My quest for Perth’s ‘unbreakfasty’ breakfasts brought me to Mary Street Bakery last weekend. This place is known to get terribly busy, and as Jac is particularly averse to queueing, we got up at 6am just so we could get on the road and be in Highgate bright and early to avoid the crowds that have become legendary and so off-putting. We arrived around quarter past 7am, parked on Mary Street and walked straight into an almost empty cafe which got steadily busier during our stay.
After ten years of blogging, I’m running out of ways to describe great fried chicken. Mary Street Bakery’s fried chicken was spectacular; juicy boneless chicken chunks that made me incredibly happy – my decision to skip the Saturday sleep-in was deliciously vindicated. They were coated in a well seasoned crunchy batter and served on a pillowy buttermilk pancake that sat in a sticky pool of maple syrup where the chilli flakes were hiding (didn’t get much heat from them, to be honest). On top was a fried egg and fresh coriander, the dish complete with a smattering of crushed peanuts. If I had any complaints, it was the fluffy pancake, which became increasingly difficult to transfer from plate to mouth as it disintegrated into cakey crumbs, lost in sticky oblivion. Now, if I could combine this amazing fried chicken with the polenta waffles and jalapenos of the May Street Larder soul sandwich – that would be the most magnificent mashup.
Jac’s dish of mescal cured salmon was lush and elegant – folds of soft salmon with avocado, parsley, radish, cucumber and sour cream, and toast to mop up the jiggly slow-cooked egg nestled in the centre. If the fried chicken wasn’t on the menu, the salmon would’ve been my pick and I’d have enjoyed every tender bite. But FRIED CHICKEN, I only had eyes for the fried chicken.
If it’s your first time at Mary Street Bakery – yes, there is a real bakery – there are loaves of bread for sale next door, and the pastries and doughnuts which can be enjoyed in the cafe or as takeaway. My lamington doughnut certainly looked the part and felt right at first bite, raining desiccated coconut into my lap. But the balance wasn’t right; too much coconut, not enough chocolate. Having tasted Mary Street Bakery’s peanut butter and jam doughnut at Taste of Perth earlier this year I know how good their doughnuts can be. I’ll pick another flavour next time.
The tables for two along the wall reminded me of shopping centre car parks where the parking spaces seem to get more narrow despite common knowledge that their occupants are growing ever larger. If just one table was permanently removed, it would make getting in and out much less awkward when it’s busy… just my observation.
Regular readers will know I’m drawn to the fried chicken on any menu, but I’m quite partial to pork too – next visit, I have the equally unbreakfasty pork schnitzel, creamed corn, kimchi and egg on my list.
Mary Street Bakery
507 Beaufort Street, Highgate (Corner of Mary St)
7 days, 7am to 4pm – walk-ins only.
Bakery and cafe are adjoined; bakery entry is on Mary Street, cafe entry is on Beaufort Street.
On Wednesday to Saturday nights from 6pm to late, the place is known as Mary’s – fully licensed, with a different menu.