Roasting Warehouse Fremantle

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312 South Terrace
South Fremantle
Ph: (08) 9336 5475
Feel Good Beans and the Flavour of Freo
Roasting Warehouse Fremantle is blending more than just coffee; it’s bringing all kinds of goodness together.
The main ingredients are Phillip Di Bella’s enterprising and ethical attitude to sourcing and selling coffee, Joe Molinaro’s extensive experience in establishing and running successful cafes in Melbourne, and the local knowledge of Alessandro Carciotto, having worked in and owning his own cafés here is WA.
Roasting Warehouse is brand new. It’s on the site of the old chocolate factory on the corner of Little Lefroy Lane and South Terrace, just a few streets back from the Fremantle Yacht Club, in a cluster of cafes that bustle with activity on weekend mornings.
When looking for a site to make a destination for people to come and purchase freshly roasted beans, brewing equipment and all things coffee, Fremantle was the obvious choice. Historically, Fremantle is the home of WA’s best coffee and the famous cappuccino strip. Phillip fell in love with its artistic and welcoming feel, and Joe found it to have a unique character and be quite multicultural, very much like Melbourne. Alessandro being a Fremantle local insisted on being a part of the new venue and set out to find a great chef in Glenn Thomas.
Head chef Glenn Thomas’ enthusiasm for cooking organic fresh local food in a way that people with all kinds of dietary requirements can enjoy is a blessing.
While some chefs regard providing vego and gluten-free options as a chore, Glenn sees it as achallenge and smiles as he explains that there is no reason why food can’t be healthy for everyone and taste great. He says: “I’ve heard enough people talking about it for long enough that I actually just believe it when people tell me there are some things they can’t eat. So I do my best to make sure they can come out and enjoy good food.”
With a spacious wooden deck out the front bordered with potted red geraniums, the cafe has a funky Freo feel and a menu to match. Currently focused on all-day breakfast and lunch trade, the crew are thinking of extending to dinner at some point, but for now they’re all about being a cool and comfortable escape from the sun.
The gluten-free Buckwheat pancakes with honeyed cherry plum are a hearty and delicious way to start the day. Poaching the fruit brings out its natural sweetness and mellows its tartness, Glenn explained, and it works a treat with the flavours of local honey, mulberries, cinnamon and anise.
The breakfast menu includes a range of options including free-range eggs on organic sourdough, topped with a simple but lovely hollandaise sauce and served with a vine-ripened organic tomato that bursts with flavour. (If you’ve yet to really experience the flavour difference between organic and non-organic fruit and veg, nowhere is it clearer than with these tomatoes).
From the weekend special menu, the sweet potato frittata with local king prawns is a treat, featuring beach banana, a local succulent plant that the chefs harvest from the sand dunes. It provides a fresh and salty tang that contrasts the soft flavours of the eggs and seafood.
Glenn lives in Freo and doing the breakfast shift means he can head to the beach in the afternoons and cook at home with his family in the evenings. He previously worked at well-known breakfast haunts such as Sayers, Sayers Sister and Cranked. He was also head chef at 44 King Street in the Perth CBD and is loving the opportunity to cook for a more laid back Fremantle crowd.
He is passionate about sourcing his food locally and using as many organic ingredients as possible. It’s a passion matched by the ethos of the coffee branch of the enterprise.
As well as serving coffee and food in-house, Roasting Warehouse Fremantle is a one-stop shop for everything coffee. You can pop in for a takeaway cup and homemade brioche (made fresh daily by the staff pastry chef), you can buy beans, green or roasted, or you can buy domestic coffee machines and grinders, and every machine sold comes with a hour of training from a Roasting Warehouse barista.
Darren Pedler is the head barista and roaster, whose last venture was a coffee shop in Mount Lawley called Brother. He explained that all coffee served in the store is made from beans roasted no more than 10 days ago, and that retail coffee is blended to order. The cafe has eight blends and four single origin beans on offer, and they can be prepared at the brew-bar inside the cafe in four different “alternative brewing” ways – cold drip, pour over, aero press and siphon.
In addition to these, the cafe has a functioning vintage lever machine and two state of the art La Marzocco coffee machines that allow customization of the pressure profile of each cup. Despite all this technology, Darren insists the cafe is not about coffee snobbery or “baristatude”. It’s just about showcasing the beans, he smiles, adding that he’s looking forward to the fun customers will have exploring all the different flavour combinations.
The other special feature of this funky venue, with its hand-glazed earthenware plates, stenciled wooden tables, ceiling fans, pot plants and live jazz on Fridays, is its set of new shiny sturdy Dutch street bikes available for half or full day hire.
For just $20, (leaving ID for security) you can pedal off for an adventure around Freo and come back to a refreshing coffee, complimentary with the bike hire.
By Dr Kayt Davies
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