Mary Street Bakery, Highgate
I am constantly exuberant that I live so close to Beaufort Street because I honestly think it has some of the best cafes and restaurants in Perth. There has always been a high turnover rate of establishments on Beaufort Street and it is because of that, that there is always diversity and something energetic and exciting to entice foodies in the area.
My sister and I had an eagle eye out for this place since it first opened up on Beaufort Street, a bright neon pink sign flashing the name of the sister joint of Cantina, el Publico and Ace. I’m a huge fan of Cantina and I was glad to see that Mary Street Bakery compliments the now quartet well in terms of price, flavour and service. I love the minimalistic, white washed walls of the interior and the towers of baked treats along the wall. Mary Street was bustling and vibrant inside, filled with the chatter of nearby business goers and hipsters, which slots into the Beaufort Street atmosphere perfectly.
The bumps in service that have raged the Urbanspoon page seem to have been sorted since Mary Street first opened – the service we got this sunny Thursday lunchtime was polished, professional and attentive. When I arrived, I was immediately seated at a table for two. Beside me, a young lady seemed to have a problem with her dish but the staff were quick to apologise and were proactive in fixing the issue. Meanwhile at our table, we were promptly given menus, glasses and carafes of water – speedy Gonzales!
We weren’t too sure if we had to go up to the counter to order, but luckily Mary Street Bakery does table service. Mary Street Bakery has a nice selection of dine in options for lunch (post 11.30 pm) and alongside the counter. My sister had a long black ($4.00), which came out almost instantaneously after we ordered it. The long black was reported to be good – a good strong hit, super hot and rich in flavour.
The Crispy Thick Cut Pork Belly ($20) was a tasty dish. The Pork Belly had the aforementioned crispy skin; two succulent slabs sitting in a mountain of white cannellini beans. The punch of flavour came from the medley of shredded cabbage, julienne pieces of green apple and the kimchi. Not being a huge fan of kimchi, I appreciated how subtle the addition was – it was only mildly spicy with a slight briny taste, counteracted by the sweetness of the apple. The “salad medley” was also lovely and warm, not cold as I had anticipated and finished with a smatter of coriander. The fried egg off to the side was sprinkled with a bit of salt and was cooked sunny side up – perfection. A recommended rustic (and pretty filling) dish.
My sister had the trout papaya salad hot and sour ($24), which I smuggled over to my side of the plate. The trout was buried in a slaw of green papaya, tangy with a blast of vinegar. The natural tartness of the green papaya was further emphasised by the sweet and sour dressing; a zesty combination of fish sauce, honey and chilli. Luckily, there wasn’t enough chilli to warrant a fire hazard in my mouth, so I really enjoyed the salad. Despite the slaw being ridiculously drenched in the sauce, the trout seemed to have retained its perfect crispy skin. The trout was pretty in pink and flaked away at the fork. I honestly thought this dish would be a lot less substantial – flakes of trout combined throughout the salad, for instance. Instead the fish was the centrepiece of the plate. Value for money as well - a great dish!
The duck filled pancake shitake hoi sin ($22) was a buckwheat-like crepe folded over, blanketing an assortment of duck pieces and mushrooms. The mushroom and duck pieces had been shredded and cut to the same size, which was great. Asian flavours melted through via the hoi sin sauce, adding a BBQ-like tang to the duck and mushrooms. I loved how the pancake was just crispy in the corners making the dish a parcel of deliciousness. It came with a salad of parsley, radish wedges and an over-the-top amount of sliced, long red chilli. I couldn’t eat too much of it – there was just too much parsley and chilli (I’m not a big fan of either of them) so my sister took one for the team and scooped it up, using the hoisin sauce as an additional dressing. All in all, I was quite happy with my dish; my belly round and satisfied.
The desserts could not be passed up – the counter was brimming with tantalising baked goodies including lemon meringue cupcakes, fruit buns, strawberry macadamia slices, chocolate salted caramel tarts and half a dozen different flavoured pastries. I could not pass up the Strawberry Meringue Tart ($4.50) which, upon reflection, was one of the best tarts I’ve had in Perth. The Italian meringue had its trademark marshmallow stickiness and pillowy texture, piped carefully over a layer of strawberry. The strawberry inside the tart was stewed to a chunky, candied jam which complimented the nutty pastry. The pastry was a lot softer than I had anticipated, as though it had absorbed a certain amount of moisture. Even so, it still tasted amazing. I almost selfishly (and maniacally) bought the last one left on shelf, but decided to go for some diversity and choose something different for my parent’s home take away.
A while back, I also jumped at the chance at having one of Mary Street’s doughtnuts ($3.50). The filled ones were gone for the day, so I settled with a plain one instead. I’m used to my doughnuts being sweet (bordering on excessively saccharine) with a moist spongy interior. While this doughnut certainly was spongy, it wasn’t as sweet as I anticipated, being almost savoury with a hint of salt. My mind did a 180. What??! It was still delicious though.
Now, make way everyone. It’s the MONUT. All hail the monut! So… what exactly is a monut? Is it a hybrid doughnut muffin? Is it a doughnut with a little man mustache (heh)? Is it a doughnut filled with minced pie meat instead of jam?? (Yeah, that’s actually a thing… I can’t think of that option without wanting to throw up). Jury says that it’s a take on the cronut craze that is taking over the world. Methinks that the monut is called so because it is made with “monkey bread” a sticky, sweet, gooey pastry served in America for breakfast (similar to honey drenched puff pastry). Thanks for instagram for helping me sort out that dilemma (#monut)!
This monut was of the hazelnut cream variety, with the aforementioned monkey pastry. Hazelnuts were scattered on the top , frozen in a dark bitter caramel praline. Sandwiched between two sections of pastry was a beautiful, glossy crème-anglaise-like filling with a mild, nutty flavour and interspersed with specks of vanilla bean. I looked up to see my sister tackling the pastry with a single-minded determination, fork and spoon being brandished like weapons.
This monut stuff is serious business, people.
The service was pretty spot on from start to finish at the Mary Street Bakery with the waiters and waitresses quick to attend to our needs with a bouncy, bubbly waitress at the till. The food is great at Mary Street Bakery, with a decent range of food on the menu to choose from. Nice atmosphere, complete with a cool soundtrack (there was a tuba solo at some point which my sister appreciated). It’s constantly bursting with energy in the Mary Street Bakery, a cacophony of talk and noise. The mains are certainly delicious, done with a modern take on brunchy items. The desserts are to die for. I will be back to the Bakery as soon as possible!
Rating: 8 out of 10.
Address: 507 Beaufort St Highgate, 6003
- Open Monday to Sunday for breakfast and lunch. Open 7am until 3pm (additional lunch items available after 11.30pm daily).
- Take away available, packed away in little Mary Street Bakery stamped bags.
- Being a bakery there are different loaves of bread on offer, backed up behind the counter. Piled high are ciabattas, whole meal, white, etc (~$7 per loaf) for those who need a bread fix.
- Overall bill came to $77 for a big meal plus we got some items for my parents including a rhubarb Danish and an escargot (both delicious).