Lincolns* in Highgate has oodles of that quaint-yet-familiar cafe style - it's a cross between a hidden object game and an episode of Hoarders: shelves loaded with teapots, tins of tea, packets of coffee beans, antique china cups and saucers, old cook books and a bird cage to match the one painted in the front window. The vintage mismatched furniture features scuffed wood, curved legs and plush red velvet any cat would immediately curl up on. Even the coffee machine looks retro, like a sky blue and chrome-plated Holden Kingswood. I met my friends Chad and L for breakfast at Lincolns recently.
I can't decide whether I'm still charmed or getting bored with the cluttered op-shop look which seems to have become 'the' look for neighbourhood cafes we love. At the end of the day, it probably doesn't matter that much, I suppose; food and coffee and friendly, efficient service speak to me far more eloquently than the ambience. As long as I'm not seated next to a well used toilet, it's usually a cup of rich, strong coffee and lashings of crispy bacon that grab my attention at breakfast.
Chad ordered a side of bacon (AU$5.50) with her poached eggs on toast (AU$11). The well fried bacon, eggs and toast came with butter and housemade tomato relish.
L and I ordered the same dish: Avocado, fresh tomato, feta and basil on toast (AU$15.50), both with an egg (AU$1 extra), L's poached, mine fried. We also ordered a side serving of bacon each (AU$5.50).
Perplexingly, the missing cheese jinx struck again. Our breakfasts looked fresh, bright and beautiful, the tomatoes especially juicy, the basil leaves crinkled and torn and enticingly fragrant. But there was no feta to be found. We mentioned this to our waiter, who apologised and brought us chunks of feta drizzled with olive oil. I ate mine crumbled (sounds much nicer than "squeezed between my fingertips") over my tomatoes and avocado.
Place your order at the bountiful, beckoning counter. Even before you lay eyes on the menu, there are temptations waiting under glass domes (with handwritten labels, of course) and in the display case - bagels stuffed with smoked salmon and cream cheese, BLTs, ham and cheese croissants with relish, tarts, crepes and homemade pies. I wish I'd bought a slice of the banana cake with thick caramel icing - I've had banana cake on the brain ever since.
Perched on the corner of residential streets in Highgate, Lincolns offers a cosy haven away from the nearby bustling Beaufort Street cafe strip. Worth a visit next time you're in the neighbourhood. I'd love to get to know those cakes better.
102 Lincoln St (corner of Stirling St)
Highgate, WA 6003
Telephone: (08) 9228 1759
Tuesday to Saturday 7.30am to 4pm
Sunday 8.30am to 4pm
*Note: What, no apostrophe in "Lincolns"? Apparently not! Reminds me of the apostrophe-less bills of Sydney. Good food, bad grammar.