Baker Et Chef. Translated to Baker and Chef: the name says it all. A duo of Ailin (Baker) and Han (Chef) who met at Kailis restaurant have branched off to create their own cafe in the heart of South Perth on Mill Point Road. While not necessarily a conventional destination for brunch, it’s well worth a trip out there to sample both delicious food on the menu, as well as the in-house baked goods that are just plain delightful.
I set about there on invitation by the owners with my girlfriends Vee and Linda for a sunny brunch before catching a movie after (Bohemian Rhapsody which was amazing). Inside is simple, and well intended. A full cabinet of delicate cakes, another of baked delights and a menu stocked full of brunch and lunch items that reads very easily.
There’s a lot to like about what you see. And while I’m not a coffee drinker, Linda assured me her short macchiato was phenomenal – this is always a sign of a great breakfast or lunch spot to aficionados.
There’s a lot of dishes on the menu I want to try. The mushrooms four ways (that is on my hit list immediately on my next visit), the Thai beef salad, the French toast… yep it’s safe to say my love of food was very much in overdrive as I tried to determine what I’d eat on that occasion.
But first: a slice of the strawberry, rhubarb and cream cake. Light, airy and sweet. It was a lovely start to the meal and had my tastebuds excited.
I decided for my meal to get the whisky cured smoked salmon atop of a crusty slice of house baked sourdough, buttery hollandaise, seared asparagus, radish slices and two poached eggs.
First test: the yolk porn prod. They were perfect. Glossy and orange in the centre, oozing out ever so slowly after cutting into the whites. I love eggs, and these were spot on in their cooking, melding harmoniously with the other classic flavour combinations on the plate.
It might sound strange but it was the asparagus in particularly that really sold me (thought that’s not to say the other elements weren’t enjoyable, because they definitely were!). Cooked in a way that retained a good snap to the bite, the asparagus had slight char marks which added another dimension of flavour.
And then there was the bread. Seriously good stuff. They create and bake their bread in a centuries old French style technique, and cultivate their own levain as the starter to their sourdough. Alain’s time in France learning from some of the country’s best bakers really has helped her hone in a deft touch to all things baked.
Linda’s choice of the cook’s breakfast was a hearty plate of sausage, thick cut bacon, eggs, mushroom, spinach, toast and a hash brown. Heaven! And what was particularly evident when it hit the table, as was the case with my dish: the quality of ingredients here is superb.
I only tried the bacon, but it was enough to have me noting this dish down for future. I normally am a crispy bacon kind of girl but the slab here was so tasty and flavourful. It was salty in just the right way that really hits the spot, and that hash brown looked oh so golden and crunchy. Yum!
Vika decided on the smashed avocado with tomato and charred corn on sourdough. It looked incredibly vibrant – and the combination of the juicy tomatoes, sweet corn and creamy avocado is an ideal formula. Simple, and yet it was a winner. This is my kind of dish and one that I can see why my friends who have been to Baker Et Chef before told me it was a plate to order.
Han and Alain were so lovely to provide two of our meals complimentary after inviting me down, but their generosity didn’t stop there. We were laden with a box of seasonal desserts (a take on pavlova with a basil cream, chestnut cake and a blackberry hazelnut I believe the third is – I’m yet to dig in to that treat!) plus some croissants to dine on in the morning for breakfast tomorrow.
I have to admit I was almost overwhelmed by how kind they were extending the invite my way, and also to try all of their wares.
And everything I have eaten has been delicious. Well put together with premium, seasonal ingredients, a deft touch to cooking and plating, and an impressive approach to food. It’s humble and simple in its essence, but the technique and skill is adept – and really left all three of us happy. And proclaiming that we’ll be back soon, which is the ultimate mark of a successful meal out. I’m already planning my return with Jeremy so we can get that mushroom dish – I need to try it asap.
So next time you’re looking for a meal out at breakfast or lunch: I strongly recommend you go to Baker Et Chef. It’s an absolute breath of fresh air!