I feel like I have been hanging out in Freo a lot in the last couple of months of this year – from The Mantle, to Lenny and the Ox, and most recently a brunch adventure at long time student hangout in the middle of all the action, X-Wray cafe. There is such a plethora of good food spots in the area though that this is a hard thing to complain about, and there are a few places left to tick off my list so I am sure I’ll find myself port-side again sometime early in the new year.
When we walked in on a bright Sunday morning, the cafe was almost at capacity and the waitress at the front let us know a big group of 16 people had just sat down to order, and suggested we order before them if possible. Although very appreciative of the thoughtfulness behind her recommendation, unfortunately we had to wait on a few people in our group, so had to settle for finding a table and taking our chances later on.
With not many tables outside, it looked like we were to be relegated to a table inside when a group of staff members on a long table jumped up to let us sit down. Super nice of them, and we welcomed to opportunity to sit in the courtyard and enjoy the lovely weather. Out there amongst the foliage, you can almost pretend you are dining in a tropical location, rather than in the heart of freo (if you’re not facing the car park that is!).
Tying in with its laid back mentality, you grab yourself a menu at X-Wray, make your choices, and order up at the counter inside. On Sundays they have a scaled down brunch menu that ticks off all the usual suspects, along with a couple of more exciting options along the lines of blueberry waffles with honeycomb butter, and a spinach, swiss chard, pea, ricotta and lemon wrap with lamb.
There was also two additional options available from midday, one of which was my pick for the day – a black angus burger with mozzarella, pickles, mustard, greens and fried potatoes ($20). You might ask, what form will these fried potatoes take? That was definitely something I was wondering at the time. It was a popular choice though, with about half the table ordering themselves a burger!
I also ordered a coffee, because after waiting 45 minutes for everyone to arrive for brunch I was both hungry and grumpy, and needed caffeine in order to be a nice human being – life is tough sometimes! The coffee’s were a little heavy on the foam, but otherwise pleasant enough and served at a great temperature.
The food did take a long time to come out, and when it did there was about 10-15 minutes between the first meal and the last meal. As mentioned, we had been warned that it would take a while, but we didn’t get much of an explanation about the long wait between each meal coming to our table. It’s a little disappointing when some people have finished their meals before others come, and a bit more communication about the wait would have smoothed things over a little better.
Aside from that, the burger was pretty decent – a nice take on a classic. The patty was a good size, the bun nicely toasted and my favourite part was the cheese that was melted perfectly all over that meat. Fried potatoes turned out to just be wedges, although I shouldn’t call them ‘just’ wedges, because they were pretty freaking amazing. Lavishly salted, and accompanied by the creamiest aioli, I shovelled these down like I was never going to be able to eat again!
A few people on the table had chosen one of the more traditional brunch options on the menu – avocado, cherry tomato, olive, pickled chilli and pimento bruschetta ($14). The toppings were plentiful and looked really fresh, although once I had snapped a pic I got caught up in conversation and didn’t hear too much about how it tasted.
The meal that took the longest to come out was the big breakfast – eggs, bacon, mushrooms, spinach and avocado ($20)(usually served with chipolatas and beans instead of the avocado). It certainly was a big breakfast – a huge plate loaded up with runny poached eggs, ample amounts of bacon and a slice of bread to soak it all up with.
Overall it was an agreeable brunch that we had at X-Wray, though I must say I have had better meals there in the past – I once had the most amazing haloumi burger of my life at X-wray. I think that visiting during the week or on a Saturday when the full menu is available would make for a more satisfactory meal. But the surroundings are nice, the food is fresh and the staff friendly when you catch their attention. It also turns into a bar with cocktails and live music at night, which is pretty fun!