Saturday, 11 February 2012

Cafe Lumos, White Gum Valley

Pt Walter to the Bridges, 12.8km, 1 hour 36 min, 8km/h average

'Twas a great morning for a paddle - a gentle Nor'westerly wind and slack water throughout. The car park was as empty as the river. Travis was missing in action, having probably not received the late-night text from me to gee up the paddle, so Westy, M4P and I slid the boats into the water just before 7 am. We hadn't done the Pt Walter paddle in quite a while so it was good to be there again.

The afternoon before had also been spent at the river with Mrs Blue and the little bluelings having a great time with a bunch of our friends, who were finishing off the week with a couple of ice-cold pigs ears and a bottle or two of Passion Pop. Unfortunately I am taking my annual month off the P155 at the moment. I have a month on the wagon every year to prove to myself that I'm not a raging alcoholic, and I choose February because it's the shortest month. I feel a bit cheated this year being a leap year and all, and may have to switch to the method a friend of mine uses - the lunar month. Everyone was a bit worried as to whether or not I'd be OK to drive after three Passionas in the first hour and one every hour after that, but despite the obvious sugar high we made it home OK, if not a little quicker than usual and with an unexplained glowstick chain around my neck. If you haven't spent a Friday arvo down by the river, give yourself an uppercut then get on down there.

But I digress. The pace was pretty sedate until I took a sidetrip right inshore at Bicton whilst M4P and Westy took a direct route across the reach into East Fremantle. Looking up from my trip into Blueworld they were a bloody long way away so I spent the next 10 minutes putting in the big ones trying to catch them, much like I do every time I paddle with Westy these days. Graciously they waited for the fat bloke at the East Fremantle Yacht Club, and I finally dragged my arse back to the pack long enough to take a few quick photos as we rounded the bend past Zephyrs. 

"Is that guy waving at us?"
It was here that we were being waved at by a bloke on the shoreline. Waving back, we continued, but he persistently kept waving. Acknowledging the international sign of distress we pulled in to find out that the bloke had been at Pt Walter and had seen one of us drop a phone. Being a Good Aussie Bloke (GAB) he surmised that we'd have to go past Zephyrs and followed us down there to give it back.  It's not often that random acts of kindness occur these days, so GAB, if you're reading this, two thumbs up and if you see us again, we'll shout you a carton.

So it turns out the ladies of the house have taken up something called Zumba (apparently it's pronounced 'Zoom-bah' rather than my feeble attempt that rhymed with Rumba). In fact Mrs B was kind enough to explain to me what a 'shimmy' was as we drove home last night. Dangerous stuff, that. I almost drove off the road. Apparently the instructor is a 40 yo mother-of-one with the toned body of a 20 yo pole dancer. OK, so I made that last bit up, but that is a blokes prerogative. I have promised to come down and witness this hedonistic devil-summoning dance class at some stage, with my fellow paddlers and a carton of coldies in tow. This was not received well, not even when I promised to shimmy my way in with my wet Speedos, straight from a paddle!

The rest of the trip was uneventful and paddling in toward the Matilda Bay Brewery on the return trip took us well out of the wind and provided a bit of variation on the normal trip. As we pulled in back at Pt Walter after a minor grounding on the large inshore rock, we were all looking forward to breakfast at one of M4Ps local haunts.

Cafe Lumos, 1/16 Minilya Avenue  White Gum Valley WA 6162, (08) 9335 5332

That's the owner. The Red Sea parted as we arrived.
Firstly, don't park in the 10 minute parking zone outside the convenience store next to Lumos. We didn't, and indeed had to park on the verge some way away, but the shop owner was livid enough to ring the bastard parkies who sensing blood turned up immediately. UnAustralian, I say.

I'd heard about Cafe Lumos in the local rag, where their lunchtime menu had been reviewed, and had mentioned this to M4P. Mrs M4P patronises Lumos regularly, so we thought we'd give it a crack for breakfast. 

Through habit we ordered at the counter, but Cafe Lumos has efficient table service as we found out with a post-breakfast second coffee. One of the things that really took me was seeing the owner picking herbs from the pots out the front to put into the dishes - nothing groundbreaking but something I thought was pretty cool nevertheless.

The standard of your average suburban local cafe has gone through the roof in my humble opinion, and this is a good example of how a little bit of effort can reap rewards. When we got there it was packed to bursting, with all the tables set up outside and spilling over to the front of the furniture shop next door. Luckily, as I walked in, a bench table right out front cleared just like Moses parting the sea. Or it could have been that I just stank after the paddle. Regardless, we got a good table. 

The menu is spoilt for choice - there are some dead set corkers on there including French Toast with bacon, banana and maple syrup (my mouth is watering as I write this). But I couldn't go past the Rosti Benedict ($19) - poached eggs on thick bacon, atop potato rosti and drizzled with Hollandaise sauce. M4P thought the same, but Westy went the Corn Fritter Special ($19) - two massive corn fritters with poached eggs and bacon sandwiched in between and sour cream on the side. Substituting Hollandaise for the sour cream was no problem.

Rosti Benedict. No. 1 with a bullet.
Cafe Lumos Rosti Benedict - go to the top of the Eggs Benny index. The potato rosti was brilliant - the fried strands of potato seasoned perfectly and sticking together in a thin cake. The eggs came out just the way I like them - medium well and not forming a yellow lake when broken, and the bacon was thick and supple. The coffee  - a mug of flat white ($4.30) for me - came out with a creamy top and, although a little weak, wasn't bad and was definitely the right drinking temperature. With just a little higher concentration of coffee in the cup it would have been excellent, but I'm just being picky now. The second coffee, a regular, rather than a mug, was perfect.

Corn Fritter stack. Bigger than your head.
Westy was equally pleased with his choice which, when it came out, was bigger than his head. We have a saying - never eat anything bigger than your head and Westy declared that he had too much food so half a corn fritter came winging my way (excellent!). Fair dinkum - it was beautiful, and I think deserves a permanent place on an already-good menu.

The staff at Lumos were friendly and efficient. The owner came over to take an order and say g'day and the waitresses were pleasant - in manner and appearance - but not intrusive.

Cafe Lumos, in its leafy Minilya St setting has just rocketed right up to the top of the list with the Hungry Paddlers. If only it was on the river...but I suppose then we'd never get a table. Just be careful where you park...

Three Thumbs Up - 9/10. And we'll be back. Lots.

Cafe Lumos on Urbanspoon
*** As an addendum to the Bastard Parkies theme,  I got fined $85 tonight whilst parked outside NIB stadium, thus confirming my theory that all Parkies are illegitimate.


  1. Very rude, if you were parking in a 10 minute zone, and clearly parking over 10 minutes, that is being dishonest. How about the people that are actually honest and just want to park for less than 10 minutes. It's very un-Australian to call someone un-Australian when they are only looking out for their business just as any other business owner would do. Do not be little those that are working and trying to get ahead in life. Some people have it easy, others work hard to get where they are. Have a little respect.

    1. Firstly champ, read the review. We didn't park there. Secondly, anyone who thinks ringing parking inspectors to ticket people instead of simply asking them to move is just a plain garden-variety tool.
      Not sure if you noticed, Smiley, but it's a tongue-in-cheek food review. Tell your story walking.