FOOD is part of life and life is food,” declares Leadman Cafe co-owner Daniel.
The eatery is owned by a trio of Daniels and a young woman called Destiny.
They’re a funky, youthful bunch with exciting ideas about food. “There’s nothing new under the sun…but we look at what’s available at the market and come up with food based on that,” Daniel says.
The gourmet Mi Goreng ($6.50), one of the house specials, is a sophisticated take on a student favourite – two-minute noodles.
The dish was created when the Daniels had little in the pantry and includes truffle oil, a soft-poached egg, sesame and fried shallots.
A customer spotted Daniel eating it and said “I’ll have what you’re having”, and it’s now one of the cafe’s most popular dishes.
Leadman’s decor is funky and utilitarian with polished concrete floors and a black concrete ceiling.
The cafe is tiny, but Daniel reeled back in horror when I suggested they may have to move to a bigger premises because they were so popular.
“Because we are small we are able to connect to our customers; we don’t want to lose that,” he says.
The menu is small but original and includes cold soba noodle salad ($14.50), wild rice and chicken in a ginger coconut sauce ($15.30) and some great looking savoury muffins.
There’s also a smoked vanilla ice cream sandwich ($10.50) for breakfast.
The toasted brioche bun comes with corn flakes, raspberries and house-made smoked vanilla ice cream.
I opted for the roasted eggplant on toast ($15.50), which was a brilliant twist on the trusty old bruschetta.
Large slices of wonderfully oily and soft aubergine were perched on sourdough bread smeared with umami aioli.
Mixed greens crowned the lot, and were covered in a snow-cloud of shaved parmesan. It was simple and magnificent.
My lunch ended with a fine earl grey tea and a delicious slice of honey cake.
The tea is from Chiang Rai in Northern Thailand.
“It comes from the farm to the tea company, direct to us,” Daniel says.
By JENNY D’ANGER
159 Claisebrook Road, Perth
Tues – Sat breakfast/lunch