THAT men and women have very different ways of seeing the world was highlighted over lunch at this sleek, utilitarian West Perth restaurant.
The only woman in a sea of suited men, I was thinking “glass ceiling”, and imagining female minions eating sandwiches at desks.
My lunch companion on the other hand was thinking “privileged wives” doing coffee and shopping while hubby slaves to pay for it, his only reward an enjoyable lunch.
Venus and Mars will never agree so instead we tackled the more pressing issue of what to eat.
The menu at Black Tom’s isn’t extensive but it does cater for all tastes, with entrees such as smoked duckling breast ($17.50), seared scallops ($18.50) and golden asparagus fritters ($21).
Once our helpful waiter confirmed the chicken was free-range my mate went with his first choice, caesar salad with chicken ($23).
Chunky, succulent slices of chook, drizzled over with shaved parmesan…
A plate the size of a V-dub wheel hub full of salad arrived topped with candied bacon, a poached egg and chunky, succulent slices of chook, drizzled over with shaved parmesan.
It looked as good as it tasted, and the runny yolk mixed beautifully with the caesar dressing, he said, adding the anchovies’ quality was apparent by the flavour and lack of bitterness.
I had tossed up between butternut pumpkin and blue cheese tortelloni—bigger than tortellini—($24), but the battered spanish mackerel ($26) won out.
Two chunky fillets were firm and flaky and the batter not in the least oily, while the home-made tartare, with lots of capers, was lip-smackingly fantastic.
Sharing my “hand-cut” chips, our next big discussion was how to describe such flavoursome pieces of potato, which were much better than the usual deep-fried commercial version. With just a hint of crispness, they were wonderfully moist and delicious at every bite, we agreed—giving hope for gender accord.
Black Tom’s is licensed and many at other tables enjoyed a beer or wine, but this was a working lunch so we stuck to coffee.
A good long black ($3.80) is my perfect finish to any meal while my mate loved his hot chocolate, which came exactly as ordered—extra strong. The mini-orange and chocolate biscuit on the side was delicious.
Black Tom’s is certainly more West Perth business than girls’ lunch out—or family dinner—but what it does, it does well, and we left well satisfied.
by JENNY D’ANGER
27 Ord Street, West Perth
open Mon–Fri 8am–midnight