We stumbled across The Ladder Cafe & Deli while on our way to the New Norcia Bakery for breakfast this (Sunday) morning, and decided to give it a try instead as the menu looked interesting (sorry New Norcia, we’ll be back!) The Ladder Cafe & Deli is situated on the site of the old Cultural Tastes Cafe on Scarborough Beach Road, which always looked just a little too scary for my liking. It’s been renovated in a simple but comfortable fashion, and seating is still available at the back.
Things got off to a bad start with a distinct lack of service. The girl operating the coffee machine did her very best to avoid making eye contact, even when I was standing at the counter obviously trying to place an order. I was ready to leave when another staff member came from the back to assist in the nick of time. My cappuccino was very nice, although I prefer a little more foam at breakfast and the chocolate on top was strongly flavoured which was quite unusual. Renay enjoyed her chai latte.
Breakfast is available from 7:30am to 11am Tuesday to Saturday, and 8am to 11am on Sunday. There are some interesting options, including “veggie” scrambled eggs with spinach, asparagus, mushrooms and feta ($16), smashed avocado, basil pesto, feta & roasted truss tomatoes ($16), asparagus rolled in bacon with poached egg and roasted tomatoes ($17), and the “Goliath” with eggs, bacon, chorizo, mushrooms, slow roasted tomato and house-made baked beans ($23).
I chose the breakfast quesadilla (bacon, spring onion & cheddar scrambled eggs inside a flour tortilla with baked beans, salsa & jalapeno cream $17). What really struck me about this was the freshness of ingredients, the smell of the salsa was quite incredible before my plate had even hit the table and the jalapeno cream packed a considerable punch in the smallest of quantities. I’ve given up complaining about “gourmet” beans, and these ones were actually quite nice.
I really enjoyed this dish, with my only complaint being that I struggled to find the bacon. It’s nice to find a “different” breakfast dish that still meets all the criteria and I’d certainly have this again.
Renay chose the buttermilk pancakes with “roasted” bacon and maple syrup ($14). The pancakes were really light and fluffy, although the serving of bacon was very small and didn’t appear to have been roasted.
There was a selection of sweet and savoury items to choose from in two fridges. The lunch menu also looks interesting, with a selection of small plates (e.g. buffalo wings $12, salt & pepper squid $11 and truffle fries $10), sandwiches (including an awesome sounding Reuben – $16) and items such as chicken spinach salad ($22), steak sandwich ($22), portobello burger (grilled mushroom, roasted red capscium, red onion, goat’s cheese, tomato kasundi and salad $19) and the “American Classic” burger (beef burger, bacon, onions, cheddar, tomato, dill pickle, mayo, barbecue and ketchup sauces $25).
Based on our experience today, I’m expecting The Ladder Cafe & Deli to gain a firm following based on its location and the quality and variety of the food on offer – you may want to try it for yourself before it’s hard to get a seat. I’m willing to overlook the service issue we encountered today, but only this time. Recommended.