Ah, July. It’s a month to get accountants stocking up on tax-deductible coffee, us southern hemisphere dwellers to start getting a bit over this whole winter malarkey, and those of us who thought signing up for Dry July was a good idea wonder what the hell we were thinking. We must have been drunk.
Dry July is an initiative where people can sign up for the challenge of going the entire month of July without a drop of alcohol, for the purpose of raising money for adults living with cancer. Having had my own brush with it a few years ago, saying goodbye to my lovely Aunty M last month, and having one of my dearest friends still sparring with the big C (an aside – see here for an interesting discussion of the “battle” with cancer) I thought it would be a great idea to get involved in Dry July so I signed up enthusiastically… and then remembered all the boozy events I had planned for July.
If you have a few spare dollars and would like to sponsor my foolish decision to abstain from alcohol during the month of the Good Food & Wine Show (Good Food & Food Show?) then please click here or on the image above to go through to my sponsorship page. As I am in Western Australia, all money I raise will go towards the Cancer Centre at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, which will include a much needed End of Life Comfort Room.
Speaking of my still sparring friend, let me now move onto a recent (alcohol-free) meal we shared together..
Have you ever met a potential partner that you really, really wanted to like – they’re a lovely person, full of wit and charm and possibly may own a yacht – but try as you might you just couldn’t find the spark? That’s kind of how I was left feeling after visiting The Lounge Room in Guildford.
We were greeted warmly when we entered, I generally liked the interesting (if not a bit “done already”) style they were going with in the interior, the toilets are nice enough to bother mentioning, and they use 5 Senses coffee. And yet, the food was overall fairly mediocre and left me feeling in no rush to return. ’tis truly better to have loved and lost? Perhaps, perhaps.
I had noticed a few people inside eating the various panini on offer – they looked really nice and if I were feeling more wheat-inclined I would have ordered the chicken tikka panino. Unfortunately when F’s smoked salmon panino came out, it had been grilled to within an inch of its life. I had flashbacks to the scene in Who Framed Roger Rabbit where the bad guy gets flattened by the steamroller. That really freaked me out when I was little. What a way to go.
F reported that the grilled flatness made the panino a bit difficult to cut through, but the flavours were decent and the salads nice and fresh on the palate. Perhaps if they used the more traditional ciabatta instead of Turkish bread then the panini would be stronger at resisting the squishing of the grill plates. Perhaps though, F’s panino happened to be the bad guy! Ah, it all makes sense now.
It may not look it, next to those enormous hunk-a hunk-a burning spud, but the lamb patty was a generous size and looked quite delicious when it came out despite the blinding whiteness of the bun. V was kind enough to offer some to us, and I really enjoyed the piece I had. It was moist yet not fatty, and benefited from the addition of mustard and rosemary and probably a few other tasty things I couldn’t identify. Luckily I tried the lamb after trying the beetroot chutney, because I sure as hell needed something to undo the horror of eating that. It was like eating vinegary dirt. Really earthy, in a way that confused us, and far too heavy handed with the vinegar. I love beetroot and I generally love chutney, but I was feeling no love for this condiment. Still, I think the lamb made up for it and I found myself with more than a little food envy for V’s choice even though I would have foregone the bread and the chutney.
My lunch options were fairly limited given my wheat avoidance these days, so I went with the most expensive option of the grilled fish at $24. The menu states it comes with “seasonal veg” and given my gluttonous nature I was disappointed to see this meant only green beans, but the Lyonnaise potatoes and fish both looked tasty so I dug in enthusiastically. Sadly, the potatoes were only lukewarm, and after the first few I found them too stodgy to continue eating. The fish tasted fresh, if a little overcooked, and I liked that the beans still retained a crispness to them, but the dish was disappointing overall and I don’t think it was very good value for money. I left most of the potatoes on the plate.
We all had a couple of coffees during our lunch, and enjoyed them. The temperatures were good, and the taste was smooth. We all noticed that the milk bubbles were larger than we’re used to seeing, but I rarely have milk in my coffee so I’m reluctant to pull anyone up on their milk steaming technique. My short mac was also on the long side of short, but this is fairly commonplace in Perth.
Now, having said all of this, both F and V say that they’ve had really nice breakfasts at The Lounge Room, and V is quite a regular visitor for their breakies and coffee, so I would return for the coffee and to try out the breakfast menu. The chicken tikka panini that the man sitting next to us was enjoying also smelled really very good and looked quite unsteamrollered, so although I wouldn’t go out of my way to return for lunch I also wouldn’t argue if someone suggested it as a meeting spot.
I guess I’m saying I wouldn’t get into a relationship with The Lounge Room, but I wouldn’t mind meeting up for a coffee every now and then… and maybe the occasional breakfast, though I’m not sure what kind of girl that makes me.
The Lounge Room on James
Phone: 08 9379 3791
Opening Hours: Breakfast and Lunch 7 days
We paid: ~$23/head for lunch and coffees