Sapore Espresso Bar – Belmont


Sapore Espresso Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I know I’m crazy busy when I realise it’s taken TWO months to write a blog post! Besides real life getting in the way of a good foodie story, we’re still playing catch up since moving house. Also, I’ve been a bit of a disaster lately, spilling iced tea on my laptop meant that I have lost my S and W keys and so am typing with two keyboards. Not fun. Just give me the benefit of the doubt if you spot any dodgy spelling errors!New Image

I’d popped into Sapore for many healthy takeaway lunches on the run. I had been meaning to check it out for brunch for some time. Also, the A-Mazing looking gourmet shakes I’d spied recently on Instagram had been tempting me too!! And so, back in September, I caught up with two of my high school favourites – Myl and Ren. It was a very busy Friday brunch and there was hardly a spare seat in the bustling Belmont café. It had a good atmosphere, though quite noisy too.

My creamy nutella gourmet shake ($8.50) lived up to the hype. Topped with cream and chocolate it’s very rich and decadent! For the coffee drinkers, Sapore use local Fiori Coffee from the Swan Valley.IMG_0112

Ever the fungi lover, I chose the wild mushroom bruschetta ($15.90).  A trio of sautéed mushrooms, wilted spinach and meredith chevre goats cheese sits a top toasted Panini and is lightly drizzled with great southern truffle oil. I added a poached egg for an extra $2. It is a tasty breakfast dish, I just wished that my egg was runny!IMG_0107

Myl enjoyed the sweetcorn fritters with a fresh tomato and avocado salsa ($17.50). It’s a good veggie dish, topped with two runny poached eggs.IMG_0109

Ren had the eggs Florentine ($17.90). Two free range poached eggs, smoked salmon and spinach are smothered with house-made hollandaise sauce and sit on top of a slice of sourdough toast.IMG_0111

Sapore has friendly service, wholesome and delicious food – it wasn’t my first visit and it sure won’t be my last!IMG_0118



HopsScotch – Roleystone

IMG_0634HopsScotch Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Little Chef, my parents and I took a drive to Roleystone in the Perth Hills. Along Brookton Highway we found a quaint little cottage café, HopsScotch, to stop for a spot of lunch.IMG_0630

Driving up the gravel track, flanked with tall trees, I felt at home. As an ex-hillbilly I do miss the fresh smell of gumtrees and the sound of Kookaburras laughing away. Walking down little pathways to get from the car park to the café its clear that there is more to HopsScotch than simply being a café in the bush. There’s a lot to explore – after lunch of course! A tip – take your flats/walking shoes. I came in my heels (straight from work) and they didn’t fare too well on the gravel paths.IMG_0624

The property has been taken over by new owners in recent years and the cottage fully renovated. There is plenty of cosy seating inside by the fireplace and out under the enclosed verandas too. IMG_0607

The lunch menu is made up of small dishes (perfect for sharing), salads and something a bit more substantial – there are also sandwiches and sweet treats in the cabinet. Their hot drink selection are T2 teas and the Essenza coffee blend. As I placed our order at the counter, I spied a familiar face in the kitchen, Chef Sebastian Sindermann. He is the new Head Chef at HopsScotch. It was such a surprise and so lovey to see him. Chef used to work with him at the Duxton Hotel, in a time well before I was the Chef’s Wife! It must have been almost a decade since I saw him last. My, how time flies!

I felt like something light, so I picked the avocado bruschetta ($10.50) from the small plates part of the menu. Topped with fresh avocado, tomato, onion, feta and pesto it was very tasty and with 3 pieces easy to share too.IMG_0615

My Mum enjoyed the battered barramundi with fries and house made tartare sauce ($25). IMG_0612

My Dad is quite a carnivore, though he’s always had a thing for roasted vegetables, particularly eggplant. He loved the veggie stack ($16.50) of eggplant, zucchini, capsicum and sweet potato – finished with tomato relish and a chive sour crème.IMG_0610

With the promise of a play on the playground, Little Chef wolfed down his kids meal of house made crumbed barramundi and fries $10, which includes a drink.IMG_0611

There is extensive gardens to explore as well as a fully fenced modern playground.IMG_0632

The grounds at HopsScotch are charming. Just when you think you’ve seen it all you turn another corner and discover something new!IMG_0623

There are lots of surprises too – which the kids love!IMG_0626IMG_0628

There are many pieces of art scattered throughout the gardens and some of it is also for sale.

We thought the Modern Australian café style food was tasty, fresh and well priced. Little Chef would have liked a little more time to explore, so I’m sure we’ll be back again soon. What a gem!IMG_0625

Co Op Dining – East Perth


Co-Op Dining Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Chef Kiren Mainwaring is all about sustainable food and sourcing his food locally. He gave a very passionate talk about that at the Eat Drink Blog conference in 2013. I’d heard many great things about the fine diner that he runs with his wife Kellie, in East Perth. Chef and I have wanted to go for quite some time – and so he surprised me with a visit for our wedding anniversary recently.IMG_0215

We are greeted by a friendly waiter and seated in the contemporary dining room. I choose a local wine from Myattsfield in the Bickley Valley. Chef picks an Eagle Bay ale – a favourite of his. I’m almost surprised that chef picks beer over wine to accompany his degustation. Co Op has a classy feel – but it’s also relaxed and not at all stuffy, so a beer isn’t too out of place. There’s some good boutique brews available and local spirits too.

We start our epic ten course dego with freshly baked bread, which we spread with lashings of Guernsey butter.IMG_0197

There are two courses of finger food. The meat charcuterie is a trio of house made coppa, little skewers of chicken liver and bresaola on crunchy rye. It’s a mouth watering start and I really enjoy the tender chicken livers – something I wouldn’t usually go for.IMG_0198

I love the ‘From the sea’ course of Ama Ebi prawns, Confit Sardine and Mojama – a Mediterranean delicacy of filleted salt-cured tuna. Not only are these morsels delicious, but I’m also delighted to see chef eat a prawn – for what is probably the first time ever. He’s not usually a big fan – but he enjoyed these as they are super fresh. Our waiter asks us if we are finished, when he clears the plates – he gesturers for me to eat the prawn head. Hmmm, it’s not something I’d imagine I’d enjoy – but I’ll try anything once. The head was surprisingly ok. The texture is crunchy, but soft. I won’t be rushing out to eat a prawn head again, but it’s something I can tick off the list!IMG_0200

The delicate Manjimup marron dish is stunning. The flavours of chicken fat, avocado and pancetta work so very well together. I’m also surprised by the use of Geraldton Wax – a native flower that I didn’t realise is edible.IMG_0201

I’m a big fan of egg dishes – this free range confit egg yolk oozes through the crisp puffed basmati rice at the merest touch of my knife. I love the earthy flavours of the Swan Valley fungi and aubergine too.IMG_0203

Anthea’s Dorper Lamb is a fab little dish with interesting ingredients – Gosht spice, charcoal emulsion, cabbage, fried shallots and sunrise lime.

Different textures of butternut pumpkin with walnut and linseed is a hit. I absolutely love the use of the roasted onion skin, it’s flavour so more-ish. The dish is finished with sharp parmesan.IMG_0206

One of the courses that really knocks our socks off is the chicken & stinging nettle. It arrived at the table – a beautifully plated dish of root vegetables; carrot, beetroot and a cauliflower puree. Chef and I looked at each other, both assuming the same thing – that there was a roast potato in the centre. Comically, we soon discover that it is actually perfectly cooked chicken delicately wrapped in it’s own skin.IMG_0207

After a palate cleanser served as popsicles, we head toward something sweet. By this point of the evening, I’m paying less attention to the components of each dish and just simply enjoying chatting to Chef over some amazing food. A beautiful little dish – described on the menu as Kombucha, Rosella, Strawberry, honey, ginger has perfectly balanced flavours and delicate textures.IMG_0210

Mandarin segments, served with wonderfully rich dark chocolate and shiro and ginger work very well together too.IMG_0212

We finish the night with scrumptious house made petits fours.IMG_0214

Some people say that the dego is dead. We totally disagree. There will always be special occasions when you’d want to treat your someone special to a dinner to remember. With interesting ingredients, stunning flavours, spot on technique and a completely unpredictable menu – we’ll absolutely remember these ten courses for a long time to come!IMG_0194


Holly Raye’s – Bassendean


Holly Raye's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Though newbie Holly Raye’s is tucked down an unassuming Bassendean side street – you won’t be able to miss it with the stunning dog mural by my favourite artist – Anya Brock. You can see some of her beautiful work at Ootong & Lincoln in Freo too. But anyhoo – I’m digressing here. I was lunching with some of my favourites Kim and Kez. Kez had mentioned to me recently that a friend of her’s, Holly, had opened a new café. I was very keen to try it – especially when I found out that Holly’s mum is in the kitchen – she used to work at the fabulous Sherbet cake and bake shop.IMG_0737

The café is fairly small inside and with two prams in tow, we opted to sit at a table out on the pathway. First, we ordered drinks. As a big fan of chai, I went for the creamy chocolate chai, which made a really nice change and it felt a little bit decedent.IMG_0747

We were sat at our table for a good 20 minutes or so before the cups and plates of the previous customer were cleared – but meh – no biggie. It was quite obvious the waitresses are new and they were run off their feet. I’m happy to give them the benefit of the doubt, given that Holly Rayes has only been open a few weeks.

The menu is an all day breakfast type – which suited us all just fine. I chose the Karri smoked bacon, with free range egg, sharp aged cheddar and tomato relish on a buttery brioche bun, $18. To my delight, the egg was runny *fist-pump*. It’s a tasty dish and the sweet relish really married all the ingredients together well. IMG_0749

Kim chose her staple brunch dish – Eggs benedict, $20. Holly’s version came with lashings of meaty pulled pork and hollandaise sauce. I’m not alone in my love for a runny egg – Kim confessed that she feels a little bit sad if she orders an egg dish and the yolk is hard boiled. I’m so glad I’m not the only one!! We’re happy to report that these eggs were perfectly gooey. IMG_0748

The use of mismatched retro plates is cute and these plates really reminded me of my childhood in the 80’s!! Kez enjoyed the super fresh breakfast guacamole with black beans and jalapeño cornbread, $18. She also ordered a side of potato hash, $4, which looked scrummy.IMG_0750

The girls treated themselves to some freshly baked sweet treats. As tempting a they looked – I’m TRYING to be good. An impossible mission for a food blogger and frankly, no one wants to read about a salad – though please do correct me if you do!IMG_0752

All in all I really enjoyed my first trip to Holly Raye’s. The food is well cooked and very tasty. It’s priced well too. I’m sure the service will catch up to the good standard once the new wait staff have found their feet.IMG_0742


Pata Negra – Nedlands

Pata Negra Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

David Coomer is one of Western Australia’s most celebrated chefs – with a reputation for sourcing top local produce and never compromising on quality. For years his iconic fine diner, Star Anise, was the place to go for an unforgettable meal.

His Spanish tapas restaurant Pata Negra feels like a small bar straight out of Catalonia – black walls, warm lighting, rustic furniture and charming mismatched glassware. There is a courtyard out the back, strewn with lanterns, a wonderful space to dine on a warm summers evening.IMG_0680

The wine list has an undeniably Spanish influence, with Tempranillo being a prominent choice. We select a bottle of smooth Pinot Noir ($85) from the small Dexter winery on the Mornington Peninsular.

The menu of share plates reads; Tapas, The Earth (Vegetarian), The Sea (Seafood), The Land (Meat), The Dairy (Cheese) and more – with four options under each food category. I feel a little overwhelmed at what to pick – there are so many tasty possibilities! Our waitress suggests we choose the “Vamos a darle de Comer” menu, which roughly translates as “we are going to give food”. For $86 per person, the kitchen sends out a random selection of dishes to our table.

Little bowls of mixed olives and spiced almonds, from the tapas menu, gets our tastebuds started. Next is xarcuteria (charcuterie) and we enjoy a platter of mouth-watering cured meats serrano, chorizo and fennel salami.IMG_0685

A chicken liver pate, with a layer of madiera jelly, has a depth of flavour so often lacking in pates. We spread it thickly onto sliced crusty sourdough and relish every morsel.IMG_0683

From “the sea” we try Arroz negro – a rice dish similar to seafood paella. The al dente rice, flavoured with squid ink, is served with a generous dolop of allioli – the Spanish alternative to aioli. We mix the creamy allioli into the paella and add a squeeze of lemon juice. This tasty dish is one of Pata Negra’s mainstays and I can see why – the cuttlefish is tender and the black rice has a perfectly thin crisp layer on the base.IMG_0688

The gold band snapper ceviche, with smooth avocado, cucumber and dainty little radishes work well together to make a fresh and flavoursome dish – with a punch of summery citrus tang.IMG_0686

We are served a cracking fennel dish, from “The earth”. It is served with garden-fresh broad beans. The flavours of the dish are well balanced with salty anchovy, creamy pecorino cheese and sweet basil.IMG_0696

The wood roasted asparagus, served with a more-ish romesco sauce, is deliciously simple. David Coomer also runs Xarcuteria deli in Claremont and this romesco sauce took me back to the time Chef and I enjoyed some scrumptious take away pork belly rolls and eating them on the Cottesloe foreshore.IMG_0692

From “The land” we devour the Rangers Valley skirt steak, served with kohlrabi, a horseradish cream and hot sauce. I’m so glad that we chose the “trust the chef” menu, as I probably wouldn’t have picked this dish. Skirt steak is one of those cuts of meat which is inexpensive and full of flavour – but often not cooked correctly. Here, it is so tender, it melts in the mouth. Perfection. The kohlrabi, similar to a turnip, is an interesting addition to the dish.Skirt Steak

We finish our dinner with scrumptious cinnamon doughnuts, house made ice-cream flavoured with Spanish sherry Pedro Ximenez, topped with plump raisins.IMG_0702

With new restaurants continuously opening in Perth, it is so easy to get swept up in the buzz and excitement and forget a little about the existing Perth kitchens that are doing an exceptional job. For us, Pata Negra is THE tapas spot in Perth.IMG_0704

** Originally printed in the Post Newspaper **

At a glance

■ Pata Negra

26 Stirling Highway


Phone 08 9389 5517

■ Opening times

Tuesday to Saturday

6pm to Midnight

Friday Lunch noon to 3pm

■ Rating

food 5

service 4

ambience 4

value for money 3

■ style – Spanish Tapas

■ wine –Spanish inspired

wine list. BYOW cellar

night Wednesdays

■ Chef – David Coomer

■ Owners – David Coomer

■ feel – intimate and relaxed

■ wheelchair access – no

■ cost

Small Plates- $6.50 to $35

Larger plates – $17.50 to $37.50

Dessert – $16 to $24

■ all in all – Delicious food –

perfectly balanced flavours,

interesting produce and

spot-on technique. Attentive

service and fab venue.

Café Avellino – Drovers Wanneroo


Pizza is a big crowd pleaser in our house – it’s one of the only dishes everyone will happily eat without being fussy. We’ve found a cracking little pizza place – it’s been open just a few weeks. Chef and I think the bases at Café Avellino are to die for – they are super thin and soft, with just a millimetre of crispness on the bottom.

Café Avellino opened just a couple of days before the AFL grand final. We were having a gathering to watch the big game and Chef’s BFF, the Ice Cream Connoisseur, suggested it for the half time feed. What a great idea! They promptly delivered 11 pizzas to our house and everyone (including 4 Chefs) were very impressed. Frankly, after the West Coast Eagle’s performance – it was the highlight of the afternoon!

We were keen to check out the new café in person, so this week we had a casual family meal there. Café Avellino is found in the Drovers complex, on the corner of Joondalup Drive and Wanneroo Road. It’s BYO and as well as pizzas they also have authentic Italian pastas on their menu.IMG_0660

We started with the house baked garlic bread ($4) – thickly sliced and super fresh. With that scrumptious melted butter and garlic aroma, it didn’t last very long!IMG_0659

Chef chooses a Meatlovers ($18). It’s generously topped with ham, bacon, pepperoni, cheese and BBQ sauce (though Chef swapped this for a tomato sauce). He loves it and wolfs down the whole lot.IMG_0661

Little Chef enjoyed the adult size “American” ($16) – topped with cheese and pepperoni. He managed half, which was a good effort and Chef was stoked he had some pizza for breakfast!IMG_0663

At the AFL lunch the biggest pizza hit was the “Avellino”. I just HAD to order it again! It’s topped with prosciutto, creamy ricotta, tomatoes, chilli, fresh basil and cheese. And that soft, yet slightly crisp base was spot on again. This pizza is a definite favourite. Not quite my all time numero uno, (that is Delisio’s Mushroom Trio), but the Avellino is absolutely a close second.IMG_0665

It’s great to have a local café to rely on for those nights you can’t be bothered cooking! Café Avellino is open 7 days – breakfast, lunch and dinner and the staff are very friendly. We’ll be back again – and again and again…IMG_0658



Elevated Grounds – Kalamunda

IMG_0296Elevated Grounds Coffeehouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kalamunda is turning into quite the coffee spot! First opened Haynes Street Larder, then it’s sister café Jack and Jill appeared – now there is another opening on the Haynes Street Strip – Elevated Grounds.IMG_0300

You can find the bright and cheery café housed in what was formally “La Paris Brest”. The staff are very friendly and welcoming. Dining is al fresco or in the café – we opt to sit inside, where it’s a little quieter.IMG_0290

I really enjoyed a proper chai tea. I loved how it was served on a board and I poured the tea infused milk into the mug myself, sprinkling the chai spices ontop. I was happy to taste the tea was piping hot too, which is rare.

IMG_0293The menu is basically an all day breakfast menu. For something a little more lunch-y there is quiche, salad, sandwiches and more in the chiller cabinet – as well as cakes! My mum chooses two pancakes ($11) topped with blueberries and dusted with icing sugar. On the menu you can choose if you have a stack of 2, 3, 4, or 5 pancakes and there are several different toppings to pick from – naughty and nice.

IMG_0299I predictably chose the “pulled pork benedict” and was a little gutted when I was told that the kitchen had run out. Instead, I opt for the smoked salmon version ($16.50). First to the eggs! Were they perfectly cooked? The first poke of my knife didn’t reveal any runny yolk and my heart sank a little more – the second egg though WAS runny and the poached egg oozed with golden yolk.  The eggs and salmon sat upon a bed of wilted spinach and super fresh thickly sliced bread. The dish fits the bill, though I still crave that porky-ness that marries so well with the creamy hollandaise sauce.

Kids are catered for and there are mini picnic tables in the kiddies toy corner. Little Chef picks a simple cheese toastie for his lunch, which he scoffs in no time. Elevated Grounds is also friendly for your furry friends.


While it’s a pleasant café and the staff are very helpful,  I think the kitchen is yet to hit their stride with the food. The café has been open just a few months. Elevated Grounds has priced the food well and it’s more of a home style of cooking than gourmet, but still tasty!IMG_0304