Restaurants that feel like home - for me, there's probably only a few around Perth that evoke such a special feeling. I could probably count them all on one hand, but each of them hold more significance to me than the regular pick that just do good food. West End Deli, has long upheld my three greatest expectations - impressive food, unique ambiance and great service. I've comfortably ordered the same dish on numerous visits and brought some of my favourite people through this place; my partner M's recent visit was no exception. I couldn't wait to come back, soak up the sunshine of Spring and share this serene space once more with great company.
From the moment we enter, the service is undeniable good. I've come to experience the same level and process every time, which makes it a very pleasant place to come and spend the day in. After taking a seat, the next thing I know, our table is coincidentally being taken care of by West End Deli's Chef/Owner, Justin Peters. Justin explained that recently, he decided to take a step out from behind the pass and onto the floor; it was a lovely first hand look into deriving Justin's vision for what kind of dining space he wanted West End to be. He made some great recommendations to feed our table and we couldn't wait to get stuck in!
The Honeycomb Mocha has long been my West End treat and I was so glad that I got to introduce it to M. It's a liquid Crunchie bar with a hit of strong espresso that went down very nicely on this slightly chilly morning. I was also immensely impressed by the West End Warmer, which had beautifully well balanced flavours. My housemate was feeling a little under the weather and she said that this was the perfect drink for setting her back into motion.
The Tasmanian Salmon was one of Justin's recommendations and rightfully so, it left quite an impression. This is one of those dishes that I'd gladly enjoy on a daily basis - it's soft, nourishing and an ideal feel-good meal. The broth is light and savoury, which is perfect for the submerging of tender slithers of salmon. The bowl was placed in the middle of the table at one point and after some liberal communal spoon dipping, we all agreed that we were mighty impressed with it's composition and delicacy.
I mentioned on my last write up on West End Deli that I thought that the Steak Sandwich was a little overpriced considering it's one sided, three ringed stature. This time around, I was surprised; same deal, but priced at $22. This is one of the best onion rings in Perth, by the way and I'm always wishing there's more on the plate! Each cut of the sandwich is still a flavoursome, meaty mouth but unfortunately, this time around a little chewy.
Another new dish that I was looking forward to trying was the Crumpet - or as I've come to know it as; the big friendly giant. Crumpets were once my childhood treat that I would pop into the toaster every morning before school; West End's rendition would definitely have issues carrying out that routine! However, the sizeable nuggets of honeycomb and the scoops of parfait dropped across the face of the crumpet, make this the ultimate breakfast for those with a sweet tooth. We placed this in the middle of the table and tore off crispy corners as we went along like a pizza.
I felt a slight affinity to the West End Eggs and I decided on getting one poached and one scrambled - I've hardly heard of anywhere else in Perth that is this accommodating! After trying the slow egg amongst the Tasmanian Salmon dish, I'm dead set on having those over my crispy bread next time.
After much deliberation, M decided on the tempting Marinated Fennel salad. I was expecting a heavy bitterness from the radicchio, which did manage to cut through the sweetness from the dates and the fennel. I was elated to see pistachio and goat's cheese on the plate, but overall this was my least favourite dish. The marinated fennel was a slippery character and for me, the radicchio overwhelmed the other flavours on the plate.
After the meal, Justin introduced me to West End Deli's spread in Forage, as well as to the dinner menu and enticed me to come around to give it a go. He's an amazingly humble chef, considering his restaurant calibre (il Lido, Duende and West End) and an all round nice guy who exudes an infectious passion for this beautiful space. It may surprise some as to why I haven't yet come back for dinner, as after all, it is one of my favourite local restaurants - it would make sense to! However, if I like a good thing, I'll stick to it for the long run and I enjoy what West End Deli have going on during the day too much. It's a deep rooted comfort that I regularly come back to indulge myself in! As for their delectable sounding dinner menu, I'll save it for another special day, which will come around soon I'm sure - another time, sunshine and hopefully, with M by my side!
Disclaimer: Do note that our table didn't receive any preferential or bias treatment throughout out meal. It wasn't until after we were finished eating that Justin knew that I ran dinewhitme.com - I've long respected W.E.D for treating every customer that walks through their door the same way and have experienced such fantastic service long before I started writing restaurant reviews.