Centrally located under the Piazza screen in the centre of Northbridge (corner of Lake and James Streets) is the aptly named cnr, a 7 day a week eatery which opened shortly after the Piazza did last year. We’ve had take-away coffee from cnr a couple of times over the past few months, but had been keen to try out the full breakfast experience for some time. Early one sunny Sunday morning before the yum cha crowds hit we descended on cnr.
We grabbed one of the larger tables outside – there is a large range of two, four and six-seat options outside and inside. Large glass doors bring lots of natural light in to the restaurant proper. Exposed concrete floors (with what seems like the building plans painted in white on the floor) and stainless steel surfaces offer an industrial warehouse feel. Other early morning breakfast goers were already sipping coffee and enjoying the free vividwireless internet connection, a perk of being located within the Piazza.
On the subject of the Piazza – when are the City of Perth going to stop showing commerical television on that thing? There’s nothing I want to see and hear less than Channel 9′s weekend morning programme blaring throughout an otherwise pleasant public space. Why not ABC, SBS, or a nature documentary? Thankfully a morning Tai Chi group arrived for a class shortly after we did, so the audio was, thankfully, muted.
A wait person took our coffee orders and we asked her to come back a few minutes later to take our food orders as we were all suffering a case of ‘Sunday morning indecision’. Another wait person arrived shortly after, asking to take our coffee orders… uh. Seems there may have been some miscommunication as to who was looking after which tables. At this point we took advantage and gave wait person 2 our food orders. The menu has a range of breakfast options (available all day on weekends), including several vegetarian options.
- 1x Sauteed wild mushrooms
+ crispy potatoes– $14
- 1x ‘The Works’ – $19
- 1x Smoked salmon blini – $16
- Long mac, long black, latte and soy flat white – $3.50 to $4.50 (+.60c soy)
Coffees arrived fairly soon after, but they were luke warm all round. The coffee itself was of high quality – they use mostly Five Senses beans – and the crockery is nice, but luke warm coffee just won’t do.
The sauteed wild mushrooms were first out of the kitchen, and we noticed they didn’t have the side of crispy potatoes as ordered. When our second wait person brought the other meals out, David enquired about the missing side. “Excuse me, but I ordered a side of crispy potatoes with this one,” he said, to which the wait person abruptly replied “No.” “Yes I did, but don’t worry about it.” “Okay,” he replied, and wandered off. Not the best way to start our meals.
The smoked salmon blini came out last, a few minutes after the rest. We all ducked in to our breakfast – Oda and Michelle sharing The Works – and were disappointed to find that everything was luke-warm. The bacon and chorizo on The Works had been cooked properly, as had the scrambled eggs and mushrooms, but it seems as though the plates had been left in the kitchen for some time before being delivered to our table. Buh-bow.
The poached eggs on both The Works and the salmon blini were slightly undercooked, resulting in dry-retch-able gooey white areas. Not great. The blini was a little bland, a sprinkle of salt and pepper before cooking would have done it a world of good.
As we were getting up to pay, we overheard the table next to us complaining to the waiter about their eggs and the general service they had received. The female wait person who had looked after our table earlier that morning mentioned that cnr had just had an unforeseen chef change, and he was still “getting used to it.” She was graceful in taking their comments and said that she would pass them on, and hoped they’d come back again. The two diners said they probably wouldn’t.
Will we go back? Maybe. Having an option like cnr in the heart of Northbridge (and open on a Sunday) is great, but they’re going to have to pull their socks up in the food department.
Highs: Great location, outdoor dining, good menu selection (especially for vegetarians)
Lows: Piazza screen is distracting, inconsistant service, luke-warm meals/coffee, undercooked eggs
Our Breakfast Club’s final score: 6.5/10 coffee mugs
PS – Apologies for the long hiatus – but we’re back! Many more reviews to come over the next few weeks and in to the Summer.
Address: 44 Lake Street Northbridge WA 6003 (map)
Phone: (08) 9228 8861
Opening hours: From 7am most days. Breakfast menu until 11:45am Monday to Friday, all day Saturday and Sunday
Bookings: Yes! Phone bookings accepted.