I was looking for somewhere nice to meet up for breakkie with my ex-colleagues and ended up at (CNR) James + Lake, thanks to the recommendation from Urbanspoon (It is currently the most talked about Perth restaurant as of July 2010). It is one of the few popular cafes around Perth that actually takes booking for breakfast! I’d been encountering cafes that do not take seat bookings which is so inconvenient - I mean who wants to wait around for a table unnecessarily? I try to avoid places like these nowadays.
(CNR) James + Lake is located next to / underneath the big screen TV in the Northbridge Piazza, on the corner of James and Lake Street. It is quite an obscure place and it took me a few good minutes to figure out exactly where it’s located. The same applied to the others with me that day so I’m glad they are getting some publicity with bloggers and reviewers mentioning the place!
My first impression of (CNR) is funky, retro and very openly spaced, that you almost don’t notice that it’s quite a tiny cafe. I liked the decor and espeically the heaters placed around the tables – it was a cold, wet and dreary morning that day so any form of heating was totally welcomed. In fact, we didn’t even feel the cold even though the doors were left opened.
I surveyed the menu whilst waiting for everyone to rock up which looked substantial, however nothing too spectacular. I was half expecting something more unusual or special to match the style of the cafe but that did not happen. They were also the usual sandwiches, wraps, desserts etc on display on the counter but I did not manage to have a closer look.
We had the following for breakfast:
- Drinks: Hot Chocolate, Long Mac, English Breakfast
- Fried eggs on toast (choice of Scrambled, Fried or Poached) – $8.50
- Pan fried mushroom, crumble goats cheese on toasted ciabatta with crispy bacon - $15.50
- Eggs Benedict with shaved ham, poached eggs over ciabatta with hollandaise sauce - $14.50
- Eggs Florentine with butter silver beet, poached eggs over ciabatta with hollandaise sauce – $14.00
- Side orders are an extra $3 for spinach, eggs, mushrooms or tomatoes
I had the Long Mac which tasted normal to me – couldn’t tell that it was the Five Sense coffee like I could with the Sayers coffee! Maybe I’m losing my coffee tasting-bud! I’d read great reviews of their coffee from other bloggers though, must go back one day to verify this!
The food came out and they looked pretty tiny to me but very appetising. I had the Pan Fried Mushroom, Crispy Bacon on ciabatta with an added side of spinach (+ for health). Loved the dish especially the big juicy mushrooms stacked on top! Check out the size of it in the photo. I’d asked for a replacement for the goat’s cheese, in which the lady suggested feta cheese and it went really well with the dish. I liked how the lady was so accomodating and suggestive with my request (+ point for service). The only drawback of this dish was the hardness of the ciabatta bread - it took me alot of chewing to get through it. Otherwise it was great! I was too busy chatting to ask what the others thought about the food but there were no complaints so I guess they must have liked it too? I liked mine!
One thing I must mention is the great service the place offered – the hostess was so polite and accomodating, it’s so great to see and at time rare!
Overall, it was a great meal for me and I would visit the place again. Check it out if you are in the vicinity!
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Rating by: N.L.
(CNR) James + Lake
Telephone: 08 9228 8861
Address: 44 Lake Street, Northbridge