EVERY day for two weeks straight I drove by 9 Seeds cafe, but I never got to try their food.
My kids were learning to cycle at the nearby basketball courts and I had to watch people devouring delicious brunches as I clutched a My Little Pony helmet and Barbie streamers.
It was time for reparation, so my wife and I made a beeline for the cafe this week.
The order-at-the-counter service was friendly and brisk, as this was a busy place where staff had to work fast to keep up with demand.
The small cafe had a nice little courtyard, bathed in crisp morning sun, and inside there were some attractive native plants and cosy furniture.
It felt inviting and relaxed, but slightly debonair.
Unfortunately we were seated in line with the storage area, which didn’t have a proper door, subjecting us to an icy draft.
At one point it was like an arctic wind tunnel and my wife had her gore-tex jacket zipped up to her chin, like Ernest Shackleton with a perm.
Thankfully as more customers arrived the temperature began to rise and it became more pleasant, but some draft excluders wouldn’t go amiss.
The compact all-day menu included dishes like crab croquettes, croque monsieur, and eggs benedict with pulled pork, and after 11.30am mains like gnocchi and twice cooked duck.
It was clear the cafe was going for a modern, slightly sophsticated take on the traditional brunch.
There was also a display cabinet with filled bagels and cakes, and a small selection of teas, coffees, juices and smoothies.
It wasn’t long before the waiter arrived with my feta scramble ($18).
The presentation was first class and the flavour equally good.
The mint and hot harissa were the stars: elevating the classic dish into something slightly exotic and unique.
The spiciness in the harissa was pitch-perfect for breakfast and gave it a demure punch.
The scrambled eggs were nice and buttery, and the dukkha offset the rich feta and smooth tomato-style chutney.
Two slices of sourdough bread completed the picture. A lovely and deceptively filling breakfast.
By 9am the place was starting to fill up with youngish people including business folk, couples, and the odd solo dude reading the newspaper.
There weren’t many grannies sipping milky whites and this felt like a popular haunt for East Fremantle’s beau monde.
My wife wasn’t saying much as she tucked into her pumpkin waffles ($18), but the clank of cutlery was punctuated with “mmm” and “oh, yes!”
She was clearly enjoying the decadent waffles, which were topped with soft pumpkin, haloumi, romesco cream, poached egg and a mountain of rocket.
“The use of cranberries is a clever touch and the burnt butter is very indulgent,” she said.
“You can tell there’s some proper chefs that work here. Amazing”
I finished things off with a “Replacer” juice ($8.5), which had a spicy burst of ginger, apple, celery and beetroot.
I don’t know what it was replacing (maybe all the brain cells I had destroyed with decades of alcohol) but it gave me a boost, although the ginger was slightly overpowering.
9 Seeds serves modern, slightly sophisticated brunch dishes at a reasonable price.
You can see why it’s so popular and I’ll be back soon to try the mains.
I might even cycle there with the kids…
9 Seeds Cafe
121 Marmion Street,
by STEPHEN POLLOCK