{NEW OPENING} Island Market, Trigg

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Just a few years ago, Perth was lacking in quality dining venues by the beach. Now we are positively spoilt for choice! Up and down the coast are restaurants worth booking a table at, where the food is as fine as the view. Think Odyssea, Bib and Tucker, Shorehouse and now there’s a newbie to add to the list – Island Market.

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Behind the menu of Mid-Eastern eats are two excellent Chefs. Head Chef Sonny de Ocampo (Formerly from Apple Daily), and one of Perth’s very best Chef’s David Coomer (Pata Negra, Fuyu, Star Anise), who acts as their consult chef.

Brunch at Island Market

On my first visit (yes, there’s been a few already!) we arrived  mid morning for brunch. The interior of what was briefly “Kailis Trigg Beach” has had an upgrade. Now the dining room has a younger, more on-trend feel than it’s earlier Hamptons chic incarnation. The slick white dining room has splashes of baby pink everywhere. Chairs, neon signs, flooring, plant pots, even pink lights in the ladies bathroom…

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The eatery is bathed in natural light from the huge windows, giving diners a picture postcard view over the white dunes of Trigg Beach. We had a window table and I have to admit I was very distracted by the ocean, and it took me a while to focus on the menu and place an order!

Five senses coffee, one of my favourites, is the blend of choice at Island Market.

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The brekkie menu has all your brunch favourites with a Levantine-inspired twist. Think Israeli smashed avocado, Persian omelette, Blended strawberry and banana bowl with chia coconut pudding and much more.

I picked an old favourite, Shakshuka ($17). Two delicious free range eggs are surrounded by a wonderfully rich tomato sauce and creamy labne. Pita is usually served on the side, but I chose the GF option. Gluten free bread isn’t as exciting as their pita, but hey, the GF bread was still tasty dipped into the ooey gooey eggs – yummo!

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Chef loved his breakfast pide ($17), which is a sort of Turkish stuffed pizza. Inside is meaty Turkish sausage and peppers – topped with crumbled haloumi and a perfectly runny egg. He also ordered some crispy bacon on the side. 

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Little Chef, who had already eaten breakfast, had a house baked orange and cinnamon morning bun from the well stocked cabinet of sweet treats.  Continue reading

Santa’s Magical Kingdom Perth

It’s beginning to look an awful lot like Christmas isn’t it?! If you love everything Christmas like we do Santa’s Magical Kingdom, at Crown Pyramid, is a wonderful event for the whole family.

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Chef is usually quite the Grinch at Christmas, thanks to the festive season being the hospitality industry’s busiest time, and many years working on Christmas day. Little Chef and I, on the other hand, LOVE it! Once the 1st of December rolls around we excitedly put up our tree, crank the Christmas tunes and start planning our Christmas feast. This year on December 1st we were invited to check out Santa’s Magical Kingdom, which is back at Crown for it’s second year – and I can tell you it’s even better than last year’s event!

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Here in the southern hemisphere we really miss out on a typical Christmas card style white Christmas, which is what makes Santa’s Magical Kingdom so appealing to us. The huge tent is decked out in stunning decorations, a whimsical winter wonderland and Chrissy music playing in the background – giving us all those Christmas feels.

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There’s lots to pack into a 3 hour session…

Unlimited rides and bouncy castles for all ages and thrill seekers! The older Little Chef gets, the more of a daredevil he is. He particularly loved the Sky Flyer and Sizzler this year. There’s also lots of rides for younger children and wooses like me! The bumper cars were a hit and their teacup ride is super cute.

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Christmas craft and activities including gingerbread decorating and tree decoration making. Little Chef decorated his gingerbread man in record time – just so he could devour it! Continue reading

{RECIPE} Carnarvon Fruit Mess

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… I’ve started to think about what might be on the menu for Christmas lunch this year. I’ll be cooking… Chef has the day off, but I’m letting him put his feet up, as he has a very hectic festive season this year. Last night he got home at 1am after a massive function, and it’s not even December yet!

A little bored of my usual pav or trifle, I’ve been looking for some fresh ideas for dessert.  The Carnarvon Fruit Mess “the ultimate summer dessert” by Chef Russell Blaikie (Head Chef/Owner of Highgate’s MUST Winebar) fits the bill perfectly. Produce, fresh from the Gascoyne region of WA, is served up in Russell’s fruity dish using seasonal Carnarvon produce.

 

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 Chef Russell Blaikie  Pic: Gascoyne Food Council

 

Whether you recreate this fruity n festive dessert, have a colourful fruit salad, or fruit on a cheese platter, you can put the best of local produce delivered straight from Carnarvon on your shopping list this Christmas… Sweet and juicy grapes, divine mangos, delicious paw paw, refreshing melons and creamy bananas are all going to be reddily available throughout the summer. Plus the regions top quality rangelands beef, goat and incredible seafood including prawns, crabs and fish.

Russell has been travelling to the Gascoyne region for over 5 decades and is always blown away by the quality of produce.

“Fruit and vegetables grown in Carnarvon have a unique sun-drenched flavour and sweet ripeness. The growers along the banks of the Gascoyne River are fanatically committed to producing high quality, beautifully flavoured fruit and veg.” said Russell.

RECIPE: Carnarvon Fruit Mess

Serves 6 people

 

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 Pic: Gascoyne Food Council

 

Ingredients:

1 wedge Carnarvon watermelon, cut 6 thin slices, and cut the rest into large dice or ball with melon baller

½ Carnarvon rockmelon, cut into large dice or into balls with a melon baller
½ Carnarvon honeydew melon cut into large dice or into balls with a melon baller
½ ripe Carnarvon pawpaw, cut into slices
500 grams ripe bananas, peeled, diced and frozen Continue reading

Kalamunda Night Markets

Kalamunda has welcomed the hugely popular monthly Night Markets back for the summer season!

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We checked out the first night market in October, which closes down the main Haynes Street to pedestrians. Both sides of the road are lined with a mix of food trucks, hawker food stalls, as well as vintage cars and live entertainment.

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Down Central walk, where the weekly farmers markets are held, you’ll find loads of arts, giftware and craft stalls too.

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There’s a huge choice of cuisines from all around the world… This huge pan of sesame lamb shanks bubbling away looked and smelled absolutely mouth watering.

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Here’s our pick of what we’ve tried: Continue reading

Basq, Currambine

It was my parents wedding anniversary recently. Usually, I don’t celebrate it with them (I think wedding anniversaries are a couples thing), but today was an EXTRA special day… I had been plotting a surprise!

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One of my sisters (who lives in England) had let me in on her exciting news. She is coming to Perth for a holiday with her kids this December. I’m completely giddy with excitement, particularly as they have never made the big trip to Australia and my parents were going to be over the moon to hear the news! It’s been years since we saw them. So, I’d planned a Skype call after lunch, so my sister could tell them face to face!

Anyway, to our lunch!…

Being a special occasion, we picked Basq in Currambine, one of the best dining spots in our area. The modern European restaurant has a stylishly modern fit out and a buzzing atmosphere. It’s a very light and airy place, with high ceilings and huge open windows.

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Styled as “tapas”, the menu has small share plates, as well as more substantial options for those who don’t like to share their food. The drinks menu at Basq will suit all tastes and there’s always room for a cheeky cocktail or two…

Continue reading

Woodfire Restaurant, Ellenbrook

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Last year I wrote about a hidden gem that’s hiding in suburban Ellenbrook – Woodfire Restaurant. Italian Chef/Owner Lorenzo, (formerly Head Chef of Jamie’s Italian both in Perth and the UK) asked me along to a bloggers brunch to celebrate their opening for an Italian-style breakfast.

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The bustling, open restaurant has an open kitchen, complete with wood fire. To begin our feast, we got to try a whole array of what Woodfire offers on it’s brand new brunch menu.

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Here’s the pick of the brunch… ahem, bunch: Continue reading

The Resident, Nedlands

The Resident is the new kid on the Hampden Street block. The venue, previously known as the Byrneleigh Hotel, has moved into Nedlands with a fresh new look.

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The stark interior of white walls, soaring ceilings and crisp white furniture is softened by the use of light woods and fresh flowers. Outside there’s a courtyard dominated by a large boab tree.

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By day, this neighbourhood bar enjoys a café feel. Locals can get their smashed avo fix at The Little Resident” – the café space that flows into the bar. By night, the venue has a buzzing pub feel and a DJ spins the tunes at their popular Sunday sessions.

We sit at a high table, looking over the small, yet interesting wine list of six whites, six reds and bubbles. The wine offering rotates regularly and has a focus on natural, certified organic drops. I find the vegan Geyer Muscat of Alexandria, a very easy drinking wine, with exotic notes. There’s a selection of local beers, spirits and cocktails too.

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The menu is described as “casual Italian”, though we don’t immediately get the Mediterranean feels, since pizza and risotto feature so heavily on all bar menus. At The Resident you’ll also find burgers and ribs, thought the menu is by no means typical pub fare – there are no parmis here! Instead you’ll find food for the health conscious. There’s a fresh mix of local produce, lighter options and more gluten free dishes than you can poke a stick at. Continue reading