Each Friday at my workplace, the three of us ladies have lunch together – whether it’s a quick sandwich and chat in the boardroom, or out in one of Fremantle’s many cafes. Lately we’ve been making an effort to try out new places instead of revisiting old favourites, and last week we tried new addition Don Tapa.
Head chef Antony Margry serves up South American cuisine in this outdoors, half shipping container restaurant, tucked away at the end of the E-Shed Markets. We probably wouldn’t have known it was there were it not for a big chalkboard sign out near the train station, and a clever fellow going around dropping off a menu to local businesses. Shipping pallet seating, large market umbrellas, energetic South American tunes and the hot Perth sun made me feel like I was on holiday, rather than stepping out for a break from work. This might sound a little strange given that it’s basically in a car park, but facing the bar/kitchen rather than cars added to the willing suspension of disbelief.
The lunch menu, titled ‘Latin Street Food’, is short and sweet with just five items, all with a distinctly summery feel. The three of us ordered the same thing Forex – Don’s Chorizo Roll with grilled capsicum, herby lemon butter and rocket, served with fresh salsa ($15) and a glass of San Floriano Pino Grigio ($10 / $45). Simple but perfectly executed, with a lovely balance of the sweet capsicum, the salty chorizo, the fresh rocket and acidity of the salsa. For the coriander haters out there (I was once one of you!) I would steer clear of the salsa – to my palate it was perfect, but one of our group hates both capsicum and coriander with a passion and it looked like one mouthful was more than enough for her.
After our meal we chatted to Antony about how much we enjoyed the meal and about his future plans for the place. It’s nice to have him cooking right there behind the bar, easy to talk to and see, compared to kitchens with chefs hidden away. I will definitely be returning for another Friday lunch to try that pork sandwich, and I’m also loving the sound of the breakfast and ‘after siesta’ menus.
I think I’ll go as far saying it’s the perfect place to spend a Friday lunch break on a sunny day, except that it’s extra difficult to go back to work afterwards!