To The Woods, Bassendean
Recent summery weather has had me blazing down the brunch path, so I was super keen to try To The Woods, adjacent to the Bassendean Train Station. The name itself already sounds magical, as though it heralds from a fairy tale story book. Luckily for my sister and I, the food was just as delightful as the name.
Everything is so very precious and dainty in To The Woods. An inspirational message popped next to a wall stencil of a Winter barren tree (I see Christmas charms), from the late Henry David Thoreau. It brought me back to my Literature days at high school, where we had to analyse poetry…. I wasn’t that great at the subject, but I always found the words of Harwood, Blake and Co, to be so profound and meaningful – it was a nice reminder that we often take life for granted! To complete the vintage setting of To The Woods, there were beautiful pastel pink flowers adorning several tables and black lace patterned sugar packets. After we and several other patrons ordered, a remarkably solid rabbit shaped table number sat at each table… every single one of them looking like it could knock out a few garden gnomes.
My sister and I gazed over the menu, making the executive decision to order two main savoury dishes foremost and share a dessert dish later. This is becoming a reccurring (bad) habit for the two of us, where we can’t decide between three enticing dishes on the menu resulting in food overload. Treadmill, here I come!
My sister has really been into Iced Long Black Teas recently, originating from our many arduous years spent as baristas so she ordered one instantaneously. The To The Wood’s Barista made one up without further questions or complaints and the drink was delivered to our table quickly. I went for Stolen Recipe Ice Tea, which sounded pretty exotic at the time. To my dismay, the drink just turns out to be a bottled berry and pomegranate juice instead of a homemade blend. Oh well! I should really ask next time… I did get a little glass of ice with it, so I wasn’t too upset.
While my sister poured over her Delicious magazine (I love the articles and recipes in there!) I wandered around the shop, taking photos. There were so many enticing items in their food cabinet at the very front of the store! I saw several pre-made lunch items on offer, including a roast pickle baguette and a chicken pesto toastie. There were also a few options for the gluten-free diners out there, including a zucchini and corn frittata. They all looked delicious! I returned to find our mains sitting on the table, my sister graciously holding her arms up like she was being arrested purely for photo taking purposes. She is so considerate.
I had a crack at the corn fritters with poached egg ($15). The dish came with wilted spinach, tomato relish and bacon as well as two slices of toast. The bacon was fired off nicely with a crunchy border and the meat was easy to chew. The corn fritters were like flat pancakes specked with corn, chives and bits of bacon. The corn fritters unfortunately had a rather floury aftertaste. They were still edible so I finished it off.
My sister had the Smashed Avocado on Toast ($14) which came with capers, sliced salmon and rocket. She had the option of having gluten-free, white or nine grain bread, from which she chose nine grain bread. She’s been a bit of a health nut as of late, so wholemeal has been her saviour when she is craving a bit of toast. I got a bite of her dish and really enjoyed the smashed avocado, which was lightly seasoned with a sprinkle of salt and a dash of lemon. The smoked salmon was in abundance on the toast, piled high and ever so fresh! Crisp rocket finished off the dish, with the swirl of balsamic dressing adding a sticky and sweet element to the bruschetta-like treat!
After we had gulped down our two “main” brunch items, we dallied between getting one of their key lime cupcakes (which had an enticing whirl of green frosting) and the waffles. I felt like something syrupy that day, so we decided on the Belgian Waffles with Ice cream ($12). We were certainly not disappointed! The heavenly scent of frying batter wafted through the air as we waited, my sister and I inhaling the surrounding air like a pair of bloodhound dogs. Within a few minutes, those very waffles were sitting on our table. A two slab stack of waffles sat in the middle, surrounded by a rich butterscotch sauce and two long slices of ripe banana. The ice cream was contained in the middle of the banana teepee, rapidly melting into a vanilla puddle. I dislike my ice cream in liquid form, so I quickly devoured it with the bananas, leaving the waffles ’til last. The waffles were magnificent; dense on the inside but had a crunchy caramelised exterior, as though it had been coated in sugar and flambéd. Indulgent to the max!
To The Woods is a real gem. It has fantastic service foremost – the food didn’t take too long to come out at all, and the waitresses were all exceptionally sociable and easy-going. They were happy to let us sit for a period and talk undisrupted and checked in every now and then to see if we were happy with our food choices. I certainly was, with the waffles being a particular highlight. I would definitely like to return to To The Woods, this gorgeous quirkly little cafe with all of its inspirational messages and quotes! Sure to put a smile on your dial, with their great food and service.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
- Open Monday to Saturday for breakfast and lunch (7am to 3pm from Monday to Friday, 8am to 1pm on Saturday)
- Also open on the last Sunday of each month, when the Bassendean markets are on!
- The food bill came to ~$50 for the two of us, which was great value for money considering the quality of food!
- No reservations available unfortunately! However, it was quite easy to find a table on the weekday we attended.