Kailis Bros in Leederville is one of the two places that immediately come to mind when thinking of fish markets in Perth (the other being Seafresh in Innaloo). Although I’ve spent a fair bit of time and money in the fish market part of Kailis, I’ve never had a meal in the restaurant on the premises. After recently discovering that they serve breakfast in addition to being open for lunch and dinner, a friend and I thought we’d brave the fishy smells in the early morning and go there for a nice hearty post-pump breakfast (for me) and cure-all (for my slightly under-the-weather friend). Actually, it was quite brave of my friend to agree to such a venue when feeling a tad poorly, as I’ve been witness to fish markets having devastating effects on the stomachs of seedy lads in the past (oh, if only that toilet were 5 metres closer).
Whilst the fishy smell was noticeable when we walked through the door, it was very mild and quickly forgotten, particularly with the nice smells of breakfast cooking to distract our olfactory cells.
The service was not exactly fast, but we were not in a great rush and really didn’t mind. I’m sure we could have sped up the process quite easily if we were so inclined, as there seemed to be a sufficient number of wait staff on the floor. It was friendly service, complete with a little ‘witty’ banter from the young man who took our drink orders “Can I get you any coffees to start with? Or a wine or some spirits? Hehehe”. Perhaps he had been dealing with the aftermath of the US sailors being in town all morning, as I’m sure there were quite a few local ladies who may have been in need of a little hair-of-the-dog. My slightly dishevelled look was however due only to working particularly hard at the gym, so we declined the offer (in fact the breakfast menu does include a range of champagnes and sparkling wines) and we were soon drinking pleasant long blacks.
As far as the food choices for breakfast go, there was a good range of options and I found it difficult to choose. There are the usual suspects – “fruit & cinnamon toast with jam $6.90″, “eggs your way, bacon, sauteed tomatoes, sourdough toast $12.50″ but also quite a few slightly more interesting dishes such as “saute of wild mushrooms on wilted spinach with fresh tomato relish & toasted brioche $14.90″ and “eggs benedict & smoked salmon with sauteed asparagus, lemon hollandaise on toasted rye $19.50″. This last dish confused me, and I wish I’d queried it with a waiter. The name suggests it includes both ham and salmon, but given the amount of variation in dishes you see with names like “eggs benedict”, “eggs florentine” or “eggs royale” it is never safe to assume these things.
There were also three types of omelette (served with sourdough toast and sauteed tomatoes) on the menu, all of which sounded quite tempting – “mushroom & feta $15.90″, “blue crab meat, chevre goats cheese & capsicum $17.90″ or “smoked ocean trout with chives & Spanish onion $17.90″. My friend decided upon the crab omelette, while luckily my indecisiveness was cut short by our order being taken and I quickly decided upon the “poached eggs with Greek style giant beans on sourdough toast with spinach & balsamic glazed tomatoes $14.90″ with a side of “Tasmanian smoked salmon $6.90″.
Although the presentation wasn’t incredibly polished, both dishes certainly hit the mark in terms of flavour.
This was a fantastic omelette. You didn’t have to go hunting for the fillings, with generous chunks of juicy crab and tangy chevre waiting for your fork within their fluffy eggy bed. I know this because I was lucky enough to be offered a morsel, and enjoyed every bit of it. Having a generously made dish makes it much easier to share with your dining partners, as you can offer them a taste without fearing that they may enjoy the only piece of goodness the chef deigned to offer you. The remainder of the omelette however was safe from my hunger, as I was far too busy enjoying my breakfast to pull out the trusty “what’s that over there?” trick.
This was really a nice hearty breakfast. The beans were packed with flavour, with the delicious sauce soaking through the lightly toasted bread. I’m happy to report that the eggs were beautifully poached. I’ve been having a really good run lately with my poached eggs, actually. having not had to send any back to the kitchen for quite a few months. The side order of salmon with my dish was a generous size, and by the time both plates were clean I was more than satisfied. I may have even had to leave a few beans behind.
The only possible cause for complaint with the dishes were the somewhat sad-looking non-egg sides of the plates. The little tomatoes and wilted spinach tasted very nice but just didn’t look overly inviting. In fact, my friend’s omelette seemed to not want to be associated with the other side of his plate, and had wriggled over as far as it could to the other end. This however really didn’t detract from our enjoyment of the dishes, and I only mention it because the main components of the dishes were so nice.
Having breakfast at Kailis also has the advantage of inspiring you for what to cook for dinner. I had been trying to decide what to make for dinner while my sister was visiting over the weekend, and was tossing up between pizzas (possibly roo!) and a good old roast chicken and vegies. The decision was made for me however, when I spied the mussels on sale and realised I hadn’t made a batch of chilli mussels up for at least a year. A kilo of mussels, some sesame seaweed salad and a nice loaf of rosemary olive bread, and I was happily on my way, with a nice full belly to start my day.
Kailis Bros Fish Cafe
101 Oxford Street, Leederville
Ph: 08 9443 6300
Hours: 7am til late, 7 days a week