Lunch Review: Kelly’s Cafe, Canning Vale
Located in the heart of Canning Vale is the All Palms Garden Centre, a nursery that offers a large range of plants, statues, giftware and wall art. But more importantly, inside All Palms is Kelly’s Cafe, a restaurant that I consider to be one of the best value lunch destinations in Perth.
The food at Kelly’s Cafe is “modern Australian” pub / bistro style, with a wide variety on offer including salads, burgers, seafood, Asian dishes and pasta, as well as a daily selection of interesting “chef’s specials”. They also have plenty of vegetarian & gluten-free options and a children’s menu. A selection of desserts are displayed inside the restaurant.
I’ve been to Kelly’s Cafe with my parents for lunch on several occasions, the most recent being to celebrate my birthday earlier this week. I usually can’t go past the chicken parmigiana ($32 – a huge serving of freshly-crumbed chicken schnitzel topped with ham, fresh tomato sauce and cheese) but this time I decided to try the chicken avocado melt ($25 – sliced chicken breast and avocado topped with bacon and cheese on mayo spread focaccia bread, oven baked and served with a garden salad.)
The portion size was very generous – there must have been at least half an avocado on there – and it was baked perfectly. I also ordered a bowl of potato wedges with sour cream and sweet chilli sauce ($9.50), although as you can see my meal came with chips, which wasn’t mentioned on the menu. We didn’t need the wedges, but managed to eat them between us anyway! The chips were also delicious, much better than the usual “with chips” fare.
One thing I really like – and it’s only a small thing, but it does make a difference – is the side salad. As well as a nice ranch-style dressing they come with a small amount of cheese, just enough to add some flavour and texture. I can’t think of any similar restaurant that offers a more “complete” side salad. In saying that, there was no tomato, but I’m not a raw tomato fan so that doesn’t bother me in the slightest!
My mother ordered the Mai Thai grilled chicken (above) and my father the Mai Thai grilled fish (below) (each $26.50 with Thai sauce, steamed vegetables and jasmine rice).
My parents both enjoyed their meals, noting the quality of the respective meats and freshness of the vegetables including asparagus, broccoli and snow peas. No, we’re not talking authentic Thai here, but bear in mind the style of restaurant this is – it certainly isn’t pretending to be something that it’s not. The “Thai sauce” was more teriyaki than anything particularly Thai, and overpowered the fish a little, but there was nothing to complain about with either plate.
Not needing anything else – but hey, it was my birthday – I indulged in a banana milkshake, which wasn’t cheap at $6 but must have been around 900 mls in size, and was a perfect consistency – there’s nothing worse than a milkshake so thick it gives you a hernia or so full of air that you can suck it down in one go.
Kelly’s Cafe also serves breakfast seven days a week, and dinner on Fridays and Saturdays. The breakfast menu includes the usual cooked breakfast fare (eggs, pancakes, omelettes etc) and a few interesting items such as a vegetarian cooked breakfast ($20 – 2 eggs, tomato, baked beans, mushrooms spinach avocado and 2 slices of toast) and Mediterranean bruschetta ($19 – garlic bread topped with ham, salami, grilled eggplant, fresh tomato, feta, a drizzle of aioli and fresh basil pesto). The pricing is a little higher than I expect to see – the full cooked breakfast is $25 if you include a sausage, and another $2 if you want your eggs scrambled, so you’re looking at $30 with coffee. Given the quality and size of the lunch meals, I suspect that they will offer good value for money and keep you full way beyond lunch.
The dinner menu adds a selection of higher cost items including eye fillet steak or scotch fillet with prawns for around $40, and a selection of entrees including bruschetta, garlic prawns and chicken & cognac pâté ($16 each).
One criticism is that ordering is done at the counter, which is fine if you’re there early but a lengthy queue can form when it gets busy. A long wait queuing up to order during dinner could really spoil an intimate evening. Other than that, the service is efficient, friendly and unobtrusive. Kelly’s Cafe isn’t licensed, but you can BYO with corkage at $2 per person.
Plenty of tables of varying sizes are scattered both inside and outside in the surrounds of the nursery, with air conditioning and heating provided as appropriate. My father is in a wheelchair, and disabled parking and access to tables is never a problem. High chairs are available for children.
There’s some well-established competition in the Canning Vale area for this style of dining including The Last Drop Pub & Brewery, Nicholson’s Bar & Grill and the overpriced Ramon’s at Willow Pond, but – as long as BYO isn’t an issue – Kelly’s Cafe beats them all hands down.
I’m always happy to eat at Kelly’s Cafe because I know I’ll receive a generous serving of good food at a very reasonable price – I’m a big eater, and I’ve never come away feeling hungry. Somewhat unusually, the wide variety of dishes on offer doesn’t seem to impact on the quality of the end result, although I’m curious to see how well the lunch experience translates to dinner. Before that, however, going there for breakfast is very high on my list of things to do.
Kelly’s Cafe / All Palms Garden Centre
163 Birnam Road
Canning Vale WA 6155
Monday through Thursday: 9.00am – 3.00pm
Friday: 9.00am – 3.00pm and 6.00pm – 10.00pm
Saturday: 8.30am – 6.00pm and 6.00pm – 10.00pm
Sunday: 8.00am – 4.00pm