“We want to take you on a food adventure,” says Syd & Phyllis owner Jayde Ashworth.
Last year, she and her partner, chef Sam Oakes, opened their first cafe at the newly redeveloped Midland Railway Workshops, and it’s heavily focussed on seasonal WA produce. That means customers can expect the menu to change often based on what is available from farmers.
“We love everything being direct from the people who love growing, catching and farming the produce,” says Oakes. “I want our customers to understand that if we don’t have it on the menu, it’s because it’s not in season.”
Changing menus often is not new territory for Oakes. He started slinging pans under the intense tutelage of Peter Manifis, formerly of the now-closed In Contro.
“We would print a whole new dinner menu after lunch based on what produce we had and how we felt,” says Oakes. “That experience is what really accelerated my love affair with fresh local produce.”
The only permanent menu fixture is the 6056 burger. It’s printed on the back of the staff’s uniforms and Oakes jokes, “Until we get new uniforms, it’ll stay on the menu.” This burger comes served with triple-cooked hand-cut chips and gravy… that’s gravy on the chips by the way.
This burger forms the foundation of their Thursday Beer and Burger nights. $20 gets you a burger and a WA beer, such as an Eagle Bay Brewing Kolsch or a Gage Roads Single Fin.
The location they chose for the cafe, which is named after Oakes’s grandparents, is almost serendipitous. Both Ashworth and Oakes grew up in the area and both of their granddads worked on the railways. With the railway workshops now undergoing a renaissance, the spot was perfect.
Ashworth, a former barista trainer, is in charge of the coffee. Keeping with the local-first theme, she’s working with Bolt Coffee, a local roaster known for roasting on a modified barbeque . The hot chocolate uses chocolate from bean-to-bar producer Gabriel Chocolate and is served with campfire marshmallows.
Supporting small WA producers doesn’t end at the kitchen door either. The cellar and bar is stocked with titles such from Brookwood Estate wines, Feral Brewery beer, Limeburners whiskey, Ord River Rum, and Old Youngs gin and vodka.
Syd & Phyllis
17/21 Foundry Road, Midland
Mon to Wed 6.30am–5.00pm
Fri & Sat 6.30am–10.00pm