329 Murray St, Perth CBD
Phone: (08) 9322 8055
Recently I went over to Perth with Mr N for the weekend. Due to work constraints, Mr N got in a couple of hours later than me, so as I’ve never been to Perth before, I spent Saturday morning wandering around downtown Perth, in search of somewhere to have breakfast. The majority of places in and around the Hay St and Murray St malls were either insipid looking coffee shops fronted by al fresco dining on plastic rattan seating, or schmickity modern cafes filled with moulded plastic and chrome. And while that might be OK in a pinch, I was certain there had to be somewhere in Perth with a little more character.
So I kept walking, and down the far end of Murray St, I happened upon a little laneway, with two cafes tucked away inside.Mismatched furniture and bill posters for theatre events everywhere told me I’d found the little piece of Perth’s soul I was looking for. Little did I know that it was set up by an ex-Melburnian. It all makes sense now!
Of the two cafes in the laneway, I opted for the first one, Tiger, Tiger Coffee Bar, because Secret Garden looked a little more refined, and I was after something with a little more spunk.
I’d woken up at 4:30am that morning, to catch a 6:25am flight to Perth, so a coffee was definitely in order. I ordered a long macchiato, and was a little surprised when I was presented with this:
Apparently, long mac in Perth is the same as a strong latte in Melbourne. The waitress explained to me that a Melbourne-style long mac is referred to as a ‘traditional mac’ in Perth (or at least at tiger, tiger). All of this confusion aside, the coffee was really quite good. The waitress did offer to re-make it for me, but I felt bad for being a walking cliche – I was dressed in all black that day, so I must have been quite obviously a coffee nazi from Melbourne – so I just drank the latte.
Being my first visit to the place, I thought I’d try the eponymous ‘the tiger’ – poached eggs with avocado and tiger, tiger’s ‘rosamond sauce’ on sourdough.
This was, in a word, amazing. The eggs were perfectly poached, and the rosamond sauce, something like a chutney, with sultanas and something which was either tamarind or sour plum, still has me intrigued. The consistency was somehow heavy and jam-like, yet there appeared to be some sort of whipping or emulsification happening there, too. I’m going to have to set to work trying to recreate it soon. Its acid tang was a perfect match for the richness of the avocado and runny yolks. I also liked how the toast comes buttered, as it removes any chance of the sourdough experience being one of dry bread requiring sips of coffee to lubricate it down your throat.
If you’re after breakfast in Perth, I highly recommend tiger, tiger. Just be aware it gets pretty busy Saturday mornings (and, like most everything in Perth, it’s closed on Sundays).