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Westralia – Kakulas Sister

In November I visited Perth, capital of Western Australia, to attend a food blogging conference, ‘Eat. Drink. Blog.’  After the conference, we toured for a week, visiting some of south-west of WA.  As part of the #tiffingoeswest extravaganza, I spent A Day in Fremantle, a seaside city that’s a 20 minute train ride from Perth.

I had a vague recollection that I had visited a deli the last time I came to Fremantle over 10 years ago and an even vaguer recollection of the name.  If you type ‘Kakulas Perth’ into the search engine, the first two returns are Kakulas Brothers and Kakulas Sister.  Kakulas Brothers was established in 1929 in Northbridge as a grocery, dry goods and continental deli. It’s still going strong though these days it’s run by cousins, son’s of the original brothers. Kakulas Sister is Eleni Kakulas, the daughter of one of the original brothers (so she’s actually Kakulas Daughter).

Visiting Kakulas Sister in Fremantle (there’s another store in Nollamara) is like visiting an Aladdin’s Cave. It’s a treasure trove of all that is unusual, exotic, hard to source and hard to go past in the food world. In amongst the workaday staples including pulses and flours, there are glistening jewels of glace fruit, imported sweets and shiny bottles of sauce to tempt you. There is no such thing as low-fat or low sugar. It’s a gourmand’s delight and downfall.

Kakulas Exterior
Housed in an old theatre, it has dark wood floors and a patina that encourages you to enter. As you pass the specials baskets out the front, you are overwhelmed with the dazzling array of food on offer. Open sacks of coffee beans fill the air with their roasted scent and a table of chocolates and sweetmeats imported especially for Christmas greets you. To one side are enormous bins of chocolate coated treats and another bank of savoury snacks, nuts and unusual items such as sweet potato chips, all available by weight.
Kakulas Lozenge PairKakulas garlic pair
Kakulas licorice pair
Further into the shop is a large deli counter with cold and cured meats and yes, cheeses of the world. Atop the counter are olives, biscuits, oils and tempting tidbits to accompany the cheeses.
Kakulas Cheese & Meats
Tinned goods are housed in open shelving with large sacks of nuts, pulses and beans plonked in strategic corners and in large displays. Whilst there are signs asking customers to use the implements provided, there’s no one worrying about the dry goods being uncovered and the pretend danger that his may pose.
Kaulas dry goods pair 1
Kakulas dry goods pair 2Continue into  the shop and you will see a vast floor to ceiling wall of bottles and tins, set up in convenient sections such as Middle Eastern Spices, Nut Spreads, Syrups and Maize (yes, there’s a whole section devoted to maize and cornmeal). They support local businesses too such as Freo sardines.
Kakulas bottles
Kakula's Fremantle Sardines
From the ceiling hangs groovy Fremantle art tea towels, dried oregano and stockfish, all vying for your attention as you try to decide what to purchase. Another thing vying for your attention are the amusing and informative signs dotted around the shop. Clever, arty and a little bit smarty, they are sure to make you laugh.
Kakulas Trio of signs
Kakula's Baccala...try saying that fast!

Kakulas Baccala…try saying that quickly!

Make sure you leave plenty of time to browse the shelves, the bins and cabinets. I spent well over an hour in the shop and if I had more time, it would have extended to two.  Kakulas Sister will hurt your wallet but you’ll leave with a smile on your face.
Kakulas Trio

Kakulas Sister
29-31 Market St
Fremantle  WA  6160
Kakulas Sister

2 comments… add one
  • Jan Rhoades May 10, 2014, 10:42 am

    Ah, the pic of those wonderful Italian lozenges brough back fond memories of Italy. I bought quite a few boxes of these whilst there (especially the lemon ones). They are expensive (even in Italy) but I love them. And the sardines really caught my eye. I also love sardines and would loved to have tried a few of these too. It looks amazing and the theatre looks a little like our Princess Threatre at the Mater Hill.

    • Fiona Ryan May 10, 2014, 11:56 am

      I brought back the violet flavour. I saw them the other day in a shop in Brisbane and they now come in tins too. It’s hard enough to throw the boxes away so the tins would be doubly so. I’m sure there are many Princess Theatres across the country that could be subbed for each other.

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