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The Wendouree Tearooms

Home > Perth > Baking | Burgers | Cafes | Coffee | Lunch
by Douglas Sutherland-Bruce (subscribe)
Douglas has been a professional food writer since 1986. He is also an award-winning actor and director in Community Theatre and has been for many years. His blog may be found at:
Published October 16th 2015
Country charm, excellent coffee, perfect pavlova
The Wendouree Tearooms in Toodyay is the oldest in the Avon Valley, having been established in 1930 - the heyday of the Tea Room, with Joe Lyon's famous chain well established.

Wendouree Tearooms, Toodyay, Cafe, Pavlova, Coffee, Hamburgers
Wendouree Tea Rooms (Photograph by D Sutherland-Bruce)

Tea rooms came about to offer women an alternative to the bars and lounges of Pubs and from tea and cakes went on to light meals in a friendly atmosphere.

If you're still in business after eighty-five years you must be doing something right, and I think we can safely say that Wendouree Tea Rooms are giving their public what they want.

The Tea Rooms are furnished with an eclectic mix of tables and chairs, including club lounge chairs, heavy 60s wood tables and it adds considerably to the relaxed, informal air of the place.

Wendouree Tearooms, Toodyay, Cafe, Pavlova, Coffee, Hamburgers
Wendouree Tea Rooms (Photograph by D Sutherland-Bruce)

One orders and pays at the counter (cash only, no eftpos) and that's when your problems begin - decision time. The Fish and Chips is famous (crispy battered fish, chips and salad - $13.50), but Angela's choice settled on the grilled fish and salad ($12.50) as a more healthy option.

Wendouree Tearooms, Toodyay, Cafe, Pavlova, Coffee, Hamburgers
Grilled Fish and Salad (Photograph by D Sutherland-Bruce)

The fish was perfectly cooked and the green salad fresh, alongside a neat rice salad and a slice of lemon.

Having no such considerations I ordered the Steak Sandwich ($12.50) with a side order of gravy, a handsome portion and the chips truly lived up to their reputation.

The bun was fresh, real bread as opposed to the plastic stuff you get in chains, the salad was beautifully fresh, although way too much for me, and not enough fried onions for my greedy tastes.

Wendouree Tearooms, Toodyay, Cafe, Pavlova, Coffee, Hamburgers
Wendouree's Burger (Photograph by D Sutherland-Bruce)

It was very lightly seasoned, but there is a whole range of sauces and dressings on a counter to help yourself from. The gravy deserves special mention - rich and tasty.

I accompanied this with a mug of truly splendid coffee. In fact, so good was it that I had two, while Angela's Iced Coffee came in a tall parfait glass and almost another in the stainless steel mixing container - terrific value at $6, and a tasty mix of fresh coffee, ice cream, frozen milk and optional whipped cream.

Wendouree Tearooms, Toodyay, Cafe, Pavlova, Coffee, Hamburgers
Iced Coffee (Photograph by D Sutherland-Bruce)

While we were eating and they were satisfying meals in themselves, we saw a serving of Pavlova going past to another table and we immediately knew we had to have some.

I adore Pavlova, and this was among the very best that I've ever eaten - so light that if it wasn't for the sliced fresh strawberry weighing it down it might have floated from the plate.

Fluffy inside, gently crisp on the outside, not too sweet, just the right amount of heavy cream and fresh fruit, it was just wonderful.

Wendouree Tearooms, Toodyay, Cafe, Pavlova, Coffee, Hamburgers
The Pavlova - just wow! (Photograph by D Sutherland-Bruce)

That Pavlova, made by one of the ladies in the kitchen, is worth driving from Perth to get just by itself.

Wendouree Tea Rooms offers comfortable country service, a familiar range of food cooked to a high standard, unpretentious but excellent, a cosy environment and reasonable prices for generous portions.

Really, what more could any diner possibly want?

Highly Recommended.

Since this visit, The Wendouree Tearooms have changed hands and are currently closed, but are due to re-open on the 26th October.
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Why? Enjoy a cup of tea and a snack
When: Currently closed - re-opening 26th October
Phone: 9574 2246
Where: 110 Stirling Terrace, Toodyay
Cost: $15-$25
Your Comment
Looks very naughty, but very satisfying food.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|12594) 1722 days ago
Wow that sure is a lot of food to eat! Very pleased to hear of a restaurant in business for 85 years as there are so many flash in the pan cafes these days.
by Maria M (score: 2|661) 1723 days ago
I like your description of the food. Sometimes I think I concentrate too much of my writing on the establishment, and then I just add in a couple of photos. Great article.
by CassandraJoy (score: 3|1021) 1704 days ago
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