Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Perth: Louis Baxters

One of the places I had on my 'To go to' list in Perth was Louis Baxters Espresso Bar, which is a café jointly owned by Australian Olympic swimmer and Australia's Celebrity Masterchef of 2009, Eamon Sullivan, and a former Masterchef television producer, Laki Baker.

Being totally new to Perth, I had a bit of difficulty finding my way there. I hopped on a bus to Subiaco, and got off where the bus driver assumed was close to Subiaco Square, where the café is situated. Turned out the bus driver was way off the mark. The locals weren't very helpful, and even the staff at the Subiaco stores had no idea where the café was or that it even existed. I guess it only opened in August 2011, so it is still relatively new. I think I was more shocked that some people I asked didn't even know who Eamon Sullivan is, especially since Perth is his home town. People should seriously watch less football and start supporting other sports. I guess the public can't take the full blame for not being overly enthusiastic about swimming though, because the Australian Mens Swimming team did become weaker after Ian Thorpe called it quits 6 years ago. Still, qualifying for the Olympics team is an achievement in itself, and Eamon Sullivan, who has won Olympic silver medals and has previously held world records for the 50 and 100m freestyle, deserves more recognition. Of course - who am I kidding? - it is his passion for cooking and his stint on Celebrity Masterchef creating the Chocolate Delice that have won me over. Being young and handsome works in his favour too, obviously.

Anyway, back on track. After a long time of walking around the suburb, encountering some shopping distractions, and $110+ later, I finally found it (in hindsight, catching a cab would've been more economical afterall). Turns out it's right next to the train station. Must keep this in mind for next time.

Louis Baxters: Shop 2, 50 Subiaco Square, Subiaco WA 6008
This end of Subi seems a lot more quiet, but there were still quite a few customers at the café when I arrived. The interior is quite small and simply furnished, but the two-tone colour blocking, the dangling light bulbs, and the low wooden tables and chairs give it an edgy, but relaxed, contemporary feel.

I think the lady sitting at the table on the left is the co-owner

Awesome wall art
For the coffee lovers out there, you will be glad to know that this café exclusively uses roasted coffee beans from Campos Coffee. For juice lovers like myself, you can rejoice in the knowledge that they stock Preshafruit juice - my favourite juice brand. For those of you who have yet to discover this product, it is produced by a 100% Australian owned juice company that utilises a high pressure processing technique to cold pasteurise their juices. Heat can destroy some nutrients, so the heat pasteurisation process that is carried out by most other juice companies would theoretically be less healthy and taste a bit less natural. Having consumed this product many times before, I can tell you that it tastes a lot lighter and fresher, and the apple juices are clear and have a crisp, refreshing taste. My favourites would be the Pink Lady apple juice and the Apple and Passionfruit juice. The company also claims to not add any preservatives, concentrates or other additives to their products. You can check out the range that they have at http://www.preshafood.com.au/.

All foodies will appreciate the fact that Louis Baxters uses free range chicken and eggs (according to their website). The menu is quite simple and unpretentious, with items you would expect to see at your local café, plus a few more interesting breakfast dishes, like porridge with quinoa, soy milk, figs, almonds and maple syrup, and Spanish eggs, which I really like when made well. I must admit that I expected Eamon Sullivan to prepare a more creative menu, having been on Masterchef and all, but I suppose he must want to show off the quality of the ingredients and perhaps the cooking techniques involved in the simple dishes. As far as price point goes, it's actually quite reasonably priced and ranges from $5-15.

The kitchen closes at 2pm, and I arrived past that time, so unfortunately, I was only left with the ready-made glass cabinet options, which were not many. I opted for a slice of the bacon, tomato and onion quiche, which comes with a side of garden salad.

House-made bacon, tomato and onion quiche with garden salad
I love quiches and this one was quite well-made and tasty. The garden salad was fine, but it caused me much embarrassment. Notice how it's served in a small bowl? I am used to eating salads with a knife and fork, so that I'm not smearing salad dressing all over my face with the salad leaves; however, listen well, learn from my mistake, and do not try doing this when the salad is in a bowl, because you will send salad flying off your plate, and make loud clinking noises against the bowl with your cutlery. So embarrassing.

Louis Baxters is a nice little café and I would definitely love to go back again - before 2pm - to try out the other menu offerings. Hopefully when I go there next time, I'll bump into the Eamon Sullivan himself as well! (and yes, I did ask about him while I was there, but the guy behind the counter said he was in Sydney :(. I guess it just wasn't my day!)

Louis Baxters Espresso Bar on Urbanspoon

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