Mushroom Mania 2013: The Crowded House, South Fremantle
July is Mushroom Mania month, and it's my third year joining in the fun - I'm one of 14 bloggers around Australia taking part for 2013.
Last week, I asked my readers on Facebook for Perth restaurant/cafe mushroom dish suggestions, and one that caught my eye (thanks, Mikaila!) was the mushrooms on toast on The Crowded House's weekend brunch menu.
The Crowded House has been on my ever-growing To Eat list for a while. The "house" is a heritage-listed limestone cottage on a quiet street corner in South Fremantle, away from the hustle and bustle of Fremantle's famous cappucino strip. We went there for breakfast on Sunday.
Jac ordered "A Bloody Shame" (AU$8), The Crowded House's version of a virgin Mary ("A Bloody Mary" with vodka is AU$14). It made a spectacular entrance, served in a tall glass with salt and pepper-encrusted rim, lemon wedge, ice and a leafy celery swizzle stick so tall we could've used it to get radio reception at our table. Jac loves her fresh greens and munched happily on the celery.
The mushrooms on toast (AU$15) were magnificent. A chunk of toast sliced thick as a brick, spread with creamy goats curd, piled high with a medley of mushrooms all shiny, sweet and tangy with vincotto, with wilted and fresh, fragrant basil. The bread, baked in-house, was crisp and craggy on the outside, but pillowy soft in the middle to soak up the mushroom juices. I was mesmerised by those gleaming mushrooms, momentarily torn between admiring and devouring. This IS mushroom mania - on toast.
The Crowded House uses mushrooms grown by Bunker Natural, a family-run company from Narrogin in the wheatbelt region of Western Australia. Their name refers to the World War 2 underground bunkers in which they cultivate specialty mushrooms - such as these beauties.
We also shared the soldiers (AU$16) with slow eggs, bacon mayo, bacon bits and fried bread. Boiled eggs and soldiers is one of my most beloved comfort dishes, and I daresay this version is worth leaving home for. The slow-cooked eggs, bacon mayo and bacon bits are served verrine-style in small glasses, the thick-cut golden soldiers in a Jenga stack. The bread's fried, not toasted - for maximum indulgent pleasure. Well... just in case wobbly eggs with bacon mayo haven't pushed you over the edge already. BACON MAYO!
The slow-cooked eggs were gooey and gelatinous, the soldiers the perfect size and strength for dipping. Make sure you scoop up the layer of bacon mayo right at the bottom. And when you've worked your way through the soldier stack, use the spoon. Or your finger.
It was a bright and brilliant start to our Sunday morning. If we didn't have errands to run, it would've been easy to sit back and relax in the airy dining room. Breakfast here made me happy - can't ask for more than that. I'm sure we'll be back.
The Crowded House
25 Douro Rd (corner Thomas St)
Telephone: (08) 9336 4147
Wednesday to Saturday 5.30pm to 10pm
Sunday 9am to 1pm (brunch)
Closed Mondays and Tuesdays
TFP and Jac dined at The Crowded House with compliments of the Australian Mushroom Growers Association as part of Mushroom Mania month. All opinions expressed are our own.
About Mushroom Mania, July 2013
- Join in the fun! From 1 to 31 July 2013, order a mushroom dish when you dine out, take a photo of it and share it on Instagram, Twitter or via email for a chance to win one of 40 x $100 restaurant vouchers. Visit the Mushroom Mania page for the competition details.
- Follow the Mighty Mushroom on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
- Watch videos on cooking with mushrooms and learn about their health benefits - the power of mushrooms!
- Join the Mushroom Lovers Club for mushroom recipes, cooking tips, news and more
- I'm one of 14 bloggers across Australia (my profile's on page 2) who'll be eating and blogging about mushroom dishes throughout the month.