13 March, 2015

I know I go on and on about this,  but it’s been a while since a noteworthy cafe has opened up around the northern beaches. Bar a few, why is a popular tourist area so void of top quality cafes? Well a new addition has started to restore my faith in the area. Set back off the West Coast Drive strip, Tropico has made the small shopping precinct on Flora Terrace a place that locals can no longer keep to themselves.

Funnily enough, it was my local friend Jess who was busting to take me to this place. With her son in tow and our other friend Kirsty and her daughter joining us, I wondered if we had bitten off more than we could chew – going to a notoriously busy cafe with two toddlers? “HA!” is what I can hear you all saying. We arrived and said we needed a table with two highchairs. In a few minutes they had set us up a table and the wait staff soon became besotted with the two kids! They were brilliant. Even rushing over to pick up a couple of toys that got dropped before Kirsty or Jess could bend down to get it themselves. How’s that for KID FRIENDLY.

The coffee is by Bondi based roaster Will and Co. It’s not a coffee I have seen in Perth before and having a look at their website, Tropico - Coffeethey are very east cost centric. It’s always good to try something different! This was a smooth and creamy cup of coffee. The roast was mild, making this an easy to drink drop that any coffee lover will enjoy. For those who want to drink something from a fashionable mason jar, there is a decent selection of juices and smoothies on offer served with real pieces of fruit on top for that “wow factor”.

They are proud of using local suppliers that practice sustainable farming here. The menu lists their suppliers at the bottom and even encourages patrons to suggest more they can use. Reading the menu combined with eyeing off the food coming out of the kitchen was a test of ones decision making ability. We were like meerkats poking our heads up to see what the dish was, then heads back down to work out what it was on the menu. Prices range from $8.50 for toast up to $24 for the big breakfast – eggs, sausage, house made beans, tomato, bacon and mushrooms. Normally this is where I would go on a rant about how a full breakfast shouldn’t cost $24. Generally it shouldn’t… but I don’t feel right making this judgement when the produce is from local suppliers who are chosen for their sustainable and ethical practices. What are your thoughts brekky lovers?

Apologising for not ordering something more interesting, Kirsty went with Abhi bakery’s fruit loaf ($8.50). When fruit toast comes out like this one did, there is no need for an apology. This was no boring shop bought raisin toast that burns in even the most carefully monitored toaster. Served with jam and cultured butter, the dense and cakey thick cut slices of loaf were fully loaded with pieces of fruit and crunchy nuts. It was probably the most acceptable way to have cake for breakfast.

Tropico - Fruit Loaf

Jess went with the sweet and salty granola ($16). Served with panna cotta crowned with chunks of pineapple and strawberry, we struggled to see or taste what the “salty” element was. Was it in the tight-fisted sprinkling of granola? The coconut panna cotta was smooth and creamy with a distinct vanilla bean flavour. Coupled with a gimmicky pineapple shake, it made for a lot of sweet diary on this breakfast. I see the appeal but in my opinion, ditch the shake and beef up the granola and you’ve got a winner of a breakfast.

Tropico - Granola

Something savoury was on the cards for me on this morning after I overdosed on cake and cheesecake slice on the weekend. Winner winner chicken dinner – wood roasted mushrooms ($18) won the draw.  Chunks of meaty mushrooms were served with basil pesto, poached eggs and sour dough. I love eating mushies that have been cooked to that point that they are firm and not watery. It makes them perfect for piling on toast. This sour dough from Abhi’s bakery was so soft, that even when lightly toasted I wasn’t left with the roof of my mouth hacked up from a brick like crust. The only disappointing part to this dish was when I ran out of those delicious herby mushrooms.

Tropico - Mushrooms

Seeing how busy this place was on a weekday, I can only imagine what it is like on a weekend. Jess tells me that the crowds could easily rival Voyage Kitchen down the coast. The service was on point with a full cafe, I’d only hope the wheels don’t fall off with a full house plus hungry customers waiting in the wings for a table.

I am excited to see more and more quality cafes opening up north of Scarborough and being only a short distance off West Coast Drive, Tropico is a must visit especially after working up an appetite from a walk along our beautiful coastline.

105 Flora Tce, North Beach
Breakfast served daily 7am – 11.30am

Tropico on Urbanspoon


Originally posted on WA Today – Friday 13th March 2015

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