On the St Georges Terrace end of Cloisters Arcade, just above the escalators, you will find Lowdown - a small cafe run by owners Mark and Adam along with their team of super-hip employees. You will also find arguably the best coffee in the Perth CBD. It's not unusual to see more than 30 people waiting in the arcade at morning peak hour for their favourite caffeinated beverage. Unfortunately, this means it is not Perth's fastest coffee. But the quality and reasonable price (by Perth standards) of the coffee, along with the boys' ability to remember your name and order, keep customers coming back.
The quality of Lowdown's coffee is perhaps surpassed only by the quality of its toasties. There are a range of humorously-named toasties on display, the fillings of which vary from day to day. These guys might not take themselves too seriously, but they are all business when it comes to their toasted flatbreads. All are made with Turkish style, sesame seed topped flatbread and feature some fairly sophisticated flavours. Think cumin roasted carrots and pine nuts with your chicken toastie. Your basic ham and cheese is about $6.50. Chicken, turkey and roast beef fillings are around the $8-9 dollar mark. But you should definitely shell out the whole $10 if there happens to be a jamon toastie available. You will not regret it.
If you're new to jamon, your life is about to change for the better. In layman's terms, jamon is Spanish dry-cured ham. It is similar to Italian prosciutto, except it is cured for longer and the strict diets of the pigs from which it is made lends it it an incredibly strong flavour and a buttery soft texture. Quite simply, it is the king of cured meats.
The Black Pig toastie combines jamon with roasted capsicum and baby spinach. The Fat Bastard (our personal favourite) combines it with truffle butter, buffalo mozzarella and baby spinach for a truly decadent, Pavarotti-priced lunch.
There's not a lot to be critical of. The flatbreads are crunchy, full of good quality ingredients and interesting flavours and they are all under $10. Better still, the staff are regularly experimenting with different flavour combinations. It's worth noting that the bread is well buttered before toasting and, as you can see from the pictures, can cause the wrapping paper to turn transparent. For some, this might be a little off-putting but for others (and by others I mean me), it's the sign of a good toastie! If anything, the toasties appear to have gotten slightly smaller lately. Or maybe it's just that our appetites have gotten bigger! Also, the Lowdown kitchen is a fairly compact operation so it is not uncommon to have to wait several minutes for your flatbread to get toasted if they are busy. But it's worth the wait!
One more thing: their muffins are truly delicious. I highly recommend the Chock Norris. Come to think of it, Lowdown is kicking goals with pretty much everything they do! So much so that they are opening up a second store in Mt Lawley called Bossman Coffee. Their first day of trading is today (7/11) and they will no doubt be serving coffee 'like a boss'.
You can find Lowdown on:
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