Again and again I am left disappointed with restaurants on the beach. I end up leaving thinking “well all I really paid for was the view because the food was rubbish”. What was I going to get at one of Freo’s most talked about restaurants named after a couple of scallywag bushrangers?
I had promised my mate Ben that we would go to Bib and Tucker together and we had the perfect excuse for a group brekky – to meet his girlfriend Alanna. As I sat at the table with Ben, Alanna and other friends Carla and Graham at 8.30am I thought “five years ago we would have been just getting home after a night out at Ambar nightclub… now we’re up at a respectable hour for a respectable breakfast.” Good times!
Text book “Liz”, meant that I arrived 15 minutes early, so instead of sitting at the table as billy no mates, I went out onto the balcony to look at the view of Leighton Beach. It always gets me – the turquoise water sparkling in the sun.. it makes you just breathe out all the stress and worries in your life. How lucky are us Perth people to have beaches like we do!?
The coffee here is by Campos. I have an old love affair with this roast as it was the first “real” coffee I ever had. I got my first job in the big smoke and as I walked up King Street I walked into a place called Zekka (it’s now Uncle Joes Mess Hall) and I felt intimidated and unsure of what to order … “I’ll have a white coffee please”. As I walked out, I clearly remember that “wow” moment as I took my first sip. Never again would I think Moccona was the height of coffee sophistication. Every morning from then on, the barista would talk to me about the coffee and before I knew it I had an espresso machine at home. Anyway – this was a round a bout way of saying I loved my coffee at Bib and Tucker! Not everyone at the table enjoyed their brew, but sometimes it is just a matter of taste.
The menu oozes breakfast sophistication. They serve their porridge with saffron poached pear; if that doesn’t say “you’ll drop some serious cash here”, then I don’t know what does. Yes, the prices are on the high side but by gee it is worth it. Most dishes are in the high teens but prices do top out at $26 for the huevos rancheros… but more about that dish later. If you have a table of four or more you can choose the “get your bib on menu”. For $25 each the table will get a banquet of seasonal fruit, selection of breads, middle eastern baked eggs and flat bread. Match that with some prosecco and you’ve got a pretty fun breakfast!
I was hoping someone would order the pizza and Graham answered my selfish breakfast prayers. For $20 this pizza comes topped with charred thick cut smokey bacon, two runny eggs, mushrooms, spinach and buffalo mozzarella. The base was soft and fluffy but firm enough to hold the payload of breakfast goodness. It’s not some small little wood fired thing you get at the local pub, this was a family size monster. I asked Graham if he didn’t like it as he didn’t finish and he said “I’m not choosing not to finish it”. Need I say more?
His wife Carla sits down gets the menu – BANG – “I know what I am having!” – huevos rancheros jumps at her like an excited puppy.. or my attention seeking dog Huey. This was a hefty dish of smashed beans, roast tomato, chipotle salsa, eggs, coriander, feta, chorizo, avocado and tortillas. The eggs had a crispy bottom and golden runny yolk, anointed with some pretty kick arse chilli sauce. When they say “crispy chorizo” on the menu, there were serious. Three slices were propped up in the avo like soldiers standing to attention, along with the charred corn salsa there was plenty of smokey goodness in this dish to take you far away from Old el Paso.
I went for something egg free on this morning with the mushroom bruschetta ($19). A slab of sour dough made a perfect bed for two meaty field mushrooms that could barely hold the weight of the salty squeaky haloumi. A place that isn’t stingy with this cheese is somewhere after my own heart. The pesto was enough that I needn’t worry about vampires coming near me for a while but my husband is away so who cares about garlic breath right? The rocket and cherry tomatoes pulled this dish out of rich territory by adding a kick of freshness.
Alanna openly admitted that she has never been up early for breakfast but as this girl from Alice Springs looked out at the view, she got it. Her order of the zucchini, lemon and haloumi fritters ($24) gave me food envy. Two crispy fritters sitting on a river of chilli and tomato jam were lip smackingly full of herby flavour. I watched Alanna cut through the poached eggs and there she got her flash of yolk porn. Topped with a sprinkle of dukkah, that tell tale cumin flavour added something extra to the pair of perfectly poached beauties.
Ben, a lover of a good protein filled breakfast, went with the wood fired baked eggs ($20). This was a unique take on a baked egg dish as there wasn’t a tomato in sight. Instead it was served with creamed corn, roasted capsicum, ricotta and watercress. A side of fennel flatbread was something different and really a lot more practical for scooping up all that creamy sauce.
Service was quick and friendly. Our waitress wasn’t afraid to go and get her notepad when she realised she wouldn’t remember our order once we all started chiming in with milkshakes and juices. Is it anyone else’s pet hate having their order stuffed up by waitstaff who don’t write stuff down?
I love that there is an open kitchen where you can watch all the action and have a nosey at the other dishes being run to the tables. All of us were rubber necking as the plates passed our table saying “ooer what’s that?” and trying to match it to an item on the menu.
Bib and Tucker – thank you for restoring my faith in beach side restaurants. I will definitely be back to get my “bib and tucker on” sometime soon.18 Leighton Beach Boulevard, North Fremantle
Breakfast served Tuesday – Sunday 7am – 11am Originally published on WA Today – Friday 24th October 2014