I’ve often wondered when it comes to successful restaurants and cafes, what is the result of luck and what is well-deserved praise?
There was a meme from the satirical geniuses at Betoota Advocate on the weekend titled “Cafe with perfect spot by beach not even trying to be good” which, judging by the 47,000 likes, not to mention a comment “@ every beachside Perth cafe”, many diners were in agreeance with.
There are spots I can think of along the coast of Perth, without naming names just yet, that without their sweeping views and close-knit community regulars wouldn’t be in business if they’d opened in the ‘burbs.
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Even Australia’s ultimate beachside perch, Bondi Icebergs Club, is heavily reliant on its famous backdrop because my $27 chicken parmigiana or overpriced drinks weren’t overly memorable.
However, some are very good.
Sitting in a warm and cosy Island Market on the weekend, watching groms paddle into the surf as their parents looked on in puffer jackets and beanies, I looked around the stylish dining room at the table of happy diners and thought the Betoota Advocate isn’t always right.
Island Market isn’t resting on its laurels. It’s constantly changing or tweaking its menu, employing impressive staff or doing exciting collaborations to keep it fresh. Even the shirts waiters were wearing looked like something you’d pick up from a Northbridge boutique.
Despite a full house, service was quick and friendly on the weekend, so was a much-needed coffee. The oat cappuccinos were as good as they come, the right temperature and good hit of local Five Senses coffee.
The breakfast menu is a mix of classic brunch dishes sprinkled with Middle Eastern flavours — dates with the banana bread or honey labneh with the muesli — plus some more unique ones.
Batata harra — spiced potato and spinach omelette, goat’s feta and pita ($22.50) — was a generous and filling dish that I’m coming back to order again.
I didn’t get much spice from the potatoes or omelette, but it was packed with plenty of feta and spinach, delicious when popped inside the pita with the dill and parsley.
For the most part I live vicariously through people with a sweet tooth, my food reviewer colleague Kate Emery being one of them, as my sugar craving emerges perhaps twice a year.
After taking a bite, well perhaps four, of the waffle and fresh raspberry, berry and rose curd, pistachio and ashta cream ($21.50), I can certainly see why people start their day with a sugar high.
It was sweet but not overly so, with the tartness of the raspberries and waffle complementing the sweetness of the other elements. My partner enjoyed it so much, he scraped every last bit of goodness from the plate.
Address: 364 West Coast Drive, Trigg
The verdict: The beachside restaurant is popular for a reason. Service is great, as is the thoughtful menu and flavour-packed dishes, and the view is a winner too.
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