Lapa Brazilian Barbecue – Subiaco

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Lapa Brazilian Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Tis the season for jolliness and feasting! Chef and I decide to give our elasticated pants a test run and start our festive over-indulgence early. I book dinner at the all-you can-eat Brazilian Barbecue restaurant, Lapa, in Subiaco.

We are warmly greeted by a waiter, with a Latino accent, who takes us to a cosy booth by the window. The atmosphere is buzzing. From the samba beats in the background, to the meaty aromas wafting from the open kitchen to the huge favela mural – we feel like we have stepped into a little piece of Rio.IMG_7978

Lapa is a bohemian neighbourhood in Rio de Janeiro. The restaurant is a unique and interactive dining experience in Perth, though if we were in Brazil it would be a typical Brazilian barbeque restaurant known as a Churrascaria.

Lapa is fully booked on a Tuesday night. A popular place indeed – particularly with groups. It’s not the place for a quiet, intimate meal, as the noise level in the dining room is quite loud. There is a small al la carte menu, though it’s clear that most people are here for the “Endless Feast”, which is the option we all order.

Chef enjoys an ice cold Argentinian beer. Bottled Brazilian and Columbian beers are also available, as well as some local favourites. I have a strawberry and lime Caipirinha ($14). The Caipirinha is Brazil’s national cocktail, which is made with Cachaça, a sugarcane spirit from Brazil. It feels very summery and is absolutely delicious. The wine list is good, made up of some interesting wines from Margaret River, the Barossa, Spain and a few Chilean wines too, for those wanting to keep with the South American theme.IMG_7960

The Endless Feast involves a lot of sides and as many morsels of meat as you can handle. We’re each given coasters. The green side reads “Yes please/por favor” and the other side is a red “no thank you”. As the meat waiters visit each table with their skewers of meat, the idea is you turn the coaster over to red when you are full or need a breather. To begin our feast, our waitress brings a bowl of pao de queijo to the table. Little Chef tucks into the soft cheese bread balls – they are deliciously different.IMG_7948

Our table is soon brimming with sides to share. We have a simple garden salad, potato salad, shoestring fries, a tasty black bean stew, rice, moreish crumbed banana fritters, as well as some sauces – Brazilian salsa and Chimichurri. IMG_7957

The meat waiters come around at about 5 minute intervals. Offering whatever meat on a giant skewer they have. We start off with some frango com chilli. I like a bit of culinary theatre. The tender chilli marinated chicken is calved for us at the table. The spicy chicken thighs pack quite a punch!

The next waiter to stop at our table has barbecued picanha. This is beef rump cap, a very popular cut of meat in Brazil. The waiter cuts off a few slices for us. It’s perfectly medium rare and so succulent and tasty. IMG_7968

Not long after a skewer of linguicas appears. The Brazilian sausage is also very fiery!I much prefer the moist lamb leg, marinated in garlic and herbs, it is absolutely mouth-watering.IMG_7972

We start with a small morsel of this and that, it’s actually quite deceptive, as soon we become very full. We also try pork belly, chicken wings and garlic steak. Our meal soon turns into a battle of wits to see who is the first to turn their coaster over to red.IMG_7953

There were a few things we simply couldn’t fit in – the chicken with cheese, pork scotch fillet, beef rib, garlic chicken, black pepper steak and not for the faint hearted, coracao de frango otherwise known as chicken heart!IMG_7962

As well as the mountain of meat there are plenty of other dishes too. A white sauce lasagne is brought to the table, as well as caesar salad and our serve of fries is also replenished. We couldn’t fault the meal, though we agreed it would have been great to have chunky chips instead of fries to soak up the meaty juices. Little Chef enjoys a chocolate “petit gateau” for dessert. Goodness knows where he found the room to fit that in!IMG_7975

The service at Lapa is excellent. Over the course of the evening we encounter many different wait people, each as cheery and helpful as the next. They interact well with Little Chef, making jokes and asking him questions. We really appreciate that, as so many people ignore children when dining out.

Chef and I are quite the carnivores, so we relished the chance to try so many different meats and cuts of meat. We’d certainly return for the meat-fest. The festive atmosphere and long tables make it perfect for dinner with a group. Elasticated pants are absolutely essential!IMG_7980

At a glance

■ Lapa Brazilian Barbecue

375 Hay Street

Subiaco

Phone 9381 1323

■ Opening times

Lunch Fri – Sun 12noon

Dinner 7 days – 6 till late

■ Rating

food 4

service 4

ambience 4

value for money 4

■ style – Brazilian Barbecue

■ wine – decent wine list with

some Chilean wines available.

■ Chef – Amar Srivastava

■ Owners – Mark Nylund & David McAuliffe

■ feel – loud, fun atmosphere.

■ wheelchair access – yes

■ cost – Endless feast $50

($19 children)

Mains – $16 to $49

Dessert – $12

■ all in all – a unique dining

Experience in Perth. Great fun.

Superb meat. Good times!

Menulog – Super easy food delivery from Haweli

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Haweli Indian on Urbanspoon

I received an offer from Menulog, an Australian online food ordering company, to have a takeaway on them and try out how easy their service is to use. To be honest, we don’t eat an awful lot of takeaway, but I’m always up for trying something new. We were both in massive need for a night out of the kitchen too!

Using Menulog sure is easy. If you don’t have the smartphone app you can also order on the website http://www.menulog.com.au

Here is my “dummy’s guide” to ordering food delivery online …

STEP ONE Head to http://www.menulog.com.au/browse/perth-wa

STEP TWO Enter in your postcode or suburb into the search field. You can narrow down the search by filtering the options to delivery or pick up or even a specific cuisine. I find that the most common takeaways available through Menulog are Indian and Pizzas.Step1

STEP THREE Select your take away outlet. This was an easy decision. We choose an Indian Restaurant we have tried and liked before – Haweli in Wanneroo. After a very busy day at work I am SO happy that it also offers delivery! Too easy.choice

STEP FOUR choose your dishes. Another feature of Menulog is that it has the take away’s entire menu to view and select. Your order is in the right hand column, so you can see how much it totals before you place the order and make adjustments if needs be. You can also select the “spiciness” of each curry. Chef and I consider our options…menu

Now all our food items are chosen, we can hit the “place your order” button. The total cost includes the delivery fee if you choose to be lazy like us! Haweli charges $7, but it varies from store to store. It all looks fine, so I click the button to arrange the payment.

STEP FIVE Time to finalise the payment. We’ve been given a $50 credit by Menulog to try their service – so we apply that discount too. This can be done by cash when the food is delivered, credit card or even via PayPal. Once the payment is finalised, we’re taken to another screen so we can see that our order has been placed.menulog

STEP SIX Sit back and enjoy! I then received a confirmation email and then a text message to say Hawelli had received our order and the approximate delivery time was 6.06pm precisely! Our order arrived in no time with a knock on the door at 6pm, so we eagerly take our order and unpack our bag of goodies.IMG_7939

We start with crisp onion bhajis ($9.95) with a mint & coriander yogurt dipping sauce.IMG_7941

Chef and I share two curries – a butter chicken ($20.95) and a lamb rogan josh ($19.95). Both are delicious and have a good serve of tender meat. We have kesari pulao rice on the side, which is full of saffron, almonds, raisins and cashews ($11.95).

We soak up the tasty sauce with garlic naan bread ($4 a serve) and an onion and potato kulcha (Tandoori Bread) which was something new to me and I thought it was absolutely delicious ($6). We’re both full to busting and there’s plenty left over. We could have easily fed three people.IMG_7946

We found Menulog just too easy to use! Everything was in one place. I’d definitely used it again – thanks Menulog!

 

Giveaway

Head to our Facebook page www.facebook.com/TheChefHisWifeTheirPerthFectLife?ref=hl to enter the comp to win a $50 Menulog takeaway voucher (Comp runs from 5pm 9/12/14 to 5pm 11/12/14)

Architects and Heroes – Subiaco

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Architects and Heroes on Urbanspoon

We popped to Architects and Heroes for a coffee after hearing along the social media grapevine that roast there is exceptional. We sat outside, on tall tables, on a busy Subiaco street. IMG_7592

It was a really warm day, so I opted for an iced coffee. Nays had a flat white and Little Chef had a babychino – something he’s quite obsessed with at the moment! IMG_7584

Our coffees came out swiftly, as well as our complimentary filtered water. Nice touch. The coffee at Architects and Heroes is so smooth. My benchmark for a good coffee is one which I don’t have to add sugar to. This coffee was absolutely spot on. Nays agreed. IMG_7588

We didn’t eat this time, but there are lots of freshly baked goods on offer, as well as a tasty looking brunch menu. One of their favourites, homemade crumpets with butterscotch sauce, looks particularly delicious! The little café on the north end of Rokeby Road already has amassed a loyal following. I’m not surprised, as well as top notch coffee, it has great vibes, friendly staff and I love the huge inside mural! IMG_7589

 

The Naked Fig – Swanbourne

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The Naked Fig Cafe on Urbanspoon

I always get excited to find an invite to a bloggers dinner in my inbox. It’s an excellent opportunity to find out more about a restaurant I haven’t visited before, as well as meeting with fellow bloggers from around Perth.IMG_7697

I was kindly invited to dinner by the Naked Fig. I’d never visited the Naked Fig, though I have dined at and enjoyed its sister café the Wild Fig (in Scarborough) a few times. I arrived just moments after the sun had set – the restaurant has a stunning view over the Indian Ocean.IMG_7693

The coastal café is named after the nudie beach at Swanbourne! The cheeky name is reflected inside the restaurant which is full of personality – from the eclectic up-cycled furnishings and friendly staff. We were in for a fun night!IMG_7701

The Naked Fig was launching its function menu. Head Chef, Chris May, has created a share style menu that is ideal for large groups. A large table was set up for our group, behind a large brightly coloured sail – painted by one of the owners. It created a great private space, but not closed off, so you still got to enjoy the buzzing atmosphere in the restaurant and the jazzy three piece band.IMG_7704

I met the girls from Perth blogs “The Grizzly Bear”, “Perth Kids, “Café Couture” and “I Masticate” as well as the lovely “Queen of Bad Timing” who it was great to have a catch up with.

After some pre dinner drinks, we had some shared entrees. I loved the lamb lollies – flavoured with a sweet hoi sin sauce. There are a lot of Asian influences in the Fig’s dishes. The rare beef, with wasabi mayo and radish on crostini was also delicious. My favourite of the entrees had to be the wonderfully plump grilled scallop with crispy chorizo.IMG_7712

We also enjoyed spiced minced beef and cheddar empanadas, pea and manchego croquettes, spiced gazpacho and smoked salmon and caviar on a buckwheat blini.

IMG_7725The six mains were also shared – by this point the long table was absolutely brimming with food! What to try first was a happy dilemma. My favourite of the dishes were;

The fluffy and light potato gnocchi with roast beets, swiss chard and candied walnuts was a deceptively simple dish – so tasty! IMG_7719

I would have happily kept the roast salmon with potato gratin, soy and gem hearts to myself!IMG_7723

The lamb cutlets with cumin pumpkin mash and roast chickpeas was a hearty dish. The cutlets were perfectly cooked and oh, so tasty!IMG_7729

I just HAD to try the dessert asiette – even though I was seriously struggling by now. On the delectable dessert board was a wibbly wobbly delicately flavoured coconut pana cotta, a petite white chocolate brulee in a jar and a super soft cherry and nut brownie. The brownie was fabulously fudgy and bold – I loved it! IMG_7738

And that wasn’t all! We were being treated to yet more goodies the Naked Fig offered. I loved tasting the chocolate bark treat (supplied from the tree of life). They are shards of scrumptious, organic raw chocolate infused with goji berries.IMG_7743

The butter coffee (yes, coffee made with butter!) was very smooth and rich. After hearing what a caffeine kick it gives you, I only had a sip, otherwise I’d be still awake at 3am!IMG_7751

My thanks to Aiofe and Joel for their kind invitation and hosting a wonderful long table dinner! The food was very tasty – so glad I wore my elasticated pants! IMG_7755

The Shipping Lane – North Fremantle

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The Shipping Lane on Urbanspoon

Chef and I got the hot tip about a brand new restaurant that opened in North Fremantle recently. The Shipping Lane is named after its spectacular view across Gage Roads. On this clear sunny day we could see many ships sailing the lanes on the Indian Ocean.IMG_7638

On the surface The Shipping Lane looks like your everyday coastal café. If you venture inside, you will find out that it is much more than that. In addition to the regular kitchen, there is also a “raw” sushi kitchen, out of which some amazing sushi and sashimi creations are made. You can sit to the sushi kitchen bar and watch your meal being made by the chefs.

The interior is light and bright with a seaside vibe and a big nod to its location near to the Fremantle docks. There are murals of the port inside and a big shipping container feature on another wall. There are lots of seating options, high tables, dining tables and some comfortable lounges – you can also dine alfresco, overlooking the stunning sandy dunes of Leighton Beach.IMG_7674

On this day we are lunching. The brunch menu runs from 8am to 3pm daily. The cheery waiter seats us by the window, swiftly delivering us water and menus. The brunch menu is full of mainly breakfast style dishes, with a couple of burgers and buns thrown in for good measure. I order from the sushi menu.

We order some drinks. The Shipping Lane is currently “sailing without a liquor licence” so BYO is encouraged. I start with a Rainbow Juice served in a jar – a tasty and healthy concoction of beetroot, apple and ginger. Chef sips on his hot coffee. They roast their own coffee at The Shipping Lane. The Juniper blend is used, which makes for a rich and well flavoured coffee. If you’re in a rush, you can also grab a takeaway coffee and bagel from the Shipping Lane’s providore. The providore sells many other food staples and the daily newspaper – handy for the residents living in the apartments above. GetAttachment1

The succulent Wagu burger ($23) tickles chef’s tastebuds. It is jam packed with bacon, affumicata, onion jam, salad greens and tomato. In a mini frying basket are crisp hand cut cups with a side of aioli. The burger bursts with delicious flavours, from the smokiness of the affumicata cheese, to the tangy house made BBQ sauce.IMG_7656

An unexpected crackling noise is coming from my Salmon Aburi ($15) as the waiter brings it to our table. My dish is not only topped with black fish roe – it is also garnished with popping candy! The torched salmon belly is absolutely sensational. The fish is marinated with delicious teriyaki flavours and sits atop a small mound of rice. The different textures, including the popping, work really well together. I love the dish. I could have easily eaten another plateful. IMG_7648

There’s some fantastic Asian fusion coming out of the kitchen. It comes as no surprise that Head Chef Luke Lee has also worked at Nobu. The sushi “spider rolls” ($23) are stuffed with soft shell crab, julienned apple, cucumber and lettuce. The plating of the eight rolls is funky – garnished with some vibrant edible flowers. The dish tastes as fresh as it looks. The finely sliced apple compliments the seafood flavours well.IMG_7664

I’ve encountered a few questioning looks when taking food photos with my big camera lens. A new one on me was our waiter jumping into the frame to photobomb my sushi photo! Our waiter was charming and was full of friendly banter. The service at the Shipping Lane was excellent.IMG_7675

There’s not many places in Perth where you can get top notch sushi without being at a Japanese restaurant. At The Shipping Lane, you get the best of both worlds, a modern Australian menu, coupled with some mouth-watering Japanese delights.IMG_7677

At a glance

■ The Shipping Lane

4/1 Freeman Loop

North Fremantle

Phone 9468 7362

■ Opening times

7 days – 7am till late

■ Rating

food 4

service 4

ambience 4

value for money 4

■ style – Australian & Japanese

■ wine – BYO

■ Chef – Luke Lee

■ Owners – various

■ feel – coastal chic

■ wheelchair access – yes

■ cost – brunch $9 – $27

sushi $15 – $23

dinner – $31 – $37

■ all in all – a cool new

coastal venue. Excellent

Japanese dishes.

Great service.

**First Published in the Post Newspaper**

Flinderz – Hillarys

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Flinderz on Urbanspoon

If you’re wondering where Flinderz is – it’s right in the heart of ocean side suburb Hillarys on the leafy flinders Ave (not at the boat harbour). The casual café/restaurant has been open less than a year and it’s still shiny and new. By day it’s a chilled spot for brunch and lunch. By night, it’s time for something a bit special – especially on oysters and bubbles night (Thurs).

I like to be as transparent as possible to my loyal foodies – so I’m going to say straight up – Flinderz is where Chef is working! He loved being Exec Sous at Joondalup Resort, but he was more than ready to finally take on his own kitchen after being ”number two”.  He is super excited about his new Head Chef role at Flinderz.

I’ve been in to eat a couple of times, so I’ll give you my pick of brunch AND dinner.

Quinoa granola Banana panna cotta, honeycomb, blueberries, honeyed Jersey milk.

Pulled pork benedict Braised pork shoulder with garlic spinach, poached eggs and harissa hollandaiseIMG_5203a

The vanilla pancakes with deep fried ice cream are to die for!Banoffee Pancakes 131214

Margaret River Beef fillet with homemade Potato Gnocchi, Wild mushrooms and cheese fondue. The fillet is sous vide, so oh so tender. Love this dish. New Imagem

Slow cooked Pork Belly, Baked Spinach Polenta, Asparagus, Candied Walnuts and a chilli Caramel Drizzle – and my favourite bit – the crackling! IMG_8020

and THAT Chocolate mousse with salted caramelNew Image1

Flinderz has a great alfresco area, perfect for dining on a sunny day. Before Chef started at Flinderz I’d never heard of it (which surprized me!) It’s truly a hidden gem.

“Heston Magic” at The Hinds Head, Bray

IMG_6017 The Hinds Head on Urbanspoon

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The Fat Duck, Bray

If you ask our five year old who Heston is – he’ll tell you all about him. Little Chef knows that he makes bacon and egg ice-cream and he made a giant lunchbox full of fantastical treats at Legoland. He may even tell you that Mr Blumenthal is his favourite chef –if daddy isn’t within earshot! Since our holiday to England in August, Little Chef lights up every time he sees Heston on TV and tells anyone who’ll listen he’s eaten at Heston’s restaurant – where he got to taste some “Heston Magic”… IMG_6009a Chef and I first heard of Heston Blumenthal in about 2004, when we lived in the UK. It was before he got really popular – but he was making big waves in the culinary world with molecular gastronomy. It had been on our bucket list to eat at the Fat Duck, in Bray, but with Little Chef in tow that wasn’t really going to work – so we opted to go for Heston’s more family friendly gastro pub next door, The Hinds Head. We were also dining with my lovely cousin H and her family.IMG_6015 The Michelin starred Hinds Head is a historical 15th century pub. Think low beams and wood everywhere! It felt like a proper village local. You can even pop in for a pint and bar snack – Scotch egg anyone?IMG_6020 We weren’t really sure what to expect, but we were surprised at just how welcome and at ease the staff made us feel. We’ve dined at many Michelin starred restaurants and most of them you get quite stuffy and sometimes even snooty silver service from the wait staff. The waitresses and waiters at the Hinds Head were very professional – but in a warm way.IMG_6025 One waitress in particular kept up a hilarious banter with the kids, which was just lovely and made us all relax. She whisked the boys away for a few moments to let them poke their heads around the kitchen door and see the chef’s cooking their dinner. We thought that was a wonderful idea, sitting in a lovely restaurant sometimes it’s easy to forget there are many people busily cooking to create a wonderful meal for you! The boys were also kept entertained with pencils and an activity sheet that turned into a chef’s hat! You’ll notice from the food pictures that the dishes look very simple. It can be a bit misleading, especially when you’d probably expect something with all the bells and whistles on coming from one of Heston’s kitchens. It is a much different style to the Fat Duck. The produce used is still of an exceptional quality. The classic British food at the Hinds Head is done exceedingly well. For “starter” Chef loved the fresh raw highland estate venison, with a carro and horseradish puree and shallot dressing (£10.50)IMG_6028 - Copy I chose the Smoked Guinea Fowl and Foie Gras Terrine (£9.95). The silky terrine was absolutely mouth-watering and complimented with a side of apple chutney. Loved it!IMG_6032 - Copy Cousin H had beetroot and goat curd with cider poached pear and pumpkin seeds (£8.75). The plating of this dish was beautiful and she really enjoyed it.IMG_6029 - Copy Chef, ever the carnivore, chose the Hereford prime rib eye, (£33.95) for his main. It was the most expensive item on the menu, but Chef absolutely raved about the very tasty piece of meat – worth every penny. He drizzled the bone marrow sauce over it and soaked up all the meaty-ness with a side of French fries.IMG_6037 - Copy There’s not much in life I love more than a slow cooked egg! When our waitress brought out my empty plate she said ”there’s your dinner” with a wink. Shortly afterwards, my wild mushroom macaroni (£17.95) followed, the extra plate was to spoon my macaroni onto. The hen’s egg was deliciously runny and I really relished the earthy and cheesy flavours. Delish!IMG_6035 - Copy Banana and custard quaking Pudding (£7.95). We’re avid Heston watchers and we know he loves his historical food. Chef jumped at the chance to try the quaking pudding and he wasn’t disappointed!IMG_6041 - Copy It was the perfect end to my brilliant meal – I had a Cherry Bakewell with yoghurt Ice cream (£7.95). The Bakewell was spot on. The yogurt ice-cream was quite different and worked really well with the nutty flavours.IMG_6047 Little Chef had a bowl of ice cream and the waitress sprinkled some “Heston’s Magic” over it – which is actually chocolate popping candy! His little face was priceless!IMG_6045a - Copy It was an incredibly special experience to dine as a family at the Hinds Head and one that we’ll never forget. We even got our menu signed by the talented kitchen team. The food was superb, in an understated British way – we thought it was really well priced too. The service was absolutely wonderful – easily the best we’ve ever had, by a Berkshire country mile. We all certainly experienced a bit of Heston Magic and hopefully it wasn’t the last time! Outstanding. ** Heston Blumenthal is appearing at this weekend’s Gourmet Escape in Margaret River, Western Australia**