Sunday, December 4, 2011

warung murah, legian, bali

Padang style restaurant
Chinese & Indonesian food
beach end of Double Six Road (Jalan Arjuna), Legian

open 8.00am to 10.00pm

This is a diversion from my regular posts in that there is no crema or crumbs in sight. There isn't even an espresso machine on the premises.  So why am I here?  To fill my face with cheap and cheerful Indonesian tucker. Warung Murah translates as "cheap restaurant", and for less than $1.50 you can pile your plate high with freshly cooked vegan or meat lovers morsels.  There is a menu available with the standard offerings of nasi goreng, mee goreng, gado gado, chicken gordong blue or mashed potato, but the fun is to be had at the buffet, where you point at whatever you want and the staff slop it onto your plate. You are then given a coupon stating the price of your selection, which you later present to the cashier.  Nutty red rice or unpolished white rice is the base, and you build onto it with curried tofu or tempeh, beef rendang, coconut spiced fish, chicken in various forms, potato patties and numerous vegetable dishes. Condiments are offered last, and unless you have a high tolerance to chilli, exercise caution with the sambal. Icy blender juices, milkshakes and beer are available, or heat yourself up with a cup of Nescafe or muddy Balinese coffee.  Beverages are presented with a "just for drink" coupon, and at a little over $1 for pineapple juice, you can affort to rack them up. Jaffles, pancakes and black rice pudding with banana and coconut cream satistfy the sweet end of the meal.

As the streets of Legian and Seminyak become crowded with international cuisine, many tourists don't stray far from the familiar choices of pizza, burgers and pasta - either because they don't know what to order, where to go, or are unsure of the hygiene standards.  At Warung Murah the food appears continuously throughout the day from a tiny back room kitchen, service is fast and efficient, and the place is humming at all hours with locals, budget travellers and expats.  Next time you're in Legian, call in for a delicious, satisfying and inexpensive feed.  Shirts and shoes are optional.

Monday, November 21, 2011

deus ex machina, seminyak

"warung of simple pleasures"
cafe, motorcycles, surfboards, bicycles & clothing
32b Jalan Laksmana (Kayuaya/Oberoi), Seminyak, Bali


beans : Balinese blend
leaf : bag
soy : yes, pre-sweetened
caffeine free : raspberry smoothie  $3.30
fork : choc brownies  $2.20

knife : thick ass French toast topped with sugar, fresh strawberries and mango, served with warm maple syrup $4.40
plate & bowl : “the weed eater”- teriyaki grilled zucchini, roasted red pepper, lettuce, tomato, onion, alfalfa and goats cheese stuffed in a toasted baguette and served with wedges $7.80

footprint :
hemp Sanuk scuffs, thongs
latte price : $3.80
service : friendly, but inexperienced and a little vacant and preoccupied
open :  7 days, 7am to 6pm

buzz : Sydney born Deus Ex Machina expanded their boys club to Bali last year with the anticipated opening of a vast restaurant and retail space in Canggu, enticingly named the “Temple of Enthusiasm”.  This year,  they spread the love to Seminyak , where the “Warung of Simple Pleasures” stamps their signature style and continues their pursuit of fun and speed.  The masculine industrial space features recycled materials, concrete and exposed brick, and sells a range of authentic testosterone toys and threads for the surfer, cyclist and all round cool dude (or biker babe) in your life.  Jalan Laksmana is famous for its high end boutiques, but rather than silk, lace and 3 inch heels, the focus at Deus is “enjoyment of the machine” and their wares represent a way of life where “all risk takers are welcome”. Would you like a double shot with that?

The cafĂ© menu is presented on individual sheets of tea stained paper stuck to the wall.  Breakfast staples, sandwiches, salads and soups cover the basic hunger needs, and I am keen to return to try their “thick ass French toast”.  Inside is an open lounge area while outside on the exposed footpath is a number of wooden tables and chairs.  If you’re a smoker this is your zone, or if you can tolerate the road noise and pollution that now prevails in Seminyak.

The newest temple on the journey of Deus is still finding its feet in the coffee department.  My soy latte was weak and watery and didn’t step far above a Nescafe 3-in-1.  In time, and with some more barista training, I am certain this “multifarious heaving mass of enthusiasm” will stamp its authority on the gap between Seminyak Square and Ku De Ta, however I doubt it will ever challenge the Corner Store or Sea Circus as a coffee destination.  Their well presented and unique merchandise is the lure, and anyone with a weakness for custom made motorbikes, single speed pushies and retro surfboards should put the store on their must visit list.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

lost in the night

My laptop was stolen on Sunday evening, and on it were a number of cafe images and reviews that I had not yet posted.  Some of it was backed up on a thumb drive...that also went missing, so if you are a cafe owner wondering what ever happened to that Crema & Crumbs woman and her write up, I have no choice but to return and savor another coffee with my trusty Canon and notebook in tow. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

west end deli, west perth

95 Carr Street
West Perth, WA

beans : Vittoria Oro Special Bar
leaf : loose leaf
soy : yes
dunk : almond biscotti
fork : tangy lemon tart
spoon : porridge, poached pears, toasted almonds, ricotta & honey $14
knife : house made fruit toast with berry rich jam and honey $7
plate & bowl : mushroom terrine with blue cheese butter $8

footprint : leather flats
latte price : $3.80
service : assertive, confident
open :  Sunday to Wednesday 7am – 3pm, Thursday to Saturday 7am – late (dinners from 6.30pm), closed public holidays

buzz : Locals would like to keep this place to themselves; their own corner block of heaven, but the word has spread well beyond the western suburbs.  Coffee at West End Deli was featured in the Weekend Magazine’s 50 things to eat in Western Australia, with a suggestion that they served the “best coffee in Perth.” This piqued my desire, and so with the UBD on my lap (no I don’t have an iphone or tomtom) I found the quiet street and parked right out front - one of the benefits of a neighbourhood location.

Behind the modest facade, reminiscent of its history as a corner store, the dilapidated industrial style is warm and lived in. I question whether this should extend to the hair ball beneath my chair and the grotty skirting boards, so I divert my gaze upwards to the eccentric “chairdeliers” and the activity from the open kitchen.

On a mid week morning, customers float in for business meetings and catch-ups, and my  coffee order is eagerly taken before I sit down with the menu. The vegan selection is very limited and I default to fruit toast; three chewy and satisfying slices served with chunky jam and honey.  Those looking for something beyond eggs and porridge can revel in rabbit, cuttlefish or pork, but  I’m settled with the excellent coffee and toast.

The deli name is misleading if you are envisaging slices of cured ham, olives and cartons of milk.  What you will find is a homely display of pastries, cakes, tarts, slices and biscuits, and daily baked baguettes ($4.50) and croissants ($4.00+) celebrated by those who arrive early enough to secure one.   The dinner menu made me wince, both from the price (dinner mains $38), and the animal themes – lamb and snail, pork and crab - but West End Deli has plenty of fans out there,  I don't think they will miss my paltry vegan contribution to the profit. 

West End Deli on Urbanspoon

Saturday, August 13, 2011

crema features in denizen

Kiwi writer, Jade Hurst, recently wrote a short feature about Bali on the New Zealand based website, Denizen.
My post for The Tuckshop & Corner Store was linked to the feature.

Thanks Jade & Denizen. I'll buy you a coffee next time you're in town.

Friday, August 12, 2011

gill street cafe & deli, mosman park

deli & cafe
13 Gill St, Mosman Park, Perth

beans : Rubra East Timorese organic
leaf : Rubra loose leaf
soy : yes
caffeine free : fruit smoothie $6.50
dunk : old fashioned Anzac biscuit
fork : gluten free chocolate torte
spoon : chocolate mousse cake with chocolate ganache
knife : toasted Gill St banana bread $6.50 or New Norcia fruit toast with homemade preserves $7
plate & bowl : risotto patty served with balsamic grilled field mushroom, wilted greens & corn, coriander & white bean salsa

footprint : school brogues, ballet flats
latte price : $4.00
service : efficient & hospitable
open :  7 days, 7am to 4pm

buzz : On a quiet street in an affluent leafy suburb, where dry cleaning hangs in the windows of Landrovers and BMW’s, and wheelie bins are a petite half size, a former corner store has been given new life as a casually chic cafe.  The owners of the ever popular Van’s Cafe in nearby Cottesloe took a step inland to create a space that has become a community favourite.  Morning walkers stop for a take-away, waves of stylish mums float in after the school run, and then it is the domain of ladies who lunch. Around 3.30pm groomed private school girls drop in for a milkshake or to meet mum for afternoon tea. It is all very pleasant, and you could be mistaken for thinking there is no such thing as global financial crisis sitting aplomb in the window with a berry friand and a soy latte.

A blackboard menu offers the familiar modern bistro fare for breakfast and lunch, with daily specials and an enticing array of cakes on display.  I was bemoaning the size of my toast serving for the price, when the waiter seemingly read my mind and appeared with an extra slice (much appreciated).  Jams and condiments are self-serve from a communal island bench, so you are not limited by staff portion control.

Quality Rubra beans give the coffee a head start and tea lovers will welcome the loose leaf selection. A wide range of magazines and newspapers are available to flick with your coffee and plan what to wear to the next yacht club event.

On warm days, concertina windows open to the footpath, and the shady deck offers a pleasant retreat, while the fire keeps things toasty in winter.  In keeping with the building’s deli heritage, a small range of upmarket gourmet items is available including Simon Johnson, Maggie Beer and 3 Drops Olive Oil.

Gill Street is a welcome addition to the area and a firm locals favourite. As  an outsider you can circulate among the prosperity and imagine life with a smaller wheelie bin. 
Now if I could just take off with that red Vespa.

Gill St Deli on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

frisk espresso, northbridge

31/103 Francis Street
Perth, Western Australia

Update 10th September, 2012 : Frisk Espresso is now Frisk Small Bar 
Same venue, new fit out, more intoxicating beverages.

beans : Five Senses blend
leaf : loose leaf tea $4.20
soy : Vitasoy, extra 50c
caffeine free : fresh juice $6.50
dunk : choc chip bikkies $3
fork :  Kustom cupcakes $3.50
knife : toasted sandwiches (no vego)

footprint : ankle boots, thongs, street sneakers
latte price : $3.90
service : sociable
open : Mon & Tue 7:00am  to 3:00pm, Wed & Thu 7:00am to 10:00pm, Fri & Sat 7:00am to midnight
Sun 7.00am to 10:00pm

buzz :  The chalk message in the front window promises “awesome coffee” and it didn't disappoint.  Five Senses beans dealt with a deft hand produce a smooth, robust double ristretto extraction that has gained a dedicated following.  It is a relaxed venue that attracts both cuff links and dreadlocks, solo writers and a posse of artists, and among the bar scene of Northbridge,  the late night opening hours offer a caffeine rather than alcohol fuelled option

I first visited Frisk as part of the Eat, Drink, Perth campaign in March.  Northbridge at mid-morning is an unusual character; like a teenager that is unsure of himself - hungover from the night before and not yet fired up for the day ahead. A few suits wandered in for takeaway, and two students tapped away on laptops.  I was welcomed with a broad smile from owner and barista Michael, running the show solo behind a counter laden with paraphernalia.

Coffee is the focus, with food a far off second.  Biscuits, muffins, toasted sandwiches and a variety of frosted morsels from Kustom Cupcakes are the extent of the menu (vegan and gluten free options available to order, and may be on display if you're lucky).

The graffiti murals and touch of grunge are a nod to the Melbourne cafe scene. The furniture is mismatched second hand finds with creative displays of up-cycling. If you are over 35 and lamenting your lost youth, pull up an orange plastic chair at a wooden school desk, or rekindle memories of grandma’s house with the fake flowers and brown floral.  There are some shockingly ugly chairs, and all of the workings of a cafe are on view, from half opened value packs of cool drink to empty fruit boxes, but the combination is casual, fun and unpretentious.  Come for the coffee, stay and play a board game, or catch up on the back issues of National Geographic.

I am still reeling at a magazine calling itself Sheila.  Are they serious?

Frisk Espresso Northbridge on Urbanspoon


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