A victim of deep obsessions at Mary Street Bakery

Sometimes when I find a good thing I tend to spoil myself with it and deep obsessions occur. Like discovering a great new dish to make at home, or a TV show that you’ve never heard of. Or what about learning the joys of Saturday flower market shopping. I fall hard and I fall fast. Way too often I get told I have a romantic spirit, and I think I show it at every point in life where possible. 
It’s strange sometimes to step back and look at yourself in this light. When I started blogging it was all about the food, but now I find it’s a mix of baring my soul when I put the proverbial pen to paper. Things in life can sometimes feel really overwhelming, with your emotions easily rocked. Well for me it feels like that anyway. So getting a couple hours with my boy on the weekend out of the house can do wonders to restore me. 

Last weekend I spent all of Saturday day and night with my best friend Carly. We’ve had the worst conflicting schedules lately so it was amazing to spend time with her as we roamed Perth on our various errands and missions. Finding ourselves in Mount Lawley we decided to stop by for lunch. And because, like I said, I repeat behaviour when I find something I love, I ended up coming back the following day with my boy. And yes, I ordered the same dish again – but this time I brought my camera with me to capture the moments!

Mary Street Bakery is owned by the same team behind Ace Pizza and El Publico – two places that easily sit in my top 10 of restaurants in Perth. I’ve actually only eaten at Mary Street a couple of times before last weekend came about. I keep meaning to come back but my endless list of breakfast places that I want to try kept pushing them back. It was only a sporadic decision after shopping at Empire that jogged my memory of just how great this place is.

Arriving with the boy for lunch on Sunday the place is much busier that the day before even though the timing is relatively similar. We place our names on the waiting list and within a few minutes we’re seated at the high bench near the door. It’s hustling and bustling, with lots of diners and also customers waiting for take away coffees and baked goods.

The menu is constantly changing here which is a good enough incentive to return relatively frequently. Flipping the menu over the boy and I settle on our drink orders first so we can concentrate on what food to order. We both pick the choc malt milkshake ($6.50) which come out not long after we place our food orders. They’re delightfully frothy and have a great balance between the chocolate, malt and creamy milk. I love how light they are and how they’re not overpoweringly sweet.

It’s been ages since I’ve had a good milkshake so I really appreciate the beauty of this one. Love the branded cups too and the fact they haven’t succumb to the cardboard straw revolution which look pretty but end up becoming soggy if you don’t finish your drink immediately. Thankfully we have these drinks to occupy the time because our food takes nearly 40 minutes to come to the table! I know they were busy but that’s just a little too long for me without an explanation, though we did get a much appreciated apology upon delivery even though we hadn’t said anything so that was a nice touch.

It didn’t take Jeremy long to make his decision for his dish and I’m so pleased with his choice – it was definitely on my shortlist the day before and that day too! Buttermilk pancakes topped with maple syrup, fried chicken and a fried egg is definitely alluring and seeing it makes my mouth water immediately.

The buttermilk pancake is misshapen and rustic looking (LOVE that), just the right amount of thickness to support the fluffy interior. I love the look (and taste) of the fried chicken which is crunchy and juicy, with a light level of spice included in the recipe. Enough to make you really appreciate how tasty this dish is.

The maple syrup might sound scary when paired with protein that isn’t bacon, but really it’s quite delightful with the chicken, making the dish playful – especially when the oozy egg yolk seeps out onto the other ingredients. It’s a really great dish and it doesn’t surprise me at all that so many of the tables around us have all ordered it too. And while it might not have looked like much, my boy tells me he found the serving more than enough – feeling very full afterward!

My repeat order of the pan fried ricotta gnocchi ($21) was just too good to pass up on – I mean we all know what a gnocchi fiend I am! It comes sitting atop a sweet corn puree, with fresh corn, kale, hazelnuts, pepitas and pecorino.

This reminds me of the old school gnocchi dishes back before Cantina changed owners. After trying ricotta gnocchi at Lalla Rookh on my mother’s birthday, it’s now easily a favourite of mine compared with your standard kind.

There’s so much good in this dish. Well I know obviously I must think so to order it two days in a row! The gnocchi is so airy and light, with a lovely crisp edge. The corn puree is sweet but has a little bit of a kick (on day 2 only strangely) with some chilli flakes scattered throughout. I love the pops of fresh corn and the crunch of the hazelnuts which are so in vogue right now they seem to be popping up everywhere – same goes for the kale. Everything on the plate plays a role in creating a really cohesive and vibrant dish that I was really impressed with.

We gobbled up our food so quickly that we were both feeling very full! Knowing the boy had to get home to get ready for work we left soon after we were done. I was keen on grabbing a baked good to devour later on in the day so I picked up a salted caramel doughnut when paying the bill.

Eating it later in the day I can see why it’s an Instagram sensation currently with everyone raving about these fried goods. I have to say, I was really impressed by the generosity of the caramel filling and the way the salt countered the sweetness. I enjoyed it – but I have to admit I think I’m more enamoured by dulce de leche these days that salted caramel – I may have over indulged in the latter. Very typical of my style – too hard, too fast.

So for me to visit Mary Street Bakery two days in a row I’m thinking they definitely must be doing something right! It’s great to see (for them) that after all this time they’re still a popular eatery and dedicated diners are waiting it out to enjoy brunch there. Both the boy and I thoroughly enjoyed the meal and were sleepily full as we drove home.

The only real downfall of our lunch was just waiting for it with growling bellies. I know that when restaurants are busy, it can be hard sometimes to keep up with orders – but an update, having enough awareness of customers, these are the little things that go a long way. These are the things that create appreciators into devotees. But all of that said, I’ll be back, soon I’m sure, since I do fall privy to food obsessions, amongst many others.

Mary Street Bakery on Urbanspoon

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    WenY
    6 October 2014 at 1:17 am

    Hehe, I saw your gnocchi and feel obligated to give this place another chance! I might actually just do that :)!

  • Reply
    Martine @ Chompchomp
    6 October 2014 at 9:27 am

    Ok, I need to give these guys another chance. I wasn't really that chuffed with my first visit…such that I didn't even bother to blog it. Going to have to head back and decide for once and for all!

  • Reply
    Queen of Bad Timing
    6 October 2014 at 11:10 am

    Hopefully you enjoy it this time! I love gnocchi 🙂 I have to say – I've never had a bad experience at Mary Street, even though I've heard others say they didn't love it. I guess I've just been in the right place at the right time… or maybe I'm too easily won over haha 🙂

  • Reply
    Queen of Bad Timing
    6 October 2014 at 11:10 am

    Fingers crossed it's a much better experience if you go back! I really enjoyed it (bar the long wait for the dishes) and I think it's come a long way. But let me know what you think love if you do return! 🙂

  • Reply
    WenY
    6 October 2014 at 2:28 pm

    lols definitely do not say that. I think when I was there they were pretty "OK". They then had a seasonal change to the menu which saw a kimchi-inspired dish come up and that got really really bad reviews. The menu that has been presented on your blog indicates that Mary St has gone back to its roots, a more comfortable zone without being presented as a "try hard". Definitely want to try them out again 😛

  • Reply
    JoshChuah
    7 October 2014 at 1:00 pm

    Definitely need to go down there to try the gnocchi, looks amazing. Any other spots you would recommend that serves an amazing gnocchi dish? 😛

  • Reply
    Queen of Bad Timing
    7 October 2014 at 1:25 pm

    Yeah the menu definitely seemed more relaxed and simple – that's usually when the good dishes shine 🙂

  • Reply
    Queen of Bad Timing
    7 October 2014 at 1:27 pm

    I'm a big fan of gnocchi so I tend to order it a lot! The best gnocchi I've had was at Lalla Rookh but it's usually a special rather than on their menu all the time. I used to love the gnocchi at Cantina but they've changed owners/chef so it's not quite the same anymore sadly! Bread in Common have a really interesting chickpea gnocchi that I really enjoyed too, Have you stumbled across any good ones?

  • Reply
    JoshChuah
    7 October 2014 at 1:36 pm

    I actually just had the chickpea gnocchi at Bread in Common last week and found it pretty amazing! Thats the reason why i'm trying to look for more gnocchi dishes to try out and see how it compares 😛 Will let you know if i happen to stumble across any! Also hunting around for anything with truffles in it…
    Btw, when I went to Mary's Street, my salted caramel donut didn't look anything like what you had. It had so little salted caramel in it and was cold and dry 🙁

  • Reply
    Queen of Bad Timing
    7 October 2014 at 1:51 pm

    The chickpea gnocchi is good isn't it! I love the use of the chickpea flour, very different. Beaufort St Merchant used to do chickpea chips that tasted so similar, so moorish but they're not on the current menu 🙁
    Truffle season kicked off a couple of months ago – lots of places offer the ability to add truffles to dishes which is awesome! So decadent 🙂
    How disappointing about your donut. I was so surprised how much caramel was in it!!

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