cimbalino – cottesloe
S and I wandered down to Napolean Street in Cottesloe this morning for some late breakfast while our car was getting washed nearby. We had intended on going to Leaf Tea Merchants (a “Tea Bar”) as they served a lovely Parisian Morning Tea which consisted of rose petal tea, finger sandwiches and various other bite sized delight. Unfortunately, this was not to be….apparently they have closed down! In it’s place we saw a liquor licensing application notice which stated that “Champagne Alley” or something of that description had applied for a small bar license…..
Oh well, though I was gutted at the loss of a perennial favourite, I am definitely excited at the opening of another small bar in Perth..inspite of the fact it’s name conjures up an image of Harry Potter swigging Bolly in a certain dark and damp mysterious alleyway….at least for me!
Nevertheless, as I refuse to eat at Van’s (for its overpriced mediocre food and lackadaisical service) we decided on Cimbalino (which occupies the former Le Palme D’or Bakery/Cafe). I had previously tried the coffee at their Dalkeith branch and do agree it is one of the better coffee joints in Perth.
It was absolutely packed at 10am, though I was surprised at how quickly the line went. We quickly decided on Eggs Benedict, Poached Eggs on Toast and 2 espressos. Other choices included Cimba’s Beans on Toast (I wonder if they make the beans in house), Pancakes, Bircher Muesli (an ever popular favourite of the Western Suburbanite), Granola and other breakfast menu staples. While waiting in the line I was particularly impressed by their range of cakes and wraps (I didn’t see any rolls/sandwiches…just wraps…appropriate I suppose for the no doubt carb-concious clientele). I thought the log-like cakes were an ingenious idea (great for slicing in a busy cafe! no fiddling about with awkward triangular bits). As for the wraps, there were some pretty interesting choices; Gado-Gado, Salmon Rilettes and Coconut Chicken amongst others. I made a mental note to return for lunch.
The decor was ultra modern and decked out in their signature red and black. To the right of the stairs down to the back area, I noticed a little nook/booth area which consisted of black leather banquettes and a very cool abstract light fixture. Decor on the red walls consisted of “coffee orders” that were “written” in a chalk-like manner. At the front of the cafe was a long L-Shaped metal “espresso bar” reminiscent of Europe where you could come and have a quick standing coffee while reading the newspaper. Thankfully for us, there isn’t an extra charge to sit down.
The coffees came out within a couple of minutes of us sitting down. I hadn’t even managed to sort out the 103 sections of the West Australian by the time they materialized at our table. S went to the counter to attempt to procure some honey (he’s a coffee + honey drinker), he stood around for a couple of minutes before giving up and returning (to their credit they were exceptionally busy but I wondered why there wasn’t some already near the water station as honey is becoming increasingly popular as a sweetener, Gino’s in Fremantle has a tub of the stuff near the barista).
The coffee tasted great but unfortunately it just wasn’t hot enough. Furthermore, though the crema was beautifully golden and thick, I did personally feel that it was a very very teensy weeny espresso….it went down in one sip (not even a gulp!) I can only wonder how much coffee you get with their ristretto!! All that said, if given the choice I would prefer slightly cold coffee to burnt coffee.
No later than 5 minutes later our food arrived….again equally impressive considering the crowd…they really were pumping them out!
My eggs benedict was monstrously huge! Two plump rounds of eggs on layers of bacon stacked on two thickly cut slices of toast. The hollandaise was a beautifully rich canary yellow and I thought the proportion of sauce to egg was perfect…there is nothing worse than eggs benedict doused in litres of gluggy hollandaise. The eggs were perfectly poached with the yolk oozing out lusciously over the mountain of pig and wheat. I must say the hollandaise was one of the best I’ve had with it’s silky texture and concentrated lemony tang. My only complaint was that I could only get through half of it!
S’s poached eggs on toast was…well…as good as poached eggs on toast can be! I perhaps would have liked a relish accompaniment or similar but I suppose some people just want something as simple as that (I struggle to understand this myself but each to their own!). S also only managed to get through one slice of bread as it was so thick and dense we were clutching our stomachs after eating. The eggs were cooked as well as mine though I think they may be utilising the “poaching eggs in gladwrap” method….I umm…personally think they make them look like man bits…appetising I know!
All in all, even though the coffee was a let down this time, the breakfast was definitely one of the better ones we’ve had in Perth and nothing tops having swifty service. Our whole meal came to about $35 so it was also reasonably priced.
4 out of 5 Golden Spoons
16 Napolean Street
T: 08 9385 6177