East End Cafe is located on Bennett Street, opposite Hans Palace Chinese Restaurant in East Perth. From the outside, it looks like a residential building, with its red bricked walls and low doorframe, the only give away being the big red sign up front stating that it’s a cafe. I found out about this cafe through the senior engineer (RC) at work who had been raving on about the cheap but quality food they have on offer here. For lunch, prices start from $13 for a one-course meal, $15.50 for a two-course meal and $19.50 for a three-course meal (choice of starter, main and/or dessert). He discovered this place whilst taking a walk one lunch break and loved it ever since.
This cafe is actually a training restaurant for workers/students to gain hands-on and practical experience in the hospitality industry, what better way than to serve what they produced to real customers! A perfect training ground for the up and coming chefs, waitstaff etc. I was fortunate to dine here one day when one of RC’s buddy couldn’t make it to lunch and I was asked to be his replacement. So off we went one afternoon with another senior engineer (IP). It was meant to be their reunion and I somehow became the tag-along =p.
The inside of the restaurant is very simple and the decor minimal. The cafe itself is not very spacious either so bookings should be made in advanced as the place do become full during lunch time. RC couldn’t get a table the week before when he tried to organise lunch there.
From reading other reviews of this place, it seems that the menu changes quite regularly. On this occasion, these were the dishes we could choose from (there are four (4) choices for each section):
For Starters: Bouillabaisse, Seafood Cocktail, Stuffed Mushroom or Traditional Caesar
For Mains: Pan Fried Red Spot Emperor, Tandoori Chicken, Penne Pastra or Braised Steak
For Desserts: Apple Tartan, Fresh Fruit Salad, Creme Caramel or Carrot Cake
Once order was taken, we were offered a mini entree (pastry with either egg or prawn topping) and bread to start off with. The pastry was yum! Before I forget, the service provided by the waitstaff up to then is worth a mention, on par with a silver service restaurant.
I had the 3-course meal which consisted of the Stuffed Mushroom, Red Spot Emperor and Carrot Cake.
RC and IP both had the 2-course and ordered the same dishes – the Bouillabaisse and Red Spot Emperor.
We also had the Stoneleigh Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand ($22) which was crisp, dry and went really well with the emperor main.
The Bouillabaisse is a seafood broth, finished with prawns, mussels, white fish and presto crouton and is a popular French soup, originating from the city of Marseille according to IP, whose daughter is residing in France at the moment. He thought the soup tasted great and loved it. I had the Stuffed Mushroom which was served on a chiffonade of lettuce with a peach cocktail sauce. Loved the presentation of the dish and the taste was superb – if only the dish was larger!
The Pan Fried Red Spot Emperor was served on a potato mash with a medley of vegetables finished with a lime and ginger beurre blanc. It was a clear favourite from the menu as all three of us chose this dish as our main. The meat was tender with a delectable sauce. Serving was generous too.
I was full to the brim when lunch finished that day, especially after the Carrot Cake and coffee too. Service throughout the meal was awesome and the head chef even came out to each table after the meal to enquire our thoughts on the food. They do care about the quality of their food! This is indeed a great discovery for lunch in the area, good value for money with the food and excellent service. A place to try!
Rating: 4.25 out of 5 stars
Rating by: N.L.
East End Cafe
Telephone: 08 9325 3869
Address: 72 Bennett Street, East Perth
I couldn’t resist asking RC and IP for a photo together – they have such a cute friendship, meeting in the 70s at work, worked onsite in Fiji at one stage and now ended up seating in the same cubicle at the present company. They always make me laugh when I hear their conversations in the office. After much resistance from RC (he hates taking photos), he finally succumbed. Thanks Roger =)