The Shorehouse – Swanborne


The Shorehouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Shorehouse opened just a month ago, so I expect a short wait to be seated. This popular new dining spot is owned by the people from buzzed about inner city venues – The Trustee, BeaufortLocal and Enrique’s School for to Bullfighting. There are two distinct areas at The Shorehouse – the chic restaurant and the outside deck, shaded with yellow and white stripped umbrellas.IMG_1183

Once we are at the front of the queue a waitress motions for us to follow her. She stops to talk to another waiter and wanders off. We’re left standing in the middle of the restaurant – not knowing where to go! A minute later the waitress re-appears, taking us to a table on the outside deck. Whilst the deck looks very inviting, I had specifically booked for the restaurant – as the full menu isn’t available outside. Eventually, we are seated at the correct table. No menu appears in the first ten minutes. An eagle eyed waitress notices, apologizes profusely and swiftly provides us with menus and takes our drinks order. From here on in the service is flawless – almost.IMG_1170

I dined at this Swanbourne venue’s previous incarnation – The Naked Fig. It’s gone from a dark, bohemian café to a light and open Hamptons style restaurant – totally reflective of its beautiful coastal view. The dining room’s centerpiece is an antique copper bath which is where the wine is chilled in ice. The wait staff look like they’ve stepped straight out of the GAP – dressed in trendy cottons and denim aprons. A note to the ladies – be careful that your heels don’t get stuck in the decked flooring!IMG_1182

The wine list of mainly Australian and French drops is extensive – with 50 whites and 50 reds on offer. I feel like a glass of red wine – though the weather is too warm for me. I pick a Tomfoolery Rose, which feels much more like a chilled red – I love its crisp flavors. There are other excellent drink choices – craft beers, ciders and bespoke cocktails.

The kitchen is led by Good Food Guide Young Chef of the Year, Head Chef Oliver Gould. The menu, features a lot of seafood as well as grilled meats from the “Josper”, a Spanish BBQ oven. The Shorehouse’s menu has a sophisticated feel and it’s certainly not the place for a casual burger or pizza.

I enjoy an entrée from the “small house” small plates menu, which can double as share food. A summery salad of ripe heirloom tomatoes, $24.50, sugar cured fresh kingfish, watermelon, watercress and basil has sweet and sour flavours.IMG_1165

Sweetcorn and manchego croquettes, 12.50, are wonderfully crisp on the outside and positively goo-ey on the inside.IMG_1155

Little Chef chooses the grilled fish and chips, $19, which includes a drink and dessert. Initially I think that $19 is quite steep for a kids meal and the portion isn’t huge – though I think that’s more of an optical illusion, as a regular plate is used to serve it on. Little Chef wolfs down the meal and absolutely loves the fish fillets – which are super fresh and clearly very good quality. He asks, ‘when are we coming here again for dinner’, high praise from this 6 year old indeed.IMG_1161

Cooking at 400 degrees in a Josper keeps meat juicy, whilst adding touch of charcoal for added smoky flavour. I choose the slow cooked pork belly, $36.50, with sweet and sour shallots, peach and mustard seeds. The pork is deliciously moist and it is a beautifully plated dish.pork belly

Chef’s Harvey scotch fillet, $43.50, is topped with grilled eggplant, kipfler potatoes, taleggio and anchovies. Whilst it is a tasty piece of meat, oozing with smoky flavours, Chef questions the hefty price tag – he’s had better steaks.IMG_1175

As we watch the pink sunset over the ocean our dessert arrives. We admire the sweet creations, then realise we have no cutlery! Eventually, Chef devours the white chocolate sponge, $16.50, with different textures of mango cream, banana and almond milk ice cream.white choc sponge

A rosemary pannacotta, $16.50, with tart passionfruit sorbet and coconut crumble, is a tasty way to end my meal.IMG_1186

We enjoy The Shorehouse, which is styled as “casual beachside dining” and whilst the vibe is very chilled, the food is far from casual.IMG_1144

At a glance

■ The Shorehouse

278 Marine Parade


Phone 08 9286 4050

■ Opening times

7 Days

7am till late

■ Rating

food 4

service 3

ambience 4

value for money 3

■ style – Modern Australian

■ wine – Large list, lots of

“iconic drops”

■ Chef – Oliver Gould

■ Owner – Scott Taylor

■ feel – beachside chic

■ wheelchair access – yes

■ cost

Small – $3.50 to $29.50

Big – $32.50 to $125.50

Dessert – $14.50 to $25.50

■ all in all – stunning restaurant

with a menu to match. Excellent

drinks. Service is a little patchy.


Baby Mammoth – Northbridge


Baby Mammoth Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Reeva, a blogger friend of mine from Proudly South African in Perth had asked me along to one of her favourite dining spots in Perth – Baby Mammoth in Northbridge. I had heard that it was South African, but not much else. Images of African steak houses, like Hippo Creek, filled my head and that’s basically what I was expecting – man was I wrong!

Baby Mammoth is a small, intimate little piece of SA, found in between other trendy bars and restaurants on William Street in Northbridge. Reeva and I met the lovely Casey from the excellent Perth wine blog The Travelling Corkscrew.IMG_0763

Executive chef Ryan Lambson and his wife Tania have owned Baby Mammoth for about two years – recently that they were granted an alcohol license. Now there are A LOT of alcoholic options – an extensive bottled beer list, loads of cocktails and an intensively researched wine list. The bar team love to get creative and their own beer based vermouths and liqueurs form the base of all their unique beer cocktails.

The wine list isn’t full of the usual suspects and I really love that. There are some interesting drops. I chose a Grinder Chenin Blanc from Paarl and Casey picked a South African Grinder Pinotage. There are also local, Australian and NZ wines available too – Reeva chose a Clockwork SBS from Pemberton.IMG_0764

The three of us were busily chatting away in our cosy booth about blogging and it did take us a while to decide on which dishes to share! Here’s what we ate…

Prawns in beer, chilli and garlic sauce ($16), and a corn ‘grits’ porridge was deliciously creamy and it was a generous serve of prawns for the price. IMG_0765

Cape Malay Curry ($26) was full of chunks of fish, roasted coconut, banana, chutney and rice – topped with a crispy pappadum.  This dish was SO yummy!IMG_0767

The smoked fried potatoes ($6) is a recent menu addition and is accompanied by a chilli mayo – we loved them.IMG_0766

The pulled lamb Bobotie sliders ($17) were absolutely delish! Served on a African doughnut with chutney, they are very tasty indeed.IMG_0774

The cajun spiced calamari ($12) was tender and very tasty too.IMG_0768

I couldn’t fault any of the dishes. I really enjoyed the flavoursome share plates. Though the menu is clearly South African – it didn’t come with any of the cheesiness of a theme bar (I’m still having terrible  flashbacks about inflatable kangaroos in the Walkabout in Covent Garden, London lol).

It feels very much like a regular, modern menu with hint of South African fusion.IMG_0782

Their dessert menu, with just three choices, is quite literary short and sweet. Though it was still a difficult decision! Feeling quite full, we decided to share something and though the Malva pudding and a Don Pedro were tempting – we chose their signature dessert “The Showtime’. It was inspired by Chef Ryan’s ‘night at the movies’. The components, popcorn parfait, Milo meringue, cola Turkish delight and a wicked chocolate sauce really worked and we all agreed it was a scrumptious dessert to finish on.IMG_0776

Though Baby Mammoth wasn’t what I had initially imagined it would be, I was very pleasantly surprised. The food is wonderfully different and reasonably priced – I’d absolutely love to dine there again.IMG_0783

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.