95 Carr Street
(08) 9328 3605
1. Comfort & Surroundings
Lola: This little establishment just happens to be found in an area I'd quite like to live in. That pocket of quiet, leafy suburb with quaint abodes that's within walking distance from a lot of places I frequent: work, good friends' houses, a nice cinema, ice cream shop and so on. I've also wandered through these streets on the way from one friend's house to another's party on numerous occasions (once involving gin boots, but that's a story for another time and probably another forum). So I already feel quite comfortable here, and maybe just a little wistful. Inside the corner building is a nice, open plan with easy access to the baked goods if you are just after a take away, and a good number of appropriately sized tables. A little cramped, but I'd rather that than not enough chairs! I'm giving a 3.
Alexander: There's something comforting about breakfast places set in the middle of suburbia. The clientele are often locals, strolling in to get their morning coffee, and the casual familiarity is refreshing. Plus, being away from a denominated "cafe strip", I often think these places have to try that little bit harder because they can't rely on pedestrian traffic to attract customers. West End Deli fits the suburban corner shop mould well. It's casual without being frumpy; eclectic without being too "try hard". The non-matching crockery also adds a touch of fun. It gets a 3.5 from me.
Lola: The sitch is that it's table service, paying at the counter at the end. We had contact with primarily two staff members, one of whom was super helpful, friendly and an all round delight. The other seemed like he'd been out on the turps the night before and things weren't quite working out for him. Oh but he was fine I guess. Overall it's got to be a 3.5 I think.
Alexander: I liked our main waiter, he was quite attentive without being overbearing. The timing of taking drink orders, taking food orders, serving food and clearing plates was pretty much spot-on. As Lola mentioned, table service too! So, nothing to complain about, 3.5 from me too.
Lola: The menu isn't extensive here but I like it. Particularly impressive is the inclusion of black pudding on the menu, which might not be the most popular example of breakfast fare, but is one that I have been known to enjoy. On this occasion I had a hankering for French bread and butter so opted for eggs with baguette, and chickpeas cooked with silverbeet on the side. I'm not normally a girl that cares for bread or butter with one large exception - when visiting family in France I tear off chunks of fresh baguette and top it with cheese-like slices of butter like there's no tomorrow. The West End Deli offers a fairly close experience with superb bread and a pretty good butter too. So we started off well. The chickpea and silverbeet concoction was interesting, over-salted, but tasty and enjoyable nonetheless. But ughhhhh the whites of my eggs weren't cooked. They weren't close to being cooked. They globbed (that's the official term, I believe) all over my plate like transparent amoeba. 2.5 I'm afraid.
Alexander: There are some interesting items on the menu which makes this a place to try if you want something other than just eggs on toast. Unfortunately, I love eggs on toast, and that definitely isn't West End Deli's strong point. I ordered poached eggs with baguette and a side of duck-fat cooked potatoes. First off, look at the photo and tell me if you think that's a decent serve of baguette? No, I didn't think so. You need sufficient baguette to catch all of the egg and I was left wanting for a more decent portion size about half way through my eggs. (To be fair, they do offer toast instead of baguette, and I would definitely pick that option if I had a do-over.) Next up, the potatoes: I will admit, the ingredients were of a high quality and the dish wasn't unpleasant. But I think they needed more salt and more crisp to make them an appropriate breakfast accompaniment. I'm not saying I would rather have a McDonald's hash brown, but I just feel that there was so much unfulfilled potential with this dish. I agree with Lola's assessment - 2.5.
Lola: This is a tricky one. On the one hand, my morning mocha was one of the best tasting I'd ever had. It seemed to have some kind of excellent spice inclusion, but I could not pick what it was! I really don't want to be precious, but what brought it down was it's mode of being served. It came in a wine glass. Yep. A little silly, I thought. It also went cold quickly and was quite precariously placed on our rickety table. So... I'll bring what would have been a 4 down to a 3.5.
Alexander: Thinking I was going to carb-out on slabs of baguette and mountains of potato, I went with a long black. It was good quality coffee served at the appropriate temperature, so I was satisfied without being blown away. 3 from me.
5. Fiscal Matters
Lola: Although there are not a lot of options on the menu and most are quite fancy, I think all is pretty fairly priced. Basic eggs and baguette are not going to break the bank. Sure, once you add a side between $5-$7 you're in the upper breakfast bracket but it is your choice. Sides are not huge, but they are not crazily overpriced either, especially when you consider the ingredients used and the creation of something a bit different to what we're used to. If you are looking for a cheaper option, grab a slice of freshly baked banana bread or another delicious looking doughy treat. They might not be ultimate bargains, but they do provide an answer for those feeling a little strapped for cash. I'll settle on a 4.
Alexander: The focus here is more on quality ingredients than huge servings, and the prices reflect that. Most of the more interesting options are at a higher price point, but there are still some less expensive items (the basic eggs dish, without sides, being a good example). Still, on a comparative basis, I would rate this as slightly on the pricey side. 3 from me.
Comfort & Surroundings: 6.5/10
Fiscal Matters: 7/10