A home visit to my friend The Prof in North Freo morphed into an unexpected lunch at the Zephyr Cafe on Riverside Road. Situated on the river past the Leeuwin Barracks, it’s one of those places that escapes attention unless you’re a local in the know.
Perfect for families with river frontage and a large adjacent playground, Zephyr is an idyllic little spot away from the bustle of central Freo. Our lazy Saturday afternoon was spent enjoying the mild late Autumn weather with a view you can’t put a price tag on.
My long mac was fine – sorry, don’t know what beans were used – while The Prof enjoyed her Chai latte. I later went for a small pot of peppermint tea (with leaves) whilst The Prof reprised her Chai latte order.
Zephyr’s menu consists of fairly hearty dishes of pasta, salads, burgers, and full-on meat dishes such as pork belly and beef cheeks, but they also have sweet treats in the display counter and a few savoury pastries and tarts. As soon as I spotted the almond croissant (which The Prof assured me was brought in from a local bakery and was VERY good), I looked no further. Almond croissants are heaven in pastry; very indulgent I know but just the ticket with a coffee when you don’t have an enormous appetite and you hanker for something sweet. As it turns out it wasn’t an almond filling; it was custard. Not what I expected, but pretty damn good. Served warm, the croissant custard was sweet and rich, while the flaky, crispy pastry was a delight.
The Prof went for more typical lunch fare; seafood chowder. It certainly looked inviting and as you can see, it was full of chunks of seafood. A bit pricey at $24 I thought, but The Prof said it was creamy and full flavoured. It came with a piece of grilled toast but they could have outdone themselves and served two. For a guy, this dish would be a bit light on with a lone slice of toast.
Zephyr is an idyllic spot and the perfect place to sit and soak in the view of boats on the river. It caters well for kids and there is ample parking. If the trendy cafe strip isn’t your cup of tea, this place is a great alternative. I’ll be back not so much for the food, but for the location. That much is priceless.