Bread in Common; Duck FAT Potatoes in Fremantle
Every so often, Dad and I meet over a cup of coffee. I love taking him to new places and he’s always keen to step out of the zone of familiarity and comfort which is great. Today it was Bread in Common, a cafe and bakery on Pakenham Street in Fremantle.
Bread in Common, with its cleverly constructed herb and vegetable garden on the front paving brightens up the streetscape. Like an oasis in the desert, it’s the only greenery on the street! On first glance, the warehouse space of Bread in Common is simplistically beautiful – exposed brickwork, light globes wrapped around beams and a tin roof. Its won two Australian architecture awards and look closely, you’ll see the details that make Bread in Common a ‘Grand Design’. The creation of individual spaces without the use of conventional walls. I would love to have a peek into the kitchen and bakery! Dad spent a bit of time admiring the heritage building and how large it was inside, as is the case with most warehouse restaurants conversions, you never know just how big the place is, until you step inside!
Early mornings are a primo time for a cafe visit. Gentle light, cool weather and the smell of coffee beans is always at its strongest. At Bread in Common there is also the lovely aroma of freshly baked bread in the air. Some cafes are hectic and noisy in the early morning and others have more of a mellow atmosphere. I find myself alternating between the two, and this morning it was nice to enjoy the quiet surroundings of Pakenham Street.
Fresh bread for the day
The coffee beans are sourced from Mano a Mano, a small batch roasting company based in Western Australia. I went with a long black and Dad, a latte. I am a fan of Mano a Mano coffee, its strong to drink and I personally enjoy the long black with their blends. Unfortunately the photo of my long black didn’t turn out this time.
From 10:00am, table service commences and the brunch menu is available. Prior to this, diners can order at the counter where there is a selection of cakes and raw balls. We both order the duck fat roasted potatoes from the brunch menu.
The roasted potatoes were divine and I have been talking about this dish all weekend. The potatoes were crispy on the outside and soft inside. I go a little crazy for roasted garlic, zestfully roasting 10 cloves or so of them at home with dinner. The unpeeled garlic was buttery soft inside. A small portion of ketchup accompanied the dish and it was nice to spread on the potatoes. I would definitely order this dish again. Potato and duck fat – a winning combination!
Duck Fat roasted potatoes
Bread in Common is a unique space in Fremantle and a great spot for coffee. The service was prompt and genuinely friendly.
Admittedly, on this visit I walked out the door without a loaf of bread, but I do know I will certainly be back. I particularly liked the condiments such as preserves and olive oil on the counter for sale, to compliment the bread. A one stop for picnic supplies! According to the Bread in Common website the ‘bread is slowly hand-made with pure ingredients’. This excites me, it means the yeast is given time to rise. Most modern bakery uses artificial risers whereas Bread in Common appear to have placed special emphasis on the traditional techniques.
I find myself reflecting on what Fremantle was, and, is right now. For a long time, there was not a great deal on Pakenham Street, a few stray residential apartments and parking bays. On weekend nights, it was the street we parked our cars if there was no room at the Italian nonnas parking lot on Nairn Street (anyone remember the nonna?? She sat in her car, while drivers paid her money to park on her property, a true entrepreneur at the time).