A few months back, I was lucky enough to write an article for Feast (March issue) about Kakulas Sister. I was pretty happy to sift through the store, one of my favourite stores in all of Perth, for the sake of a day’s work. The story focussed on the Freo store, a fairly tiny space jammed into what used to be the Princess Theatre tea rooms.
However, there is another, lesser known Kakulas Sister store in Nollamara, which is just as good. Depending what kind of cook you are, perhaps even better.
Now, you are probably wondering if Kakulas Sister is owned by the sister of Kakulas Brothers in Northbridge. Well, kind of. The ‘Kakulas Sister’ is Eleni Kakulas, whose father was one of the original Kakulas Brothers. The family has had a long relationship with food, even before the opening of Kakulas Brothers in Northbridge. Originally from Kastelorizo, Greece, her uncles peddled fish and fruit as soon as they stepped off the boat in Freo. They eventually bought a ginger beer business and that’s where Kakulas Brothers now stands on William Street.
Eleni’s brother and cousin are now running Kakulas Brothers. Eleni struck out on her own and opened Kakulas Sister in Freo. Success and passion for food must run in the family, because a few years after shifting the Freo store to the heritage listed Princess Theatre, Eleni opened the Nollamara store.
So many, many bins of wholefoods. This is about a third of the store.
It’s a much bigger store and its stock is suited to the surrounding ethnic community. Instead of jars and cans of gourmet food stuffs, there’s a huge variety of the basics, the nuts and bolts of the kitchen. This is where you come to buy multiple kinds of flour like spelt, potato, masa, stoneground organic flours and spelt. There are beans, beans, beans and more beans.
There’s so much more to discover that my idea of good day’s shopping is spent here, peering into the indistinguishable bags of grains, legumes and god knows what. I usually buy almond meal, as I find Kakulas’ is finer and drier than most, and bakes great macarons.
The spice bins.
You can smell the spices before you see them. Clouds of spice drift away as the lids are opened and there’s some really good stuff like pink peppercorns, cassia bark and za’atar. There are also little bags of mastic and scarlet red annatto seeds. Not far away, are sacks of French grey sea salt and baby pink Himalayan salts. Dried fruit, coffee beans and olive oil are also great buys because of the high turnover.
Charcuterie at the deli.
Halva made in Greece.
Whether at this store or in Freo, I always, always pick up some of the super smokey German speck. It makes a wicked pasta carbonara. Another good buy is Kakulas’ hand spun halva. It’s all the way from Greece, studded with almonds and streaked with chocolate. Next to the deli are planks of salted fish, as dry and stiff as aged driftwood. These are used as stock fish while the baccala (which can also be bought at the deli) gets more royal treatment, often being creamed for baccala mantecato.
Dried stock fish.
I usually have to be pried away from the store, else I’d literally shop till it closes. Usually Mum or K start huffing and puffing and that’s my cue to leave. But before I leave, I always pick up a couple of vanilla beans at the checkout. Quite cheap (I can’t remember the price it’s either $3 or $4 for two) the beans are pliable, dark and oily and like everything in the store, a great buy.
Kakulas Sister Grocer
90 Hillsborough Drive, Nollamara WA 6061
T: (08) 9440 0642
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