Our goal was simple. The day would be hot, so we wanted to find a decent breakfast destination with a decent beach view.
Perth restaurants often get a bad rap for not simultaneously being able to manage a decent water view and decent food, but there are many places that can handle both (such as the Wild Fig Cafes). We settled on Zanders at Scarborough Beach, a Gold Plate finalist in 2010 (for a licensed cafe), located directly opposite the beach, and across from the sprawling Observation City complex.
The view from Zanders, including the iconic Scarborough clock tower
Arriving around 9.30am on a Sunday, the place was quite full, and while a reservation might have been recommended if our group was larger, the two of us were quickly shown to an outside table. The staff were friendly, albeit busy, and a bottle of water arrived together with the menu.
There are not many places who take breakfast beyond the standard eggs on toast, big breakfast, vegetarian breakfast, Eggs Benedict, muesli and pancakes options. Zanders certainly doesn't. Their breakfast menu available daily from 8am to 11.30am doesn't break any rules, but the food they deliver is plentiful and tasty.
You won't get any clues from their website how much food costs, as they do not include prices, but our meal of bacon and eggs with a side of hash browns (two large pieces of Italian toast, eggs of your choice, a decent pile of bacon, and three hash browns), Zanders eggs (two English muffins, spinach, two poached eggs, hollandaise sauce and your choice of smoked salmon or ham), and three large coffees cost $51.15.
My Zanders eggs were tasty, although a little cold. The eggs were poached nicely, but comparing the size of my meal with my dining partner who had ordered the the bacon and eggs, I couldn't help but feel a little hard done by, especially since there was not much difference in price. So I ended up eating half of his meal, which satisfied us both.
Because it is large and popular, Zanders can get quite loud. The breakfast crowd is a mix of swimmers, cyclists, families and those out for the morning air. If you can ignore the never ending line of cars and buses queued at the roundabout, the view beyond of Scarborough Beach and the enormous pines is very refreshing.
If people watching is your thing, then you won't be disappointed, as there is a constant stream of surfers and bathers - some more aesthetically pleasing than others.
For those with children, Zanders offers two things that so many restaurants don't even bother with. First, a change table in the ladies bathroom means you can change your baby without needing to lay them across the sink or head back to the car to change them in the boot. Secondly, they generously offer a free arcade video game for kids, a fabulous set up in a quiet corner, with a couch. Old school fun.
Our goal had been met, a decent breakfast with a decent view.