Night Noodle Markets – Northbridge

IMG_8901If you haven’t been to the Night Noodle Markets – get down to Perth Cultural Centre quick!! It’s part of the excellent Eat Drink Perth festival and on for just a few more nights (till Sunday the 29th of March) – well worth checking out. There are three distinct areas, all with a bar and plenty of seating.IMG_8931

What we found is that the Night Noodle Markets is not just about noodles! It’s a celebration of Asian cuisine and proving to be a huge hit. We’d heard that you should get down to Northbridge early to avoid the queues – and so it seemed had everyone else!

IMG_8894There was a BIG queue for Hoy Pinoy before the Filipino street food stall had even opened! Hoy Pinoy is usually found in Melbourne’s’ Victoria Markets and Perth was giving them a big welcome. At 4.55pm there was a line at least 50 people long – we took it as a good sign and were happy to queue for 15 minutes whilst smelling the BBQ aromas! Once Chef and I got our mitts on the prize pork belly skewers, with a banana ketchup glaze, we were pretty stoked. I happily tucked into my crispy pork belly – the heat from the bbq all but rendering the fat away – leaving crisp, but tender meat. $12 for two sticks.IMG_8900

Low Key Chow House on Urbanspoon
Next we popped next door to the Low Key Chow House.Usually, it’s home is on Oxford Street, in Leederville. We’ve heard a lot of positive buzz about LKCH. Chef and I ordered chili caramel pork buns, which hit the spot perfectly, two for $12.IMG_8905

There was a great atmosphere about, foodies chatting excitedly about their yummy finds,people enjoying a glass of wine at the Yulumba pop up with their food. There was a real mix of ages too, a lot of families, office workers and retirees. IMG_8936

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The Apple Daily Bar & Eating House on Urbanspoon
We then moved onto the food area opposite the WA museum. Chef made a beeline for a favourite restaurant of his – Apple Daily (found at Print Hall). He absolutely loved the Linley Valley pork ribs ($12). The sticky and delicious ribs are flavoured with a tamarind, chilli and coriander marinade – which he washed down with a Japanese beer.IMG_8909
Turban Chopsticks on Urbanspoon

IMG_8912I popped next door to Turban Chopsticks, to say hi to the lovely Mei and to meet her husband Suresh – the other half of the Turban Chopsticks team. I enjoyed some potato ricotta balls and a scrumptious curry. I actually lost most of the balls to Little Chef who to my surprise (and delight!) loved them. We have a box of them at home and Little Chef has plans to cook them – success! The lychee drink was so refreshing and he even liked that. I’m slowly getting there – I’ll convert this fussy eater!IMG_8913

The three of us then headed over to check out the last night noodle market area at the Urban Orchard.IMG_8932Here we found a sneak peek of Lucky Chan’s Laundry. The soon to be opened crowd funded restaurant. Chef ate a spicy Thai Green curry from Shallot Thai, where the curries were being cooked in traditional clay pots, $12.IMG_8928

It was a fantastic family night out and the three of us all enjoyed it. It’s great to try a bit of this and a bit of that and there’s still pleanty more to try if you go back for a second or third night! We’ll be back next year for sure!IMG_8880

Shiro Japanese Restaurant – Perth CBD

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Shiro Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

After a presentation in the city, J and I decide on hanging around a bit longer and enjoying our child-free night out. Faced with the choice of the entire city’s restaurants, we let J’s Entertainment Book app narrow down where we were to go for dinner. There was a lot of choice in the immediate area – we were at Brookfield Place  – we decided to take a wander to the other side of “The Terrace” and try Shiro. The modern Japanese restaurant was somewhere neither of us had tried, but heard great things about.IMG_8794

Being a weeknight, we didn’t think a couple of walk-ins would be too much trouble. The waiter looked a little perplexed when we said we didn’t have a booking, but since the restaurant was pretty quiet, it didn’t seem to be too much of a problem. We were seated at a booth overlooking the leafy Central Park.IMG_8798

We both love Edamame, so sharing a bowl of the boiled soy beans was a no brainer. They came out steaming – I can never eat too many of those!IMG_8803

I can’t visit a Japanese restaurant without enjoying a bowl of miso soup!IMG_8810

For main, though the pork belly dish was so so tempting, I decided to choose  an old favourite instead – Chicken Teriyaki ($26). Years ago, I worked in West Perth and my work buddies and I would make the walk up Hay Street to Jaws for Teriyaki Chicken almost daily. The Chicken Teriyaki at Shiro was leagues above the take away I used to scoff at Jaws. The chicken breast and thigh were tender and covered in lashings of sauce, the bok choy, thinly sliced asparagus and cherry tomato gave me my vegetable fix. I also shared a side of steamed rice with J.IMG_8806

Caramel Miso Pork Belly ($32). I still managed to nab a bit of pork belly as J was kind enough to let me try hers. The pork belly braised in stock was very moist and full of flavour. A ginger salsa, herbs and pickled ginger were on the side.IMG_8804

All in all we really enjoyed Shiro. The food was very tasty, well presented and good value. The restaurant was classy and the service was mostly good. J even got a sneaky pic of this lil food blogger! We’d certainly return – maybe for some sashimi next time – now that we’ve been practicing our chopstick skills!11034168_10155185797840391_8700594956739803973_n

Scarborough Beach Bar

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Scarborough Beach Bar on Urbanspoon

Lately I’ve noticed a bit of a pattern appearing in our family dining, being that it’s usually somewhere Chef can enjoy a wood fired pizza and an ice cold beer! Ahh the simple things… So when he suggests that we go to Three Sheets AGAIN – I suggested that we try somewhere different – and the new Scarborough Beach Bar sprang to my mind. It was a beautiful sunny day, perfect for sitting on the balcony at the upstairs bar and watching the waves roll in.IMG_8704

The interior of the bar is light and airy, with a bit of a nautical, coastal theme. There’s plenty of spots to sit, we opted for the high bar tables.IMG_8699

There’s no table service, so orders are placed at the well stocked bar – Chef was impressed with their huge range of beers and drinks.IMG_8702

Poor me, always the driver, had a pre made juice. It was an interesting and tasty mix of apple, peach, orange, mango, blackberry, elderflower, grape seed and green tea.IMG_8701

The menu is typical of a modern pub with share food and gourmet pizzas to choose from. I was feeling like a “bit of this and that” so chose a couple a smaller dishes. The super tender salt and pepper calamari ($17) with a spicy chipotle aioli was a hit.IMG_8723

I also chose the potato skins three ways ($19, GF) thinking that it wouldn’t be a massive serve – I was wrong! There were six potato skins stuffed full of pulled pork, smoked bacon with sour cream n chives and also tomato and red onion salsa. I enjoyed the fillings, though the pulled pork was quite soggy. I love a pork dish and this unfortunately, fell short on my pork-o-meter.IMG_8720

Chef chose the Farmhouse pizza ($18/$26). It is available in two sizes, Chef opted for the larger size, which he struggled with. The kitchen is very generous with toppings and the pizza was smothered in eye fillet, sliced bratwurst, bacon, diced chicken, Spanish onion, roasted capsicum and cheddar – all on a bbq base. He liked his pizza, the base was nicely crisp, but he said he’d order the smaller version in future. His eyes were definitely too big for his belly on this occasion!IMG_8713

There weren’t a lot of kids around – mostly only children like Little Chef. He was well catered for with a good kids menu and he wolfed down his hotdog and chips. IMG_8711

All in all Scarborough Beach Bar is a great casual venue, where the food is mostly good and reasonably priced. The Scarborough beachfront is far more upmarket these days with new bars and restaurants opening left right and centre. With more additions to come it’s fast becoming the place to be. And who can argue with a view like this…IMG_8744IMG_8747IMG_8746

 

{PERTHfect product} Cooking with Turban Chopsticks & a “Little Bites” giveaway!

IMG_8777Recently I received a package of goodies from the lovely Mei and Suresh at Turban Chopsticks – this was a very welcome delivery as I have been using their products for a while now and absolutely love their concept of easy to make, authentic foods inspired from their Indian and Asian backgrounds.

I like the idea of cooking, I used to love it years ago. For various reasons I don’t enjoy it so much anymore – being crazy busy juggling my job/Blog/Social Media Management and also Little Chef being a terribly fussy eater make it difficult to be adventurous. I am a “one pot” fan, loving something that’s no fuss and that I don’t have to think too much about. I usually whip up the Turban Chopsticks Biryani if I’m making a curry in my slow cooker – its packed full of hand roasted cashews, sultanas and I usually add some veggies into the mix too.IMG_9648 (2)

I also am really strict when it coms to “E Numbers” or artificial colours/flavours and preservatives. It’s hard to find convenience food without these and knowing the Turban Chopsticks range is 100% natural gives me peace of mind.IMG_9654 (2)

Cooking with a little help from Turban Chopsticks is perfect for me and my family’s needs. It’s wholesome – no nasties at all. A lot of the products are gluten free too. There is a little bit of cooking involved – enough to make me feel like I’m making an effort and not just shoving a frozen pizza in the oven!

IMG_8772The “Little Bites” range are perfect little morsels for picnics, party finger foods, BBQs etc And so easy to whip up! I tried the Onion Bhaji Mix, admittedly I got Chef to chop the onions (my eyes are very sensitive! haha). After that all I did was add the dry mix to the onion, stir in some water and a little chilli and coriander. Too easy!IMG_8773

I deep fried the mixture for a few minutes then – tah-dah!! Deliciously crisp bajis in under 10 minutes. Chef and I love to have sides with curry and when we make a curry at home we’ll often pop up the road to the local take away to get some onion bhaji. NOT ANYMORE! Turban chopsticks bhajis taste 100% authentic, they’re absolutely delicious!IMG_8787

Now, I don’t want to get all “sell-y”. That’s not a word, but you know what I mean. I’ll only promote products now and then on my blog and I will only do this if:

A) I totally love them and

B) they are a local company

Turban Chopsticks absolutely covers this criteria and you can find their packages in the Asian food section of specialty food stores and selected Coles, IGAs and Woolworths. You may even bump into Mei at various farmers markets, festivals or Perth’s Upmarket like I did. Find out your local stockists and much more at http://www.turbanchopsticks.com.auIMG_8789

Turban Chopsticks on Urbanspoon

***GIVEAWAY***New Image111

{Win a Turban Chopsticks Pack!}

To enter – simply pop over to my facebook page “like” the competition post and answer the below question, in the comments section of this post. (Please read the rules first). Question: What Turban Chopsticks Rice pack do I cook? https://www.facebook.com/TheChefHisWifeTheirPerthFectLife

RULES

The competition closes at 6pm MONDAY 16th March 2015.

1 winner wins a Turban Chopsticks Pack – 6 boxes – (value $50).

You must live within Western Australia

The winner will be selected at random from all comments made.

The winner will be contacted and the prize mailed out – if the winner does not respond to their message within 24hrs, there will be a re-draw.

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. By entering this competition you are agreeing to the rules and acknowledging that Facebook is not connected in any way to this contest. Good Luck!!

 

“Quick Bite” Lot 20 – Northbridge

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I’m becoming more and more time-poor lately – I just realised I STILL haven’t blogged about places I visited last year! Oh dear…

As my Perth Food Blog has grown, it seems that my posts are getting smaller. In the last few months I’ve also been developing a social media management sideline (email me for details!) and other new bits and bobs coming soon – as well as having a day job, family and life! I love my blog and it really is my “other child” – I still want to bring as many of my musings as possible to you. So rather than waiting until I have time to dedicate to writing a massive post and letting my pictures gather dust – I will instead “strike while the iron is hot” and create a few shorter-style recommendations – before it becomes old news. These “quick bites” will be easier to digest!

For those not in the know, Yelp is a review website in the same vein as Urbanspoon and Tripadvisor. It’s not exclusively for restaurant reviews, you can also review retail outlets and services. I find Yelp a little more positive than the others and I think that has a lot to do with the fact the users are more accountable. You must use your own name and have a profile pic of your face. Yelp also runs regular events for like minded people and it feels like a little community. In December I attended a Yelp Elite Event at Lot 20 – a small bar with cool drinks, tasty morsels and freshly shucked OYSTERS! Yum…IMG_7989

Lot Twenty on Urbanspoon

Lot 20 is from the guys behind Five Bar and 399. “The Singer” and I moseyed along mainly to see one of our favourites – Jerry Fraser – Oyster shucker extraordinaire. He has made the move from the Publican Group and is no longer found at the Print Hall bar. He now divides his time between Lot 20 and Five Bar (Beaufort Street, Highgate).IMG_7986

As always, it was fabulous to chat with him and his oysters were spot on!IMG_7987

The small bar is in a beautifully renovated old building right next to Perth Cultural Centre and as a result seems to have a real mix of people, students, hipsters, office workers. It has a cool vibe, excellent casual cocktails (loved my old school pina colada!) and a large outdoor sitting area.IMG_7982

We tucked into some deliciously sticky ribs with fries on the side. The seasonal menu looks great and I left thinking that I must come back for a proper meal soon – so watch this space!IMG_7985IMG_7991

 

Pinchos – Leederville

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Pinchos on Urbanspoon

The sights and smells of Spain are bursting out of Pinchos, a small tapas bar in Leederville. A huge paella dish simmers away at the door, smelling rich and enticing, inviting me inside. Walking into the bar I had a strong feeling of Dejavu – it used to be a favourite of mine – Snags and Sons. Now owner, Justin Bell (also of Jus Burgers), has transformed it into a little piece of Spain where you can eat “Small bites to large plates and everything in between”.IMG_8674

Being a Perth food blogger does have it’s perks – I was invited by the lovely people at Pinchos for lunch. I still pay for far more meals out of my own pocket than I’m invited to – so when I’m lucky enough to get an invite, I see it as a little treat for all my hard work writing! I’d yet to visit Pinchos, so it was a perfect opportunity to check it out.IMG_8655

Pinchos means “to pierce/spike”. The pinchos are traditionally served in bars in Northern Spain – tasty bite-sized snacks which are typically served on skewers. Pinchos is licensed and their drinks – a wide range of beer, wine and spirits – are mainly sourced from Spain.

I chose to have the Menu Del Dia – which seems like outstanding value at $15. It’s available Monday to Friday. You can choose one pinchos, one Tapa and a salad that is accompanied by fresh bread. Check it out – yum!IMG_8664

To start, I had “Pintxo Choriso con miel” which translates as sausage, honey and cheese on a stick. It’s one of the cheapest morsels on the menu at just $2 each. I enjoyed the saltiness of the chorizo with the sweet honey. It was a delicious combination that got my tastebuds wanting more.IMG_8666

From the salad menu I choose the Remolacha y Garbanzos -$9. The bowl was brimming with beetroot, chickpeas, yogurt, apple, fennel, radish, honey and dukkah. It was a different salad combo to anything I’d had before, and I really enjoyed it. The crispness of the apple, fennel and radish was really refreshing. IMG_8667

After smelling the “Street Paella” wafting in, I just had to try that too! The Spanish staple was spot on, rice perfectly cooked with a generous amount of chorizo.IMG_8659

There are so many delicious looking things on the Tapas menu. Which small plate to choose?! There’s croquettes, meatballs, marinated prawns, salted cod and so much more. What a dilemma. In the end I (unsurprisingly) went for the pork belly. Chicharrones ($8) is a plate of deep fried pork belly, dusted in cumin. The deliciously crisp pork belly was tender and moist in the middle. So simple, SO GOOD!IMG_8670

Thanks Pinchos for the opportunity to try your delicious food!! Perfect to share over a bottle of cava with friends.IMG_8677

 

Ocean Spice Café – Cottesloe

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Ocean Spice Cafe on Urbanspoon

I’m constantly looking for new places to dine. Truthfully, it’s a bit of an obsession – part and parcel of being a Perth food blogger! The web is a never ending source of restaurant news and new openings in Perth. Sites such as Urbanspoon and Tripadvisor can be a bit of a mixed bag though and I tend to take them with a large pinch of salt. The “urban-trippers” can get a little carried away on their imaginary soapbox, ranting and raving about disappointing meals and awful service. On the other hand, when I find a restaurant with an unblemished record and nothing but praise online, I take it as an excellent sign. One such place is a casual Asian restaurant, Ocean Spice Café, which has been open just a few months – to rave reviews.IMG_8554

Ocean Spice Café is on Eric Street, right next to the Ocean Beach Hotel. It’s modern, airy and has sea views if you can secure a table next to the large open window. We dine at 6pm on a Tuesday night and already the place is bustling with people and take away orders.IMG_8558

We are very warmly welcomed by the owner Maria. Ocean Spice café isn’t licenced, so Chef dashes to the neighbouring OBH for a bottle of white. There are soft drinks on offer, as well as such Vietnamese delicacies as “Sinh To Bo” an avocado milkshake, for the more adventurous.

There’s a lot of choice on the menu for meat eaters and plenty of vegetarian options too. To start, Chef and I chose a few entrees. We have Little Chef in tow. It is the notoriously fussy five year old’s first dalliance with Asian food. The four vegetarian curry puffs, $8.90 brimming with potato and peas are only mildly spicy and to our surprise Little Chef tucks into them. The pork spring rolls, $7.90 are deliciously crisp too.IMG_8561

Many years ago my yard stick for satay sticks was set impossibly high during a trip to the Satay Club at Clarke Quay in Singapore. Never before had we tasted such delicious morsels of nutty meat and sadly, never again since. Our chicken satay sticks, $8.90 at Ocean Spice Café are very tasty, but fall short of our impossibly high benchmark for satay sticks. They are missing something – perhaps the smokiness of being cooked on a chargrill.IMG_8566

I choose a chicken cashew nut stir fry, $18.90, also available with beef or pork. The thinly sliced chicken is perfectly sautéed and oh so tender. It is packed full of fresh, crisp vegetables; snow peas, capsicum and spring onions all covered in soy sauce and sesame oil – absolutely delicious!IMG_8573

Next, we devour a pile of crispy roast duck, $21.90, which sits atop a mound of crunchy noodles. The duck is moist on the inside and is smothered with a lip-smacking sweet plum sauce.IMG_8568

Chef enjoys his favourite staple Thai dish of Chicken Pad Thai, $18.90. He practically demolishes the traditional street food dish of soft stir fried noodles, perfectly cooked chicken, fried egg, tofu, bean sprouts, garlic and chives.IMG_8572

The khong wan menu, which translates as “sweet things”, looks tempting. Feeling rather full, the three of us decide to share the kow neow manung with ice cream, $10.90. The traditional dessert of sticky rice with succulent fresh mango, sesame seeds and coconut milk with a generous serve of ice cream is the perfect end to our meal.IMG_8580

The busy café offers outstanding value for money and is incredibly popular – even Mark Barretta from Channel Seven’s Sunrise was spotted dining there recently! We noticed many of the other diners seemed to be regulars – Ocean Spice Cafe seems to have filled a much needed niche in Cottesloe.

*First published in the Post newspaper*

At a glance

■ Ocean Spice Café

2/1 Eric Street, Cottesloe

Phone 9383 3303

■ Opening times

Tuesday to Friday

5pm to 9pm

Saturday & Sunday

11am to 9pm

■ Rating

food 3

service 4

ambience 3

value for money 4

■ style – Thai & Vietnamese

■ wine – byo

■ Chef – Pop Samasorn

■ Owner – Marie Grace

■ feel – Casual and unpretentious

■ wheelchair access – small

step at entrance

■ cost –

Entrée – $7.90 to $8.90

Mains – $11.90 to $21.90

Dessert – $8.90 to $10.90

■ all in all – well priced and

well cooked food with a

warm welcome from Marie.