Joondalup has a vibe like no other city I can think of. Modern, youthful, spacious CBD, suburbs, coastal living, lakeside living, academic, business parks, rail corridor, laid back, and peaceful. The youthful CBD has all the infrastructure in place now, and for future expansion, for government services, university, health campuses, police academy, commercial, retail, parks, parking, sidewalk markets and oodles of cafe strips. There are main streets, side streets, arcades – all with broad access in a grid-like fashion nestled amongst the townhouses and units throughout the CBD area. Its young and its heritage is being established, but otherwise it’s all there – everything a city could want, and yet to this traveller’s mind, all so low-key.
Part of the low-key feel can be attributed to, I’m sure, to the lack of high rise development, with the city cut off at about three or four storeys high. It’s only now that a taller building is under construction, and a taller one mooted. Additionally, the CBD is a mixture of residential and commercial space with shop-top living galore (think Venice).
I’ve been visiting family in Joondalup on and off for the past five years or so. On my first visit I stumbled across Moments Cafe on one of the many food side streets in the CBD; a cafe with a quirky flair that set it apart from anything else surrounding it. Opened sometime in 2012, it boasts a seemingly typical cafe men but with a twist, and favoured by locals, tradies and visitors such as myself – if the internet ravings are taken into account. And for good reason.
Being my go-to breakfast place in Joondalup I visited Moments Cafe again recently midweek and ordered their French Toast and a skinny flat white coffee. It’s nice to know some things don’t change.
The coffee order is still written down on the serving counter glass bench top in removable marker pen. The quirky posters of moustaches (their logo) and other random paraphernalia are still on the walls throughout the dining area. The chalk board menu, the high party table in the centre, posters advertising local performers, clocks telling time of various local regional centres, and the Sunday-only table service remind me of earlier visits. However, there have been some changes since last visit.
The quirky maitre’d who always had a smile on his face and a unique way of taking your order – guaranteeing to cheer up your darkest day – has left the building. The flip card menu has since been replaced by a traditional card menu, and the freshness of the interior – sadly – needs a freshen up. Example in hand – the five clocks displaying local and regional time should, in the same time zone – all be displaying the same time. One is working. The other four are struggling to even kick the second hand over, with all four variously stopping at, and displaying, different times.
But taste trumps everything else and I was pleased that the French Toast or rather – as the menu describes it – rashers of crispy bacon laid on thick slices of eggy bread, drizzled with berry compote, dusted with cinnamon and maple syrup on side, proves that Moments Cafe haven’t lost their flair in the kitchen. Savoury, sweet, fruity and crispy; this breakfast dish did not fail to disappoint.
Neither did the coffee. Smooth and velvety, the coffee slid down effortlessly. Not too pungent or robust, but just right; I’m sure that it is a crowd pleaser of a roast. But take a closer look at that pic of the coffee…. notice the face, inside a pumpkin?? That freaked me out just as I brought it up to my lips! I don’t often – if at all – take photos of my food, so you’re in for a real treat with these pics. I simply couldn’t help myself.
As the coffee was slowly consumed, Mr Pumpkin Face hiding in the coffee froth slowly slid towards my mouth and started resembling something akin to a Salvador Dali painting. My first thoughts about the French Toast was that the three half slices of bread underneath everything else, was simply not enough. How wrong was I?
One more half slice would have been overkill – this was a well portioned meal. And excellent value as well. Certainly one of the better priced cafe breakfasts I’ve had for a while.
Will Moments Cafe be there when I come back in two or three years time? I hope so. Run by the same family with a flair for the quirky? I hope so. Swallowed up by the hustle and bustle as the city continues to grow and expand?
I hope not.