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MELANIE PERSSON’S BEST GLUTEN-FREE BREAKFASTS IN PERTH
MasterChef contestant and @theveryhungrycoeliac Melanie Persson shares her go-to gluten-free breakfasts in Perth and we have serious cravings.
By Melanie Persson
I’m a firm believer that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it can be quite daunting to start your day with a meal outside of the comfort of your kitchen when you have coeliac disease. The last thing you want is to have symptoms that would ruin your day or your week, not to mention seriously affecting your wellbeing in the long-term.
I’ve put together a list of my favourite brekkie spots in Perth – all these establishments serve outstandingly delicious gluten-free meals and have understanding staff that demonstrate a high level of awareness for coeliac-safe precautions!
BEST SAVOURY BREAKFAST
Finlay & Sons is an effortlessly trendy cafe nestled in Inglewood and they absolutely deserve the top spot on this list as they’ve been my go-to for years. Their awareness for gluten-free options and cross-contamination precautions has always been great as the initial owner had a member of the family with coeliac disease. This level of understanding has successfully transitioned through a change in ownership (which is no mean feat) and the food is consistently top tier.
There’s a great variety of sweet and savoury gluten-free meals and snacks but the must-try dish here is the smashed avocado. A mound of smashed avo sits atop large slices of GF toast along with goat’s curd and a homemade chilli jam. That’s all served with a pile of perfectly dressed greens, and all together, it makes a beautifully balanced meal of the sort not usually associated with the breakfast scene! You also must try a side serve of the parmesan-crusted hash browns that they make in-house. To top off the experience at Finlays, the coffee is great, the staff are friendly, and the atmosphere is always warm and welcoming.
917 Beaufort Street, Inglewood 6052
Honourable mention: Soho Lane
An honourable mention should also go to Soho Lane in Mt Lawley. They have some delicious options on their menu including chicken and waffles with a chilli maple syrup and a great shakshuka. Soho Lane narrowly misses a top spot on this list because my favourite thing on their menu – the Soho Hash – is no longer an option. This was a masterful transformation of potato gems with a poached egg, some pastrami, sour cream, and pickled onions. I have been told though that this is a temporary change due to the current availability of potatoes so keep your eyes peeled for this to come back on the menu!
Alexander, Buildings, 13/649 Beaufort St, Mount Lawley, 6050
BEST SWEET BREAKFAST
For best sweet breakfast, I’m going to nominate Lot Six Zero. There are, thankfully, three of these cafes around Perth meaning that you’re never too far away from at least one of them! The must-try sweet breakfast at these cafes are the pancakes, and you can choose between the Maple Bacon Pancakes (my favourite) or the Butterscotch Banana Pancakes (also delicious). The former comes with maple syrup, whipped cinnamon butter, and almond flakes, which you might not imagine to be an obvious choice of garnish but believe me, it works! You would never know these are gluten-free which is how they get away with not serving any gluten-containing pancakes at all. This also removes what would otherwise be a huge contamination risk. They’re light and fluffy and it’s a generous portion so make sure you arrive hungry for a really good, decadent feed!
375 Scarbourgh Beach Road, Innaloo
311 Millhouse Road, Aveley
41 Blythe Avenue, Yokine
BEST GLUTEN-FREE BAKES
Darringtons is a bakery located in Burswood that exclusively serves up gluten-free and vegan delights. This makes it the perfect choice for those of us with additional intolerances or allergies to dairy or eggs. They do savoury and sweet bakes ranging from a selection of pies to donuts and danishes. The must-try options for me though, are the cheesy herb pastry twists and the vanilla slice! I’ve been lucky enough to grab one of these twists while still warm from the oven and even as an avid eater of regular cheese, they were mouth-wateringly delicious. Similarly, the vanilla slice is mind-blowing. It’s so hard to believe that it is both GF and vegan, given the richness of the thick custard that sits between two sheets of crisp, layered pastry. Even my gluten and dairy eating partner insists I buy two of these so that we don’t have to share! Conveniently, Darringtons also stock their goodies packaged and frozen so you can stock your own freezer. If you’re travelling to them though, call ahead to see what’s available as they do sell out of their bestsellers quite often – all the more reason to stop by as soon as possible!
3/285 Great Eastern Hwy, Burswood, 6100
Does a restaurant that’s only open for breakfast twice a week count for this list? I’m going to say yes because I feel as though excluding Emily Taylor would be a huge disservice to the GF community! They’re open from 9am on Saturday and Sunday and this is to offer a yum cha menu which includes, you guessed it, gluten-free dumplings! A few non-dumpling dishes are also available as GF options but the most exciting offering at Emily Taylor has to be their famous lobster and truffle dumplings.
These are some of the best dumplings I’ve ever had and it’s no wonder that GF and non-GF people alike flock to this restaurant to enjoy them. They are plump, incredibly rich, and bursting with large chunks of perfectly cooked lobster. The truffle is not overpowering but complements the sweetness of the lobster beautifully. There is also a scallop dumpling and a tofu and black bean dumpling that deserve a special mention for being gluten-free and delicious! All in all, I’d consider any place that serves gluten-free dumplings to have a good vibe, but Emily Taylor is also a beautiful, open restaurant with attentive staff, great drinks, and plenty of seating. I’d highly recommend it as a place to dine with friends or family to ensure everyone has a fantastic experience.
19-29 Henderson St, Fremantle WA 6160
Munch Box Lunch Bar
I’m going to colour a little outside the lines for this suggestion and go for Munch Box Lunch Bar. This might not be the obvious choice for a flat white or a long mac, topped up but in my opinion, a Vietnamese iced coffee is the best way to kickstart a sunny Perth day. This is even more true when it’s paired with a gluten-free banh mi, which is my real motive to include Munch Box on this list. This is such a rare gem and an incredible treat for those of us who are gluten-challenged. I haven’t found or heard of a replacement anywhere else in Australia.
These guys are also very aware of cross-contamination risks – the gluten-free rolls they use are sourced from a local bakery that specialises in gluten-free baked goods. The banh mi are then prepped and toasted in a separate area, using dedicated utensils and fillings that are kept separate from the gluten-containing ingredients. And I’m not exaggerating when I say that their banh mi (and their coffee) is nothing short of phenomenal. There are a few different protein options to choose from, but I can never resist the crispy roast pork banh mi which is an absolute 10/10.
Shop 3/108 Erindale Rd, Balcatta WA 6021
GOOD TO KNOW
There’s so much for you to enjoy when you’re living a gluten-free lifestyle, but for more confidence when you’re dining out, keep in mind that only cafes and restaurants that are Coeliac Australia accredited have undergone training and an onsite audit to validate the gluten-free menu items. For cafes and restaurants without accreditation, it is recommended that you verify that the food offered is indeed gluten free and prepared without contamination before consuming it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Melanie Persson was on MasterChef Australia 2022 and was the first contestant to compete as a gluten-free cook. Since being diagnosed with coeliac disease in 2016, she has worked hard to develop recipes that replicate the foods she used to love. These are largely influenced by her experiences living in Japan and Italy, as well as her Swedish heritage. Mel is passionate about helping people on gluten-free diets rediscover their joy for food and cooking. Whenever she isn’t cooking and sharing recipes, she is working on her research as a PhD candidate in the field of children’s literature. You can find her on Instagram as @theveryhungrycoeliac.
Melanie’s book The Very Hungry Coeliac is out now.
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