Busting brunch all over – a road trip to The Crooked Carrot in the south west

by Buster the bruncher

Margaret River truffled mushrooms sounded an ideal brunch dish from the bush-based Crooked Carrot.

The Myalup eatery has for years exceeded expectations of travellers after its metamorphosis from a rustic café offering emu pies.

For decades, motorists marvelled at emus wandering the property and non-sensitive types indulged in a takeaway emu pie.

Brunch buddy, Professor Ken, rightfully posed the question: “Who could bring themselves to eating our national symbol?” 

Emu baked in a pie seems macabre but it isn’t on today’s menu at The Crooked Carrot.

The eatery’s transformation is phenomenal, tackling well-established principles of business like locating, not out in isolation, but near major centres.

Cars whizzing past at open-road speeds are likely to pull-over after an hour-and-a-half drive from Perth and just 35 kms short of Bunbury.

What’s to see – just the back of a shed?

But word-of-mouth about the tasty tucker and sculptured grounds spread quickly. Today, many of the hundreds of outdoor, under cover seats are occupied. Perth-to-southwest motorists getting an early start on the road will find their timing is ideal for brunch.

Passing trade is catered-for with an early-day menu, 6am-10am, with slick service for takeaways.

Our mushroom dish on sourdough slices was sufficient for two ($18.75) and with coffee as well as a tropical smoothie, customers don’t leave hungry. 

The extensive menu, catering for kids, features cultured sourdough toast with preserves ($7.27) right up to the full breakfast ($28.50).

The Crooked Carrot has hectares to play with, producing imaginative landscaping, full toilet facilities and extensive kids’ play equipment. Garden props springing-up include a plant-covered, rusty ute and, mysteriously, a fully renovated Melbourne tram.

Set in a region of rolling hills and towering trees, imaginative proprietor Sonia, described as an avid vintage collector, spruced up the café interior with quirky bits-and-pieces from her shed. Tractor seats became bar stools, rusty buckets served as bathroom sinks, watering cans became overhead lighting.

The Crooked Carrot has country charm character with its crooked croissant filled with spinach, prosciutto, brie cheese and the aforementioned Margaret River mushrooms ($18.50).

There’s crooked eggs benny central with choices of bacon, salmon or ham, ($18.25) and, for the kids, pancakes, waffles (both $12.50), eggs on toast or mixed beans on toast ($10.75).

Generous serves are suitable for sharing and with 23 add-ons, the extensive menu is worthy of big-city eateries.

The early menu is followed by a kids’ baby carrots menu (11am-2.30pm), then something light (wedges, bruschetta etc), then salads from 11am and full meals at 11am-2.30pm.

Burgers and rolls roll-out of the kitchen from 11am till 2.30pm naked snappy burger and Denmark butchers lamb bacon lettuce and tomato are both $22.50. 

Cruising up to The Crooked Carrot, don’t be turned-off by parked cars and tourist buses. The outdoor setting is massive, with long tables for large groups and many more tables plus lounges, for more intimate ingestion. 

Finally, to answer the most common query: yes, this is still carrot country where land-lovers take pride in their carrots, which are always brilliantly orange, brimming with nutrition and straight as an arrow.

And there’s nothing crooked about the place!

5 Spoons

Forrest Highway, Myalup.

Open: Daily, except Mondays and public holidays, 6am to 4pm.

Phone: 9720 1560.