There are parts of Fremantle that are frozen in time and I’m not talking about from when the convicts were hanging out on High Street. Walking down the cappuccino strip is the same now as it was 20 years ago. It makes me roll my eyes and think “really? How are these places full?”. Some are charging in the high $20’s for food that your local shopping centre cafe could do a better job of. People should be heading to the west end or down the side streets. There you will find the heritage Freo is famous for as well as the boutiques, art shops and what I am interested in… cafes.
The Attic has been around for a few years and I stumbled across it by accident when wandering down towards the esplanade. Blink and you’ll miss this hole in wall cafe. Walk in past a tiny counter area laden with treats and head up stairs to… you guessed it… the attic. Don’t worry there’s no Stephen King horror scene playing out in this attic. Up there is bar seating, couches, small tables and big table for sharing or a large group. The staff must get a good work out going up and down the stairs all day!
Eastern states roaster, Toby’s estate, supply the coffee here. Robust in flavour with a hint of citrus, this was a very decent brew. There is also a selection of juices, smoothies and lassis. A lassi is a traditional spiced drink from India and Pakistan made from yogurt and sometimes fruit. I only saw the lassis after I ordered my juice. Damn!
The menu is full of options with some bold flavours going on. Think chorizo, cumin seeds, shakshouka, mint, chilli, chilli and more chilli. As a lover of the fiery fruit, I was in heaven. Prices range for $7 for organic sourdough, organic fruit bread or gluten free toast up to $18 for the mushrooms, cinnamon, cumin seeds, white cheese, egg and sourdough. Yep $18 is the most you will pay for a top quality breakfast at a cafe that is may be a 30 second walk from the strip and it’s $30 breakfasts.
The open quesadilla ($16.50) I ordered was served with black beans, fried egg, jalopenos and avocado. For a fiver I added pulled pork. How could I not?! If you don’t add the pulled pork, then what are you doing with your life? The tortilla was as soft as velvet; a thin layer of melted cheese made for snazzy surprise. They didn’t go light on the jalopeno chilli either, which of course will always win big points with me. The pulled pork was first class. Tender and succulent, it had a hint of spice that was a match made in heaven with the black beans. If you’re hungry – order this dish.
Sarah spent an fair bit of time tossing up between the smashed avocado, lime, mint, tomato, black quinoa and feta cheese ($16) and the green chilli eggs ($16.50). Well she is my sister after all, so of course the chilli eggs was it. Soft creamy scrambled eggs were loaded with sliced bacon, spring onion and green chilli. The green chilli added punchy flavour rather than just heat, and spring onions gave a splash of freshness. She ordered gluten free bread with the dish and soon became suspicious that it wasn’t actually gluten free because it was THAT good. Don’t worry coeliac sufferers… their GF bread is legit!
Despite a heart sinking long line to order, the coffees and food came out quickly. There was one staff member I have to commend. I didn’t catch his name but the waiter with the black curly hair couldn’t do enough for us and other diners. Whilst some of the others looked like they were being tortured having to work on a Saturday – he smiled enough for all of them. Top effort mate!
Some people might say that the cappuccino strip is part of Freo’s charm. Is it it though? I thought the charm was the artistic flair, the heritage and doing things a little bit differently. It’s certainly not paying for overpriced food to sit on a sidewalk and watch dudes in commodores with chev badges do bog laps. Well that is actually pretty entertaining…
I hope more people go exploring down the west end, who knows what treasures you will find. The Attic is certainly one I am glad I found. Great food, top quality coffee and the charm Freo is famous for.16 Bannister St, Fremantle
Breakfast all day from 7am Tues-Sun
Originally posted on WA Today – 15th August 2014