Tarting it up

August 21, 2009 · 11 comments

I’d been meaning to get to Tarts for a meal ever since reading a good review on Breakfast in Perth, and realising it was literally a few minutes walk from my apartment. I actually ended up having lunch there a few weeks ago with some friends prior to checking out the Made on the Left market at the Hyde Park Hotel. My friends and I all really enjoyed our meals (tarts and pies with salad) but I was too busy getting stuck into my food to take any photos, I’m sure you understand.Luckily my sister’s visit a couple of weeks ago provided a great excuse to get back there to try out the breakfast menu, and we casually made our way up there on the Saturday morning, admiring the terrace houses on Lake Street during the walk. Tarts is quite nice inside, being a converted old house with all the nooks and crannies still in place. There are gourmet food items and accessories for sale inside, and I picked up a cute birthday card for a friend while we were there.

I actually managed to book for the three of us when we had lunch there, but was told this isn’t normally the done thing as they generally only take bookings for groups of 6 or more. At least you’ve got some pretty things to look at while you wait for a table though I guess! Perhaps that’s part of their cunning plan.

You pick up menus from the counter, and you can order off those or from the display case next to the counter. The display case is quite mesmerising, filled with all manner of delicious cakes and tarts and pies and biscuits, and I noticed a few people come in to buy sweets to take away with them. I wonder if they tried to pass them off as their own. Do people do that?

The menu is quite good, starting with $6.90 breads with homemade preserves, honey, cream cheese or vegemite; moving up to dishes such as a $9.90 breakfast trifle and $10.90 “The Italian – slice toast, fresh tomato, feta, avocado with Tarts lemon dressing”, a couple of bagel options for $11.90 and then the hot dishes. We noticed that the “bratwurst” part of “bratwurst sausage” had been crossed off the menu and imagined that their relationship with their trusty German smallgoods supplier had gone sour following an unfortunately mistimed joke about socks and sandals. Neither of us went for the sausage options so we’ll never know what replaced the bratwurst in their menu. A sausage mystery shall remain.

Our breakfast decisions were not too difficult, choosing our usual long blacks with a little milk on the side and then turning our attentions to the food. No surprises that my sister went for the smoked salmon option, choosing the “Eggs Neptune – 2 poached eggs, smoked salmon, steamed spinach with Tarts’ own hollandaise sauce on sour dough toast $17.90″ (asking for the sauce on the side). I took a bit more time, settling on the “Mushroom on Toast – mushrooms, fresh ricotta, rocket & pesto $14.90″ with some extra poached eggs ($4 for 2).

My sister went and ordered at the counter and I admired the foodstuffs on sale and eavesdropped on the conversation of the table of guys sitting next to us. They were having a really hard time deciding what to order, and I was about ready to weigh into the conversation when my sister returned with our little number on a stick. She was gone for quite a while – you need to be pretty patient if you’re here when it is busy, as you have to order and pay at the counter and this can take some time.

Eggs Neptune (with hollandaise on the side, and with the forgotten spinach really on the side) ($17.90)

Our coffees and food came out quite promptly, but something seemed amiss with my sister’s breakfast. The spinach was missing! Look at her sad, sans-green plate. Strange item to forget, but they fixed it quickly when she went to ask about it. After getting all the elements, she was happy she stuck to her smoked salmon guns and enjoyed her breakfast.

Mushroom on Toast, with extra poached eggs ($14.90 + $4)

I really liked my meal, it was a great combination of textures and flavours. The ricotta was so thick and creamy, the mushrooms earthy and almost meaty, and pesto tasted freshly made and not overly oily, and the rocket was fresh and crisp. Importantly, the eggs were poached to perfection and oozed nicely with the rest of the dish when I busted into them. Every element of the dish worked really well with the rest, and I’d very happily order this again. The only thing I would change would be the toast – I’d prefer a nice grainy wholemeal but the sour dough was quite nice.

Service was good, very friendly despite being quite busy.

I’ll be returning to Tarts for breakfast and lunch I’m sure, and I also think a visit during afternoon tea time is required to fully complete my reviewing experience.

Tarts Cafe
212 Lake Street, Northbridge
Phone: 08 9328 6607
Hours: Daily 7am – 6pm (breakfast served until 12 noon)

Tarts Cafe on Urbanspoon

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