Ah, Victoria Park. Like a cross-breed between Northbridge (the 'quaint' restaurants and a large Asian population) and Subiaco (some decent specialty stores, boutiques and the street layout even looks kinda similar). However, I must admit it was the last place I thought I'd find one of the best cafes I've been to yet.
The Imp was not exactly hidden away, but right on the highway with bright orange utopia on one side and some kind of supermarket on the other, under a dark brown sunshade with a few knobbly silver chairs and tables outside. Not much of a looker, the dark windows ensuring that one would only really go in if they were actually looking it.
But upon entering the Imp, I can see why they don't exactly advertise their presence here: you wouldn't want all sorts of loudmouthed riff-raff coming in and desecrating this uber-cool coffee hangout. It's obviously popular enough already, judging by the many loud conversations going on from the back of the room where girls with short hair and the guys with long hair sat, everyone with piercings and/or heavy make up, and oozing with that careless, I'm-extremely-attractive-but-it-comes-naturally aura. Furthur proof this place is hip: they serve tapas. You heard me.
The tall, dark and handsome barista had tattoos (bonus points already), was polite, prompt, unassuming, and didn't charge extra for soy in my long mac ($4) or for the scoop of vanilla ice cream with my rhubarb custard crumble ($5.50).
The macchiato was delicious. A good quality bean, plenty of crema, and the barista work decent considering it was soy. I found myself eating the crumble first though, unable to stop once I'd started. The guy had warmed it in the microwave for me to just the right temperature. It was a perfect balance: the buttery, melt-in-your-mouth crumble, the slight tartness of the rhubarb compote and the custard which was so good that it could only have been made from scratch. Perhaps the only let down would have been the cheap store-bought vanilla ice cream which could have really made it a five star experience... but then again, not many cafes make connoisseur ice cream to go with their cakes (not in Vic Park, anyway).
Scratch that, not many cafes make rhubarb custard crumble full stop. So really, who gives a stuff about the ice cream?!
Being OCD, I simply must mention my delight at this cafe having not a single outdated magazine or newspaper in its possession: all of them laid out neatly just to the right of the counter, always replaced faithfully by the regulars who did their bit to keep their haven nice and tidy. That, and the largest, fullest tip jar I have ever seen were subtle little testimonies that the Imp is a damn good coffee spot.