Chapels on Whatley has been a bright spot on the Whatley Crescent strip in Maylands for some time. As usual, we had been a little slow on the uptake, and hadn’t realised within this treasure trove of teas, antiques and art was a sweet little spot for a coffee.
Tea lovers will rejoice, with a huge selection of teas to choose from – green, black, herbal and fruit varieties. The ‘great wall of tea’ reminded me of the glass jars that lined the walls of my Grandma’s favourite Chinese herbalist shop.
The jars filled with dried herbs, teas and even the odd seahorse or two, would send my nose – and imagination – into overdrive, imagining the weird potions that could be created.
I would have been a lot happier if the visit led to delicious baked goods, instead of the bitter ‘blood strengthening’ brews which I would inevitably have to force down when we got home.
The Craquelin, $9.50, is the antithesis of the hyper-oriental feeling of the shop front, but a delicious one.
Hailing from Belgium, this sweet yeasted bread is quite similar to the more well known brioche. Buttery and with a richness from fresh eggs, it’s only vaguely sweet – helped by the pearl sugar which adorns each bun.
Served with salted butter and a mixed berry jam, the Craquelin is a rich and moreish morning tea (or any time of day, really) treat .
It’s fantastic, of course, with the necessary morning jolt. I went with my usual soy version, while J and his parents went with cow’s milk. A hush fell over the table while we sipped. Much needed, and definitely appreciated!
J’s pear and cherry crumble, $7.50, arrived as a happy rubble of sweet, short dough over thinly sliced pears and sour cherries.
A silky egg custard, and a rapidly disappearing quenelle of vanilla ice cream enhanced every mouthful with a hot-cold contrast.
J’s Mum and Dad shared a zingy almond and lemon cake, $5.95. Served with whipped cream, this dense cake was fragrant with lemon zest, and lovely and moist from the almond meal used in the recipe.
Macaron fans north-east of Perth, take note.
Pre-packed boxes of macarons for $14.95!
Despite the relative chaos of a busy brunch service, everything at Chapels on Whatley seemed to be running in a rather zen-like fashion.
Lots of happy customers were munching on amazing looking breakfasts (I was majorly annoyed that I’d eaten earlier that morning. Damn me for not sleeping in!).
It seems like a pretty casual place, with many locals ambling in for a coffee, sans shoes with the paper tucked beneath an elbow.
The over-abundance of Asian artefacts and art made me felt like the whitest Asian person on earth, but I found myself feeling pretty comfortable amongst it all, blissed out on the delicious pastries, good coffee, and contemplating soy wax scented candles for our living room.
Who would have guessed a zen-like state could come so easily? Just give me pastry. And a coffee. Tibetan singing bowls optional.