On one Sunday mr.mck and I decided to go for a brunch, and since the day before we had a quite successful experience with Boucla Cafe using the book “The Food Lovers’ Guide To Perth” as our inspiration, we decided to check another spot listed in the book, and we decided this time to do it alphabetically. So we chose Aubergine Gourmet Foods as a start.
I was the designated driver, and for the first time in Australia we used and tested our tomtom, which just downloaded Australian map into its system. The cafe is located in Fremantle (or Freo, as the locals would call it) and everyone seems to like the area and always speaks about it with a great fondness. Since we had been to Cicerello’s and had its fish & chips which tastes alright (no better than Aberdeen fish & chips!) and Little Creatures, which beer mr.mck really likes, we were looking forward to another culinary experience. When we arrived, Fremantle was buzzing. The streets were full of people. All the cafes and restaurants were all busy. I felt we made the right decision, as it seems everybody has chosen Freo for their Sunday brunch.
We passed the street where the cafe was supposed to be, and the tomtom lady has yelled, “You have arrived in your destination” several times. But since on-street parking is prohibited, I had to drive a bit further to park the car, and soon we secured a spot which wasn’t far from our lunch destination. It didn’t feel far indeed, but we got lost only after hundreds of metres. I tried to follow tomtom’s direction – which made mr.mck stood a few feet away from me: men chose to get lost for hours than looking for a help! – but for some reason it took us round around in a big circle. Finally after several unnecessary Victory laps, we arrived in South Terrace, and started looking for this Aubergine Cafe. Every time we passed another cafe we got even more hungry looking at the meals presented on the patrons’ tables, and were really looking forward to try the cafe’s delicious menu.
But we couldn’t find it! We walked back and forth several times but didn’t see it. We consulted with tomtom which indicated it was still 2 km away from where we stood, which can’t be right, because we had been back and forth South Terrace and still couldn’t find the cafe. Mr.mck’s iphone also said the same, although sometimes it put our current position in the middle of the sea. We got more hungry every minute and felt the unforgiving sunshine at the back of our head. After 30 minutes we gave up and chose another one that looks interesting, Madmonk. Their front outdoor terrace was full, and there were 2 big pans of paella being cooked and spreading flirty aroma. The inside part was also busy but we’re lucky to get a table. The menu looks interesting, and mr.mck ordered flat bread, goat balls, and 6-hour cooked lamb. I ordered paella, of course. The flat bread and goat balls came first, and while I was nibbling mr.mck’s food, I was more convinced that the paella would be really great, as everywhere I look everybody was eating the dish. Even all 6 people in the table in front of me had paella, nobody bothered to have anything else.
But after the bread and the goat balls were finished, my paella still hadn’t turned up. We checked it with the waitstaff, who came back and said that the paella had gone and the chef was cooking a new batch, but it will be another 20 minutes to be ready. I was getting annoyed but even more determined to try it, so I said I’d wait. It must be really popular if it’s gone quickly! Mr.mck’s lamb came and I tried it a little, but I saved myself for the legendary paella.
The lamb, which was really, really good, was finished. 20 minutes had passed a long time a go. But my paella’s whereabouts is still a mystery. It was 3 PM in the afternoon, and I had been waiting for over an hour. Dammit, I was hungry, fed up, annoyed, disappointed, but most of all, well, hungry!! We canceled the paella and paid our bill. The 2 big pans of paella were right in front of the cashier, and I was glad we decided to cancel the order, because they didn’t look ready, even after 40 minutes. I was still hungry, but also lost my appetite altogether. I wanted to eat, but didn’t know what I wanted. After walking with pouty lips, sulking, I decided to stop by at another cafe which displays pastries and ice creams and provides Italian coffee. The pastries look delicious, and the ice cream is home made so I was convinced all will taste good. I asked for one profiterole and another pastry, with a cup of cappuccino. We chose to seat outside, and I began to relax, knowing for sure that least my meal will come soon because it doesn’t involve cooking at all!
An Italian man approached our table and gave me a cup filled with black water, so I looked at him and said that I ordered cappuccino. He repeated the order, “long black?” in a heavy Italian accent, but I shook my head and insisted I ordered cappuccino. He went to another table next to us, where the lady said she ordered “long mac” (I suspect it’s macchiato? Why do Australians like to shorten everything, even though it doesn’t take longer time to say it in full?), not black. They guy, defeated, went back to the kitchen.
I began to wonder if today wasn’t my lucky day, as a simple order like cappuccino can go wrong. But when another man appeared with my profiterole, I was happy again. It didn’t taste as good as I expected, nothing compares to Patisserie Valerie in London definitely, but since I was hungry, I devoured every single piece of it. However, half way on my attempt to finish the gigantic pastry, I found a fly, lifeless, with its legs sticking out in the air and its wings flat and limped, on the bottom of the plate!
Really, let’s just go home, shall we? Before I find a dead cockroach on the bottom of my coffee. Please?
I was still traumatised and frustrated by the whole unfortunate experience in Fremantle, so at dinner time we rewarded ourselves with a bottle of Semillon Sauvignon Blanc (or SSB, naturally, since saying its full term is too tiring for Australians). I only had a glass and a half before we went upstairs to call mr.mck’s friends and family in UK, but suddenly I felt so dizzy and nauseous and in a mere minute I found myself in a toilet with my head down. I am not sure what had happened, but I suspect the dead fly in the pastry was something that I could see, and who knows things that I couldn’t see in it? Probably the alcohol has accelerated the effect. Whatever it was, it’s not a pleasant experience at all.
I went to bed with stomach pain, severe nauseous and dizziness altogether. I couldn’t move because my head was spinning, but I had to go back to toilet again when my stomach screamed, which caused another headache and dizziness. It went on forever until I was finally tired and fell asleep.
So much for quite Sunday brunch. So, Fremantle again? Hmmm… Maybe not now….