Bread In Common, Fremantle
I have found Fremantle’s hidden secret. Actually, it’s not so hidden anymore, as hour long queues, similar to Jamie’s Italian in Perth, line outside with eager patrons dying to try the amazing food. But let me tell you, the wait is well worth it. I knew I had to visit Bread In Common for my 24th birthday dinner with my boyfriend. Fremantle has had really good restaurants as of late and Bread In Common is one of the best new restaurants in Fremantle.
We arrived around 7pm, looking for parking and noticed how long the line was. I still wanted to go and we didn’t mind waiting, as we had afternoon tea that day and weren’t too hungry just yet. We finally found parking and waited in line with the others. Rumour was that the wait was one hour! When the official wait time go to 90 minutes at the halfway mark of the line, people started leaving the queue, which was great for us. I was so excited! We even got talking with the others in line discussing how good the food was here. It got me excited even more!
About 50 minutes later (!), we were at the front of the line. The hostess was talking to the couple in front of us and told us they had to seat us upstairs for the time being and have a drink. We told her that we weren’t drinking and we were happy waiting, without realising that we HAD to go upstairs to wait, regardless of whether we wanted a drink or not. It was loud inside and we couldn’t hear her very well and I thought she was going to send us to the bar. I didn’t quite understand her. We found the hostess quite hostile and snappy when I told her we could wait. However, we had to give her a bit of a leeway, as it was really busy that night and she looked quite stressed.
We were sent upstairs with a group of people to wait for a table. Upstairs was a small, dark room that overlooked the dining area downstairs. We were offered drinks and nibbles as we waited, however we were happy to wait for our table, which we acquired 15 minutes later.
We were then taken to our table and sat between other groups. There were multiple communal tables that took up most of the dining area, which reminded me of Il Lido in Cottesloe. There was a huge wall to the left of me, filled with wine, champagne bottles and glasses and two hanging canvases of their stories about wine and bread. Long hanging low light orange filament bulbs hung from the ceiling, which was a beautiful sight to see, as I am a huge fan of hanging light bulbs. To the right of me was the big, bright kitchen, which was almost theatrical-like, as if the chefs were going to present a show. It was almost like I was at a dinner party or wedding reception. I could tell that Bread In Common would look so beautiful during the day, as the place would be brightly lit from the huge windows at the front. There were exposed red brick walls and concrete floors. It was as if Bread In Common and I were one person; everything in Bread in Common was what I wanted in my own house. Meanwhile, the front entrance of Bread In Common was its bakery, showcasing bread, the main feature of Bread In Common (in case you didn’t imply that from its name).
Our friendly waitress explained the concept of Bread In Common and went through the menu. There’s no doubt that if you go to Bread In Common, you can’t not have their bread. It’s practically compulsory, otherwise you’re at the wrong place! The bread choices for dinner were sourdough wholemeal and the common loaf – traditional village (for $2 per person). Both loaves were wood-fired and organic. We chose the common loaf upon recommendation from our waitress, also accounting the fact that we weren’t too starving and wanted something less dense. We chose the whipped pork-pistachio and fennel spread ($4) for something different to accompany the bread. The common loaf was ridiculously soft, which meant it was fresh, and we could taste it, too. The whipped pork-pistachio spread was amazing. It went so well with the bread and was so much better than the usual butter, balsamic and olive oil. We could taste some kind of spice in the spread, but we weren’t too sure what it was. The spread was whipped with whole pistachios, the nuts giving a textural element to the spread. Meanwhile the remaining spread was soft, light and airy.
I had their homemade fruit soda ($5) for my drink and my boyfriend opted for the usual lemon, lime and bitters. The fruit soda tasted a little alcoholic for some reason. I could taste an orange flavour, but there was an orange wedge in the drink anyway. The drink itself was OK, although a bit bland and had a funny aftertaste. I would love to try the homemade ginger beer next time.
Every dish on the menu sounded so good. It was hard finalising what to have, because we just wanted everything… even though we were full! I am a huge of fan of gnocchi, but for some reason I rarely get it when I’m out. I couldn’t pass on the gnocchi this time around. We ordered ricotta gnocchi with mushrooms, goats curd, and sorrel ($19). The gnocchi was cubed, which was different from the gnocchi I usually have and pan-fried. The dish was simple, and not the saucy kind that I usually expect. The goats curd was deliciously salty. The mushrooms made the whole flavour of the dish somewhat earthy. It was definitely my favourite dish of the night, but four pieces of gnocchi? I wanted more. I was so tempted to order another one. I almost licked the plate clean!
Now that I think about it, I can’t believe we only ordered two dishes to share. Our last dish was a coppa, warm chargrilled cos lettuce and peach salad with dukkah crumbs ($21). We’ve never had coppa before, but it was basically reminiscent of prosciutto. The coppa was soft, tender and just fell apart, unlike your typical prosciutto. The thin slices of peach were ripe and the warm chargrilled cos lettuce was mixed with a green leafy salad. This was a perfect salad that screamed out summer. It was quite a clean dish with no oil or dressing, which I felt there wasn’t really a need for. The peach coupled with the coppa was great, but there wasn’t a good ratio of coppa to the rest of the salad.
L had shown me a photo of the peanut mousse, chocolate ice-cream, raspberry and Oreo dessert ($18) and told me that I had to have it when I went. But I what I hadn’t realised was that it was PEANUT MOUSSE. YUM! We knew straight away that this dessert was a given. The presentation of the dessert was phenomenal. The dish looked just like ice-cream on a bed of crushed Oreos. The mousse was absolutely amazing, almost like whipped peanut butter. The chocolate ice-cream wasn’t the very sweet variety, which was good, as desserts can become sickly sweet from chocolate. There was crème fraîche in case everything became too sweet. The jelly wasn’t too sweet as well, but it had an interesting texture that added to the crunch and creaminess of the dessert. The whole dish looked like something out of an edible garden. It looked and tasted AH-MAZING.
One dessert is never enough, so we had the banana, meringue, rosemary, marshmallow and caramel dessert ($18), that almost looked like our ricotta gnocchi. There was such a stark contrast between this dish and the peanut mousse dessert. This one was a tangier and lighter in flavour, whilst also being very citrusy with the ice-cream calming it all down. The banana was caramelised on the flat side, which was delicious. There was also a green sauce, resembling grapes, which gave the dessert an extra tang. We were confused about the aforementioned rosemary though. Where was it? We thought we had tasted it upon first bite, but the rosemary flavour was lost after that.
Bread In Common lives up to all the expectations that I had and all the reviews that were said about it. It is THE place to go if you want to indulge in good food to share with a bottle of wine and great service (minus that hostess). Our waitress had apologised to us on several occasions when she was unable to get to us in quickly, because of how busy it was that night. It was a nice change from the below average service at some places in Perth. Certainly, Bread In Common has made my birthday this year.
Rating: 9 out of 10
Address: 43 Pakenham Street, Fremantle WA 6160
- Open every day from 10am until 10pm, except closed until late from Friday until Sunday.
- The menu changes according to produce season and availability, giving us another reason to frequently visit!
- Again, you can’t not go to Bread In Common and not have their bread.
- Casual entry!
- Bread In Common does not cater for large groups or functions. They have a table for up to 14 people in a private area that is booked for 10 to 14 people, with a set menu only (must be booked in advance).
- Street parking available outside and nearby surrounding streets, otherwise there is a car park nearby.
- Walk-ins only, no reservations. Be prepared to wait if you are going at a busy time.