A retired business owner, my passions are cooking, photography and eating. I use all three of these when I write for recipeyum.com.au which is on HubGarden
Published September 1st 2017
Unusual food at this fabulous cafe
Napoleon Street, Cottesloe, apart from the beach area of the renown Cottesloe Beach, Napoleon Street is the main hub of this suburb with its exclusive and beautiful shopping areas which showcase designer and "drop-dead" gorgeous clothes!
I was early to meet my friend, so wandered down this short street, surrounded by these fascinating stores selling an array of food, clothes, kitchenware, homewares and the like. I have a yearly medical appointment in Cottesloe, or else I probably would not go there as it is some 40 minutes from where I live, however, I was amazed at how this street has changed in a year.
Gone is The Dome, which has been there for years, and gone are some of the other shops (including the delightful patisserie) and in their place are these interesting looking places to eat. My friend who I was meeting is on dialysis, and can eat very little and each year we try a "new" restaurant of her choice. This year apparently there were several to chose from in and around Napoleon Street.
She chose a cafe called Up Town and this was situated where the original Dome in Perth used to be. This cafe is owned by brothers Phillip and Anthony Arnold.
From the outside it looked fairly ordinary, however as soon as I sat down in a lovely shaded area outside, a waitress came over to me - she was flamboyant and friendly, and I soon learned that this cafe was anything but ordinary!
Shaded outside area on Napoleon Street
The furniture inside is grey and white and I believe they think that "less is more" with very few things on the walls, and the ambience is casual and inviting with roomy seating either inside or tables with shade outside.
Part of the inside eating area
Here, they specialise in using loads of native bush ingredients and this makes their menu quite fascinating, and consisted of things I had not even heard of and of course, once again, this presented a problem for me, as I take so long to decide.
Part of the menu
I finally got it down to a choice of two items - the Polenta gnocchi or a Banh mi, which our waitress, Elouisa told us is Vietnamese and consisted of house bacon, pear, kimchi and greens inside a roll. I decided on the gnocchi and this was polenta gnocchi, which was not hard as many are, but soft and "melt in your mouth" delicious.
Eloise, serving my meal
It had a pesto made of a new Australian spinach called Warrigal (an antioxidant-rich native spinach), mushrooms of some sort (not ordinary cup ones), native greens and burnt lemon. The native greens looked like some sort of kale, and I had the optional house bacon with this.
This was not a large serving, for which I am thankful, as I will go on and on eating regardless of if I have had enough, and was just the right size for lunch, and cost $16 plus $6 for the bacon, though this was on the menu for $3 - think I had a double serve!
This meal was just delicious and could not be faulted in any way - with a pesto that is not strong like a normal basil pesto, this is a dish that is well worth going back for, except that I saw the Banh mi being served to someone else, and that also looked delicious! My dear friend, not be able to eat much due to her medical condition, chose a toasted sandwich which cost $12.
Ham and cheese toasted sandwich
The service was good, and they even allow dogs and their owners, to sit just inside the cafe, with the dogs outside, which is great - and they provide water for your dog. I finished my meal off with a coffee which was exceptional. The roast is apparently made by Code Black in Melbourne, and this is where Phillip previously worked.
There is a display of a few cakes, and two trays of Greek sweets which apparently the boys' mother, Hellen, bakes, and she has introduced some of the family's Greek heritage to the menu. She bakes the baklava, and kourabiethes, and although I did not have either of these, they looked very inviting and tempting!
Mum's delicious looking baklava
They have an all day brunch or breakfast menu which is one of the most unusual ones I have seen. They like to use the bunya nut, kutjera (bush tomato) and saltbush in their dishes, and the unusual menu reflects their wonderful imagination and what a good chef they have. This is a cafe that I feel will do very well, and it will be one I will have to come back to, to try the meal I "almost" ordered!
19 Napoleon Street
6.30 am to 4 pm
Unpaid, either in Napoleon Street, Station Street or the area around there