Saturday, June 19, 2010

Cantina 663 - Mount Lawley

I know, I know, second Mount Lawley breakfast review in a row. My car is out of commission right now so I'm only going to places within walking distance of my apartment. Today I woke up at 07:30 eager to get out my house for some fresh air and a strong coffee. There are 4 or 5 cafes I had to walk past to get to Cantina663 but another breakfast blog I read - Poached have this as their top rating place to eat in Perth so I've been keen to give it a try for a while now.

Walking into the place (with a stinking hangover), I felt like I'd walked into a wall of noise. The cafe was chock a block with customers and because it's a rather confined space, the chatter can seem over bearing. There weren't any seats when we first got there but we grabbed a table by the window as 2 people were leaving. The menu (above) is a little different. Not the usual favourites on it but variations offering different choices of eggs and other classics. The prices were fair. Not at all over priced and you would have to say anything under $15 for eggs on toast is a decent price.

My long black came fairly quickly. The thick crema is a sign of a good coffee well poured and you can usually tell by that and the aroma if it is going to be any good or not. Both the visual and the smell passed with flying colours and the taste didn't disappoint. I should've taken down the name of the coffee and will do so in the future but I have to say, I didn't recognise the taste so i presume it is a different coffee to that of the usual suspects.

As I had walked in, I had seen somebody eating scrambled eggs on toast and it looked awesome! The eggs have herbs cooked through them and it was a good sized portion on top of some nice italian bread, soimilar to bruschetta bread. I ordered bacon with it and forgot to ask for it crispy. However, when it came the bacon was cooked perfectly. Crispy bacon should be the default way to cook it, I don't believe anyone enjoys eating undercooked bacon so you shouldn't really have to ask for it crispy in the first place. Well played Cantina. Well played. The eggs were beautiful. I heard a tip once from Gordon Ramsey, he said that scrambled eggs should be cooked so that they are left a tad runny when served. If you cook eggs until they are hardened, that's an omelette! These were left a bit runny, had herbs through them and were seasoned perfectly. A tasty breakfast that completely hit the spot.

I think the atmosphere this place is going for is that of a thriving inner city cafe. It is always busy when I walk past and the reason people return is because the food is good and the service is friendly and quick. The actual area is very small but with seats outside on the street and into the arcade, they look like they have expanded through necessity. The coffe was delicious and different and the food was cooked to perfection. I can't find many things to criticise but I do not like the salt shakers they use. Empty the salt into a nice wooden shaker but don't just use the container it comes in. It looks cheap and tacky. Overall it is a great place to eat. There ae many cafes in this area and this must be one of the best.

Scores on the doors:

Service 6/10
Atmosphere 4/10
Coffee 7.5/10
Food 7/10
Price 7/10

Final Score 31.5/50

Would we go again?

I will definately go back there. There are other places around there that I will be trying out but if it came to it, I would definately go back.


Cantina 663 on Urbanspoon


  1. I like the salt container, at least its not Black & Gold or Savings brand! And you get to read the stories on it - like apparently the word salary came from the Roman word for salt?

  2. I like Cantina, when it's good its very good, but occassionally everything seems wrong - service especially.
    Having said that I have a delicious corned beef (with lovely juicy fatty bits) the other day for breakfast. Not cheap though - about $20 a plate.

  3. I think I might be a little hyper-critical with regards the salt shaker. Have to admit, I didn't read the story but granted, that is a nice little quirk.
    Edward- I think your right, it can be good and is a great little bar, as I read elsewhere, this is Mount Lawley resident's go-to cafe. It gets good reviews for a reason.

  4. I've heard that Cantina do the best homemade baked beans in Perth. I'm dying to go just to try those!


  5. (the coffee is Fiori by the way) as one of those Mt Lawley residents, this is for sure our gem of the strip. I agree they can have their bad days, but the good out-weighs the bad by far and I've yet to discover better scrambled eggs (Greenhouse comes close!).

  6. The reason they keep the salt in the container is because they want to show it's sacilian, keeping with their theme, but i agree, it can come across as tacky. Love the coffee. It's fiori but made very well usually. Sometimes the hecktic nature of the place is unappealing but if you go there at the right time it's bliss. The food is hit and miss but the dessert is almost always hit. Most of the staff are adorable :)