THE Bistrot Cafe is around the corner from the Herald offices in the West End, so a visit was long overdue.
The original Bistrot has been operating in Bibra Lake since 2016, building up a reputation for high quality cuisine, and in January they opened a sister cafe in Fremantle.
It’s situated in the old Notre Dame University Shop, where you could buy almost anything – apart from condoms and the Brokeback Mountain DVD.
Anyway, it’s a lovely spot on the corner of Marine Terrace and Henry Street, with a courtyard dappled in shade from leafy trees, and peaceful views of Esplande Park.
The European-style cafe is licensed, so it’s also a nice spot to relax with a glass of vino.
I don’t see how they can cover the courtyard, so it might struggle in winter when it’s chucking it down, although there is a small dining area inside and a takeaway coffee area.
The brunch menu was petite and I would have liked a bit more variety, but there were some goodies in there like Spicy Shakshuka with feta, French toast brioche with bacon, a variety of crepes and some healthier acai and granola bowls.
With a short window before the rain returned, the pleasant waitress was quickly back with my Smashed Avocado and Chorizo ($23).
This was a nicely presented dish with slices of coarse chorizo and two poached eggs perched on a chunky marsh of avocado.
The chorizo was the star of the dish – tasty and lithe in the middle with a crisp, pan-fried edge.
You could tell it was high quality as the cheaper incarnations are usually tough or too salty.
The secret weapon in the smashed avocado was the homemade pistachio dukkah, adding an exotic twist to this breakfast staple.
The sourdough toast provided some bulk and crunch, and my only quibble was that the eggs were a tad runny, but it was a delicious dish.
On the other side of the table, my wife was hoisting her plate above her head.
At first I thought she was having a psychotic episode, but she was actually trying to see who made the beautiful ceramic plates we were eating from.
“Bonna – don’t forget that,” she ordered.
Her chicken and mushroom crepe ($21) was equally impressive.
“The crepe is very authentic – beautifully light with a tasty filling that has that comforting vibe of chicken and mushroom soup.
“The garden salad has a nice variety of greens and I love the sunflower seeds, which add some texture. It’s a lovely and very filling dish.”
Yes, the portions are deceptively big, so plan on eating a toastie for dinner if you have brunch here.
The cafe had a nice vibe with 80s feel-good music playing while we ate, and the service was quick and very friendly.
The Bistrot is a high quality addition to Freo’s West End, activating an area which was traditionally a bit of a dead spot.
It’s definitely an improvement on the old Notre Dame Shop, and if the Pope ever visits Freo he might pop in for eggs benny.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK
The Bistrot Cafe Freo
30 Marine Terrace, Fremantle