Speciality coffee makers Mo Espresso have ventured into the world of food, with lip-smacking results.
Soon to be a new inner-city institution, Arlo By Mo is the latest venture by Neil and Zachary Barrett.
“Arlo By Mo is the latest entry on a journey that began six years ago with Mo Espresso in Trinity Arcade,” Zachary explains. “My father Neil and I opened this hole in the wall espresso bar without any hospitality experience (Neil had just retired after 30 odd years in retail and I was finishing up at university) and has grown year on year to include Max and Sons, Mo Allendale and Balance Espresso.”
The father-son team are now injecting their efforts into Arlo, a casual fine dining eatery set within one of the CBD’s heritage buildings.
“Arlo’s genesis comes from one of our great other loves, which is music,” Zachary says. “More specifically, it is the story of Alice’s Restaurant – a folk album from the late 60s by folk royalty Arlo Guthrie (his father Woody Guthrie is considered the godfather of modern American folk music and was one of the great influencers on Bob Dylan) that was worn out a great many times by Neil growing up. Neil then conditioned his wife and kids to share in the weirdness that is Arlo Guthrie.”
“When we viewed the space – one of the few remaining places of heritage value left in the Perth CBD – there was a feeling,” Zachary continues. “An emotion that this place could feel lived in but new, have a soul, be transformative and entirely unexpected. All that was going through our heads was the lyrics ‘you can get anything you want at Alice’s restaurant, except Alice’, and so the space became Arlo.”
To help bring feeling and soul to their new venue, Zachary and Neil enlisted WA barista champion Ziggy Varamulia to serve up the coffee and Henrik Swenson the food.
“Henrik is a Swedish chef from a fine dining background who shares our passion for sharing consistently great experiences,” Zachary says. “Together we created a menu that makes WA produce and Australian natives the hero through taking the known and experienced and making it unexpected.”
So, what’s on the menu?
“There are the normal stars like smashed avocado, poached eggs and mushrooms and tacos, but not as you would normally know it,” Zachary says. “The smashed avocado is served on a seeded cracker made from dehydrated cold press juice pulp, with a housemade native dukkah. The poached eggs and mushrooms come with an unexpected lemon myrtle goats cheese that cleanses the pallet and leaves you wanting more, and the taco comes with an ultraviolet pink Davidson plum salt. It all sounds a bit much, but really we just want to have fun and share food that is sustainable, traceable and really delicious.”
And for the coffee connoisseurs, there’s something called the Barista Breakfast – what Zachary explains is the coffee version of an amuse-bouche. “You get the most delicious single origin espresso (this rotates all the time like at our other cafes), a flat white of our custom 857 blend (named after my Grandpa’s police badge number and roasted by our principle partner FiveSenses) and our pick of our filter coffee offering.”
We’ll take three coffees over Alice any day (sorry Alice).
Visit – Arlo By Mo