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.
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?