How many times have you heard someone describe a Perth bar as being “so Melbourne” or a restaurant as “totally Sydney”? Somehow any Perth business with an ounce of style has become a rip-off of the Eastern capital cities. Well, those days are over. Why? Because we’ve found a café that is very, very “Perth”.
Piccolo’s Corner is a neighbourhood café on a quiet residential street in the centre of West Leederville, amongst picket fenced cottages. It’s owned by husband and wife team Jesse and Shanel – both West Leederville locals – who named the café after the nickname they’ve given their newborn.
So what exactly makes it so quintessentially Perthian? Well, on first glance, you’d chalk it up to the Stormie Mills paintings perched on the bare brick wall behind the counter. Or the WA products for purchase like the Eggs by Ellah, New Norcia bread, Bannister Downs milk alongside glass jars of lollies and fresh apples from Mt Hawthorn Fresh.
Then there’s the food, which is all homemade, organic and made with local ingredients. A favourite for breakfast is the sourdough toast with roasted mashed pumpkin, feta and fresh pesto, which is made from basil grown in the back garden. Or the bruschetta salad made with bocconcini so juicy and fresh you’d swear they were buffalo mozzarella.
But what I like best is that all of the furniture and fittings have been recycled from unwanted items found on council collection days. Discarded wooden doors have been repurposed as tables and shelves. The two gorgeous china light fixtures hanging above the register were adopted from a local verge. The fence is from the salvage yard and even the plants were rescued from their doom at the tip.
The garden provides the majority of the tables, an arrangement feasible only in a city with weather as fair as Perth’s. There’s nothing quite like enjoying your breakfast with a cup of 5 Senses coffee – another Western Australian touch, you’ll note – under the branches of a rescued frangipani.
So the next time you’re in Sydney or Melbourne, listen out. We’re willing to bet that the whole “city as an adjective” trend goes both directions.
(Also published in AgendaCity)