Pop tarts. For me, they bring back bring back memories of a year spent on student exchange in Canada, where supermarket shelves are stocked with Kraft mac’n’cheese and instant pancake mix in every flavour imaginable, where it was always cold, where classrooms are overheated and a year when I drank more Barcardi than anyone should ever drink in a lifetime. During this part of my life, a staple of my diet was the ubiquitous North American anytime-of-the-day delicacy: pop-tarts. Dropping off my radar after moving back to Perth, these sweet bundles of joy made a reappearance recently, in the form of many an instagram image of an ice-cream adorned pop-tart. This was a creation from the talented chefs at relatively new North Perth cafe, The Old Laundry. It one looked a hell of a lot more sophisticated than the double chocolate pop tarts that I used to rip out of a silver wrapper (probably after a night drinking too much Barcadi), but would it bring me the same guilty pleasure? I set off to North Perth to find out.
Rocking up to a busy Angove Street on a rainy Sunday morning, I found the Old Laundry located just down from the Rosie in the middle this busy little North Perth hub. It struck me when we walked in how spacious it was – I know it must be tempting for restaurants to seat as many people as possible, but leaving some space in the middle has really paid off aesthetically (and the tables were still plentiful). I gather the courtyard out the back is really cute from the glimpse I got through the glass, but unfortunately the heavens had opened up on the day that we visited and there was no cover so it was not to be.
We arrived during peak breakfast hour, and a frenzied but friendly waitress let us know that it would be about 20 minutes until a table would be ready which was fine by me – a short wait by popular cafe standards in Perth these days. We took a seat on the bench inside to watch the comings and goings at the counter while we waited.
The first table to become available out the front, and we were offered the opportunity to grab it if we wanted to brave the weather outside, or we could wait a bit longer for one inside. Not being too windy outside, we opted for the cold over the growing hunger in our bellies, and took a seat where we could take in the happenings on Angove Street. I quite enjoyed the mood out there in the drizzle, and the little succulent on our table was extra cute.
We ordered coffee as we sat down, with half a mind putting something in our tummies and half a mind to having something to keep us warm. It came out quickly which was great, although the waitress set mine down in front of me with an apology for spilling it everywhere but without any attempt to clean it up. A new one, or an attempt to mop some up with a napkin would have been appreciated in that situation. But once I stopped being so fussy and got over this, the coffee itself made up for it with its beautiful creamy texture.
I had wanted to share the pop tart that I was so curious about as a breakfast dessert but my sister Jocelyn, who has always been mostly gluten free, informed me that she was no longer eating any gluten at all and that we couldn’t share the pop tart. Unfortunately, I don’t think I could have had that much sugar for breakfast without anything else to line my tummy so the glorious pop-tart of wonder had to wait for another day. In lieu of that, my choice to fuel me up for the day was the moroccan baked eggs with spicy tomato sugo, chickpeas, spinach and moroccan spices with sourdough, while Jossie tried the sweet potato and chorizo hash with caramelised onion jam, a fried egg, rocket, lime and herbs (both $17).
Jocelyn’s sweet potato and chorizo hash was definitely the highlight of the morning. Spicy chorizo that had a bit of a chilli kick to it, flavoursome sweet potato scattered throughout the dish and a perfectly cooked fried egg with a crispy base and gooey yolk made the dish a pleasure to eat. Definitely one to order again!
My first set of baked eggs was unfortunately completely cooked through, much to my disappointment when I sliced my knife through the pale yellow yolk. When I bought it up with the waitress, she graciously took it back and returned not too long after with round 2. The second time around the eggs were a lot more satisfying, but what I was really impressed by was the way that the waitress handled it. Everyone makes mistakes and in my mind it’s what someone is willing to do when a mistake has been made that makes or breaks the situation. The bread in this dish was a big highlight for me – soft and fluffy without the curse of the overly crunchy crust, it worked with the soft chickpeas perfectly.
Whether you want to start the day with a coffee or finish it with a cocktail, The Old Laundry is a versatile little venue that will cater for you. I loved the vibe there, and I could see myself having a lot of fun over a few drinks here some evening. I just won’t be ordering any Barcadi!