With a name like Yabba Dabba we aren’t quite sure what to expect from this café on leafy Waratah Avenue in Nedlands. Is it a theme café, perhaps a little retro like the 60s cartoon The Flintstones – from which Fred’s exclamation of “Yabba Dabba Doo” is most famous? Are we in for a caveman style meat-fest? What we find is a pleasant suburban café, with retro-industrial features and a smooth, groovy 1960’s music soundtrack in the background.
We are warmly greeted and seated. The menu is sizeable. There’s something for everyone – salad, pizza, modern Australian favourites, pasta and share food too if you feel like grazing.
The wine list is small, though there are some interesting drops on there from WA and further afield. I choose a crisp Chenin Blanc from the Swan Valley. There is also a BYO option (wine only), if you prefer to sip on something from your own cellar.
Chef and I share the Yabba Taste Plate, $29 for two people. The board is brimming with scrumptious morsels to try – plump little Yorkshire puddings with beef and horseradish, humongous local prawns served with spiced polenta and more. The pumpkin and silver beet empanada really hits the spot with a deliciously more-ish chimichurri sauce. We both absolutely relish the fresh cornbread, complimented perfectly by a wildflower honey butter. The only thing on the plate that doesn’t work are the lamb chipolatas with mint and feta – as we cut into them, we realise to our dismay that they are undercooked.
We leave the sausages almost untouched. The waitress notices and enquires if there is something wrong and we point out the pink middles. After speaking with the chef, she lets us know that the sausages are cooked sous vide, in a water bath. This suggests that the meat protein should have been set all the way through (it isn’t) and they should have also been heated fully – unfortunately they are still cold in the middle.
The Peking duck pizza, $25.50, is mouth-watering. Topped with barbequed duck, peppered zucchini, mixed peppers, spring onion and fried shallots – it’s a tasty pizza indeed. The Hoi Sin sauce gives it a sweet, plumy finish.
A pork belly and scallop salad, $26, sounds light and interesting. The tender pork belly is pressed into cubes, crumbed and fried. The Japanese fusion salad is accompanied by a plump giant scallop, sweet potato puree, citrus segments, toasted sesame and nori salad.
Children don’t often get much choice when dining out – met with the usual suspects of fish fingers, chicken nuggets, Hawaiian pizza and spaghetti bolognaise. At Yabba Dabba they cater for the little ones really well – giving them a whopping nine menu choices. Little Chef was beside himself at not being faced with fish and chips for the umpteenth time! He chose the well sized meat lovers pizza, $14. It is no surprise then that the restaurant has many young families dining there.
Dessert seems promising. The menu reads “white chocolate mousse with rustleberry foam and rose fairy floss”. What I receive tastes delicious – but doesn’t deliver what is promised. The mousse is a buttery texture. To me, it isn’t what a mousse encapsulates at all – something airy and light. The berry “foam” is actually more jelly-like. I enjoy the tangy rustleberry, which is a hybrid of a blackberry and raspberry.
Overall we enjoy the food, which is full of flavours from all around the globe. Its let down by a few technical errors from the kitchen. Our waitress does not charge for some of our drinks, as we aren’t 100% happy with the sausages, which is a fine gesture. The service is on the ball and we’d certainly return.
** First published in The Post Newspaper**
At a glance
■ Yabba Dabba
101 Waratah Ave
Phone 9386 7744
■ Opening times
Tues to Sun
7am till Late
value for money 3
■ style – Modern Australian
■ wine –small wine list – BYO
Wine is also available.
■ Chef – Haedyn Woollaston
■ Owners – Matthew & Peter Hayes
■ feel – Casual & unpretentious
■ wheelchair access – yes
Entree – $7 to $55
Mains – $18 to $36
Dessert – $9 to $16.50
■ all in all – A cool, modern
venue with attentive service
and tasty food.