Iím going to share a little secret which may make you angry. Angry that you hadnít heard of it years ago. There is a magical kingdom in the middle of the city where you can buy delicious cakes, slices, savouries and bread at ridiculously cheap prices.
Actually, itís not so much a magical kingdom as a totally dodgy looking warehouse in Northbridge, accessed by a door that looks like it hides almost certainly illegal activities, with its CCTV camera pointing down at all who enter. My eldest daughter opened the door a crack before turning to me saying ĎIím pretty sure this isnít the right placeí with a worried look on her face.
I assured her we were in the right place and pushed the door open fully. The cold hit them first, the room being refrigerated to help keep the trays of cakes and goodies fresh, but then I saw their eyes open with wonder as they were faced with table after table of pre-packaged trays brimming with Princess Cake, vanilla slice, hedgehog, Danish, muffins, brownies, macarons and more.
This is the Miss Maud Seconds and Discounts shop, on Fitzgerald Street in Northbridge. Open every Saturday for only two and a half hours, inside you will find Ė as the name suggests Ė seconds from Miss Mauds at heavily discounted prices.
You never know what you will find each week, so itís best to go with an open mind. Also go with a wad of cash, because it is strictly cash only.
Each tray was around $4 or $5, pretty good value when each of the items on each tray would usually cost more than that in a shop.
There were trays of un-iced vanilla cupcakes ($4 for four or $10 for 16) ready for you to ice and take all the credit. Perhaps youíd prefer a double sponge cake ($5), giant slab of carrot cake ($4) or chocolate mousse cake ($7). There were even beautifully decorated rainbow cakes with a slice removed ($12). A little strange perhaps, but great value.
Schools of Early Learning offer education and care for children aged 6 months to 6 years.
You can buy off-cuts of brownie, the ends of meringue, bits of macaron, squashed vanilla slice and other random things.
The food may no longer be beautiful Ė but it is still delicious, fresh and very, very cheap.
For those who prefer something savoury, there are often trays of pies, quiche and sausages rolls available (four pies or six sausage rolls for $8-$9). They are fresh and can be taken home and heated, or frozen for later. The slabs of un-iced carrot cakes would make great school morning teas, if you cut it into chunks and froze immediately.
We were also lucky enough to find some tubs of already frozen chicken curry pie filling, which we were told was perfect heated up and served with rice. I bought two tubs, perfect for dinner on those nights when I canít be bothered cooking.
Perhaps the brownie offcuts are not the sort of food you can serve at a fancy afternoon tea, but considering they are sold as seconds, most of the food looks very presentable and part of the excitement is not knowing exactly what you will find each week.
We bought two tubs of frozen chicken curry, four pies, six sausage rolls and eight trays of various cakes, slices and offcuts (which is two dinners, two lunches, some school morning teas and more cake than any family can realistically eat in a weekend) for only $50.
Go early, take cash and an open mind and you will be so glad you did.
Essential Information Miss Mauds Seconds
Open: Saturdays from 7am to 9.30am
Address: 136 Fitzgerald Street, Northbridge
Strictly cash only