When I saw the cluster of people standing outside the City West shopping center on the weekend, I thought there must have been a sale on heaters at Harvey Norman.
Why else would people venture out on a gray and drizzly morning to the unremarkable center on the outskirts of the freeway?
This question was quickly answered as I noticed, like myself, the bunch was trying to snag a table at this Asian-inspired brunch spot.
DISCOVER THE LATEST NEWS FROM YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD WITH PERTHNOW DIGITAL EDITIONS
A Forklore mega fan revealed in line that the cafe pulls crowds every weekend and that the chicken katsu sando was a game-changer.
With this glowing recommendation, not to mention a growing post-birthday celebration hangover that needed to be fed, we rebelled against the waiter’s tip to not sit outside (if it started raining, we’d be drenched) and chanced a table in the elements .
The menu features 11 savory dishes, though there are some mouth-watering pastries and cakes on display if that’s more your vibe, with everything from a classic eggs on toast to mentaiko spaghetti with creamy cod roe, parmesan and egg.
The aforementioned chicken katsu sando ($21.50) was a generous stack of fried Maryland chicken layered with yuzu and jalapeno slow, tonkatsu sauce and amazuzuke cucumber between two slices of shokupan (soft and fluffy Japanese milk bread). Oh, and the hangover demanded the chips of the side for an extra $3.50.
After spending a few seconds deciding how to tackle it, inevitably deciding to hunch over the plate and hope for the best, it was devoured quickly.
Because the bread is so soft, it’s not as much as a mission as you’d think to bite into it, and the delicious combination of the crunchy chicken, creamy slaw and kick of spice means you don’t really care if you look like a hot mess eating it.
Kimchi yaki udon ($23) was certainly erring more on the lunch side of brunch, with a large slab of confit and bowled pork belly, fried egg and mushrooms on a large of spicy udon.
The pork was tasty and well-cooked and the noodles were the perfect option for the cooler weather, my nose running in no time. There was also plenty of katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes) that elevated the flavor even more and were shaved so thin it looked like they were dancing in the wind, adding a bit of theater to the dish.
Luckily it didn’t rain and we escaped our first and likely not last Forklore experience dry and with full and content tummies.
Address: Suite 11-12 City West Centre, 102 Railway Street, West Perth
The verdict: unique and tasty menu, friendly service and an array of delicious pastries and cakes. Be prepared to wait in line on the weekend.