I don't have a problem with coffee, I have a problem without it. And, I follow a strict diet resembling an unsupervised child at a birthday party - but I prefer the socially-accepted term "foodie". Hold on, I'm eating!! IG @perthscrazycoffeelady
Published June 2nd 2016
Excuse me sir, there's something green in my affogato
Show of hands, who doesn't enjoy a cracking afternoon tea? No? ...anybody? Not even the crickets are chirping up. Head on down to Little Angel on the Esplanade to kick-start your weekend in gourmet, innovative style.
Class and style, but most importantly, amazing coffee!
Buzzing with the white-collared folk of corporate Perth, turn your gaze to the corner and look for the barista-cum-mad scientist donning safety glasses and cackling over a vat of liquid nitrogen, with the smoke haze tumbling over the edges. Don't mind them, they're just revelling in the theatrical drama that is gelato made-to-order, at -172 degrees Celsius. Nitrogen has been doing the rounds in all the forward-thinking coffee places in Perth (get into Nitro Coffee, if you haven't already), but this is definitely a game-changer.
That's just one of many quirks about this place. The service is impeccable and I give bonus points to anyone I can have a substantial conversation with about coffee. Little Angel use their own customized blend of Five Senses coffee (check out those guys here - I'm certainly a fan) and the staff will happily indulge any curiosities you may have.
And then we come to the food. The blistering icicle air roaring up from the Swan River had me chilled to the bone which makes me clutch for comfort food, and toasties are an easy go-to for me. Little Angel offer a considerable range catering for both the classics like your ham, cheese and tomato but also some gourmet options, and I opted for the prosciutto, pesto and cheese.
Gazing down on the poor folk out in the cold, while I tuck into my warm toastie in the warm, toasty surrounds...
Prosciutto, cheese and buttered bread would normally be combination doomed for a sodium overload so intense it would even have a camel dehydrated, but the fragrant pesto was the hero of this dish which played the perfect offset and married all the elements together. There's just something so deliciously nostalgic about melted, stretchy cheese and quite frankly, it's the only time I enjoy pulling food away from my face.
For the main event, I had to have the affogato - between divine coffee and the liquid nitrogen spectacle, what could go wrong?
I ordered the Coconut & Pandan Affogato, and to be perfectly honest, I had mixed emotions during this experience. Luckily the minuscule spoon gave me time to slow down and process the situation. The espresso itself was bold, full-bodied and packed quite a punch. Perfect. The gelato itself had an incredibly smooth and pleasant mouth feel obviously thanks to the fast freezing process creating the smallest of ice crystals plus a lower than normal ratio of air, which are all characteristics of the highest of quality gelatos. What more could you want?
It's green, it's brown, it's... A Little Angel's Affogato!
Well, after pouring the precious espresso into the ice cream, I found myself looking at this bubbling green and brown concoction and thinking, "What is this gelato doing in my coffee?". So, if the thought of such weird and wonderful flavours molesting your coffee makes you clutch your heart with despair and feel lightheaded, this probably isn't for you. This definitely pushes the boundaries on compatible flavour profiles. But if you're like me and enjoy being adventurous, I am wholeheartedly in your corner cheering with signs above my head reading, "Do it. Do it!".
Have you heard of pandan? I hadn't until this experience so I jumped at the opportunity to try something new. The pandan (or screw-pine) leaves themselves are meek and mild whilst growing, but once harvested they have a unique aroma similar to vanilla and almonds. Colloquially, it may also be referred to as 'Asian vanilla' and naturally, it lends its distinctive green colour. Again, potentially off-putting for some, but worth it if you can get over the psychosomatic barrier. It took my neurotic self a little longer than I'm proud to admit to accept the fact I was ingesting something green with my coffee, but my gosh, it was most certainly worth it. Who knew coconut and espresso could be a match made in heaven? Or, a little angel! See what I did there? (cringe at the dad joke).
Beautiful views of the Bell Tower and the Swan River are indebted to the floor-to-ceiling windows curved around the stylish stone architecture. Who says the concrete jungle can't be gorgeous? With such abundant beautiful trees and shrubbery it was a pleasant distraction away from the black tarpaulin fences where the Barrack Street end of Elizabeth Quay is still very much under construction.
If you aren't already in the city and plan on heading in, if I may suggest leaving the car at home and opting for the train instead, the Elizabeth Quay station is within 4-5 minutes walking distance. Once you're all charged up on espresso and sugary goodness, you'll be all primed and ready to venture into the city and it's surrounds. TGIF!