Cute cafe

I RECKON the Premier should focus his house hunting on Claisebrook Cove in East Perth.

The leafy enclave is perfect for a swish apartment where he could live with other MPs in a political version of Seinfeld – Seinfeld (Mark McGowan), Kramer (John Carey), Elaine (Simone McGurk) and George Costanza (David Templeman).

They could all hang out at the Cactus Kitchen, a cute little cafe on Royal Street.

The cafe is not that well known outside of East Perth, but locals rave about its coffee and brunch dishes like salmon bagels, potato rosti and brekky quesadilla.  

When I arrived there on Tuesday lunchtime, I was soaked through after being caught in a nasty squall and a barrage of hailstones, so I ordered a comforting bowl of Minestrone ($10.50).

The cafe was neat and tidy with a small open kitchen behind the till, an alfresco and some cacti in a pot at the entrance.

It was on the ground floor of a serviced apartment block; a great idea which guarantees the cafe a captive market (who wants to walk a few streets in their jammies to buy a cup of Joe).

Minestrone is a great meal to make from leftover vegetables, and this version had everything but the kitchen sink in it, including sweet corn, onion, half cherry tomatoes, chunky celery, and broccoli.

It was a salutary and tasty concoction with a lovely tomato broth.

I’ve had some Minestrones which didn’t have much veg, but this was a filling and authentic number.

The doorstop of bread was very interesting – despite its thickness and chunky crust the inside was incredibly light and airy, almost like a crumpet.

It was perfect for dunking into the soup and delicious on its own with the accompanying butter.

My cappuccino ($4) was nice and creamy and piping hot.

There was some classical Indian music playing in the background as I ate my lunch, and the friendly lady behind the till was chatting away with regulars.

You could tell this was the sort of relaxed place you would come to work on your laptop, have a small business confab, or just to read the papers with a brew.

I’ve been to the Cactus Kitchen a few times and enjoyed their brekky quesadilla (bacon or chicken), house-made potato rosti and eggs benny. 

They also bake fresh cakes, tarts and muffins, and do a really nice sausage roll, as well as various daily specials. 

Despite its spiky name, the Cactus Kitchen is a friendly place for a coffee and a well-priced bite to eat.

I’m sure it would happily double as Monk’s Cafe for Mark and his motley crew.

Cactus Kitchen
60 Royal Street,
East Perth
facebook.com/cactuskitchen.east

by STEPHEN POLLOCK

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