The other day, I made the journey up from Rockingham to Subiaco in Perth, ostensibly to pick up a magazine called UPPERCASE from a little shop called Mr Sparrow, which stocked it. I was meant to go the next day, but couldn’t bring myself to wait, I wanted the hard copy of UPPERCASE in my grubby little hands so I could then spend the next day savouring it. The friend I was meant to meet there, Davinia, notified me that she was feeling under the weather, so we cancelled our meet-up and I went there a day early instead, by myself.
Subiaco is an affluent suburb of Perth, where the properties go from $1-6 MILLION in price. I, who am a Zillionnaire by comparison i.e having Zilch to my name, could never aspire to live in Subiaco. But hey, I could pretend…so I donned my most Sloane Ranger clothes, my sexy knee-high boots, threw a scarlet scarf round my neck and off I went.
You can read about my Subiaco Jaunt in my next post, because right now I would like to review a café, and the reason I feel the need to review this café right now is because I am not a very happy bunny…and I need to work this out of my system right away, otherwise my next posts will be emotionally marred. Not happy at all with what should have been a Nice Cup Of Tea. Especially a café that looks so posh and upperclass on the outside as well as on the inside, and has lots of yummy looking cakes and savouries in the displays. It should be the place you bring your beloved Mother to for Mother’s Day, where the tinkle and chink of good quality china and muted conversation should be the only things you hear.
OK. Time to name and shame. The café in question is called Brew-Ha. I love that name, pronounced the Spanish way it means witch (bruja). I had visions of having a witch’s brew there, so that’s where I headed for elevenses. Here are a couple of photos I took of the establishment, you can tell it’s posh. Check out their website, you’ll see they pride themselves on being purveyors of fine coffees and teas from around the world.
So, what’s wrong? The first thing that struck me as odd was that the place accepted Cash Only. No cards. Not even Debit cards. Hmmm…maybe it was part of a cost-cutting exercise, maybe Brew-Ha didn’t want to pay Amex/Visa/Mastercard a percentage for the privilege of using their services? Could this be in order to keep the prices low? I doubt it. I ordered a pistachio macaron, an almond Valencia cupcake and a pot of English Breakfast tea. The macaron was $2.90, the cupcake I think was $4.50 and the pot of tea $4.80. So it was not cheap. Luckily I had just enough cash on me to place my order. I waited a short minute while my order was put together, then that’s when I saw it…
…Maybe I was expecting a posh place to serve their fine teas in a fine teapot, cup and saucer. Maybe my Sloane Ranger get-up was creating expectations that were too lofty. I would’ve been chuffed if the china had been mismatched, but equally pleased if it was just good quality china. But this was shock! horror! served in a plain white teapot and not even a proper teacup, but a standard white coffee cup. My Nice Cup Of Tea fantasy vanished before my very eyes as my tray was summarily handed over to me and I wandered outside in a daze to find a table and chair before I collapsed from indignation.
Wait, it gets worse. I noticed that the teapot had odd grey marks upon it, which were NOT part of the design. Rather, this particular teapot had seen the insides of an industrial dishwasher way too many times. To add insult to injury, I saw that there was a big chip on the spout. I nearly cried. Hello, Brew-Ha??? How can you call yourself a classy establishment if you can’t be bothered to replace your china once it’s seen better days? For a wild moment I considered stealing that teapot, taking it home and giving it a new purpose as a flowerpot. I have the evidence here. Not a pretty sight, eh? I’m cringing right now. Ewwww!!
But, what about the cakes? To give credit to Brew-Ha, the pistachio macaron was delicious. Moist, not too crumbly, just the right size, texture and flavour. Thumbs up for that. The Valencia cupcake was not really a cupcake, in my opinion…it was more like a muffin. It tasted okay, there were enough flaked almonds on top of it to give it a contrasting texture and taste, but it felt stodgy going down. Both cakes came served atop a serviette each on two individual plates, so after I’d eaten I removed one of the serviettes to wipe my mouth. And that’s when I nearly fainted at the major social faux-pas that Brew-Ha had committed. I couldn’t believe my eyes, so I whipped off the other serviette and…
…One would expect cake to be served on a side plate, dessert plate or cake plate, after all that’s what they’ve been created for. In high society, there’d be an entire range of plates and cutlery in a single meal setting. For the hoi polloi, a simple side plate would suffice for the serving of cakes. But please, please don’t use A SAUCER, for the love of God!
Yes, both my cakes came in a saucer. Now, I wouldn’t know a side plate from a dessert plate from a cake plate, as I was not to the Manor born, in a manner of speaking. But I do know that you DO NOT SERVE CAKE ON A SAUCER!
Look, just look!
I’m not fussy, I’m not high-class, I’m not a rich snob. But I DO like my cup of tea to be served from a decent teapot, teacup and saucer. And I do like my cakes to be served on a proper plate. This was completely unforgivable, and actually I’ve tears running down my cheeks as I write this.
OK. Rant over. Deep breath. Breathe in. Breathe out.
Brew-Ha…Boo-Hoo!! I hope that the next time I visit, you’d have gotten your class act together. Please. Or, there goes the neighbourhood! I can forgive you for having noisy major construction work going on right opposite you, as that is beyond your control. But presenting your valued customers with decent teaware and using the appropriate plates for your food, these are certainly within your control.