27 June, 2010

Corner of James & Lake Streets, Northbridge
Breakfast served from 7am – 11.30am weekdays & 8am-11.30am weekends

So I woke up fairly late this morning and started to contemplate going out to breakfast on my own. After a few false starts to get out of my toasty warm bed I finally got my act together and headed into Northbridge to find a place that still served breakfast. I found that place tucked away in the corner of the Northbridge piazza. Let me introduce the cafe appropriately named CNR and my first ever review without my team of experts in tow.

As I walked into CNR I was greeted with a massive smile from the barista who told me to come and order at the counter when I was ready. The cafe has a range of seating both outside facing the grassed area and down the side of the cafe as well as ample inside seating. I decided to sit inside as I didn’t want to risk ruining my experience at CNR by being cold.

I perused the menu which has a good number of choices. The prices at CNR range from $4 for toast up to $19 for their big breakfast called “CNR Sink”. Looking at what you got with the CNR Sink it would be definitely worth every cent. It comes with eggs anyway, bacon, mushrooms, tomato, bratwurst, potato gratin and sourdough toast. The menu choices were all the standard meals you would usually see at a cafe for breakfast but the words used to describe the meals adds this extra element that makes them seem a lot more appealing. Like “buttered silverbeet” with the Eggs Florentine, “Shaved feta and torn basil” with what is commonly presented as a breakfast bruschetta. I thought this was an interesting touch. The board behind the counter is also filled with many varieties of fresh juices and coffee’s.

I went up to the counter and ordered a cappuccino and pan fried mushrooms, crumbled goats cheese on toasted ciabatta with crispy bacon. I asked the smiling barista for some water as well and he pointed me to the table from which you can help yourself to water then offered to get me a glass and bring it over. I was a little surprised at the offer but I said no as I was going to grab a paper from over there anyway.

It didn’t take long for my cappuccino to come out and as I ate the froth from the top (my favourite thing to do) I savoured this slight caramel taste that actually made me stop and take notice. I tasted the coffee and the temperature was perfect and it tasted like… coffee I had forgotten existed. They use Five Senses beans at CNR and I am sure I have probably had that coffee before but maybe it was the smiling barista’s touch that made it taste amazing. It was smooth, flavoursome and had this hint of something in the undertones of the flavour that kept making me want to take another sip.
I didn’t have to wait long for my meal to come out and when it did I knew I had hit the jackpot with this choice. There were 2 massive field mushrooms both topped with goats cheese, plenty of bacon and a drizzle of basil pesto. The mushrooms were meaty and flavoursome, the cheese was tasty yet mild in flavour and the bacon was nicely cooked. It all went so well together and tasted delicious! Unfortunately I couldn’t finish my entire meal as it was deceivingly large.

I decided to sit a while longer and finish reading the paper. In that time a waitperson came and refilled my glass on his way to refill the water jugs and the waitperson who cleared my plate offered me another coffee. This is what service should be.

CNR should definitely be on every one’s list to try for breakfast. You can sit there and people watch everyone in the Northbridge piazza and enjoy an brilliantly made coffee and delicious food. Eating breakfast on my own wasn’t so bad and I also really enjoyed listening to the Johnny Cash album that was playing whilst reading the paper. So… Crema Cafe just got bumped off the top 3 for CNR!

Also… I am now on Twitter! So follow my breakfast reviews from

(CNR) James + Lake on Urbanspoon

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  • Reply Lisa 28 June, 2010 at 2:55 am

    >sounds like a perfect start to a sunday Liz!

  • Reply Liz @ Breakfast In Perth 29 June, 2010 at 4:09 am

    >It was! It made it even more perfect that the barista was easy on the eye.

  • Reply Conor @ Hold the Beef 30 June, 2010 at 6:10 am

    >So good to read about the good service here. And easy on the eye too? Plus maybe a 5 minute walk from my house? Sold!

    Let me know next time you're in the hood, I'll happily get my breakfast on with you 😀

    Also, on Twitter now? Woo!

  • Reply Liz @ Breakfast In Perth 30 June, 2010 at 6:35 am

    >Yep my friend at Perth Coffeescape convinced me to embrace twitter.. not sure how I feel about it yet.

    Defo check out CNR Conor… even if it's only for the eye candy. (lol I hope they don't read this).

  • Reply Anonymous 6 July, 2010 at 11:21 am

    >Can you describe the eye candy Liz

  • Reply rund 14 August, 2010 at 7:14 am

    >There should be more smiling baristas. At least if the coffee's bad you can't be mad at a smiling barista!

  • Reply Anonymous 7 November, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    >haha, yes definitely best breakfast and coffee in Perth! Especially with the new breakfast and lunch menu!! very good and friendly customer service too:) if you havn't, you should definitely go back to check it out!

  • Reply Anonymous 7 November, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    >yes i agree with what that person said, new menu even better…spread the word!

  • Reply Liz @ Breakfast In Perth 8 November, 2010 at 10:07 am

    >Thanks for the heads up on the new menu! I defo will be back to check it out.

  • Reply Clare 1 December, 2010 at 2:03 am

    >We just had breakfast there and it was fantastic. Super delicious food but as important was the great service. Made me want to move in. We'll be back.

  • Reply Anonymous 17 August, 2011 at 12:38 am

    >Went last weekend when kid free, first round of coffees were great perfect in fact and yes the staff were nice. Second coffee was burnt :( though.
    Hubby had the mushrooms and they were little not proper field mushrooms especially for this time of year, I asked for my eggs to be flipped and they came sunny side and the bacon was a bit rubbery not crispy at all :(
    Not the worst breakfast I've had by a long shot but not the best either will try again another time though you can do much worse in northbridge – Kate

  • Reply Liz @ Breakfast In Perth 17 August, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    >Hi Kate

    Wow, that's a shame… especially since you had a kid free weekend to enjoy!

    Thanks for the feedback, it's great to hear what experiences other people have at these places. I hope they were just having an "off" day because I really like this place.

    Thanks for reading my blog


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