THE COOL ROOM, Fremantle
by JENNY D’ANGER:
WITH car bays covered in fake lawn and brightly coloured tables, umbrellas and fencing made from old cast-iron bed heads, The Cool Room is very cool indeed.
It was a rare cold summer night when the D’Angers dropped in for the eatery’s Moroccan pop-up recently, so instead of sitting under the stars we sat at a funky formica table inside the tiny cafe/restaurant, while tougher souls outside appeared undaunted by the chill.
An amusing collection of bric-a-brac, including an eclectic range of water jugs, come from the retro shop next door, adding to the funkiness.
For a mere $25 you can tuck into a three-course menu; add a fiver and you get dessert and mint tea too.
Fortunately I’d phoned earlier in the day to book, check the menu, and explain D’Angerous Dave’s cheese allergy.
Mein host and chef Peta Walter was happy to add stuffed capsicum to the offerings.
A mound of house-made hummus dip with chunks of toasted rosemary bread kicked things off and we dived in like locusts, gorging on the flavoursome bread, spread thickly with the best hummus I’ve ever eaten.
Quite frankly there was so much we could have stopped there but of course we didn’t, tucking into the finely shredded cabbage, pomegranate and mint salad as soon as the plate hit the table.
The mother-in-law is in town and, snap, we both chose the spanokopita with salad. Gawd, what’s that they say about men marrying their mother?
The addition of walnuts to the middle-eastern spinach and feta pie raised the bar on an already terrific dish.
D’Angerous’ huge red pepper drew gasps of appreciation as it sat on the table, glistening with promise that was well and truly delivered in this artwork of rice-stuffed Moroccan magic.
The Cool Room is a friendly sort of joint and the couple at the next table was only too happy to report their prune honey and orange blossom beef tajine, with couscous, minted yoghurt and salad was magnificent, the beef tender and melt in the mouth.
Stomachs groaning we still managed to tackle the Farina pudding, the semolina and rosewater dessert sweet but not cloying.
Washing our meal down with mint tea the D’Anger trio was replete in every way, ready to tackle the cool.
by JENNY D’ANGER
The Cool Room
114 Holland Street, Fremantle
0422 039 482
Open Thurs–Sun 9am–3pm and Friday night until 9pm