Oh Mount Lawley… I’m kinda worried about you. Back in the day Beaufort Street was totally my bae – I’d spend all my time at Planet Books, Cantina 663 (I still miss your parfait and gnocchi), Ace Pizza, Mary Street (yeah I still go there so nothing’s changed in that respect) and so on. I was a die hard Beaufort Streeter, a festival devotee and flower buyer. But the vibe has changed on this iconic strip hasn’t it? And yet, there’s a lot of hope inside me that it will bounce back – and the addition of new venues can only help with that in my opinion.
So that’s where the opening of Medellin Cafe helps. It’s a new little hole in the wall where Mac Daddy’s used to be before they moved a bit down the road. Cute, pokey and slinging out Colombian dishes – which is something Perth is very much missing.
I headed down over the Christmas/New Year break to check it out with my friend Bryony from Perth Eats for lunch. We took a seat at one of the open windows, enjoyed the fresh air and tackled a couple different dishes each.
From their all day menu Bryony chose the ‘La paisa, she’s got it all’ ($18.00) which had shredded beef, mojo chicken, chorizo, frijoles and sweet plantains. I picked the ‘Domino’ ($14.00) which was frijoles and crumbled feta cheese, to which I added some smashed avo ($5.00). Both options came with our choice of a grilled arepa or patacon – we both opted for the first.
The food came out quick, as did our drinks of coconut lemonade and sugar cane juice. I loved the steaming hot arepa, which is kind of like a pancake meets pita, made from ground maize and often found in Colombian or Venezuelan cooking. I’m a big fan of these, and Medellin’s version hit the spot – nice and crispy in some bits and pillowy in others. Big thumbs up.
Another thing I love: beans. Pinto, black, red, mung – give me them beans. Are for those playing along at home, frijoles are black beans and they are good. Especially when you add in feta, because cheese is always a win in my books. Throw in some avocado to accompany and this dish won some big points for me – even if the presentation isn’t quite Instagrammable. But hey, I’d rather taste delicious things than worry about how they look.
I’m not overly familiar with Colombian food but I’m hearing from people I know this place is pretty legit which makes me like it even more. I did find the pricing slightly steep for what it is, but I imagine that’s the result of good old Mount Lawley rent costs – but we’ll see if they change the charging structure over time or if maybe I’m just a bit stingy!
Regardless, I will be back. I spied the breakfast menu and will need to tick off a few items on there in the name of food research. It’s a hard job, but someone’s gotta do it – right?