1 City Farm Place, East Perth
This place had been on my to-do-list for about two years and I have no idea why it took me so long to go. For some reason I thought that it would be really hard to get to… but it wasn’t. We left early on a Saturday morning and the roads were quiet and there was heaps of room to park.
Perth City Farm is a Men of the Trees initiative that was founded in 1994 in conjunction with the Planetary Action Network. Men of the Trees is a WA not-for-profit that has planted more than 13 million seedlings since it was founded in 1979. That is a remarkable effort! The intention is to prevent the spread of deserts, erosion and salinity.
Perth City Farm is located near Claisebrook train station, and was built on the site of a former scrap metal yard and a battery recycling plant. The site was remediated and has grown to become a WA icon for environmental sustainability and community engagement. It is solar powered, there are vegetable gardens, fruit trees and chickens – and all of this produce is used in the cafe… which brings me to my review of the cafe. The cafe is only open from 8-12 on a Saturday and not at all on a Sunday so you have to get in early. We got there at 8:15 and it was already busy. We got a table that was suitable to have a dog at and settled in. Being able to take my dog, Mia was amazing because she is my little furbaby and I want to take her everywhere! The lovely staff made sure that she had her own bowl of water, and they kept stopping for cuddles which was totally fine by me (and Mia). We ordered a round of coffees and my vegetarian friend and I couldn’t resist ordering a mini spinach and ricotta sausage roll each. I could have eaten four of them! It was a perfect start to my breakfast.
The cafe claims that it is driven by a paddock to plate philosophy and is about delivering quality, fresh food, prepared simply. They source organic herbs & leaves from the garden daily, and get their fruit and vegetables from the farmers market held onsite each Saturday. The menu is pretty simple, and I have to say that I am a little surprised that there aren’t more vegan options. My theory is that generally the type of people that are going to be attracted to this place are good people ( i.e. people who care about the environment) – and people who care about the environment are more likely to be vegetarian or vegan. Out of the 14 breakfast items, 5 contain meat so we are down to 9. Another 6 contain eggs or milk so we are down to 3 options… and two of those are toast (that ain’t what I want to order for breakfast when I go out!) The last man standing was the Crushed Avocado, lemon, organic toast ($10.50). My friend and I both ordered it and agreed that it was simple but very fresh and tasty.
One of the carnivores that were with us ordered the Breakfast burger, which contained free range bacon, fried egg, cheddar & tomato relish ($12.50). The other ordered the Eggs florentine, which contained soft poached eggs, baby spinach, house made hollandaise, & organic ciabatta ($15.50) and he got some bacon ($5) and mushrooms on the side.
Everyone was happy with their selections and the coffee was so good that we ordered another round. We had a little look around afterwards. There was an amazing mulberry tree that I had a little pick at, and I bought some fresh avocados and mandarines (which were delicious BTW).
The whole experience was refreshingly different, and the Perth City Farm reminds me of The Grounds of Alexandria, which is in Sydney and is my idea of the perfect cafe. It is so unusual to have this sprawling garden smack bang in the middle of an urban area. I love the concept and absolutely intend to return soon.
I give the cafe a 4/5 but my score is more about the location and the experience than the food. Don’t get me wrong – the food is great, but the breakfast menu could be better. I want to come back and try out the lunch menu, as it looks like there are heaps of vegetarian/vegan options.