Choo choo chew

WHAT did the cheese say when it looked in the mirror? Haloumi.

Corny I know, but a haloumi burger ($14) at the Carriage Cafe not only tickled my funny bone but had my taste buds joining in.

The spicy sharpness of roasted capsicum stood out and I loved the squeaky chewiness of the cheese, while the chutney and aioli were perfect bedmates.

My lunch companion had the beef sliders a couple of weeks ago, and was keen to try the pork version ($10 for two, $12.50 for three).

“The beef was just beautiful, sweet and juicy, not unlike myself,” she opined.

Biting into the pork-filled bun she went all Gemini: “Both are so nice I can’t make my mind up.”

She and I have been walking to the Carriage on weekends for years and have seen it change hands, evolving from a daggy sausage roll sort of place into a delightful family cafe.

Dave Furness took over the the cafe in May and has introduced a new menu, extended hours, live music weekends and blinds and heaters.

Come summer he’ll open until 7pm, with plans for a small wine bar license.

“With bean bags and cheese platters, good music playing, while people sit around and drink responsibly,” he claims.

• Carriage Cafe’s Dave Furness and Rochelle Conway. Photo by Jenny D’Anger

The cafe is also tapping into the gaggle of youngsters at the nearby skate park with $10 pizza and $13 fish and chips.

“And we have a complimentary fruit bowl that gets attacked,” Furness says.

His lease expires in 2019, when the park is reconfigured as part of Freo council’s esplanade masterplan.

But Furness is hoping he can convince the city to keep the 1900s carriage at the park by making it more appealing to locals and park users.

Having tried some of the great cakes and slices made at the cafe, and the fantastic maple pecan biscuit ($2), I hope he succeeds.

Even more so after last week’s cheese cake ($5.50), which was so rich that finishing half of it was a struggle.

It was made the proper way with no gelatin—just heaps of flavour and a solid chocolate topping.


Carriage Cafe
Esplanade Park,
Marine Terrace

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