I’m a little late to the hype that surrounds the Mary Street Bakery. Since it replaced the now-defunct Soto Espresso on the Beaufort Street cafe strip in mid-2013, it’s proved to be hugely popular with locals and visitors alike.
We visited for breakfast on a sunny Wednesday morning in the middle of the Easter/Anzac Day holiday period. Walking towards the Bakery’s prominent pink neon sign, it was immediately apparent that the venue was bustling. Luckily, we snagged a recently-vacated table near the front window, softly illuminated by the mid-morning sun.
Despite the demands of many customers, service was prompt and courteous. A staff member was quick to clear the table, taking our coffee orders before leaving us to quietly peruse the menu.
Something that immediately impressed was the Bakery’s commitment to using locally sourced, quality Western Australian produce such as stone-milled Eden Valley Biodynamic Flour from Dumbleyung, small-batch roasted Pound Coffee from Justin and Irene in O’Connor and Margaret River Free-Range Eggs from Jan and Kim Harwood’s farm in the beautiful south-west.
It’s a beautiful embodiment of the locavore policy, though I’d expect nothing less from a business owned by the creative minds behind Cantina 663, El Publico and ACE Pizza (full credit to them for their innovation, amazing food and general commitment to the local community).
After toying over options such as baked eggs and custard-filled doughnuts, we finally agreed on boiled eggs with buttered soldiers and corn relish ($11), poached seasonal fruits with coconut yoghurt and granola ($13) and wholegrain porridge with fresh banana, toasted pepitas and honey ($14).
Whilst waiting for our food to arrive, Aaron ventured up to the bakery counter whilst my mother and I guessed the weight of a giant staghorn mounted above our table (that thing was big). The room’s soft conversational hum provided a soothing soundtrack as we sipped upon mellow, creamy coffee from Pound.
Our food arrived in a timely fashion, elegantly presented and reasonably portioned. I was immediately absorbed by the vibrant hue of my poached fruit with thick, creamy coconut yoghurt. The rhubarb was a little on the crunchy, fibrous side but I was otherwise satisfied by the mix of grains, toasted nuts and soft, subtly sweet fruit. The mint leaves were both a colourful and refreshing touch.
The soft-boiled eggs arrived slightly on the firmer side, possibly due to the demands of the holiday period. However, the bright free-range yolks were a wonderful accompaniment to crisp fingers of the Bakery’s organic stone ground bread and good French butter. My mother particularly enjoyed the dollop of house-made corn relish and flaked sea salt.
The last dish that we sampled was the Bakery’s soft, creamy oat porridge with banana, freeze-dried raspberries, toasted pepitas and a drizzle of honey.
Unfortunately for Aaron, embedded in the creamy deliciousness were fragments of a particular food nemesis: banana chips. Now, speaking personally, I have nothing against crisp pieces of banana that have been dried in coconut oil. But for Aaron? Hatred would be an appropriate word. After some fleeting annoyance, he amiably scraped out the undeclared offenders before enjoying the rest of his rather beautiful porridge and fresh, sweet banana.
As you may expect, the bakery items at Mary Street are rather exceptional. If you’re after the full experience, grab something to-go from their beautiful range of organic loaves, filled fresh doughnuts, pastries, meat pies and tarts (take a look at their Instagram feed for some samples). They also sell their house-made gluten free granola in 500g bags.
All in all, Mary Street Bakery is an earthy, well-designed venue that caters for takeaway work lunches, relaxing Saturday brunch and afternoon tea with friends. Its friendly adaptability will likely make it a welcome fixture on the Beaufort Street strip for years to come.
Mary Street Bakery
507 Beaufort Street, Highgate WA 6003
0499 509 300
Open: Mon – Sun, 7am – 4pm