Yabba Dabba – Dalkeith

Pork salad

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With a name like Yabba Dabba we aren’t quite sure what to expect from this café on leafy Waratah Avenue in Nedlands. Is it a theme café, perhaps a little retro like the 60s cartoon The Flintstones – from which Fred’s exclamation of “Yabba Dabba Doo” is most famous? Are we in for a caveman style meat-fest? What we find is a pleasant suburban café, with retro-industrial features and a smooth, groovy 1960’s music soundtrack in the background.IMG_9906

We are warmly greeted and seated. The menu is sizeable. There’s something for everyone – salad, pizza, modern Australian favourites, pasta and share food too if you feel like grazing.

The wine list is small, though there are some interesting drops on there from WA and further afield. I choose a crisp Chenin Blanc from the Swan Valley. There is also a BYO option (wine only), if you prefer to sip on something from your own cellar.IMG_9935

Chef and I share the Yabba Taste Plate, $29 for two people. The board is brimming with scrumptious morsels to try – plump little Yorkshire puddings with beef and horseradish, humongous local prawns served with spiced polenta and more. The pumpkin and silver beet empanada really hits the spot with a deliciously more-ish chimichurri sauce. We both absolutely relish the fresh cornbread, complimented perfectly by a wildflower honey butter. The only thing on the plate that doesn’t work are the lamb chipolatas with mint and feta – as we cut into them, we realise to our dismay that they are undercooked.IMG_9916

We leave the sausages almost untouched. The waitress notices and enquires if there is something wrong and we point out the pink middles. After speaking with the chef, she lets us know that the sausages are cooked sous vide, in a water bath. This suggests that the meat protein should have been set all the way through (it isn’t) and they should have also been heated fully – unfortunately they are still cold in the middle.IMG_9915

The Peking duck pizza, $25.50, is mouth-watering. Topped with barbequed duck, peppered zucchini, mixed peppers, spring onion and fried shallots – it’s a tasty pizza indeed. The Hoi Sin sauce gives it a sweet, plumy finish.Duck Pizza

A pork belly and scallop salad, $26, sounds light and interesting. The tender pork belly is pressed into cubes, crumbed and fried. The Japanese fusion salad is accompanied by a plump giant scallop, sweet potato puree, citrus segments, toasted sesame and nori salad.IMG_9928

Children don’t often get much choice when dining out – met with the usual suspects of fish fingers, chicken nuggets, Hawaiian pizza and spaghetti bolognaise. At Yabba Dabba they cater for the little ones really well – giving them a whopping nine menu choices. Little Chef was beside himself at not being faced with fish and chips for the umpteenth time! He chose the well sized meat lovers pizza, $14. It is no surprise then that the restaurant has many young families dining there.IMG_9913

Dessert seems promising. The menu reads “white chocolate mousse with rustleberry foam and rose fairy floss”. What I receive tastes delicious – but doesn’t deliver what is promised. The mousse is a buttery texture. To me, it isn’t what a mousse encapsulates at all – something airy and light. The berry “foam” is actually more jelly-like. I enjoy the tangy rustleberry, which is a hybrid of a blackberry and raspberry.IMG_9944

Overall we enjoy the food, which is full of flavours from all around the globe. Its let down by a few technical errors from the kitchen. Our waitress does not charge for some of our drinks, as we aren’t 100% happy with the sausages, which is a fine gesture. The service is on the ball and we’d certainly return.IMG_9948

** First published in The Post Newspaper**

At a glance

■ Yabba Dabba

101 Waratah Ave


Phone 9386 7744

■ Opening times

Tues to Sun

7am till Late

■ Rating

food 3

service 4

ambience 4

value for money 3

■ style – Modern Australian

■ wine –small wine list – BYO

Wine is also available.

■ Chef – Haedyn Woollaston

■ Owners – Matthew & Peter Hayes

■ feel – Casual & unpretentious

■ wheelchair access – yes

■ cost

Entree – $7 to $55

Mains – $18 to $36

Dessert – $9 to $16.50

■ all in all – A cool, modern

venue with attentive service

and tasty food.

Bathers Beach House – Fremantle

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Sunday afternoons are made for Fremantle. For me, they started in the early 1980’s, when my family would take a drive to Freo for some fish n chips, an ice cream and a wander around the markets. Little has changed. Though these days, the food choice at the Fishing Boat Harbour has changed dramatically from what was a simple choice between “Kailis or Cicerellos”.IMG_9816

Bathers Beach House is found in the building opposite Bathers Beach, where McDonalds was for many years. There’s not much to remind you that it was once home to the golden arches – though they have up-cycled their wooden deking, as cladding for a rustic feature wall. Look closely and you might see a pickle stain!


Bathers Beach House is one of the very few restaurants in the Perth metro area with an absolute beachfront view. If you like the sand between your toes there are sun loungers on the beach too. Inside, the modern restaurant is light and bright, with a wall of windows giving views out to the Indian Ocean. We gaze at a huge pelican surfing the waves, searching for a feed of fish.IMG_9757

I too feel like eating seafood. I look over the menu, which has a mostly casual, Modern Australian feel to it. Looking around the dining room it appears that many people are grazing. The share plates also double as starters. Chef and I chose an entree each, feeling like a more traditional “3 course” Sunday lunch.IMG_9758

The drinks menu is sizable and has plenty of local wines available. Searching for a little bit of summer, I choose a tipple from one of my favourite wineries, a Voyager Sangria ($10). The delicious mocktail is made from fruity Voyager Estate red grape juice, monin sangria syrup and freshly cut fruits.IMG_9772

Bacon hock, vintage cheddar & mustard Croquettes ($12) are crisp on the outside and wonderfully gooey on the inside. The tasty morsels have smoky notes and creamed cauliflower for dipping compliments the croquettes well.IMG_9779

I relish the caramelised belly of pork ($14). Though it’s not topped with crackle (an absolute weakness of mine) it is still very crisp. The moist meat sits upon sautéed bok choi, crisp nashi pear and is finished with a mouth-watering star anise reduction. Through the reduction are tiny specks of crackle, adding texture to the dish, though I would have preferred that it was left whole.Pork Belly

Little Chef gets his lunch served as our entrees come out. There is a good kids menu, made from quality ingredients. For $10 as well as his tasty fish and chips a drink and soft serve ice cream were included.IMG_9774

Chef enjoys the Flamed 200g brioche beef burger ($19) which is certainly much better than McDonald’s! The tender burger is layered with swiss cheese, cos lettuce, tomato, pickles & BBQ sauce and is served with a side of fries.IMG_9795

Seared salmon ($32) is served with creamed saffron potatoes and a curry spiced mussel & butternut chowder. This gluten free dish should please those with food intolerances, it is a little different and ticks all the boxes. I get my seafood fix – the salmon cooked perfectly medium rare and though I think the kitchen could have been a little more generous with the amount of plump muscles served.Salmon

We share a vanilla bean panna cotta ($12) for dessert. The panna cotta is as wobbly as it should be. The grenadine poached rhubarb gives a sharp contrast to the subtle vanilla. Unfortunately, the ginger snap doesn’t snap. It is far too thick and soggy. A disappointing end to what is otherwise a pleasant lunch.IMG_9806

Whilst nothing knocks our socks off, except for the view, the entire experience makes me think what an enjoyable venue Bathers Beach House is. The food is mostly good, the service is friendly – it will definitely be a spot to be seen at this summer.IMG_9814

*** First Published in the Post Newspaper***

At a glance

■ Bathers Beach House

47 Mews Road


Phone 9335 2911

■ Opening times

Weekdays – 11am till late

Weekends – 8am till late

■ Rating

food 3

service 4

ambience 4

value for money 3

■ style – Modern Australian

■ wine –many WA and

Interstate wines available.

■ Chef – Ross Tyre

■ Owner – Anthony Unmack

■ feel – cool coastal

■ wheelchair access – yes

■ cost

Entree – $8 to $72

Mains – $18 to $36

Dessert – $12 to $26

■ all in all – Friendly service,

modern venue & well cooked

food with a beautiful coastal vista.

{Quick Bite}The Merrywell – Crown Perth

IMG_9150 Click to add a blog post for The Merrywell on Zomato We visit The Merrywell regularly – in fact we’ve visited the Crown gastropub more times than I care to remember since it opened in 2012. We keep going back time and again as we love the outdoor area on a sunny afternoon and we’ve always found the food consistently good. The Merrywell is a stark contrast to the dingy Paddy Hannans from years ago! It is incredibly popular and more often than not, we choose to dine a little earlier, just to make sure we get a good table in the beer garden.IMG_9156 The term “Gastropub” isn’t really used very much in Perth – it’s most widely used in the UK. In the early 90s the first gastro pub popped up in London. It was a new concept, where the focus was also on a restaurant within the pub. The standard of food was much higher than the traditional “pub grub” of bangers & mash and a ploughman’s lunch. The phenomenon caught on and now there are thousands around the world. Even Heston Blumenthal runs a few gastropubs – like The Hinds Head in Bray (UK) where we visited last year. The Merrywell’s menu is very casual and modelled on American “dude” food. In other words it’s JUNK FOOD, done very very well! Nobody does junk food better than the good ol’ U S of A. On the menu you can find such Yankee doodle delicacies like… burgers made from doughnuts (yes really!), the deep fried wonder that is mac n cheese bites, buffalo wings with blue cheese dipping sauce to die for and duck slopy joes!   IMG_9148We both felt like burgers. I scoffed the The Merrywell Angus Burger ($26). This was stuffed with sharp aged Cheddar, Bacon, a Secret Sauce and Caramelised onion. I decided to go “Aussie Style” for an extra few bucks, as I’m rather partial to Pineapple and Beetroot on my burgers. The fries were deliciously crunchy. The burger paddy itself was cooked medium-rare. It was pink in the middle and super juicy! Though to be fair we didn’t really need sides, we couldn’t resist…IMG_9149 We also love that kids are welcome at the Merrywell – there is a good kids menu and they provide some colouring paper & pencils too. The Merrywell never disappoints us. The vibe is great. The service is good (though it’s mostly self-service). We enjoyed our lunch and almost went into a deep fried, salty coma – but that’s what dude food is all about; Delicious, brash, comfort food.IMG_9141

Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor – Coffee Caravan


Driving home from work something red and shiny caught my eye… Sitting on the edge of Yellagonga National Park near Lake Joondalup, you will find Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor, a specialty coffee caravan.IMG_9822

This family run business  is new to Joondalup – there’s coffee, T2 tea, hot chocolate and bottled organic cool drinks too.  Cake and some freshly baked biscuits and slices are also available – with some savoury treats coming soon.IMG_9820

I love coffee – though I have a self imposed “not after noon” rule. Caffeine after lunch will mean that I’m staring at the ceiling at 3am that night. Being a touch after 1pm, I chickened out and grabbed a decaf! Chef on the other hand can have a few double shot flat whites, followed by a cheeky Espresso Martini or two and fall asleep five seconds later! Go figure.

The coffee at Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor is excellent, made by  proper café coffee machine. It was no surprise to me that they use the local 5 senses roast – a favourite of mine. The friendly baristas grind the “Dark Horse” beans to order – to ensure the highest quality and freshness.IMG_9821

If you’re driving up Joondalup Drive, make a tiny detour for a fabulous caffeine fix! You can find Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor on the corner of Joondalup Drive and Lakeside Drive (Northern End) Weekdays 9.30am to 3pm.IMG_9825

Cottage Tea Rooms – Henley Brook

IMG_9572 Click to add a blog post for Cottage Tea Rooms on Zomato High tea is one of my favourite indulgences. Previously I have enjoyed high tea at Maddison Cottage but I haven’t really had it anywhere else, other than at friend’s houses. One Saturday, we had a family afternoon tea at the Cottage Tea Rooms in the Swan Valley. I’d driven past it on West Swan Road before, but never realised it was there! The family run tea rooms are decorated in a shabby chic way and is a nice spot for coffee and cake or a light lunch. IMG_9566 There was a large group of us, about 15 people, so we took up an entire room (2 tables). There is tea and plunger coffee available, though as the waitress said – “this isn’t called High Coffee!” Exactly! I enjoyed copious cups of tea – all with my pinky finger sticking out! I like to pretend I’m a bit posh lolIMG_9568 First, we tucked into a plate full of homemade savouries;

  • Creamy mushroom quiche
  • Spinach & ricotta puffs
  • Asparagus & spring onion frittata
  • Sausage rolls
  • Corn cheese bites

IMG_9569 Then the three tiered china platter arrived, which was absolutely brimming with sweet and savoury treats. The bottom tier offered a very tasty selection of sandwiches – served traditionally with crusts cut off, of course!

  • Curried egg and baby spinach
  • Cucumber & cream cheese
  • Ham & sweet mustard

I absolutely loved the pear cupcakes with a sweet and creamy honey vanilla buttercream – on the top tier. Our scrumptious selection of sweets were;

  • Pear cupcakes with honey vanilla buttercream
  • Lemon meringue tart
  • Ginger Slice
  • Macaroons

IMG_9575 There’s also some freshly baked scones – still warm from the oven, with strawberry jam and cream.IMG_9581 The high tea is $40, which needs to be booked in advance. I thought that the food is really tasty and so fresh. Its a pet hate of mine when you are served sandwiches that you know have been made well in advance, as the bread goes dry. At the Cottage Tea Room everything is made fresh and everything is made in-house, except for the macaroons, if I remember rightly. The High Tea endless tea and the sitting takes about 2 hours. The staff are very welcoming at the Cottage Tea Rooms. It’s a fantastic little place for a girly catch up and I just love their shabby chic crockery – it’s all in the detail. Looking forward to the next high tea! What’s your favourite High Tea spot in Perth?IMG_9582

Straits Café – Scarborough


I love a good buffet. Not any old buffet mind you – it HAS to be something a little bit gourmet – that’s the food snob in me! Years ago, The Pines at Rendezvous Scarborough (Ob City) was one of the busiest buffets in Perth. Since it’s reincarnation as the Straits Café it hadn’t featured a buffet… till now!IMG_9643

Fast forward a few years and Rendezvous is all shiny and new. Its muti-million dollar refurb has injected new life into the 1980s hotel. The Rendezvous is an absolute knock out. Hardly recognisable from a few years ago. It would be great to treat yourself to a date night or overnight stay. Scarborough as a whole is enjoying a big resurgence, with a new café or bar seemingly opening every other week. In another year or two Scarborough should be back to its bustling heyday.IMG_9602

Recently the three of us were kindly invited to try the newly launched winter buffet menu at the Straits Cafe. I’d been to Rendezvous for a bloggers night when the Straits Café was newly opened. The Straights features a buffet every Friday and Saturday night. There is a wide selection of cold foods, hot foods and desserts to choose from, that should satisfy even the fussiest of eaters.IMG_9604

We were greeted by Denis, the Restaurant Manager, ordered a couple of drinks and quickly got stuck into the buffet. To start we made our way to the table full of cold foods. It’s a seafood lovers delight, there are different morsels to try – including crab, prawns, oysters, sushi, cold meats, salads and more. I enjoyed the freshly made coleslaw and make-your-own Caesar salad.IMG_9603

I chatted to Executive Chef, Wendelin Ulrich over the buffet station. He explained that the winter buffet menu was made up of simple comfort food, with earthy flavours.IMG_9611

As I lifted the lids of the bain-maries I found curry, beautifully cheesy potatoes, slow cooked meats, roasted potatoes and even more hearty, warming food.IMG_9608

There’s a carvery too, so I got a couple of slices of roast beef. With roast beef it’s simply a crime not to have Yorkshire Puddings, so I was happy to see that they had some tasty Yorkshires too – unfortunately the beef was a little dry – other than that everything was cooked very well , fresh and piping hot. By the time I got to the end of the hot food station, my plate was fully loaded!IMG_9626

I really enjoyed the mildly spicy Singapore chicken curry, roasted lamb and the grilled salmon salsa Verde was tasty too.IMG_9630


It was the first buffet experience for our 6 year old Little Chef and he was chomping at the bit to get to the dessert buffet – a great bargaining tool to get him to eat his veggies. The notoriously fussy eater was also more open to trying different food in this environment. So it was a very enjoyable family dinner for us all!IMG_9619

We loved the petite desserts and being so little, you could try a few different things – I enjoyed the berry cheesecake and trifle.IMG_9639

If you don’t have a sweet tooth, there’s a selection of cheese and crackers too. Little chef got stuck into the house made gelato and had lots of fun decorating his scoops with lollies.IMG_9617

Chef and I would like to thank Dan, Wendelin, Denis and their teams for a wonderful night. The Straights buffet caters to all tastes and such fantastic value – where else can you get a good quality three course meal for $59! Our tip is to make sure you arrive with a good appetite, as you won’t know which tasty dish to try first.IMG_9615


To celebrate Christmas in July,  Rendezvous Hotel Scarborough’s Straits Café  has a festive weekend dinner buffet. Feast on a sumptuous array of Christmas classics made from WA’s freshest produce. Indulge in buffet favourites with a festive twist overlooking the stunning Indian Ocean.

Adults $59 / Kids $20 (5-12 years old) Only available on Friday and Saturday.

** Enter on my Facebook Page to win!**



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Chophouse – Perth CBD


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Chef and I literally blow in through the front door of Chophouse, from the blustery wind tunnel that is St Georges Terrace. The two story restaurant is a warm haven – full of hearty, meaty smells on a cold winter’s day in the city.IMG_9674

Chophouse, a Sydney based restaurant which has recently opened their second eatery in Perth, is right next to the revamped Cloisters food arcade, in the heart of the CBD.IMG_9677

We’re seated upstairs in the cosy dining room, which has the feel of a bygone time. Downstairs is a bar area and an outside deck which will be perfect for a cheeky after work drink in warmer months.interior

The pleasant service is off to a shaky start, which can be wholly blamed on technology – the iPad isn’t playing ball, so it’s back to the old pen and paper to take our order. Our friendly waiter brings us a selection of freshly baked breads to nibble on – I like the multigrain sourdough.IMG_9652

The wine drinkers are well catered for with an extensive list which has many local, interstate and international wines available from places as far away as Lebanon. Boutique beer is very on-trend and there is also worthy selection of local craft beers, including Eagle Bay and Young Henry.IMG_9663

Chophouse is described as an Australian version of a New York steakhouse. Whilst it’s not in-your-face American, there’s a few subtle nods to its influence on the menu. Chef has a hankering for some dude food and the mac and cheese bombs ($18.90) fit the bill perfectly. Macaroni cheese, made with three cheeses, is crumbed, deep fried and served with a Napolitana sauce, delicious!IMG_9653

I devour the Yellowfin Tuna entrée ($24.50). The exceptionally fresh fish is seared and sits upon a scrumptious avocado and wasabi puree – a tasty combination that should be used more often in my opinion. It is topped with crunchy kohlrabi – a vegetable from the cabbage family.tuna

For main, we eye off the colossal chophouse tomahawk, which has been dry aged for 4-6 weeks. At $10 a kilogram, it would cost about $170 – my bet is that it’s worth splashing out on.

I choose a more conservative beef short rib ($36). The deliciously tender piece of meat practically slides of the bone with a gentle poke from my knife. It is glazed with a sweet and tangy house made barbecue sauce.IMG_9659

The beef fillet ($54.90), served on the bone, is perfectly cooked medium rare and full of flavour – as aged meat should be. Served with a chutney and jus, there is also a choice of accompanying sauces.IMG_9657

As with many upmarket steakhouses, at Chophouse you need to order side dishes, which turns it into quite an expensive meal for two. We share garlic and herb seasonal greens ($9.20), the shoestring fries ($9) and a piping hot cauliflower gratin ($12.90) arrives a few minutes later. It is made with a Gruyère and parmesan béchamel and finished with sourdough crumbs.IMG_9662

With very little room to spare, Chef and I share dessert. We are so glad that we do, as it’s a cracker! The popcorn brittle semifreddo is as good as any dessert gets. A fluffy layer of marshmallow tops the silky semifreddo, which sits on a layer of sponge cake. The popcorn and honeycomb brittle, and a smear of salted caramel sauce give crunch and a salty kick to the dish.semmifreddo

For such a new restaurant, Chophouse has certainly hit the ground running. It is pricy, though the seasonal produce is top notch and cooked to a very high standard. If you are mad about meat you won’t be disappointed with Chophouse.

**First published in the Post newspaper**

At a glance

■ Chophouse

200 St Georges Tce


Phone 1300 246 748

■ Opening times

Mon -Fri 12pm – 12am

Saturday 6pm- 12am

■ Rating

food 4

service 3

ambience 4

value for money 3

■ style – Steakhouse

■ wine – extensive list, many WA,

Interstate and International wines.

■ Chef – Scott Alfonso

■ Owner – Keystone Group

■ feel – Warm, rustic/industrial interior

■ wheelchair access – yes

■ cost

Entree – $18.90 to $38.90

Mains – $19.90 to $170

Dessert – $6 to $12.90

■ all in all – Friendly service

& marvellous meats. Excellent

desserts certainly not an afterthought.

One for the carnivores!