Little Willy’s, Northbridge
Little Willy’s has been a favourite of mine since I last went there over a year ago. Hollowed out along a strip of derelict buildings on William Street, Little Willy’s works into the retro scene that is Northbridge. I was there on a Thursday afternoon, looking for some late lunch. Little Willy’s menu swept across its west side wall, printed out on a blackboard. I had missed the brunch cut off, which had finished at 12 pm, but there were still some delicious options available. As I entered, I decided to choose a spot underneath the fan, enjoying the fabricated coolness from the air conditioner, in an attempt to escape the stormy dankness from beyond the doors.
I placed my order at the counter and was immediately impressed by the service. The bearded man at the front was so very chilled, calm and amicable. I always feel a tad self conscious when I dine alone, but that day he was happy enough to ask about how my day was and what I was doing in the area, which was punctured by some subtle smiles. I can dress like a social outcast when it comes to work, primarily because I work with kids, who don’t care much about my fashion sense. That day however, I was fully aware that my purple work shirt clashed with my brown pants (and I was sporting bogan thongs to round off the unsophisticated combo). I was waited for the judging looks from kitchen and waitstaff to flow. Not so much at Little Willy’s thankfully! Everyone on the floor that day was gracious and pleasant.
I’m a sucker for all types of bagels, so I made a beeline for the bacon bagel ($12.50), which also contained avocado and mayo. The crispy bacon fat was rendered well. I can be very particular with my bacon and find it surprisingly hard to screw up, but unfortunately at some cafes, hard and inedible bacon happens more often than not. There were at least three broad rashes of bacon piled high on the bagel, which was rather generous. An abundance of rocket leaves sat on top, sprayed with a dressing that had a slight acidity.
Several identical slices of warmed avocado sat below the rocket. The avocado was lovely and ripe, creamy in texture to offset the oily crunch of the bacon. The bagel itself was a delight, lightly toasted, with a chewy and slightly doughy consistency. The highlight were the flecks of sesame and smoky roasted garlic smattered on top of the bagel. It was rounded off with a schmear of butter inside. A light mayo mingled with the butter, that luckily, was used sparingly and was not excessively overpowering in tanginess.
Another dish included the breakfast burrito ($14), which was packed with “the lot”. What did “the lot” entail? It was literally a big breakfast packed into a wrap. Juicy slices of sautéed mushroom sidled up next to a pillow of creamy scrambled eggs. Sizzling bacon sat on the floor of the burrito, along with some wilted spinach. The best part of the burrito was the buttery corn, which was beautifully fresh and popped in the mouth. There was a hint of tomato relish slicked in between sections of the scrambled egg, which gave the dish a lovely natural sweetness. The burrito wrap was everything it needed to be – toasted and crunchy outside, with an almost pastry-like quality to it. A hang-over cure if there every was one and would be a good option for those on the run!
To drown down the wrap I had a glass of watermelon juice ($7). It was sweet and cold, with not too much ice packed in it. Fresh juices appeared to be Little Willy’s forte, as I saw several people walking out with take away with juices and saw a few more glasses at adjacent tables. I slurped it down as I consulted the most recent Scoop magazine (specifically the food section), whilst other people in the area filtered in and out. I stepped up to the counter to consult my sweet options and was given a dessert selection guided tour, unprompted from the man at the counter, who fully realised my need for a sweet finish. Displayed at the front counter included a carrot cake, a chocolate chestnut cake (gluten free), chocolate raspberry brownies and two salted caramel slices (also gluten free).
Salted caramel appears to be the rage now, as people are looking for sweet options that aren’t consistently sugar, sugar, sugar. That particular day, it was rather moody, perfect for something chocolate-y like the salted caramel slice ($4.50). The chocolate cravings were essentially satisfied from the top layer of the slice, which was thick, fudge-y and luscious. The biscuit base was a little harder to tackle, as it was rather solid and a little stale. Stuck in between was the viscous salted caramel,which oozed with abundance onto the plate as I broke into it. Both the salted caramel and base were imbued with desiccated coconut and not being a big fan of dry coconut, I was a bit put-out by it. Despite this, I loved the toffee-like salted caramel and its sheer volume! Best of all, it wasn’t too sweet.
I would highly recommend Little Willy’s for brunch and afternoon tea. You instantaneously get a taste of the good-natured, easy going and friendly staff from stepping through the door. They know their regulars and appreciate their customer base. Overall, everything from the service to the food was casual and cool, with a few sweethearts thrown in for good measure (courtesy from the man at the front counter). I loved the floral plates and the lively flashes of colour inside what could have been a rather drab setting (the table I was at provided a burst of aqua). Little Willy’s is kooky, complete with music from the hip hop/ ghetto-rap genre, fitting into our growing urban and alternative scene. Very Northbridge! Everyone is treated like regular royalty at Little Willy’s.
Address: 267 William St, Northbridge 6003
- Open for breakfast and lunch every day off the week (from 6am to 6pm on weekdays, 8am to 4pm on weekends).
- Gluten free and vegetarian options available.
- Hidden somewhere is also outdoor seating for those who need a bit of sunshine!
- No EFTPOS facillities, so come armed with cash.
- No reservations available.