One of the recurring dilemmas in my life is whether to take a packed lunch to work, or to take advantage of the plethora of options that Perth has to offer its crowds. Sometimes its an easy choice when there are yummy leftovers in the fridge, and sometimes its a bit more difficult and there is a battle between head and heart – to save money or to spend a bit of coin on someone else’s efforts. Most of the time my head wins, but most Friday’s it’s a little bit too tired and I set off in pursuit of an end of the week culinary treat. Last week was no different, so just before 12 on Friday Lauren and I set off to Willie Wagtail, a funky new cafe with a cheaper-than-chips lunch menu on William Street in the CBD.
Just across the road from 140William, this little cafe has quickly garnered a loyal following from caffeine dependent office workers with its tasty coffee, tempting baked goods and super friendly staff. Croissants, muffins and other delights adorn the front counter, while the glass cabinet has a rotating display of salads, sandwiches and other healthy snacks. Almost everything here will cost you less than a tenner, so its very healthy for the hip pocket as well. For the at-home coffee enthusiasts, there is all manner of brewing and filtering equipment for sale as well – the coffee fun needn’t stop when you go home!
They also do a pretty bad-ass cold brew, if you’re into that sort of thing.
We had arrived just before 12, because although the cute little courtyard out the back doesn’t tend to get too full, the sun passes over right on midday eliminating any shade and making the few covered tables hot property. Unfortunately our timing wasn’t quite right and we didn’t manage to grab one but we made ourselves comfortable amongst the milk crates anyway, moving around a bit as the sun did to avoid the worst of it. On days like these I start to wonder if summer is ever going to end?
I have to say though, I do like the milk crate tables they have here. Its a little bit different and although it can be a little precarious to place a drink on it means that its easy to move things around to suit your needs.
The midday heat had me craving something cold and fizzy, and I opted for a ginger beer instead of my usual coffee, while Lauren went down a healthier path with Charlies fruit smoothie. The ginger beer was everything I wanted it to be – zingy and refreshing both in flavour and temperature with a nice ginger bite.
So as not to undo all her good work with her choice of beverage, Lauren chose one of the lighter options for her meal as well – the bircher ($6) which came with some fresh fruit and yoghurt. It was reasonably sized given the price and I could imagine dropping by to grab one of these for breakfast before work.
I opted for something a little bit more substantial, choosing a sandwich and a side salad. The sandwich was called the ‘good girl’ ($7), which I think may be related to a delicious looking sandwich I have spotted in the cabinet before, the ‘bacon bad boy’. Despite this being the more innocent of the pair when you fill a sandwich field mushroom, chipotle mayo, spinach and mozzarella, it still has the potential to pack quite the punch – and this one sure did! The bread was out of this world amazing, crispy and a bit salty/buttery on the outside and impossibly soft on the inside, soaking up all that mayo and grabbing a hold of the melted cheese. The mushroom was soft without being overcooked, and everything just worked together in a magical kind of way.
I had also ordered the chicken caesar salad as a side ($4), which I have had before and it one of my favourite versions of this classic. The bacon and dressing is plentiful, the croutons crispy and the egg yolks have that little bit of softness in the middle that makes me heart go a bit gooey.
To sum it all up – great food at a very reasonable price, the friendliest staff on this earth and a pretty decent cup of joe means that in the short time that this little cafe has been around, it has become one of my go-to places for a reasonably healthy city lunch. Definitely worth a visit if you find yourself wandering around the city anytime soon!