I'm always glad when the cafe I'm visiting is located in the western suburbs, cos I'm a westie. Here's one cafe that's opened along Bt Timah Road.
Girlfriend and I shared two cuppas - a Latte and a Cortado. Both were okay, nothing too bad. The Cortado is essentially espresso with a little warm milk. I've just read the definition of it off Wiki, and it's pretty similar to the piccolo latte (in Australia). And I'm left wondering, if it's a cafe that's aiming to bring the Melbourne cafe scene in, why didn't they just name the drink as they do in Aussie? Hmmm. Someone please enlighten me on coffee terms please.
We also got a quiche and a plate of eggs ben to share. The quiche crust was quite blend by itself, and the egg mixture itself was really salty. The quiche tasted nice, but the saltiness factor just really let the whole dish down.
The eggs ben was good - both yolks were runny as they should be, and the bread was really good artisan bread. The hollandaise sauce was just a tad too buttery/oily, but I can't comment much on whether the sauce was ups/downs cos I'm actually not a fan of hollandaise sauce.
We were just having our meal, chatting and all when the staff approached us with petite bowls of french onion soups. Apparantly, they were testing recipes, so they gave us free samples for our feedback. I've never had french onion soup before, but I was impressed with how cute the dish looked with the toasted bread cubes sitting atop the soup. Girlfriend thought the soup was not bad overall, I concurred, though once again, I would wish that the chef would be less heavy handed with the salt.
Societe Canteen is another of those no-frills minimalistic decorated place. Besides coffee, they do offer a selection of teas too if I remember correctly (they have like a rackful of teas, I think, in the store). It's quite a nice place to sit and read a book on a weekend afternoon. And it's quite accessible as it's like what, a 5 minutes walk away from the Botanical Gardens station.