Saturday, October 23, 2010

Rifo's Cafe

Rifo's Cafe
189 Guildford Rd
(08) 9271 1811

1. Comfort & surroundings

Alexander: Located right on the corner of Guildford Road and Eighth Avenue, you don't get a scenic vista with your breakfast at Rifo's, but you do get to see a lot of cars go by! If you asked me for one word to describe the theme, it would be "orange". And you'd be right in thinking that the decor is pretty much as unflattering as my description sounds. Not that it was awful, it was just... not very cool. This is definitely not a place for hipsters, but there is something comforting about that fact. 2.5 from me.

Lola: They pack a lot of tables into this space without turning the venue into an obstacle course, and surprisingly, the sound and fumes from busy street don't seem to be an issue. We sat on the Guildford Road side but were protected by a plastic blind, so our breakfast did not come with a side of smog. The tables are roomy enough for two and the seats are fairly comfortable, plus I felt far enough away from other patrons to be able to share our latest gossip with each other quite freely. A 3 from this side.

2. Service

Alexander: There are plenty of staff about at Rifo's so you won't have to wait too long for service. Encouragingly, water was provided and plentiful. This isn't the place where you would expect a lot of attitude, and you don't get it from the wait staff. What you do get, however, is an interesting assortment of "uniforms" perhaps more suited to a beach. Surely there are hygiene issues in showing that much skin? But the biggest crime of all was a pair of jeans with rips going all the way from ankle to thigh... Uh oh, it's a 3.

Lola: Yeah that was a bit inappropriate. We weren't at the beach, we were at a restaurant and denim hot pants are a little icky. They were fairly friendly though! Table service was nice too, bringing it up to a 3.5 from me.

3. Tastiness

Alexander: I ordered the eggs florentine and was impressed by the speed of delivery, heat, flavours and serving size. This was a traditional eggs florentine - English muffin, spinach, poached eggs and hollandaise sauce - none of this post-modern, avant garde, reconstructed/deconstructed stuff you find at other breakfast venues. The simplicity took me back to a less complicated time. My only issue? I am pretty sure it was not homemade hollandaise sauce (it had that "out of a jar" taste), which was a big let down. 3 out of 5.

Lola: My breakfast was also English muffin based, but topped with scrambled eggs, smoked salmon and a little spinach. Let's be honest, it was a completely forgettable breakfast. It wasn't the most amazing example of each of the elements, it wasn't innovatively constructed, there wasn't even a garnish. But is that so bad? Absolutely not. In fact, I too was a refreshed by the lack of complication and the good proportioning of flavours. I was also impressed by the presence of three different flavours of frittata on the breakfast menu, which I'm sure I'll opt for next time. Look the food didn't wow me, but it pleased me, and I think that's what Rifo's seems to be about. I'm giving a score of 3.

4. Drinks

Alexander: Feeling adventurous, I strayed from my conventional long black and took a shot at the mango smoothie. Now, dairy is my favourite food group, and the smoothie is one of my all-time favourite drinks - when it's done right. The milk needs to be frosty cold and the fruit needs to be flavoursome. Rifo's did a pretty good job, and the drink was a great complement to my breakfast. It was also a nice touch that the smoothie was made with low fat yogurt and low fat milk. It scores 3.5.

Lola: A smoothie was also on the agenda for me on this particular morning, but mine was of the berry variety and I too am going with a 3.5. Flavoursome, not as calorie laden as some dairy drinks and not so big that it hindered my ability to finish my meal. I liked it.

5. Fiscal matters

Alexander: At $16 for my eggs florentine and $6.20 for my smoothie, the prices at Rifo's are very "middle of the road". You won't feel ripped-off here, but then again, you won't be coming back for the cheap eats. 3 from me.

Lola: My 'Salmon Deluxe' came in at $17 and yes, smoked salmon is not cheap, and yes, the many staff that were rostered on do have to get paid, but I think it was about $5 more than it warranted. I felt close to being ripped off, but if I was going to get funny about it I should have opted for the $5.90 banana bread. So a not too harsh 2.5 out of 5.

The verdict...
Comfort & surroundings: 5.5/10
Service: 6.5/10
Tastiness: 6/10
Drinks: 7/10
Fiscal matters: 5.5/10

TOTAL: 30.5/50

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