Homestead Brewery – Swan Valley

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Homestead Brewery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

For a long time I rattled on about not having an uber-cool brewery in the Swan Valley. A spot that was found in a state of the art building, that also catered for families. Something like you’d find in the Margaret River region with a huge beer garden and modern playground. We’ve enjoyed lazy lunches at places like Eagle Bay Brewing Co, Cheeky Monkey Brewery, Colonial and many more and always wished there was something similar closer to home. Mandoon was once a small family run estate, which expanded in September 2014, to a huge multi venue spot – just what I’d been wishing for!

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The large Mandoon building looms over its vineyards. We were there with our family from the UK who were visiting Perth. We thought Mandoon is a good choice for a spot of lunch that caters for all ages and tastes. IMG_7307

Mandoon is home to a cellar door for wine tastings, a function centre, fine dining restaurant and microbrewery – Homestead Brewery. You can drink and dine inside the brewery, on the decked veranda overlooking the vineyards or in the grassy beer garden under the shady trees, near the fenced playground. On the weekends, you’ll find a few football and crickets games played on the expansive lawns. Mandoon had a lovely family atmosphere.IMG_7325

Though it was a Monday, I was surprised at how busy it was. This time we opted to sit inside the airy, modern brewery. Chef had a pint of the “Kaisers Choice”, a German style beer that he usually chooses at Homestead.  For craft beer connoisseurs there is a good choice on tap at the brewery. Our food arrived, it looked delicious!IMG_7312

I chose the braised Moroccan lamb, $28. Mouth watering, tender pulled lamb sat upon chick peas, harissa sauce, capsicum and cous cous. The dish was brimming with middle eastern flavours and I loved it. IMG_2745

Both Chef and Little Chef had pizzas. Little chef had a Margarita ($10) from the”I’M A LITTLE PERSON & I DONT WANT ADULT FOOD” menu, which has a choice of four kids favourites. Chef thought the pizza, $25, would perfectly compliment his pint and he was right. The thin and crisp base was topped with chorizo, piquillo peppers, pickled guindillas (Spanish peppers) and red onion – Chef really enjoyed it.IMG_2743

We’ve eaten at the Homestead Brewery a few times. Each time the pub style food has been tasty, reasonable priced and good quality. Next time I’d like to go a littl emore up market and try the dego menu at their beautiful fine dining restaurant.IMG_7355

Little Way – Nedlands

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Little Way Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Walking along the Swan River, past the boats bobbing up and down on peaceful Matilda Bay, it’s easy to forget that we’re so very close to the hustle and bustle of the city. Just up the road, there’s a new addition to the ever expanding Nedlands dining scene. Little Way is a casual eatery, open for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. We booked our table for a leisurely midday meal.IMG_3543

Little Way is tucked into an old building that’s filled with character. There’s a nice flow to the neutral dining room, bar and outdoor area. The leafy courtyard would be wonderful on a warm Summers morning or for a sunny Sunday sesh with a glass of Pimms or two. On this rainy winters day, we’re happy to sit in a cosy little nook inside.IMG_3563

Little Way is a lot of things rolled into a neat little package. The early morning crowd love it for brunch and a coffee. By night it transforms into a trendy bar, where you don’t need a meal to order a drink. The wine list offers mainly West Australian labels, with a few Europeans thrown in for good measure.  The rest of the drinks menu is made up of interesting spirits, local craft beers and cocktails.IMG_3574

I need a caffeine pick me up, so I order a flat white, which passes my “no sugar test” with flying colours. I only feel the need to add sugar to burnt, bitter coffees and this coffee, roasted locally by Loaded Coffee in Nedlands, is spot on.IMG_3526

Our waitress promptly brings us menus and water. The lunch menu is perfect for people who want it all, with a mix of brunch dishes and some of their dinner offerings too. To begin, we share a few small plates. The grilled chorizo, $14, with a good squeeze of fresh lemon is moreish.IMG_3533

Next up, we choose the crisp sweet potato, tomato and spinach arancini, $10 for three pieces. I think there is a tad too much potato – I like more rice in my arancini. But they’re tasty morsels, especially dipped in the harissa mayo and topped with creamy lemon ricotta.IMG_3532

The sweet potato, tomato and spinach arancini are perfectly bite sized!IMG_3542

The delicately crumbed squid rings, $14, melt in the mouth. On the side is a lime, mint and avocado mayonnaise. It is a subtlety flavoured creamy dipping sauce, which could do with a touch more lime for an added punch of citrus.IMG_3537

We sit back and enjoy the bustling atmosphere. Soon our mains arrive and I am wowed by the slow cooked lamb shoulder, $28. A very generous serve of moist pulled lamb sits on a mound of green olive tabouleh and Israeli cous cous. The dish is bursting with middle eastern flavours and finished with pistachios, mint, preserved lemon and yogurt.lamb shoulder

Chef chooses the Angus burger, $23. The juicy beef patty is topped with bacon, caramelised onion and smoked tomato relish. Melted Swiss cheese oozes out of the brioche bun. Little Chef chooses the kids burger for $12. The burgers are both served with a side of rosemary salted chips, which are quite possibly the chunkiest chips I have seen. They’re a big hit with the boys and boy are we full!IMG_3546

The Carlins don’t say no to pudding – so for “research purposes” we share a dessert. The chocolate brownie, $12, is deliciously fudgy. Topped with a cherry compote, fresh strawberries, toasted almonds and a vanilla bean ice cream it ticks all our boxes.Brownie

For the most part the service is friendly and engaging. The only thing that lets it down is that none of the three wait staff that visit our table replenish our first empty water jug or ask us if we’d like to order another drink.IMG_3523

The menu is full of the usual culprits, though each dish is cooked well. Little Way is the proverbial little gem. A neighbourhood eatery fit for families, groups of friends or a casual date night. We like Little Way in a BIG way!

** First published in the Post Newspaper**

At a glance

Little Way

161 Broadway

Nedlands

Phone 08 9386 3639

Opening times

Tues – Sun

7.30am till late

Rating

food 4

service 3

ambience 4

value for money 3

style – casual Australian/Mediterranean

wine –mostly local wines, with

a few NZ and European drops too.

Chef – Alex Lim

Owner – Michael Walker

feel – inviting & cosy. Great fitout

and a fab courtyard for fine days.

wheelchair access – yes

cost

Small – $6.50 – $15

Mains – $19 – $40

Dessert – $10 – $26

all in all –  lively eatery

with a tasty menu to suit

most tastes. Service is patchy.

Excellent local coffee.

Bad Apples Bar – Ardross

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Bad Apples Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I’d been kindly invited to Bad Apples Bar in Ardross, near Applecross. I don’t venture south of the river too much, so I was excited to visit a bar that I’d heard great things about on the Perth foodie grapevine.  I met one of my oldest friends there – Miss G “The Dancer” who has appearing in two Beyoncé videos to her credit. I wish I had a claim to fame like that!!

IMG_3617Bad Apples is a chic bar worthy of Bey herself. There’s a classy lounge area, high tables near the bar (with AFL for the footy fans) and the outside alfresco area too. Miss G and I met there to have a casual weekend lunch catch-up over a drink or two.IMG_3618

Bad Apples has a well thought out drinks list. I can’t go past a pretty drink and the cocktail list at Bad Apples is full of them! The vanilla and passionfruit martini is scrumptious. I also love a good pun and like the sound of the “Tequila Mockingbird” (hehe). There’s also a good selection of craft beer, spirits and then there’s the wines…IMG_3581

The wine list is brimming with Australian labels with a few European drops thrown in for good measure. At Bad Apples, they were the one of the first in Perth to offer a unique Enomatic Wine System. It’s a sort of wine vending  machine that allows people to enjoy the premium wines that would usually only be available by the bottle, “by the glass”. The machine keeps the open bottles fresh and at the correct temperature. IMG_3584

With the help of our friendly waiter, we choose a few dishes from the share menu to try. The menu is a mix of international cuisines and bar snack favourites like the hand cut potato chips, $10. The piping hot chips are ever so crisp and well seasoned. We relish the seeded mustard aoli which is really great for dunking!IMG_3596 

The broccolini, $10, is a big hit with these two green loving girls. It was perfectly cooked and tossed in a little chilli oil to give it a nice kick and finished with a little grated manchego cheese.IMG_3598

The pork belly dish is comes highly recommended. Three pieces of crisp pork belly, $18, are deliciously fudgy and have that crunchy crackle that I’m always craving. The flavoursome meat is drizzled with a sweet caramel miso sauce and topped with a pickled ginger salsa. The flavours work together very nicely in this Japanese inspired dish.IMG_3587

The two wagu beef sliders, $16, are tasty morsels. Bursting with fresh salad, a BBQ chipotle sauce and mozzarella – they go down a treat.IMG_3591

The shredded duck tacos are also a great share dish, $16 for three. The duck meat has that deliciously rich game-y flavour. The soft tacos are stuffed with fresh greens, a sweet pineapple salsa and chipotle sauce.IMG_3604

Also on the menu are gourmet pizzas and more substantial main dishes if you’re feeling extra hungry. For us, it was time for dessert! The spiced rum chocolate tart, $13, was to die for! A generous slice of chocolate tart is topped with a creamy citrus mascarpone and a nut praline. We cut through the scrumptious tart with spoons, the pastry is spot on and the chocolate not too sweet, but enough to give you that coco fix. A decadent way to end a yummy lunch.IMG_3612

Bad Apples is one of those neighbourhood bars that everyone wishes they lived within walking distance to. It’s a big hit with the Applecross locals. The cosy bar has a great atmosphere and hosts weekly quiz nights, as well as live music.IMG_3622

Thanks to the Bad Apples team for having us for a delicious lunch. We genuinely enjoyed their mix of international cuisines and will absolutely be back.IMG_3621

For more info on Bad Apples Bar check out their website… http://www.badapplesbar.com.au

 

 

Jersey Jack – Como

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Jersey Jack Australia Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

It’s mid winter so we’re rugged up to the max with an extra vest, scarf and jacket. It’s certainly not my idea of ice cream weather! Today, after a school holiday outing to Perth Zoo I just HAD to take Little Chef for a treat at a little spot just a little further up Labouchere Road. Jersey Jack has been on my foodie wish list for a while and today was the day to cross it off! Jersey Jack is the gelato place that was all over social media with their doughnut cones back in April, though sadly they don’t do those anymore.IMG_3665

There are a lot of flavours to choose from and too many to remember! The selection of gelatos and sorbets changes regularly and includes, strawberry, tiramisu, cookies and cream, vanilla, pandan coconut, lemon lime and bitters and much more.IMG_3659

Little Chef is a seven year old that knows what he wants. While I ummed over my choice, he decisively chose the two scoop cone, $10, opting for cookies and cream oreo gelato and a scoop of salted caramel. With two scoops of gelato he got a free chocolate macaroon too, just to make it look even more impressive! He gave the two scoops a big thumbs up.IMG_3662

I knew I wouldn’t be able to deal with my food guilt, so was restrained in my choice of just one scoop of the NY Cheesecake gelato, $6. It was creamy, smothered in biscuit crumbs and a berry sauce – very tasty indeed. Before they melted (yes even in this cool weather!) we took our cones to the “Secret Garden” courtyard out the back. IMG_3671

Jersey Jack Gelato Bar is a fab little spot for an afternoon treat. It’s found on Preston Street in Como, which is quite the foodie destination. Right next door you’ll find Hangout on Preston and Nasi Lemak Corner. Further down the road you’ll find the very popular Little Matcha Girl, Juniper and Bay and more. For a top notch gelato fix, sweet tooths will find Jersey Jack hard to top.IMG_3680

The Parkerville Tavern – Parkerville

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Parkerville Tavern Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Winter days are made for country pubs. The smell of rain in the gum trees, roaring wood fires and hearty food. We took a drive up to the Perth Hills, to the Historic Parkerville Tavern – a perfect spot for a chilly winters lunch. IMG_3401

I’d not been to the Parkerville Tavern since I was Little Chef’s age (7 years old). I had vague memories of an old pub, which had a big beer garden and a donkey. Well, some 25 years later the donkey was gone, but there are still some cute animals at the Parky.IMG_3374

Every time I visit my parents in the hills I have to take an extra jumper – it always seems to be much cooler up there! Since it was so cold we arrived there early to score a cosy table next to the open wood fire. There’s also a more formal dining room and lots of tables outside too.IMG_3377

We ordered at the bar and our piping hot food soon arrived. My dad, who loves a bit of pork belly, recommended that I try the Parky’s version ($18) on their light bites/share food menu. The sliced Linley Valley pork belly was served on a sweet apple and quince puree, which was scattered with candied macadamia nuts. The belly was ever so crisp, and each slice was topped with some wonderfully crunchy crackle. Lush!IMG_3385

I also enjoyed a Parky winter salad ($24) which would be tasty in any season. The bowl was brimming with spinach, roasted sweet potato, roasted beetroot, quinoa, caramelised pear, rocket, and topped with creamy crumbled Persian feta and toasted pepitas and almonds. The delicious salad is drizzled in a honey citrus and coriander dressing. I love it when healthy food tastes this good!IMG_3389

My parents both chose the fish special, which they asked to be served with wedges instead of chips. The fish (I think it Esperance flake) was moist and full of flavour, they really enjoyed it.  IMG_3378

Outside, there is a huge, shady beer garden. There’s plenty of tables, but get in early as it fills up quick, even in winter.IMG_3405

There are some sheep and an ostrich living at the Parky too, which the little ones love.IMG_3402

You’ll also find a shaded sand pit, cubby house, boat and play equipment.IMG_3403

The Parky is perfect for a weekend drive. The pub food is good quality – tasty, unpretentious and good value. The pizza oven gets fired up each weekend too – so next time we’ll sit out in the beer garden and try the wood fired pizzas.IMG_3407

Marumo – Nedlands

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Marumo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We are positively giddy as we arrive at Japanese restaurant Marumo. I’ve been looking forward to my meal at this much buzzed about spot on Stirling Highway for months. I’m not sure if the hype surrounding Marumo stems from the difficulty of securing a booking or the quality of the food. I’m ever so curious to find out.

With Chef out for the count with man-flu, my good friend, the chopstick challenged Jennie is dining with me at Marumo. Currently the earliest you can hope to enjoy a dinner there is October. Online bookings open just once a month and the entire month is booked out in a matter of minutes. We missed out on a booking a few times, having to wait another 30 days to try our luck again. Finally, we struck gold – a table for two at Marumo!IMG_3327

The menu is Omakase, a Chef’s choice set menu, which changes monthly. We’re advised by the friendly waitress that a sitting can last over three hours, which is fine. The simple, elegant dining room is small – seating about 25 covers. We take a seat in the cosy corner booth area.

There is no wine list, so BYO is the go at Marumo. I’d recommend you bring your best bottle of bubbles or sake, to compliment the menu which mainly features seafood. Thanks to the efficient wait staff I never get to the bottom of my glass of water or warm green tea. Before the seven courses begin we start with an appetiser of sliced squid marinated in vinegar. The salty squid cuts through the sweet vinegar and leaves my tastebuds craving more.

Soon enough we are presented with steaming bowls of suimono, a clear soup with wagyu niku-dango (meatballs) and sōmen, very thin white Japanese noodles. The subtly sweet broth is made from two types of edible seaweed, wakame and kombu.IMG_3330

I absolutely relish the king prawn tamagoyaki, a rectangular Japanese omelette which is made by rolling together several layers of cooked egg. Red quinoa, tossed with Manjimup truffle oil, sits on top of the tamagoyaki. It’s deliciously different.Prawn Omelette

Next is mouth-wateringly moist pan fried barramundi with pickled fennel.IMG_3334

Course four is Chef’s selection of sashimi. A platter of the freshest yellowtail kingfish, salmon and scallops is sliced to perfection and served raw. I love the simplicity of sashimi, dipped in a little soy sauce.IMG_3340

The dish of the night, Tasmanian salmon belly sushi, looks stunning topped with shimmering orange fish roe. Our waitress advises us that it’s best to eat each piece of sushi in one mouthful, so we taste all of the elements of the dish in one hit. It’s a tad unladylike, but we try to shove each morsel into our mouths as gracefully as we can with chopsticks. The sushi tastes even better than it looks.Salmon Sushi

A fruity sorbet of yuzu and navel orange arrives to cleanse our palates.

After a little pause and more green tea, a perfectly pink slice of duck breast appears. The tender duck sits upon a sweet potato puree, plump edamame beans and grape tomato. On the side is a little disc of onion, filled with a creamy Japanese style hollandaise. It seriously rivals the salmon belly sushi for my favourite dish, I only wish the slice of duck is a little more generous.Duck

For dessert we try something a little different, genmaicha mousse. Genmaicha is the Japanese name for green tea that is combined with roasted brown rice. A sweet granny smith apple gel is layered on top of the mousse and then topped with caramelised white chocolate and crunchy roasted rice tea. It’s not an overwhelmingly rich dessert, the almost savoury genmaicha balances out the sweet apple and chocolate. It’s very easy to eat.Dessert

Unlike other Omakase dinners I’ve had in the past, I leave comfortably full. Is Marumo worth the hype? Absolutely. At just $60 for a seven course meal that is full of technique, interesting components, quality local ingredients and most importantly exciting flavours – it is absolutely worth the wait. I better make my next booking soon!

 

At a glance

■ Marumo

22/145 Stirling Highway

Nedlands 6009

Phone 0431 040 899

■ Opening times

Tue – Sat 7pm to 10.30pm

■ Rating

food 4

service 4

ambience 3

value for money 4

■ style – Japanese

■ wine – BYO, $2.50 corkage

■ Chef – Moe Oo

■ Owner – Moe Oo

■ feel – cosy and intimate

■ wheelchair access – yes

■ cost

Set menu – $60

■ all in all – sensational value

for money – excellent food full

of technique, flavour and flair.

 

Hey Griller – Vic Park

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Hey Griller Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

A new restaurant has hit the Albany Highway strip in Vic Park. Hey Griller serves up some tasty and interesting Asian fusion food. IMG_3167

I headed along to a bloggers dinner at Hey Griller last month. I am always keen to try a new spot and till I received an invite from Hey Griller, I hadn’t heard of them. I don’t visit Vic Park very often and they’d completely flown under my radar. We were treated to an epic three course dinner, share plates for entrée, then my choice of main and dessert. There was so. much. food. Here’s my best dish picks from the night…

It was difficult to choose which share plates to try, many of them sounded absolutely mouth watering! We ordered tasty chicken wings, pork skewers, prawn toast, pork belly mini wraps, grilled squid and chicken karima – a crisp pastry which looked like a toasted sandwich.

For me, the pork skewers, $14, were the stand out of the entrees. The morsels of meat were so tender, nicely seasoned and came with a big cumin flavour hit!IMG_3155

I also loved the grilled squid, $9.50, served smothered in an Asian plum sauce. The delicate squid melted in my mouth.IMG_3172

For main, I was really temped by Hey Griller’s signature flaming steaks. On the menu they are described as being served medium well to well done, which I have to admit put me off ordering it. I’m a medium-rare kinda gal. Instead, I opted for the Salmon, $26. It was a perfectly cooked piece of salmon, on top of sautéed veg and cauliflower puree, finished with a sprinkling of pistachios.IMG_3207

Next to me, Vanessa from Perth Foodie Girls did choose a flaming wagyu tenderloin, $39. I did get rather a lot of food envy when the flaming tenderloin,  arrived. Straight away I could see by the pink meat it was not cooked well done, or even medium. The waitress poured the “HG house made flaming sauce” over the sliced tenderloin and whoosh – it was a flaming steak! I loved the theatre of it.IMG_3188

I was getting very full, but also interested to see what Hey Grillers twist on dessert would be. I devoured the simply stunning chocolate and hazelnut fudge, $12, which was hands down the best dessert of the night! Served in a fairly unassuming cup was a layer of ooey gooey melted marshmallow, when I dug a little deeper I found a rich chocolate and hazelnut fudge and a layer of cake in the base.  It was a decadent dessert and worth every calorie!IMG_3221

Hey Griller is a great little venue and not knowing what to expect, I was impressed with the food. The staff were friendly and helpful. Though I didn’t pay for my meal, I did take note that the prices are reasonable too. Thanks to Owner Hans and his team for a terrific meal.IMG_3152