The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Tarts Cafe, Northbridge (WA, Australia)

Dining out with someone who has food allergies is quite troublesome, something we've had to deal with for the past 2+ years since our 3.5 year old son - who has multiple food allergies - started eating the same food as us. We rarely make spontaneous dining choices, and I usually invest some time into restaurant research prior to making plans to go out for the day. One of my older sisters recently discovered that she was gluten-intolerant, so eating gluten-free became a part of her life and also of those around her. During our final days in Perth, we had dinner with my siblings one last time before we flew back to Hong Kong. In the lead up to that day, I conducted an internet search for restaurants offering gluten-free menus in Perth, and was surprised to find that there were more than a few of them around. Tarts Cafe looked pretty good, and my siblings said aye to the suggestion.

Tarts Cafe from the outside on Lake Street:

The address states Northbridge, which is Perth's main nightlife district, but this cozy cafe is located away some distance away from the main action. This meant that parking was very easy to find, and we all could park together (no less than three cars!) directly opposite the restaurant.

Vintage is a word that comes to mind:

The restaurant had a cozy atmosphere, and there were various knick-knacks for sale such as bags, jewellery, scarfs, baby clothes and body care products. There was a little corner where one can sit back and flip through a newspaper or magazine, and the kiddies could also amuse themselves with the toys in the toy box. We were warmly greeted and shown to our seats by a friendly gentleman. The place was run by only two staff that evening - the manager and the chef - which added to the intimate and homely atmosphere. The service was the most efficient hubby and I have ever experienced! More on that later on.

Toy box and kids' books:

Tarts Cafe is popular for breakfast and lunch (especially for brunch on weekends), but it is also open for dinner on weekdays. The dinner menu had a nice range of starters, salads and mains, and gluten-free items are clearly indicated on the printed menu. For dessert, just choose from the delicious variety behind the glass on display next to the cashier counter.

Spoilt for dessert choice - slices, cupckes, muffins, tarts and other delectable sweets:

In addition to catering for my gluten-free sister, our allergy requests were also attended to. Ordering was a breeze, and amazingly none of the eight adults ordered the same dish. We were very impressed when the chef single-handedly prepared and plated eight different dishes, and all the dishes were served simultaneously, still warm and fresh. That was a feat we have not experienced before when dining in a big group at a restaurant. The food was of excellent quality and mouthwateringly tasty.

Chocolate milkshake, which was nice and chocolatey:

Tarts Bread - toasted herb and garlic ciabatta bread. Garlicky and buttery:

Hubby ordered the Chicken - breast stuffed with camembert cheese wrapped in pancetta, served with a tomato, asparagus and fennel fricassee and a creamy pesto sauce (which was served on the side due to our son's nut allergies):

Cross-section of the breast to show the cheesy filling. The breast was moist with plenty of flavour coming from the pancetta and cheese, and the vegetable fricassee was also quite yummy:

I ordered the Grilled Fish of the Day, which was Gold Band Snapper, served with creamy mashed potatoes and a garden salad. This one was a winner, with its crispy skin and juicy tender flesh:

Dessert was Cranberry Tart from the display case. I loved the shortcrust pastry and the filling was just right on the sweetness level. I probably could have finished off the whole thing, if not for the fact that we were heading to a friend's San Churros after, where more sweet stuff awaited us:

We had an enjoyable dinner at Tarts. Hubby is still amazed at the efficiency of the chef!

Tarts Cafe
212 Lake Street
Northbridge, WA 6003
Tel. +61 8 9328 6607

Tarts Cafe on Urbanspoon

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