For 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.
Oh 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.
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.
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.The 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!