East meets west on a breakfast plate at Smuggled Seeds Espresso

There’s something a little intoxicating about discovering a new eating spot. For me, this feeling resonates after visiting Oxford Street’s hidden gem, Smuggled Seeds Espresso. While I didn’t so much discover it as found out about it from fellow blogger WenY‘s visit earlier this year. When reading his post I’d made a promise to myself to go there but then somehow managed to forget all about it until my boy’s birthday weekend approached and I was brainstorming venues to take him for breakfast. 

It’s a tiny little cafe in Leederville – situated opposite Kitsch and so small if you blinked you’d miss it. The decor is cute, taking advantage of the natural light streaming in and with a nice short menu that caters to most tastes. 
Jeremy and I arrive just before 9am on Sunday, somehow finding that perfect window to get a table immediately. You have to love those moments! Smuggled Seeds has rave reviews on Urbanspoon but it seems that it’s relatively unknown, so while it might be comparable in size to Harvest Espresso, thankfully there’s none of the line. But is the food any good? Well we’d soon find out. 

After perusing the menu we go up to the counter to order and pay, which is the normal process for breakfast in Perth these days. I actually prefer this than waiting for a waiter to come to you at the start and at the end when you’re finished and want to leave. It streamlines the whole process and suits the in and out rush of weekend morning dining given the high turnover for most places.

By this time there’s a couple people waiting for tables, but it seems everyone moves on quite quickly here – we’ve found a rare occurrence of awareness and people actually not being selfish in hogging tables for hours after they’ve cleaned their plates.

First to come out is our freshly squeezed orange juices ($6.50 each) which might be on the steep side of pricing but boy do they look amazing and are double the size of the one I had at Typika for around the same price. The drinks are frothy and light, the juice sweet and just the right hint of sourness. For this juice junky it’s all kinds of good and manages to last for the entire meal which means it’s just the right size!

On the food side of things Smuggled Seeds have some standard menu items (think beautiful bircher, guacamole on toast) and a few dishes only available on Saturdays and Sundays. Jeremy and I both pick our meals from this part of the menu – they’re definitely more interesting and have a pan-Asian style to the flavours and ingredients used. 
For his birthday breakfast my boy chooses what I was definitely considering – the char siu pork belly with slow cooked eggs on ciabatta toast ($18.00). It comes to the table first and those eggs are wibble-wobbling all over the place, ready to be popped. The ciabatta slices are thick and golden, with the centre soft and white still. They’ve given him a side of butter to spread which is great but it’s also really difficult – you don’t want to dare disrupt the eggs so it was a matter of dedicating all butter to the one toast slice which was holding the pork. 
It would have been a bit more practical for them to butter the toast for him and then add the pork and eggs on top – logistically it would have been preferable. That put aside, the dish is tasty – the char siu flavour is less sweet than other places I’ve visited but I actually really like it. It reminds me of a cross between char siu and what you’d find in the traditional Taiwanese braised pork dish lo ba bung (something I have grown up on and is Jeremy’s favourite dish that my mum cooks). The meat is tender and has a nice amount of fat – not too much – so it melts in your mouth. 
I never would have expected to have these kinds of flavours in a breakfast dish with poached eggs (which were perfect) but they work really well together. It’s definitely east meets west fusion but subtle enough that it would appeal to the masses. 

For my dish I wanted to try something different and after a bit of debate with my boy, he helps me decide on the quinoa, mushroom, red onion, peas, chorizo and slow cooked eggs dish ($17.00). I have to admit I was both excited and a little worried because it was definitely some diverse flavours going on in this! But I had a good feeling.

I shouldn’t have worried at all because honestly this is one of the most exciting dishes I’ve had in ages! The tiny slivers of chorizo are meaty, lightly spiced and extremely tasty, working well with the quinoa which just soaks in all the oils to become grains of flavour. The peas are cooked so that they still have a little bite which is how I enjoy eating them. The standout though is the nori flakes which have that real umami taste, elevating all the ingredients and creating something very memorable.

The slow cooked eggs are gorgeous. Wobbly, slowly oozy and vividly orange inside. The yolk and partially solid white acts like a sauce for the other ingredients which is really vital as without it, it does feel like there’s a liquid element missing. I love poached eggs, and even more so, slow cooked eggs. There’s something very, very satisfying about yolk porn that I don’t think I’ll ever tire of!

What a great breakfast! My boy and I really enjoyed our visit to Smuggled Seeds and the delicious dishes we tried. It was great to see some flavours that you don’t usually find on traditional brekkie menus, and to branch out from our normal haunts. I want to rave about this more but a selfish part of me wants to hold back… I don’t want to return to find long lines next time!

In terms of their menu, I definitely suggest trying their special dishes only available on Saturdays and Sundays. While I’m sure that their famous guacamole on toast is yummy, I’d much rather chase the oriental flavours that made an impact on my tastebuds and definitely cemented Smuggled Seeds as a place to watch.

Smuggled Seeds Espresso on Urbanspoon

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  • Reply
    Dumpling Love (@cscc28)
    31 October 2014 at 6:07 am

    This has been on my list since WenY's post! I was really hoping the Oxford St Foodi tour I went on included this but alas, it didn't =( Oh well! Gotta pay a visit when I have the weekends free!

  • Reply
    Queen of Bad Timing
    1 November 2014 at 3:05 pm

    I really enjoyed it! Not many menu items to choose from but sometimes that's a blessing since I am so indecisive if everything looks good 🙂 hopefully you like it when you go!

  • Reply
    1 November 2014 at 3:10 pm

    Another place to add to my breakfast wish list!!! Those eggs!!!

  • Reply
    Queen of Bad Timing
    2 November 2014 at 1:08 pm

    I love a good slow cooked egg! Hope you enjoy it when you go 🙂

  • Reply
    3 November 2014 at 10:51 am

    I've been meaning to get here for so long – this has convinced me that I might have to take a detour before work one morning! And I totally agree about preferring to order at the counter – it makes life so much easier when you finish your meal.

  • Reply
    Queen of Bad Timing
    3 November 2014 at 12:30 pm

    It's such a cute little place – with great food! I think during the week their brekky menu is more limited than weekends, but I'm sure everything is still tasty! Can't wait to read all about your visit 🙂

  • Reply
    Martine @ Chompchomp
    8 November 2014 at 12:00 am

    I love how you, me and Weny all seem to follow in each others circles for our brunch spots. Might have to complete the circle and head here too!

  • Reply
    Queen of Bad Timing
    9 November 2014 at 2:18 pm

    I know! It was you that put me on to Harvest Espresso! I hope you enjoy it if you go! And hopefully there's enough GF dishes to choose from 🙂

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