Venue: Gordon Street Garage
Date: 19 (?) December 2013
Location: Gordon Street, West Perth, Perth
Price: medium ($16-$20), not worth it
Waking up Saturday morning, I felt the urge to extricate myself from the pork pie carousel of Midland norriture with a visit to one of the trending, if generic, brunch houses that’ve sprouted in Perth recently. Today’s choice was Gordon Street Garage – not a style of 2-step as I suspected but a renovated establishment near that dungeon of school trips, Scitech in West Perth.
Entering Gordon Street Garage, it was clear that hipsterism had caused the continental demographic that once inhabited this place, to morph into an anonymity afforded by convention: in this case, hotchpotchism. Mismatched furniture – Centelink Chic – is/may have been cool once, but lets face it, it’s about as worn out an idea as using the word ‘juxtaposition’ in high school essays. Continuity has its benefits, and not just in Hilbert space. It was Melbourne from 4 years ago (but what isn’t, I hear you say…).
Several living rooms in Morley must be missing their statement pieces, as the seating was a mix of fold-out beds and clashing shades of grey. Still, beats eating brunch covered in the latest thing from lube mobile listening to 94.5 FM easy hits – a fate that greeted guests here until its rebirth as an eatery.
Proceedings started promisingly enough, until we were shunted off to what can only be described as the ‘breeders’ corner’, replete with oversized tables for 8 and a pitiful distance from the poll perving position in the centre of the atrium. The wrapping on a complaint-tinted litany had been removed; I muttered something uncharitable under my breath in the waitress’s general direction, but kept my flag just above half-mast, in flickering hope for my brunch dreams.
My expectations of a satisfying scoff encountered turbulence, but being the robust optimist I am, I carried on: if only to honour the memory of Shackleton, whose expedition, it was becoming clear, was a mere dry-run for today’s meal.
I generally am unconcerned by ropey service so long as the food stacks up. But I think the wait staff were puffing on carbon monoxide out the back, or maybe it was the broken volume knob on the music, but either way communication of meaning took a back seat during the ordering procedure. I had to order my coffee three times before eliciting a response from the automaton charged with charting our culinary desires.
Sister put it well: the menu was a disappointment, nothing particularly inspiring; and not enough choose-your-own adventurism which is a must in absence of quality, culinary, monoliths.
Soy flat whites were actually very nice, the flavour stood out like an unpaid coffee farmer in Times Square. Though some more thermodynamic love could’ve been applied to my libation. Mother’s coffee was “really nice”: she has problem being mean.
Saturday morning is not a time to be brave, so I ordered avocado, feta, capers and dill with a hint of tomato. I was a bit sooky that I couldn’t add salmon to the dish, so satiated my desire for supplements with a poached egg. The delivery was, I have to say, rather disappointing, a bit like an ugly baby that, well, stays ugly. They were generous with the avocado, but I didn’t let quantity bludgeon a snobbish taste for quality and was left disappointed: too much lemon, bread too thin and an egg dumped to the side like an unwanted relative after Christmas dinner. The girlfriend followed dutifully by imitating me (and her mother to a lesser extent) meal-wise, though the direction of imitation will be violently contested when she reads this.
My sister indulged her peculiar non-love for food by ordering fruit bread, ultra-luke warm. Turns out she wanted it hot.
Mother had some broad bean fuss, obeying her well-honoured working-class principle of “not ordering anything I can make at home”.
Quote: “If I worked in the area, I’d stop by for a coffee [only]”
The extrication from Midland’s halcyon pastures ended up more akin to Black Hawk Down, with my giddy expectations left a smouldering wreck and possibly hostage to all manner of North African Islamists (at least their food is organic, they save the chemicals for warfare). The menu was average, food choice unremarkable, service was shite and music too loud. Try again Gordon Street Garage. And I don’t care what anyone says, my sample size was large enough…
In all, it’s good to see gentrification work it’s tentacles into unproductive plots of urbanity, but this place chases the tail of style, from behind not in front.