You know those meals where you keep eating beyond the point of being full or even comfortable, not just because you don’t want to waste it but because it’s just so damn good you can’t stop yourself? That’s the Tuck Shop Cafe menu in a nutshell.
Tucked a bit ouf the way of the main cafe strips, the Tuck Shop is currently the darling of Perth food bloggers. When we arrived at 9am on Sunday there were already a few groups of people lining up to get in. Usually the only kind of place I’ll line up outside for food is dim-sum, but we persevered and managed to get in after queuing for for about twenty minutes.
The interior is simple and relatively unadorned – just a few yellow feature walls and wooden furniture adding warmth. The space isn’t huge and the tables are rather cramped together, which was momentarily annoying when trying to navigate to our seats. All was forgotten when we started looking through the fantastic menu though. Besides the usual offerings, there’s exciting things like Morroccan meatballs, slow-cooked lamb and crispy pork belly, as well as a variety of pies. The entire menu is available all day, and is printed daily. There’s also daily specials written on the back wall, which I saw a bit too late and had to change my order.
I chose the pie of the day – wagyu, bacon and egg pie ($16.50) with a hash brown ($2.50) on the side. I didn’t manage to get a decent photo of the inside of the pie, but picture this: flaky pastry of just the right thickness, with an egg on the top, then layers of bacon, then chunks of falling-apart tender wagyu beef, with a rich gravy poured over the top. It was far too much food for me, but that didn’t stop me from polishing the whole thing off. The hash brown was definitely unnecessary, but I finished that off too – the potato was grated finely and fried brown without the oiliness of lesser hash browns, and topped with flakes of salt.
Others around the table ordered mixed berry pancakes with maple syrup and vanilla marscapone ($15.50), chorizo with paprika potatoes, peppers, spanish onions, crispy pork belly and fried egg ($18.50) and slow-cooked beef cheek with grilled bacon, spinach and grain mustard mash ($22.50). Everyone was happy with their choice and we all tried a bit of each other’s dishes – the crispy pork belly in particular stood out (I know what I’ll be ordering next time!).
After scraping our plates clean we had to sit and digest a while, and I was impressed that the waitstaff remained friendly, unrushed and attentive despite the growing line outside. I’m sure other places would be kicking us out the door as soon we were done, but of course that isn’t the way to get people to come back another day to line up for another twenty minutes. You can absolutely see why the place is rated so highly.
All up – the Tuck Shop Cafe lives up to the hype and delivers fantastic quality food and friendly service for a very reasonable price. Not really the place to go if you’re on a diet – the food is rich, generously portioned and too good to leave behind. Kudos to the staff who manage to keep such a busy little place running smoothly whilst keeping their cool. Definitely one to return to.