I'm a freelance writer and jewellery designer loving life in the heart of Inglewood, Perth.
Published August 30th 2015
5 star coffee - no hipster attitude
When was the last time you went to a café and experienced such excellent customer service that you told a friend about it? I've visited Beaufort Street's hottest new offering, Finlay & Sons No 917 a few times now, and each visit I've left so well fed, well caffeinated and well looked after, I've found myself telling anyone who'll listen about their legendary customer service.
In fact, you don't realise how bad the service is elsewhere on Beaufort St – until you go to F & S and experience a whole new level of helpfulness! There are no icy cool hipster waitstaff here. Run by a husband and wife team with family members on the floor, the staff are genuinely delighted to see you and go out of their way to make your experience enjoyable.
But it's not just the friendly staff that F & S have in abundance. Its style, seasonal produce and refreshingly reasonable prices will also give you something to smile about.
What strikes you from the street is the welcoming New York warehouse apartment fitout. Large windows with gold Copperplate font reveal an interior with industrial, cluster pendant lighting, exposed brick wall, white subway tile splashback and Art Deco chairs. You can choose to sit at the large, communal table or have your own table. If you're after a coffee to go, there's a stable door off the side street dedicated to takeaways.
The produce is as fresh as it gets with an emphasis on what is in season and what is made locally and sustainably. Their sourdough bread comes from Mary Street Bakery, their meat from the famous Mondo's butcher.
The Twin Peaks Bossman Blend coffee is excellent and comes with creamy WA-produced Bannister Downs ethical milk. Or, you may like to choose their Pure Press handmade, raw, almond milk. For a healthier pick-me-up, have an Inner Ego juice, Perth's best cold-pressed juice.
The produce is as fresh as it gets with an emphasis on what is made locally and sustainably
Most recently, I tried the Medium Waffles with Mascarpone and Caramelised Banana (offered in 3 sizes: petite: $10, medium: $12, Grande: $14). I added a slab of thick cut bacon for $5 and – voila! I had every major food group sorted! Two golden, crunchy waffles were perched on coffee flavoured mascarpone and steeped in sweet maple syrup. The caramelized banana was silky soft with a crisp, caramel shell. The slab of bacon was tender with a sweet, smokey flavor – the perfect accompaniment to the perfect dish!
Other things I loved about F & S include the reasonable prices (Croque monsieur, pastrami and brie toastie with truffle oil for $13 or vanilla toasted muesli with berry coulis, yoghurt, goji and almond flakes for $11), the speedy service, the all-day menu, the wealth of gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options, their spread of delectable sweet treats and the free parking directly behind the café.
The delectable, all-day menu serves breakfast, brunch, lunch, coffee and sweet treats.
However, word has spread like wildfire, so there can sometimes be a queue to get in, in which case Sugar & Nice up the road is a worthy plan B, though the menu is smaller.
If you've got little ones in tow, the nearby Mia Café is a more practical substitute as it has an outdoor garden with kids' play area, change tables and more room for prams. However, it doesn't offer the same mouth-watering menu and customer service as F & S, which sets the bar much higher!
I think all 3 of Inglewood's cafes have something unique to offer:
Sugar & Nice has a greater sweet treat selection, longer trading hours, a gift store and florist. Mia Cafe has a kidspace and nursery. I think there's plenty of room for everyone to do well and competition keeps prices low and service high.