CAFE DOWNEY, Mt Lawley
by STEPHEN POLLOCK:
When I read a cafe menu some form of atavism kicks in and my eyes are inextricably drawn to the humble cheeseburger.
It’s my red meat go-to-option that makes me pound my chest, shout ooga-booga! and dream of Raquel Welch in One Million Years BC.
In order to advance humankind we decided to visit Cafe Downey, which serves up Japanese fusion burgers.
Opposite Planet Video on Walcott Street, Downey is in the throbbing loins of Mt Lawley.
The modest menu features American-style sandwiches, burgers, pancakes and a smattering of salads.
It’s speciality, however, is its fusion-inspired Asian burgers, including a teriyaki egg burger.
I went for the teriyaki burger ($13), while ‘er indoors ordered the avocado with cheese burger ($13.5).
The cafe was spacious and has a nice airy balcony, where you can enjoy a breeze. There are shadier nooks inside for those who want to cosy up.
It’s nice to get a happy waiter and it wasn’t long before the sanguine fellow was plopping two burgers onto our laps.
The mince patty was nicely cooked—no desiccation—and topped with lettuce, tomato, onion and mayonnaise.
A nice touch was the addition of dill pickles, which, on contact with the tongue, instantly whisked me back to Arnold’s in Happy Days.
My burger was bookended by two lightly toasted buns: the American style ones which are smooth and vaguely shiny.
It was of the skyscraper variety and un-liftable, requiring the use of a knife and fork.
On the other side of the table, the good lady was toppling her avocado tower.
I was circumspect about whether beef would go with avocado, but the good lady says it’s an experimental triumph.
“There’s plenty of fresh avocado, which is impressive, as some cafes only give you a miserly smear,” she said.
All burgers come with thick-cut steak chips, which have a crunchy exterior and fluffy innards.
They tasted lovely, but the portion was a token gesture.
In fairness there was a large option for an extra couple of bucks, so maybe that comes with extra chips.
I like Cafe Downey: It’s cheap, simple and serves honest food.
I am drawn to it— like a chimp groping the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
1/60 Walcott St, Mt Lawley