FROM the navy to navvying, not-so-old salt Nathan Chater found himself scrubbing years of built up grunge as he transformed the former Toscanini’s, in Bicton, into its new incarnation Deja Bru.
After 13 years in the Australian navy he and wife Tanya were looking for anything but a sea change when they purchased the cafe last Christmas.
“I said to my wife… if I’m going to make a bold change I have to do it now — it doesn’t get any bolder than this,” he said admitting to no previous experience running an eatery.
The pair left things as they were for three months: “We sat back to see what was broken and what needed to be done.”
The massive clean-up was followed by finding a great chef and staff, and lining up suppliers, which involved changing a fair few when goods didn’t come up to the owners’ high standards.
Looking a bit spartan the eatery is still a work in progress, with bare walls set to be adorned with huge menu boards and local art in coming weeks.
When the D’Angers dropped in for brunch recently the boss was out, but the efficient staff had the place humming like a top and pretty soon D’Angerous Dave was humming too, as he tucked into a salmon benedict ($16.50), waxing lyrical that it was the best he’d ever eaten. And believe me he’s eaten many.
We shared a bowl of chips ($4.50). Perfectly crisp on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside, they were great.
I went for the vegetarian stack, which I’d spied in the display cabinet.
Deja Bru is about “quality food, quality service and reasonable prices”, the owner says when we catch up a few days later.
I say $7.50 for the delicious stack and a lovely fresh salad is ridiculously cheap.
With three littlies under foot, Tanya, whose hobby is making fancy wedding cakes, still finds time to make the healthy loaf and banana bread and is about to get cracking on house-made apple pies, but the rest of the cakes are brought in.
The moist mud cake slice was so good we took a couple home.
It was washed down with a pot of earl grey tea for the other half and a smooth, rich long black coffee for me.
“We have done a lot of work on our coffee,” Mr Chater proudly tells the Herald. And I certainly wouldn’t disagree.
by JENNY D’ANGER
258 Canning Highway,
Bicton | 9319 1992
open 7 days 7am–4.30pm