A – Z of Perth Dining (Part Two)

Merrywell – Crown Perth

This shrine to dude food is an excellent gastropub. The Mac n Cheese bites are more-ish. The chicken wing dish that has a creamy blue cheese dip is not good for the waistline either, but when it tastes that good who cares!!IMG_0603

Honourable mention to Mrs S in Maylands – a cute and quirky little café with excellent food. I loved the Man-which

Nobu – Crown Perth

Nobu is another excellent Crown Perth addition. We recently went here for the teppenyaki. We enjoyed our first Nobu experience and would love to return to try the al la carte menu too.

Ootong & Lincoln – South Freo

One of my all-time favourite brunch dishes is at this great café in South Freo. Squid Chorizo Salad with a side of herbed cornbread. Look out for the zebra mural by local artist Anya Brock – I absolutely love it!O

Print Hall – Perth CBD

One of our absolute favourite venues. We’ve been here too many times to mention. Whether you’re up on the roof having a cocktail at Bob’s Bar, sharing Asian street food at Apple Daily or enjoying something delicious from the Print Hall menu – it’s all excellent. We love sitting at the oyster bar having a chat with Jerry – his oysters are outstanding.DSC06821s

The Queens – Highgate

It’s always a good stop for a casual pre-dinner pint.

Rose and Crown – Guildford

This historic hotel has good pub food and it has to be my favourite leafy beer garden in Perth.

Suburban Table – Mosman Park

The venue for my first newspaper review will always be quite special. I thought the menu, though small, was perfectly formed and the food was ever so tasty.

Honourable mention to the Stables Bar (Perth CBD). It’s an excellent place for cocktails and nibbles with friends.SS

Typika – Claremont

A bustling café that has quickly established it’s self as a Claremont staple. It’s a top spot for brunching and lunching.

Honourable Mention to ToastFace Grillah (Perth CBD) – the gritty alleyway cheese toasty shop! Love it.IMG_1035

Urban orchard (Bar POP) – Northbridge

Whether it’s during the Fringe Festival or whatever, this summer pop up bar at Perth’s Cultural Centre has a view to die for and a great atmosphere.

Voyage Kitchen – Sorrento

We’ve been to Voyage Kitchen a few times and really enjoy it’d fresh beach-y atmosphere with food to match. It’s great for brekkie, lunch, dinner and a simple coffee and cake.

Wild Fig – Scarborough

This Scarborough café ticked all the boxes, including the “quirky” box. The décor features fake grass wallpaper and light features made from tins of food and tea cups!

Xarcuteria – Claremont

This Spanish Deli is run by celebrated WA chef David Coomer (of Star Anise and Pata Negra). We were there for a “Pork Belly Roll” ($12). We found a great picnic spot on the Cottesloe foreshore to devour them. That was one of those “life is good moments”.CYMERA_20130722_170810

Yocal – Fremantle

We visited this Fremantle Café just last week. It’s a great spot for brunch and a coffee. I loved the up-cycled décor. Stay tuned for the blog post!

Zambrero – Hillary’s, Joondalup, Scarborough etc

A casual Mexican takeaway sweeping Perth – Chef and I are a bit obsessed with their lamb burritos!

So there you go – that’s my pick of the A-Z of Perth. There’s some casual spots, some fine dining and everything in-between. It was a bit too easy for me to come up with. I only had to purposely visit Yocal so I had a “Y” to blog about! Technically I haven’t blogged about the Queens, but I have been there many many times over the years. It was the only “Q” I could think of – If you know of any others please let me know for next year!

The Biggest Morning Tea – 22nd May

I was kindly invited along to the launch of the WA Cancer Council’s Biggest Morning Tea last week. It is a truly wonderful cause. A cause that’s very close to my own heart having lost family members and friends to this terrible illness.

Herb, Anna and Sam. Pic: Cancer council WA.

The launch was held at Perth Zoo. Iron Chef Herb Faust and Junior Masterchef judge Anna Gare were on hand to cook up a delightful morning tea and cavort with Tricia the elephant. Anna whipped up a cake for morning tea and Herb cooked his delicious Thai Chicken Bites. The recipe, along with many other celebrity chef recipes can be found on the biggest morning tea website.

Pic: Cancer council WA.

Pic: Cancer council WA.

http://www.biggestmorningtea.com.au/help-for-hosts/recipes/herbs-thai-chicken-bites

I will be attending the Biggest Morning tea at my workplace. At work we participate every year and dedicate the fundraising to one of our former colleagues; a beautiful lady who sadly developed  a melanoma and passed away in her early thirties.

The official day of the Biggest morning teas is Thursday May 22nd, but you are most welcome to host a morning tea to raise awareness and funds at anytime that suits you in May or June. They can be organised at the office, home, school etc. It’s a great excuse to grab your friends and hold a beautiful high tea or a simple catch up over coffee and bikkies – whatever takes your fancy!

More information can be found at http://www.biggestmorningtea.com.au/

Pic: Cancer Council WA

Pic: Cancer Council WA

Food Photography – my favourite photos.

IMG_9367Something that goes hand in hand with food writing is food photography. I think without the colour and story telling that a picture provides, blogging would be a bill dull. It’s terribly cliché, but so very true, that a picture tells a thousand words. I really love taking photos too. I started out using the camera on my Samsung Galaxy, which served me fairly well, as luckily camera phones are good quality these days. Chef had been talking about getting a DSLR camera, for photographing his food, for a few years. A few months into the blog, I could see the merits of investing in a good bit of equipment. So we chose a Canon 700D.Untitledgrilld

It’s taken me a little while to get used to it. It’s not as inconspicuous as whipping out my mobile and at first I was a little uncomfortable, thinking I was drawing attention to myself. I didn’t feel comfortable using it when Chef and I went to dinner at Amuse. I didn’t think it would be good manners at an expensive restaurant to start clicking away with a beeping camera. But that’s just me, I probably could turn off the beeps if I knew how! Poor Chef has learnt that he must wait to be told he can eat, till I have a good shot of his food! I do photograph my own dish last, it’s only fair. The chunky DLSR is part of a bloggers uniform and I won’t go dining without it. Wether I remember to pop the SD card in is another matter… Chef just rolls his eyes now, I’ve done that a few times! Whoops!IMG_0285aa

When I attended the Eat Drink Blog conference last year, I picked up some good tips from the photography session. It also cracked me up that whenever there was attractive food around, a scrum of bloggers would gather, clicking away with there DSLRs! I felt at home. I really love the photo I took at the Mushroom Farm on Day two of the conference.Untitledcmmmmmmm

I really love to eat out during daylight hours, as it obviously brings better lighting conditions. So this has also brought more eye rolls from Chef, as I’ll say something daft like “It’s raining today, let’s go to Bib and Tucker on a sunny day”. The things we bloggers do for a good beach shot…IMG_9696

A few people have remarked that I have a good eye for photography. I just put it down to dumb luck, as I feel there are a lot of things I still need to learn about how to use our camera to its full potential. Looking to the future, I hope to do a food photography class soon.IMG_8793

I love to use Instagram. Last week I added yet another social media platform – Pinterest. Now, I’m still a Pinetrest newbie, so I don’t really know what I’m doing! If you’re on Pinterest be sure to follow me on there too – I’ll be adding my very favourite photos.

LINK>> http://www.pinterest.com/chefswifeperth/Untitled

Here are a few of my favourite pics from the last year and you’ll notice that they’re not all of food. Wether it’s edible or a beautiful part of WA, I just love a good photo :)IMG_0112 IMG_9807aUntitledzIMG_9857

A-Z of Perth Dining (part 1)

Inadvertently, in the last 12 months I have pretty much visited the entire alphabet of Perth!!

About a month ago, when thinking about ideas for the blogs 1st birthday, I wondered if I could cover the alphabet with where we’ve dined at over the year. I found that I only needed to visit somewhere with the letters Q and Y. I found a few letters difficult to pick a favourite, so there are quite a few honourable mentions! We really are spoiled for dining choices at the moment in Perth.

This isn’t a definitive Perth list, just a pick of the best places I have visited as a food blogger;

Amuse – East Perth

We had a memorable wedding anniversary dinner at Amuse. The degustation is one of the very best in the west. It is the perfect restaurant for a special occasion.A

So many restaurants worth an A+ !!  I’d say Apple Daily Bar & Eating House was a very close second – it’s one of Chef’s faves.

And honourable mentions to Ace Pizza and Aravina Estate Winery

Beluga – Claremont 

We loved each and every dish that we had sent to us on the “trust the Chef” menu. The chic restaurant owned by Andrew Embley and Dean Cox is a favourite of ours.

Honourable Mention to Bib & Tucker

The Cabin Small Bar – Mount Hawthorn

This was a recent find and we loved the whole shebang – food, drinks and vibe. The roasted duck wings and Espresso Martini Cocktails were top notch.

Honourable Mentions to Cottesloe Beach Hotel (Beach Club) and Core Cider House

Duende – Leederville

A Leederville stalwart, with excellent tapas, wine list and a fab atmosphere too.

El Publico – Highgate The best Mexican around, by award winning Chef Sam Ward. The lamb belly tacos are lush :) 2013-04-16 20.20.39

Honourable mention to Eagle Bay Brewing Co – Nr Dunsbourgh A must stop for any trip to the south west. Good pub food and very family friendly.

Fuku Omakase and Teppanyaki – Mosman Park

This boutique teppanyaki bar is excellent. The chefs are highly skilled and their “tricks” are fun to watch. Not just a dinner, an experience!

The Goose – Busselton

A view to die for, overlooking Busselton Jetty and Geographe Bay.IMG_9833

An special mention for Great British Chippy for bringing real pommie chips to Perth!

Hippo Creek – Hillarys Boat Harbour

A must for meat lovers! Very tasty steaks.

Il lido Italian Canteen – Cottesloe

Great spot for a coastal brunch, overlooking Cottesloe Beach.

Jamie’s Italian – Perth CBD

I’ve been there twice & Mr Oliver doesn’t disappoint. Excellent value for money and family friendly.

Honourable mention to Joondalup Resort, a relaxing spot for nibbles and drinks by the pool.

Kettle Cafe – Lathlain

A lovely hidden cafe in Lathlain. They serve excellent coffee and a delicious all day brunch menu.

Little Creatures Brewery – Fremantle

A Freo icon not only famed for it’s excellent Beer. The menu features fantastic pizzas and share food. The shady beer garden and huge sandpit make it great for families.20131113_134219

Part two M – Z will be coming soon :)

Happy 1st Birthday to my lil blog!!

What a year it has been…

My first post was on April 7th 2013, recommending the newly opened Jamie’s Italian. Since then, the blog has changed and evolved such a lot. I quickly changed my writing style, though I can still dribble on, originally I wrote lots more for each post. I’ve also come a long way with photography (though there’s a long way to go!). From my nervous beginnings – thinking that only 5 people would “like” my FB page to hitting 1000+ likers – I was very surprised! In October I had a re-branding to a shiny and bright new logo. That made me feel much more professional hehe

From month to month my little blog grew into something I’m immensely proud of. It’s also something I never thought I’d be doing. I’m so glad I gave it a go. I’m pleased as punch that I’ve found something I really love. Chef has enjoyed being dragged along to many meals out, even if he has to wait to eat, while I take pics of his food! There are several highlights from the year. Meeting many fellow bloggers from all around Australia, at the Eat Drink Blog Conference, in November was a fantastic experience. More recently, I was tickled pink when I saw my name in print – when my first monthly review in the Post Newspaper was published. That was a definite “tear in the eye” moment!

UntitlededbBut it’s not all been a success… I gave up on the “52 recipes in 52 weeks challenge”. After completing the first 3 weeks I came down with terrible toothache and had to have my wisdom teeth out. I didn’t feel much like eating or cooking for a couple of weeks. The challenge I had set myself, to use my piles of recipes to cook something new each week, lost even more momentum when a few weeks later I had a bad case of food poisoning. Add in fussy eater Little Chef and the new addition of my newspaper reviews, it was just not happening for me. I apologise if you were following that post, perhaps I’ll revisit it in another form in the future.

Screenshot_2014-04-07-15-47-10Chef’s had a very busy year at work. Though that kept him from competing in the Dubai International, he was very proud to represent his country again when the Australian Culinary Team won gold in Pattaya, Thailand.

I want to thank you all for your kind words, likes and comments. On those days when I have writers block, it spurs me on! As lots of you will know, being a working mummy, with a 4 year old who still likes to get up in the night and a husband that works very long hours – it’s hard to get everything done and keep motivated sometimes. It’s encouraging and humbling when someone takes the time to send me a lovely message or email. It absolutely makes my day.

suburban_table-write-upI’m very excited for what the next 12 months has in store. I can’t even begin to imagine where I’ll be at when it’s The Chef Wife’s 2nd birthday. There are many more new restaurants, cafes and bars that we are planning to go to. My “to eat list” is so long, I’ve had to create an excel spread sheet!! In just a few months we are travelling to the UK, so I will be blogging about everything from pork pies, country pubs, fish n chips to a few Michelin starred restaurants and a certain Mr Blumenthal. Little Chef is more excited about visiting Lego Land than all that though!

The blog has far exceeded anything I had imagined – If I could give each and every one of you a hug I really would! Thank you very much! I hope you’ve been enjoying the posts as much as I enjoy creating them :)

Here’s to another year of discovering great food and drinks in Perth!

Cheers, the Chefs Wife, Amanda xxx

PS This week I have a few special posts up my sleeve to celebrate my first milestone.

The Cabin Small Bar

IMG_0793
The Cabin Small Bar on Urbanspoon

I’d known about The Cabin Small Bar since it opened to rave reviews a couple of years ago. The “problem” we face in the rapid growth of Perth’s dining scene, is that there just simply are not enough meals in the week to go to each and every one of the new restaurants and bars. Believe me I’ve been giving it my best shot!! Finally, espresso martini in hand, I found myself in the cosy ski lodge style cabin.

The Cabin is a little inconspicuous, we drove straight past. It sits above a homeware shop at the Mount Hawthorn end of Scarborough Beach Road. You can sit indoors on a Chesterfield sofa (whilst being overlooked by a deer head) or outside on the wrap-around balcony.

IMG_0798I loved the vibe of the Cabin. It was relaxed and a little funky. Beautiful wooden tables and retro fixtures are complimented by a very modern menu. The music playlist was very eclectic and we really enjoyed the mix of everything from The Beatles to 90s house music to the Smashing Pumpkins and other random tunes. The wine and cocktail lists were excellent – cue martini!

UntitledbbChef Melissa Palinkas has created a menu of small and large plates which are designed to share. The wait staff are very knowledgeable. Without being prompted they will fill you in on whether each dish has enough for everyone on the table. They’re really on the ball and friendly too.

UntitledkkkWe dined with Mr & Mrs S on a Wednesday, which was lucky for us. The Wednesday special was A – mazing! Roasted duck wings, sticky with a sweet n sour glaze, topped with crispy shallots & green onions were SO GOOD. Chicken wings? Don’t even bother! Duck wings are where it’s at! A plate was $22 and was accompanied with a bottle of Anchor Steam Lager.

IMG_0786As a bunny lover I had never eaten rabbit before. Having them as pets when I was little, it just seemed wrong – like eating my Labrador. Chef has been trying to get me to give it a go for years and I finally gave into peer pressure. I enjoyed it. That said, the Southern fried rabbit, wasn’t as game-y as I had expected, since it was covered in herbs and spices too. It was served on a steamed bun with pickled carrot and a red curry mayonnaise ($15)

Untitled'''The House ocean trout pastrami, pulled mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes, olive croutes, tomato vinaigrette ($25) was a beautiful and delicate dish.

We also really enjoyed;

IMG_0779Abrolhos Islands’ scallops, hot sauce butter, chicken cracklings ($24)

UntitledccCrispy lamb belly, migas, adobo, macadamia ($22)

UntitledQuail breast Kiev’s, parmesan gremolata, dill mayonnaise ($24)

We left with full tummies – no room to even look at the dessert (for one) menu. Next time!

Even when I love a place I rarely return, as at the moment there’s always somewhere else to try around town. It just happens to be a certain chefs wife’ birthday soon. I’ll shortly be making another visit to The Cabin, as I think it’s a fantastic venue for some cocktails and great food with friends. I’m awfully tempted to pretend my birthday is on a Wednesday – just to get my mitts on some more of those scrumptious duck wings!!Untitledm

Joondalup Festival 2014

UntitledaThe annual Joondalup Festival is on this weekend, 2pm till 10pm each day! It’s a great community event. The weather looked a bit dicey, but luckily we didn’t get rained on, though it threw it down just after we left. Little chef and I headed down the Joondalup CBD in search of food trucks, and we found so much more.UntitledpThe main food area is on Grand Boulevard. Long communal tables have been set up to dine at – under the gumtrees and fairy lights. There are lots of food stalls including paella, juices, Japanese, Hare Krishna Vegetarian, churros, pizza etc etc. We were spoiled for choice!IMG_0841

El Asador

El Asador on Urbanspoon
Untitledl
I’ve been dying to try these meaty ribs since I saw them at the Beauford St Festival (the line there was too big). The Argentinian beef ribs are grilled on massive coal BBQS. I can smell them a mile away – devine! The ribs were topped with chimichurri (a salsa made from herbs and spices like parsley & garlic). They were lip smacking-ly good.IMG_0868

Butty’s

Buttys Food Truck on Urbanspoon
IMG_0871
I’m a BIG fan of Butty’s burgers. Take it from me, their Rib burger (bursting with sous vide rib meat) is TO DIE FOR! Tam is an excellent chef and I was pleased to hear that he’s got a few more foodie things in the pipeline happening soon. This time Little Chef had some cheesy fries – and I may have pinched a few… They are proper crinkle cut fluffy fries, with a sprinkle of spice, melted cheese and onions. Yummo.IMG_0872

Delish IceIMG_0846I love Delish Ice, in a gorgeous retro caravan. It’s a staple at most hawkers and markets around Perth. Somehow I always seem to miss out on the salted malted caramel ice pop! Not this time! It was just as good as everyone has been saying and Little Chef loved his Raspberry Lemonade ice pop too.IMG_0848

Maison Saint-honorè

Little Chef just couldn’t go past the macaroon stall. He picked a scrumptious blueberry flavoured macaroon, which he wasn’t prepared to share, even for a ride on the carousel!IMG_0890

So if you’re looking for something to do this weekend, you can’t go too far wrong with a trip to the Joondalup Festival. There’s great live music, rides for the kids, fashion shows and a big top with a big program of cabaret and other fun shows. Entry is free and there’s lots to do for all the family. Luckily, It looks like the weather forecast for Sunday is dry! Untitledd

And don’t forget that Butty’s Burger!Untitledb