May Street Larder, sister café of Bib & Tucker, opened in January on the corner of May Street and busy Canning Highway in East Fremantle.
While Bib & Tucker’s got the stunning Indian Ocean views at Leighton Beach, May Street Larder’s got suburban car park. But if the crowd is any indication, taking over this ex-Red Rooster location was a shrewd decision by co-owners Chef Scott Bridger and WA Olympians swimmer Eamon Sullivan, pole vaulter Steve Hooker and hockey player Jamie Dwyer.
At just after 9am on Saturday morning, the car park was chockers, with more cars lining leafy May Street where we eventually parked, near a large but clearly necessary ‘PATIENT PARKING ONLY’ sign at the veterinary surgery next door. We expected breakfast to be bustling and that we’d have to wait for a table; surprisingly, there didn’t seem to be a system for managing the incoming punters. Thankfully, we only had to wait about 5 minutes.
The menu features so much that’s trendy now: local and seasonal produce; house-made, raw and organic foods; soul food and Mexican-style dishes; luscious drinks served in (those annoying) mason jars; the magic word ‘croquette’ combined with more magic words, ‘pulled pork’ and ‘kimchi’. Choose your comfort or indulgence and order at the counter.
The soul sandwich was a rugged beauty, a knife and fork job that quickly collapsed into a glorious mess. It’s tender and juicy boneless buttermilk fried chicken smothered with smashed avocado, spilling out between polenta waffles topped with smoked sour cream, pickled jalapeños that made all the difference, and a drizzle of chilli maple syrup. Jac’s smoked beef brisket hash with crispy potatoes, creamed corn, jalapeños and two soft-centred poached eggs was tasty and substantial, but she confessed to suffering dish envy after a taste of soul.
We shared a serving of CocoWhip – a vegan-friendly, gluten-free and dairy-free soft serve, made from coconut water. I can’t stand coconut water but I like soft serve – I wasn’t sure what to expect. This stuff is as creamy as a dairy-based dessert but to be honest, tasted pretty bland on its own. The salted caramel was smashing; without it, I’d have probably lost interest. At $7 for the CocoWhip and $1 for the salted caramel (other topping options were $2.50 for raw chocolate or $2 for lupinola – granola made with lupin flakes), it’s not cheap – but after my first spoonful, utterly irresistible.
The Larder is abundantly stocked: cakes, slices and tarts, sweet and savoury muffins, raw treats and fresh loaves of sourdough bread, jars of honey from Bib & Tucker’s rooftop beehives, and a range of May Street Larder products for sale, all preserved, pickled, cured and smoked in-house. On Saturday, there was jam, chilli oil, macadamia dukkah, pickled veggies, sauces and smoked salmon.
East Freo’s got itself a terrific neighbourhood café. It’s a bit of a trek for us but well worth the drive… though I think I’m hopelessly imprinted on the soul sandwich and will struggle to order anything else.
May Street Larder
Shop 23, 155 Canning Hwy (corner with May Street)
East Fremantle WA 6158
Open 7 days
Breakfast 7am to 11am, Lunch 12pm to 4pm
No bookings taken.