Would you like some Source with that?
I'm a massive fan of farm to table, sustainability and seasonal menus; all these things have the potential to give eateries a sense of freshness and creditability - however, the magic in the kitchen should still produce something delicious. After doing some research online about "that place on Beaufort Street that I always drive by", I was actually really excited about dining at Source Foods Cafe. I was really hoping for something "out of the box" to grab me from the menu; having just got back from Shanghai, I definitely miss a dining scene that is more unpredictable and pushes the envelope on flavour combinations. I've grown a little weary of some Perth menus that only boast "familiar favourites", being scrambled eggs, muesli, burgers and cheesecake. As much as I love classic flavours and comfort food, I'm hoping that with each new cafe that opens up in Perth, they will bring along with them their own unique flare. We arrived at Source Foods in the middle of the day and I gladly discovered that both breakfast and lunch menus were available - a good start, as I haven't met a soul on this planet who doesn't appreciate all day breakfast!
The first thing that caught my attention was that they used coffee beans that are locally roasted by Victoria Park roasters, Antz In Ya Pantz. A good friend use to visit there frequently and give the coffee rave reviews, so it really perked my interest. (That and their quirky dancing ant logo!) At Source Food, they use a single origin blend called Tiger Mountain and unfortunately, I was disappointed with the taste. It was definitely not as flavourful or as complex as I would have liked and the texture was incredibly lacklustre - I pushed my coffee cup to the side of the table in anticipation that lunch would be much better.
After my coffee came, we waited a substantial amount of time for the food to arrive. Prior to that, we were informed with the waitress' sincere apologies that the kitchen had run out of burger buns and whether we would mind if the O Burger was served in a sandwich roll instead. Effective kitchen to front of house communication is integral and it would have been great if we were informed as we were ordering. But essentially, in this case we weren't about to fuss about having to eat a burger from a sandwich roll, as it truly is what's on the inside that counts. Unfortunately, the flavours of the O Burger didn't compensate for the initial mix up or the long wait - the earthiness of the raw beetroot took over the flavours from the beef itself. I was really hoping for the caramelised onions and the house made condiments to shine through, but the fillings all seemed to lacked seasoning and a general sense of oomph.
After perusing through the menu I chose the Nachos over the Mushroom Hummus Crostini because I was craving for authentic Mexican flavours and especially looked forward to the spicy beans. The first time my Nachos hit the table, I was instantly disappointed - they do look like average corn chips out of a packet that were covered with small spoonfuls of the listed ingredients. I did feel ripped off; especially after some poking around, I discovered that the cheese and the beans were cold. There's nothing worse than not having melty cheese on your nachos! I brought the bowl back inside and approached the same waitress who informed us about the lack of burger bun and asked if this was meant to be cold. Again, she apologised profusely and told me that it wasn't suppose to be and quickly arranged for it to be heated up. I really didn't think I got my money's worth with this dish and it has definitely made me think twice about ordering Nachos at a cafe in future.
I think the staff that were on duty that day genuinely did feel bad that we were having quite an unimpressive experience so far. They brought out two chocolate mint balls for us on the house "for all our troubles". I'm not big fan of coconut or dark chocolate, but the gesture was comforting and definitely not seen a lot within the Perth cafe scene. It's a shame that things went wrong with our food and coffee at Source Foods because I wanted so badly to have a great experience here. They're situated in a great location and their staff have continuously offered great service; I left contemplating about whether we chose our food wrongly - but in all truth, regardless of how much I enjoyed the vibe and the service, the food was not up to standard and it's unlikely that I would return.
From the looks around the cafe, a lot of other customers were enjoying a lot of fresh juices that were presented in adorable mason jars as well as various bowls of salad. I'm more prone to order from the menu than from the display case - habitually, I prefer to sit down and have a hot meal that has been prepared to order, but I'm always intrigued by how a good looking display case can change that. I've also been seeing Rawsome treats pop up everywhere in the past year and I do hope that one day I'll feel inclined to give one a go over a gooey salted caramel something. Until then I can definitely admire from afar, as much as I admire their creator Laila Gampfer; Rawsome is seriously a great idea! I think in future, for a more satisfying healthy lunch, I think I'd prefer to visit my old favourite, the Raw Kitchen and would definitely be open to checking out other Vegan friendly cafes like Paws or Veggie Mama.
Monday to Friday, 7:00AM - 3:00PM, Saturday from 7:30AM - 3:00PM and Sunday from 8:30AM - 3:00PM.
I'll be putting up the result from Week 1 of Coffee Of Perth soon - stay tuned and keep drinking, Perth! Don't forget to keep tracking #CoffeeOfPerth on Instagram to have a look see at my daily dose!