Monday, March 1, 2010

Café 58 Espresso Bar

Café 58 Espresso Bar
58 Carrington St, Palmyra
(08) 9339 7155

1. Comfort & surroundings

Alexander: Smack bang in the middle of suburban Palmyra is Café 58 Espresso Bar. Due to its location, you wouldn't say it has the best views in Perth, but there is a lovely verandah to sit on if you like the outdoors. Lola picked out a prime position on the verandah and even in the middle of the heatwave, it was very comfortable in the shade. There's also plenty of tables inside for those who prefer air-con. My only criticism is the abundance of tacky signs dotted around the walls of the cafe - would be nice to see some local art or at least a unifying theme. I am giving it a 3.

Lola: Oh I disagree! I find the lack of 'local art' quite refreshing. Café 58 is not pretending to be anything it isn't. It isn't trying to be super cool or arty, rather it's serving good food in a modern setting that is not overdone. There are signs around which advertise their special nights but I find this self-promotion non-offensive, more like a public service. Yes I DO want to know when I can get a chilli mussel special, thank you Café 58. I even enjoy the Pop Art theme of the signs! I think they have used the space well here, with a few tables out the front, and air conditioned indoor space and the nice verandah. Let's not go overboard though, there's no harbour views or anything. A 3.5 from me.

2. Service

Alexander: Table service? Tick. Friendly staff? Tick. Willingness to accommodate requests? Tick. Big scores for this category as the staff were attentive, efficient and just all round pleasant. We got water (and refills) without even asking. Our orders were taken quickly. They were happy to let us have substitutions if we wanted. When we paid, the cashier asked how our meals were. THIS IS HOW IT SHOULD BE DONE, PEOPLE! 4.5.

Lola: Absolutely! Outstanding service here and worthy of full marks in my opinion. Even though we were tucked away down the side there was enough of a staff presence who didn't make us feel like we were being watched, either. Five out of five!

3. Tastiness

Alexander: Somewhat controversially, Lola and I ordered the same thing this time! But this should be seen in a constructive light, as it will provide insight into our judging criteria and personal preferences. The meal we ordered was the Dockers D'Lite: two poached eggs on multigrain toast with cream cheese, spinach, mushrooms, roast tomatoes and lean ham. I have been having fancy Melbourne breakfasts for the past week, and I am trying not to let that adversely affect my judgment, but it would be fair to say that this wasn't fancy. But breakfast doesn't have to be fancy, and this was wholesome, delicious and filling. And relatively healthy! The mushrooms could have been cooked slightly longer and the eggs could have been cooked about 1 minute less, but overall I was very satisfied - 3.5 from me.

Lola: I felt like the problem with the mushrooms was that they were a little tasteless. I know that this was sold as a healthy dish and so that explains it (and means I shouldn't really have this complaint, I suppose), but I would have loved another dollop of butter to have been present during the cooking process. Alternatively maybe they should have chucked in some garlic to keep it safe for slimmers. And the eggs, yes they were slightly overdone for my taste too but this really doesn't bother me too much, they were still a teensy bit runny and I was still wholly satisfied overall. A 3.5 here too.

4. Drinks

Alexander: I think I am going to have to change my order because I'm sure you are all sick of hearing me talk about long blacks. Not the most exciting drink in the world! The one served by Café 58 was steaming hot and tasty, but nothing particularly amazing. So a completely acceptable 3 from me.

Lola: After our last outing's chai debacle I had to jump back on the horse and order one here. I am pleased to say Café 58 delivered with no cause for complaints. Look, it didn't blow me away, wasn't the best I've ever tasted, but it was completely satisfactory. I suppose I can't really articulate any flaws so I'll have to give a 4.5.

5. Fiscal matters

Alexander: I am going to be honest and say that I thought this place was, on the whole, a bit overpriced. The Dockers D'Lite was $18, which wasn't too bad, but most of the options are about the same price. Given the reasonably standard list of options on the menu and suburban location, I think you would have to say that Café 58 is perhaps a bit more expensive than comparable venues. So I can only give it a 2.5 in this category.

Lola: Keeping in mind our last suburban visit, I'm being slightly more generous this time and going with a 3. Sure, there's nothing about the physicality of the venue that warrants higher prices, but we did get excellent service and good quality food. They aren't what I'd call cheap prices, but also aren't bad either, so I'll stay in the middle.

The verdict...

Comfort & Surroundings: 6.5/10
Service: 9.5/10
Tastiness: 7/10
Drinks: 7.5/10
Fiscal Matters: 5.5/10
TOTAL: 36/50

Cafe 58 Espresso Bar on Urbanspoon

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