Sunday, August 25, 2013

West End Deli

I have been really bad with blogging lately since I have moved overseas for a few months to study. Just before I left, I had the pleasure to brunch at West End Deli which was on my wish list for the longest time. Lucky for me, my brunch buddy was up for trying out the West End Deli with me!

West End Deli is suitably near the CBD minus the hustle and bustle of the city traffic. It is popular with the office crowd, families and the well dressed crowd. It is quite unlike any cafes that I visited in Perth or Melbourne. It has a certain vibe and atmosphere that is homely yet sophisticated. It is a juxtaposition that scores two thumbs up from me, and another two from my brunch buddy.

West End Deli
From the outset, the sight of chairs hanging from the ceiling may be a cause of concern. However, as you enter, you will appreciate the creativity of using hanging chairs as light pieces.

Score for creativity!
Interior- so picturesque.
 This is my favourite picture of the interior.

At the checkout
As we were ushered into the café, we passed the checkout counter which was adorned by delicious looking pastries and cakes. My friend and I ogled at the sight of them and I made a mental note to order the Portuguese Egg Tart as I walked past.

I love how the West End Deli is innovative with its offerings that we had such a hard time deciding what to get. Even the drinks are not your typical drink offerings that you can get at any cafe...

Honeycomb Mocha with real crumbled chocolate and espresso (AUD$7)
I was craving coffee but the combination of honeycomb, chocolate and coffee won me over. This drink was delicious! It reminded me very much of Cadbury's honeycomb chocolate but in a drink form. It was chocolatey, with crumbled bits of chocolate that melted in my mouth and bits of honeycomb which provided hits of honeycomb sweetness with some crunch. My only complain would be that I couldn't really taste the espresso but it was, nevertheless, a very delicious drink. I contemplated getting another but the price tag prevented it.

Honeycomb Hot Chocolate with Real Crumbled Chocolate (AUD$6.50)
 My non-coffee drinking friend got the Honeycomb Hot Chocolate with Real Crumbled Chocolate and she was nice to offer me a sip. Surprisingly, this was less chocolatey than the Mocha version and she preferred it that way as she said it was easier to drink without feeling too overwhelmed. I, on the other hand, preferred the "chocolatier" version. ;)

Pink Snapper, Israeli Cous Cous, Cauliflower, Parsley & Raisins (AUD$24)
We picked our mains and decided to share them. My friend ordered the Pink Snapper which was absolutely stunning! It was our good fortune that the dish's aesthetics and taste were congruent. I don't know what it is with fish dishes but so many places always get it wrong. However, this checked all the right boxes. Imagine crispy skin, tender, juicy and flaky fish, light and fluffy cous cous and cauliflower with hints of sweetness from the raisins... The biggest highlights were those bright peeled tomatoes as the tomatoes burst into tart, sweet and tasty fireworks in my mouth.

Pork & Mushroom Croquette, Smoked Creamed Corn & Fried Egg (AUD$18)
 I couldn't resist the sound of croquettes much less pork and mushroom croquettes. The element of smoked creamed corn was intriguing as well so I grudgingly passed up the idea of ordering two mains (the Tasmanian salmon, sesame spinach, slow egg & miso broth sounds amazing).

Look at the juices from the pork and mushroom croquette!

I liked how the croquettes were crispy on the outside without being greasy and the insides were full of juicy pulled pork with vague hints of earthiness from the mushrooms. As a mushroom lover, I would prefer the mushrooms to be more evident in the croquette but that's just my personal preference. The smoked cream corn was interesting as it was smoky and sweet. My friend loved it so much that I happily traded it for a bit more fish. :) The parsley did not add or detract from the dish but considering the popularity of parsley, I thought that it could have been substituted with another herb or vegetable. (PS: I'm not a fan of parsley.)

Portuguese Egg Tart (AUD$3.50)
 I was glad when it was time for desserts! The Portuguese Egg Tart arrived on the prettiest looking floral plate that I couldn't help taking more photos of it. The egg custard was encased in a buttery and flaky puff pastry shell but I couldn't quite bring myself to love this because it wasn't a Portuguese Egg Tart. It was probably a Western take of the Portuguese Egg Tart as Portuguese Egg Tarts typically do not have cinnamon added whereas English Custard Tarts typically have cinnamon or nutmeg added to it. This Portuguese Egg Tart also lacked the caramelized flavour that comes with the blemishing of the 'skin' (milk protein). Nevertheless, it was still tasty but it would fare better as a West End Deli Egg Tart since it was neither an English Custard Tart (English Custard Tart uses shortcrust pastry) nor a Portuguese Egg Tart.

Potted Vanilla Cheese Cake, Salted Caramel (AUD$12)
The presentation of our final dessert caught us by surprise! The waitress explained that the salted caramel component was in the toothpaste looking object. True to the concept of a toothpaste, the entrance was sealed and you would need to reverse the cap and use the pointy part to break the seal. The waitress also advised us not to put all the salted caramel at the top. We should put it in separate stages so that we could get the salted caramel as we eat.

Potted Vanilla Cheese Cake Uncovered with Salted Caramel in a toothpaste form!

We uncovered the potted vanilla cheese cake and the top was covered with what looked like toffee bits.

Decorated the vanilla cheese cake with salted caramel!
We had fun playing with our salted caramel flavoured "toothpaste" and decorating our cheesecake. The presentation was very novel and we were nicely surprised once again. Remember those toffee bits? They were actually popping candy! We found out as the popping candy sizzled and fizzled in our mouths. This dessert was very interesting as the vanilla cheese cake was sweet and creamy while the popping candy cut through the creaminess by adding the element of sweet fizziness. However, after a while, we found ourselves neglecting the salted caramel as it wasn't what we wanted in a salted caramel. It lacked the buttery caramel flavour and tasted like fake salted caramel (for the lack of a better description). The biscuit crumbs at the bottom were also soggy. However, the presentation, sweet creamy vanilla cheese cake and fireworks-like popping candy brought delights to our hearts and tastebuds that I didn't really mind the other lacklustre elements.

I am very impressed by the menu's offerings and the execution of the dishes that I couldn't stop raving about the West End Deli to anyone that would listen to me. While my overall dining experience impressed me, I feel that service could have been a lot better. The wait staff were efficient but seemed a bit standoffish. Another friend of mine, who brought her mum to the West End Deli after listening to me rant, commented that service was bad while she was there and that the staff were unapologetic and snobbish. Hopefully, the service will change to match up to the food and all will be good!

West End Deli
Breakfast/Lunch Hours: Tuesday-Sunday (7am – 3pm) (Closed on Mondays),
Dinner Hours: Wednesday- Saturday (Dinner from 6pm)
Address: 95 Carr St, West Perth
Telephone: 08 9328 3605

West End Deli on Urbanspoon

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