21 Ocean Drive, South Fremantle
Tel: 08 9431 7333
Open: every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner except Monday dinner.
I have turned over a mummy new leaf and have begun taking my son out for breakfast once a week. This serves two purposes. The first – I get out of the house and ingest a proper caffeine fix, the second – I am trying to get my son (Little Monkey) used to sitting still in restaurants hmm I may be fighting a losing battle.
There seems to be a lack of information regarding child friendly cafes in Perth outside of say McDonalds, Sizzler or Play Centres (all of which do not make anything resembling a proper coffee other than the fact that said dirty dishwater contains caffeine). So I’m on a quest to find the best child friendly café with decent coffee and food. Is it possible?
This is the fourth week of my child-friendly breakfast challenge, albeit the first review (the others are coming!).
So this week, after google maps (I won’t even dignify it with capitals) yet again sent me on a wild goose chase (this is the last time you hear me google maps!?!?) we descended upon Pickled Fig.
I have yet to sample the other two feathers in the Fig empire’s cap but I admit, after reading some less than stellar reviews on the sister cafes, I was somewhat wary.
The Pickled Fig sits below what appears to be a newish apartment block at the edge of the South Beach Parkland directly in front of the beach (albeit with a sand dune masking some of the view). The setting is, pretty special for a city which refuses to make the most of its coastline and waterways. But could this café deliver? Isn’t the rule that if a restaurant has a water view, avoid it like the plague? That such an establishment usually rests on its visual laurels?
So yeah, I was sceptical.
It was a Thursday morning and the café/restaurant was moderately busy, but there were a few free tables. There was a real mix of yummy mummies (ahem technically yes I would fall into that category), people fresh from a swim enjoying a coffee and leisurely reading the newspaper, families and everything in between.
The modern inside flows directly to the alfresco area which is shaded by umbrellas giving it relaxed vibe, allowing most to enjoy the wonderful sea view. The wait staff were dressed relatively casually but hey, it is a beach-side location and well, it is Freo after all.
I chose an outside table, under an umbrella, and was given a menu fairly promptly. However, my request for a highchair for my little dynamo was forgotten but was soon rectified by a handsome waiter.
There is ample free space outside for those with children (be it for the kids to stretch their legs or for prams). The beauty of the Pickled Fig for those of us with children is it is positioned right next to the South Beach Reserve and play ground, so if they behave themselves at breakfast you can reward them afterwards (or use the park as bribery for good behaviour… either way).
The menu is large and varied (vegetarians and those who are gluten intolerant will be happy here). From what I can see on the website, it appears the menus are the same for all three Figs. Considering the distance between the three establishments, they are probably not going to be in competition with each other, so this is not necessarily a negative.
My heart sang when I saw that the menu contained Canadian Pancakes which I swiftly ordered along with a cappuccino ($4), orange juice ($7.80) for me, and some toast ($6) and a breakfast sausage ($5) for Little Monkey. The orders are all taken electronically on what looks like a palm pilot (for this reason I only gave my receipt a cursory glance but have since realised I was charged for an extra coffee!). My coffee and freshly squeezed juice arrived without delay. The coffee was the right temperature and pleasant, although slightly bitter. No complaints.
The food arrived shortly after and, well, it’s safe to say I didn’t have lunch that day. The servings were massive!
The Canadian Pancakes visually blew my mind (and possibly my arteries). What are Canadian Pancakes you ask? Now to the uninitiated this may seem a little off, but stay with me. Staring dreamily up at me from my plate were two huge fluffy pancakes sandwiching a hefty amount of (unfortunately slightly under crisp) bacon (yes like a burger!). On top were my two fried eggs (over easy, just how I ordered them) with a hefty amount of maple syrup drizzled on top. It’s a little like mixing breakfast and dessert right? But the salty bacon plays off the sweet pancake and maple syrup and it shouldn’t work, but IT DOES. If this was a piece of paper you would notice a little spot of drool right about……….. <here>.
I swear I must have been Canadian in a past life because, to digress for a moment, one of my other favourite guilty pleasures is Poutine. Those Canadians sure know their disgustingly tasty, artery clogging food.
But back to breakfast. The serving of toast was huge and was presented on a wooden board with butter and what looked like chutney (a nice touch). The breakfast sausage (two of them in fact – a bargain at $5) was also of a hefty girth and were of the more gourmet vs. coles snag variety. Little Monkey certainly enjoyed them. But yes, it would appear I had ordered way too much food and must admit I was given a few curious looks as it was delivered to my table.
After our gorging, the bill was conveniently fixed at the table by a wireless eftpos machine, then we were on our way over to the park to reward Little Monkey for his good behaviour.
The Pickled Fig is a relaxed and child-friendly beach-side café/restaurant serving up large servings of solid breakfast comfort food by attentive yet casual wait staff. The food lilts somewhere between home-cooked and say Sayers (i.e. there are a few twists but it won’t blow your mind), and the coffee is certainly worthy. For the quality of food and servings I felt the pricing was spot on, and you just can’t beat the location.
Based on my experience at breakfast, I’m hoping to convince my husband to take me to Pickled Fig for dinner <watch this space>
Service: 7/10 (attentive yet casual, bordering on blasé at times)
Ambience: 8.5/10 (the flies buzzing around were an annoyance, although technically not their fault)
Final Score: 22.5/30