284 Montague Rd, West End
I've always been a fan of the West End dining scene but in some regard, it's sort of tiresome because I do mean I've always been a fan... since my prepubescent days. As such, most of the spots around here are tried and true rather than groundbreaking. When I do read about a new venue that also happens to be in my neck of the woods, it's doubly exciting. Even more so when it's walking distance from my nest.
I read about Plenty on The Urban List but it took me a while to piece together that it was literally down the road. I drive past at least 4 x a week and one of those times, I looked up and thought "hey, that's that cafe I read about!" One Saturday morning, I woke up early and there was no prospect of Marc getting up so I decided to go for a stroll.
Plenty is a lot bigger than I first gathered from driving past. There are a few tables outside but there's much more action inside the ample-spaced building. There's a large counter slash open kitchen around which there are an assortment of tables and chairs. At the back of the building is a separate room with long dining table. I heard someone mention 'upstairs' too but I haven't yet investigated.
I've been to Plenty twice, both times ordering from their chalkboard specials. I believe there's also a selection of salads and sandwiches but they come out closer to noon. The menu changes daily, which keeps things exciting. I always read about what's on offer through their Facebook page.
On the Saturday, the cafe was packed. The West End markets are just across the road so I guess it becomes a hot spot for people to gather before or after checking out the markets. I was lucky to find myself a spare barrel to sit at. And yes, it was literally a wine barrel. Kind of cool-looking but not altogether comfortable. I ordered the breakfast salad and a frappe.
Breakfast salad - smoked salami, roast peppers, fried egg and feta and tomato dressing
I did have my reservations about a breakfast salad but it turned out to be really delicious. What makes this a super yummy start to the day is the grilled salami. This added the texture, flavour and decadence that made the salad filling and interesting. I loved that the runny egg yolk oozed over the leaves and formed a perfect dressing.
Frappe with raspberry, peach, mint and coconut water
I was less over the moon with the berry frappe. It was nice and refreshing so I don't blame Plenty but I think this is the point in my life where I realised that raspberry is not for me. The little seeds drive me crazy!! I couldn't taste the peach at all. On a good note, the frappe wasn't too sweet.
My second visit to Plenty was just before lunch time to meet with a wedding stylist (yes, I know - how exciting!) I figured that since I was there, I might as well grab a bite to eat beforehand. It's a mark of how much I'm 'trying' to be healthy these days that in two visits, I ordered two salads. I chose the avocado and haloumi salad on this occasion, plus a latte.
The latte was a good serving size, which was nice to see. I'm pointing that out because of all the incredibly tiny coffee vessels that boutique cafes are using nowadays. Your coffee would still cost the same (or even more) but the volume is halved. Luckily this wasn't the case at Plenty (which suits its name) and the coffee was still lovely and rich and creamy.
Avocado and haloumi salad - with fresh herbs, yoghurt and turkish bread
My salad was served artfully with a smear of yoghurt and a couple of Turkish toasts. The salad comprised of plenty of chunks of creamy avocado, grilled haloumi cheese, and my favourite addition of fresh herbs. There was an assortment of parsley, mint, dill and others, plus crushed nuts and seeds. I wouldn't have thought that this worked so well but it does. Now that I've got a herb garden I'm keen to try it out for myself at home!
I've really enjoyed both visits to Plenty, both for the food and environment. It's the kind of placed I've always wanted to open close to me and it's finally happened! The food is always changing but always fresh, with a focus on locally sourced produce. I'm looking forward to many more delicious meals at Plenty.