We had obviously arrived at exactly the right time. Two minutes later, and we would have been turned away. 'Sorry,' the waitress said to the couple who had ambled up behind us. 'We're full inside. You can sit at the bar stools and wait for a table.'
You may think this was late one Friday or Saturday evening at some hot city restaurant. Not quite. It was 10am on a Sunday morning, at the Walk Café in Subiaco. Man, that place is popular.
It's not huge, so it is easy to fill, but judging by the number of people who wandered in, and immediately came outside again, or who perched at the bar tables set up in the middle of the pedestrian mall waiting for a table, it is the place to be on a Sunday morning.
The menus are extensive, and although the waitress on the day was a bit confused about what was on the breakfast menu and what was on the brunch menu (available after 11.30am), we were spoilt for choice, even my health conscious companion who was counting calories. Ho hum.
It was a little difficult to choose actually. House cured salmon gavlax, grilled asparagus, poached eggs and hollandaise sauce ($17.50), ricotta pancakes, orange syrup and honey marscapone ($14.50) and brioche French toast, poached rhubarb, marscapone and honey ($17.50) all sounded like they would float my boat. You can even order a Bloody Mary if that's how you want to start your day ($12.50).
But I was in a savoury mood, and elected for the house made baked beans, slow roasted tomato, chipolatas and poached eggs served on Pasta Dura toast ($18.50). It was a warm and generous serving, perfect for a cool Perth winter morning.
House made baked beans, poached eggs and chipolatas
Unfortunately I could still taste the vinegar from the poaching water, and the otherwise beautiful toast had been placed in the beans and had gone a bit soggy. The eggs were perfectly cooked, the beans tasty. I had no problems finishing my plate.
My friend would traditionally have gone for the eggs benedict ($18.50, served with sourdough and grilled ham) but looking for something a little lighter elected for the haloumi, dill and zucchini fritters, served with roast tomatoes and a dukkah and rocket salad ($16.50). The rocket salad looked exceptional, the fritters were more freeform, very tasty but really salty. I know haloumi is a salty cheese, but these were a bit much even for me, and I love salt.
Despite being so busy, the staff were friendly and we didn't have to wait too long. The coffee was good and the sugar comes in dinky little glass bottles. Not every table gets one though, so ours was soon pinched by a neighbouring table.
We didn't feel we could loiter as our empty plates (and more importantly our table) were being eyed off by a hungry group. When my friend went to pay, he was overcharged (by more than double), but he was quickly chased down and the problem fixed.
The Walk has always been open for breakfast and lunch but ever since late 2010 and their major renovation and overhaul they now open for dinner three nights a week (Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 6pm). Regular ''Friends of The Walk" degustation dinners occur throughout the year, each with a themed set menu (between $70-$90 plus optional wine matching). Past themes include the intriguing sounding 'Foods our mothers taught us', the decadent 'Australian seafood' and the warming 'slow food'.
Shannon - Good review article, but it would help enormously if it was dated when it was written up.
Nothing worse than finding an article is 5 yrs old and has no relevance any more, due to substantial changes, including pricing and ownership changes.
6/4/14 Waited 40 minutes for - toast. When we brought it to the girl at the waitress's attention, we were told "well your docket landed on the floor". No apology. One chef for 60 people at 10.30am on a Sunday. I brought this complaint in a positive manner to the attention of the girl at the till who dismissed it rudely. When I asked if a review here would make a difference, her retort was that they do not care much for reviews. Really disappointed as my girlfriend and I had been so patient and nice about it and that was the response we received yesterday.