Monday, July 6, 2009
Sunday 28 June 2009
The Imp Café
863 Albany Highway,
East Victoria Park
(08) 9361 2600
1. Comfort & Surroundings
Lola: I've always had a soft spot for Vic Park. One mention of the suburb and my mind floats back to the mid 1980s when I would accompany my mother on visits to the bank, the post office and the big Sands & McDougall stationery store, for the family business. These afternoons were blissful and carefree, and were often rounded out by a visit to the old cake shop in Heart of the Park for a sweet treat. It's lovely to find a place with the potential to recreate such blithe memories. Inside, The Imp is comfortable and relaxed with its long bench seat down one side of the room overlooking a cabinet of cakes and smiling staff.
It was fortunate that we were able to move inside after a short stint sitting on the pavement. The tables outside were incredibly small and arranged so closely together that I felt like we had a party of four, not two, and the cigarette smoke wafting from the other tables was not at all conducive to enjoying food and drink. Although we were able to move and enjoy a lovely setting indoors, I have to consider the unpleasantness of our original seating arrangement and award a mark of 3.
Alexander: Vic Park has a special place in my memories, but for a much geekier reason. As a super cool 14 year old, I used to come to the Vic Park recreation centre every few months for collector fairs. You know, with toys and comics and stuff. Like I said, super cool.
Anyway, I was happy to be back in Vic Park but for cooler reasons this time, a breakfast with Lola for our blog! Running late, as usual, I arrived just as some tables inside were opening up, so I didn't have to spend much time outside. Which was fine; there's not much of a vista outside unless you like watching the cars drive by on Albany Highway. Inside, The Imp packs a lot of tables into a small space, but it manages to feel buzzy rather than cramped. I liked the exposed brick walls and condiment/water counter. Weighing it all up, I'll give it 3.5.
Lola: I was incredibly pleased with the politeness and affability of the staff, and the speed of service. It is counter service, so I am giving a 4.
Alexander: I placed the order and the person behind the counter was friendly and fun - chatty, but not too chatty. There was no attitude in sight, so taking into account the fact it was counter service, it gets the highest it can get - a 4.
Lola: I loved this menu, with a variety of options from Coco Pops to a 'Hangover Roll'! I settled on the mushrooms and spinach on toast with mascarpone cheese and was presented with a generous portion of topping on two slices of my selected seven seed toast. One half of my meal was absolutely perfect, though the other half left a lot to be desired. Although I dug in straight away, one slice of toast was already soggy, and the promised mascarpone was absent (although a small, yet perfectly satisfactory, portion was present underneath the topping on the other piece of toast). I am sure this was just bad luck and due to the deliciousness of the good half, I'll still give my meal a 3.5.
Alexander: The menu at The Imp has some interesting features which makes it stand out a bit from the crowd. I ordered the Hangover Roll (although I wasn't hungover, I swear) and it hit the spot. An omelette with bacon, tomato and jalapeños, served in a fresh roll with spinach and relish, the Hangover Roll will definitely fill you up. I had no complaints, but it wasn't something I absolutely loved, so it gets a 3 from me.
Lola: Our leisurely morning had room for us to sample a couple of drinks each, and it was a good thing we did. I began with a hot chocolate that was, unfortunately, lukewarm at best. My mocha granita, however, was a perfect marriage of chocolate and coffee in the refreshing iced form. It was fairly small but it was enough for me, and raised my score up to a 3.5.
Alexander: Two drinks! Who would have thought? My first was a cappuccino - completely acceptable but not all that special. My second was an iced mocha - deliciously, perfectly apportioned and satisfying. It seems as though cold drinks are done much better at The Imp, so maybe keep that in mind when making your own choices. I'll give the drinks experience a 3.5.
5. Fiscal Matters
Lola: This is where The Imp really stood out. Prices start at $3.50 for a muffin... okay maybe this doesn't count, but the way they put it on the printed menu makes it seem like it's a reasonable breakfast option! Regardless, you can enjoy some brand name cereal for just $4 or various toast options for $5.50. And my selection cost me $9.50, a price point around which most of the menu sat. It's so refreshing to see a well priced breakfast menu in our fine city! A 4.5 from me.
Alexander: I don't know if it's the location away from the more well-known breakfast strips, but The Imp is extremely reasonable. As Lola pointed out, there is a wide range of options to suit any budget. My food only cost $11.50, whereas I would expect to pay at least $16 in Mt Lawley or South Perth. Get in before the cool kids discover it and all the prices go up - 4.5 from me.
Comfort & Surroundings: 6.5/10
Fiscal Matters: 9/10