bread in common, fremantle

restaurant

Over the past few weeks, I seem to have embraced my uncoordinated, klutzy alter ego. It’s been a painful experience, and… well, let’s just say that I’m hoping it’s a phase.

For example, exactly thirteen hours ago I arrived at my local church, hazy and bleary eyed from the week-that-was. Whilst setting up some microphones (I sing as part of the music team every three weeks), I managed to drop a heavy wooden lectern on my foot. Yes, a lectern. I’m not even going to attempt an explanation, but let’s just say that it hurt. Possibly like childbirth or appendicitis, but as I’ve had neither I can’t compare (I promise to revise this statement postpartum if my opinion changes). Straight afterwards, I felt very, very stupid.

Luckily, I managed to hobble around wincing for the next five hours with only one person questioning my uncharacteristic slow gait. After the service ended, I removed my shoe to inspect some swollen, purple toes. I have no idea if there’s a fracture but hey, it’s Sunday. I can readdress that question tomorrow.

Speaking of questions, you’re probably wondering what on earth this introduction has to do with a restaurant review. Well, let’s just say that another klutzy incident occurred on the same day that I visited Bread in Common. It involved my head and a suspended boat rudder attached to a sculpture on Fremantle Dock. See the picture below? Well, the incident occurred about five minutes after it was taken (in other news, do you think I look like a horse? I thought so). And again, I felt very, very stupid.

horse

The only good thing about my semi-concussion was the fact that it occurred straight after a rather satisfying breakfast at the above-named restaurant on Pakenham Street. Amidst the throbbing pain, plates of soft eggs and chewy sourdough swam before my eyes like small roadrunners around the Wile E Coyote. Okay, so that’s a slight embellishment, but… well, the breakfast stayed down. And it was good. That’s success, in my opinion.

kitchen2

Our visit to Bread in Common took place on a quiet Friday morning. Being a public holiday, we expected large crowds by 10:30am but thankfully, the late opening time (of 10:00am) seemed to have averted a portion of the breakfast crowd. As our visit had been months in the planning, it was a great pleasure to actually sit down within the stripped-back, converted warehouse space. Our coffee orders were taken immediately and we were left to peruse the ‘brunch and dinner’ menu.

Bread in Common is the brainchild of Nic Trimboli (whom Perthians might recognise as the restauranteur behind Gordon Street Garage, Duende and Balthazar) and his partner, baker Gotthard Bauer (from the famous Yallingup Woodfired Bakery that I’ve raved about here and here). As the name might suggest, this place is all about communal tables, generosity and arguably the best woodfired bread this side of Yallingup. At $2 per person, nonetheless.

drinksguy2

Being a creature of habit, I immediately scanned the menu for smashed avocado on toast. Instead, I found share plates, house-churned butter, savoury spreads, toasted sandwiches and mouse traps (uh, it turns out that these are little pieces of toasted bread spread with Vegemite and cheese).

Needless to say, momentary disappointment melted into to excitement over the prospect of eating scrambled organic eggs with dukkah ($14), mixed mushrooms with toasted macadamias, thyme and bitter greens ($15), smoked zucchini spread ($3.50) and garlic sausage. Did I forget something? Oh, and bread. Beautiful, organic loaves baked with small-batch milled local wheat-belt flour.

roof

Soon after placing our food orders, the coffees mercifully arrived. I had reasonable expectations, seeing as Bread in Common uses Mano a Mano specialty coffee which is roasted in small batches at its sister restaurant, Gordon Street Garage.

Strangely, both Aaron and I found the coffee to be well-made but largely lacklustre. I sipped thoughtfully for at least ten minutes before deciding that it bore no resemblance to the signature blend at Gordon Street. Why? I have no idea. There was no bitterness, no body, just… milk. Brown milk. Rather disappointing.

coffee

Thankfully, redemption was found in a plate of warm bread with our chosen dips: smoked zucchini and garlicky sausage. Despite our two bread selection (common loaf and wholemeal sourdough) bearing only one half-piece of the wholemeal sourdough (that’s 16%, people), we ate it appreciatively, generously slathered in the accompanying spreads.

breadIf I had to pick a favourite food item from the day, it’d probably be the smoked zucchini spread with toasted black sesame seeds. It was beautifully creamy with hints of woodsmoke and toasted nuts… absolutely delicious. I could’ve eaten just smoked zucchini spread on toast and been rather happy (but of course, I didn’t).

Our next two dishes, mixed mushrooms and scrambled eggs with dukkah on toast, arrived together. My first thought was that servings were both rustic and rather generous. Thumbs up in my book. The eggs were soft and creamy, pale golden against lightly toasted sourdough. The smattering of toasted dukkah was rather delicious with the delicate eggs and bitter fresh rocket (arugula).

eggs

The mushrooms. Oh, the mushrooms. Juicy and caramelized with perfect amounts of acidity. The wilted greens added some wonderful bitterness and colour contrast whilst the toasted macadamias were buttery, crunchy and delicious. If I wasn’t stuffed to the brim, I would’ve mopped up the mushroom juices with more perfectly chewy sourdough. It was that good.

mushroomsBut no. After polishing off the last mushroom, Aaron and I were both in a blissful state of brunch satisfaction. We sat quietly, mesmerized by an apron-clad baker transferring loaves of dusty sourdough onto a wheeled trolley. Perfectly slow-fermented sourdough loaves, golden and crusty, spattered with organic flour.

These loaves are available for wholesale purchase or for hungry customers to take-home from the bakery. I would’ve done just that if not for the fear of devouring the entire loaf in the car. Or at home, slathered in organic butter and sea salt with an accompanying glass of red.

breadrack

In hindsight, it might have been tangible comfort for my head injury. Butter and carbohydrate therapy? I’m sure that’s been documented in a medical journal somewhere.

Or my foot injury. In fact, maybe I should hobble there now…

kitchenbreadrack2

Bread in Common

43 Pakenham Street, Fremantle WA 6160

(08) 9336 1032

Sun – Thurs: 10am – 10pm

Friday – Saturday: 10am – late

globes

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57 responses

  1. Oh, Laura! I am so sorry!! Having never gone through childbirth, appendicitis OR dropping a lectern on my foot, I will have to say I don’t want to experience any one of the three. Happily, I am way beyond childbearing years! :) There is still room for dropping lecterns and appendicitis and a variety of other unpleasantries! The bruch sounds amazing. Well cooked eggs are my litmus test for a good cook. These sounded amazing. Take care – and be careful! xo

    • Hahaha! Well now I’ve experienced one of the three… and I hope that you never experience any of them David! The eggs were indeed deliciously soft and flavoursome. I agree – eggs appear so easy but it takes a lot of experience to get them perfect. Argh, I got through my first day back at work with my smashed foot. I’ve now been christened ‘hobble’. I rather like it! Thanks so much xo

  2. Oh, dear! I’m sorry that you’ve had so many mishaps recently. I’m afraid that a crunched foot would have affected my singing (and yes, we’re all musicians, too). I’ve been a klutz for so many years, that it’s almost expected of me. I hope that you don’t follow in my footsteps. On another note, I just love all of the interesting foods you have there. We’ll have lots to taste test if we ever make it down there. Have a wonderful week. xx

    • I was so concerned that I wouldn’t be able to sing at all! I ended up spending a bit of time in the bathroom composing myself before gritting my teeth and ignoring it for the rest of the morning. It helped once I lost myself in the music! Nice to know that you girls are equally musical… not so nice to know that you’re klutzy too! It’s rather painful when incidences accumulate! Sending you hugs xx

    • I hope that the coffee is normally much better there. It’s possible that they were having an off-day… I didn’t see who the barista was! I was rather disappointed to think that I’d always have to get coffee somewhere else on subsequent visits though (as I definitely intend to go back, such good food!). Do you have another trip home to WA on the cards Graz? It’s getting cold and rainy over here at the moment.

  3. You poor thing but you are a real trouper aren’t you, still doing the review after an almost concussion. How is the foot now? That had to hurt too. The restaurant looks great and that bread has me drooling.

    • I’m still in pain, went to work today and hobbled around for hours on it which didn’t help. It’ll heal eventually. It’s just inconvenient for someone like me who likes to constantly be on the go! Re the bread, it was so good Suzanne. Perfect sourdough. I’m a big bread eater so that alone is a reason to go back! x

  4. Please be careful with your valuable parts. I really want to visit this place. Sounds like the service might be better than GSG! Also, speaking of smashed avo, have you visited Smuggled Seeds in Leederville?

    • I need your supervision E, I’m broken now… hobbling around like a geriatric patient! Next time you’re in Perth, let’s go together… possibly in the evening as their dinner and wine options looked wonderful! Nope, I’ve never heard of Smuggled Seeds but it sounds like somewhere I need to visit! xx

  5. I’m so sorry to hear of your injuries…especially on the same day!! That foot sounds painful! Hopefully you won’t be in too much pain for too long. On the other hand, that is a really cool looking restaurant and that bread looks so gorgeous. Hope you feel better soon!

    • Haha… they happened a couple of weeks apart which helped. My head is fine now, all that’s hurt is my pride! Thanks Brandi. And yep, the restaurant was rather lovely xx

    • Hello Martine! Yes, definitely go back for the mushrooms… they were absolutely divine. Just a pile of those on toast would do me wonderfully for breakfast, lunch or dinner! x

  6. Laura! you poor thing!!! I hope you are recovering well from your head and foot injury! I’ve gone through childbirth (twice) and let me tell you, if you had purple toes, it was probably about the same amount of pain, but childbirth lasts sometimes up to 24 hrs! :P I love your photos!!! and what a glorious breakfast you had!!! Enjoy the day and I hope you are feeling ok. . oh and I love that you are a part of your church praise team group! How awesome is that? you must have a beautiful singing voice!

    • Argh, I’m rather fearful of childbirth to be honest… huge respect to you for doing it twice! I do believe that it’s probably more painful than the crushed toes but this is the worst pain I’ve experienced so far. And I hadn’t really considered just how much I use my toes prior to yesterday (it’s so easy to take parts of the body for granted until you don’t have full use of them anymore!). Yes, it’s a huge blessing to be part of the praise and worship team. I always feel incredibly grateful to journey and serve alongside the rest of my church family! Thanks so much beautiful Alice xx

  7. Laura! I’m so sorry to hear about your injuries! I too am very accident prone, so I definitely feel your pain. I’m so glad to hear that you were still able to enjoy your gorgeous brunch!! And, smoked zucchini spread?? Goodness I think I’ll need to figure out a way to make that!

    • Haha… it’s nice to know that others are just as accident prone as me (the funny thing is, though, it’s only happened recently! Is this a new era? I hope not!). I’m definitely trying to work out how to make the smoked zucchini spread at home… I spent a good ten minutes trying to savour each mouthful in the hope that I could decipher the ingredients! If I figure it out I will post it here. Thanks for the lovely comment Maria xx

  8. Goodness, Laura, I certainly hope that you are feeling much better now! Do be careful, my dear! Your restaurant review is wonderful and I loved reading it while marvelling at the wonderful photos – I love the wonderful atmosphere of this place that your pictures are conveying – but I must say that my favorite pictures are those of the bread, these wonderful, perfectly baked, lovely loaves of bread!
    Take good care of yourself and have a great week!

    • Thank you so much lovely! It’s a beautiful place to visit… nice and spacious with fabulous food. I am a bread fiend so anywhere with good bread and house-churned butter gets my vote! Hope that your week went wonderfully too x

  9. I always love reading your restaurant reviews even though I would never visit the establishment! I like the way you think and write, very refreshing. I don’t like the way your hurt yourself…lovely photographs Laura.

    • Oh, thank you Seana. Would be nice if you could actually visit these places one day… they’re some of my favourites in my hometown! I am getting better now. I can actually walk without appearing conspicuous! xx

  10. Felt almost weird to hit the like button, upon hearing about your concussion…it just didn’t feel right! what did feel absolutely & amazingly right though, were the beautiful loaves of bread, sumptuous brunch menu and easy kind of décor I’ve come to expect of lovely Perth, through your eyes!

    Hope you’re felling better :)

    • Haha… it wasn’t a real concussion. Just a big lump on the head that made me feel rather special ;) The bread was WONDERFUL! I do hope that you get to try it for yourself one day lovely. And yep, I’m getting there. By next week I think I’ll be some semblance of normal (well, for me, anyhow!) xxx

    • I know, I do hope that they were just having a bad day… the rest of the experience was completely wonderful! Thanks for the sweet words Ksenia, I am indeed feeling better! xx

  11. Oh my! I’m so sorry!! Hopefully you’re continuing to heal – at both ends of your body !! This meal at the restaurants was a great antidote – the food looks wonderful. And especially the loaves of bread. I don’t think I would have left without buying at least two to take home with me!

    • Haha, yep I guess I have talent to have hurt both ends! I’m feeling much better now, almost back to normal (except for my bruised pride!). The food was wonderful… I was seriously tempted by that gorgeous sourdough! xx

  12. So sorry to hear about your accidents. I hope you are feeling better Laura. Glad the breakfast offered some comfort and relief as it looks delicious. Scrambled eggs with Dukkah…beautiful! I am going to add Dukkah to my scrambled eggs tomorrow for breakfast. Thanks for the great review and breakfast inspiration.

    • I am much better now… almost back to some degree of normality. Thanks for the concern Sonali. And yes, the dukkah was amazing with the eggs… did you end up trying the combination? I loved it x

  13. Oh gosh, a concussion! I hope you are perfectly alright now! I am no stranger to accidents, I am always klutzy!
    On a nicer note, the loaves of bread look so thick, crusty and delicious! :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    • Yes indeed Uru, I am sort of alright… maybe not perfectly (a little dented here and there) but back to functioning again! Sorry to hear that you are klutzy too. Maybe it’s a cook’s thing ;) Thanks for the lovely message x

    • Oh I am so sorry to hear about your knee Erin. That’s pretty horrible (both from a pride and physical point of view). I did something similar when running for class at university, I slipped in a puddle of mud and had to go through the rest of the day with a brown streak on my jeans. Terrible, terrible! Thanks for the kind words my dear xx

  14. Absolutely GORGEOUS recap of what sounds like a magical breakfast (minus the coffee…um brown milk? No.). Those eggs look TO DIE FOR. So creamy. I’m just sorry you hit your head–sounds so painful. One time I was on a kids playground with my cousins (this is like 2 years ago) and I somehow managed to not see the initial bar of the monkey bars and bashed my forehead into it on my way down. THAT was painful. So you can take some comfort in the fact that if I were there, I’d probably be hobbling around next to you with an equally silly injury because I am no ballerina!

    • Thanks so much lovely. Oh yes, the eggs were amazing. AMAZING, I tell you! Sorry to hear about your head mishap also. Having accidents as an adult just brings a whole ‘shock’ element to the equation… I’m not normally used to hurting myself so I do hope that this isn’t the start of a trend! Ah, I do hope that you make it down here one day… even if we do both end up hobbling around with silly injuries! x

  15. I want you to know, I’ll still support your cooking and blog ventures even though you have a metal horse head now. I don’t discriminate.

    • Thanks lovely Kloe, yes I am much better now! The restaurant was absolutely delicious. I am a bread fiend and theirs is some of the absolute best around! x

  16. I think the planets are skew-whiff for both of us at the moment. I cut my finger rather badly tonight. I need a big chunk of warm sourdough and zucchini spread to make it better.

  17. Quite possibly the best intro to a restaurant review I’ve ever read! Not that I don’t feel totally sorry about your purple toes, semi-concussion and horse-boat-rudder pic, but seriously … you make it all sound epically hilarious! And then those food photos … those mushrooms … those beautiful loaves of bread … mmmmmmm! Fabulous post! Hope all the pain and suffering is worth it (and short-lived!). :D

  18. Hope this finds you all recovered, running and jumping again! This bread shop/restaurant looked pretty perfect. We are big bread fans here too– lived in Spain for 12 years where sturdy bread is part of every meal– thanks for all the mouth watering photos!

    • Hello lovely! Thanks so much, I’m getting there… only a tiny bit of residual pain in my foot. Oh, so glad that we share the bread obsession – I could eat it three times a day, every day (I think I’d be very happy in Spain!). I appreciate the kind words x

  19. This special bread/shop/eaterie looks like the kind of place for me to hang out, enjoy & their breads look mouthwatering too! :)

    Yum yum yumm! A cool place so it seems! :)

  20. Ahh! You were making me laugh, but then I had to stop myself- so sorry for hurting yourself!! How are you feeling? That kind of injury is really annoying because you have to walk on your feet everyday, so it’s like a constant reminder. Ugh. Um, side note- can we talk about how adorable those hanging lights are? All I see are lights/bread/lights/bread. Love it. These posts are so much fun because I feel like I’m right there too! Feel better Laura! :)

    • Hahaha… I am glad that you found the humour in it, as I certainly did! I seem to have recovered a bit from my temporary klutzy phase (definition: I have not hurt myself for two weeks) and hopefully the foot will be the end of it! I’m much better now, thankfully. Oh Emilie, you would love this place – such beautiful, fresh food and really gorgeous decor. Come over and we’ll get dinner? ;) xx

  21. Oh boy, poor thing you, dear Laura! That must have hurt like crazy! So sorry to hear about your painful accidents. I hope you are feeling much better now, my “blue horse faced friend” ;-) ;-) ;-) As always, I love your photography and your PJ-style coverage of the bakery. Great job! Big hugs :-)

    • Haha, thanks so much Stefano! Yes, the blue horse face was a welcome retreat from my red-faced embarrassment! I am definitely much better now. I am always so, so grateful for your kind words about my amateur photography… I have a lot of fun taking pictures but I am a huge fan of your wonderful shots! Hugs back! :)

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