Monday, 3 December 2012

West End Deli (Leederville, Perth WA)

95 Carr St
West Perth Western Australia 6005
(08) 9328 3605
    Mon-Sun 7:00 - 15:00

    Thu-Sun 18:00 - 22:00
West End Deli on UrbanspoonEstablished by Justin and Christine Peters, the West End Deli is located in a quite corner in a quiet street in an odd area that is remarkable, precisely, because of the constant hub of customers visiting the place. It is a suburban place, and that has a relaxed atmosphere, and lack of hype, and that is visited by patrons of all ages and sorts. The inside space if wonderfully woody, with a mix of rustic, faux-decay and vintage quirky decoration elements, like the hanging-chairs lamps. It has the feeling of an old Italian or French café.

The staff are very smiley, friendly, and welcoming with all customers. The service is relative fast even for cooked dishes, and they have a waiter service, so you can seat and relax.
 Their food is very good, and they have a good selection of dishes that stand out for their plating and great mix of flavours, colours and textures.
+ Their food is very good, great taste, texture and presentation, and the menu changes regularly, which is very exciting if you visit often. They also have a big selection of desserts, drinks, and wines.

The pork belly, caramelised peaches, basil, sweet potato was a superb dish regarding presentation, flavour, colours and textures. Pork Belly is fatty, so it really needs of contrasting refreshing flavours to clean the palate, and the mix in this dish was fabulous. The size of the belly was also great. Not too big, not too small. My belly was in love when met this peachy belly.

I also found excellent the charred octopus salad with pears, walnuts, charmoola and orange sauce.

Their home-made fettuccine, on the contrary, were disappointing in texture and flavour. They were a bit hard, not "al dente", therefore difficult to roll on your fork, they were dry, and the chilli was not hot at all. Nothing memorable. The dish needs a bit more of oil -perhaps herb or chilli infused oil- to make it smother, and a bit of more stuff on the plate.

They have a counter with already-made cakes, cup-cakes and muffins, decently priced, and a small menu of special desserts. The latter are much more expensive, but way more interesting and inventive.

The Pistacchio Jaconde was a highlight for me -  a crunchy cylindrical chocolate carcase enveloping a marshmallow fluff and pistacchio mouse resting on a sprinkled bed of pistacchio and berry, with fresh blueberries and pear puree dollops. The dish was artistically plated, and had a wonderful mix of colours, textures and flavours, with the right amount of sugar. It is a delicate, light and flavoursome dessert, perfect for summer. One of my favourite desserts of 2012, which is a lot to say!

Their cheesecake with salted dulce de leche, is an inventive fun dessert. The cheesecake is potted and served with a tube containing the dulce de leche -a sort of salted caramel cream- and a super-cute mini-bottle containing popping vanilla salts, which you add as a topping and keep popping in your mouth and ears while you are eating. However, the cheesecake is too sweet for my taste, and, therefore, the flavour of the cheese gets masked by the excess of sugar.

Their flat-while, despite being well prepared, is disappointly bland in flavour, strength and size of the cup. Average. To get a good one, forget sugar and order a long topped-up Macchiato, then you get a very good flat white :O.

+ They open, morning, day and evening.
+ You can pay at the end, before leaving.
+ The staff refill you water glasses regularly. 
+ The place is good for groups and solo eaters.
+ They have EFPTOS.
+ Their toilets, at least the ladies', are very clean, stylish and classy. A bit small, but a pleasure to rest your derrière on.
+ They have a reasonable amount of newspapers for customers. 

- Most dishes contain small servings of food and are a bit pricey. There is no reason for that when most of the produce they use is seasonal. 
- They serve their coffee in those infamous tiny glasses that are becoming part of Perth coffee scene.
- The  service can be lacking or distracted even when the café is not busy.

- My main criticism to the restaurant and its food is the lack of consistency in the quality of the dishes served. Some of them are artistically prepared and served, while others are average. I have seem most of their egg brunches and I would not bother with those. However, the sides look yummy. I think that they should put a bit of more effort in having a threshold regarding quality of the dishes, so there is a balanced standard and not the differences I have experienced myself.   
- The ventilation system is deficient. They have huge fans on the walls, but there are blind spots, underneath the fans, and the tables underneath can be very hot and humid if you happen to be there on a hot day. There is an air-con device on the wall, but has never been on during my visits. 
- Their website does not show their drinks, wine list, and dessert menu. It takes little effort to improve that.

* Order a takeaway coffee to get the size you want. It is slightly more expensive but way bigger.
* Go there for things you cannot prepare at home or buy at a normal bakery, as those are the ones that will wow you.


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