Last weekend, after I had two pretty different experiences. The first of these was on the pleasant end of the spectrum – a lovely Valentines Day brunch at relative newbie The Shipping Lane in North Fremantle with a close friend. After this came some post-brunch chats on the seaside, ambling through more topics than I thought might have been possible in one morning. Unfortunately this lovely long chat resulted in the experience on the other end of the spectrum – what was probably the worst sunburn of my life. Seriously. It’s been a week and I am still recovering. I wouldn’t say brunch was worth the sunburn, but I will say no other brunch I have ever had came close to the one that I had here.
Lets wind it back a bit to the beginning though. Turning up at The Shipping Lane at about 10.30 on Valentines Day without a booking turned out to be a massive mistake, as every table inside was filled with loved up couples (bless ’em). A group of tables at the front was free for walk ins as well, but all that was a left was a few tables around the side where Mother Nature was blowing an absolute gale – someone had forgotten to remind her that the Freo doctor isn’t due until a little bit later in the afternoon.
Sitting outside was a little disappointing as the decor inside looked really fun (think: industrial/chic with lots of natural light) but not to worry, I grabbed a seat around the side hoping that the wind in my hair would make it look beachy and sultry, rather than giving me a ‘I just woke up with this birds nest on my head’ kind of look. Unfortunately, I don’t think I had too much of the former going on. Luckily, it wasn’t long until someone around the front left and I was able to jump up and grab a table where the wind felt a little less intense.
Courtney turned up after a little while and we got ourselves sorted, placing our orders up at the counter. Important to note – you gotta take your table number with you when you head up to order, noticed a few people get caught out by that one! I ordered a flat white which was very pretty, but suffered from a little bit too much foam (my pet hate when it comes to a flat white!). But other than that it was a pleasant coffee, the beans are roasted in house and the coffee itself is fairly mild which I am a fan of.
The brunch menu at The Shipping Lane runs through until 3pm, with a few more lunch-oriented options becoming available after 11am. There is some interesting options on the menu here, you can definitely get more than your standard breakfast fare if you are feeling a little bit adventurous. Courtney wasn’t inclined such ways that morning, and decided to opt for the eggs on toast ($11) with bacon ($5) and mushrooms ($4) – but there is nothing wrong with a breakfast classic!
The bacon was plentiful, as were the mushrooms, although I do have to say I like my bacon at little crispier than how it came out – I wasn’t the one eating it though and Courtney didn’t seem worried. The staff were very friendly and accommodating, so I imagine if we had asked for it to be crispy in the first place it would have come out as such. And as we all know, it’s not a weekend well spent unless you have seen a little yolk porn, and these eggs sure did put on a show – that runny yellow goodness bursting out of the eggs onto the thick springy bread.
For my order, I had been having trouble tossing up between the mushroom crepe with spinach, feta cheese, semi-dried tomato, green salad, rocket pesto and balsamic reduction ($19) and the crispy potato stack which came with haloumi, avocado, pumpkin jam, crispy potato skin, quinoa salad, greens and mint sour cream ($18). After briefly considering whether I could eat two dishes (it’s happened before), I decided that I would just have to return one day soon and did eeny meeny miny mo in my head to choose one. I ended up with the potato stack, which turned out to be all I could have asked for (and more).
At the bottom of the stack was a homemade hash brown/potato rosti which was crunchy on the outside with a soft and creamy filling. On top of this was some smashed avocado and a very generous slice of grilled haloumi – no skimping here! The pumpkin jam comprised of mashed pumpkin with pumpkin seeds in it, which are one of my favourites and this added a good crunch to the dish. On top of this was the skin of an entire potato, which was folded in on itself and filled with the quinoa salad. The mint sour cream dolloped around the stack added a fresh element, and really lifted some of the other flavours up, especially the pumpkin and the quinoa. I had opted to add two eggs to the dish due to my aforementioned feelings about yolk porn, and although they didn’t detract from the dish they really weren’t needed – but that is my own fault! This meal was truly something special though, and I enjoyed every bite of it.
After brunch, it was quite cool in the shade so we wandered on down to the seaside and found ourselves a bench to sit on in the sun, and this is where I got my horrific sunburn. We had only planned to chat for a short while, but as I tend to do with Courtney we ended up chatting about everything and anything for far too long, and I forgot about my usual enthusiasm for sunscreen. But I have learnt my lesson, and it shall not deter me from getting back down to The Shipping Lane for a mushroom crepe, sunscreen in hand this time!