Cantina 663, Mount Lawley
If there is one place that never lets me down, it is Cantina 663. I’ve been to Cantina for lunch, breakfast, dinner and dessert over the years and safe to say, it has always met my expectations. I was looking forward to going back to my favourite, pan fried gnocchi joint for a bit of breakfast. Service at Cantina 663, along with their food, is always standout.
It was a Friday morning (my day off, hurrah!) and I was dining solo, armed with my Mac and ready to smash out some blog reviews. It wasn’t too busy when I arrived and I was invited to take a seat at the request of the lovely man at the front, who was already immersed in delivering coffees to other breakfast patrons. I ordered a lemongrass and ginger tea ($4.50) to start with. I sipped at it, whilst I browsed through the menu.
Initially, I had ordered the Cantina Sub (complete with lamb meatballs) but after a couple of minutes, the lovely man returned to sit next to me, with a mournful look on his face. He expressed his sorrow and said that they unfortunately weren’t doing the sub that day. Undeterred, I went for the smoked ham hock croquettes, with scrambled eggs and pickled shallot salad ($20).
The croquettes were evenly crumbed on the outside and fabulously creamy inside. I love my croquettes cheesy, and bits of stringy mozzarella were evident in these croquettes, intertwined with shreds of ham hock. Piping hot, gooey goodness. The croquettes sat on a hoisin-like sauce, sticky and very sweet, almost to the point that it subdued the flavours of the croquettes. I love my scrambled eggs just under and Cantina appeared to have read my mind – not only were they creamy, but they had a beautiful soft, almost runny consistency. The pickled shallot salad was splashed with a vinegary dressing and also contained a copious amount of fresh parsley and finely cut green apple. A sprinkle of salt here and there completed the dish. The condiments reminded me very much of my Mary Street Bakery experience (owned by the same people!) and I was equally impressed with the magic here at Cantina.
The week after, I had the corn beef hash, house HP and fried egg ($20) for some morning fuel. It was a fry up of crispy potatoes, diced corn beef hash and a fried egg. The potatoes were delicious, as was the beef hash, which was ruby red in colour. The meat flaked away and bits of browned fat had attached to some parts of the corned beef. The saltiness of the cured beef wasn’t too overpowering, complimenting the sweet tomato-ey flavours of the HP sauce. The fried egg had a runny yolk and possessed a crispy edge. Scattered amongst the dish were carefully chopped pickles, that appeared to be there to add an acidic bite to the dish, when things got too heavy with the protein and starch. It was a great dish that would have certainly worked as a great hangover cure.
Cantina is cool and classy, with some great service. The food didn’t take too long to come out and I was consistently checked up on throughout the morning, but not badgered to annoyance. They are a friendly lot over at Cantina! Observations from my leather booth informed me of their love for their regular customers, eagerly greeting them and launching into avid conversations about their lives, joking accordingly. It was such a fun environment to be in! In addition to their great service, Cantina always dishes up something different for breakfast – they are creative, known for their unique flavour combinations, and for their investment in fresh produce. Cantina 663 still proves itself to be one of the special places to dine on Beaufort Street.
Rating: 8 out of 10.
Address: 663 Beaufort Street, Mount Lawley 6050 (in front of Astor Arcade)
- Open for breakfast Monday to Sunday (7.30 am to 11.30 am), lunch Monday to Sunday (12 pm to 3pm), antipasto Monday to Saturday (3pm to 6pm) and dinner Monday to Saturday (5.30 to late).
- Offers a chef selection family styled menu for 4 or more people ($65 pp).
- Reservations available (via phone: 9370 4883).