25 Duoro Rd, South Fremantle
beans : "Crema" 20% robusta, 80% arabica
leaf : "Rubra" leaf selection
soy : yes
dunk : crisp almond croissants
fork : plum & almond tart with creme fraiche & oat crumble ($14)
spoon : chocolate mousse with peaches, honeycome & basil ($14)
knife : thick slabs of freshly baked bread, lightly toasted with jam ($5.50)
footprint : sneakers, flats or sandals
price : $3.80
service : familiar & friendly, with the owner on the floor
open : 7.00am-3.00pm M-F, 8.00am - 3.00pm Sat & Sun
buzz : In a short time, The Crowded House has gathered momentum and a loyal band of customers. Their bread is the stuff of legend, sliced thick like a door stop, toasted to present a crispy exterior and a soft middle. The building echos a classic Freo limestone house, pared down to the essentials, with separate rooms for dining, and lounging, depending on your mood. The back room is more casual with an elevated communal table and stools at centre stage, and french doors opening onto the (as yest unfinished) outdoor courtyard. From here you can see the chefs and barista at work on your order. The front room is set with cutlery and glassware for more serious diners, and a leather lounge that will no doubt be hot property in the winter months.The warm minimalist scheme is a classy combo of leather, red and cream, with contemporary light shades, whitewashed sideboards and original artworks. On a stunning summer's morning I felt a bit closeted with a lack of connection to the outside, but the cool interior would be welcome come later in the day.
The breakfast fare is hearty and befitting their claim that "all happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast." The lunch menu has one vegetarian option in both entree and main (no vegan), with the remainder driven by more unusual land and sea creatures. Think octopus, rabbit and garfish. Coffee is great; hot, strong & smooth. All the better to dunk your croissant or toast in. Fresh juice and leaf tea also available for non-beaners. My friend ordered a second flat white and through a misunderstanding we were both delivered another cup. I of course scoffed it, then almost levitated out the door.
Not far from the heart of town, The Crowded House is a fresh vibe in Freo cafe culture that is definitely worth a visit.