The sleepy Perth Hills village of Kalamunda has had an exciting arrival! Mason and Bird, found next to the Kalamunda Library, is café GOLD.
There are loads of good brunch cafes, though few that are truly great. What makes a great brunch for me is food that is cooked and presented in a “cheffy” kind of way. The brunch spots that genuinely get me giddy, like Harvest Espresso and Tuckshop , can do much better than a simple fry up on a Saturday morning – they have exciting food.
The team behind Mason and Bird have some excellent experience between them. Brad Johnston is the former Head Chef from Print Hall. Matt Nguyen and Jacklyn Noel are former Managers from Rockpool. The interior is modern and in keeping with the bush setting, filled with lots of beautiful timber furniture. The bustling café can get quite noisy, but on a warmer day more people may be tempted to sit in the outside areas.
I popped along to check out Mason and Bird with my parents. They’d already been there once and absolutely raved about it. There is an all day brunch menu, as well as lunch options. I hear that there are plans in the works to open for dinners in the future too.
The coffee is by local Perth roasters “Little Owl”. My parents both agreed it’s a good roast. I ordered an organic beetroot latte – yes really! I’d seen it on social media and was curious what it tasted like. I was pleasantly surprised. It had a smooth beetroot flavour, as well as a hint of ginger. I’m not sure I’d make it my regular cuppa, but it was nice for a healthy change.
I picked from the brunch menu. I’d been eyeing up the braised pulled beef and poached eggs, but decided on the paleo savoury waffles, $17. They sounded healthy and delicious! Fluffy Waffles are topped with mushrooms, wilted greens and two perfectly poached eggs. I just had to add a side of crisp speck bacon (from fab local butcher Sebastians) for an extra $8. Sprinkled with spiced nuts and seeds and a few dollops of romesco sauce. It’s a wonderfully satisfying dish.
Having had a pasta dish last time, my parents decided to share two of their delicious house made pasta dishes again. The gnocchi, $22, was sublime. The soft-as-marshmallow morsels were pan roasted with cauliflower and almonds and finished with a creamy white balsamic sauce. A very tasty dish indeed.
The braised lamb, $24, was rich with flavour and melted in the mouth. The strands of pappardelle were cooked perfectly al dente and folded with sautéed mushrooms and spinach, finished with a mound of shaved parmesan.
As if that wasn’t enough, my parents also ordered the “hand cut chippies”, $7. The bowl of chips was generous. I said “I’ll just have one”, but that turned into rather a lot more. Whoops! The house made ketchup (Chef’s secret recipe) was so much tastier than your average tomato sauce. There’s also gourmet toasties, salads and burgers on the menu.
I don’t need an excuse for visiting my parents up in the hills, but I think we need to have another trip to Mason and Bird very soon. It’s a wonderful eatery that has excellent, well priced food and comes HIGHLY recommended!
And why not make a day of it? Kalamunda Farmers Market is on every Sunday morning or check out the wineries in the nearby Bickley Valley (like Plume Estate, Hainault and Fairbrossen) after a hearty brunch at Mason and Bird!