WE’D been heading elsewhere for lunch when the funky former stables/storage shed on Carr Place, Leederville caught our eye.
There’s no hint of horse manure in the tiny brick building, which has been many things over it’s 100 years, but there is plenty of great retro-grunge ambience – and old record covers.
It was a wet, miserable day which was a pity as the garden setting, looked very appealing with its tubs of plants and elephant mural. The Rug Studio for a post-lunch wander was also an enticement.
Album covers for the likes of Abba, The Seekers, Simon and Garfunkel and John Denver adorned the ceiling and some of the walls inside.
“It makes me feel really old I used to have those records and now they are nostalgic,” my companion sighed.
With no proper kitchen Babylon’s bill of fare is simple, mostly toasted sarnies and soup, and veggie stacks — some with bacon, and sometimes pasta.
Co-owner Simon Adonis had wanted to focus on coffee when he opened a year ago: “As we went on I realised people want to eat.”
My mate and I went for the pumpkin and sweet potato soup ($10), which came with a couple of slices of particularly good sunflower and rye toast.
Queried on whether the spread was real butter or (shudder) margarine the waiter came back promptly: “Real butter of course.”
The soup was magnificent, rich, thick and spicy. It comes in biodegradable paper mugs, so no washing and they don’t sit around in landfill for eons.
We also shared a veggie stack ($10), a tortilla-like serving layered with mushrooms, capsicum and spinach, and overlaid with a great chilli kick.
The owner’s mum makes the cakes and a salted peanut tart ($4.50) already had my name on it.
It took sweet, chocolate, nuttiness to new heights and would be banned as performance enhancing at the Olympics.
My friend went with the recommendation of a Babylon old hand and had the pharaohs finger.
“I don’t like dates but I like this a lot,” the old hand had recommended as my friend expressed some concern about the ingredient list.
“Unctuous,” she said, scoffing its oily, chocolate richness in double-quick time.
We washed our dessert down with a great coffee for my friend and a very pleasant pot of lemongrass and ginger tea for me.
by JENNY D’ANGER
Carr Place, Leederville
breakfast and lunch 7 days