Sweet and savoury brunch at Babooshka, Northbridge

Babooshka. It might mean grandma in Russian, but there’s nothing aged or grey about this little hole in the wall cafe in Northbridge. Think all day breakfasts, matryoshka dolls, and cute branding. I earmarked this place as one to try during what has turned into the ‘summer of brunch’ (and now into autumn) for me – where I’ve systematically been making my way through the different brunch offerings of Perth. 

Knowing her love of trying new places to eat at (when my friend Sherilyn and I were trying to organise a catch up), it was an easy choice. We met up around 9.30am on a Saturday and as I walked up from parking on Roe St, I have to admit I was nervous about how busy it would be since that tends to be the worst time to arrive for breakfast. Thankfully we were in luck, with Sherilyn nabbing the table inside and already scanning the menu. 
Immediately we launch into a long winded chat before we tackle the food side of things. Don’t get me wrong, we were both starving! But I find that our lives are so busy these days, so when we do get the chance to catch up there’s so much to talk about. I love it – we hardly take a breath!

It was a hot day so I (as usual) knew that a cold pressed orange juice ($7.00) was on the cards. They offer to put it into a glass for me but I’m quite happy drinking out of the plastic cup with straw – I just want the cool respite from the heat! The orange juice is pulpy and sweet; vividly refreshing. It really hits the spot and reaffirms the juice fiend that nests inside me.

I’m not sure if their aircon was broken or if they don’t have one, but it was extremely stuffy in there. I think sitting in the corridor and getting the outdoor breeze might have been a better idea for us. We were too lazy to move, so we just sweated it out. Though by the end of our breakfast, I have to admit I was getting a little too warm.

Sherilyn’s order of buddhas tears tea ($5.00) was beautiful in a clear glass teapot. It comes out with a countdown timer, which gives a little alarm noise a couple minutes later signalling that the tea is brewed and ready to drink. A nice touch. 
I love this flavour tea, with it’s beautiful jasmine aroma and unopened tender white pekoe buds. There’s something quite magical about watching the tea spheres dance in the hot water, infusing slowly. I think the serving size is great for the price too!

After a big morning of working out, Sherilyn’s in the mood for a generous dish so opts for the Tsar’s breakfast ($24.00) which is Babooshka’s version of a big breakfast. She orders gluten-free toast ($1.50) to replace the normal toast, and it comes out underneath poached eggs, speck bacon, Boston beans, spinach and avocado.

Initially when I saw the eggs I immediately thought they were overcooked, but they were actually quite spot on – a golden river of yolk spilling out onto the plate as her fork pierces the surface. The gluten free toast is not two but three slices, and crisp little vessels stacked with the other ingredients.

I have a taste of the Boston beans and have to say I quite like them though Sherilyn’s not so sure. They’re definitely different to your normal breakfast beans and the texture is a little mushier, however they have a punchy taste and work well within the dish.

For $24, I think I personally would have expected something a bit flashier or more generous in the meat department. I’m not sure when it happened that big breakfast’s crept over the $20 mark – so when I see pricier ones I expect good things. But I think that my view might be a little tainted from my constant travels through Asia where you’ll never pay anything close to Perth prices.

I decide to go for something lighter and choose the watermelon salad with natural yoghurt, mint and chia seeds ($9.00). I also opt for a cheeky side of haloumi ($4.50) because well – it’s squeaky cheese, how can I resist!
The watermelon is fresh and crunchy, the sprinkling of chia seeds offers some little savoury crisp flakes that stay hard even when they fall into the creamy yoghurt. Even though it sounded weird, I’m so glad I ordered the haloumi as it offered little intermittent bursts of salty goodness in between bites of the watermelon salad. In my mind it was the ideal sweet and salty combo! I think without it, my dish would have been quite plain as the watermelon wasn’t sweet enough – you definitely are subject to the luck of the draw whenever buying watermelon. 

Outside of the hot insides of Babooshka and some little food tweaks, I enjoyed trying out this new brunch spot in Northbridge. I did think that the food took awhile to come out (around 30 minutes) but considering the size of their kitchen and that there were only two staff members working, it wasn’t completely surprising. Perhaps an extra person or two on board might speed things up a little. And for those of you who love your caffeine pick-me-ups, from what I hear they do a mean coffee too.

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Sarah
    30 March 2015 at 2:10 pm

    We went here and had to wait such a long time for our food 🙁 but it did taste good!!! The coffee is amazing!!

  • Reply
    dumplinglove
    31 March 2015 at 2:00 am

    Completely agree with you about Perth food prices! So hard when you're a poor student like me haha. Did you find the chia seeds kind of stuck to your mouth? I usually have them pre-soaked because they're like those little basil seed things in Asian drinks =P

  • Reply
    Queen of Bad Timing
    31 March 2015 at 3:49 am

    I've heard from my friends who drink coffee, that theirs is fantastic so that's a good thing to hear 🙂

  • Reply
    Queen of Bad Timing
    31 March 2015 at 3:49 am

    I know, I'm not even a uni student and I still baulk at them sometimes! I didn't find that with the chia seeds thankfully, that would have driven me nuts 😉

  • Reply
    Martine @ Chompchomp
    2 April 2015 at 12:00 am

    The upside of Perth prices is that whenever you travel you feel like you are saving money! I like that they were generous with the GF toast. GF bread is always postage stamp sized so its nice to know you get a decent serve.

  • Reply
    Queen of Bad Timing
    4 April 2015 at 9:09 am

    Yes that is too true my dear, definitely an upside to keep in mind 🙂 it was good to see, I have noticed that not only do places charge more for GF toast, the serving size is about half! Devastating.

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