My list of places to visit and review is so huge that I can’t keep up anymore and it screams at me Fremantle Fremantle Fremantle!!! It has been a long time since I have visited our port city and I was surprised to see how it has changed.
My Gran worked for the Freo council in the tourist information office and we’d go and see her on some Thursdays after school and have fish and chips at a pub in the west end. Those side streets weren’t really somewhere you’d venture but now they are filled with new exciting shops and what I am especially interested in… cafes. Those tired old cafes on the strip finally have competition to contend with!
Sitting on Collie Street, Yocal is like many of the businesses down these side streets, residing in an old house that maybe convicts laid the foundations of. Sitting outside in their front courtyard you are oblivious to the street being only meters away with cooling palms trees and hanging plants surrounding you at your table. Even the bathroom area is a leafy sanctuary!
The menu has a few surprises on it like their take on a classic Canadian breakfast which they have reinvented to buttermilk and ricotta hotcakes with spiced orange syrup, double cream and proscuitto ($17). Of course if you are just after bacon and eggs they have you covered! The top price is $20 for Billy’s big breakfast – herbed mushrooms, grilled tomato, pork and fennel chipolatas, bacon, eggs, toast.
My sister Sarah wanted a juice but is doing that “I quit Sugar” thing so I mentioned this when I was ordering and they suggested a juice they would make for her. It was a vege juice but it tasted like a bloody mary – minus the good stuff of course. I ordered a “green smoothie” – kiwi fruit, banana, spinach, apple, lemon, coconut water and chia seeds. There is something about drinking a green coloured smoothie that just makes you feel better about all that wine you drank the night before.
They use Dimattina coffee at Yocal and baristas are doing a good job of making a very decent cup of coffee from it. The blend they use is La Tazza and is roasted in locally in Osborne Park.
I think I am off eggs again. Last year I didn’t eat them for months and I wonder if it’s a case of “too much of a good thing”. There are plenty of non-egg dishes here and one of these is the mushrooms on toast with spinach pesto and roquette ($13) with goats cheese ($15). It was an impressive dish for what were pretty simple ingredients. A menagerie of mushrooms made up of enoki, field and oyster topped peppery roquette on rye. The goats cheese was A-MA-ZING. So soft, creamy and sharp. Drizzled in olive oil it complemented the pesto flavour mixed in with the mushies. There was a quite a lot of it so I didn’t find myself using it sparingly. If you’re a vegetarian, vegan or just hating on eggs – this would be a perfect dish for you.
Whenever we used to go to Beaufort St Merchant, Sarah would order “green eggs and ham” which was their version of eggs benedict. Not breaking from her Dr Seuss “thing” she ordered Yocal’s green eggs and ham ($14) – two poached eggs on toast (gluten free is an extra $3) topped with salsa verde. The absence of hollandaise meant this was a light breakfast but it needed runny yolk to break it all up. Out of the two eggs, one was poached perfection and the other one unfortunately spent a bit too long in the hot bath. Salsa verde added a rustic flavour and the ever important colour “green”, with the hot eggs and lightly grilled shaved ham wilting the roquette and spinach just enough so it had a soft crunch.
I would place a bet on Yocal having the nicest staff in Perth. This isn’t even an exaggeration – they are SO friendly and thankful and eager to please… even in the middle of the mid morning breakfast rush.
Yocal is what Fremantle has always been about – it’s down to earth, friendly and relaxed. So step away from the cappuccino strip and venture down the quieter end of town for a brekky that won’t disappoint.18 Collie St, Fremantle
Breakfast served 7am – 11.30am
Originally published on WA Today – 28th February 2014