Green cuisine

THERE are some interesting cafes at the quieter end of Oxford Street in Leederville.

Three Sisters Vietnamese and Pixel Cafe spring to mind, and this week I stumbled upon Dear Green Cafe, which serves Asian-style brunch dishes.

The cafe is diagonally opposite the old Midway taxi rank, which is now caked in graffiti and overgrown with weeds.

Some might find that off-putting, but I enjoyed watching skateboarders zoom about the abandoned site, occasionally sailing through the air or stopping for a cigarette.

Let’s call it urban recycling and the cultural detritus was far better than some homogenous chain or shiny, anti-septic shopping mall.

Dear Green Cafe is a tiny gaff with a few tables and chairs and a pavement alfresco.

There were some bright cushions with oriental patterns, but aside from that it was fairly minimalist.

The menu was minimalist too with a smattering of dishes including bacon, scrambled egg and cheese roll; meat and veggie wontons; and smashed avocado on toast with feta and balsamic glaze.

The most substantial dish was the chicken potato curry noodle soup, which looked very inviting but a bit too heavy for lunch.

The one-page menu was slightly confusing with photos of the dishes at the top, but nothing to marry them up with the descriptions at the bottom. 

After some hemming and hawing, I went for the chicken and mushroom wontons with a fresh juice combo ($21).

There was a bit of a wait for my food – only one lady working in the cafe – and my drink was nowhere to be seen either.

As the youth across the road mistimed a 720 and clattered into a railing, the lady called out my wontons were ready.

I had wanted a sit-in meal not takeaway, but these things happen and I took my recyclable bowl and wooden fork and sat down at the table beside the window.

The house-made chicken and mushroom wontons looked nice and fresh with glistening yellow cases.

They were semi-submerged in a reddish sauce which was a little bit spicy with a slightly sweet satay refrain. 

It was very moreish and went well with the steamed dumplings, which had a lovely filling with nice slivers of mushroom and good quality pork with no gristle or fat.

There were plenty of the dainty wontons, which were garnished with a liberal dose of scallions to add some bite.

It was a very enjoyable, tasty dish and you could tell it was house-made, but it needed some rice or super thin noodles to bulk it out. 

My beetroot, ginger and apple juice was very refreshing and wasn’t too spicy with a nice balance of flavours. Very enjoyable.

The cafe also do a lovely-looking range of cakes and some bagels. 

During my meal, lots of people were popping in and out, enjoying conversations with the very friendly and smiley lady behind the till; so the place was clearly popular with locals.

After my meal I ordered a takeaway latte ($4.50) and had a lovely chat with the lady, who hails from Macau.

You could tell she was a people person and it wasn’t faux enthusiasm put on for customers.

Dear Green Cafe is a quirky number and is worth a try if you are up that end of Oxford Street.

You might even want to bring your skateboard…

By STEPHEN POLLOCK

Dear Green Cafe
376a Oxford Street,
Mount Hawthorn

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