One of the cafes that has long been on my list of places to try is suburban favourite Red Brick Espresso at the Curtin Shops. This cafe has been around for a while and it seems that everyone I know has dined here. I knew it was located at the Curtin Shops but I didn’t exactly know where at the shops, so I had to walk around randomly to find it. I finally spotted some people sitting outside enjoying a cup of coffee and found the cafe facing away from the shops and looking out onto the main road.
Red Brick Espresso’s fit out is long and narrow. The front counter, open kitchen and coffee machine are at one end with a large coffee roaster at the other end. There are a few tables down the sides. We got there at just the right time to snag two small tables and turned it into a table for five.
I know Red Brick Espresso roast their own coffee but I just wasn’t in the mood for coffee that day (I know shame on me for not trying). Instead, I ordered the Chinese white tea ($4) to warm me up. Served in a teapot, the tea leaves were still inside the pot in a strainer. I gave it a few more seconds before taking out the leaves.
My friend ordered a hot chocolate which came served with coloured rocks sprinkled around the cup. We had no idea if they were just rocks or were edible rocks, and neither of us wanted to try to bite it. Another friend, Mr STTA, confirmed the ‘rocks’ were actually chocolate and were completely edible so we all had a piece to try. Very quirky.
I was eyeing the baked eggs with sauteed baby spinach, yoghurt and chilli dressing served with toasted sourdough ($14.90) and ordered this for breakfast. Sadly, the eggs were overdone. I found this was quite a dry dish as there wasn’t any sauce besides the yoghurt and no moistness from the eggs. The wilted spinach, while a great healthy part of the dish, was also dry. Those that like spicier food will be pleased to find the chilli has some kick to it with real cuts of chilli and chilli powder sprinkled on top (I had to pick the cuts of chilli out). I appreciated the wedge of lemon to give some acidity (and moistness) to the dish. This is not something I would order again, but I wouldn’t mind trying some of the other dishes.
My friend ordered the grilled banana and waffles with whipped vanilla cream, candied walnuts, PX syrup and passion fruit pulp ($13.90). I watched as this was made fresh in the waffle maker. The dish looked so good!
Both gluten intolerant friends ordered the bacon and fried egg with rocket and tomato relish on toasted gluten free bread (usually on a brioche bun for $9.90 or add $1 for gluten free bread). This is basically a bacon and egg roll.
There were plenty of locals enjoying breakfast at Red Brick Espresso that weekend and it is clearly a much loved suburban brunch spot. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite hit the mark for me. I must give kudos to kitchen staff when I realised the ‘kitchen’ consisted of a small bench behind the front counter with a small sink, oven and simple gadgets like a waffle maker and sandwich press. There is no set uniform for staff who are all dressed in plain clothes so it was difficult to determine who was a waiter and who was a customer at first. Table service was provided for coffee orders but it was extremely difficult to get someone’s attention to take our food order. I finally waved someone down who mentioned it’s best to order and pay at the front counter. So I’m confused as to whether the cafe provides table service or not.
Red Brick Espresso, located at the Curtin shops, is open seven days a week for breakfast and lunch.
Value for money 7/10
FPJ score 18/30
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