TO borrow from Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, “it was the best of meals, it was the worst of meals” at 99 Palletz on High Street, Fremantle.
As the novel’s opening paragraph says “we had everything before us, we had nothing before us”.
Well actually I had an absolutely delicious meal before me, a generous bowl of spaghetti ($18) rich with a house-made tomato sauce, full of perfectly cooked vegetables and redolent of garlic and parmesan.
I really was “going direct to [spaghetti] heaven” as I tucked in.
D’Angerous Dave on the other hand was “going direct the other way”.
While my beetroot, celery and apple ($7.50) was refreshingly good, his lemon and orange version lacked any lemon sharpness and was more reminiscent of cordial than a fresh-squeezed juice.
The barramundi burger ($18) elicited grumbles at first bite as the contents spewed out of the soft roll onto the plate and his shirt.
It was packed wrong, he groaned, struggling to bring his meal under control: “The fish is sitting between avocado and lettuce and there’s no purchase.”
He wasn’t impressed with the fish either, which he reckoned tasted more sardine than barra.
The chips on the other hand were really good.
D’Angerous’ luck continued to be out when it came to cake, while I was on a roll.
His carrot cake was okay, if a tad dry, but the icing bent like play dough, and had much the same flavour and texture.
My caramel slice ($4.50) was deliciously rich, but not teeth-achingly sweet, so I generously shared it with him.
Talking to a colleague a few days later she raved about Palletz’ Thai chicken, which was so good she’s been back for more, so clearly the food gods hadn’t favoured D’Angerous D. Perhaps his path had been crossed by a black cat.
The cafe owners took over the old La Tropicana about a year ago, and recently rebadge it as 99 Palletz, complete with funky packing crate tables in the pleasant tree’d street alfresco area.
They also installed a full kitchen, something La Trop didn’t have, which allows for a much more varied menu.
Just make sure you avoid black cats before you go.
by JENNY D’ANGER
177 High Street, Fremantle
7 days breakfast and lunch