Little Guildford, Guildford
After a refreshing holiday in Melbourne, I was in dire need of some quality family time. The standards for great food and service were set skyscraper high, after an impossible number of great feeds in the city of lights, accompanied by equally fantastic service. My family and I decided we would try a relative newbie, Little Guildford, which had been sitting on my “must try” list for a couple of months. We live pretty close to the Midland/ Guildford area, so it was a matter of herding our crew of six into our car on a sunny Sunday morning (impressively quite difficult for a group of independently functioning adults) and off we hopped.
First impressions of Little Guildford were that it was a quaint and elegant café, sitting in the midst of some beautiful, sweeping greenery. We positioned ourselves in the al fresco area, a space covered by white sails. It was a matter of repositioning the chairs and ourselves, until we were all seated in the shade, but eventually we succeeded. The place was buzzing with vibrant energy and I couldn’t wait to immerse myself in all the food.
The brunch menu was pretty extensive, with a whole page of options. Dad and my sister’s boyfriend went for the hearty route and ordered the Little Guildford Big Breakfast ($22). My dad ordered the poached eggs, whilst my sister’s boyfriend had his scrambled. The eggs came out with sourdough toast, as well as grilled bacon, chipolatas, roasted tomatoes, potato cakes and pesto mushrooms. I was lucky enough to sample the potato cake, which was smothered with a golden hollandaise. The potato cake itself was beautifully flavoured, with herbs and had a nice crunch to it. The guys were very content with the selection of breakfast items on their plate.
My brother downgraded from the Big Breakfast to the Eggs on Toast ($12), which included free range Swan Valley eggs on sourdough, with an extra serve of grilled bacon ($3). By downgraded, I mean he originally wanted to get the big breakfast, but it seemed too ambitious for him at the time, so we swayed him into getting an alternative dish. What value for the eggs on toast though! The little one received two thick rashes of bacon, next to two slices of toasted sourdough. It came with two fried eggs, both with a gooey, golden yolk. It’s a great sign when a café can execute a simple dish well, and for $15 it was enough to fill up my ever growing sibling.
My sister has had almost every type of smashed avocado under the sun, so on that particular day, it was no surprise that she ordered the Avocado Smash. Her Avocado Smash ($16) had a chunky abundance of the said main ingredient, interspersed with halved portions of cherry tomato and crumbling Danish feta. It piled high on top of the sourdough, dressed with EVOO and balsamic glaze. Not only was it a vibrant dish, but it had a delicate balance of flavours – an earthy creaminess from the avocado, acidity from an invisible splash of lemon juice, and a tart bite from the flecks of feta. The balsamic gave the dish a sticky, sweet element, bringing out the contrasting components of the dish.
Mushrooms and Truffle ($18) was mum’s pick of the day. The mushrooms were coated in pesto, and topped with poached eggs, shaved parmesan and truffle oil. Balsamic oil wove itself across the plate, with a flurry of sprouts placed on the very top. The mushrooms had retained much of its natural juices, exploding upon first bite. They had been cooked well. Two poached eggs, with a popular runny river of yolk, blessed the plate upon the first swipe of the knife. I loved the paper-thin slices of mild parmesan cheese on top, and the toasted sourdough was back in full force, giving the dish some additional substance. Delicious and filling!
My buttermilk pancakes ($14) with vanilla cream, berry compote and maple syrup was sublime. In my opinion, dad’s homemade pancakes reign supreme, but Little Guildford’s buttermilk pancakes gave his ones a run for their money. The pancakes themselves were light and spongy, stacked three-fold on the plate. I’ve had so many versions of pancakes I’ve lost count, and more often than not, pancakes are swathed in a thick, stodgy berry compote and covered by hefty amounts of heavy cream. The touch at Little Guildford was much more subtle – a blob of custard cream, infused with vanilla, and topped with fresh blueberries and strawberries. The berry compote had been made with a stroke of customer consideration, substituting frozen mixed berries for the fresh kind. The raspberries and strawberries in this compote seemed as though they had almost been soused, stewed, but not disintegrating into a bloodshot mush. Even the maple syrup that pooled at the bottom hadn’t been splashed unceremoniously over the pancakes, which avoided overpowering the pancakes with its saccharinity. It was a clean, clever and well-balanced dish, that I would easily order again.
Little Guildford in my books is a big winner. The food is simple, but it is executed well. It is certainly worth the price you pay for it – great deliberation has gone into the presentation and combinations of flavours. Service was also fantastic – the gracious girls that made up the majority of the waitstaff, bustled about, not in the least bit fazed by the hubbub of the diverse Sunday morning crowd. The food didn’t take too long to come out as well, with the 10 minute mark barely passing by, before all our dishes were served. A café with great ambience and sure to cater to everyone, Little Guildford is a must visit for anyone in the West Australian region.
There were also a tantalising number of sweet treats on the brunch menu, including a sticky date pudding, a warm apple cake and a Swan Valley fig and honey cake. It was a welcome return back to my hometown after a series of great food experiences in Melbourne – if this is where suburban dining is headed, then our Perth brunch dining scene is looking very bright indeed.
Address: 104 Swan St, Guildford 6055
- Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner (only open for dinner on Thursday, 6pm to 10.30 pm), Friday (lunch 10.00am to 2pm, dinner 6 pm to 10.30 pm), Saturday and Sunday (breakfast 8 am to 2pm).
- Little Guildford is a dog friendly café with areas outside for you to sit and enjoy your food (whilst your dog drinks from the café’s own dog water bowl).
- Takes reservations (via phone on 9378 2223).