According to my research the definition of the word ‘Imp’ means: A small devil or small mischievous child.
As one is able to do on Wikipedia I am tempted to alter the word ‘Imp’ to meaning: A ridiculously small food portion.
I have been to Imp Cafe previously for breakfast a few times and quite enjoyed their bircher muesli and Fiori coffee. I was however interested in seeing what their nighttime tapas menu had to offer. With the cafe being conveniently located from my humble abode and being BYO, I was keen to see if The Imp could become a regular grazing pasture when the mood for Tapas struck.
The Imp Cafe
863 Albany Hwy, East Vic Park
Phone: (08) 9361 2600
Open Mon – Sun (7am till 10pm)
BYO wine (Bottle shop 4 doors down)
Not being able to book and knowing that the cafe itself is very small, our group of 5 (university chums) arrived at 6pm in order to ‘shotgun’ a table. Fortunately we nabbed a table in prime location AKA next to the cake display. While we waited for our late 6th member to arrive we poured the red ($3 corkage p/head) and started campaigning for whichever plate took our fancy.
In the past I have clearly shared my notion of ‘what’s yours is mine’ when it comes to dining out. With this in mind one would think that I would adore Tapas, to which I respond with a “negative ghost rider”. My aversion to going out for tapas stems from the fact that after taking all costs into account it can wind up being expensive. This is mainly due to the fact that you have to purchase a kebab with the lot on the way home because you are still starving. Not wanting to end my night with a kebab in hand and garlic sauce over my face, we surveyed the waitress as to how much we would require for 6 people. Her answer…… ‘ 1 plate each’. Putting my non-existent maths skills to use, 6 people meant that 6 plates would be required to avoid the kebab ghost run.
After vigorous campaigning and casting our votes the selection included:
Lamb backstrap, cous cous, stone fruit, mint & yoghurt …………. 26.0
Beef shin, charred spring onions & sticky soy sauce (g) ………….. 18.5
Crispy pork belly with cinnamon sugar, sweet potato, apple & currants .. 13.0
Spiced hand cut potatoes with aioli (v) …………………………………. 9.0
Venison chorizo, lemon & parsley (g) ……………………………………. 9.5
Duck & fig frittata bites, rocket & truffle oil (g) ……………………… 15.0
After ordering we were informed that our 6th member had gone AWOL and therefore would not be joining us. Secretly I smiled inside knowing that there would be no chance of going hungry, as we were sharing 6 plates between the 5 of us!! Happy days.
Service was relatively prompt but I would have hated to have seen my face when the plates were placed in front of me. I think it would have resembled the look of a two-year old realising she had received a book and embroided handkerchiefs for Christmas vs the My Little Pony, that she had been hankering for all year. I was particularly concerned about how we would go about sharing the crispy pork belly between 5 of us when there were only 2 portions about the size of a dice sitting on the oversized plate.
Feeling a little deflated I hoped that by slowy gnawing on each piece I would not only be amazed by the flavours but feel satisfied. Unfortunately this really wasn’t the case with the crispy pork belly not being particularly crispy and the hand cut potatoes resembling Napoleon Dynamite’s potato tots. The duck and fig frittata bites was probably the biggest let down, with the flavours of the duck and fig not coming through resulting in it tasting very bland.
The venison chorizo however was addictive and the dash of lemon gave it a nice fresh taste. I also enjoyed the lamb backstrap which was nicely accompanied with the cous cous and mint yoghurt, and was an appropriate serving size for 6 people.
Although we could have ordered more, I thought ‘wouldn’t it be good service and logical to inform diners that more than one pork belly dish should be ordered if there is only 2 pieces with 6 people sitting at the table????’
As the cake display had been making eyes at me all night, I decided to not order more tapas and fill up on sugary goodness. There was a large selection of desserts including brownies, crumble, sticky date pudding and carrot cake to name a few. Being slightly overcast I was in the mood for sticky date ($5.50) with a side of vanilla ice-cream ($2). The presentation of the pudding was cute (being served in a coffee cup) and the generous side serving of vanilla ice-cream was not in keeping with The Imp name. The pudding was enjoyable, but could have done with more sticky date sauce (really just sugar and butter…yum) making the cake more ‘moist’ (probably the most common word used when talking cake). Fortunately with the combination of the cake and red wine I felt full despite the main event barely touching the sides.
Positives: BYO wine, venison chorizo, generous with the ice-cream and a pleasant setting.
Negatives: ‘Imp size’ portions, bland duck frittata and another black mark against going out for Tapas.
Overall: Sorry but this Tapas didn’t win me over so I am giving it a 2/5. I am however happy to return for breakfast based on good past experiences.
Love The Fat Cow x