Unexpected Breakfast: Village Cafe, Whiteman Park
Whiteman Park is a recreation and conservation reserve located north of Perth that covers nearly 4,000 hectares of natural bushland, and is about fifteen minutes from Ellenbrook and Guildford. See here for a full list of attractions, which includes picnic areas, the Caversham Wildlife Park, art shops and a transport museum.
Visitors in need of sustenance can visit the Village Cafe, which offers a range of sit-down and takeaway meals as well as essential supplies for a day out including drinks, ice-creams and even barbecue packs you can cook yourself in the picnic areas. The Village Cafe has recently started serving breakfast on weekends, and we went in hoping for the best but expecting the worst…
The cafe is simply fitted out, with most of the seating located outside. A selection of cakes and sandwiches are available in the counter fridge.
You are alerted that your meals are ready using one of those irritating “beeper” systems, and you have to collect your food & drinks from the counter. Note to the owners: this is all very well, but having the door “pull” inwards makes carrying more than one item nearly impossible unless someone opens it for you.
The breakfast menu at the Village Cafe is a little unusual considering its location, combining standard fare including eggs on toast ($8.50) and blueberry pancakes with maple syrup & whipped cream ($15) with dishes such as goats cheese, tomato & spinach omelette with house made tomato relish ($15) and the curious “locally made bratwurst sausage & slow cooked beans, poached eggs, onion rings” ($15). You can even get toast with “veggie might”, whatever that is…
None of the meals are above $15 so price is certainly not an issue, and there’s also a kids menu.
I didn’t want to risk a hot coffee so decided to try the iced coffee ($5) instead. It was ok – well, cold and wet – and the cream was fresh which was a good start.
I’ve had it in my head for a long time that I don’t like hollandaise, but I’ve never been sure where that idea came from and I always find an excuse to try something else on a menu. Well, today I took the plunge and ordered the maple glazed speck (smoked thick cut bacon) with fried potato waffle, poached eggs, spinach and hollandaise.
I’m glad to report that I really liked the hollandaise, and in fact everything else on this plate; the speck was perhaps the most beautiful sweet bacon I’ve ever tasted, and I wonder why this isn’t on more menus – I’d gladly substitute it for “normal” bacon on many breakfast dishes. The poached eggs and spinach were cooked perfectly, the curious “potato waffle” was like a hash brown without the grease and the hollandaise was rich with just a hint of lemon. I was expecting a disaster but it was completely the opposite.
Renay chose the sauteed mushrooms & spinach in thyme, garlic & cream served on toast (a mere $12) which she absolutely loved. Her favourite breakfast mushroom dish is the wild mushrooms & goats cheese from New Norcia Bakery, and while this dish didn’t quite reach those heights, she said that this was just as good as any other competitor. Praise indeed, and another surprise – especially at the price.
I wouldn’t dare try the coffee, although that doesn’t really matter given the location, but there was absolutely nothing to complain about with regards to the food. We would both go back for the meals we had today – especially at the price – which was quite unexpected. If you live nearby you should consider trying the Village Cafe for a weekend breakfast, and maybe you’ll discover some more of Whiteman Park while you’re there. Recommended.