Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Silver Spoon

The Silver Spoon
691 Albany Highway, Victoria Park
(08) 9361 4220

1. Comfort and Surroundings

For this review, let's break comfort and surroundings down and consider each one separately. First, comfort: The Silver Spoon is very comfortable with well-spaced, well-sized and well-apportioned tables. The bathrooms are clean and pleasant. You could sit in the seats for hours and not feel uncomfortable. So, yes, it's a comfy place. But turn to surroundings and things are a bit different. It's not that anything is particularly bad, just that some things seem a bit, well, awkward. The Silver Spoon is obviously going for a classy vibe with white table cloths and a sleek black, silver and white theme. But there were a few things that stood out: the cigarette butts on the veranda, the waiters in casual clothes (one of whom I originally mistook for a patron taking a bit too much interest in whether I had finished eating). Plus, it's smack bang on Albany Hwy, across the road from a car dealership, which doesn't make for the nicest view. (Some people might argue that there's not much you can do about that; well, what about a giant wall with a delightful trompe l'oeil painted on it? Problem solved!) All in all, I am going with a 3.

Lola: So Alexander has summed it up very well, The Silver Spoon just feels a little awkward. I'm a big believer in working within the space that you have and making the most of it, but this wasn't done here. Having said that, the hall to the bathrooms, including a water feature, is quite lovely. And I think the entire place would scrub up really well, sans cigarette butts. I'll have to give an ambivalent 3.

2. Service

Table service at breakfast! Hooray! And pleasant service at that. My only complaint: no one refilled our water, and it ran out pretty early into the meal. A 3.5 from me.

Lola: The wait staff seemed to genuinely care about the food and how we liked it, which gave the feeling of one big Silver Spoon family, where everyone is passionate about the restaurant and their product. This is always wonderful! And I too enjoyed the table service, though it would have been more worthwhile had they been close to us during our meal, so we could request more water. A 3.5 from me too.

3. Tastiness

I ordered the vegetarian breakfast and 5/7ths of it as a great experience. The poached eggs were cooked perfectly, I am happy to report, and the potato cake had a delicious crunchy exterior and soft, pillowy centre. The roasted tomatoes were sweet, roasted with a hint of garlic, the mushrooms weren't oily and the house made beans had a lovely rich flavour. So that's the five good parts. The two bad parts? The toast was a bit thick and very hard to cut into and there was a noticeable amount of grit in my spinach, making that part inedible. What a shame! I will give it 5/7ths out of 5, or in other words, 3.5.

Lola: Oh yeah, I could see the spinach grit on Alexander's plate from where I was sitting! For my meal I chose the Mt Cook smoked salmon with truffle scrambled eggs, asparagus and Turkish bread, and also a side of sausage (yes, it was a singular sausage when delivered). I'll award it a 3.5. The smoked salmon was abundant and superb, the asparagus cooked to perfection, but unfortunately my scrambled eggs were clumpy and overcooked. Really disappointing. And I'd heard such good things about the food here! The sausage was pretty tops though, I must say.

4. Drinks

You can't get too much wrong with a long black and there was nothing awful about mine. But I am used to my long blacks coming out steaming hot and needing a few minutes to cool down, whereas this one was drinkable straight away. I'm not a coffee expert, but it seems like this is unusual? Perhaps a reader could enlighten me. Anyway, I am going to give my drink a 2.5.

Lola: Meh. Lukewarm coffees are not okay! And neither is a lukewarm, 'hot' chocolate. I couldn't resist trying the marble chocolate, a mix of milk and white, and the flavour was great but the milk was barely heated. Sure, it's better than burning the milk, but that's not a concession I'm willing to make. I also sampled a chai and that too was lukewarm. Sigh. Add some undisclosed soy milk to the mix and I'm giving a 1.

5. Fiscal Matters

Prices are reasonable for Perth, coming in just slightly below the average price point. Toast is $5 and the priciest items are $18. My dish was $14 which I thought was quite reasonable (some breakfast places still try to charge the "big breakfast" price for a vegetarian breakfast, which is just ridiculous). I also like that there is not one set price for all sides; I find it strange that a side of tomato often costs the same price as a side of bacon. 3.5 from me.

Lola: Hmm, I thought it was still a little overpriced, my dish coming in at $18. While there was a good portion of smoked salmon, and it was really large, the price is not quite what I could call reasonable. And a $4 teeny sausage was a bit steep. However, the $5 toast and $11 eggs and tomatoes on toast on offer are both pretty good value. I'm even it out and awarding a 3 overall.

The verdict...

Comfort & Surroundings: 6/10
Service: 7/10
Tastiness: 7/10
Drinks: 3.5/10
Fiscal Matters: 6.5/10
TOTAL: 30/50

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