A friend from interstate wanted to go out for breakfast recently and her only requirement was there needed to be some gluten-free options on the menu. You can Google restaurants and cafes looking at everything from location and price to whether they are child-friendly or not, but how gluten-free their menu is, is not something that is always easy to assess.
The cast iron pancakes are heaven for the sweet tooth
I had eaten at Typika in Claremont before, and remembered their menu offered plenty of gluten-free options, but when I searched their menu again, I was surprised how much choice they offered. Additionally, not only do they offer gluten-free options, but they also check whether you are caeliac or just prefer gluten-free, thereby offering a whole extra layer of care and responsibility towards customers.
Typika is located on Stirling Highway, just behind the juggernaut that is the Claremont Quarter. It is open daily from 7am, serving an all-day menu until 2/2.30pm. And it is a really interesting menu – nothing typika about it.
The one downside to this otherwise brilliant place is the fact they don't take bookings, which on a sunny Sunday morning means you can face a long wait for a table. We arrived just after 9am and were shown to one of the last tables available. Anyone arriving after 9.30am had to join the crowd sunning themselves at the bar area (where you can read magazines and drink coffee, and stare longingly at the happy diners, willing them to eat faster).
But once you're in, there is no desire to eat fast and move on. Firstly because it takes ages to make a decision from the menu which covers more traditional breakfast fare such as eggs benedict ($19), porridge with rhubarb and pistachio ($14) and French Toast with candied maple bacon and salted caramel ($19.50) but also moves into unusual breakfast territory with huevos rancheros ($19) which is a spicy tomato base with chorizo, soft poached egg, feta and toast and cast-iron pancakes ($23.50) which is more doughnut than pancake and a real treat for those with a sweet tooth.
But the all-day menu caters also for the lunch crowd as well, meaning you can find dishes including san choi bow, burgers, ribs and quesadillas. Keep in mind though, that none of these dishes are ordinary burgers and ribs, and each offers something quirky or unexpected.
The room is a large warehouse space, with an open kitchen towards the back, and a massive roasting room where their artisan blend coffees are prepared. After all, the full name is actually Typika Artisan Roasters, and the first page of the menu is dedicated to the gourmet blend they are promoting that day. I do not like bitter or strong coffee and found mine very pleasant, but my friend found it a little bland.
We both agreed on the food though, firstly that we couldn't decide what we wanted, secondly that it was delicious.
I ordered the pulled beef croquette ($23.50) which came atop a huge and tasty hash brown. Piled on top was wilted spinach, a soft poached eggs and a gallon of hollandaise sauce. If you're not a fan of too much sauce then perhaps ask for it on the side, but I loved it. It was a real meal and I probably won't need to eat for the rest of the day. The flavours worked well together, and I cleaned the plate even though I was full long before I finished.
Previously I had ordered the cast iron pancakes, although technically there is only one (but that is enough). Light and fluffy like a donut, it comes doused in cinnamon sugar with vanilla custard, poached pear, strawberries and nut crumble. It looked as though it was a bit burned, but it wasn't – the cast iron pot is super heated so when the batter hits it, it creates a crispy crust leaving the inside soft and fluffy. Again, it was very filling but you can't help but lick the plate clean.
My friend ordered the green scram and smoked salmon ($23.50), which is one of the gluten-free options. A generous pile of scrambled eggs had been cooked with spinach, peas and basil pesto, creating a very fresh and light flavour, like it all just came straight from the garden. It is served with roasted cherry tomatoes and a generous pile of smoked salmon. It feels very healthy and full of goodness (especially when compared to the pancakes).
Other dishes we had previously ordered was one of the breakfast bagels (they have four or five options, including pulled pork and satay chicken). The brunch bagel ($13.50) comes with crispy bacon, avocado, spinach and chutney, and compared to some of the other larger dishes is a really good option for those with a smaller appetite.
Seating varies from ordinary wooden chairs to high bar stools, and if it is busy you won't get a choice where you sit. But if you are lucky enough to have a seat, you won't actually care. Typika is one of those places you need to visit a few times so you can work your way through the menu, but come early or be prepared to sit patiently in the sun. It's worth it.