Fez, Mount Lawley
The above title is a reference to one of my favourite Sci-Fi shows of all time, Doctor Who (nerd alert). The Eleventh reincarnation of my favourite British alien would consistently proclaim that “fezzes are cool.” In regards to Fez, just off Beaufort Street in Mount Lawley, he couldn’t have been more right. Whilst he was probably talking more about the attributes of his favourite hat rather than the Perth cafe, it certainly is an apt descriptor for the place I had chosen to catch up with one of my longest known friends. My friend and I are primary school mates and had coincidentally gone to university together, both graduating with a bachelor of speech pathology. Since we have finished university, we’ve still maintained our friendship, and as she was a recent newly wed, I was curious to hear about married life from one of the most beautiful people I know!
Fez had elements of “Africa” within its interior designing – the scrubbed wooden chairs and tables, the splashes of sunset gradients and the handcrafted tiles that decorated the inside, gave Fez an exotic feel. Fez prides itself in providing a variety of foods across different cuisines – continental, Mediterranean, French and Moroccan. The bubbly staff behind the counter also embraced a relaxed, casual vibe, making you instantly feel like you were at home. My friend and I chose to sit inside, close to the al fresco area, so we could get a bit of the sunny breeze. The odd rumble of a large truck down Beaufort Street did its best to drown out our conversation, but nothing deterred us from our morning gossip sessions.
My friend ordered the hot pancakes ($15), three thick, fluffy pancakes which had the lightest touch of a crispy border. They were dotted with strawberries and sprinkled with icing sugar, which really added to its colourful presentation. Alongside it came an impressive number of condiments, including dishes of mixed berry compote, maple syrup and vanilla mascarpone. She really enjoyed the pancakes and found them very filling – so much so that she couldn’t finish them! I honestly don’t know how my friend can eat pancakes on such a regular basis (she had ordered a similar dish at a previous outing we went out to a few months ago) and still retain a waif-like figure. If I didn’t love her so much, I would have huge amounts of body-image envy.
My Berber traditional breakfast ($18) was a brunch item I had over a year ago at Fez and I had been thoroughly impressed by it. This time around, it didn’t let me down. It came with two slabs of sourdough, lightly grilled with a side of packet butter. The meatballs had been braised in a traditional tomato sauce and had been generously provided; I counted eight steaming meatballs in my pan, all which were chewy and beefy. I wish there had been a little bit more caramelised onion in the dish, as it was drowned out by the rich tomato stew. The fried free range on eggs on top were wonderfully cooked, both with a crunchy edge and a gooey yolk. A fine Moroccan style dish that was well worth the $18 I paid for it.
The counter was crammed with house-baked goodies, so I went for the no nut option and chose the lemon, coconut and raspberry cake ($5.50). My friend couldn’t share it with me, as she felt as though she had over indulged herself with the pancakes, so I was left to my own devices and tackled it myself. I was absolutely besotted with this cake. My slice was packed with moist crumbs, interrupted on occasion by a glistening purple gem, in the form of a juicy raspberry. The raspberries were in plentiful abundance throughout the cake, giving it a tart kick. I usually don’t enjoy desiccated coconut because I find it has a rather jarring texture and taste, but in this case, the coconut had melded into the moisture of the cake. The traces of lemon also provided a beautiful acidity to compliment the raspberries. I wished there had been a dollop of fresh cream served alongside the cake, instead of the whipped cream can variety they provided, but as a whole, I really enjoyed my sweet finish at Fez.
The service at Fez was fast and friendly, despite the al fresco area being pretty packed out. I had a lovely (and quick) conversation with the man at the counter, discussing the merits of cake (a fellow sweet treats person is so rare to find in this health conscious world), his friendly nature precipitating to the rest of the cheery staff who served our food. They were keen to hear feedback about their food and delivered everything with a bright smile. Fez is such an underrated place in Perth – it’s service is above average, their food looks beautiful and is incredibly filling, and everything is set at reasonable prices. As a hidden gem, I really hope it stays a secret for a little while longer – just so I can come back and selfishly enjoy my own quiet time at one of Perth’s great cafes.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Address: 83 Walcott St, Mt Lawley 6050
- Open for breakfast and lunch, Monday to Sunday (7 am to 5 pm). Breakfast is served until 11.45 am, lunch from 11 am to 3 pm, with coffee and cake available all day.
- Fez serves 5 Senses coffee and uses authentic Belgium chocolate to make their chocolate based drinks!
- No bookings available, though there should be plenty of space inside and outside for walk in’s!