I am a very enthusiastic person and whilst most of you are well aware of my passion towards food, not all of you may know me for my devotion to my career. Nearly fifteen years have past since my graduation yet my love for being a vet grows even more as time goes on. I thrive on sharing this zeal with other like-minded colleagues. Fortunately our team of vets is filled with similar fanaticism and this creates a strong bond amongst many of us. One of our long-term employees Elaine started her career journey with us as a student many years ago and it has been a wonderful experience watching her skills and knowledge develop. It was only natural that through this mentoring process the two of us would become close friends and we have both joined each other’s wedding celebrations. It had been months since we had a chance to be able to catch up socially and agreed to meet at Gordon Street Garage, West Perth for breakfast on our day off. I have been curious to check out this hipster joint knowing it is owned by the same legends that run Duende; one of my favourite tapas bars in Perth.
Based in a building that did indeed once operate as an auto electric garage, the place is flooded with lots of natural light during the day and decorated with a lot of the furniture and fixtures made from recycled materials from the original garage. They take their coffee very seriously and roast their own single origin sourced beans on site. And it shows; their coffee is damn good; not too bitter with subtle fruity flavours. I dream of the day I can work closer to this joint so I can drink their brew more often! Maybe more on this later
Elaine ordered the hot smoked salmon served with fresh corn, cucumber, sour cream on a toasted focaccia. All the ingredients were obviously fresh; some of the little corn kernels were still stuck together in rows to prove they had just been scrapped off the cob itself. The trout was delicately flavoured and balanced well with the sweet acidity of the cherry tomatoes and creamy dressing.
Whilst the Boy has embraced a vegetarian lifestyle with gusto, I have to admit I’m yet to come on board 100%. My food intolerance issues mean that I struggle with iron deficiency anaemia and my symptoms wax and wane along with my haemoglobin counts. Consequently whilst not being a hard core carnivore, I am reluctant to give up meat altogether as I feel I should be obtaining my iron from more than just plant and tablet sources!
The Gordon Street Garage’s vegetarian breakfast looked too good to miss. More of those cute little rows of corn kernels featured alongside ooey-gooey poached eggs, herbed fetta, fresh avocado, roasted tomato and basil potatoes. Once again each element of my dish oozed freshness and tasted like it was plucked straight out of someone’s veggie patch.
We both had the day off and had nowhere to be in a hurry so our thoughts turned to the very conspicuous cake cabinet that we had ogled on our way in. We walked back over to the cabinet with our waitress where she gave us a lengthy lowdown on all the colourful Alice-In-Wonderland-esque delights that are all made on the premises.
Gluten free dessert options were limited but I was fairly happy with my choice of a coconut and pineapple pannacotta. Creamy and uber coconutty this tropical breath of sweet deliciousness seemed like the perfect way to end my brunch. In a moment of thoughtfulness I asked our server to box up one of each flavour of their macarons to take home to share with the Boy.
Elaine couldn’t go past “The Gateau”; a peanut butter and chocolate slice that our waitress claimed was out of this world. It was very rich but Elaine impressively slowly but surely managed to eat the whole lot as I watched on enviously.
By comparison my pannacotta was devoured in a couple of mouthfuls and as Elaine savoured her decadence I gazed at my box of macarons; raspberry, orange, pistachio and lemon flavours. As we chatted away she eventually successfully demolished her gateau and I looked down into my macaron box…..it was empty, I had eaten all four!
A few weeks later it was my last night with my dear husband before I flew solo to Barcelona for a conference. I have never travelled overseas without him and the thought of being apart left us both feeling torn between grumpy and sad. After such a glowing experience for my brunch I dragged him out on a cold weeknight back to Gordon Street Garage. The evening vibe was totally different to the sunlight-flooded experience I had previously but it still maintained the charm. The acoustics allowed music and conversation to melt into one meaning and we had to lean in close to hear each other.
In contrast to their very gluten friendly lunch menu I was disappointed to discover the only two dishes that could be adapted were the beef cheeks and the steak. Bad luck if you are Coeliac and don’t want to eat cow. I enquired if any vegetarian dishes could be adapted to be gluten free and was informed that although this could be done for me it would result in leaving out key elements that would greatly affect flavour.
So beef cheeks it was. I could see the Boy’s newly turned vegetarian eyebrows lift. I retorted that although I could clearly see the many benefits of his recently found way of life, I had to eat something! The beef cheeks tore apart beautifully and whilst this was a simple dish it was beautifully complemented with fresh greens and powerfully tasty wood fired mushrooms.
There were a number of vegetarian options and the Boy chose a couscous salad with sumac pumpkin, coriander and mint dressed with a lemony yoghurt dressing. The couscous was actually Israeli couscous which are more like pasta balls and are much bigger than regular couscous. It was a fair size for an entrée but wasn’t enough to fill his long legs so we ordered some olives and frites to accompany our meals.
Throughout our evening we found it increasingly difficult to get any waiters’ attention and spotted them on a number of occasions standing around in groups chatting casually amongst themselves. Although our food orders came out of the kitchen quickly, this was not the case with our drinks and ordering each round was painfully slow. This was somewhat worsened as some waiters would clear our empty glasses away without pausing to ask if we wanted another.
After a wait we eventually placed our dessert order for the only gluten free dessert available; crème catalane. This is Spanish variation of crème brûlée. It had a bit of tang to it and was just as creamy as the pannacotta I enjoyed at my breakfast.
After my first glowing visit to Gordon Street Garage I was left feeling a little stumped why they get such a mixed bag of reviews out there. Now having returned back for dinner it makes more sense. The food is simple and fresh however the menu is designed to get the food out quick and without alterations. The lack of options for gluten free dishes for dinner service was somewhat disappointing and I would love to see this change in the future along with their slow inattentive service.
Gordon Street Garage16 Gordon Street, West Perth WA 6005 | 08 9322 8050 | http://www.gsgarage.com.au/ Price: $$$ (Breakfast $12-24, Lunch $15-20, Dinner $17-35) Food: 4/5 (love the use of fresh local produce, some more accommodation for us intolerants would be greatly appreciated) Service: 2/5 (maybe just an off night, but save chitter chatter until the end of your shift) Ambience: 4/5 (if you love noise and atmosphere this place has an awesome buzz) Drinks: 4/5 (great wine list, lots of interesting options by the glass) Total: 14/20