Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Moana Coffee, 6000

We don’t ‘look up’ enough we humans. Focused always on the path ahead, we fail so often to observe the beauty above us. Moana Coffee reminds us to stop and smell the roses. You’d quite likely fail to notice it if you hadn’t heard the chatter on the grapevine. Suspended over the commercial Hay Street Mall, Moana is like a floating island of calm, and is perfect for a bit of solitude away from the tourist traps below. 

The balcony cafe, which you reach by a stately staircase, is positioned at level with the canopy of colonial buildings; the historic skeletons, of what they today house at street level. Up here you’ll meet Tranquility, History and Coffee.

Since its beginnings in 1907 as a café, the bygone Moana Chambers have seen an assortment of tenants from tailors, to jewellery makers, to families and theatre performers. Sewing machines and theatre chairs have since been replaced with coffee gears and low and high seats on which to perch; but the historic casing still remains. The reactivation of Moana Chambers into cafe-gallery and office space is thanks to a collab between the City of Perth and Spacemarket. Spacemarket has been responsible for awakening a number of underused buildings around Perth and repurposing them for creative ventures like artist studios.


Hanging outside on the quiet balcony is peaceful and charming. British Racing Car Green coffee cups, looped fairy lights, buffed floorboards, up cycled chairs and elegant archways. The ambience is lovely. Leaving will be an ache.

The beans are supplied by Bonissimo; my soy cappuccino had rich flavour and a fat crema, with good cocoa dusting. To fill your tummy, there’s a simple selection of bakes, toasties and salads, plus soups for the wintertime. 

I’ll be honest, I’ve been sitting on this review for a while, mostly for self-seeking reasons; I’d like Moana to stay the city centre sanctuary it is! The earnest owners work hard though, and deserve every patron they get. So I put my selfish motives aside, to share with you this treasure…

Coffee: 4/5 (Full flavoured and produced to a high level)
Ambience: 5/5 (An oasis. Can’t help but linger)
Service: 4/5 (Sweet and sincere)
Value: 4/5 (Slice of homemade pumpkin bread: $3.50, Small coffee: $3.80, soy milk: 30c)

Moana Coffee on Urbanspoon


  1. I'm with you - I am nervous to tell people about this place because I love it so much... however, my love HAS faltered a wee bit the after the last few visits as their prices seem to be on a bit of an upward spiral... I thought $8.50 for soup was quite a lot, but just acceptable .. but last time i went I was charged $9.50, which I can't justify at all for a weekday lunch, even in this stupidly priced city :( So I think my regular visits will have to stop, which is a shame.

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