There are many places to have a good breakfast in Perth, whether it is the healthy options you are after or the full English. I can highly recommend a bakery/patisserie that goes by the name of Jean Pierre Sancho and is located very close to the city centre on Hay Street. From that I understand there is one more shop further up on Hay Street and another on St Georges Terrace.
Sancho’s does some very nice bread, which smells and tastes like the stuff we are more familiar with in Switzerland. So I just order a cappuccino and a plate toast. I get two pieces of toasted baguette, two pieces of a very tasty fruit and wholegrain bread and a cappuccino that is saying good morning.
You order at the counter, the food is then served to you at the table.
Jamie’s Italian is all the rage right now. You can make a reservation for a table via the homepage or by phone, although making a reservation for the same day will probably not work due to the popularity of the place. Alternatively you can just show up. If you’re early enough – ca. 18h00 – you might just be lucky and will not have to wait for a table to clear.
The first thing that strikes you, is how noisy it is inside. Essentially it is just one very large room that can house quite a few people. The high ceiling means there is also a bit of an echo.
The design of the restaurant is a bit pretentious. Obviously the idea had been to go for some sort of industrial design, with bare walls and pipes to give the place a slightly unfinished touch, presumably to complement the open view of the kitchen.
The service is so so. On the one hand, the staff are all positively gushing and keep asking you if everything is okay and if you are enjoying your stay. On the other hand though, the service is quite slow and you have to wait quite a bit for the food to arrive. The entire service concept is meticulously planned. Unfortunately this means that there is barely any room for spontaneity for you as the customer.
So what about the food? For the starter I order a plank, which is a collection of four dishes served, well…on a plank. To make some space the plank is placed on two closed tins of tomatoes, which is a nice touch. Kind off.
For the main course I have the daily special, which is tagliatelle pasta with smoked mackerel and a white wine and lemon sauce. All in all, the starter and the main are quite good. Especially the main course is rather unusual with a strong taste of lemon.
And now for something sweet…
If, like me, you have a sweet tooth, with a particularly pronounced and constant craving for chocolate, then Koko Black on William Street is the place to go in Perth. They nearly only have sweet things on the menu. There are two savoury dishes on offer, a leek and goat cheese tart and two varieties of toasted sandwich. But I suspect this is more to keep up appearances than anything else, because during the time I was there I did not see a single person eat something savoury.
In any case, the creations at Koko Black are quite simply amazing – a revelation, an explosion of exquisitely balanced delight for the palate, a celebration of the divine and unearthly pleasure of chocolate.
I go for the Salted Caramel Délice: caramel chocolate mousse, caramelised white chocolate brûlé with a chewy caramel centre. Need I say more…? I am starting to salivate merely at the reminiscence of this masterpiece.
I wash down the food with a tasty and not overly sweet iced tea infused with mint and strawberries.
Just in case you end up feeling guilty after all the food: in Perth I’m staying at the Holiday Inn on Hay Street. The hotel is ideally located in the centre of town. Moreover, guests have free access to the Fitness First Platinum gym in Brookfield, just off St Georges Terrace. The gym is very well equipped, and most of the equipment is new and in good condition.
The best times to go are either midmorning, around 10:00, or then mid-afternoon, after 14:00. The crowd is pretty mixed. You get everything from office workers trying to forestall the onset of a middle aged spread, to some truly divine creatures whose physique seems hardly humanly possible. Perhaps they have not heard of Koko Black yet…