Being pregnant meant I spent more than my regular share of time at Fiona Stanley Hospital in Murdoch these last ten months. (Pssst. Don’t believe the hype. Fiona Stanley is an excellent hospital and you will have good AND bad experiences wherever you go.) I also have my taste for coffee back now that Oliver has graced the world, which is more than I dared to hope and dream.
At Fiona, they do have a good range of average joes available: Aroma Cafe, Jamaica Blue, The Coffee Club. Yeah, they’re consistent and they do their expected job of caffeination. Then cue this little gem: The General Sherman. Hiding underneath the Wexford Centre at St John of God (and the hoarding presence of The Coffee Club), this little cafe holds a bigger punch than their signage dares to show. Clean-cut logo and great typography (for all those at home playing “the coffee only tastes as good as their logo looks”), I wasn’t sure what to expect when I stumbled across it and walked inside.
Remembering, of course, that everyone has different tastes in coffee, I thoroughly enjoy their coffee. Sherman uses Typika roasted coffee beans, which I find is a bit stronger than your regular coffee bean (my preference), without being bitter or dark. Still hits you with that morning coffee feel without making you crinkle your nose. Their cups of coffee are served in a slightly smaller cup than you would find at a franchise coffee shop, which I also think is the way a cup of coffee should be drunk. A flat white should not taste like a cup of milk.
Everything is nice and simple: one size cup for all dining in cup-related coffees, one size take away cup for all customers taking out. Even writing that makes my brain go, “what, no!” but when you get a decent cup every time, you are happy to let them do what they want.
I have had little experience in their food, but it has been good nonetheless. Deciding on an average poached eggs on toast with added avocado can be risky. Will they use embarrassingly thin toast? How much avocado does one really pay for? Will they leave my eggs slimey or are they going to be so hard they bounce? Being pregnant, I liked my eggs soft but not runny, so it’s a fussy old line that can easily swing into two boiled eggs, or two runny eggs because who cares? These guys got it spot on, exactly how I would eat them at home. I also received a full half of a large avocado. They are the simple things I like in a breakfast. If I’m going to pay three times the cost amount for my breakfast I can cook at home, I want it done with care. My husband had the pulled pork benedict, and other than maybe the recommendation of serving an extra piece of toast (as it only had one), he walked away pretty happy with his meal.
They also have a small range of menu items for lunch, as well as a servery where you can choose a combination of sides and mains for a set price, with the contents changing according to chef’s choice. Although we haven’t tried it yet, the beetroot salad, potato gratin and pulled beef brisket looked worth sticking around for lunch.
Naturally, the peak hour times are busy, and the quiet times are slow. You’re almost always guaranteed a seat because these times vary from day to day. If you want the peak for quietness, pop in anytime in the morning on a Saturday. Because the hospital is generally far less booked on Saturdays, and a lot of departments/retail are only open weekdays, the general hospital crowd is far fewer and we were the only customers during our visit last Saturday. I applaud the perseverance in staying open, it is appreciated by those who work weekdays and can’t make it in to get that good coffee before the weekend.
So now, even when I don’t have a hospital appointment scheduled in for that day, you may still hear me say the words, “Okay, I’ll see you at the hospital around 9.30am for breakfast.” Don’t be alarmed, just join me for a cuppa.
3 Barry Marshall Parade, St John of God Murdoch, WA 6150.
Open 7.00am to 4.30pm Mon-Fri; 8.00am to 1.00pm Sat; closed Sundays.
Coffee makes the baby and mumma happy/10 = 8.5
Food makes it worth the price/10 = 7
Location is a bit odd but plenty of parking/10 = 6
Convincing others that Fiona Stanley is the new Fremantle/10 = 3
The feeling when that coffee hits my caffeine-poor lips/10 = 10