A short review for a whirlwind dinner at Gordon Street Cafe.
Madam Rabbit and I were rushing to get to an event in West Perth beginning at 7.00pm on a Tuesday night and stopped in at Gordon Street Garage for a quick dinner and an oil change. We got there at about 6.15pm and were quickly seated without a booking. We told our serving lady that we really had to rush and asked whether we would be able to get food and be out the door for 6.50pm.
So how did the little greasemonkeys go?
Good food, for the most part.
We sat down and saw they had 'Bread In Common wood-fired bead, GSG butter or olive oil' for $2.50 per person. Given that we had just been ripped off at Bread In Common only a few weeks earlier, we decided this would be a good (bread) measuring-stick to judge them on.
So, quick comments -
- $2.50 per person for bread whereas it's $2.00 per person at Bread In Common itself. The freight costs of transporting bread down Stirling Hwy must be more than little old me can appreciate.
- As you can see from the photos, we got much more bread for our $2.50 at Gordon Street Garage than what we received at Bread In Common.
- Gordon Street Garage was able to provide us with a generous bowl of olive oil and balsamic vinegar without charging us $0.50 - but then, perhaps it's built into the cost of bread itself. Bread and olive oil would also have cost us $2.50 at Bread In Common, but then we wouldn't have also received balsamic vinegar.
- Since I began writing this blog, I've paid much more attention to the cost and quality of bread serves at restaurants, and you should too.
Following the bread we shared a mozzarella pizza, I ordered the pork belly dish and Madam Rabbit ordered the Broccolini.
The pizza was big and very cheesy. Would eat again.
In my (admittedly uneducated) view, the broccolini dish wasn't great. It was bland and cost us $19.00. Is that ok? I feel like it's not ok. To me, that dish should cost somewhere between $10-$15. It's not like it was a huge plate of vegetables. It wasn't big and it had no taste. With a meal like this, it just seems to me that you end up paying for a lot of pretentious air.
The pork belly was very very nice. Crunchy skin (so the Rose Gold Boyfriend Experience would have been happy) and fatty such that the crunch would at times stick to the inside of your teeth. I felt like an absolute barbarian chomping on what was surely once a very happy pig in front of Madam Rabbit, delicately eating the components of a terrarium, but god damn it tasted wonderful.
Some beers on tap and a bottled cider. Schooner was $7 and the bottle $10.
Not outrageous given the circumstances.
As noted above, we put the pressure on our serving lady on sitting down as we were in quite the rush and she handled it with grace. She was sure to tell us what the kitchen could prepare in the time available and steered us towards what she thought we would like.
In hindsight, I think she actually told us the pizza might be hard to do in the time available, but we ended up picking it anyways. So, in summary, she was lovely though not convincing.
The place wasn't busy and so perhaps it's not fair to compare the service we had here against Bread In Common (which was very busy at the time we arrived) but it seems to me the key factor we customers look for is nice friendly service, such that even if a waiter is busy we can understand and empathise so long as they're nice about it.
Our Gordon Street Garage waitress was nice and very attentive to boot.
Wonderful. an industrial renovation, with exposed beams, concrete floors and exposed brick, with naked timber and steel sprinkled throughout. It feels safe to assume the premises was once an industrial car garage, and if not then I'm pissed at having being so convincingly tricked.
I thought it was a real nice touch how the restaurant could be entered from either the Gordon Street or Coolgardie Street ends.
A wonderful feel throughout.
I liked it. We were out the door by 6.55pm and had scoffed down a woodfired pizza, bread that had been brought in all the way from Fremantle, delicious pork belly and some rabbit food. Loved the feel of the place and the service was attentive and friendly.
The only downside is the price, and even then I think I could have looked the other way had it not been for the $19 broccolini and quinoa. I cannot understand why a dish like that should cost $19 - vegetarians get a raw deal. Their ingredients apparently cost less to buy, but they get charged the same amount and then - at the end of it all - they don't even get to eat delicious meat! That's the kind of pain that deserves a subsidy, surely?
6.5 pots of balsamic vinegar (gratus!) out of 10
Edit: With the benefit of hindsight, I have had to reduce the number of pots of balsamic vinegar this place has been awarded, as I just can't get past that $19 Broccolini.
This place has been taken from a 7/10 originally to now a 6.5/10.