by JENNY D’ANGER:
It was the giant pink flamingo that caught my eye as I drove along Wellington Street—then I noticed an elephant-sized budgie as I turned into William Street.
“Even Tony Abbott couldn’t smuggle that bugger,” I thought.
The colourful, cartoon-like paintings covering Tartine Cafe’s windows do as much to attract customers as Kevin Rudd has for Labor’s chances in the election. A week after his second coming I was back for lunch.
The welcome was as bright and breezy as the eatery, and staff greeted us with pleasant banter and efficient service.
The food is all about work lunches and the cafe is a place to grab something on the run or sit and enjoy a meal with plenty of style that won’t break the budget.
Low on preparation and full of fresh ingredients, there’s a range of baguettes and toasted Turkish bread, cakes and pastries–with soup added to the menu for winter.
My thick bowl of steaming pumpkin soup came with a choice of sour dough or wholemeal baguette—at $9 it was great value for a working girl’s lunch.
My companion ordered a tuna baguette ($9), a tangy mix of mayo and lemon with plenty of fresh crisp lettuce, in a ficelles—or string baguette as they’re called in France.
Tartine’s long, thin baguettes are hand rolled, use natural leavening (no commercial yeast) and get baked in a traditional stone-bake oven.
The result is a distinctive flavour and texture with a terrifically crisp, chewy crust.
The mouthwatering selection of pastries is also hand made and preservative free, with gluten-free options.
We both had a lemon meringue variation, with a sweet cake base and a lemony, sharp topping.
Tartine prides itself on its coffee, with a selection of beans roasted to its specification.
Along with its house blend there’s a monthly blend, giving customers seasonal coffee choices from around the world.
The two cups I had were pretty damn fine, especially with one of the many tempting cakes and pastries.
And just to make sure the cakes were good we took a couple home for our loved ones.
Mine loved the raspberry and shortbread coconut slice, while my lunch partner’s partner was as impressed by the lemon cake as he was.
by JENNY D’ANGER
Cnr Wellington and William Streets, Perth