Toastface Grillah, Perth
There's a new grilled cheese toastie shop tucked away in a Perth city laneway.
With patchy stained walls, bars on the windows, junkyard decor and entry via cyclone fence gates, it looks like an abandoned doss house - but don't let its grungy appearance scare you off. The music may be a tad loud for breakfast but the coffee's good, the toasties made to order and the service delivered by friendly folk with shy smiles.
There are 8 varieties of grilled cheese toastie on the menu, which is scribbled on the front door. I reckon there's room for another classic combo, which I'd call the Magnum Cheese, with cheddar, mozzarella, ham and pineapple. Who's with me?
This week, Prez, Juji, Jay and I met up at Toastface Grillah for breakfast before work. Jay and Prez chose the same sandwich, the Danny Zuccho (AU$8), with Brie, zucchini and proscuitto.
Juji and I each got a different toastie, which we shared. I chose Ham & Cheese (AU$7) with cheddar, ham and mustard, and Juji chose Brie & Jam (AU$8), with Brie, jam and mozzarella (pictured at the top of this post).
The mustard in the Ham & Cheese was a surprise, more like sweet mustard pickle. Brie & Jam go superbly well together, but I'd like Brie, Jam & Ham even more.
These were sandwiches loaded with cheese(s) that stretched and oozed, made with love and lustfully consumed. The bread was well toasted, crisp and corrugated, and (of course!) cut into triangles. Right here is everything that makes a grilled cheese sandwich so desirable and beloved, one of life's simple pleasures.
As if grilled cheese toasties don't offer enough comfort, you can buy a biccie to dunk into your cuppa: Milk Arrowroots and Gingernuts for 20 cents each and Monte Carlos for 40 cents.
Perth has grown in character and cheesiness - and I'm delighted. It's probably a good thing Toastface Grillah isn't on my route to the office; I'd be getting toastfaced before work on a regulah basis. This brilliant little toastie hovel won't stay a secret for long. Which grilled cheese sandwich will you choose?
Grand Lane, Rear 143 Barrack St (or, as they say on their website, 1 Toastface Grillah Boulevard)
Perth, WA 6000
Telephone: 04 0911 5909
Open Monday to Friday 7am to 4pm
UPDATED 24 May 2013: Now open Saturdays 9am to 4pm
And because I know some will ask:
Where is Grand Lane?
Grand Lane badly needs signage. You can find Grand Lane and access Toastface Grillah via Barrack Street between Ali Baba Hairdresser and Hatters. Walk down the alley and turn left - you'll be in Grand Lane looking right at the Toastface mural.
You can enter Grand Lane via Wellington Street, next to Cut Out (another hairdresser!). The Toastface mural is visible from Wellington Street. If you walk all the way through, you'll pop out at Murray Street.
If you're looking it up in Google Maps, search for "Grand Theatre Lane".
Grand Lane was given a face-lift a couple of years ago as part of the City of Perth's laneway revitalisation strategy, Forgotten Spaces. Two artists were commissioned to create the mural that covers the 99-metre-long wall, which includes a tribute to the now defunct Grand Theatre from which Grand Lane gets its name. The L-shaped laneway's brick buildings may still be shabby, but the painted wall is striking and worth a look; the lure of the grilled cheese toastie may mean more people will get to appreciate it.
The Grand Lane upgrade blog.