Another busy, noisy, cramped cafe that doesn’t take bookings. Not even two months old, Finlay & Sons has been a runaway hit in the neighbourhood – on Beaufort Street, just past Eleventh Avenue. Like my observation recently at Mary Street Bakery, the rows of tables by the windows at Finlay & Sons had one table too many, making squeezing in or out an awkward indignity.
Our food was fantastic. My waffles with maple syrup and fluffy coffee-flavoured marscapone tasted like cake and icing, accompanied by the best caramelised banana I’ve eaten in a Perth cafe. On its own, a decadent and sickly sweet combo – but the addition of thick-cut bacon gave it balance and created something sensational. The slab of bacon was pork chop’s fattier, saltier, juicier, more attractive cousin. Jac’s goat curd toasted baguette and roasted mushrooms was a generous serving, piled high on spinach leaves and shaved parmesan. The wooden board it was served on was a just bad idea – too long on our fully loaded table and with such a narrow surface area to work with, a struggle with mess and spillage was inevitable. Jac’s side order of smashed avocado was served in a small jar – just… no. Can we please stop doing what looks ‘cool’ and go back to sensible dishes that are easy to eat from?
It was difficult to hear each other over the cacophony. Coffee and cake are available from 7.30am; the kitchen opens with an all-day menu from 8am to 2pm – and it looks like everyone got there early. With more hungry punters waiting to swoop in, it didn’t feel like a place to comfortably linger. Is it my imagination, or is the truly leisurely breakfast a rarity these days?
PS. The banana and bacon are pretty damn awesome.
Finlay & Sons No 917
917 Beaufort Street (corner with Dundas Street)
A takeaway coffee window is on the Dundas Street side of the cafe.