Thanks to Urban Spoon I came across Mrs S, a cute little cafe close to where I was staying between Maylands and Mount Lawley in Perth. I was instantly attracted to the photos on their Facebook page showcasing beautifully presented dishes, some even decorated with edible flowers. I only had a day left in Perth after spontaneously booking a flight to Hong Kong to celebrate the Chinese mid-autumn festival so I wanted to enjoy one last Aussie brunch before I returned to Asia (ok, it wasn’t to be my last, in fact, I’ll be enjoying a flat white only a few weeks from now but any excuse to go for brunch!)
Luckily my friends Sarah and Matt were free to join me on Saturday for brunch/lunch at Mrs S. We were very lucky to get a table, especially at this time of day, but additional tables are placed outside on the street to cater for everyone. I instantly liked the feel inside and although small, it feels homely and welcoming. For instance, the staff didn’t mind me spending an unnecessary amount of time looking at a huge display of cakes even though I was in the way of the till and they even offered advice on what to have.
Another thing I love about Mrs S was the menus which are placed inside children’s books. This childhood theme runs throughout with old-time characters such as Peter Rabbit and Mickey Mouse on the walls. There’s a small selection of cute gifts and home-wares to purchase on display and like always, I found it hard not to buy the lot for my mum who loves things like this.
I had a tough time choosing what to have on the menu (no suprise there!) but luckily Sarah offered to share with me so I could sample two of the wonderfully sounding dishes. We went for the ‘manwich’, a pulled-pork ciabatta with beetroot relish and rocket and the cornbread with bacon, eggs and maple. One thing I’ve inherited from my parents, apart from my love of cake, is my love of pulled pork and like them, I always choose it if it’s on the menu (I often wonder why couldn’t they love something healthy like celery instead?). I can see where the manwich gets it’s name from as it was HUGE. Definitely a man-sized portion, although most of the women in Mrs S were eating – and finishing – it too. There was a good amount of pulled pork which was very flavoursome and the beetroot relish was a great addition, but not over powering which meant fussy men like my dad would enjoy it too. The only thing I would say is that a small salad garnish would have been nice, especially considering how well the other dishes were presented.
I had never tried cornbread before so wanted to see what it was like, even though I’m not a great lover of bacon and after a week of Aussie brunches including one at Beaufort Street Merchant and another at Toast close by, I was nearly all “egged out”. I’m glad I tried this dish as the cornbread was delicious and I will certainly be having it again. The bacon and egg were well cooked and there was certainly enough there to leave me feeling full. I would have liked a little more maple syrup but that is just me and my exceptionally sweet tooth.
Now, it’s tradition in our family to have something sweet after every meal and I had been dying to try one of Mrs S’s cakes after seeing photos online. There is certainly quite a range for such a small place and there wasn’t one that I didn’t like the sound of. I spent ages “ooing and ahhing” whilst Sarah and Matt quickly chose a Nutella brownie and a passion fruit margarine slice. I loved the look of the huge slice of moist chocolate banana bread but after a few weeks of indulging in this Aussie favourite, I thought I should try something new.
I’m often put off by cakes which are gluten or wheat free as I think how can it possibly taste as good with substitute ingredients, but on this occasion I decided to give it a whirl. My mum had recently written about an orange polenta cake she enjoyed at Laura’s Kitchen and her homemade blackberry crumble featured in a recent sweet treats post, so I decided to the gluten-free blackberry, ricotta and polenta cake.
I also had to think wisely as I was just about to embark on a long-haul flight so I discussed with Matt and Sarah what the most “durable cake” would be. Maybe this cake wasn’t the safest option for travel but it was certainly the prettiest with an edible flower on top. When I finally got round to eating it just before boarding my flight to Hong Kong, it was still incredibly moist, so much so, I struggled to pick it up with my hands. Oh boy, this cake was certainly something special with the sharp taste of blackberries combining with the sweetness of the sponge and gooey ricotta perfectly. It was foodie heaven, at least for me anyway, and has certainly restored my faith in gluten-free options.
I can’t wait to return to Mrs S when I am back in Perth and this time I will order the granola which comes presented with a sprinkling of edible flowers on top. I will also try some of their other delicious looking cakes and maybe even the roasted vegetable salad which looked exceptionally appealing. Come lunch time there’re some additions to the all day brunch menu, including soup which changes daily. Great food, friendly staff and beautiful presentation, Mrs S ticks all the right boxes.
Living life, loving cake,