Cafe Zekka

inside Zekka looking up

Sometimes I feel far too uncool to be a cafe reviewer. At Cafe Zekka, that isn’t particularly hard. The places oozes cool and style, and if hipness was a liquid it would be coursing through the very veins of this new King St cafe. It’s enough to make a geek like me run for cover and hide myself in the gadget section of GQ.

Though the stylishness is not surprising however, when you consider that the co-owners of Cafe Zekka also run the funktastic Test Tube in Mt Lawley, and a tres chic guys clothes shop next door (which I will have to get the name of, and perhaps try and buy some fashion sense from).

But whilst there is plenty of style to the place, the reassuring thing is that there’s also substance.

Managers Aaron and Bill have made sure that the food and coffee is a lot more than just an afterthought. The coffee is being supplied by Campos Coffee from Sydney. It’s a big undertaking to be shipping coffee from over East, and not something I’d be doing unless I had a product of Campos quality to rely on. Will Young of Campos is ultimately committed to his product however, making sure that each of his contracts are making espresso up to his standards, and refusing to supply those who don’t.

Aaron is formerly of Tarts in Northbridge, and also helped establish Lincolns in Highgate, and really loves his coffee. Will from Campos came over to make sure he was on the right track and was happy with what he saw, which is evident in the effort he puts in. Bill was formerly the man behind much of the good food that Lincolns made, and will be making all the lunches on the premises as of today (they were temporarily supplied by the good people at Sayers), now that the ovens have gone in.

Campos Superior Blendreflections in brownInside looking outCafe ZekkaMoroccan lamb pieinner city scapesOutside looking inZekka gets tropicalTart from ZekkaZonte's Footstep ViognierAntipodesArroz a la ValencianaMacchiatoJackson pretends to write stuffZekka cupsZekka Espresso

So what of the food and coffee then ? The espresso follows the Campos style (as it needs to), and displays a comfortable level of acidity that the Superior blend is famous for, but without going overboard, there’s some definite body and kick to it that finishes off nicely. Perhaps poured longer than I’m used to, but a lot of that comes down to personal preference and it’s good to be able to appreciate espresso in all it’s various permutation from cafe to cafe. A double shot flat white in a small tulip cup punched through the milk with ease.

The food we had was also fantastic. A moroccan lamb pie and a roast mushroom quiche, served with a fresh green salad with avocado and roast chicken. I’m really looking forward to seeing some of Bill’s creations, as he really has a flair for tasty lunches.

If you’re lucky enough to be a part of the CBD set, then make sure you take the time to wander a bit further down King St, and check these guys out.

** A little update with some new photos from Zekka, who have now changed to using local Crema coffee, roasted in Perth. They also have the power team of Jackson (formerly of Tiger, Tiger) and Ledeta running the cafe, and are open Friday’s for BYO lunches. Grab a bottle of wine and head in for specially cooked meals.

Cafe Zekka
74 King St, Perth
Phone: (08) 9481 1772


11 thoughts on “Cafe Zekka”

  1. Damn Matt man, we double teamed the Zekka crew today!

    I don’t have the nice photos though – that will have to wait until tomorrow!

    Nice review – made me want to go there again.

  2. Matt,

    Nice review, plus I didn’t realise it was the same couple involved in Test Tube. They’re always very friendly when browsing through TT, so here’s hoping they do well here.

    BTW, if I had’ve known Sharon was having lunch with you, I would’ve ditched my other mate and come along. Raising the standard and all that…

  3. Hey Grendel, I need to start streamlining these posts to keep up with you :) Went in last week for a coffee, and then back on Wednesday for lunch. I think they’re a great addition to the street, and that whole bottom end of King St around Wellington is starting to pick up too.

    Brad, the Test Tube influence is obviously there, down to the funky designer water jugs, and the ceramic half coke bottle thing that’s on the counter. And if I’m not good enough on my own then you get nothin ! Granted I don’t look quite as good as in stockings and snakeskin high heels (which hopefully you’re now forced to picture).

    Mike, yes it is. Interesting enough though, Hudsons was never supposed to be a bar, but was actually an “art gallery” with a special facilities licence to serve alcohol. If you ever went there however, you’d realise that a few sculptures and paintings strewn around the place did not exactly make a gallery…and the neighbours were more than a little pissed off about it, hence it getting shut down.

  4. Hey hey – been meaning to try Campos coffees for a while (never had the chance when I was in Sydney though). Anyways will have to try to get to the CBD one day, kind of hard now that I don’t work in hospitality anymore ;)

  5. Very informative review Matt.

    I love Test Tube in Mt Lawley, and I’m sure those guys would do a quality job on anything they put their minds to. I feel compelled to check out Zekka one lunchtime now.

    On the coolness front – at least you can consider yourself cooler than me, because I hadn’t even heard that this place had opened until I read your review. Feel better?

  6. Jean, did you make it in there yet ?

    Nat… glad you liked the review… And i worked out today that the guys clothes shop at the front is called Zekka (duh), the cafe bit then just being, the cafe inside Zekka. It all makes sense now. As for your coolness stakes, I’d be worried if you had heard of it before me… I take my commitment to aimless coffee based procrastination pretty seriously.

  7. Nice review, love your camera work Matt!!

    Thought I might pay them a visit this morning, but they weren’t open yet [fair enough it was before 7am – managed to freak out the guy behind the counter who didn’t hear me come in :D ]

    Nevertheless, it was worthwhile dropping in just to check out the shiny new shop fitout ….it’s an interesting use of the limited space available.

    Obviously I can’t vouch for the coffee, food or service etc just yet, but I do think it’s great to see new cafes opening up in Perth with a fitout which doesn’t look like it was spat out of a cloning machine.

    Will check out Zekka sometime again in the future.

  8. Hey Mr Black, firstly, my condolences for you having to get to work at or before 7am… that’s just madness. Secondly, make sure you go back for lunch and a coffee at some point, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Agree that ikea style fit outs should definitely be a thing of the past.

  9. Whoa, probably the most good looking Campos account I’ve seen so far! I’ve worked previously at Campos in Brisbane, and seen few of their accounts, but I love the style of the shop (especially the narrow walkway, brick wall and heater for customers). I definitely prefer Campos Superior out of Linear, so good choices in their equipment.

  10. Went there today. Coffee was average, at the very best unfortunately. The coffee looked great, flat white, but failed after that. How to sum it up, well I think the ability to make a coffee with great mircofoam and then below that to deliver milk which exhibits none of those characteristics and is watery in texture at best is something which you have to work on. It was like a milky Sydney or Melbourne long mac (ie traditional style, long black stained with milk rather than the Perth style strong milk coffee) topped with mircofoam.

    I’ll try again some time as it may just have been a two off (my wife’s coffee was exactly the same).

    Shipping coffee across from the east is a genuine undertaking (Justin did it with Di Lorenzo at Fix) but it suffers for the journey and you get some inconsistency week to week and you do sacrifice freshness (unless you get it deliverd a couple of times a week). And Di Lorenzo, IMO, is a better coffee than Campos.

    If you look at how the local Five Senses blend at Velvet has been taken to the next level in recent months, I think if you are willing to put the time and effort in you can get a local blend to do it for you but it takes time and effort.

    Rocky road was nice though and the food “looked” good.

    Set up and style is excellent. Perth really needs more of this type of place. Hope it goes well.

Leave a Reply