Sometimes it's worth checking out the website of a café before you visit it (or a review like this one) because it can tell you important bits of information which may affect your decision to go there.
In the case of Little Pantry in Shenton Park, I had checked online to make sure it was open for breakfast, saw the first thing on the 'sample menu' was the very cool sounding breakfast pillow and made my decision to take my very pregnant friend there for brekky.
Unfortunately when we arrived, we found out that breakfast during the week is limited to whatever is in the display case (plus toast) and it was only on weekends that a full breakfast menu is served.
Normally this wouldn't be a major issue because there are some pretty delicious things in the cabinet including a ham and cheese croissant ($7.50), a bircher muesli and berry compote ($9) and some beautiful sweet muffins. However, the fact that everything was pre-made and you couldn't make any changes could easily have been a problem with a queasy, diabetic pregnant woman.
Luckily, the staff at Little Pantry were very willing to help, and they came and carefully listed all the bagels, baguettes and rolls that were also available until we found one that was suitable. Problem solved.
However, while the menu might be somewhat limited during the week, there is no doubting the flavour and freshness of the food.
I ordered the 'original breakfast pillow', which was a soft wrap filled with scrambled egg, bacon, cheddar and baked beans ($10). It was toasted in a sandwich press and was tasty and filling.
The vegetarian bagel my friend ordered smelled ridiculous (in a good way) with a fresh basil pesto that punched you in the face with its flavour. She said it was delicious. I didn't get to try any.
Other weekday options include: house-made quiche and frittata, bagels, baguette, paninis and fajitas (the same menu is available all day) with fillings such as the ever-popular tuna, smoked salmon, and chicken schnitzel. There is also a range of home-made cakes and muffins.
On weekends the breakfast menu expands to include favourites such as pancakes, shakshuka, porridge, sweet corn fritters and some worldly items you won't find in many other places. I definitely need to come back on a weekend.
The coffee though is what gets people's hearts racing.
Little Pantry uses Ponchione coffee imported from Italy
Little Pantry uses Ponchione coffee, the official coffee of the Italian slow food movement, and they are the only place in the southern hemisphere to have it. It is specially air-freighted from Italy but don't be too concerned about the prices. A large flat white, hot chocolate, breakfast pillow and vegetarian bagel cost only $28.
Little Pantry is… well, little. It feels cosy and has a friendly atmosphere. The high ceilings and dark walls are offset by shelves with goodies available for sale, a large communal table with readily available reading material, and beautiful artwork you can buy if you have a spare $1,800 in your pocket.
There is also a small outdoor area which overlooks a grassy area, so if you have kids they can run around (a bit) or ask for some chalk and draw on the wall. Yellow is used to good effect and made the al fresco area feel very cheery although those with larger bottoms might find the metal chairs a bit restrictive.
The Little Pantry is great for breakfast and lunch and also for those who still enjoy cake and coffee.
One small downside for those who like a leisurely meal is that most of the nearby street parking is for one hour only. However, if you're happy to walk a little bit, you can find two or three hour street parking within a of couple streets.