SMALL & INTIMATE NEIGHBOURHOOD CAFE.
Team Retreat from the 15th of February to the 21st of February 2019.
Perfectly hidden in the Claisebrook precinct, we are a tiny neighbourhood cafe.
We’ve chosen to focus on making good coffee, unpretentious menu items, and service on a personal level - all at a sensible price.
Photos and words by Dan Lim
We designed this tiny minimalistic cafe from the ground up, cladded its exterior with Jarrah slats, made the light feature and tables ourselves, and covered the walls with a dark lead black paint.
We chose a location in a lesser known area, with not much around and no foot traffic. An almost forgotten piece of land in a light industrial area, just outside of Perth’s Central Business District. Hardly the place for a cafe… but somehow, we were crazy enough to see the potential of this district, and decided to put our hands to some good old hard work.
Opening our doors in November 2017, we honestly had no idea how we would fare. However, our location allowed us the freedom to be completely ourselves, and to develop a menu that was free from the traditional expectations of what a “cafe menu” should look like.
We started cooking dishes for ourselves and what we would enjoy eating. We were working hard, and this was our version of comfort food. It’s uniquely us. Because of our size and how we designed the cafe, service became a highly intimate affair. You can see and hear everything, and where we cook your food, wash your dishes, and make your coffee. Everything we do is a highly public affair.
159 Claisebrook Road
Perth 6000 WA
Last Day Open for 2018:
Saturday, 15 December 2018
Tuesday, 15 January 2019
Closed for Staff Retreat:
15 - 20 February 2019
(Lots of info below)
Because of the freedom that our location and size gives us, we’ve found ways to be more innovative with what we do and to break down certain walls that we wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise.
18 Seats inside / a few chairs and tables outside
The first thing that you would notice is that we are tiny. 18 seats inside. About 10 chairs and 5 small tables outside. That’s it. We don’t have space for any more. Our kitchen is small, and we wash about 500 items a day in our small dish area. It’s intimate and we’ve grown to like it. Saturdays can get pretty hectic with the brunch crowd – but we will always try our best to accommodate you.
It’s a strange area for a cafe to be in. But parking is free. And we are in the Free Transit Zone. It’s quite, it’s quaint, maybe even grab one of our blankets (or bring your own) and sit on the lawn outside. Oh, and dogs are welcome too.
Coffee Prices & SIzes
When we first started, we made our takeaway coffees in 8oz and 12oz cups - which is pretty standard for Perth. We were charging $4 and $4.50 respectively – cheap according to some of our regulars. Those ratios seemed strange to us especially because we were using 1 shot of espresso in the 8oz, and 2 shots in the 12oz - which resulted in the 8oz being weaker than the 120z.
We knew we wanted to change it to a 6oz and a 12oz, but we did not want to seem stingy with the smaller cups. Effectively, we looked at our pricing, and decided to change the price of a 6oz to $3.50 — making it one of the cheaper specialty coffees in Perth. And if you brought your own cup, we would take $0.50 off the price - which would make your morning Flat White $3.00. Crazy!
By the way, our Long Blacks are $3.00 for an 8oz cup (with two shots) and $3.50 for a 12oz cup with 3 shots. Batch brew is $4.00 for an 8oz cup - and if you dine in, we offer you a free top up.
Unfortunately, price plays a huge role in how we value items, meaning that sometimes, an average tasting $5 coffee from a good looking establishment can be perceived as being better than a great tasting $4 cup of coffee. The correlation between price and value can be a strange thing.
Having said that, we serve only the best, specialty coffee, to the best of our ability, with the best equipment that we can find (and sometimes the most expensive), buying coffee from only the best roasters in Perth (and sometimes from other parts of Australia). We take pride in making you the best cuppa that we can possibly make, and if you are not happy with it, we will always happily re-make it to you liking, or offer you a full refund.
We have two small ovens, a five burner gas stove, a sandwich press, and two sous vide machines. It’s pretty much a home kitchen. Size wise, it as intimate as it can be, and you can see everything that we do.. All our food is made here, and we avoid following what the newest trend is, but instead, we focus on making that which make us happy (hoping that it makes you happy too).
We’ve chosen to cook out of a small kitchen because that is how normal everyday people would cook anyways. We wanted to inspire and to challenge the conventional norms. We also wanted people to take away what they’ve seen us do, and do the same in their own life space.
Like most restaurants, we are inspired by different flavour combinations and the seasons. But most of all, we are inspired by the feedback that we get from our guest, from their experiences, and from conversations we have with them around food. We’ve always welcomed others to join us on this food journey, and we value that everyone has something to bring to the table.
We couldn’t have done it alone…
We work with a host of local producers, individuals and businesses to serve you the best product we can on a daily basis. We could never have done this alone. This is to give credit where credit is due.
For the amazing work that you’ve put into improving the coffee industry in Perth and also for providing us with excellent coffee: Seb & Ru at Laika Coffee Roasters, Rummy at Offshoot Coffee, The Team at Five Senses, Laurence & Mike at Community Coffee Co., Tom and Luke at Twin Peaks Coffee, Garry at CoffeeFusion, the team at Blacklist Coffee, and to Matt from Grouch and Co.
Special mentions to Johan for aligning our EK43s, Ziggy for refracting our espresso shots, Rie for all the feedback, and to Taylor for helping us paint our takeaway coffee cups.
A big thank you to James for helping us set up our lights, the team at ReSpoke for helping us make our tables, Kat at CleanSlate for making our candles, Nick at Perth Laser Cutting for always being there for us, Shailesh at Perth Embroidery for your awesome work and dedication, our architects and builder for helping us realize this space, and to the team at Arrival Hall for the amazing salt and pepper shakers, tea brewers and other little design items.
We would also like to thank Matt at Pietro Gelateria for all the wonderful cold treats, Kartika for all your work in making us awesome honey cakes in amazing flavours, Roger for all the rare and distinct local honey you’ve supplied to us, to the lovely team at Artisan Foods for all the specialty food items, and to the team at Green World Revolution for all your hard work in growing amazing produce on an urban farm.
And of course, we could never forget about you, our wonderful and loyal customers, all this is about you, and we want to thank you for the wonderful conversations, interactions, comments, feedback, gifts and most of all, for joining us on this journey!
Here’s to 2019! May it only keep getting better!