DaRaw talent?

WHEN craving a moment for yourself, get away from the hustle bustle and venture down the port end of Henry Street in Fremantle, to DaRawNature Coffee Lounge. 

At the end of the magical laneway, you are met with a café space like no other; it feels like a secret. Enclosed in an orange façade is serene sunlight, vine laden trellises and lush green palms. 

The heritage listed building was built approximately in 1855 and was a warehouse selling wallpapers and champagne from Bordeaux, France. 

Now it’s been transformed into an art gallery/coffee lounge. Oh, and John Butler used to live next door.

Soft classical music plays as you enter, gorgeous art adorns the walls and sculptures decorate each corner. Ambient light pours in through the glass front. The charming old kitchen is central, and seating is spaced around nicely. The place has a mixed formality, where you feel your default tone should be set at a library whisper. But it’s still casual enough to chat without hesitation. Or burst into the café strumming a guitar (an amazing customer did this).

Overall, I’d say it’s the perfect spot to polish off some private study or office work. It’s also a great spot to chew into a bagel and sip a hot drink.

House of Bagels and Chai

DaRawNature specialise in coffee, chai and bagels. They also have tasty cakes, fresh sandwiches, toasties, rolls, pressed juices, and iced teas. Plenty of which are vegetarian and vegan too.

Special chai

Their house ‘Special Chai’ mix easily makes the best chai I have had in Freo – and maybe of all time. It’s a moreishly strong blend of cinnamon, cardamom and cloves, along with the hot frothy milk, topped with a pinch of aromatic lavender buds.

Coffees are also delicious, at good strength, and come out hot and quick. Owner Dave floats behind the counter and around the place. 

He is friendly, effortlessly cool and kind, and enjoys light banter with each customer.

The gourmet bagels are the other feather in DaRawNature’s cap. 

There is an assortment of seven you can get pressed or enjoy fresh. You can also choose between sweet or savory bread.

I try the DaRaw Red baby bagel ($12.50) first. And it’s a great time. 

The bagel bread is delicious. It tastes fresh and when toasted is a delightful combo of crunchy and soft. 

The filling is meslin lettuce, melty cream cheese stuffed with red peppers and a homemade pesto. 

The pepperiness of the pesto bounces on the tongue. The bagel is also saucy but not leaky, which is an undervalued quality.

For the Anzo bagel ($15), I try the sweet bagel. Again, the bread’s taste and texture is so enjoyable.

It’s also perfectly sweet, and actually complements savory components of crispy bacon, creamy homemade mushroom sauce, buttery fried egg and lettuce. Overall, its scrumptious and the flavours are great together.

I also try the Chunky croissant ($11) which was sensational toasted. Oozing with buttery goodness, the unusually epic wheel shaped croissant tasted magnificent.

In it was friend egg, bacon, siracha and Japanese mayo and spinach. I would love to see a sweet version of the Chunky croissant. 

Lastly, I indulge in a French Madeline cake ($3) which was simply DIVINE vanilla goldenness. 

The food and drinks are great, and I think combined with the art and stillness, the café has district edge unlike no other place around. The space and experience transports you somewhere else.

“I think every human deserves tranquillity” Dave says. 

He also emphasizes the café’s theme of stillness is not to make you escape the moment, but to look at the moment. 

The café displays a mixture of local and international artists’ work, that Dave says “speaks for itself” and which customers can purchase.

Life Drawing classes are every Tuesday from 7-9pm ($20). I attended one and even though my drawings weren’t marvellous, I will return because it was immensely enjoyable and relaxing. 

For a quiet place a lot goes on in the café. And more is to come with seating expansion and more classes on the cards.

DaRaw also has a sister café in Como called Café De Como. I haven’t been, but I have heard regulars love it for the same reasons I love DaRaw. For the best chai and tranquillity in town. 


DaRawNature Coffee Lounge
5 Henry St, Fremantle WA 6160

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