Rifo's Cafe, East Victoria Park
When Rifo's Cafe first opened in East Victoria Park, I must admit I wasn't sure what it was called. I didn't know about the original Rifo's in Maylands at the time. Typically, we'd be in the car driving past on Albany Highway and I found the cafe logo difficult to read. Was it "nfos"? "rifos"? Obviously, I worked it out eventually! But what I noticed from the start was that the cafe always seemed to be busy, even after the initial "newly opened" popularity phase that cafes go through - a good sign! We recently decided to check it out for ourselves.
Jac ordered the Hippy Chic (AU$19), Rifo's vegetarian fry-up, with asparagus, mushrooms, spinach, baked beans, tomato, hash browns and toast. Jac was pleased to discover a decent amount of mushrooms and spinach, initially hidden by the asparagus and toast.
I ordered the Pavarotti (AU$25) - Rifo's full fry-up, with bacon, eggs, chipolatas, tomato, baked beans, mushrooms, spinach, hash browns and toast (the mushrooms were buried underneath the spinach on my plate). You can choose to have your eggs fried, poached or scrambled - I chose scrambled. The eggs were soft and creamy. The thick-cut toast was good and chewy. I was pleased to discover that silver dish of baked beans was unexpectedly deep and held quite a lot of baked beans! And I loved how colourful and bright our meals were.
I gave Jac some of my bacon and chipolatas, she gave me some of her asparagus. The asparagus was fantastic - the spears were large but not at all woody or bitter - they were sweet and tender, and I wished I had asparagus on my plate too. I also wished I had ordered poached eggs just so I could've eaten the asparagus dipped into the gooey egg yolk. Next time, perhaps! Mmmmm, asparagus dipped in gooey egg yolk...
The bacon had a tasty ratio of lean meat to fat. I was glad I could share it with Jac - there was so much of it, plus everything else!
Funnily enough, my favourite items from our breakfast at Rifo's were the asparagus and the spinach. The spinach was buttery, though not overly oily, and just beautifully wonderfully juicy. Not a hint of grit. It was perfect. The vegetable items were all perfect, actually - the mushrooms were bouncy, the tomatoes soft and sweet, served topped with freshly cracked black pepper (yes, I know tomatoes are fruit, not vegetables!). I loved the plectrum-shaped hash browns - very "hotel buffet"! I love those! They were crispy and crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, just how good hash browns should be.
The chipolatas showed the tell-tale signs of having been deep-fried: extra-crispy brown exterior, burst sausage skin, exposed sausage meat dark brown and dry on the inside. They tasted of fat and weren't very nice - I left the second chipolata uneaten on my plate. But because everything else was so delicious, this was a minor disappointment.
We were very impressed by the efficiency of the staff - both floor and kitchen (though the deep-fried chipolatas were perhaps "too efficient"!). The restaurant was busy and near capacity the whole time we were there, yet our meals came out quickly (such a welcome contrast to our recent meal at another restaurant). As we ate, we watched the constant stream of meals being served to the other customers, all hefty servings of food. A little boy near us clapped his hands excitedly as a plate of pancakes was placed in front of him. He looked a little less excited when his mum pushed a plate of fruit salad towards him. I laughed, as I would've reacted in exactly the same way :P.
I thought our breakfasts were on the expensive end of the range - I've paid anywhere from AU$16 to $25 for a decent fry-up - around AU$20 would be about average. At Rifo's you'll pay AU$12 for baked beans on toast - the baked beans we had were yummy but definitely not homemade, so $12 for beans on toast is arguably not great value. But I was happy to pay for our chosen meals - the service was great (efficient with no annoying chit-chat, just how I like it), the food plentiful and delicious. I wished I wasn't so full - I'd loved to try the thick brown slabs of toasted banana bread (AU$5.90), which appeared to be very popular, or pancakes with ice cream and maple syrup (AU$16). We also noted that Rifo's sell Il Gelato by the cone. But I couldn't even fit in an ice cream cone thanks to my big breakfast fry-up. I'll happily eat breakfast at Rifo's again, and I'd like to go back for lunch or dinner sometime.
Rifo's Cafe (East Victoria Park)
933 Albany Hwy, East Victoria Park
East Victoria Park WA 6101
Telephone: (08) 9361 6055
Open 7 days from 7am
Free wireless broadband for customers and big screens on the walls display latest headlines from news.com.au
Jac on Rifo's: "We paid more than average, but I'd do it again for sure."
There is also a Rifo's Cafe at 189 Guildford Road, Maylands.