Eating Out restaurant review: Peoples Cafeteria, Northbridge, a rather unique dining experience

One of the best things about food is its nostalgic ability to transport you to a place or time you last enjoyed or, in the case of boiled Brussels sprouts, hated.

The experience of dining at Peoples Cafeteria on the weekend took me back to my elementary school camp, filling your plate from the bain-marie and scraping it from the trash can as I left.

Luckily the Northbridge site doesn’t have a Miss Trunchbull type figure walking around making sure you’ve eaten everything on your plate and their food is much more edible in general.

Peoples Cafeteria was an interesting experience, but I expected no less from the quirky team who are also behind one of my favorite cafes in Perth, North Street Store.

Camera iconLarge plate ($20) with beans and feta, popular salad, pickled cucumbers, Caesar salad, kimchi and pumpkin leek and silver beet. Country Rye ($9.50) on the side. Credit: Jade Jurewicz

The unassuming venue, sitting among beloved cheap and cheerful Asian restaurants, has Pizza Hut and Sizzler vibes, if those all-you-can-eat spots of our past served simple, hearty meals.

Navigating your way can be a bit confusing as the day we went there seemed to be queues everywhere but you fill your plate (prices vary depending on how big and how high you fill it out) then wait in line to pay.

Once paid for – our entrees were $20 and we also had a rye bread for $9.50 – you take your knife and fork, help yourself to complementary bread and butter (oops) and find a place in the mismatched dining room.

There is a hot and cold water bath to fill your plate. On the fresh side, a simple salad, lightly marinated cucumbers, Caesar salad, beans and sauerkraut and kimchi.

Peoples Cafeteria's Cold Water Bath.
Camera iconPeoples Cafeteria’s Cold Water Bath. Credit: Jade Jurewicz

Warm, beans with feta, pumpkin, leek and silver beet, dhal and brown rice. There wasn’t a huge selection, but scrolling through their Instagram it seems there’s usually more to choose from.

There’s also an all-day menu to choose from, with dishes such as shakshuka, a club sandwich, and a big brekky.

Overall, my plate of food was tasty and healthy, filled with the kind of foods that my brain knows I need to eat more of, but the weather often gets in the way.

The beans and feta were simple but savory and more indulgent, the feta, pumpkin, leek and silver beet bake was home and cheesy, the Caesar was filled with crispy bacon and a great bread from the North Street Store, and if you’re a kimchi fan, you’ll probably enjoy the funk and spice of theirs.

It’s definitely something unique to Perth. There are few places where you can fill your plate with nutritious foods that don’t cost the earth.

popular cafeteria

Address: Boutiques 5 and 6, 375 William Street, Northbridge

The verdict: Something very different for Perth, like an elevated buffet to get a health and nutrition boost. Also BYO if you fancy a natural wine alongside your salad.

Rating: 7/10

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