A port city, Fremantle is one of Western Australia’s most historic cities, with beautiful, old-time facades at the top of buildings, many of which are made of red bricks.
The quaint town, accessible by train from Perth, is bustling with tourists and has an array of cafes and shops. But it’s recently experienced a growth in hip restaurants, and that’s partly due to the opening of the unique Bread in Common.
A restaurant and bakery, Bread in Common is a casual dining destination that spotlights house-made wood-fired bread made with organic flour under the direction of baker (and partner) Gotthard Bauer. The restaurant is the quintessential slow food movement hot spot with its emphasis on fresh, well-sourced quality ingredients. The food reflects the Mediterranean style of simple platters shared among friends.
In a refurbished warehouse, the restaurant is expansive with rows of communal tables (almost picnic like) on one side and a large open kitchen and bakery on the other.
The restaurant is a bit hard to find, only because the street it’s on — Pakenham — is one of those foreign streets where the numbers aren’t in numerical order and is a bit random. But ask anyone and I’m sure they’ll point you to the right direction.
Bread in Common does charge for everything, as the menu lists slices of bread (AUS$2 or $1.85 per person) and even condiments (olive oil for AUS 50 cents) for a price. But don’t let that deter you because the slices of bread I got were fluffy and light with a crusty edge that remind me of a lighter version of Tartine Bakery back home in San Francisco.
I was there for lunch and ordered the plate of coppa and chargrilled cos, which is a common lettuce in Australia. The plate (AUS$21 or $19.50) is actually a salad, which turned out to be perfect for me after days of dining out on tasting menus. The light dressing just kissed all the ingredients, from the savory coppa slices to the sweet thinly sliced peaches.
The rest of the menu does include a few toasted sandwich options as well.
The Last Bite
There’s no denying by the crowds that Bread in Common is a food lover’s delight in Fremantle, and it demonstrates that this primarily tourist town (also known as the host of the America’s Cup in 1987) is ready for dining spots known for its food rather than its ocean views. Bread in Common might be on the pricey side, but the friendly service and quality ingredients make it a welcoming spot.
Rating: 3 out of 4 camera snaps
Bread in Common, 43 Pakenham St., Fremantle, Western Australia. PH: +61(08)9336-1032. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (till late Friday and Saturday). No reservations. Major credit cards accepted. www.breadincommon.com.au