Hylin, West Leederville

For anyone who doesn’t follow my blog, my office moved from Leederville to West Leederville at the beginning of 2014. Since then, two new cafes have opened up within 250m of my office, with yet another due to open in the coming weeks. The most recent addition (to what’s now become consumers choice) Hylin, opened on the 1st October, and very quickly became my cafe of choice.

hylin art

The first thing you notice when you come into the cafe is it’s wonderful atmosphere. A combination of happy customers, lively staff and smart architecture really brings the place alive, and makes it feel like you’ve escaped from the city -if only for a while. With a lot of natural sunlight, and an unpretentious unique twist in it’s design, it’ isn’t a surprise to discover the owner Josh started off as an architect before bringing Hylin to us lucky folk of West Leederville. In my experience, you’ll often find him behind the register, which is a wonderful thing. He takes pride in his cafe, smiling and happily chatting with each customer. The staff reflect this genuinely friendly attitude, high quality customer service.

Hylin Coffee

Being a long black drinker, there’s no where to hide when it comes to my coffee. Hylins coffee beans come from Micrology Coffee Roasters in Fremantle, with 250g bags available for purchase as the counter. The barista’s tailor their bean of choice to your coffee of choice, delivering the perfect flavour profile every time. Best of all, the pricing is very kind too, starting at $3.00 for a single espresso.

Hylin Micrology

The food is currently an assortment of glass box eats, with nutella and banana slice bagels a favourite of mine to see every morning, as well as a couple tasty breakfast options. Some of these tasty treats are supplied by The Holy Bagel Company, whilst the chefs dish out the rest. In addition to this, it’s been said a breakfast menu should be made available shortly.

Hylins Holy Bagel

Hylin is to me exactly what the area needed… an unpretentious, modern cafe, with great coffee at a good price, a nice atmosphere, wonderful hospitality and some enjoyable eats. I think I’m in love.

Hylin Menu 2

Hylin on Urbanspoon

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Toms Cafe, Leederville

For healthy yet tasty lunches on the go.
Cuisine: Salads, Sandwhich, Coffee.

Located in Tip Top Arcade on Oxford Street in Leederville, Toms café is a little casual gem for local workers seeking out a quick and healthy lunch. It’s not the type of place you sit around, as seating is very casual and limited. Having previously worked in Leederville I reviewed Toms Cafe in 2013. Click here to read my previous review. Now working over the bridge in West Leederville, I recently visited Leederville for lunch and decided to try Tom’s again.

Service: The service is just as pleasant and quick as it has always been. As I was browsing the fridges one of the serves quickly came over to ask if she could help before Tom recognised me and asked whether I had left my job or what had happened to my office as he’d noticed we weren’t around as much these days. It was lovely to see he’d remembered and noticed. It’s worth remembering Toms does not offer Eftpos, though a selection of ATMs are available on the street.

Food: Rather than opting for a mix of salads I decided to purchase one of the pre-packed ½ price large containers of salad for $6. The salad was a combination of the edamame with corn and   Israeli couscous salads, and it was still extremely fresh and delicious! So much so it may have become my new personal favourite. These ½ price large containers of prepacked salads can be found on the left side of the first fridge.

Toms café still offers a wide variety of fresh salads, soups (in winter) and a variety of traditional hot and cold deli foods such as sausage rolls, subs and soups etc. Once the only local offering healthy fresh salads, wraps etc a new competitor offering a selection of salads, wraps, bagels along with their main offering of fresh juices and smoothies has now opened opposite to Toms. It will be interesting to see how -if at all- this affects this local gem.
Half Price Container Tom's Cafe

Price: A variety of takeaway container sizes are available starting at $6 for a small container which you can fill with 1 or 2 different salads. Though the smaller containers seem small they are always packed to the brim and surprisingly filling so you definitely get your moneys worth of fresh, healthy, delicious food. However, if you’re looking for a cheaper option, there is always the ½ price selection which is worth having a look through.

Summary: As I said before, I’ll say again, Toms Café is a great hidden gem for lunch on the run. The food is fresh and the variety exceptional, so much so that even salad avoiders are guaranteed to find something worth trying. It’s definitely worth giving it a go.

Tom's Cafe on Urbanspoon

Nutritional Notes:
Tom’s cafe makes it really easy to eat healthy on the go, with a variety of fresh soups, salads, wraps and other foods. As long as you ignore the small hot counter offering sausage rolls and chips (which is easy to walk past) it’s pretty hard to go wrong. The choices of salads are vast, so remember to choose a mix of wholesome, wholegrain and vegetable packed salads, and opting for those with little to no dressing or refined carbohydrates. That way your body as well as your taste buds will thank you.

-The Grizzly Bear

Lawley’s Bakery Cafe, Mount Lawley

On the way home from Sculptures By The Sea (4:30pm on Sunday) my friend and I wanted to stop by Mount Lawley to grab a coffee, and I couldn’t have been happier that we decided to visit Lawleys. Normally I only stop by here for the bread, but this time I couldn’t help myself, especially after I saw there was a $5.95 coffee and cake special.

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Because we were so enticed by the special we decided to ask the girl behind the counter what the cakes included were. She wasn’t sure, apologised and straight away went to grab another girl who showed the girl and told us what the cakes where. The girls were lovely and this friendly level of service continued throughout our entire experience. We had a selection of any coffee, along with either a chocolate cake or mocha cake. We both ordered the $5.95 coffee and cakes special which was perfect, especially as they were happy to make our coffees just as we liked it, including a long black with a side of milk at no extra charge. We each grabbed a different cake with the intention of sharing.

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When the lady behind the register brought out our coffee and cakes (we decided to sit outside due to the lovely weather) she asked if we’d like another plate and knife so we could share our cakes, as she had heard us mention that was our plan. The coffees were delicious, and presented nicely with a rich crema and a tasty (what I remember being a) coconut shortbread biscuit on the side. The cakes were delicious; moist cakes with sweet flavoured mousse layers and the chocolate cake had a rich icing that was to die for. The servings were a good size for the rich cakes, not too big and not too small.

As we came so late in the day we noticed by the end they started closing the store, but at no point were we rushed, moved or asked to leave. The service was lovely the whole time, and the staff very friendly. The food was delicious and the pricing was even better. I simply couldn’t fault my afternoon pit-stop. I even ended up leaving with a Margarita flatbread and muffin, both of which were delicious evening treats.

Lawley's Bakery Cafe on Urbanspoon

Kelly’s Café at All Palms Garden Centre, Canning Vale

Kelly’s Café is one of those hidden local gems that you just kick yourself for not discovering earlier.

On a gorgeous Saturday morning I was invited to have breakfast at Kelly’s and boy was I glad I said yes.

Atmosphere: Let me start by saying that I love the atmosphere of this place. Not only is there plenty of parking but the surrounding grounds are gorgeous. The inside of the café has beautiful garden bits and pieces to admire, whilst sitting outside will give you lovely views of the many flowers and gardens… which are worth taking a stroll through after your meal.

Food: The breakfast menu is served until 11:00am and it’s full of ythe usual suspects, hot and cold drinks, toast, pancakes, omelettes, breaky buschetta’s, big breakies and eggs. On the table we ordered a variety of foods and drinks, a sample of which included juices ($2.50 ea), tea ($4.00), cappuccino (3.60),a Tomato, Onion and Cheese Omelette with toast ($16.50) and a Farmhouse Breaky with bacon, 2 eggs, grilled tomato, hash brown, mushrooms, baked beans and 2 slices of toast ($23.50). I personally ordered the omelette, and it was delicious! The omelette was cooked well, the ingredients inside were generous and the size of the dish was very satisfying. There is definitely something on the menu to suit everyone here.

Price: The pricing is right on the money for the location and quality of food. Prices on the breakfast menu range from $5.00 for 2 slices of toast with jam and butter to $23.50 for the Famehouse Breaky, so you’ll still have money in your wallet for a plant or trinket on the way out.

Service: The servers here were lovely. Polite when taking your order, and easy enough to get hold off if you need something. Simple but good service.

If it isn’t already clear I really am kicking myself that I didn’t know about this gem when I was living in the area. I highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of weekend breakfasts, or anyone wanting to treat their mum to a nice meal and catch-up.

Kelly's Cafe on Urbanspoon

Bravo’s Restaurant, East Victoria Park

Wake-up on a Sunday, tired, hungry and in Vic Park. Head down Albany Highway looking for some brunch only to discover every major café is either closed until lunch, completely packed out or not worthy of a single dollar in my wallet. About to eat my own arm I finally came to Bravo’s Restaurant (933 Albany Highway) in East Victoria Park, and boy was I happy I did.

Not only where they serving breakfast from 8-4pm but the menu was exactly what I was after.

IMAG0826IMAG0827Food: There was a variety of egg dishes, mueslis, burgers/subs from 11:30 and drinks. Being my indecisive self when faced with so many great options I flipped a coin and ordered the Food from the gods: 2 organic quinoa cakes, poached eggs, peppers, feta and spinach ($19.5) and I couldn’t have been happier. The Quinoa cakes were super crispy, the poached eggs oozed upon being cut open and the peppers, feta and spinach were the perfectly appealing addition. I also treated myself to a strawberry milkshake ($5.50), which was thick, rich and ridiculously good. The person I was with ordered the Toasted muesli : made in-house, greek yoghurt, berry compote ($14.50) and a strawberry milkshake (don’t judge us).

If you would like to view any of their menus, please click here.

Price: The pricing was right on the money for the quality and amount of food, the location and the restaurant in general. I wouldn’t hesitate to compare the prices and food to that of popular Leederville and Mount Lawley cafés.

Service: I found the servers lovely and energetic, which was a great contrast to my tired self. I was greeted at the door quickly, and politely told I could sit anywhere I liked. The milkshakes came out first, water was popped on the table and the food followed not too long after.

Atmosphere: This place is quirky, and I like it. The only way to describe it could be a modernised version of hipster perhaps? It’s an interesting mix between a hip café, a funky restaurant and a quirky bar. There’s a tv behind the bar that’s big enough to watch if you’re interested, but small enough to ignore, yellow and black swirl pattered couch seating with white and yellow swiss cheese looking plastic seats to match. You can sit inside or outside and really mould the atmosphere to what you’re after.

As you can tell I’m a big fan of this place, and best of all it’s discovery couldn’t have come at a better time because I stumbled across this today:
Book by Monday, 14 April and receive 50% Off your food purchases. Offer valid for dining Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; Saturday for breakfast and lunch; and Sunday for lunch and dinner from now through to Monday, 9 June.
http://www.urbanspoon.com/spoon_guides/13573-weekly-special?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Local_Events_AU&utm_campaign=Local%20Events%20-%20AU%20-%20guide_photo

Bravo's on Urbanspoon

Common Ground, Curtin University Bentley

Back in early 2013 I was raving about the Common Ground, but one year later I’m not so sure. When The Common Ground first opened its doors after taking over from Scholars it was a high quality, lecturer targeting cafe at Curtin University that was a great change from the other cafes that were targeting students. Sadly, this is no longer the case.

Atmosphere: This quiet escape is now a filled to the brim with students, though the outdoor area is still a nice place to eat on campus.

Service: The friendly staff are still pleasant but run off their feet, especially during peak hour that there is little time for pleasantries.

The food: The menu still offers a variety great options such as the vegetable stack which is full of flavour, but I think the quality of the food has changed over the past year as the dish is now very petite for the price. What really bothers me is that the burgers which use to be large gourmet stacks of flavour served on a wonderful wooden plank and steak knife are now just small one handed burgers served on plastic trays, which in my opinion is a reflection of a majority of what most of the food on the menu has become. At least the coffee is still permanent coffee on campus.

Like many places, the charm of this quaint cafe when out the window when they targeted the student market. To be honest, there is now little difference between this cafe and other places at Curtin University which makes me a little sad. I will still be coming here to grab a take-away coffee, but beyond that I’m sad to say I don’t rave about this place anymore.

Common Ground on Urbanspoon

Perth Coffee For $3 Or Less

Gone are the days were you could simply reach into the bottom of your bag and buy a coffee with a small handful of coins. These days handing over a note for a coffee has become the norm, but when  Cafe Del Pescatore in Scarborough charged $7.25 for a mug of flat white/cappuccino (on a public holiday) http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/food/dollar-cup-of-coffee-are-we-paying-too-much/story-fneuz92c-1226613029204 the news went viral and Perth coffee drinkers started complaining.

More and more articles and websites regarding Perth’s coffee prices started popping up:
Perth coffee is Australia’s MOST expensive: http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/perth-coffee-is-australias-most-expensive/story-fnhocxo3-1226633155978#
Perth coffee is Australia’s MOST expensive: http://www.news.com.au/national-news/perth-coffee-is-australias-most-expensive/story-fncynjr2-1226633155978
The Real CPI – Cappuccino Price Index™ : http://www.coffee-prices.com/
Customers win in coffee wars: http://au.news.yahoo.com/queensland/a/-/australian-news/16844020/customers-win-in-coffee-wars/

According to The Real CPI – Cappuccino Price Index™ an average takeaway cappuccino in Perth costs $3.87. That is 28c more than the next city (Hobart) and 67c more than the cheapest average (Sydney), that’s 17.2% more.

This means that purchasing 5 coffees a week (52) in Sydney will cost you $837.20 whilst in Perth the same coffee addiction will set you back $1011.40, an additional $174.20 a year.

8 Oz Takeaway Capp (March 2013) CPI
Brisbane $3.52
Melbourne $3.37
Sydney $3.22
Hobart $3.61
Adelaide $3.45
Canberra $3.46
Perth $3.89
National $3.50

Though it is stated that the average price of a coffee in Perth is $3.89 in my personal experience I struggle to find a small coffee for under $4.00/50.

This uproar in Perth’s coffee prices has led to a number of cafes across Perth openly charging $3 or less for coffee. I’ve asked around and compiled a list of these cafes:

399 Bar – 399 William St, Perth (Northbridge)
Art Gallery Café –Perth Cultural Centre, Perth *including hot chocolate
Café Amazon – Coventry Square Markets, 243-253 Walter Rd
Morley
Country Road Cafe (before midday) – 307 – 311 Murray St, Perth (CBD)
Digby’s – 1/44 Belmont Ave, Rivervale
Five Bar – 560 Beaufort Street, Mount Lawley
La Tropicana Café – 177 High St, Fremantle
Ootong & Lincoln – 258 South Terrace, South Fremantle
Pranzo Cafe – 79 Colin St, West Perth
R.E.D.S Cucina – 128 Oxford St, Leederville
Sun Café Australia – 318 William St, Perth (Northbridge)
Tea For tú – (before 9am) 218a William St, Perth (Northbridge)
The Terrace Hotel – 237 St Georges Terrace, Perth (CBD) *including soy
Toastface Grillah – Grand Lane, Rear 143 Barrack St, Perth (CBD)
Venn Bar & Cafe – 16 Queen St, Perth
The Walk Cafe – 97 Rokeby Rd, Subiaco
White Salt – 134 West Coast Dr, Hillarys

3 coffee 13 coffee 2

If you know of any more cafes offering a coffee for $3 or less please let me know because I would love to share them.

You can also find this guide on Urbanspoon: http://www.urbanspoon.com/guides/10206-perth-coffee-for-3-or-less