By Rich Keam
Food at its best is fast, packs a tasty punch and has the ability to fill your belly. Think of that English classic, a sandwich, or its cousin the toastie. It wasn’t until I was here in Western Australia that I realized what an icon the toastie is to many Aussies. It conjures up memories of childhood and after school snacks.
I was taken on a ramble around some of Perth’s great food spots recently. My guide Laura Moseley is a local mover and shaker in the food world and a fan of this versatile bready wonder. Over the top you may think, but once you’ve been to Toastface Grillah, you’ll be a convert.
Mike is co-founder of Toastface and describes himself as a little crazy, but I think what they’ve done is spot on. It ticks all the cool boxes. Laneway. Tick. Street Art. Tick. City centre hideaway. Tick. Mike terms what they do as “quasi gourmet grilled cheese”. They’ve thought of everything from top-notch fillings to the Italian bread from a local family run business. My favourite bit is the hand-drawn illustrations on each toastie box. Mike has kindly shared a couple of Toastface Grillah recipes with me, I reckon they’ll go a long way towards reminding me of my time in Perth when I’m back in Blighty.
Before you get started it’s worth adding that the guys and gals at Toastface butter both sides of the bread and also smear a bit of butter on the grill. You could do these in a toastie machine, in a pan or on a hot plate.
On a garlic buttered Italian loaf, layer aged Serrano Jamon, Zucchini (that’s courgettes to you and me) and Brie. For me the secret is in the less obvious aspects of this one, so the garlic in the bread and the Chinese five spice, garlic and paprika which the courgette is marinated in, giving the Danny Zuccho a real depth.
On a buttered fruit loaf, layer sliced Pear, Blue Castello cheese and sweet lime pickle. The sweetness of the fruit are cut by the tang of the Blue and the sour lime.
This one’s got infamous musical pedigree. No I’m not talking about the 80s girl group, I’m talking about Elvis and one of his faves. On a cinnamon buttered Italian loaf layer Banana, Brie, Peanut Butter and Maple Syrup… It’s a bit of an acquired taste and definitely not one for those watching the waistline. I had this one with an added rasher of bacon. I lived to tell the tale.