Perth Breakfast & Brunch: Samudera, Mandurah
How far would you travel for a delicious brunch?
I drove an hour to get to Samudera, a rustic cafe tucked back from the Mandurah foreshore with a reputation for interesting food. That’s 60 minutes navigating Freeway traffic, 60 minutes getting steamed up listening to talkback radio and 60 minutes ignoring the growing protestations of a stomach unaccustomed to delayed gratification.
And while I don’t think anybody needs to drive an hour for brunch pretty much ever I can’t say I regret the trip.
I don’t regret ordering the sweet honey-spiked homemade crumpets ($23) — there’s also a savoury version involving slow-roasted lamb and a poached egg — nor hoovering up every bit of almond crumb and the plump quenelle of “whipped cheesecake” in a way not entirely befitting an adult woman. It’s a sweet but not sickly dish that’s generous without testing the notches on your belt and the crumpets themselves are very good.
I don’t regret stealing a wedge of my date’s three cheese omelette ($25), which is a well executed omelette, albeit not quite as cheesy as the menu description would suggest. I’m assured the beetroot-cured salmon ($8), which is exactly the lurid colour you’d hope for, on the side is terrific.
I don’t regret mentally giving the staff a second chance at a first impression after some initial frustration, which involves getting redirected from the front entrance to the rear and then a little wait to catch a staff member’s attention. The staff, while clearly flat out, are both friendly and engaged enough to helpfully procure a side table without being asked when it’s clear we’re struggling to fit all our dishes on the small table.
I definitely don’t regret ordering an excellent long macchiato ($5) — strong, creamy and served in a great double-layered cup to retain the perfect temperature — nor the pot of good, loose-leaf English breakfast tea ($6) that raised my caffeine levels from “awake” to “visibly shaky”. The coffee in particular is just gorgeous.
If I have any regrets it might be sitting in the rear alfresco area, which has considerable charm, even with a picturesque view of. . . a carpark, but is also overly warm on the very hot morning of our visit. On a cooler day or one with a hint of a breeze it would be lovely because the wood-heavy space itself has a great stay-and-linger vibe.
Is Samudera worth a one-hour drive? Well, probably not but only because no brunch is worth such a trek. Frankly, even as a confirmed greedy guts, the only meal I’m travelling an hour to eat is one cooked for me by the late great Jimmy Stewart circa 1954. Or 2022 Richard Madden at a pinch.
If, however, you’re passing through, live nearby or are just in the mood for a drive, Samudera is a lovely place to spend your time and money and fill your insides.
Put it this way: you won’t regret it.
The verdict: 7.5/10
Superb coffee and charming food with a rustic vibe on the Mandurah foreshore.
Samudera, 29 Mandurah Terrace, Mandurah
OPEN: Monday,Tuesday, Sunday 7am-3pm; Wednesday-Saturday 7am-9.30pm.
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