Gooseberries Cafe formerly of Kensington, has recently been reincarnated in Yokine. I never visited the old site, but the new one is a delight. Set in the corner of a new apartment complex on Blythe St, the cafe is spacious and light, with a welcoming courtyard area and a comfy outdoor setting as you enter.
I arrived with Scotty around 11am; sadly 30 minutes too early for the lunch menu. We had to opt for brunch food which consisted of the usual egg and bacon dishes, pancakes, and several focaccia-type filled rolls. Scotty played it safe and ordered a juicy bacon, avocado and tomato roll; a hearty serving that satisfied her love of bacon. As I was hankering more for lunch food I chose the Bali breakfast of nasi goreng, served with chicken satay and a trio of sambals. I have made a few lacklustre choices lately and sadly, this choice followed suit. The nasi goreng was the strangest and blandest I’ve ever eaten. Missing the usual spicing, the rice was made with lashings of lemon grass and what may have been shallots. This dry dish was crying out for flavour, and the sambal dishes of kecap manis, red chilli strips minus chilli seeds, and a mild tomato-based sauce, were similarly disappointing. I’d asked for my egg to be cooked firm, but it had been fried within an inch of its life and didn’t help lift the dish out of its state of mediocrity. The chicken satays had also missed a good spice opportunity, and although they were more palatable than the rice, they also lacked punch.
Gooseberries redeemed itself somewhat with its excellent coffee, made with Di Bella beans. Their long macs really are long, and unlike most cafes that serve them in thimbles, their version is served in a generous glass – more of a latte size. Love it – other cafes should take note.
I’ve been here before for an almond croissant and a coffee, and enjoyed that much more than my breakfast today. I noticed the lunches being served on my other visit and they looked impressive, so perhaps I just made a poor choice today.
There’s a range of cakes, pastries and slices on offer, as well as fresh juices. The waitresses are friendly, and the venue is a winner. It’s nice to sit in a cafe where you don’t bump elbows with the people at the next table. Overall, Gooseberries is a pleasant experience, and a welcome addition to the Yokine area.