Callum Ellis has a connection to Perth’s inner-north. He’s lived in the area his entire life – Dianella and Inglewood, specifically – and many of the restaurants he has worked at are also in this part of the world. Among his previous ports of call are Italian eatery Cecchi’s, and recently shuttered Asian roasting house Dainty Dowager. This week he and his partner Tracey Ly reaffirm their commitment to their hood with the opening of Nogi Lane, a new neighbourhood cafe on Dianella thoroughfare, The Strand.
Named after the laneway behind the venue, Nogi Lane – the name of the cafe and the laneway rhymes with “doggie” – is a 50-seat cafe that reboots the former CoffeeMob space into Ellis and Ly’s vision for a contemporary neighbourhood cafe. Pastel green splashbacks and timber slats beautify the space, as does artwork from Jack Bromell, a Perth artist whose murals can be found in Margaret River, Collie and further afield. Five Senses is in the coffee machine. But more than anything, the couple want to create something for the(ir) community.
“Because we live in the area, we understand the area,” says Ellis. “We’ve always been here. I couldn’t think of a better spot to be doing this.”
In the kitchen is Jason Nicholas, a chef who comes to Dianella via establishments such as Vasse Felix and Hotel Rottnest. Although the menu features all the brunchtime favourites – granola, banana pancakes, chilli scrambled eggs – Nicholas channels his family’s Indian and Burmese heritage to reimagine some of the classics. Pulled beef gets lifted with clove, cinnamon and other Indian spice, while the Hollandaise sauce in the eggs Benny is spiked with cardamom. In addition to an a la carte menu, takeaway food will also be offered. (Initially, the kitchen will open Tuesday to Sunday).
While Ly and Ellis are happy to let customers dictate the cafe’s future direction, as locals, they’re both excited about being part of the wind of change blowing through Dianella.
“We’ve got lots of friends our age that are buying in the area or moving into the area,” says Ellis. “There’s definitely a bit of a generational switch in the area and it’s starting to become quite exciting. There seems to be a bit more going on, for sure.”
Nogi Lane opens on Thursday April 15.
308 The Strand, Dianella
Mon to Fri 6am–2pm
Sat & Sun 7am–2pm