It felt so good to get out again after all the home-based indulgence of Christmas. Sayers had been on the top of my list for some time, having been recommended its unpretentious atmosphere and good food by numerous friends. I'm glad they kept nagging me to go because it was well worth the wait.
Although I am very much a breakfast girl, and the Sayers breakfast menu looks tempting, we headed out at lunchtime to find a small place tucked away on Carr Street a few shopfronts up from the Leederville Hotel. This is the quiet end of Leederville and there is no shortage of good places to eat in this suburb. Sayers is located in an old converted cottage, with high ceilings and decorative ceiling roses. Even the light fittings were antique, and meshed nicely with the large mirrors, kooky Asian teacups, witty coffee signs and brightly coloured tea pots that decorated the room.
That's if you even notice the décor when you step up to the front counter to order, because it is laden with the most delicious array of quiches and sweet and savoury tarts. The choice was enough to do my head in, I wanted it all. The smoked salmon, asparagus and ricotta tart ($17.90, served with salad) looked decadent. The mushroom and goats cheese ($17.90, served with salad) looked princely. Waiting in the queue to be served my head was swivelling around every time a plate came out of the kitchen – I seriously doubt you could be disappointed here.
As luck would have it, there are certain breakfast dishes that are served all day, including the one I had my eye on: Leek and potato croquettes, with rocket, wilted spinach, poached egg, parmesan and sweet onion jam ($19). To be honest I was expecting two croquettes and one egg and got one croquette and two eggs (slightly overdone) but the flavours were exceptional, it looked good, it was fresh and you could tell every piece of it was made with attention and – dare I say it – love.
My friend ordered the prawn baguette and his silence on taking his first mouthful was telling. He merely handed me a fork with a crunchy, salty lardon [which we decided was like a crouton, but made from delicious pork belly and fat] dipped in an exceptional seafood sauce and I was sold. He said it was possibly the best thing he had ever eaten. The baguette was thin and crunchy, the salad was well dressed, and the combination of prawns and crispy pork morsels was enlightened. Yum.
There seems to be no drinks menu to speak of, but the coffee (Five Senses) is highly regarded and I can vouch for the strawberry milkshakes. The dessert options, like the savouries, are ever-changing and locally sourced, and today included plum and polenta tart and lime, kaffir leaf and coconut tart (both $7) and caramel tart and chocolate brownie (both $4.50). The chocolate brownie almost made me cry – you know when it is slightly crunchy on top yet molten in the middle. How do they do that? I wish I knew.
The only apparent downside to Sayers is that it is small and serves excellent food. Therefore it is very popular: thus finding a table, and once securing one not becoming inappropriately familiar with the person at the next table because it is quite tightly packed become your biggest problems. But I think it's a small price to pay.