The onset of a long weekend makes everyone (if you’re anything like me) giddy and full of excitement over the idea of eating, drinking, extra sleeping and catching up with friends. With Easter only a day away, my friends at work and I decided to enjoy a early morning breakfast before the final working day of the week. After a little brainstorming, we decided on Stimulatte in Subiaco which was great for me as I’ve been meaning to check it out for some time now.
Arriving at 7am, the small venue was about half full, but we managed to snag a larger table outside. The cool morning’s air was enough to dispel any remnants of sleep from my system, and before long the group had all arrived and we were ready to eat.
Like most brunch cafes, patrons order and pay inside at the counter, with food and drink delivered after. The menu here is simple but seems to have something for everyone – though predictably I still struggled to choose as usual!
First up to order, Lauren and Mel both chose the forrest mushrooms ($18.00) which was two slices of Bread in Common loaf toast topped with swiss brown, king oyster, shiitake and oyster mushrooms and poached eggs.
The mixed leaves underneath could have used a bit more love as they were left undressed, but the rest of the dish was quite flavourful and the mushrooms had a lovely kind of spice sprinkled over them to elevate the taste. The poached eggs were well executed, with sunny, gooey yolks that spurt out onto the plate when cut into.
Mel’s coffee came out quickly, but she told me it was sadly burnt which I thought was disappointing given this place is meant to be a coffee haunt. The others agreed that while it was still pleasant enough to drink, the actual coffee was bitter and not what they’d hoped to find.
Andrea’s choice of the smashed avo ($18.00) sounded delicious with avocado, asparagus, poached eggs and béarnaise on Bread in Common loaf slices.
The price was definitely on the expensive side, so I had hoped it would come out and be a sea of generous green. The dish was slightly misleading, as the avocado wasn’t a smash at all but chunkily chopped. A smashed avocado is something a bit more alluring, especially when a squeeze of lemon and sprinkling of cracked pepper is mixed through.
The asparagus wasn’t quite trimmed to the level you’d see in other cafes or restaurants, or how we prepare it at home, but it was fresh and had a satisfying snap to it. Andrea told me that her béarnaise was on the sour side, which may be an overuse of white wine vinegar.
Chris’s “hotcakes” ($17.50) was not really a plural but a singular dish, and reminded me of the hotcake sold over in Melbourne at Top Paddock or Kettle Black. It was a beautiful looking dish, and one bite confirmed that it was the standout of the morning.
The ricotta hotcake was crispy on the edges, fluffy on the inside. The oat crumble sprinkled over the top brought in some added crunch, and the fresh strawberries, double cream and maple syrup all worked well together to make a comprehensive and well formed dish.
It was disappointing that the menu promised fresh raspberries which didn’t eventuate on the plate. And from a finesse perspective, while pretty, I think leaving the stems on the strawberries is unnecessary and makes eating slightly fiddly.
Though the hotcake definitely had tempted me, I decided on the pulled pork benedict ($18.00) with a fresh orange juice. Sitting atop of Bread in Common loaf slices was a pile of pulled pork, shaved apple, poached eggs and béarnaise sauce, with a drizzle of balsamic too.
A generous sized dish, I went immediately to the pork to try it out. It was juicy for the most part (the occasional stringy dry piece) – though the flavour was really rich which ended up defeating me a little towards the end. My eggs were just a touch overcooked, but thankfully a tiny bit of yolk porn was still achieved.
I thought the best part of this was the apple, which was more of a matchstick than shaved. The sharp sourness really complimented the meat and brought some much needed freshness.
It was an enjoyable dish, but I’m not sure I would order it again as it was just a bit too intense for me by the end. The serving size was generous though so this would have been a factor. And if I’m being completely honest, if I went back I really would only have eyes for the hotcake because it was so damn tasty!
All in all I thought Stimulatte was an enjoyable way to sneak in a pre-public holiday breakfast outing. It didn’t quite hit the highs I’d thought it would after all the hype, but it was for the most part a delicious morning and a relaxing atmosphere in this little Subiaco hole in the wall.