Saturday, February 19, 2011

Voyage Kitchen & Delicatessen

As much as us Perthies whinge about small our city is, the time difference of the Eastern states office hours, the lack of nightlife and the rising cost of milk; we are damn lucky to live here. We have become so accustomed to pristine beaches, blue-skied summer days and our laid back way of life that all we can do is complain about how hot it is when the sun is shining.

Last week when I drove up to Sorrento to visit a good friend of mine, and she took me to Voyage Kitchen & Delicatessen for breakfast. And while I sat there tucking into some freshly cooked pancakes with her, looking out onto the Indian Ocean, with the salty sea breeze in my hair and the sun on my skin, I finally realized just how much I love Perth. 

Voyage is a little place on West Coast Highway which does breakfast, lunch and coffee, and apparently, does it very well indeed. It won the Lifestyle Channel's "I  ♥ Food" Award in the Café category in 2009 and 2010, as well as equal 1st place in delicious. magazine's café awards in WA. It's also been featured in various articles over the years in the West Australian by way of favorable reviews and barista articles. 

According to their website (which features a droolworthy photo gallery), almost everything at Voyage from their sauces to the pastry in their savoury tarts is hand made from scratch (apart from the bread). The menu is rather multicultural and includes quesadillas from Mexico, banana cream pies from the US and plenty of Mediterranean flavours. What I love about this place is there's a big emphasis on natural, organic and free range produce. I like to think of it as food with no make-up on.


The interior design of Voyage is relaxed and simple - which is great, because it means that the food doesn't have to fight for the attention it deserves. There's little jars and boxes of gourmet tea, coffee and jams on display on the walls. Next to the front counter is a large glass cabinet full of colourful wraps and toasties, a range of cakes (all baked on premises) and more.

Being a beachside venue, far away from any shopping centres, and a good 7 or 8 freeway exits away from the city, there was not a office worker in sight: just a bunch of laid back West Aussies having a nice relaxing weekday morning at their local café. It was so refreshing to just be in a place where nobody seemed stressed or in a hurry to get to work. No mobile phones constantly going off, no hustle and bustle, no pretentious yuppies - just genuine smiles, flat whites and no worries.


I've always wondered by Eggs Benedict is called Eggs Benedict and Eggs Florentine is called Eggs Florentine. I always thought they were just named after some kind of royal couple that could never agree on how to have their eggs, and so immortalized their quarrel in their respective dishes. But there are oodles of variations! So perhaps Benedict and Florentine were polygamous:

  • Eggs Blackstone - substitutes ham with streaky bacon and adds a tomato slice
  • Eggs Montreal - substitutes ham with smoked salmon
  • Eggs Neptune - substitutes ham with crabmeat (dying to try this)
  • Eggs Hussarde - substitues Holland rusks for the English muffin and adds marchand de vin sauce
  • Eggs Sardou - substitutes artichoke bottoms for the English Muffin and achovy fillets for the ham, with an added truffle slice
  • Eggs Beauregard - biscuit filled with sausage patty, country gravy and fried eggs
  • Irish Benedict - replaces ham with corned beef

When Amanda's Eggs Benedict ($16.5) was served, it became very clear why Eggs Benedict will always be the classic version. There's something so luxuriously rich, yet so perfectly balanced about the combination. Whilst eating it, you're extremely conscious of the fact that a bajillion calories are coursing through your veins and straight to your thighs (hollandaise sauce is essentially eggs yolks and butter), but at the same time, it simply tastes too good for you to care. 

Everybody knows that free range egg yolks taste better than caged eggs, and those deep orange, softly poached yolks with Karri smoked free range ham on an organic, crusty muffin was just heavenly. If you ever go to this place, I beg of you: do it. Order this damn dish. 

The waitstaff actually made a mistake and brought out another whole plate of Eggs Florentine to our table which we hadn't ordered. It took a good five minutes and every shred of decency in my body to tell them it was someone else's and to take it back to the kitchen.

I ordered the Grilled Peach Pancakes ($16) with 'orange water and vanilla marscapone, toasted macadamia praline and maple syrup'. I've never had macadamia praline. In fact, I don't think I've had macadamias in anything except Cadbury chocolate or on their own. But it was what made this dish such a delight - intensely sweet, crunchy, shatter-in your mouth toffee with the toasted, buttery macadamias, some crushed and some whole. And sweet marscapone cheese on any kind of breakfast never fails to please. Pancakes were cooked exactly how I like them: thick, dense, fluffy, dark on the outside and fairly firm. There was nothing I didn't like about this dish.

And is it just me, or does cooked fruit taste amazing on just about anything!?

Summer is over in a month or so, so grab your boyfriend, girlfriend, manfriend or bestfriend and take them on a little trip up to this place for brekky before uni hits. I guarantee he/she and you will love it. The drive up the coast is delicious enough as it is. 

I was dreading spending an entire summer vacation in Perth to work in retail, saving up for my big trip at the end of this year, while just about every single one of my other friends and family were off traveling the world. 'Stranded' as in: 'stranded on this miserable Godforsaken island in the middle of nowhere' would have been a suitable word for the feeling. But over the last few months as I've been forced to find things to do, places to go and things to see, and I just gotta say: Perth has really grown on me.

P.S: National Eggs Benedict Day in America is on the 16th of April every year. Make sure you mark this splendid celebration in your calendar. 

Voyage Kitchen & Delicatessen on Urbanspoon


Elleira said...

Macadamias are JOY!
And this post made me feel proud that I live in Perth. :) :)

BlackBerry Hosted Exchange said...

Lovely post! I would love to visit this place!