Mushroom Mania 2012: The Witch’s Cauldron Restaurant, Subiaco
In a town where cool up-and-comers are constantly on the rise, The Witch’s Cauldron Restaurant has been a steady icon of Subiaco, with the same owner/operators for a remarkable 40+ years. Jac and I went there on Saturday morning in search of a mushroomy breakfast for Mushroom Mania. And we found ourselves a beauty.
It’s been years since we dined at The Witch’s Cauldron and I’d forgotten about the complimentary housemade mint-lemonade served at breakfast. It’s served icy cold, granita-style, tart and refreshing. Your first glass is free – subsequent glasses are available (AU$4.80).
We ordered two dishes to share. First, the vegetarian full breakfast (AU$19.50) with eggs (we chose scrambled), potato, tomato, baked beans, asparagus, spinach and mushrooms. It’s not the cheapest breakfast but it’s a bountiful breakfast. The best of the bounty: lashings of silky, buttery scrambled eggs, the wonderful housemade potato ball, crumbed and crunchy on the outside, fluffy and herby on the inside, and lots of juicy whole button mushrooms.
Before this, our previous breakfast at The Witch’s Cauldron was back in 2006. The free mint-lemonade was a hit but my scrambled eggs were a perplexing golden-brown, more resembling an omelette than scrambled eggs on toast. We did ask about that at the time and were told “That’s how we do scrambled eggs here – our chef likes to serve them more done.” I wasn’t convinced. Almost six years later, with that anomaly still a vivid memory, I figured enough time had passed and it was probably safe to order scrambled eggs at The Witch’s Cauldron’s again. They were much less ‘unique’ this time and frankly, I couldn’t have hoped for better.
Although we enjoyed the vegetarian full breakfast, I think we each secretly wished we didn’t have to share the field mushroom dish. Three juicy, meaty field mushrooms were served on a mixture of wilted and fresh spinach, topped with melted blue cheese, roasted pine nuts and drizzled with balsamic vinegar, all sitting on toasted rye bread. A simple yet spectacular combination packed with flavour and texture.
The cheese was Bleu de Laqueuille, a French blue imported by Perth cheese company Blue Cow Cheese. It’s a cow’s milk cheese, creamy and salty with a pungent mouldy aroma and aftertaste. If you’re a fan of blue cheese as well as mushrooms, this dish will make your heart sing (and if you’re the greedy sort, you may find yourself wondering how many cheese-laden field mushrooms you could eat, given the chance – I’ll put my hand up for six without the rye bread). If you’re not a fan of blue, take this as a stinky cheese warning.
I must admit we did briefly discuss ordering a side of bacon. We opted not to and I was surprised – we didn’t miss it.
We were seated in one of the booths, which always feels more special, private, cosy and luxurious than the regular chairs and tables in any dining room. All around the restaurant are witches and cauldrons, generally adding more character than kitsch – however, you can’t miss (though you may wish you had) the witch on a broomstick that hangs from the ceiling complete with a creepy black spider – if I was a child, this would be the stuff of my nightmares. I think it’s her facelessness and those disturbingly twisted legs.
We enjoyed our breakfast at The Witch’s Cauldron. The food was delicious and generous, service friendly but not too chatty, and our meal arrived quickly. The complimentary mint-lemonade remains a nice touch – everybody loves a freebie – but even better, thank goodness for the not-so golden-brown perfectly scrambled eggs.
The Witch’s Cauldron
89 Rokeby Rd
Subiaco, WA 6008
Telephone: (08) 9381 2508
Open 7 days from 7.30am
Breakfast available 7.30 to 11am daily
The Witch’s Cauldron’s most famous dish is its signature vampire-killing garlic prawns, served bubbling hot Spanish-style with chunky garlic, chilli and olive oil. Definitely worth a try if you like garlic prawns – one of the best in Perth.
TFP and Jac dined at The Witch’s Cauldron Restaurant with compliments of the Australian Mushroom Growers Association as part of Mushroom Mania month. All opinions expressed are our own.
About Mushroom Mania, July 1-31
Join the Mushroom Mania fun this month!
- Get the free Mushroom Mania app for your smartphone/iPhone or check out the locality guide online to find your local participating restaurants
- Order mushroom dishes when you dine out
- Post a review of a mushroom dish you’ve eaten for your chance to win a $150 Best Restaurants of Australia gift card – there are 6 gift cards to be won every week in July
- Join the Mushroom Lovers Club for mushroom recipes, cooking tips, news and more
- Follow Mushroom Mania on Twitter and Facebook
Let me know if you post a Mushroom Mania review or if you eat a particularly awesome mushroom dish this month – I’d love to hear all about it!
See my post on a visit to a mushroom farm earlier this year.