As I pulled into the busy East Perth carpark opposite City Farm Cafe, a faint memory from my first visit to this unique and invigorating establishment knocked into my midday thoughts. A year ago, I was still a little deer in the headlights about which direction I was taking myself to - be it food, career or anything wise really. That same year, I visited City Farm for the first time. I remember feeling so reenergised after a great afternoon of enjoying simple, well done food and the calming mantras of an old, close friend. I was still taking photos with an iPhone back then and occasionally posting them to Instagram. Now, when I come home after a busy day, I'll throw all the humdrum aside to either cook, edit photographs from the day or to write - it's a wonderful life that I'm hoping to take more and more seriously with my impending graduation from UWA!
A year on, I find myself back at this very place with a progressive space to document my food and travel adventures under my belt. In fact, City Farm Cafe is one of the amazing venues that will feature in this year's Eat Drink Blog conference in Perth. It's all very surreal...a year ago, I probably wouldn't believe you if you told me that I'd put together my own food website, let alone have to opportunity to attend Eat Drink Blog!
To this day, I still remember how great the Garden Salad was. For a salad that has such an overdone and somewhat butchered reputation in the world of quick, takeaway lunches, City Farm managed to restore the "Garden Salad" back to it's true glory. I love the fact that "Garden Salad" really means, it's actually from their garden. I'll always put a few extra coins in the meter so that I have enough time to walk around the "farm" aspect afterwards of the place afterwards. There's such a big sense of community in this place - it's not just a cafe after all. It's a garden and it's a shared place for learning and rejuvenation. Their menu is almost 50% Vegetarian, with a few gluten free options too - which is something that I always look for in restaurants and cafes alike. Although I don't belong to either of those eating groups, I'm a big supporter of inclusive eating and I like to see what chefs and restaurant owners can come up with to cater to these customers.
Bad habits wise, unfortunately I'm the age old breakfast skipper. Having heard that the burgers at City Farm are incredible; I was looking forward to having a fulfilling lunch and trying this for myself. The packet crisps on the side may seem a little daggy - but in between bites, the crunch and savoury notes were actually quite enjoyable. It may look small, but M and I actually shared this one and were totally stuffed afterwards!
It was so satisfying to see the cheese melted over the wagyu patty, to the point where it was almost transparent - too many cheeseburgers just don't get that fundamental, delicious treatment! The thick cut of tomato and the sweet beet relish were such beautiful additives to the salty, full flavoured wagyu. It's been so long since I was so impressed by every component of a burger. There's no fancy condiments or new age cooking techniques involved - it's a simple burger, with a few additives that all work well together to highlight the perfectly cooked wagyu.
This was also my first time trying Stolen Recipe Ice Tea - I really liked the combination of Watermelon and Raspberry. They've managed to make an Iced Tea that isn't overly sweet but is also very refreshing; I'd love to try Berry + Pomegranate or Lemon + Lime next!
For those who have visited City Farm before; the baked goods and cake display is definitely not something that can be easily ignored. In this instance, I gave in pretty easily and decided on the icing dribbled goodness of the Pistachio Cake. The cake was surprisingly moist and carried a delicate, natural pistachio flavour, complimented also by the zesty and slightly floral notes of the icing. For those who work around or live near City Farm Cafe, I'm awfully jealous of your easy access to this baked goods haven. Oh and another good thing? Everything is baked fresh daily and also includes gluten free options!
As I browse through the programme for Eat Drink Blog 2013, I see a lot of food figures, bloggers, restaurants and personalities that I've admired and can't wait to learn more from. I've never been to an event at City Farm Cafe before, but I have a feeling that it's going to be a great, exciting space to learn amongst as well as a beautiful backdrop for the pop-up dinner event afterwards. I'm excited and a little nervous about meeting and networking with not only the admirable calibre of guest speakers, but also my other blogging colleagues from all around Australia. Beyond Eat Drink Blog, I know that City Farm will always be a special place for me in Perth and also features a beautiful, sustainable and well thought out menu that I highly recommend.