Booking for a group of seven for breakfast is always a mission. Firstly, barely any places book for brekky these days. It’s simply a first in best dressed situation, but with a table of seven it’s generally a longer wait regardless. Secondly, so many cafes are the size of a shoe box of late that seven people wouldn’t even fit in the space! So finding a crowd pleasing option to suit seven felt like a bit of a mission a few weeks back, but the mission was a total success when we discovered the slick and sexy Tabella.
Perched near Fremantle cafe royalty Gino’s, Tabella is an Italian foodie dream. Serving good honest meals from dawn till dusk, we were lucky to book a table (via Dimmi) for our large party without any trouble. And it was a good table. In fact we ended up seated by the large open windows facing the main strip, providing us with the perfect view of the terrace and all its early morning movement. A perfect place to chat, people watch and enjoy a feast for the soul.
Firstly, the coffee. I’m unsure of the blend used at Tabella, but the strong, aromatic brew was full of flavour and packed a punch! Although I did order two, I probably only needed the first because the Italian’s take their coffee very strong! My friend V was also a fan of the coffee, ordering seconds and stating his Long Macchiato ($4.50) was positively divine!
Now onto the important part of the morning – the food! A few of our friends were running a little late on this particular day, which gave the rest of us plenty of time to pursue the menu. With classic breakfast dishes including House Made Granola ($12) and Eggs Benedict ($16) plus a few specials like the Calabrian Eggs ($16.50), it was pretty hard to choose a winner. I normally opt for something a little bit different (or salmon) for breakfast, but for some crazy reason I was feeling a Big Breakfast ($22) that day (quite possibly the wine I had consumed the night before)! Tabella’s version of the breakfast regular involved the usual bacon and tomato and your choice of eggs (poached please) plus spicy Italian sausage, wilted spinach, caponata and crunchy ciabatta. If you’ve never had caponata before you’re missing out! The eggplant side dish is packed with flavour and really added to the breakfast usuals. I was a little disappointed that my poached eggs were a smidge over cooked, but the rest of the dish made up for the mistake.
A few friends opted to try the Calabrian Eggs, which were baked in a mix of paprika, garlic and herbs. The rich tomato sauce looked and smelt amazing, leaving this girl a little envious! Thick slices of spicy chorizo complimented the tomato, and a generous slice of ciabatta was used to mop up the remaining juices.
We were a little surprised to see Waffles with Maple Bacon ($16) on the menu, but there is nothing wrong with mixing it up! The dish was definitely man sized (huge) and my friend D was keen to take on the challenge. This guy can eat, but unfortunately the crispy bacon and maple goodness got him! His advice, Only order this dish if you’re really hungry. As good as he said it was, it was bigger than my dish (and I ordered the big big one)!
The final Italian treat to grace the table (and my camera phone) was an eggy classic with a twist. My friend C’s Scrambled Eggs on Toast ($11.50) was piled high with fresh parmesan and herbs, leaving a trail of cheesy goodness in its wake. Parmesan is a strong cheese, but according to C it balanced well with the basic brekky dish and added a little something extra.
Tabella may not be the most stylish or IG worthy spot, but the clean lines and good lighting make for a snazzy food snap. What the space may lack in hipster style, the cafe makes up for with good honest food, full of flavour and made with love. And some sweet staff. That is what really counts when eating out. Heck, I’d eat from a plastic plate if the food was good enough!
Food or decor? What is more important to you when dining out?