Exceeding Expectations @ West End Deli
by Savour The Moment
West End Deli, Leederville
After a food filled weekend of decadence and gluttony, my friends and I decided to catch up over brunch at West End Deli. Our friend from Sydney had returned to Perth for the holidays, so we decided to celebrate with some good hearty food. We arrived a tad early and asked for a table of six on a bright Saturday morning. Luckily, our needs were catered to by a cordial waiter, allowing us to easily obtain a table from 11am till 1pm. Plenty of time for indulging and chatting!
Drinks were waved away as we settled for tap water, which were replenished at regular intervals by the same waiter. We got right into the food, kick starting with my friend’s West End Steak and Mushroom Pie with Tomato Relish ($15). Forgoing the use of cutlery, he picked it up with both hands and chomped his way through it, all pretence of dining etiquette abolished. It looked as though there was a good amount of chunky meat inside, with a thick gravy carrying everything together. The house salad was asked to be replaced by onion rings, which was easily accommodated by the kitchen staff. I nicked one of them from the bowl on the side and bit into it – crumbly, oily goodness. They were massive in size, too!
Next to me, my friend’s Steak Sandwich ($22) looked fantastic. The open steak sandwich sported a considerable number of sautéed mushrooms, topped with mixed salad leaves. The black angus scotch fillet appeared to be suitably juicy and succulent. A cross section of the beef revealed a line of pink in the middle indicating its medium-rare tenderness. The steak sandwich sat on a customary piece of toasted white bread, paired with stretchy melted cheese. Another selection of onion rings rounded off the dish along with a side of ketchup.
My friend and I wanted our finger in everything, so we decided to split two dishes between us. Our first was an item from the “something different” section, the Tasmanian salmon with sesame spinach, slow egg and miso broth ($19). Our waiter was quick to inform me that the Tasmanian salmon would take beautiful pictures, which I heartily agreed with, when it came out. The dish was a rainbow array of colours: pink from the salmon with hues of green, white and yellow. I appreciated the complexity of the dish and the vast number of intricate techniques involved in preparing the dish. The Tasmanian salmon was fleshy, just translucent in the centre, which fell apart so easily. There was also a decent amount of salmon in the dish, which was liberally scattered with sesame. The spinach and seaweed added some greens to the mix, while the light white miso broth provided an earthy element to the dish. A portion of straw mushrooms had been thrown in for good measure. The slow cooked egg had a gelatinous white albumen and glowing yolk, still retaining its exemplary poached shape. A wonderful, well thought out dish.
Our second choice was the House Made Crumpet with honeycomb and honey vanilla parfait ($15). It was another scrumptious looking dish. The massive pan sized crumpet housed several daubs of parfait and honeycomb shards. The crumpet was spongy with a crisp charred base, which thankfully had not become inundated by the parfait. The parfait was surprisingly light and creamy with traces of vanilla bean, accompanied by the honeycomb, which was crisp and super sweet. There were moments where I felt like my teeth had been gummed together from masticating upon the honeycomb, preventing me from talking (to the possible relief of my dining associates). The house made crumpet, with all its condiments, could have easily become cloying, but luckily this was not the case with a range of textures breaking up the dish.
There was also the option of assembling your own dish from the menu with their “eggs and their sides” section. My friend opted for this, choosing free ranged eggs served with toast (there was also the consideration of having a baguette instead), which was requested slow cooked ($12) with avocado, crushed peas and mint ($6). The slow cooked eggs was an art in itself, containing the solidity of boiled eggs but without the crumbling over dried yolk. The egg white, like my own Tasmanian salmon dish, was silky smooth. Sides included two slices of toast which came with a shallow dish of butter. The smashed avocado added some vibrancy to the dish, looking suitably fresh.
I visited West End Deli again, literally a week later with my friend. She was experiencing a fascinating crumpet craving and was insistent that we try West End Deli yet again. This time around, we shared the crumpet and had a dish to ourselves. My friend had the eggs with their sides, settling for fried free range eggs ($12). She ordered wholemeal bread which was thick cut and toasted lightly on each side. The eggs were fried perfectly, with their trademark crispy edge and slight gooey yolk.
The potato, corn and cheese croquette ($6) was a winner of a side, which also came with a blob of sour cream and a scatter of spring onion. Two fat sausage sized croquettes had a crunchy crispy breadcrumb casing, containing the fleshy potato inside. The mashed potato inside was smooth and fluffy, lightly salted with specks of creamy corn and stringy portions of cheese. The croquette wasn’t greasiest in the slightest, despite its deep fried goodness. Amazing.
The tortilla, beef, corn, fried egg, coriander and jalepeño ($21) sounded pretty straightforward. However, I was not prepared for what came out. It was a beautifully presented dish with a monster amount of pulled beef. I began salivating instantaneously at the large sections of melt-in-the-mouth beef which carried the essence of Mexican cuisine, in all its paprika glory. The creamed corn was obviously not of the canned variety. This was the real deal… fresh corn smashed up, part creamy puree and other sections holding soft golden kernels. The creamed corn added some moisture to the dish. The fried egg was popped in the middle, surrounded by roasted cherry tomatoes and feathery parmesan. The tomatoes were juicy and blistered with the cheese mild to taste, adding to the ultimate flavour of the dish. The tortilla itself was paper thin and slightly doughy, with an crispy edge. The tortilla dish as a whole had such a impressive display of different colours, adding to the presentation of the whole dish. A delicious and inventive take on the typical tortilla, that was also extremely filling. My favourite dish of the whole lot.
The layout of West End Deli is a stylish version of American Horror Story (though nowhere near as creepy). An assortment of antique mirrors and frames adorned the patchy powder blue walls, with a twisted chandelier of chairs hanging precariously from the roof. My friend and I joked that we would be eating our meals in terror, petrified that they would fall on us during the meal. We needn’t worry, as the standard of food exceeded expectations, quickly distracting us from our “predicament.” Three words to sum up the atmosphere at West End Deli: cool, casual and kooky.
To finish off, my friend had a soy flat white. The flat white had strong rich coffee, with smooth and velvety milk, which is often so hard to achieve with soy. The milk was steamed to an adequate temperature. Wow. Is there anything West End Deli can’t do? Coffee and food conquered! My friend also couldn’t finish it, however the lovely lady who served us throughout was happy enough to pour it into a plastic cup for take away.
I liked the service we received at West End Deli during the two days I dined there. The waitstaff were all friendly and attentive, but unobtrusive. Orders were taken easily, dishes were delivered promptly and empty plates were cleared away with smooth efficiency. The waiter enquired if I enjoyed the crumpet, which I could only embarrassingly nod my head in relish as my mouth was crammed with the said dish. It is always a lovely touch when the staff acknowledge their customer’s feedback. West End Deli were also very flexible with our menu changes and quickly fixed up probable mistakes. Requests for extra butter and water? No problemo for the West End Deli team, who delivered it promptly to our table. No hassle or mess at this professional joint!
One of our other friends, who had also ordered the steak pie had substituted the salad with onion rings. After the dish came out, it was obvious that the onion rings had been accidentally forgotten and left off the plate. Luckily, the waiter whirled by to drop off the overlooked onion rings which were met with appreciative nods. Drama avoided! Efficient service strikes again here at West End Deli. With wonderful food and accommodating service, West End Deli is a keeper for the Leedy area!
Rating: 8 out of 10.
Address: 95 Carr St West Perth, 6005
- Open for breakfast and lunch Tuesday to Sundays (7am till 3pm) and dinner Wednesday to Saturday (from 6pm).
- $40 to $45 three courser set “market” menu available for dinner.
- BYO wine, champagne and beer also available for dinner!
- Bookings available from 12 pm daily (via website: http://www.westenddeli.net.au/booking-enquiry/).