This particular Saturday morning started with the usual hustle and bustle of errands running and the usual tossing up on menu items that were worth the journey to their corresponding cafes. When lunchtime rolled around, my friend B and I were starving and happened to stumble across JACS in Applecross. We were faced with a nice looking corner cafe with alfresco dining, which appeared to be fast filling up for lunch. After choosing an outdoor table, the friendly waitress brought us menus and complimentary still water to begin the meal with.
Immediately, a few things stood out; one being, the House Made Gnocchi, with Pumpkin & Truffle Puree, Burnt Butter, Sage and Spinach. Give me house made pasta, truffle and the combination of burnt butter and sage, and you can bet that 9 times out of 10, I will order that dish. Upon looking around other tables, I noticed the waitress bringing out a large plate to another table, and on it was a glorious looking Steak Sandwich, piled high, with a generous side of golden chips; I was sold. After adding that to our order, I scanned the coffee and dessert section, unsure of how we would battle through the mains, we decided upon an affogato to share.
Affogato from JACS, $6. The best affogato in Perth I've come across so far
Now, affogato (along with Tiramisu, Dumplings and Sashimi) is just one of those things that I am always on the search for the very best of. On this particular day, what we are first presented with, does not appear to impress. Before the affogato hits the table, B and I noticed that the ice cream did not seem homemade, and further more, the glass the two balls of ice cream were served in, were splattered with melted ice cream down the sides. Nevertheless, I could not ignore the irresistible coffee aroma around me, and immediately asked B to take a whiff of the espresso. Her expression changes; the espresso does smell amazingly fragrant and rich.
The pouring of the affogato, my favourite moment
After my first mouthful, I immediately forgot about the vanilla ice cream that seemed to originated from an unknown brand's tub. The hot espresso melted against the ice cream and I found myself consuming one of the best affogatos I've ever had in Perth. With every bite right till the end, the bitter espresso played hero against the perfectly sweet ice cream. It looked a treat and was the perfect way to begin our meal.
What followed, was a series of enjoyable dining experiences. From the moment our mains arrived, I knew we were in for a feast. The waitress who served us was extremely friendly, and a much welcomed offer of freshly cracked pepper followed her introduction of our dishes. The gnocchi was beautiful in appearance, with a generous amount of pillow shaped pasta and bright green spinach and crispy sage leaves, nestled amongst a vibrant pumpkin puree that was surrounded by a moat of burnt butter sauce. With parmesan cheese and the black pepper dusted generously over the top, I could not wait to dip my fork into the sauce and taste the delicious combination of pumpkin and burnt butter.
Gnocchi, with Pumpkin & Truffle Puree, Burnt Butter, Sage and Spinach - $28
The steak sandwich, was a classic menu character, but I always look for each cafe's unique twist on this well known dish. I was not disappointed here, as JACS Steak Sandwich not only looks generous, but tastes amazing. House made hollandaise sauce dressed the perfectly crisp cos lettuce, and the well cooked fillet steak was accompanied by its usual sidekicks of bacon and fried egg. The turkish bread, which encapsulated the entire sandwich was a standout; soft and a perfect vessel for the sandwich, it was also smeared with some form of relish which B and I could not entirely identify, but she said, it tasted like satay sauce - which sounds strange, but it was the relish that really made the sandwich so tasty.
Steak Sandwich, with Bacon, Egg and Hollandaise Sauce on Turkish bread & Chips - $26
Another standout aspect of JACS, was the service. Everything from order taking, to meal service, to checking if we wanted anything else, to finally clearing away our dishes was done at an efficient and timely manner. A memorable moment was when B and I were both craving some chilli sauce and aioli, and despite them not having chilli sauce, the waitress kindly offered us a bottle of Habanero Tobasco to douse over the freshly made dish of aioli that was brought to our table. My craving for a creamy and spicy condiment to the perfectly crisp and well salted chips were satisfied.
By the end of the meal, B and I found ourselves extremely content. Despite the dishes being generous in size, we found ourselves not being overly stuffed and happily paid our bill, not forgetting to thank the generous and helpful waitstaff on the way out. JACS was really a perfect choice for a casual Saturday lunch, the casual ambiance was much appreciated and the experience was definitely made memorable by the food and excellent service. The prices are fair by Perth standards, a little on the expensive side, but we both felt that it was well worth it. JACS had definitely put us both in a very relaxed and contented mood, and no sooner after we finished eating we were already discussing what we would order during our next visit.