The Precinct – Vic Park

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The Precinct on Urbanspoon

The Precinct has been on my “to eat at” list for far too long. You have to bear in mind that the list is in fact an excel spreadsheet – so it’s taking us quite some time to visit everywhere! I was lunching with the lovely Kez n Kim – who between them are Gluten Free, Dairy Free and both pregnant! I was lucky we came to a restaurant that is so friendly towards dietary requirements. They also cater well for vegetarians. IMG_8240

The laid back spot on Albany Highway is a casual café by day and by night it takes on more of a late night wine bar vibe. We sat towards the back, by the open kitchen, where many scrumptious smells were wafting out – making us very hungry indeed! Our waitress was friendly and helpful with the details of the dishes. IMG_8214

We sipped on freshly squeezed juices and a particularly good drop of homemade traditional lemonade, as we looked over the share food menu.

IMG_8215We started our lunch nibbling on a bowl of pork crackling (gf), $6.50. It’s hard to find anyone that’s not a little addicted to these salty morsels of porkiness. Soon to follow were the zucchini fritters (gf/v), $18. We relished dipping the crunchy fritters into the stripes of beetroot puree and minted yoghurt.IMG_8217

Next to the table was a big bowl of greens -broccoli, snow peas, kale, green beans (gf/v/vegan), $15. The veg was seasoned well and lightly cooked. Admittedly, It wasn’t my most favourite dish of the day – but I do like my veg and did feel super healthy for having well over my daily quota of chlorophyll! IMG_8220

The green pepper meatballs were delicious! Usually they are served medium rare, but for my preggo friends, the chefs were happy to make sure they were fully cooked. The plump meatballs sat upon a bed of a rich tomato sugo and a coriander salsa (gf), $18. IMG_8222

My favourite of all the share plates was the barramundi. It was cooked to perfection and served with snow peas, warm orange and cider vinaigrette (gf), $34. IMG_8218

To finish we had something sweet – the girls loved their dessert, though the menu has changed since our visit – so unfortunately I can’t tell you exactly what it is. IMG_8223

I had a peanut butter cheesecake, scattered with chocolate crackles and a berry sauce! Take it from me it was a tasty as it looks. IMG_8237

All in all we enjoyed The Precinct. The food was good and well presented. The service was spot on and we liked the vibe. Share food is always a winner for me and I have no doubt that I’ll be back – just when I get through a few more places on my list!IMG_8250

 

Mama Tran – Lakeside Joondalup Food Terrace

IMG_8066For years I’ve avoided food courts. Call me a food snob, but I usually look for something a little bit special from my meals, even the cheap ones. In my teens and early twenties I frequented many a food hall, but as my tastes widened, I happened to go to them less and less. In recent times, I’ve found myself returning to the food courts, as they’ve gone a bit more “upmarket”. First ENEX100 in the city opened with some excellent options – bypassing the usual fast food chains for some favourites of mine Matsuri, Cimbalinos and Delisio Pizza. I envy anyone who works in or around Brookfield Place as the “Café Court” there is also excellent with gourmet options like Crust pizza.

Lakeside Joondalup’s new fashion mall and Myer opened to my excitement last month (as it’s my local mall) and in December the “Food Terrace” opened above the existing food court. It appears that they’ve taken note from the success of the newer food courts around Perth and included more restaurant style food outlets. I was particularly interested to try Mama Tran, the newest outlet of the popular Northbridge Vietnamese takeaway.

Mama Tran on Urbanspoon

IMG_8060Oh my goodness. I visited Mama Tran twice in it’s opening week – it’s safe to say I’m addicted to it’s tasty fast food, which is brimming with fresh ingredients and flavours. My favourite (so far!) is a noodle salad. A bowl full of vermicelli noodles, Vietnamese salad, grilled beef and the crowning glory – chopped spring rolls – is totally lush. I’m just a tad obsessed with spring rolls, so ordering this salad is a no-brainer for me. It’s $14.50, for which you get a very good sized portion. Mama Tran also has Bahn Mi (Vietnamese salad baguette), Rice paper rolls, soups and much more on their menu.

IMG_8057Mad Mex on Urbanspoon Ryu Sushi Train on Urbanspoon

Unsurprisingly, the five year old Little Chef isn’t that into Vietnamese food. Luckily, right next door is Mad Mex, with it’s cool fit-out and cosy booths. Little Chef enjoys the Mad Mex Nachos, complete with squeezie cheese. There are many more options at the Lakeside Food Terrace like Thai Thyme and it’s mountains of fresh veg, Sumo Salad, Dim Sum and then there’s Ryu.  A sushi train has come to Joondalup! So far I’ve only had their take away bento (which was very fresh). I’ll be back to check out the popular sushi train very soon.IMG_8065

Chocolateria San Churro on Urbanspoon

If you pop outside, you’ll also find the newly opened San Churro on Boas Avenue. Little Chef and I popped there recently too – enjoying a share plate. We had the “fruit fondue for two” ($19.95). We shared a plate of mini churros and fresh seasonal fruit, dipping it into a fondue of melted couverture chocolate. Yummo. It was my first trip ever to San Churro – and their opening day – the service was very good and I also had a very refreshing iced tea.IMG_8038The Food Terrace has been open a few weeks now, though not quite complete. Fro Yo (frozen yogurt) looks as though it will be opening very soon. More exciting restaurants including The Local Shack which will have a casual vibe with burgers and pizzas on their menu (it’s also in the CBD and Scarborough) and the German “bier bar” Brotzeit (also open in the city soon) are set to open in the next couple of months! Great to see more and more dining options in Joondalup! IMG_8056

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Mama’s and Papa’s Place – Wembley

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Pic: Mamas and Papas Place

Mama's and Papa's Place on Urbanspoon
Little Chef and I brunch at the newly opened “Mamas and Papas Place” one Sunday morning. It’s just about opposite the Wembley Hotel on Cambridge Street. We receive a warm welcome as we walk into the teeny-tiny coffee shop.IMG_8193
The family owned café focuses on healthy home-made food and good quality tea and coffee. First we go to sit in the outdoor courtyard, but its a little hot already, so we retreat inside to sit by the air conditioning and giant dog mural. I order a freshly squeezed apple juice for little chef, along with an equally fresh mixed berry muffin. He loves the chunks of fruit in it and scoffs it in no time.IMG_8196
I order a latte for myself. Here they use the Karvan coffee roast, which is local and good quality. IMG_8194
To eat, I choose off the specials board There is also freshly made salads, Panini’s etc in the chiller cabinet. IMG_8205
I have the “Avo Obsession” ($16.50). An avocado and fetta mash on bread of your choosing (I chose grain), with roasted mushrooms and poached eggs. I always hope and pray for runny poached eggs – there’s nothing better than a bit of #eggporn and something to dunk your bread into. Both eggs were spot on and the brekkie as a whole was tasty and filling.IMG_8202
If your out and about in Wembley Mama’s and Papa’s Place is a good spot for a coffee and bit to eat – especially if you’re trying to be healthy!

Red Retro Café – Currambine

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One of the things about blogging I love the most is stumbling over somewhere new that I’ve never heard of  – especially if it’s local to us. Little Chef and I were at Currambine Central (where Grand Cinemas is) and just happened to find the recently opened Red Retro Café, right behind Basq restaurant. The quaint café is full of colourful mismatched furniture and some comfy looking sofas. Being a warm day, we sat outside in the little courtyard.

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On the chalkboard are toasties and quiches which are very reasonably priced from $4. Breakfast is available all day. Little chef and I shared a giant piece of chocolate mud cake for afternoon tea. It was served warm and with lashings of sauce and cream. It was sinfully scrumptious! I had a chai latte too.

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Red Retro is a cute little café, perfect for a coffee and cake or light bite to eat before going to the cinema. It also has a little nook of vintage inspired gifts and jewellery.

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Gusto Gelato – Leederville

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Gusto Gelato on Urbanspoon
Two years (to the day!) after my stay in Surry Hills, Sydney I still dream about my ice cream indulgence at Messina Gelato on Crown Street. Nothing I’ve tasted in Perth has ever come close. Chef, Little Chef and I were out and about and we happened upon Gusto Gelato in Leederville. The cute little shop, with it’s candy coloured interior, is next to Jus Burgers on Newcastle Street. It had just opened it’s doors, so it seemed like a good option for morning tea – it’s never too early for gelato! IMG_8120

The gelato is handcrafted in small batches – the owner/operator Sean Lee learnt his craft at the Carpigiani Gelato University in Bologna, Italy. There are a multitude of different flavour combinations, from cappuccino, strawberry and dark chocolate, the aptly named “Booze and Moo’s” (kahlua and coffee), apple pie and many more. It’s a tough decision. I almost choose the delicious sounding “Gusto” a combo of roasted peanut gelato with chocolate swirl and brownie chunks –  after much umming and arring we all opt for some limited editions from the specials board. 20141214_131354

Being December, I had the “White Christmas” gelato. Its  delicious concoction of white chocolate, shredded coconut, with cherries and white choc rice crispies. IMG_8117

Chef and Little Chef both chose the “Cookie Monster”. Like father like son – they wolfed down the sweet cream gelato, with triple choc cookies, cookie dough and a milk chocolate ganache. IMG_8121

The gelato is made 100% from scratch on site – with NO nasties – perfect for kids (of all ages!). You can view the kitchen where the magic happens through a window. We thought the gelato was scrumptious and smooth and will absolutely be back for more. IMG_8123

3 Sheets – Hillarys Boat Harbour

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3 Sheets on Urbanspoon

Its new years day 2015 – being a public holiday many places in Perth are shut – so we decide to head down to Hillary’s Boat Harbour which was guaranteed to be open. The popular coastal spot was absolutely heaving with people. Some were strolling along the boardwalks, some picnicking on the lush grassed areas or swimming at the safe kiddies beach. We were there to check out a newly opened restaurant – 3 sheets. It has a cool fit out, with lots of long tables, perfect for groups. IMG_8166

3 Sheets was rumoured to be a “Little Creatures” style of brewery, before it opened. Whilst that didn’t turn out to be strictly true – it is similar in terms of the cool vibe, casual share food and focus on draft craft beers. Chef found his favourite beer on the menu – Colonials’ Kolsch ($11 a pint). Every time we go to Margaret River we come back with a “growler” of the stuff!! Chef was stoked. Also on draft are other WA favourites; Feral, Nail, Gage Road, Matso and Eagle Bay beers.  I chose a nutella and banana shake – something I wouldn’t usually pick, but I just couldn’t go past the nutella! IMG_8134

The service was mostly efficient. We hardly waited any time at all for our meals.  Being a “share venue” the food comes out as it is made. I had to ask after my milkshake, which seemed to be taking a while. Chef was well into his second pint by the time it arrived. Apparently they were training new staff – so I didn’t mind too much – it is a new restaurant after all. IMG_8151

We shared the salt and pepper squid ($12). The thinly sliced squid was tender and light. The squid was complimented by a tasty piri piri sauce that had a nice kick to it. IMG_8136

Chef enjoyed a club pizza ($22). The wood fired pizza was topped with ham, bacon, pepperoni, chorizo and chicken. He thought it was delicious and the base was spot on.IMG_8150

From the tapas menu I had the beef short ribs ($10), which were tender and tasty with a sticky BBQ sauce. I also chose a pear and rocket salad ($12) from the “big plates” menu. I’m quite partial to the combo of rocket, pear, walnuts, parmesan and this salad, dressed with cider vinegar was a winner. IMG_8148

3 Sheets is a family friendly venue, the kids menu has lots of choice for the little ones. Little chef chose a hot dog and frites ($10). The chips were really fluffy and crisp, quite rustic too with the skin still left on. IMG_8137

We were far from being “3 sheets to the wind” when we left, but we all certainly had very full tummies. The small dessert menu looks really delicious, with some pommie favourites “sticky toffee pudding and “knickerbocker glory” on there. Maybe next time!

Chef loves nothing more than a pizza and pint on his days off. He’s definitely found a top spot for a boys lunch with a view! IMG_8168

 

 

 

 

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!