STUNG by a friend’s teasing for choosing “being organised” over off-the-cuff camping, my recklessly spontaneous response was to order a chilli-fest lunch on a day the mercury touched 38C.
The comedy that followed was compensation for the kids missing a couple of sweaty nights in a tent and they giggled their way back and forth from the water cooler in response to dad’s half-joking pleas for help. And while my mouth would have given the fusion-chasing boffins at Lawrence Livermore Uni a run for their money, these crispy potatoes were worth every fiery mouthful.
They were mini roasted babies done to perfection, with a slight crunch through the skin and then little pillows of soft starchiness inside.
They sat on a tender and juicy bed of slow-cooked beef brisket with charred jalapeno and leek scattered around (although it was the jalapeno’s red-alert cousins who were really giving the dish its punch).
A couple of poached eggs and a tasty hollandaise sauce on top made it a super-filling and memorable dish.
At $23.90 it was great value for a top-nosh lunch.
I’d barely described the first mouthful to my mocking friend when she stopped me short: “I know exactly where you got that from – Cafe Lumos.”
Clearly memorable and unique, and her experience was exactly as mine: sizzling hot and delicious.
It was indeed Lumos, a well-established beacon in White Gum Valley that proves suburban lunches can be a cut above sandwiches at formica tables.
The scorcher outside didn’t seem to have wilted any custom away and for a Tuesday it was doing a reasonably brisk trade to comfortable retirees and work-from-home pros looking for a change of scenery.
But I would suggest an investment in some air-con for summer as a reward for loyal customers, as the fans were a bit like England’s Ashes bowling attack; arms wizzing around furiously but to little avail.
Grandad and the kids all went for the fish and chips ($19.90), which centred around a couple of very juicy pieces of barramundi in a light and crispy batter.
The barra was a hit with everyone, though the chips exposed the generational gap; grandad thought them a little dry (I tested and had to agree, though they were still a leap above my usual lunchtime haunts) while the kids were happy wolfing them down. The green salad brought them back in unison, though it wasn’t through love for the overly-generous mayonnaisey dressing.
A creamy coffee topped everything off and I made good use of the napkin holder so I looked a little less Albert Brooks from Broadcast News.
it was a bit pointless as the little blue Corolla was by now so hot it was emanating solar flares and could have been mistaken for one of its even-less-trendy cousins the Corona.
16 Minilya Ave, White Gum Valley
Open 7am – 3pm 7 days