CRUSHED cornflakes and Rice Bubbles mixed with toasted almond meal, to serve as a crunchy breakfast sprinkle. Who comes up with this stuff?
The blokes behind tbsp. cafe in Bayswater.
They’ve turned arguably the most unoriginal cafe breakfast classic—muesli ($13)—into something so crazy it actually works.
In front of me are golden, toasted oats and nuts topped with organic WA yoghurt, fruit, spiced honey, edible flowers and that unique sprinkle the owners like to call “cereal crunch”.
Did I mention the orange segments are freeze-dried? They’re tangy, chewy and my new favourite thing.
So intense is my love for them that comrade Dwyer and I search the web for freeze-drying machines so we can chill-dry our own.
Questions pile up in my head and then let rip like an appreciative belch when one of the owners, Rob, comes by our table.
“The muesli tastes like Crunchy Nut cereal, am I right?” I ask, suspicious after hearing news about the cereal crunch. He’s smiling and remaining tight-lipped, keeping some secrets to himself.
But he spills the proverbial beans on the spiced honey: the depth of flavour is from paprika.
Rob and fellow co-owners Han-Ji and Han-Li share a love for cereals and experimenting with flavours (let’s get real, they’re playing with their food, right?)
Sometimes the cereal crunch has bits of Fruit Loops in it instead of cornflakes, he says. Yep, they’re really cooking the recipe books, and I love it.
Also on the menu is their take on eggs benedict, “brisket benedict” ($22). It has beer-braised onions, slow-cooked eggs and hollandaise sauce on a slice of ciabatta.
“We wanted to do an eggs benedict of sorts,” Rob says. “But to serve it straight up would be a bit boring. There’s a lot of thought that’s gone into our brunch menu. We’ve chosen meals we would be happy to eat.”
For my next visit, I’ll try the kale and Persian feta scrambled eggs on toast ($15) or perhaps the red quinoa salad with slow-cooked eggs, charred broccoli, spinach, cherry tomatoes and crispy seaweed ($16). Hell, looks like I’m moving in.
I learn the tbsp. blokes were behind Smuggled Seeds, the Leederville cafe which closed, and where Pixel Coffee Brewers has now moved in. The boys sold up for a place with more space.
The coffee is good, too (I have a penchant for specialty beans). My favourite blend, Candyman by the roasting company Small Batch, is on the menu. Mental tick.
They also have single origin beans and have included serving suggestions such as with milk, filtered or as an espresso or long black.
Tasting notes—the flavours of different beans created after extraction—are written on the menu, too, so I’m sure it can look busy and confusing to diners.
But don’t be scared: embrace the unusual. The staff are happy to take the time to talk you through the menu and coffee choices. Tick, tick, tick. tbsp. ticks all the boxes.
by EMMIE DOWLING
10 King William Street