The Tuck Shop Cafe @ Northbridge

Pork belly or slow cooked beef cheek with mashed potatoes for breakfast? Yes that’s possible here at The Tuck Shop Cafe. I am used to having the most random food for breakfast so imagine my delight upon seeing the menu!

This cafe on Newcastle Street in Northbridge is always bustling with people. Any time after 9am there’s already a queue forming outside and people don’t seem to care that the weather was insanely cold for a bright sunny Sunday morning. Arriving at 9:30am at The Tuck Shop Cafe and waiting for another 30 minutes our breakfast turned into brunch.

What I love about this cafe is the friendliness and efficiency of the staff. Sure it’s always busy and they are always running around here and there but customers who are waiting outside are never forgotten. They try to accommodate everyone as quickly as possible while still mainting their composure in the midst of this dining mayhem.

The decor is also refreshing. Simple colours with wooden tables and some plants. Space is tight inside but efficient. There is also a wall right by the entrance where you can hang your coffee loyalty cards. But it begs the question: How do you reach for your card if someone is occupying the table directly below the board of cards?

What I love most is the food. Taste and quality are beyond your typical cafe standards. And when you come here for breakfast or lunch it’s all about being filled up to your heart and stomach’s content.

Upon seeing the words slow cooked beef cheek with red wine and mashed potatoes, I knew instantly what I wanted to eat. But then they also had pork belly and Morrocan meatballs and their famous meat pies. Tough choice. In the end the beef won and I had no regrets.

The beef cheek literally melts in your mouth. I was sceptical at first about just how tender this beef is going to be but the proof is in their pudding. Then eat that with creamy mashed potatoes and wilted spinach. Then sitting on top is a perfectly crisp bacon. Needless to say I was filled up way beyond my tummy’s capacity.

Other dishes people on the table had are…

Cheese Kransky with grain mustard potatoes, spinach, and fried egg. A hearty serving of potatoes with a giant cheesy Kransky. Uncle J needed a separate serve of toast to go with his food.

Chorizo, paprika potatoes, peppers and spanish onion, crispy pork belly, and fried egg. Chorizo I wasn’t a big fan of but the pork belly is to die for. Very crispy skin and the meat melts in your mouth too, just like the beef cheek. This is the perfect way to enjoy pork belly. If you are not used to eating something really heavy for breakfast be forewarned that this dish can be quite greasy for your first meal of the day.

Hash brown with slow cooked lamb, mushrooms, spinach and herbs, and poached egg. Lamb is not my first choice for meat but I can tell you that the flavours in that slow cooked lamb is sensational. It was bursting with so much flavour that for a split second I have completely forgotten why I do not like lamb. I asked my little cousin if he liked his dish and he say yes, it was very good. Two thumbs up. And this is coming from a little boy who doesn’t like eating meat.

Last but not least someone’s gotta try their meat pies. Auntie C had the chicken and leek pie and I took a beef, bacon, and cheddar cheese pie home. This is not your ordinary $4 pie. It’s one hell of a pie for about $12. It needs to bea eaten with a knife and fork. Personally, the pastry could’ve been thinner. It’s perfectly cooked outside but it was a bit doughy inside. The chicken and leek filling was creamy with real chicken pieces. One would really wonder how Auntie C managed to eat that whole thing!

I saved my beef pie for the next day’s dinner and it had a similar taste to the beef cheek. Beef is very chunky but the bacon I find overcooked.

As much as we loved this cafe and their food, one thing we collectively agree to fault is their coffee. They use Toby’s Estate beans. The coffee is very weak and it’s almost got no kick. While the milk was crafted nicely a stronger coffee to go with it would’ve been better.

My rating: 9/10

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