Venue: Bread in Common
Date: 31 December 2013
Location: Packenham St, Fremantle, Perth
Price: We’re definitely in Freo, not Mosman, right?
Oh the joys of New Year’s Eve, right up there with Yiddish, but less easy on the ear. New Year’s Eve is actually our anniversary, being an initially capricious hookup that lasted the better part of a decade.
In celebration and motivated by a lingering sense of FOMO, we decided, after dropping Paige’s mother off at the airport for the first-leg of her circumnavigation of chintzy hotels, to meander to Fremantle. The motivational FOMO in question was a locally uber NYE gig that a good friend’s baby brother was putting on. Perth has a small but solid coterie of RTR-FM 92.1 playaz that put on a good spread of eclectic beats and this was the place to be…apparently. The venue was the old Myer building in Fremantle, one of my favourite venues despite its Island of Dr Moreau inhabitants.
I’ll admit I didn’t realise that the building had an elderly adjective attached to it until recently. Myer – long christened quagmire by me and anyone who listens – had shut-up shop in a (probably economically-wise) huff: for some reason, despite perhaps having the most potential for a renaissance in Perth, Fremantle just hasn’t grasped the emergent nettle yet. Such a shame – we blame a conservative university smothering cool venues and general Greens Party NIMBYs (we’ve no evidence of course).
Tickets for the gig had sold out, so we reverted to a decade-past and – wait for it – queued up with a bunch of chain-smoking millenials outside the venue which has now become the epicentre of a creative new art and design scene in Freo. Paige put on a brave face, resisting genetic urges to castigate those for whom the 1980’s was merely in the history books, for their wanton slackness. Some high-viz guy started pelting a tennis-ball at a mate and, despite head-nod recognition and connections with the organisers, I couldn’t snaffle some VIPs. Thus, after a 45 minute wait we departed the imminent Groundhog Day and cobbled our way towards Bread in Common a relatively new and recommended cafe in the wandering admiralty corner of Freo.
Bread in Common is situated in a brushed-brick warehouse style window near the . Outside the venue, makings of an Adriatic fruit vine toil oddly over arranged seats towards an artificial canopy. The interior of the venue is partitioned by long, communal tables, in the style of a Lil’ Kim Jong-un wallet factory, or Victorian poor-house that warms the panoptic cockles of one’s Benthamite heart. But I don’t mind a bit of forced fun, especially when we skip it and get our own table. Above, electromagnetic Damoclean swords (also no stranger to ubiquity) hang in wait for anyone attempting to make an upaid gettaway into their friends’ awaiting Scooby Doo van out the front. To the right, the caps of chefs and cooks can just be seen to bobble on waves of intemperance.
The service was nice. A probably exhausted waitress saw us to our seat, while another one followed her after some time to give us the low-down on portion sizes.
The menu resembled the typeface from Little Creatures (the epicentre of beefcake-hippiedom in Freo) but with bigger numbers beside the food items. I’d sloughed a few glances towards a bored older couple who were prodding around the demise of their broccolini slurry with a deflated air. Won’t be ordering that, then. Given the Back to the Future experience at Myer, I thought it’d be wise to defer to Paige’s tastes, so we agreed to share an eggplant, spinach & feta toastie, accompanied by some duck fat roast potatoes.
Now, duck fat or any other fowl-play on words is something I’m immensely ambivalent towards. During our stint as POHMs, we were swept up in the duck/goose/canard/etc fat craze that swept Waitrose-types across London. I used to pounce on jars of the stuff with a cheetah’s glee before drowning anything resembling a potato in the creamy, edible flab. Yet I have to confess that I prefer, in ecclesiastic sinfulness, extra virgin olive oil. Duck fat adds a crispness but can be unreceptive to nuanced flavour, such as salt…which is nuanced of course. Still, we quacked our order away.
The eggplant toastie was delicious since I couldn’t taste the eggplant. I loathe eggplants: they are the loins of Lucifer himself, nature’s sick joke. The duck fat potatoes were average – they tasted as if prepared too-early in the day, you could taste the incongruence between the hot potato flesh and tired old covering, like Marilyn Monroe in an FJ Holden. In all, pleasant but unremarkable.
The coffee was nice and continued Perth’s tradition for the luke-warm. A good size. I think coffee tastes good in green cups.
Rating: GOOD, ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT
Quote: “This eggplant toastie is great now I can’t taste the eggplant”
I’d probably venture back to Bread in Common during a jaunt to Fremantle next time. I’d say its a good place to go when you’re looking for somewhere to go with relatives, maybe after strolling aimlessly past some of the patchouli-infused shops behind the main drag. It would be better if it were not a transaction under value as they say in insolvency law.