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Cranked for Dinner
I love the laid back atmosphere on the Leederville strip. Down the southern end of Oxford St you will find Cranked, well known for its amazing breakfasts. A breezy, light, outdoor area adjoining the park invites us to chill out with some filling morsels and a drink.
We briefly meet the friendly and enthusiastic owners, before chatting with their cheerful chef Jethro Mann. He trained at Bistro Felix and Harvest before journeying overseas, as young chefs do, visiting Munich, Berlin, Stockholm and a goat cheese farm in northern France, where he experienced the cheese in many forms.
Jethro joined the Cranked team last year and enjoys the challenges of innovation each week, such as a weekly steak special, offered with a wine on Thursday nights. His favourite dishes are Speltotto and Crab and Potato Cakes, and he suggests a share plate for those just wanting a drink.
The openness of Cranked makes for a perfect al fresco dining experience, and next summer the idea is to have an outdoor bar and food carts.
While waiting for our meal, we nibble on a colourful bowl of Trio of Vegie Crisps: delightful juicy yet crunchy sweet potato, kale and beetroot made in house.
Grilled mac and cheese sticks are a tasty surprise. Macaroni cheese in béchamel sauce cut into thick sticks – so creamy, cheesy and chewy – with vinegary tomato relish, a perfect companion. I hear kids of all ages cry “more please”.
My companion’s favourite is Cranked CG: chicken with a cornflake and spice crust on a bed of mixed leaves, pickled red onion and house-made ranch dressing dip. It is the crunch that nails it; a brown crust around delicate chicken dipped in a velvety sauce and the tang of pickled red onion – a great combination.
I love the Pumpkin Speltotto, a risotto of pearl barley with pumpkin, cauliflower, crispy kale, goats cheese cream with pistachio dukkah and fig chutney. The barley is cooked in pumpkin stock and is firm but perfectly al dente, blending so well with the sour goats cheese and the sweetness of the fig chutney. The dukkah gives the whole dish a spicy lift.
Steak special, always fillet steak, today served with classic potato gratin, asparagus, bacon bits, red wine jus and delectable balsamic cherry tomatoes. You can’t go past steak and spuds. The firm potato gratin with onions, crisp top and jus make a tasty mouthful.
Let us explore the term “BR-iNNeR”- breakfast eaten at the time you eat dinner. The menu says “embrace your inner shift worker and eat breakfast whenever you choose to.”
The Dirty ‘taters certainly fit that category: crispy potatoes scattered with chopped bacon, spring onion, pickled shallots and jalapenos, topped with a poached egg and ranch dressing. This is substantial and the pickled shallots cut through the mayonnaise- like dressing and the egg. The browned potatoes are well paired with the taste of jalapeno and bacon.
Cranked has branched out from a very smooth hot coffee, to coffee martinis such as espresso martini, a bitter, strong shot of espresso with vodka, Kahlua and orange peel in a martini glass. There are also non-alcoholic martinis such as Shoeless Joe with cherry syrup, lime, cola and cold drip coffee.
Cranked is open Thursday and Friday nights, and daily for breakfast and lunch.
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