This might be (read: definitely is) stating the truth, but our summers are damn not. The scary thing is, I know we haven’t even hit our peak period yet but nonetheless there have been some days where I feel like I’m roasting alive. When you work in an office building, summer tends to have two frequencies: the first being a sheltered existence where all you know is freezing air conditioning with small waves of heat whenever you step out for a meeting or lunch. And then the second is the weekends, where life is measured by indoor or beach related activities.
A lot of people I know tend to find food takes a back seat during the warmer months, with appetites decreasing, priority of bikini bodies increasing and just a general desire to not have to combat the heat by being out and about. For myself, this summer has been one more focussed on beach time than usual but I’ve also made sure I’m still spending time with my nearest and dearest. It might be hot, but the company is fantastic and I don’t feel like I’m squandering away my weekends.
One Sunday recently my best friend Vee and I decided to face the almost 40 degree weather and brave it out to have a lunch date. Unfortunately many of the places we were considering were shut on Sundays, but we quickly found a nice close location that we were both quite excited about – Fez Cafe in Mount Lawley.
Neither of us having been there before we were both curious what the meal would hold. There have been quite a few stunning photos on Instagram as of late that have bumped this place up on my wishlist!
We arrive around 1pm, taking a seat in the shaded outdoor area next to the archway to inside (best of both worlds – fresh air + cold inside temperature). Looking over the menu they have a good mix of items on offer – some more breakfasty and others suited to lunch. My initial choices of the granola and pannacotta plus a coconut water fell through as they’d sold out for the day, so I quickly set about picking something else. In the mean time we order some drinks to kick start our meal.
My choice of a New Zealand organic lemonade ($4.50) is frosty cold and refreshing – just tart enough to distinguish itself from your run of the mill generic brands.
Vee picks the drink special of the day which is a lemon and ginger iced tea ($4.50) – it comes out in a retro tall glass and is delicious! She’s instructed to add more sugar if need be, but we both agree that the balance is spot on.
These are just what we need to tie us over until our food arrives. And the wait is not long at all!
Talk about order envy. The moment I spied Vee’s spiced chicken salad with quinoa, avocado, fetta, hazelnut, tomato, cucumber and sweet mustard dressing ($21.95) I became completely enamored with it. Lucky for me, my friends and I are never shy about sharing food so I snagged a couple bites of it and was pleased to note that it tasted as good as it looked.
In particular the dressing was sweet and punchy, and the hazelnuts were perfectly crunchy. I’m a big fan of nuts in dishes (when they make sense), and their distinct flavour was just right in my opinion. What I also liked about this menu item is just how generous they were with the feta. It’s hard to see it, but the dish was swimming in chunky feta cubes… just how I like to eat my salad!
Since I couldn’t order granola but knowing I was in the mood for something a little sweet and cool, I pick the special of the day – coconut and chia chilled rice pudding with stewed stonefruits, blueberry compote, pomegrantes and honey ($16.00). Apparently this is now a permanent dish too if it sounds up your alley!
I actually surprised myself when I ordered this dish since I’m not a person who’s grown up on rice puddings. For my boy, rice pudding desserts were a staple in his childhood, a dish of great nostalgia. But for me, I’ve only tried it for the first time in the last couple of years – and this one would have to be my favourite of those I’ve tasted.
The consistency of this rice pudding was soft but not mushy, the different fruits offering varying degrees of texture. The dish was sweet but not overpowering, and the blueberry compote had just the right sour tinge to the flavour profile to keep my tastebuds engaged throughout. It comes with little jugs of milk, honey and what I think might have been maple syrup to pour over the dish to your liking.
Ah summer days (or summer daze as it tends to wash over you), you are built for outings like this. Fresh, delicious food. Cold, satisfying drinks. And the best kind of company you could ever ask for. Fez Cafe was just the right setting with just the right food.
Next time you’re in Mount Lawley and craving some good breakfast or lunch, take a quick trip off the strip and past Crust Pizza, you’ll find this little neighbourhood gem.