When GG and I went to New York in 2012, one of my favourite memories is waking up on our first morning after the epic 24 hours of flying and making our way to Tom’s Restaurant for a proper American diner breakfast. For Seinfeld fans you’ll know that the Tom’s façade was Monks in the popular series. Even though the inside is very different to how it looks on the show, it was entirely cool to be eating there. We both ordered ‘The Lumberjack’ which was this epic affair with pancakes, eggs, bacon, toast and sausages, plus coffee that is constantly refilled. It definitely puts you in excellent stead for a big day ahead. Happy holiday memories.
I was invited along by the lovely team from Crown Perth to sample the new Merrywell breakfast menu on July 4th. It totally seemed like the perfect way to give a respectful nod to the Independence Day festivities by partaking in an American diner style breakfast in my own fair city of Perth! I’ve long been a fan of the Merrywell’s work. I’d say that their sliders are some of my favourites and then there are those mac and cheese bites, the lollypop buffalo wings and all their desserts in jars. Oh it’s a fun place to dine, so I was really excited to check out their new breakfast offerings.
It felt a little strange to be rocking up at the Crown complex at 8.30am on a Friday, but it meant that parking was a complete breeze! July 4th was the first official day that the Merrywell was open to the public for breakfast and is now open daily from 7am til 11am.
The place had been adorned with American flags and artistic piles of apples with jaunty Merrywell flags, given there was a little bit of New York/Big Apple inspiration on the menu.
Having had a quick chat with Venue Manager Andrew when we first arrived, we asked for his favourite dishes on the new menu. He listed just about every dish! So it didn’t really help me in narrowing down what to try but I felt pretty excited about everything given the rave reviews he gave the menu.
Barista style coffees are available and I started with what looked like a giant bucket of flat white (sheer perfection on a Friday morning!), before we were also brought out a mug of the Bottomless Diner-style Drip Coffee ($2.50). We were going to be buzzing by the time we left, but I always appreciated a little caffeinated assistance to get me through a Friday.
At the Merrywell they also have a bit of a reputation for their cocktails in jars. So they’ve whipped up a quintessential breakfast cocktail with the Bloody Mary. I’ve actually never been a huge fan, but I actually really enjoyed this one. Had plenty of tabasco. Super punchy. If the coffee didn’t wake you up, this surely would!
Looking through the menu it was a very tough decision as to what to order. I turned to The Food Pornographer and lamented to her that I was torn between The New York Egg Roll and the Waffles with Strawberries. Then she said those magic words. Did you want to get both and share them? Talk about solving all my problems. Lock it in!
A variety of different dishes were ordered and because the Merrywell team seemed entirely focused on ensuring that we were filled to the absolute brim by the time we left, they brought out a few dishes for us to try while they cooked up our mains. So three plates of Apple Cinnamon French Toast appeared, which smelt seriously amazing, and then they gave each of us a mini solo serve of The Merrywell’s Croque Madame – A Sunny Side Up Egg, Toasted Ham and Cheese Pops. I started with the savoury and eagerly picked up the soldier of toasted ham and cheese sandwich that had been speared onto a wooden stick. A sandwich on a stick, how entirely perfect! So you take your stick and dunk away into the yokey goodness of the sunny side up egg. I think the sound everyone made when they took their first bite was fairly consistent around the table. It was complete and utter joy at this delicious morsel. There was the soft, yet crispy bread, the melted cheese and flavoursome ham and then the yolk, which acted as a wonderfully indulgent sauce. Just wonderful and really added some fun, modern flair to the classic croque madame creation.
Onto the sweet and I cut a modest triangle of the thick brioche French toast and scooped on a few pieces of apple and a little of the Canadian maple syrup. I don’t think I’d actually ever had French toast before but the bar has now been set sky high, because I think all brioche bread should be soaked in vanilla and cinnamon going forward and served with soft and sweet apple slices. It was another big winner. The real challenge was not reaching for maybe one or two more cheeky slices but I used all my restraint to resist….. knowing that the main event wasn’t far away.
And then there they were. A flurry of activity and soon enough everyone had their meals in front of them. And in true American diner style the sizes are very generous. Especially the Huevos Rancheros! I mean look at them! Like giant breakie nachos, I may have had a little taste and they were really lovely, but I think they’d be perfect to share.
The Smoked Salmon Bagels looked like they’d be slightly more manageable to finish (though perhaps slightly more challenging after all those delicious starters!). I thought the bagels looked so pretty too with plenty of smoked salmon, a splash of purple from the Spanish onion and a decorative smattering of green capers.
I was so excited to try the two dishes that had half my name on them :) After a speedy foodie photo shoot it was time to get stuck in. I first enjoyed a tater tot and let’s face it, they are always a big hit, especially with the tasty ketchup, but it was then time for my half of the egg roll. And will you just look at it!! People use the phrase ‘yolk porn’ and this roll really had yolk porn going on. Where it had been sliced in half it was like a golden river dramatically running out of that beautiful brioche bun. And then you take that first bite and it’s love. Love at first bite. I think if I hadn’t had anything else I might have been able to polish off the whole thing, but not today. Today was all about the wonderful challenge of trying to sample as many dishes as possible.
So did someone say waffles? Oh that’s right, I had half of those to polish off as well! We had been offered whipped cream with these as well but maple syrup and fresh strawberries seemed like a more than sufficient topping so we decided to go sans cream. The waffles were perfectly light and the sweetness came from the syrup. I don’t often have waffles so it was a real treat to enjoy them here.
Well put a fork in me I was done! Or was I? Apparently it would not do that we hadn’t had the change to try Home Fries, so soon enough a few serves of those appeared on the tables. They looked delicious and I had a go at a few of the crispy spuds but I had maxed out. All I wanted to do was find a nice comfortable spot to have a nice little rest and bask in this delightful food coma.
I have no doubt that the Merrywell will be incredibly popular for breakfast. Head Chef Rob Ryan has put together a really creative, but still classic American diner style menu. There’s something for everyone from savouries to sweet tooths and I’m sure adults and kids alike will just love it! It had been a very happy July 4th and I tell you what, I can’t wait to head back :)
My thanks to Crown Perth for the invitation :)