I spent last weekend up in Geraldton and finally got myself to the hot new place in town, l'attitude 28. Now, there was much excitement when this place first opened a couple of months ago, and I think during the opening weekend pretty much all of my Gero facebook friends had status updates that were somehow l'attitude 28 related. Unsurprisingly however, everyone's excitement and enthusiasm for this new bar and restaurant seemed to be unrequited. The cocktails are apparently amazing, but heaven help you if you would like some snacks to line your stomach with whilst quaffing them. Some family members went in around 3pm one weekend not long after it opened to sample the cocktails, and were met with much confusion by waitstaff when they enquired about food choices as 3pm is between the lunch and dinner menus. They were eventually told they could choose any dishes off the tapas range of the dinner menu, which left them with the task of choosing between garlic prawns, marinated mushroom or a spanish omelette. Yes, nothing says cocktail glamour like slurping down a bowl of garlic prawns. Surely it would be quite easy to have some options such as Turkish bread and dips, or even chips and wedges on the menu? Sadly the service also left a bit to be desired, as the cocktails had to be chased up before being eventually delivered.
Despite these disappointing experiences, my sister and I decided to test out the new word around town that l'attitude 28 has been doing a good breakfast of late, when after waking reasonably early on Sunday for a possible tennis match (which I was somewhat fearful about given that my sister has actually been having lessons) we found the weather un-tennisable. When we arrived down there however, we were a little concerned as the carpark was completely empty and there was no signage at all to indicate that breakfast was being served. We parked anyway and walked in to discover that yes, breakfast was being served but perhaps was a well kept secret as noone else was in the restaurant.
The decor inside is quite nice and modern, and I later discovered that the toilet situation is pretty cool too. TV screens showing (dubious) music clips kept you entertained both within the bar/restaurant and whilst you were washing your hands (I hope!) in the toilets. Two of the four toilets were "out of order" but I guess this isn't really an issue when you are one of two people in the whole place.
Anyway, enough toilet discussion. The service during this visit was very prompt and very friendly. The breakfast menu is not vast, with only nine options, but covers most bases well and has a couple of more interesting dishes such as savoury French toast and my choice for the day - "Ricotta and Thyme Pancake - served with two poached eggs and portabella mushroom $18.50". My sister chose the "Eggs Royale - Two poached eggs on a muffin with smoked salmon and hollandaise sauce $18.50".
Both dishes were nice, but were let down in a couple of areas.
The Eggs Royale were beautifully poached, and the hollandaise sauce - to our surprise - was very nice and seemed to be freshly made. No "eggs benny" sauce here! In fact, it would have been a fine example of a smoked salmon/poached eggs breakfast dish if only it were served with something a bit more impressive than a stock standard English muffin, such as the "rustic toast chargrilled in olive oil" that is served with their scrambled eggs. I can't help but equate white English muffins to a couple of slices of Tip Top Sunblest white sandwich bread, and using such ingredients can lead to annoyance at being charged handsomely for something you could easily knock up at home. Of course, it was clearly written on the menu that the dish was served on an English muffin so we have no cause for complaint here, but it would be a simple way to improve this otherwise very nice dish.
My eggs were also beautifully poached, and the mushrooms were delicious. Sadly however I could only get through perhaps half of the ricotta thyme pancakes, due to their incredibly doughy texture and taste. This was a real shame, as they had such a lovely flavour with the fresh thyme running through them, but there is only so much doughiness you can handle at once. The outsides looked reasonably well cooked, but I can only assume that the pan was perhaps a little too hot to allow the middles to cook through sufficiently or the batter was too thick.
So, both dishes had real potential but were let down by their carb components. Was it still good enough to get me back there to try out the new dinner menu next time I'm in town? We'll see if those tasty cocktails lure me in..
291 Chapman Road (corner Mabel St), Geraldton
Phone: 08 9965 3776