Date: 27 December 2013
Location: East Perth, Perth
Price: Moderate ($12-19)
Spontaneity clasped our familial fortune today and it was thus decided: a tribal meeting of myself, mother and sister with girlfriend and her mother (in law on a good day) was to be had over brunch. In a nice change from the paddock, a tour of East Perth’s uppity eatery Toast was in order.
Situated in the Autocad heart of what is known as the East Perth redevelopment zone, Toast is among a number of recently sprung cafes catering to the nouveau-capiche nattering classes.
East Perth’s redevelopment from a dicey lead-contaminated periphery to a possibly-still lead-contaminated but now plush Legoland hasn’t been easy. Avaricious developers and gauche aesthetics have carved out a culturally hollow blandness, a little droplet of Mandurah by the Swan River.
One suspects this is a haunting consequence of either investors simply parking their money in bricks and mortar, or Giffen goodery at work. Actually given suspected vacancy rates, this could be a posh squatters paradise.
Nevertheless, with the inspiration of weeds piercing through concrete cracks, a number of cafes have opened nearby along the artificial inlet foreshore. Toast is roughly situated in the middle of these aspirations.
Sat-down at a table for five, we perused the menu with anticipation that comes with a half-arsed adherence to the 5/2 diet.
You order at the counter here, best done and paid for by someone else, preferably who knows your order. The obligatory assortment of European travellers fussed around. One guy who looked like a benign Portuguese soccer fan was placating the table of concerned ladies behind us: apparently they’d been waiting an uncomfortably long time for their quin-whoa. Still he and his waiter mate who resembled Alex the Kidd from the computer game of the same name did well to hold the fort due to sloth in the kitchen.
Daniel Kahneman’s paradox of choice came to mind as we scanned the extensive and inviting menu. Choose-your-own adventurism is available for eggs, toast, addons etc. There’s also a French hint to the place, with varieties of French toast and a specialisation (self-assessed) in pancakes.
Spinach & feta potato pancake with smoked salmon
Mary ordered well with this dish, though the photo resembles something more suited to an autopsy. The poaching was done by a professional (‘elephant quality’ as I call it) and yolks perambulated out with a tasteful nonchalance. A solid dish.
Croissant with roast tomatoes and cheese
Paige had bad luck with this should-be-simple dish. The tomatoes were semi-roasted, probably the chef had too many smokos. Insufficient cheese led to its condemnation as “any old croissant” with speculation that it was prefabricated, much like the building in which Toast was nested.
Banana bread with marscapone and roasted almonds
The idea of banana bread covered in cheese named after everyone’s favourite gangster was a pleasure too decadent to resist. It’s execution, like those carried out by its (sort-of) namesake, was perfect. The Fat Albert size slice of banana bread provided the perfect stage for this sweet avalanche. Though at $15.50, it was a bit steep.
The coffee was good all-round, unremarkable but standard quality Perth fare.
Rating: JUST ABOVE AVERAGE
Quote: “A good place to take your mother-in-law”
The view is pleasant, think the inner-strip of Darling Harbour towards the Chinese Garden/Powerhouse Museum end in Sydney. A good place to take your mother-in-law on a slow news day.