Back when I was a regular to the Northbridge nightclub scene (it wasn’t THAT long ago.. really), there was only one reason you went down a dark alley… ok.. maybe two…but in recent years the dingy alleys of our city and Northbridge have become vibrant hang outs for those in the know. Trendy bars, boutique shops and small cafes now fill lanes decorated with street art. If you squint…could it be almost like Melbourne?
Down an arcade, at the back of a carpark is a new cafe called Babooshka. Don’t be fooled by that less than glamourous description of it’s location… remember what I said about these new vibrant hang outs? This place has been on my radar since it opened. When my Instagram feed floods with food porn from a new café, it gets added to the ever growing list of places I have to visit. It was quickly raced to the top of that list when Cam and his girlfriend Phoebe wanted to catch up for brekky over the christmas/new year period and this place was one of the few open.
The cafe is really cosy inside but there are plenty of tables out in the arcade. In keeping with the theme, little babushka doll salt and pepper shakers decorate the tables. I used to love those dolls as a kid… how many more could fit inside! You just never knew until you got to that final tiny doll.
I was excited to try their coffee which is supplied by local Blacklist Coffee Roasters. These guys are based from a new-ish cafe on Canning Hwy called Sprolo. I haven’t managed to visit them yet but I am waiting until I am no longer pregnant so I can have a slow cooked egg! (yes I am assuming I can still go out when I have a newborn HA!). This coffee is the kind of stuff that gets into your brain, kicks the door open and yells HELLO! It’s strong, it’s robust but not bitter. It’s in the territory of ordering a second or even third cup.
The breakfast menu is short and concise with only seven options ranging in price from $7 for toast up to $24 for the Tsar’s breakfast – Boston beans, poached eggs, speck bacon, spinach and avocado. There’s only one sweet option (I don’t count toast and jam as a “sweet option”) and it’s a doozy – coconut and vanilla panna cotta with granola. Yep, that favourite dessert has been turned into a breakfast here.
It was all about the Boston beans ($17.50) for me on this morning. A huge bowl of rich beans topped with a couple of poached eggs will give anyone a reason to rise and shine. The thing I love about this style of beans is the smokey flavour mixed with sweetness. It’s a nice change from the usual tomato-ey based homemade beans you get around the traps. And what’s a bowl of hearty beans without some toast to soak it all up? This dish is in bowl licking territory – toast is a MUST!
Being the man at the table, Cam ordered the Tsar; Babooskha’s answer to the big breakfast. Whilst speck bacon is a bit more highbrow than regular old bacon, maybe a slice extra would have been more generous than the three small ones given. Two poached eggs were perfect. A wee little pop as the knife slices through them releases that golden yolk over the toast – we all long to see that when we order eggs for breakfast. Avocado and spinach added a fresh hit with those first class Boston beans there to remind you that you were eating a breakfast for kings… or Tsars in this case.
The Dukkah eggs ($19) that Phoebe ordered was something a bit different. Dukkah and eggs isn’t ground breaking but to serve it with braised chickpeas, haloumi, mushrooms, kale and avocado piqued my interest. This middle eastern inspired dish could have really packed a punch but the haloumi was a bit insipid and the kale was a bit on the wet side. Perfect poached eggs can only do so much for a dish. Maybe some sort of shakshuka type sauce would have added a much needed kick. This is a good brekky if you are after something a bit on the lighter side.
Don’t be put off by the beards, tatts and top knots the guys behind the counter are sporting, there isn’t an ounce of cynicism in their bodies or gruff responses to come from their mouths. They are happy to see customers and they can’t do enough for you. I am noticing more and more how much the service in Perth is improving – it’s a nice change.
It started off slowly, but Northbridge has really become a vibrant place that’s worth a visit in the daylight hours as well as for it’s nightlife. With a new breed of cafes like Babooksha opening, there’s an even better reason to be in Northbridge on a weekend morning – for great coffee and breakfast….Not crawling out of a nightclub trying to find a taxi with your shoes in your hand.7/189 William St, Northbridge (at the end of the arcade)
Breakfast served Monday – Friday 7am – 3pm, Weekends 9am – 2pm