The section of the Perth CBD that contains the law courts and the Catholic cathedral is not renound for its cafe culture. Until recently, the area comprised of blocks of new apartments, office workers and a few very average cafes.
Then a month or so ago, Bench Espresso opened at the bottom of one of the new apartment blocks on Hay Street down the road from the Perth District Court.
I walk passed Bench Espresso nearly every day when I’m at work and my first impressions weren’t fantastic. It looked a little too sleek and ‘cool’ with its polished concrete floors and minimalist interior. I’m more of the gritty, Melbourne-esque, jumbled furniture cafe kinda girl.
However, a “meeting” with a work friend necessitated a hot chocolate and something delicious to eat, so we thought we would give it a whirl.
My initial impressions were so so wrong. This little place is really warm and inviting and you realise that the minimalist layout is important when you see how busy they are throughout the day.
The staff are really friendly, they have one of the best hot chocolates I’ve ever had and a delicious range of cakes and slices to nibble on.
As it was morning tea time, I elected to tuck into an oozing warm Pear, Pistachio and Dark Chocolate slice slathered in melty butter. It was so good that I bought two more slices to drop off to the parentals that afternoon.
Bench Espresso also has a minimalist lunch menu.
Its a really welcome addition to the East Perth end of the CBD and I can’t wait to go back next week and sit by one of the huge windows in the sun, read the paper and nibble on a little bit of something gorgeous.
191/471 Hay Street
Open Monday to Friday
7am to 3pm