Those of you that read my Dungeons and Douchebags entry know that my Friday night out in Subiaco, while good for making humorous observations, left a lot to be desired in terms of culture and sophistication. Thus on Saturday my soul was in dire need of replenishment (having been sapped by putting up with idiots all the previous evening), and the grey and dreary nature of the day only served to heighten my desire for some creature comforts in stylish surroundings. That would surely get things back on the right track. Searching for inspiration as to where to find an appropriate venue to cure what ailed me, my wonderful Aunt suggested I try out one of the funky new cafes in Maylands. Seeing as her advice is nearly always impeccable when it comes to such matters, I soon found myself ensconced in Chapels on Whatley with a friend and my younger brother and perusing the brunch menu.
I’d not really been to Maylands since returning home, and my how this little, fairly underappreciated corner of the city has blossomed in my absence. While still admittedly lacking in the nightlife department, it has a thriving café scene that offers all the quality and hipster street cred of Mt Lawley but without the overcrowding and noise from Beaufort St. As for Chaples, I immediately took a liking to the place. It radiates a cool, slightly-quirky-but-still classy vibe, with the exposed wood and brick look that is so popular at the moment given a unique twist with what can best be described as a vintage oriental feel. Just what the doctor ordered after the sheer tactlessness of Friday night. The idiosyncratic
Asian theme is also carried over on to the menu, with standard café fare interspersed with more exotic items such as kim chi pancakes and roast duck curry. I had the chicken Sang Choy Bow and my friend went for the soup of the day. While the soup was nice but underwhelming, mine was great and offered a lighter, more interesting alternative to the eggs-and-toast type meal I would have otherwise have gone for.
In terms of their beverages, their coffee is passable but not fantastic. However, this does not bring with it the scorn I would normally heap upon such an establishment for this fact, because what they lack in coffee they more than make up for in tea. With over 60 varieties of fine leaf tea on offer, there is more than enough to keep even the most fanatical of tea drinkers occupied for quite some time, and the fact that it come served in Wedgewood, Royal Doulton and Royal Albert fine bone china is, for me, the refined icing on an already very classy cake. I really am a sucker for good tea served up in this most stylish of fashions, so much so that it’s enough to make me forget all about my coffee obsession in a swirl of intricate decorations and gleaming porcelain. In addition to this, they also do a great deal whereby you can have a bottomless cup for $5.50. So if you and your friends want to go in and try a bunch of different teas
you can do so, ordering as many different types as you like for the one set price (provided you do it one pot at a time). Brilliant! There is also a tea tasting accompanied with scones, jam and cream available for $24.95 per person (provided there’s more than 4 of you and you pre book), so all going according to plan I’ll be attending one sooner rather than later.
In short, Chapels turned out to be exactly the shot of urbane classiness and refined style that I was in need of after my tawdry Friday night ordeal. It’s quirky, unique, classy and does pretty well-priced food and awesome tea, but just as importantly it does so in style. If you ask me, Maylands is the next hip spot in town, so get in now kids so that when everyone else cottons on to it you can affect an air of jaded hipster cool and tell them how you went there before it was fashionable.