Forget the tuck shop days of old, lunchtimes spent queuing up and spending your hard earned pocket money on chiko rolls and choc milk. Tuck Shop Cafe on Newcastle Street in Northbridge is serving up some seriously good fare, from eggs every way you can imagine to crusty, flaky, melt in your mouth pies.
I decided to visit Tuck Shop Cafe late last week, as I hadn’t been in a while and it is a place I can’t stay away from for too long. I met up with one of my favourite breakfast buddies from work, Sarah, at about 7.30 and we grabbed a table easily.
As usual, walking through the colourful fly straps into the cafe, I felt a sense of excitement – I always have such a great meal here! It is a lovely space to be in as well , the interior is a nice blend of modern furniture and up-cycled furnishings, and the fruit and veg ready to be used in your meal is sitting in crates on the shelves looking all fresh and whatnot. If you sit in the right place, you have view into the semi open kitchen, and a big chalkboard up the back lets you know what the specials are, if your friendly waitress hasn’t already.
This morning, I arrive just before Sarah and as I walk in the door I am told I can sit anywhere I like, and asked if I would like a coffee. Given the early hour I happily accepted this offer, and grabbed one of the many tables available – I just love going to popular breakfast venues during the week and having the run of the place!
I didn’t take long for Sarah to arrive, and I perused the menu whilst she waited. Cheese kransky with mustard potatoes and a fried egg; bruschetta with grilled bacon, goats curd, tomato, avocado and basil; or chorizo with paprika potatoes, peppers, spanish onions, pork belly and a fried egg – how was I ever going to choose? As it turns out, none of those options won out as I was too taken by the Moroccan meatballs with flatbread, tomato, hummus and a za’atar fried egg ($18.50). Sarah arrived before long and she chose the special – asparagus, spinach, poached eggs and pecorino on toast with salsa verde ($17.50). That is what I had on my last visit, and I assured her she was in for a good time. She also ordered a red ghana chocolate milkshake, which came out quickly and was super delicious!
Rich, thick and creamy, this milkshake definitely ticked all the boxes and wasn’t lacking for any flavour. I also ordered another coffee because the first one was so good (gotta love those Toby’s Estate beans).
A little bit hotter that the first one (and a little far past my comfort level, though I don’t generally like my coffee very hot at all), this one was still creamy and full tasting down to the last sip.
The food came out very quickly, probably helped along by the not-too-busy cafe floor.
Wow – those meatballs! Generous sized and saucy, sitting atop a bed of tasty rich hummus, they were juicy and the flavour just popped in your mouth. The za’ater was very similar to dukkah, a pleasant blend of salt, thyme, oregano and sumac (I think!). The egg yolk was runny with a nice crispy white, and sitting atop the crunchy bread the whole dish had a great bite to it. What a way to do breakfast!
Even though my dish was so great, I did have a moment of jealousy when Sarah’s came out. I could smell the pecorino from across the table, and the perfectly poached egg with its oozy yolk running all over the fresh green vegetables looked so nourishing and fresh it was hard not to have green eyes. She said that she thoroughly enjoyed it, and that it fulfilled her cravings for green veggies in the best way possible. Ah Tuck Shop, you have done it again.
Another fun fact about Tuck Shop – you can stick your frequent customer coffee card on their wall there, allowing you to just grab it and get it stamped and not have to dig around in your wallet for it. I am not sure how much easier this might actually be, but it does look pretty cool!