It’s not often table centrepieces are made out of vegetables. But this is Kensington, and when you have the pretty streets, dogs, babies and trees that Kensington does you’re allowed to put whatever you want in the middle of a table. Hell, put a Kenny G Christmas album there and people will probably be ok with it.
The Premises welcomed me to breakfast with a bunch of what to this day I believe was capsicum as table centrepieces. Unfortunately even though my brother is an incredibly talented golf greens curator and qualified landscape gardener and has tried many times to teach me all he knows about green things, this little duck can’t actually tell the difference between a wattle tree and a platypus. So the ‘capsicum’ could actually have been a flower of some sort. Regardless, it was weird, and I loved it straight away.
The Premises isn’t like your usual cafe. I mean, it is because it serves food and people wear pencils behind their ears and bring you coffee when you ask for it, but it’s set up is quite unique. Old school desks line the front windows, and massive and deceptively understuffed cushions pad every corner of the table seating. The kitchen/serving area presents this beautiful wooden benchtop thingy leaving me feeling like I was attending an old-school cooking class and the register offers up wooden shelves piled with the most amazing looking muffins.
But we didn’t come here to eat wood and wood-like products. I continue on my ‘stacks on’ mission – to eat anything that is stacked on top of each other. The Premises doesn’t offer stacked or stack-ish looking foods, so I was force to order the Poached Free Range Eggs and resolved to manually put everything in a stack once it arrived at the table.
I admit in writing to everyone reading – I have never been to Kensington, and if it weren’t for me being designated west and northern suburbs for this blog I probably would never have visited. I have heard some colourful reviews on the place, but to be honest the street that The Premises is on is so delightfully charming that it felt like I was on Sesame Street. And the friend with me was quite clearly The Grouch (after a night of getting familiar with his old friend tequila).
While we waited for our food and my friend nursed a sore head, we discussed how The Premises caters for people’s children without being ‘child friendly’, and I mean that in a good way. There are places that I would absolutely recommend to people with kids that allows them to run riot and knock over tables without little punishment. Premises isn’t like that. It doesn’t have kiddie areas or anything like that, but it tries it damndest to make sure the mums and dads with the kiddies are made to feel comfortable and welcomed. It was nice. What wasn’t nice were the hipsters sitting next to us discussing the calorie count in their food. Yawn.
Our meals were served swiftly and to look at it was a treat in itself. Colourful and dripping with freshness. I knew my dish came with tomatoes. How many tomatoes was an unknown, and in my wildest dreams I was never going to guess it came with the 16kgs it did. For the record, I’m not a huge fan of tomatoes. I find them one of those ‘chore’ foods. You know, the ones you eat because your mum always told you to. I find them arrogant. They know you have to eat them, so they just sit there with a smug look about them. Rude.
I wasn’t expecting my life to change when I ate at The Premises, and all in all it didn’t, but at no point did I expect my breakfast to be so good that I wasn’t able to speak though it. My friend was the same.
Their meals almost have a feminine and masculine flavour. My dish was lively, fresh, light, and almost cheerful whereas my friend’s was strong, robust, complex and interesting. These are words I never thought I would use to describe a breakfast. And I’m actually a little bit embarrassed to use them at all.
My eggs were spot on. The tomatoes were like bitesized servings of summer exploding in my mouth. In fact one squirted out of my mouth and onto the table, cementing my reputation as one classy mo fo. It wasn’t really a salsa in the traditional sense (and I mean that based on my deep understanding of tomato salsa coming from a jar), so that was a bit of a shock. The feta was fresh and smooth and the herbed oil that was drizzled over the plate was something I would happily sell my virginity for (and when I say ‘virginity’ I mean ‘couch cushions’). I was begging for the dish to have more red onion in it, but my begging fell on deaf ears. This was the only thing that could have made the meal ah-mazing. Well, more ah-mazing.
What I noticed that wasn’t 100% awesome was that a side of bacon cost $4.50. I don’t understand why sides of bacon are so expensive in some places and in others they are so generous that they near-on line your chair with it for $2, but $4.50 is at the higher end of what I’d be willing to pay for a side. And you don’t get much for that price either, which is a real shame.
My utmost favourite thing about The Premises was the wait staff. Fast, friendly, chatty, and one of them was dressed like she came from the Emerald City. And I loved that. The cafe has character, the staff have character and the food has character. Kensington isn’t anywhere near where I live, but I will make the trip out to eat here again. My only regret is that I didn’t buy all the muffins on display. Well, that and I never became a travel agent.