The Gusface Grillah clan is currently re-united with Meatmaster Mike, Grillary and Nurse Ratchet in town to help celebrate my birthday.
With the Meatmaster otherwise occupied we decided to catch up for breakfast, with Mrs Grillah pointing out that the Merrywell now has a breakfast menu.
For those that don’t already know, The Merrywell is a restaurant within Crown Casino that bills itself as a ‘dude food’ and craft beer restaurant, with their motto being ‘Good Times on Tap’.
With my recent bacon week shenanigans I’m sure it comes as no surprise to you all that dude food is my jam, so naturally I had to check this new offering out.
We entered through the casino, past a surprising number of 9am gamblers, in to the Merrywell. If you are accompanied by minors or not wearing casino appropriate attire (or just don’t want to see the depravity that is early morning gambling) there’s an alternative entrance that goes straight to the Merrywell.
The Merrywell is quite large – I’ve only ever seen it full on a Friday or Saturday night – and on this cool Friday morning there were a plethora of tables to pick from.
Straight away I notice that the menu is true to form, comprised very heavily of US style ‘dude food’ dishes. (You can view the menu online here).
I had the long mac – it was nice to see it come out traditional rather than the Perth ‘western milkshake’ style that, while becoming less prevalent, is still reasonably common.
The coffee itself was pretty middle of the road – it wasn’t offensive but it certainly wasn’t great.
Mrs Grillah and the Nurse enjoyed the latte and chai latte, while Grillary felt much the same as myself on the coffee.
In terms of drinks selections there’s also juices available (served in a jar of course) as well as the classic breakfast cocktail, the bloody mary – available with alcohol ($15) or virgin ($9).
As the Merrywell has a 24 hour liquor licence you can also order a beer to accompany your dude food.
While their tap selection does not scream craft (James Squire is not craft!) they do have some of my favourites such as Feral Hop Hog, Little Creatures IPA and Sierra Nevada Torpedo.
For our breakfast I went with the Blackened Steak and SSU Eggs ($30), Mrs Grillah ordered the Eggs Benny with salmon ($18), Grillary the Huevos Rancheros ($19) and the Nurse the Croque Madame ($15) with a side of tater tots ($8.50).
The doyen of Perth breakfasts, Liz of Breakfast Confidential, and I have talked before about how once it was unheard of for a breakfast to cost more than $20 but once a few restaurants started doing it the floodgates opened and almost every breakfast menu in Perth has at least one $20+ dish. The blackened steak dish has broken new ground at thirty freakin dollar dollar bills y’all.
Luckily you get quite a lot of steak on the dish. With two fried eggs on top, crunchy potatoes underneath, some fried capsicum and onions as well as a cheesy sauce, there is no shortage of food to keep this avid meat eater happy. It was very well cooked, the steak came out medium and the eggs with perfect runny yolks.
In the mood for something simple and traditional, Mrs G said this certainly delivered.
Tangy and creamy hollandaise, smoked salmon (appeared storebought not house smoked) and potatoes were nice and crunchy.
Also, the tomato sauce that was on three of the dishes was fantastic – not entirely sure what was in there but it had a nice tangy punch and a smokey flavour too which I really liked.
The dish I was most looking forward to seeing was Nurse Ratchet’s croque madame. For those that don’t know, a croque madame is a croque monsieur with an egg on top. And if you don’t know what a croque monsieur is then I am not angry, just disappointed (go learn about it here). The difference with the Merrywell, however is that the sandwich is made like a cake pop sort of thing – layers of sandwich on a popstick! The eggs are then served on the side for you to dip your sandwich in to.
The Nurse enjoyed her dish immensely – not only did it taste good, she got to play with her food.
The bread appeared to be some sort of brioche dough with delicious layers of ham and gruyere cheese throughout. Again, the eggs were cooked perfectly with that delicious runny yolk the perfect dip for those sandwichsicles (patent pending).
Lastly there was the huevos rancheros which came out looking more like huevos nachos (is that a thing?). It was certainly far too much food for dear old Grillary but she loved the freshness of the salsa and the perfectly cooked eggs, which the Merrywell were more than happy to provide as poached rather than the fried on the menu.
In summary the food was delicious – dude food can often be an excuse to use cheap ingredients and poor presentation and this was certainly not the case. While some dishes are on the more expensive side most were under $20 and all left the recipient fuller than a state school. Also, the coffee is crap – order a beer instead.
I’ll certainly be back – I want to try the burger trio next time!
The Merrywell is located in Crown Perth – breakfast is on daily from 7am to 11am.