In the second of our occasional series on breakfast refuelling points for early morning canoeists, we take a look at Lo Quay; a café on the northern side of Riverton Bridge. This crossing point is the wooden piled structure built in the 1950s to replace an earlier bridge that supported the main route East from Fremantle. When Leach highway’s heavy traffic demanded a larger crossing, and Shelley Bridge was built, Riverton Bridge settled on its timbers and now manages the slower paced traffic of a pleasant riverside suburb.
Close to the southern end of Riverton Bridge is a canoe-friendly launching ramp, and access to the stretch of the Canning River between Riverton Bridge and Kent Street weir. An early morning paddle on a lazy summer’s day is a good time to see herons, pelicans, grebe, cormorant and the occasional sea eagle sorting out their breakfast menu. The smaller birds look like they’re hovering centimetres above the water surface in the shimmering heat. Jellies get this far up river, and shoals of fish break the surface to taunt the predatory birdlife perched in branches of drowned trees at the water’s edge. A short paddle upstream through the Canning River Park takes you past river islands, banks of reeds and one or two shore-bound fishermen. But your human company is almost entirely the handful of kayakers who pass with a brief greeting and get on with their personal journey. Less than 10 in 2.5km today. This is delightful solitude; decompression after the rigours of a fast -paced week at work. Afterwards come the breakfast.
Lo Quay is a bustling Saturday morning breakfast/brunch hub with a loyal following of local clients. We were introduced to the place when it was still a burger and sandwich bar several years before the dawn of good coffee. After a rebuild it took on a new purpose in life: bringing a bistro menu to this perfect location under the trees on the northern bank. Its appeal spans family groups, couples, weekend cyclists, social canoeists and suburban residents who have to make do with breakfast here if they run out of sourdough bread, eggs and smoked salmon. Service can be a bit slow during the breakfast rush hour.
Too late for breakfast? The lunch menu is not bad.