those of you with a not-so-secret inner nerd probably know that when not being Superman, Clark Kent worked at a newspaper called The Daily Planet , and it feels like that's what this Daily Planet needs; a hero who will tear off his clothes (hopefully not ALL of them) and save the day when things get rough. I'm a firm believer that once they've ironed some procedural/communicational wrinkles, The Daily Planet will drop the bumbling Clark Kent act and become the café superhero they need to be.