Perth is just exploding these days when it comes to brunch options. New menus, new faces, new venues – it’s all a swirling cloud of coffee scented, runny yolk excitement. But how on earth do you find time to check them all out? I guess slow and steady is the answer! So that’s been my approach as I make my way through the new offerings, with my first stop at the newly opened Up Town Cott – a cafe from the guys previously behind Velvet Espresso with a focus on all day brunch that incorporates native ingredients.
With my trip down to Manjimup for Truffle Kerfuffle about to begin in just a couple hours time, I decided to squeeze in a quick catchup with my friend Bryony who was about to shoot off to Europe for a sunny month long holiday. It was Friday mid-morning and yet when we arrived at Up Town Cott it was pumping, with only a couple seats in the corner free.
The decor inside is lovely and bright – whites, greys and light woods, with natural light streaming in from the open entrance. There’s a bustle happening around us as we scan the menu, and before long we’ve decided on a few dishes to share between us.
And because we mentioned to them that we were in a hurry, it was really wonderful to see them get the food out to us only ten minutes later. Despite the fact that they were busy, they went out of their way to ensure we’d be out on time. Great service!
The first dish to come out to the table was our shared choice – ricotta dumplings with poached egg, mushroom and greens. The yolk was gloriously runny, working as a nice sauce as it coated the other ingredients. It’s a really wintery dish, and the ricotta dumplings were textbook. Fluffy and soft in the centre, crisp and buttery on the outside.
I thought that while the dish was tasty, it needed a creamy element to lift the plate and offset against the earthiness and freshness of the other ingredients. That being said, those ricotta dumplings have stayed with me long after I’ve left… they were truly delicious.
When ordering we had each decided to get a version of their hotcakes. Bryony chose the baked ricotta hotcake with blueberries, lemon & thyme cream, winter blossoms and lavender honey. It came out steaming hot in it’s individual skillet, the cream starting to melt into the cake.
I thought it was a pretty dish, and tasty too! A nice combination of flavours that somehow seemed to tug at some nostalgia strings in my mind. A smaller serving that my hotcake, but when combined with half of the ricotta dumplings it was just the right amount.
My nashi pear hotcake with pork belly was a good balance of sweet and savoury. I wish I could remember what the smattering of little seeds were on the dish, but they were crunchy and texturally interesting. This was a morish, sticky and very filling plate of food. Punches of saccharine goodness filled my mouth as I discovered the soft slices of nashi spread throughout the cake.
The only real negative for me was the pork belly. While the meat itself was cooked relatively well, the skin on top was left chewy and tough. I don’t always need a crispy skin since many Taiwanese dishes I’ve enjoyed as a child have a braised cooking style, but this one was hard to cut through to eat. Once I removed it, then I was happy to munch on everything else the plate contained.
All of the dishes we tried at Up Town Cott were interesting and different to what other cafes serving brunch around town are doing. I’m hoping to get back soon to try some of the other offerings such as the pumpkin doughnuts, smashed avo with pomegranate and more!