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Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Daily Planet - Lois, Superman ain't here...

Despite the fact it's opening have been eagerly anticipated by local Lawlites and regular Planet Book groupies... (am self-confessed one amongst many), I didn't actually go to try the food for at least a week. I was at the staff function just before opening and saw the interior, tried some of the finger foods, drinks & looked in on the nice new kitchen. Before you even ask, no I don't work there, I was just a guest.

You can actually read there, although the chairs really aren't that inviting. So let's start with the decor. Bright red insdes, not just as a feature wall. One side wall of posters a la Planet, Grill'd and Green & Co. style. I like this - it gives you something to read on the wall while you wait for service or food if your table conversation dies. Ok I get why you would want feature wall colouring, and why choose red? Market research have already determined there are a few colours which trigger hunger responses and we associate these colours generally with food and eating - e.g. Red and Yellow. But that much red in a cafe doesn't "warm" me up, it freaks me out. Especially early morning before coffee and afternoon during hot Perth summer, it really really makes the room feel even hotter.

What I don't like, other than the bright red... hangin skulls of things. And creepy little statuettes, some might find this 'artistic' / kitsch or just fun. But sadly this doesn't do it for me. Wall hanging carpets / tapestries / wooden window frames are kind cute - are we going for a Mexican / some native villa feel?

Menu critique, now... let's not be nasty. Yes the first few weeks (?) were restricted to breakfast only. The lunch menu looking spectacular did not really 'happen'. Haven't been back there to eat lunch yet so I can't comment on teh current food menu. I had breakfast there with mom - we try to have a cafe catchup every week or every other week. The menu had nifty names in addition to variations of the age old breakie menu.

I had the field mushroom, creamy feta, poached egg & asparagus & swiss cheese on toast (V) & freshly squeezed blood orange (not sure if this was from a box as I didn't see them squeeze or pour it out). But it was tasty and better than the carbonated stuff!

Mom ordered eggs hollaindaise with tomato & avocado (V). And lattes. The drinks came very delayed - the coffee came for over 15 mins and then I got my juice. We waited for the meals to arrive for another 15 or so. The poached egg for me was just a bit over done but mom's was perfectly gooey. The hollandaise sauce was solid!

I also recommend their take away ice-coffee which is delicious with just cream. Oh and it's real cream not the instant can stuff you find often at cafes these days. There is meant to be vegan and gluten free options in the menu, so far that's only snacks, rolls or cake counter.

Serving sizes are generous, not just with our meals but I saw a few other tables and they all looked pretty big sizes.

Pricing is average - normal really for breakie.

Daily Planet on Urbanspoon

Let me clarify or provide a disclaimer: the review here is based on only 1 breakfast meal & just coffees & juices - while reading at the venue. There has been times when the cafe looked too busy to sit in so I bought a take away and left or just went to another cafe along the strip. Luckily there's always room at Five down the road.

I've read some of the reviews on Urbanspoon, and most of the stuff they've mentioned as problems are real problems. Glitches, long waits, confused orders, delayed order delivery... It boils down to two things: front of house management & kitchen service co-ordination! Not sure if other visitors have noticed, but they did the "self-seating" thing and then "must-wait-to-be-seated", numbers on tables and then numbers when you order. This is very confusing for staff as one day it's table service & order at counter, how do you keep track of your payments & orders especially when there's multiple staff? Kitchen-wise, no one in the cafe/restaurant business will tell you the truth if something is wrong in the kitchen, unless it means they have to shut-down or are not able to serve at all. So all you get is - "unfortunately, this is not available" & "there's a glitch". Sometimes if the wait staff is savvy, they'd say "unfortunately, we've run out of this dish as it's been very popular". But that doesn't really work if you know how a cafe/restaurant kitchen should be managed - then supplies should be forecasted / enough.

I'm going to re-try this in a month or two, there's some staff change overs rumoured to happen which will mean a difference in menu and service levels. There's also some changes with Planet clothing and Planet Video side which might affect the cafe so - I'm going there in March for a re-trial (maybe lunch/dinner this time round). Don't forget to check back for an update!


  1. Hi ,

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