Please donut love me, I have no fillings for you.
(For on the go food-ing, check out my Instagram: @witwhitt)
Published July 30th 2012
Not your average breakfast, served Tuck Shop style
Let's be honest, one of the best things about primary school for most of us, was counting your coins come recess time and dreaming of better things beyond the lumpy brown paper bag Mum packed you (Sorry Mum). My own parents were packed lunch advocates most of the time, and so with that, I religiously counted down to every Friday; Tuck Shop Day. But with my primary school days well and truly behind me, I can only remain nostalgic for those recess treats and delicious lunch time meals. All hope is not lost though, with a blast in the past being just around the corner of Money and Newcastle Street. Here's a gorgeous all day breakfast place for anybody with fond memories of rebelling against the packed lunch.
The Tuck Shop (appropriately named) is a fairly new establishment, quickly gaining a fine reputation for pumping out exciting and generous breakfasts/lunches, delicious Toby's Estate coffee and their own house-made gourmet pies. With the cafe's small real estate and increasing popularity, I do advise to get in quick or be prepared to queue. Upon walking into the Tuck Shop you are immediately greeted by a bright, and friendly atmosphere; coffee machine and fully stocked display cabinet to the right, and a few tables on the left, leading up to a chalk board of the day's specials. The waitress who greets us is very attentive, and is quick to take drinks orders and lay out cutlery, before bringing table water and leaving us to look over the menu. After a quick look over everything, I'm well and truly ready to see if The Tuck Shop really does live up to it's 94% Urbanspoon rating.
Long Mac with Honey (free with my loyalty card), and Vanilla Bean Milkshake ($6.50)
Within minutes, a rich and frothy long mac with a side dish of honey arrives at the table. The coffee is bold and studded with beautiful crater like milk bubbles, it goes down well with my favourite honey after taste. A blackboard special which really caught my eye, was the Vanilla Bean Milkshake. I have various food quirks, and one of them just happens to be vanilla bean seed spotting - especially in ice cream. Realising that a cafe uses real vanilla instead of the bottled essence is always a plus for me. The shake is more-ish and a perfectly sweet morning beverage that contrasts with my brunch well.
Speaking of which, the main event soon arrives in no time at all. My best friend and I are faced with two large white plates, one piled high with pork ribs, surrounded by spinach and peas, and resting amongst a creamy bed of mash potato and gravy. The ribs were a blackboard special, and could have well and truly fed my primary school self for a week. The meat was amazingly tender, and fell off the bone so easily. However, my only criticism was that the ribs, when eaten alone were under-seasoned. This was a minor problem though, as the dish itself had wonderful accompaniments which did not lack seasoning at all. With a little mash, a little gravy, and some rib meat wedged onto my fork, every mouthful was like heaven.
Pork ribs on a bed of mashed potato and gravy, with peas and spinach ($22.50)
The other plate, was the dish that really released my inner primary school child; the lamb, rosemary and vegetable pie. I was so excited to try this one, despite it costing triple of what my much younger self would hand over to the lunchtime tuck shop ladies. Firstly, it looked amazing, perfectly golden brown on the outside, and generously stuffed with a flavourful lamb and veggie filling. I couldn't get over the pastry, it was well and truly what made the pie so brilliant for me - it was robust, housing all the rich and flavourful ingredients and yet each bite was melt in the mouth deliciousness. Having lived many childhood memories in one sitting, I can clearly see why The Tuck Shop has become such a fondly loved establishment in Perth.
All in all, the only fault I could find with the Tuck Shop was it's location. Finding parking around Money Street on the weekend is a hard task master, and with City/Northbridge parking resembling daylight robbery, I wish all future patrons luck in finding a good spot on an empty stomach. Great, friendly service, and amazingly tasty food for acceptable prices - this Tuck Shop ticks all the boxes, served with a slice of nostalgia and will surely make for a good meal out.