Can you spot the teddies discussing which one of them is going to make a dash for the almond croissants?
Playing host to the annual Vincent Cappucino Festival since 2008, Angove Street has turned into quite the bustling cafe strip over the past few years. Its still has a lot to offer if your house is overrun with giant pests, your Swedish car has broken down or you're in need of a cold beer and some local music, but it now also offers quite a few good food choices should the giant pest fighting have stirred your appetite. It was a friend's birthday last week and so we battled the bustle, considering milkd or Il Circolo before deciding to visit The Pantry Door for the first time.
The Pantry Door was opened by friends Tracey Hogan and Jonathan Legros last year. Their individual paths that eventually lead to Angove Street were quite different - he comes from a classical French pastry background, also working in the US, Spain and Ireland before moving to Australia 6 years ago, while she came into the food industry in her 30s, working in such places as Lamont's Swan Valley, Tarts Cafe and Deli Chicchi before fatefully meeting Jonathan while they were both working at Ultimo Catering.
It has been said that The Pantry Door has the feel of a French Grocer's. I cannot comment on this as my time spent in France is limited to a half hour stopover in Grenoble spent within a plane cabin, and to its credit The Pantry Door felt nothing like this. It did quite have the feel of a more inviting Première Moisson though, so I guess I can say it has a Québécois bakery/bistro feel to it.
Lunch options abound, and we had a few questions to ask of the friendly waitstaff to help us with our decisions as not all the dishes were labelled, or some of the labels were a bit minimalist. The warmer dishes are displayed under plastic on the front counter, and included tuna cakes, salmon tart, stuffed mushrooms, quiche, pastries, pizza and warm salads. Everything looked freshly made and appetising. It was going to be a difficult decision.
To add fuel to the fire of indecision, we then turned to our left and were faced with an open fridge of focaccias, wraps, sandwiches, bagels and salads. I think I spied some ready-to-go bircher muesli in there too, along with a selection of cheeses. One of my lunch buddies declared that he would be very happy to grab some of the cheese from the fridge, a crusty baguette from the baked goods near the coffee machine, and eat this for his lunch.
Refusing the urges of his inner shepherd however, he decided upon a tuna cake with a side serve of the Asian chicken salad, an order which was copied by the birthday boy. I could not go past the smoked salmon flute, with a side serve of roasted vegetables.
We put in our orders and paid at the counter, before taking our seats at the lovely big wooden table in the middle of the cafe. The birthday boy got to sit at the head of it, on a red velvet seat no less. Perfect.
Tuna cake with Asian chicken salad
Both boys, birthday and otherwise, enjoyed their lunch. I managed to sneak a forkful of the tuna cake and it had a nice creamy texture and seemed to actually have a decent amount of tuna in it. I didn't try the salad but reports were favourable.
Smoked salmon flute with roasted vegetable salad
I really enjoyed my lunch. The bread was perfectly crusty on the outside and soft on the inside, with nice big chunks of salt scattered on the top. The only thing I didn't enjoy about the flute was the mayonnaise inside as I'm not much of a fan, but it did seem to be whole egg mayo and I could easily scoop out most of it so I was just left with a little hint, which I was happy with. The roast vegies were deliciously soft and provided a great contract with the crunch of the flute.
Please sir, someone appears to have stolen my lunch. I suspect the rooster.
I love the cutlery. The only other person I know with such knives is my Nanna, and they make me think of sitting at her table, spreading homemade jam onto her scones with one.
Some of the baked treats
After finishing our food we weren't quite ready to leave the nice big table and the good conversation so we ordered coffees and some sweet treats. More indecision ensued before the chocolate & date slice and the banana bread were decided upon. I decided just to assist in the nibbling of others' desserts, but if I did partake I would totally have gone for the cupcake with a poached pear inside it!!
When the birthday boy's coffee arrived I realised I've been missing latte art since shifting over to ordering long blacks some time ago. Long blacks just aren't as photogenic as these milky creations. Pretty or not, our coffees were very good.
Date and Chocolate Slice
Both the slice and the banana bread were very well received. The slice was short and crumbly yet held together well with the goop of the dates and chocolate, was not too sweet at all, and overall quite moreish. The banana bread was served lightly toasted with a generous serve of butter, looked perfectly dense, and had surprise chunks of fruit with a crumble topping. The birthday boy happily polished off the lot, declaring it to be very good. I think I'll have to try some next time, or take some home with me.
Mixed berry muffin
Due to some sort of miscommunication we also ended up with a mixed berry muffin which I took home with me for afternoon tea. I'm not a big muffin eater (or a small muffin eater for that matter) but this was packed with berries and I quite enjoyed it. More than kept me going through a hellish afternoon of marking, too.
Service throughout our meal was friendly and helpful. I can't comment on the prices as I have no idea what we paid for our meals I'm sorry. I think if I worked nearby I could happily make my way through all the hot and cold meals, and the muesli too if I were running late in the morning. I foolishly didn't think to ask, but it appears from the chalkboard that the breakfast menu is only available on weekends from 8:30 to 11:30, so I should return soon to assess this as well. Oh and you can probably tell from the photos, and the name, that they also sell a selection of pantry items. I'm glad we ventured inside the door, this place is recommended.
The Pantry Door
36-38 Angove Street, North Perth
(08) 9227 0077