Close quarters

 

IT seems fair dinkum Aussie males are still averse to a salad when eating out.

With the onset of spring I’ve been ordering a few salads for lunch, but when the waitress returns she automatically places the salad down in front of my wife and gives me the other dish.

If I was in America I may sue the restaurants for gender discrimination and emotional distress, but thankfully I’m not, and think it’s funny.

This “stereotyping” continued when I ordered a nourish bowl ($25) at the George Street Quarters, a casual cafe/restaurant in East Fremantle with a reputation for high-quality food.

We opted to eat outside on the pavement alfresco, where we enjoyed the gorgeous architecture and leafy trees on George Street.

It is a picturesque spot to eat lunch in spring, and the restaurant was directly opposite an impressive gothic-style building with wrought-iron grilles.

We were also a few doors down from the waxing salon “The Hairy Canary”, which conjured up a raft of juvenile images.

George Street Quarters was reasonably busy on a Friday lunchtime, but the waitress looked slightly addled and informed us there would be a 25 minute wait for food.

Perhaps someone had phoned in sick, but these things happen and the waitress did the right thing telling us.

There was a dedicated lunch menu with dishes like hand-made fettuccini, pulled moroccan lamb, and steamed gold band snapper, but we opted for something lighter from the all day breakfast menu, ordering buttermilk pancakes ($18) and the nourish bowl.

You could get the nourish bowl with two poached eggs, grilled tempeh or moroccan chicken breast. I went for chicken as I like a bit of spice in my meals.

The nourish bowl was well worth the wait – it had a gorgeous medley of flavours and textures, keeping my palate on its toes and making every mouthful an adventure.

Broccolini, roasted beetroot, snow peas and zucchini all vied for my attention, with the brown rice, chickpeas and edamame (immature soybeans) added some texture.

The tender chicken was beautiful and tasted like a lovely roast that had been slow-cooked in the oven all afternoon.

Tucked under the chook was some dukkah and a slightly spicy paste, which was redolent of a balti curry. 

Rounding things off was a lovely miso corn dressing and ginger soy glaze. Superb dish.

Across the table my wife was enjoying her buttermilk pancakes, which were beautifully presented.

“The lemon and thyme shortbread is a decadent touch and really brings the dish to life,” she said.

“The strawberries are nice and fresh, and the Canadian maple syrup isn’t too sweet.

“The pancakes are delicious, but there was one little piece that was slightly under-cooked.” My wife washed down the pancakes with an agreeable chai latte ($5), which was piping hot.

The long wait aside, the service was good, and I noticed the waitress gave a free meal to another couple because they had waited so long for their food.

George Street Quarters serves high quality food in a lovely setting, without the pretension you associate with good cuisine. It’s also close to the Hairy Canary — if you fancy a Brazilian after lunch.

George Street Quarters 71-75 George St, East Fremantle
9339 6352
http://www.georgestquarters.com 

by STEPHEN POLLOCK

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