After reviewing Penny Garden last weekend, I thought it would be good to do a review of Taylor’s as a bit of comparison because they are in the same area with similar prices. There was a bit of an uproar on WA Today about the prices at Penny Garden so I want to show my readers what else you can get for your money in the Swan Valley that is of much better quality!
The cafe at Taylor’s is part of an art studio run by Jude Taylor. Her children run the cafe and they pride themselves on using free range and organic low mileage food. In keeping with this they also have a decent sized vege garden on site. My sister and I headed there early thinking we’d beat the crowds but as we turned the corner we saw car after car after car parked around the cafe. I said “surely they can’t all be here for breakfast at this time”… I was wrong. We walked in and it was packed! Thankfully it didn’t take long for someone to find us a table and we were seated inside the warm and rustic surrounds of the cafe. There is a huge outside area as well which would have been lovely had the weather been better this morning.
It’s not often you see a specials board for breakfast, but Taylor’s had one that had a few delicious choices on there. The standard menu prices range from $7 for Fruit Toast (New Norcia) to $20 for the “Carnivore Brekky” – eggs, bacon, sausage, homemade beans spinach, roast tomato, rosemary mushrooms. There is also a super sized version for $26 which they ask you to”order responsibly”. It must be huge! I liked that the menu had a good selection of larger meals as well as small cooked breakfasts – like beans on toast ($10) or grilled ham with basil pesto, egg, onion and tomato ($14). There is also a kids menu with a choice of pancakes ($10) or bacon and egg ($9).
I chose to have the Carnivore Brekky and Sarah decided to have the Italian Eggs from the specials board – scrambled eggs with chorizo, feta, herbs and paprika ($19). She lined up to order and was told there would be a 45min wait on food. We came in just after a few big tables ordered and I was a little shocked at the wait but they were very apologetic. Just from observing the service, I could see it was well organised and no one seemed to be stressed. I also thought about the fact that they are producing quality meals and not just churning out pre-prepared thoughtless food from the kitchen. I was willing to wait.
Our coffee’s came out after about 15 mins and they were worth the wait. They use Dark Star coffee at Taylor’s which is a brand from Fremantle. The coffee was strong but not bitter – a sign of a good quality roast. Both Sarah and I remarked that the coffee was very smooth.
Our meals turned up a few minutes after the coffee which was a total surprise after we were told about the wait time. It was a good surprise! My meal was huge. I wondered if I got this much on the normal sized Carnivore, imagine how big the super sized one would be! Tender butter beans in a tomato sauce with a hint of fennel made for flavoursome homemade beans. That hint of aniseed from the fennel was really different. The bacon was the most tender bacon I have ever eaten. My only complaint was that the thick rind wasn’t cut off but I removed it myself easily enough. The flavour was mild with a hint of porky sweetness. My eggs were perfect. I love the moment I cut open a poached egg to see the yolk ooze out. Roasted mushrooms weren’t really to my liking, the rosemary made them a little too pungent, however he sausage was nice and herby and spinach was crunchy.
Sarah’s dish was also worth writing home about. The eggs were tender and packed full of fresh herbs. Chorizo was a plentiful and it was soft with a mild flavour. You could really taste the herbs in the dish, which made for a very tasty meal.
The service at Taylor’s was down to earth and friendly. We were greeted eagerly when we were arrived and were farewelled and thanked as we left. There was something really “feel good” about the place. Hopefully this review will show people that there is breakfast being served in the Swan Valley that is worth the money and the drive! So take a drive out to the Swan Valley and treat yourself to an amazing breakfast at Taylor’s and maybe a couple of responsible wine tastings on the way home.510 Great Northern Hwy, Middleswan
Breakfast served Wed-Sun 7.30am-11.30am