Sunday, April 25, 2010

MillPoint Caffe Book Shop

MillPoint Caffe Book Shop
254 Mill Point Road
South Perth
(08) 9367 4567

1. Comfort & Surroundings

Lola: This week we headed to the MillPoint Caffe Book Shop in South Perth. I'd requested a table outside but under cover so we had leafiness and fresh air without having to try and avoid the sun. It's pretty crowded out the back there and neighbouring conversations did get entangled with ours, but luckily those sitting just behind me were quite witty. They've also used their space well, and a large wall blocks out much of the traffic noise from busy Mill Point Road. An above average 3.5 from me.

Alexander: What do you get when you combine tasty food and lots of books? Why, the MillPoint Caffe Book Shop of course! You can imagine how excited I was to be eating my favourite meal while surrounded by thousands of carefully constructed sentences. It truly was a combination of two of my greatest loves - eating and reading. So, right off the bat, this place gets high marks for surroundings. Even leaving the books aside for a minute, though, it was nice to be seated outside but without having to deal with a view of traffic or direct sunlight. Of course, the decor isn't exactly what you would call a triumph of interior design or style, but that's not what the Book Caffe is going for, and I'm okay with that. 3.5 from me.

2. Service

Lola: The team at the MillPoint are incredibly welcoming and extremely accommodating. From the phone call I made to book the table to the cheerful farewell, they were lovely to deal with. I have said I'll never give above a 4 without table service, but here I'm awarding an extra half mark for a 4.5. Here's why: I requested my dish be served without bacon and not only was that fine, but they asked what I would like extra of. Chipolatas please and thank you!

Alexander: I loved these guys! They were all so friendly. I am convinced they spend their free time reading customer service books (conveniently located on the other side of the café) because everything was spot-on in this category. But it was more than just by-the-book customer service, it was a genuine desire to make breakfast a happy experience. Which is so rare these days! As Lola mentioned, it wasn't table service, but I am willing to be a bit controversial and award a 4.5 as well.

3. Tastiness

Lola: My choice for the morning was a sausage and bacon bagel (sans bacon). A white bagel was topped with a few squirts (which happened to be just the right amount) of barbecue sauce, three halved chipolatas and a fried egg. A mound of greens with slices of tomato at the apex sat alongside. Now, the menu included fresh tomato and lettuce in its description of the dish and while it was technically true, on presentation it was more of a glorified garnish. I also feel you should know there was only one egg, though it was plenty for me. None of the above was particularly bothersome and the deliciousness of the chipolatas pleased me a great deal! What displeased me, however, was the bagel quality. Although bagel shaped, it was more akin to bread roll. Disappointing, and brought the dish down to a 2.5, I'm sad to say.

I ordered the "new" chevre scrambled eggs (this is how the dish was described on the menu). Now I'm not sure if this item was actually new to the menu, or just quote-unquote new, but they eggs were goo-ood. Think fluffy, delicious scrambled eggs mixed with rich goat's cheese and savoury chives. It's a combination made in heaven. Perhaps the sort of thing you'd be inspired to make after reading a cookbook... Coincidence? I don't think so! My only problem with this dish was the accompanying toast. I just can't get on board with ciabatta as a breakfast option! Bread used in breakfast dishes needs to be dense (to absorb the liquid parts of the eggs) and moist (so as not to dry out during the toasting process). Sourdough comes to mind as the perfect option. However, the awesome customer service, I'm sure they would have swapped in some other type of bread if I'd requested it. I am awarding a 3.5.

4. Drinks

Lola: As soon as I walked in the sugary sweet counterhand was eager for me to grab a drink, which suited me just fine and I opted for a hot chocolate to tide me over until the main event. It was smooth and creamy but not overly chocolaty, suffice to say that it was suitably generic. It was the hot chocolate from the ski-trip special of an 80s-90s teen novel / television drama that is sipped in front of the fire while making eyes at the hunky college student who spends his winter break teaching beginners' ski lessons. It would have been at home in the hands of Donna Martin when she and David Silver briefly broke up in season 4 and she had an episode long interlude with a dreamboat. Or 'dreamboat'. Meanwhile, have you seen Brian Austin Green lately? I was pleasantly surprised when I saw him on The Sarah Connor Chronicles, that's all I'm saying. Anyhoo, transporting me to this place is pretty great but what was greater was my second drink selection, the mocha delight . I'll give Alexander the floor since he ordered it too, but I'm going with a 4 thanks to this treat.

Alexander: Oh the mocha delight! It brings back such delicious memories. This drink is effectively a banana smoothie with coffee and chocolate mixed in for good measure. It's an inspired combination of flavours. Not just taste, though, volume and temperature were both perfect too - a nice big glass and icy, icy cold. Plus, you could treat it as either a dessert or an energy shake! Maybe not something you would see being sipped at a ski lodge, but I could definitely see this drink fitting in well in the 90210 postcode - if it were made with non-fat milk. I am giving it a 4.

5. Fiscal Matters

Lola: Not much to say here as the prices are slightly elevated but typical for our city. Ten dollars for a bowl of muesli or fruit means budget options don't exist. My plate came in at around $14 I think, which wasn't so bad, so I'll give 3 marks.

Alexander: There might not be a big list of cheap items, but at the same time, the most expensive item is about $16. So, averaging things out, the prices sit fairly in the middle of the spectrum. I am awarding a slightly higher score because the quality of the ingredients doesn't seem to have pushed the prices out too much - 3.5 from me. You can probably find cheaper books at though, so stick to the breakfasts if you're looking for a bargain!

The verdict...

Comfort & Surroundings: 7/10
Service: 9/10
Tastiness: 6/10
Drinks: 8/10
Fiscal Matters: 6.5/10
TOTAL: 36.5/50

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