Looking for a Perth cafe and restaurant with a water view but don’t want to drive all the way to the beach? Claisebrook Lake in East Perth is an inner city gem with a stunning view, right in the middle of our pretty city. It’s one of those perfect brunch locations that caters for every kind of foodie, with cafes, burger bars, pubs and more all in one location, and on this particular visit to the beautiful spot we couldn’t pass up trying The Partisan.
The European vibes are obvious as soon as you wander up the water to the cafe and restaurant. Brightly coloured chairs and wooden tables line the outdoor area, with gorgeous potted plants and coloured bunting strewn around the alfresco space. This cafe is totally dog friendly and we spotted at least three puppies enjoying the sunshine with their owners. On the morning we visited it was already about 35 degrees and although I would have been keen to sit outside and enjoy the breeze, E suggested we sit inside where the air conditioning was cranking! The inside of the cafe is equally as appealing with bright cushions lining booths and quirky art covering the walls. We were seated in a corner near the kitchen area and a friendly waiter gave us the menu and cold water (much appreciated in the heat) while we decided what to order. It’s not table service, so after a quick scan over the options, I trotted over to the front of the cafe to place our order. I don’t mind non-table service, as I can see how it is more effective for staff to keep track of things if patrons are more involved in the experience.
Now back to the menu. As mentioned earlier, The Partisan has a European vibe, and the Mediterranean menu doesn’t disappoint. With your usual picks including the Eggs Florentine, Benedict or Atlantic ($20) and the house made Granola Muesli served with seasonal fruits, milk and yoghurt ($12) to the little more special Rum and Maple Glazed Crumpets ($18), Tarte Tartin with roast courgette, red pepper and morbier cheese, poached egg and avocado salsa ($22) or Portuguese Sardines in a tomato and sherry sauce with currants, fried basil and grilled sourdough ($16), even the fussiest of foodies will find something that tickles their fancy.
I was feeling a little fancier that morning so I had to try the Tomato Braised Beans and Chickpeas served with fried eggs, cherry tomato, spinach, fetta and crisp prosciutto salad, charred ciabatta, and pesto ($22) – what a mouthful! And it was! Feeling healthy-ish I decided to leave the bread in the kitchen and go without, but even without the ciabatta on the plate this dish was a monster! The home made baked bean concoction was a flavour burst at first mouthful. Rich and slightly spicy, the decadent and moorish sauce was something you’d find in an Italian nonna’s kitchen. The beans and chickpea’s were infused with the tomato flavour and every bite was a treat. Well fried eggs complimented the full-flavoured sauce, and the streaming yolk added a creamy texture to the dish. Well cooked eggs are always appreciated in my book. The addition of the salad added a freshness to the strong dish and the crunch of the crispy prosciutto added another textural element. Heavenly really! I was very very impressed.
I was very surprised E didn’t go straight to her usual Eggs Benedict order, instead deciding on the Croque Monsieur ($12). Karri Valley ham and swiss cheese on buttery ciabatta. What a sandwich! Some would say a Croque Monsieur is just a fancy toastie, but when made well definitely stands on its own. We’ve visited a number of cafe’s that advertise the Croque Monsieur and all that comes from the kitchen is a simple toasted ham and cheese, but The Partisan’s version was so much more. Thick cut ciabatta sandwiched a mountain of fresh local ham and strong, well matured Swiss cheese. I love a full bodied cheese, it turns up any dish. Unlike other Croque Monsieur’s we’ve come across this particular sandwich was crisp and buttery with plenty of cheese oozing out the side. That’s what you want to see! Served with a side salad to cut the intensity of the cheese, E was very content! With the option to add tomato, fried egg and pesto, this dish isn’t just a regular toasted sandwich in our opinion!
Drinks wise, they’ve got the usuals plus a few Euro treats, but I ordered a Long Black. You knows you’re a caffeine fan when you order black coffee! The blend was strong but very drinkable, and I enjoyed every sip. One pet peeve though – don’t forget to add a splash of cold water to your order if you need your coffee immediately! This coffee was so hot I couldn’t start drinking it until half way through my meal. Ouch! I really liked the cup and saucer combo my coffee was served in – anywhere with Instagram worthy crockery and serving dishes has my tick of approval. Plus we eat (and drink) with our eyes, so that little bit of extra effort with presentation doesn’t go unnoticed.
The Partisan is a total package in my opinion. The staff know what they’re doing, the prices are very reasonable, the location is dreamy and the food is spot on. I’ll be back to try the lunch and dinner menu.
Are you a fan of European inspired food? Do you enjoy dining with a view? Have you tried The Partisan?