MY colleagues Nibha and Helena are forever raving about Chalkys’ poached eggs.
If it’s not the quality they’re banging on about, it’s the incredible value.
For $11 they get two thick slices of ciabatta and two poached googs to share, which is enough to fill the two petite sheilas for the rest of the afternoon.
“I don’t know what type of butter they use, but it’s so good,” Helena told me as she wiped drool from the corner of her mouth.
“We always add a side, so I recommend the mushrooms and garlic which is divine.” Nibha added.
“If we’re feeling a little naughty we’ll order the chorizo which is a generous serving. The slices are thick, smoky and grilled to perfection.”
Sold on their recommendation, I dragged my young fella Ollie to Chalkys for a father-son school holiday treat.
A starving Ollie declared that he was going to order 100 billion trillion ham and cheese croissants. After some tough negotiating we settled on one ($8).
Chalkys croissants are delivered fresh each morning from Abhi’s Bread. They’re buttery and flaky and packed full of tasty cheese. The ham is a little light on, but Ollie was satisfied enough.
The double smash ($21) is as wild, complex and colourful as a Jackson Pollock painting.
The hero of this dish is a creamy smashed avocado with blanched peas and fresh mint spread on ciabatta.
Included are sweet cherry tomatoes, heavenly feta, basil verde, balsamic reduction and a heap of savoury granola (basically a dukkha-style medley of nuts and spices).
Crowning the dish are two perfectly poached eggs – firm on the outside and lusciously runny on the inside.
My colleagues were right. The eggs were amazing.
Things only got better when I returned for lunch later that day.
The lunch menu is limited but includes fun dishes like cajun chicken tacos ($18), an open sandwich with pulled pork ($16) and a poké bowl for the health conscious.
I ordered the Bloody Mary beef and bacon burger ($18), which was packed full of rich and smoky pulled brisket, tomato slices, rocket, heaps of bacon and grilled spring onion.
Playfully, the burger is served with a mound of Smith’s originals, rather than deep fried potato chips. Fantastic.
Arguably the most successful business to occupy Number 1 High Street since West End Food and Flowers many years ago, Chalkys has become a West End institution.
Thanks to top quality food and friendly service, it’s easy to see why.
By MATTHEW EELES
Chalkys Espresso Bar
1 High Street, West End, Fremantle