Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Tuck Shop Café

The Tuck Shop Café
U 1 / 178 Newcastle Street
(08) 9227 1659

1. Comfort and surroundings

Lola: Okay - after international escapades for the both of us, we are back in business. We managed to make it to two breakfast destinations at the very end of 2011 but it's taken this first few weeks of January for us to share them. But we are excited - 2012 is going to be a big year for breakfasting, I can feel it!

So, the Tuck Shop. I'd driven past this place a few times, since its opening last year, and it certainly captured my interest. A café, deli and PIE SHOP: oh yes! I didn't know what to expect. From the outside the shop is pretty modest and unfussy, but in the right way - it doesn't look flashy, it looks like they are focusing on what is happening in the kitchen! Unadorned it may be, but it is also clean, simple and sophisticated in this way. We had ample room and were comfortable enough to warrant a moderate score of 3.5.

Alexander: Yes, it has been a while, hasn't it? Never fear though, readers, we have still been having breakfasts far and wide, and we're looking forward to sharing more of our delicious experiences in 2012. As for the Tuck Shop, well this ranks pretty well in the comfort and surroundings department. The eating area is spread out over one room with tables dotted all over the place, which means finding a secluded, cosy spot isn't really an option. Instead, the feel is airy, light and modern, which is a-okay with me. My only criticism is that some of the tables are at an odd angle, so on a busy day, you might find yourself smack bang in the middle of another table's conversation. But hey, I'm happy they haven't skimped on the number of seats... I hate waiting for breakfast! 3.5 from me.

2. Service

After walking in I was seated by a shy but obliging waitress who remained that way through the course of the morning meal. Water was brought and waits were short, so pretty good all round. After going up to pay we met one of the trio of owners - clearly passionate about her business and happy to be one on one with her customers, she left me feeling energized and enthusiastic. I think I'll have to go for a 4.5.

Alexander: Service is good without being over-the-top. And yes, I share Lola's view of the owner we met - I think her passion definitely spreads throughout the entire cafe. It's nice to be in a place where you feel welcome and you get awesome service. I'm giving it a 4.

3. Tastiness

Though small, this menu did it for me! Listings such as basic toast, hearty porridge, healthy granola, sweet pancakes and savoury ham hock meant something for everyone. I opted for the fish fingers with a poached egg atop an English muffin and avocado salad. Interestingly, the fish fingers were the least tasty thing on my plate - the egg yolk oozed over the doughy muffin and the salad was fresh and perfectly proportioned. While the fingers themselves weren't the star, I'd still go a 4 for these inspired dishes.

Alexander: Oh my goodness, this breakfast made me so happy! Mushrooms, spinach, feta cheese... served on multigrain toast... topped off with a perfectly cooked egg. This is like my dream meal; I love each of the ingredients, and the combination of them in one dish was perfection. Execution of the dish was superb, with enough salt to bring out the flavours, and the correct level of cooking the vegetables. It doesn't get much better than this... 4.5!

4. Drinks

So I (unneccessarily) shared with the waitress that I wasn't sure if I felt like a hot chocolate or an OJ, but, and with Alexander as my witness, I opted for the former. Not long after I rued my decision but wasn't bothered to change it, yet I was brought an orange juice. For this reason, it was superb! But good luck (or telepathy) aside, it was cold, fresh and frothy. In terms of options, there were a few more than the regular basics, so in the absence of anything negative but also incredibleness, a 4 is the way for me.

Alexander: Back in (long) black was the theme of the day for me, and I was not disappointed. The Tuck Shop's coffee is Toby's Estate, so things were off to a good start. The product was the perfect temperature, with a beautiful flavour - it really hit the spot. 3.5!

5. Fiscal matters

Prices are slightly better than many Perth spots, with all breakfasts between $6.50 and $17.50. This is a relief! But with a drink it did hit the twenties. I'm going a 3.

Alexander: So the prices are mid-range, as Lola noted, but at least you feel like you're getting well selected, fresh ingredients. While you could get cheaper prices in Perth, you might not get the same quality, so I'll give it 3.5.

The verdict...
Comfort and surroundings: 7
Service: 8.5
Tastiness: 8.5
Drinks: 7.5
Fiscal matters: 6.5

TOTAL: 38/50

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