Foam Coffee Bar – Leederville

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Foam Coffee Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I was invited along to Foam Coffee Bar in Leederville on the promise of copious amounts of bacon and it didn’t disappoint. I couldn’t tie busy Chef down for a brunch date and then Little Chef was struck down with a bout of chicken pox. I thought that I’d never get my bacon fix!IMG_3984

My brunch date was Foam’s marketing guru, the lovely Meg Coffey. Admittedly I was excited to meet such a prominent Perth social media figure too. We had much to chat about over brunch at the bustling café on the Oxford Street strip.IMG_3977

Foam has a feel of a neighbourhood café. People are constantly coming and going, their hands brimming with take away coffees and sweet treats. There’s not a spare table in the house with lots of people taking time to enjoy brunch with friends too. I was in need of a caffeine hit and the coffee came out hot and fast! The roast at Foam is Five Senses, which is one of my favourite coffees, as it is always so smooth. Love the tiny teddies too😉IMG_3960

When Meg is onto a good thing, she sticks to it – and why not! She chose her breakfast favourite of poached eggs on toast with a side of avocado.IMG_3965

I chose the wild mushroom trio, $15. A tasty mound of mushrooms sits on top of a slice of buttery toasted brioche with a runny poached egg and chives. I added a side of Cajun spiced bacon for an extra $5. Foam’s bacon ain’t no ordinary bacon. The kitchen team house smokes and cut it themselves, making the porky morsels lovely and thick! It has a really deep flavour too. I’m totally in love with it. IMG_3975

Next time I may up the ante in the bacon stakes and order the Canadian pancakes with maple syrup and house smoked bacon or the “Go Bananas” a decadent grilled house smoked bacon and banana dish, with house made banana bread,  gusto vanilla bean gelato and Canadian maple syrup. They sound very naughty though!

Big thanks to Meg and the Foam team for inviting me down for brunch, I really enjoyed it!

Julio’s – West Perth

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Julio's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Julio’s, a favourite haunt for West Perth workers for over thirty years, has been transformed into a swanky but approachable Italian diner. The iconic residence of Perth menswear moguls, the Walsh family, has been retained as part of a multi-million dollar hotel development. The rear of the historical house has been knocked through and now blends with the modern foyer of the Sage Hotel.IMG_3852

The Sage Hotel sits in what was essentially the back yard of the Walsh family’s heritage listed home which dates back to 1902. In 1982 the home was sold and become a West Perth favourite, Julio’s Italian restaurant, hosting dinners for mining executives, Lady Gaga, Bono and Beyoncé amongst others. The restaurant was then closed for a number of years. The new owners have kept in mind its beloved history with West Perth locals, by keeping the Italian restaurant, beautifully restoring the building and period features. The dining room has been stripped right back to the original bare brickwork, fireplaces, timber flooring and ceiling beams, whilst still managing to retain its cosy charm.interior

Arriving in the restaurant, via the hotel foyer, we’re greeted by a waitress who takes us to a table by the window. She offers to take my soggy umbrella – it’s a very wet and blustery night outside. I look over the well selected wine menu, the choices are mainly Australian. There’s also a good selection of French sparkling wine and Italian varieties too. A local red from the Swan Valley catches our eye. As the waitress pours the Robert Bowen Shiraz, $82, she tells us that the grapes are from Pemberton and Robert Bowen is in fact a regular at Julio’s. It’s a nice touch to get a little extra info and the wine is a wonderfully smooth Shiraz too.IMG_3831

The menu is made up of cicchetti (savoury snacks), primi (pasta) and secondi (mains). To start we enjoy creamy polenta fritters, $9. The rectangular fritters are golden and crisp on the outside. We dunk them in a calabrian dip – an Italian style aioli.IMG_3837

We also relish the truffle duck terrine, $19. The moist, fudgy meat is served along with chunks of pear, poached in nebbiolo, a red wine from Northern Italy. It’s finished with a hazelnut crumb. The flavours work well together, though I would have liked a little lavosh or crusty bread to spread the terrine onto.IMG_3835

For main I can’t go past the potato gnocchi, $22. The hand rolled gnocchi is tender, but a touch doughy. Topped with tiger prawns, zucchini and a creamy gorgonzola cheese and chili sauce it’s a comforting dish that’s bursting with sweet and garlic flavours.gnocchi

Chef chooses the hearty sounding lamb shoulder dish, $32. The locally raised lamb is very tender, as it’s braised in extra virgin olive oil. The generous portion of meat sits upon artichoke and a chickpea puree. The dish is covered in rocket and finished with pistachios, for an extra crunch.IMG_3839

We toy with the idea of ordering a side dish, though knowing how generous and filling Italian food often is, we decide against the extra food. The Sicilian caponata, with mozzarella, basil pesto and crispy eggplant sounds delicious, but will have to wait for another time.IMG_3858

There are four options plus a cheese plate for dessert. We find it hard to choose, so we order the dessert plate, $35. This selection gives you a taste of three of their desserts. Julio’s open cannolo is delicious. The chocolate cannolo, made to a secret recipe, is filled with a nutty torrone (nougat) ice cream. The silky saffron panna cotta jiggles on the board. On the side is a sweet raspberry jelly and praline. A slice of warm limoncello caprese cake is a little dry, though topped with the creamy citrus limoncello sorbet, which adds much needed moisture.Dessert

The reincarnation of Julio’s is a mainly a hit. The tasty food is mostly on point, just a few technical misses to iron out. The dining room is beautiful and the service is friendly and prompt. Bellissimo!

At a glance

Julio’s

1309 Hay Street

West Perth

Phone 08 6500 9111

Opening times

Open 7 Days

Breakfast  Mon to Fri 6.30am – 10.30am

Sat & Sun 7am – 11am

Lunch 11.30am to 3pm

Dinner Tue to Sat 5pm to 10pm

Sun & Mon 5pm to 9pm

Rating

food 3

service 4

ambience 4

value for money 3

style Modern Italian

wine mostly Australian wines,

with a few NZ and European drops.

Chef Simone Ariano

Owner SilverNeedle Group and ADC

feel Classic, old meets new.

wheelchair access yes

cost

Entree – $8 – $39

Mains – $24 – $34

Dessert – $14 – $35

all in all   a wonderful fusion of

modern and traditional elements in

both the venue and Italian menu.

Service is friendly and efficient.

Mason & Bird – Kalamunda

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Mason & Bird Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The sleepy Perth Hills village of Kalamunda has had an exciting arrival! Mason and Bird, found next to the Kalamunda Library, is café GOLD.

There are loads of good brunch cafes, though few that are truly great. What makes a great brunch for me is food that is cooked and presented in a “cheffy” kind of way. The brunch spots that genuinely get me giddy, like Harvest Espresso and Tuckshop , can do much better than a simple fry up on a Saturday morning – they have exciting food.

The team behind Mason and Bird have some excellent experience between them. Brad Johnston is the former Head Chef from Print Hall. Matt Nguyen and Jacklyn Noel are former Managers from Rockpool. The interior is modern and in keeping with the bush setting, filled with lots of beautiful timber furniture. The bustling café can get quite noisy, but on a warmer day more people may be tempted to sit in the outside areas.

Broardsheet

PIC CREDIT – Rebecca Mansell for BROARDSHEET

 

I popped along to check out Mason and Bird with my parents. They’d already been there once and absolutely raved about it. There is an all day brunch menu, as well as lunch options. I hear that there are plans in the works to open for dinners in the future too.

The coffee is by local Perth roasters “Little Owl”. My parents both agreed it’s a good roast. I ordered an organic beetroot latte – yes really! I’d seen it on social media and was curious what it tasted like. I was pleasantly surprised. It had a smooth beetroot flavour, as well as a hint of ginger. I’m not sure I’d make it my regular cuppa, but it was nice for a healthy change.IMG_3803

I picked from the brunch menu. I’d been eyeing up the braised pulled beef and poached eggs, but decided on the paleo savoury waffles, $17. They sounded healthy and delicious! Fluffy Waffles are topped with mushrooms, wilted greens and two perfectly poached eggs. I just had to add a side of crisp speck bacon (from fab local butcher Sebastians) for an extra $8. Sprinkled with spiced nuts and seeds and a few dollops of romesco sauce. It’s a wonderfully satisfying dish.IMG_3820

Having had a pasta dish last time, my parents decided to share two of their delicious house made pasta dishes again. The gnocchi, $22, was sublime. The soft-as-marshmallow morsels were pan roasted with cauliflower and almonds and finished with a creamy white balsamic sauce. A very tasty dish indeed.IMG_3804

The braised lamb, $24, was rich with flavour and melted in the mouth. The strands of pappardelle were cooked perfectly al dente and folded with sautéed mushrooms and spinach, finished with a mound of shaved parmesan.IMG_3807

As if that wasn’t enough, my parents also ordered the “hand cut chippies”, $7. The bowl of chips was generous. I said “I’ll just have one”, but that turned into rather a lot more. Whoops! The house made ketchup (Chef’s secret recipe) was so much tastier than your average tomato sauce. There’s also gourmet toasties, salads and burgers on the menu.IMG_3811

I don’t need an excuse for visiting my parents up in the hills, but I think we need to have another trip to Mason and Bird very soon. It’s a wonderful eatery that has excellent, well priced food and comes HIGHLY recommended!IMG_3826

And why not make a day of it? Kalamunda Farmers Market is on every Sunday morning or check out the wineries in the nearby Bickley Valley (like Plume Estate, Hainault and Fairbrossen) after a hearty brunch at Mason and Bird!IMG_3825

 

Crust Gourmet Pizza – Mt Lawley

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Crust Gourmet Pizza Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I’m a big fan of pizza. For me, you can put almost any combination of food on a thin pastry base and it makes it all the more appealing. Pizza is casual, comfort food and I can’t get enough. When we order Crust pizza, Crust in Joondalup is our regular store, but on this occasion we headed into Crust in Mount Lawley for pizza. We were invited down by the owner and fellow food blogger Michelle, aka Foodie Cravings, to check out some of the new items on their menu.IMG_3880

Crust Mount Lawley is found opposite the Astor Theatre, just around the corner from Beaufort Street. If you want to enjoy your pizza fresh out of the oven, like we did, there is seating inside and outside. To begin, I picked the lamb ribs, $13.50, from the starters menu. The Mediterranean spiced ribs are tender and served with fresh herbs and lemon. You’ll have to excuse my rubbish photo, but you get the idea😉IMG_3897

I really enjoyed the chicken cordon bleu pizza, $24. It’s topped with house cooked chicken, pancetta rotoli that is stuffed with double brie, sweet caramelised onions and fresh asparagus on a tomato sauce base, garnished with Dijon mustard, which gives it a nice little kick. A very tasty combination of flavours!IMG_3887

Poor Little Chef has just got over a bout of chicken pox, so he’s a bit off eating chicken at the moment! For him, we bought the “Meat Deluxe”, $21. This pizza is a carnivore’s delight topped with smoked ham, spicy pepperoni, Italian sausage, chicken breast fillets (shhhh don’t tell Little Chef!), house cooked ground beef and crisp bacon on a BBQ sauce base. The pizza is covered in melted mozzarella cheese. It went down a treat with the boys and there wasn’t even any left overs for breakfast! heheIMG_3886

Crust is also BYO, so you can bring your favourite bottle of Vino or beer and there is no corkage. Chef enjoyed a couple of Italian beers with his pizza.IMG_3893

To finish, we devoured four hot sticky cinnamon buns, $12. The crisp pastry is house cooked, rolled and filled with a sticky n sweet walnut and cinnamon sauce. The little buns are topped with a swirl of vanilla cream cheese icing. Delicious!IMG_3903

We enjoyed our super casual Friday night dinner at Crust. Thanks to Michelle, Andria and the Crust team for having us🙂IMG_3904

Nood Healthy Cooking Class

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

New health food café, Nood in Leederville is all about delicious, healthy eating. Nood also run healthy cooking classes that follow their philosophy of tasty whole food and “re-educating people about what we are putting into our bodies and the importance of leading a healthy, balanced lifestyle”.
IMG_3459I’d been stuck in my annual winter rut of gross amounts of comfort food and hardly any exercise. So when I got asked along to the Nood cooking class for fellow Yelp Elites, I absolutely jumped at the chance to learn something new and get some healthy recipe inspiration.IMG_3461

My fellow Yelpers and I were welcomed to the industrial kitchen at Nood HQ by Nood’s founder Nikki. She explained how Nood was born and how it’s evolved. She’s very passionate about her business and it’s infectious.IMG_3465

Our teacher for the night was the lovely Tess, who guided us through cooking a healthy and wholesome three course meal.

First up, we made a spiced pumpkin soup. It was brimming with flavours of garlic, ginger, chilli, coriander, cumin and more. The soup was also super simple to make, simply chopping, sautéing, oven roasting and blitzing. We also made a coriander coconut yogurt to go with the soup. This was very simple to make too. Coconut yogurt is used as the base, which was absolutely delicious! A dollop of this yogurt really complimented the pumpkin soup.IMG_3492
We all got a few chances to get to cook. Here I’m getting my hands dirty kneading the dough for the A-mazing cumin flat bread, to accompany the soup. I’m really terrible when it comes to baking and all things dough. This dough was super sticky and I was sure that I’d stuffed it up! I popped it onto the baking tray, crossed my fingers and 15 minites later out popped a pretty decent looking cumin flatbread. It was actually really tasty – I totally surprised myself!IMG_3504

Next up was the cauliflower rice nasi goreng with chicken and tofu satay sticks. I’d heard a lot of heath foodies rave about cauliflower rice, but could it really replace the real thing? I do love rice.IMG_3475

I roughly chopped the cauliflower, which was then blitzed in a food processor into a rice texture. We all had a great time cooking and having a giggle at each other. The flavoursome nasi goreng, with carrots and snow peas along with the lemongrass chicken/tofu skewers & Asian greens was a delicious and healthy hit too.IMG_3507

To finish, we made a fruit crumble with banana ice cream. The banana ice cream was simply frozen banana! What a brilliant idea for those extra ripe bananas at home.IMG_3514Each course was absolutely packed with flavour and 100% guilt free. I left this cooking class not only with a very full tummy, but feeling inspired and pumped to kick start some healthy eating habits! I’d totally recommend the cooking classes at Nood. I found them really informative and would love to learn more healthy and easy to make dishes in the future.IMG_3498

The very next day, I started to put a few things into practice at home and made the spiced pumkin soup, which turned out really well. I’ll certainly be attempting the nasi goreng and banana ice cream too.

Thanks to Anjelka and the Nood team for a fab night and also to the wonderful yelpers for their company! :)

A LITTLE NOTE ON YELP… Yelp for those not in the know is a review based website, similar to Zomato and Trip Advisor. I find it a little friendlier than the others and think that’s based largely on the way they organise community gatherings and activities. At these big and small events, like this cooking class, fellow foodies can get together over their shared love of food. Anyone can join Yelp.

The Heritage Brasserie – Perth CBD

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Main – 220g sirloin with onions $38

The Heritage Brasserie, Bar & Boardroom Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I left our dinner at The Heritage Brasserie and Bar feeling a little indifferent. In saying that, there are also many things to like about The Heritage. It’s found in a stunning, restored heritage building on St Georges Terrace, which is part of the Brookfield Place precinct. The chic dining room has Parisian feels with a monochrome interior, high ceilings and marble floor. The Heritage’s bar features a pewter bar top , which was hand made in Paris. The beautiful bar would be perfect for drinks with friends. An extensive wine list is on offer, featuring many drops from Australia, Europe and beyond. There are wines available by the glass, as well as some pricier bottles like a 1998 Bordeaux Cab Sav Merlot which will set you back $1750.IMG_3229

On this occasion, I was dining with a group of eight friends. There was a lot to catch up on over a glass of a crisp NZ Sauvignon Blanc. I read the menu which is made up of elegant sounding dishes and picked an entrée and main. There is also a hamburger and chips option, $25, which sticks out like a sore thumb amongst the other mains. It actually sounded really tempting, but the opulent dining room didn’t make me feel like getting down and dirty with a burger between my hands.

The service was mainly good, though throughout the night our waiter made a few odd comments which gave me a sinking feeling. None of us had dined at The Heritage before and so didn’t know what to expect in terms of portion size. When asking the waiter for his recommendation on side dishes, he advised us that some of the sides were “a bit bland”, a surprisingly honest comment from someone supposedly trying to sell us the menu.

For entrée I chose the tart of asparagus, jersey milk curd, egg yolk, onions and chestnuts, $17. On paper it sounded delicious. While it was a tasty and fine looking tart, it wasn’t a traditional tart. The delicate dish had a thin pasty ring surrounding the “filling” and no pastry base. I missed having a buttery shortcrust pastry to chomp into.IMG_3241

For main I felt like something hearty and filling. I thought the pumpkin gnocchi with ginger, hazelnut, sage and brown butter, $28, would fit the bill nicely. The gnocchi was pillowy soft, there were also little gems of pumpkin and the whole dish was bursting with subtly sweet flavours. There just wasn’t enough gnocchi – not by a long shot.IMG_3252

Two gents at the next table were chowing down on those hamburgers, oozing with bacon and bourbon sauce, making a few of us fill with food envy. Another fine looking main from our table was the duck breast with wild berries, beetroot and fermented plum, $37. The sides couldn’t have all been bland as the sautéed Brussel sprouts were a big hit on our table.IMG_3243

For dessert I ordered a Crème brulee with a rapidly melting quenelle of smoked chocolate ice cream $16. Again, it is a twist on the traditional, as the brulee is served topped with banana. It was a well cooked dessert, though I didn’t taste much smoke in the ice cream. IMG_3255

The three cheese plate, $32, with seasonal accompaniments also looked good.IMG_3256

My friends and I had a nice night at The Heritage, but that was more to do with the elegant ambiance, fine wine, good company and conversation – the food unfortunately took a back seat.

The general consensus of the table was that the food was tasty and beautifully plated, but the portion sizes could have been far more generous. For me, the food was interesting, but something was missing. The pretty tart was a great example of this and missed the mark. It wasn’t what I had expected and I felt disappointed. With my main I’d expected a bowl full of warming comfort food, but had to make do with just 12 morsels of gnocchi. I believe with a few small tweaks, the dining experience at The Heritage could be greatly improved.

I left The Heritage still feeling hungry, but some $70+ lighter for three (vegetarian) courses and a glass of wine. Maybe I should have ordered that big burger after all!

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!

IMG_7299The 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