Piccolo Trattoria, Shenton Park

Piccolo Trattoria, Shenton Park

We dine early at Piccolo Trattoria, not because it’s a school night or we think it’s better for our digestion – five o’clock is the only time we can score a booking at the Shenton Park newbie. The incredibly popular Italian is already pumping before 6pm on a Thursday and we’re curious to see what the fuss is about.

The family business has already amassed a loyal following, after opening its doors just a few months ago. We’re greeted by chatty wait staff, who make us feel like old friends that have popped over for dinner. This is all part of trattoria-style dining. Trattorias are Italian-style eateries, known for being more casual than a restaurant and where bread is broken over hearty, home style meals.

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The cosy dining room has a faint whiff of paint. We see that the small restaurant is being extended to accommodate more tables, which hopefully improves the odds of snaring a table in future! Italian singers croon in the background and the tables are covered with traditional red and white checked cloths. This could be a little twee, but it works here in the otherwise modern dining room, making the spot on the Nicolson Road strip feel homely and inviting.

The rustic menu is heavily influenced by hearty Sicilian cuisine, where Owner and Head Chef Carlo Collova’s parents originate from. It wouldn’t be much of an authentic trattoria without a menu brimming with antipasto and of course there’s pasta aplenty – even gluten free pasta for coeliacs.

Piccolo Trattoria, Shenton Park

This BYO restaurant is the perfect spot to bring along a favourite drop of wine from your collection. A good selection of soft drinks, tea and coffee are also on offer. A dish of salty marinated olives, finished with a squeeze of lemon juice, get our juices flowing.

My entrée, a melanzana parmigiana ($14) is ooey-gooey goodness. Grilled softened eggplant is layered with a rich tomato sauce, fresh basil and grana padano, a kind of parmesan cheese. The delicious dish is topped with even more fresh herbs, caper salsa and a rustic loaf for wiping up the lip-smacking sauce.

Piccolo Trattoria, Shenton Park

Plump polpette beef and pork meatballs ($14) are slowly cooked in a tomato sugo, topped with cheese, extra virgin olive oil and fresh herbs. Chef dips his thick-cut bread into the sauce, it’s a soul-warming dish, just like Nonna makes.

Meatballs

For main, I choose the game-y goat chops ($38), having got a taste on a recent trip to Carnarvon, where goat is plentiful. The grilled baby goat chops are oozing with flavour, marinated in garlic, rosemary, fennel seeds and thyme. A crisp potato croquette and well-dressed Greek style salad, that’s brimming with chunks of tomato, cucumber and creamy goat’s feta are on the side.

Piccolo Trattoria, Shenton Park

Chef relishes the La Cotoletta Parmigiana ($38). A thin beef fillet schnitzel is coated in crumbs and pan friend, giving it a slightly charred crust. The tender meat is topped with a little tomato sauce, melted grana padano cheese and a generous amount of fresh basil leaves. On the side is a silky eggplant and tomato chutney, potato croquette, sautéed spinach, and a sweet and spicy pickled chili. Chef admits he’s not eaten beef schnitzel since the 1980s and thoroughly enjoys his trip down memory lane.

Piccolo Trattoria, Shenton Park

Chocolate torta ($14) has to be one of my favourite Italian sweets. Piccolo Trattoria’s version is a flourless chocolate almond cake, with roasted pistachios, a dark chocolate ganache, mixed berry compote and lashings of double cream. While the flavours are robust, I find the texture far too crumbly.

Piccolo Trattoria, Shenton Park

The rich and creamy mousse al cioccolato ($14) is divine. Decadent chocolate mousse is topped with mixed berry compote and a sprinkle of roasted pistachio.

Piccolo Trattoria, Shenton Park

There’s a lot to love about Piccolo Trattoria. The simple dishes are mouth-watering, making it much more than your average local Italian. Though they’re not reinventing the wheel, the kitchen is serving up well cooked Italian dishes with gusto, a bucket load of flavour and loads of heart. Welcome to the neighbourhood Piccolo Trattoria!

At a glance

■ Piccolo Trattoria
205 Nicholson Road
Shenton Park
Phone 9382 1778
■ Opening times
Mon – Sat 5pm to late
■ Rating
food 4
service 4
ambience 4
value for money 4
■ style – Italian
■ wine – BYO wine and beer
■ Chef – Carlo Collova
■ Owner – Carlo Collova
■ feel – casual and cosy
■ wheelchair access – yes
■ cost –
Entrée – $4 to $39
Mains – $19 to $45
Dessert – $7 to $14
■ all in all – bookings are essential at
this new Shenton Park spot, where
the delicious Italian offerings are
far from average.

Piccolo Trattoria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Rob’s Pit Stop BBQ, Kalamunda

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Robs Pit Stop BBQ Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

There’s a new BBQ joint in Kalamunda – Rob’s Pit Stop BBQ. If you are a carnivore and love your meats cooked low and slow, then Rob’s is well worth trying out. In what was once a suburban deli, opposite Kalamunda High School, is now home to the casual eatery – a dedicated mecca of meat.

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Chef and I are a bit obsessed with a TV show called “Southern Fried Road Trip” – a road trip through the southern US states of Louisiana, Kentucky, Alabama and more. Half the weird and wonderful dishes we’ve never heard of and we’re absolutely fascinated by it. So many of their discoveries are at tiny shacks by the side of the road or retro cafes owned by generations of the same family.

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Rob’s Pit Stop BBQ has that laid-back southern American feel, people are just here for a soul-warming feed of BBQ, there’s no airs and graces and you eat from paper plates!
There’s plenty of seating – inside in the diner-style room or outside in the enclosed patio area.

Rob's Pit Stop BBQ

When it comes to ordering your meal, things are a little different at Rob’s Pit Stop BBQ. Here, meat is ordered per 100 grams. Don’t worry about over-ordering, you’re welcome to take the leftovers home. The menu has lots of tasty meats to choose from, you can keep it to yourself, but we think it’s more fun to share and you get to try lots more that way. It’s served up in a very different way too!

Rob's Pit Stop BBQ

We chose Texas brisket, Carolina pulled pork, Memphis style pork ribs, Kansas City beef short ribs and Kielbasa sausage. My favourites of the meats had to be the very tasty brisket, huuuuge beef short rib, with a lip-smackingly delicious charred crust. In truth it was all good. I would have liked to see a meat dish that was a little saucy too, to mix things up a bit.

Rob's Pit Stop BBQ

On the side we had coleslaw, potato salad and mac and cheese. Little Chef was obsessed with the creamy mac n cheese which came in a huge paper cup. You can help yourself to pickles, chillies and pickled onion, as well as a range of hot sauces.

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This feast was shared between five people and at about $36 dollars per head, we found it was good value. The meat is full of smoky flavours, moist and incredibly moreish. We did end up having a little extra to take home too, good for sandwiches later!

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There’s plenty of choice for soft drinks and bottomless cups of iced tea – nice one!

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Little Chef chose a Canada Dry, there’s also imported cans of cherry cola and more.

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If you want to try Rob’s pit stop, but maybe not have such a meat-fest, try a brisket and coleslaw roll or a Ruben, with pastrami and sauerkraut. To finish we enjoyed some mini pecan pie and chocolate brownies. The American pumpkin pie also sounds delicious.

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Rob’s Pit Stop BBQ is a walk in spot, with bookings available for larger groups of eight or more. If you love meat – then Rob’s Pit Stop BBQ is for you!

More info on their website.

8 Yolks, Success

20180909_125156I’m the first to admit that I’m pretty clueless when it comes to dining in south-of-the-river Perth. I’m an ex-hillbilly and current northie, so I’m all over Joondalup, the inner city areas of Perth, swan valley and Perth Hills, as well as my “golden triangle” Post Newspaper region in the western suburbs. If I take a trip over the Narrows Bridge – I hit a bit of a blank. That goes to show just how huge Perth’s sprawl and foodie scene has become.

Over the years I’ve found a few southern gems like Rustico Tapas in Rockingham and Timber Café in Harrisdale. I’d been invited along to a brand new café in Success, 8 Yolks. Normally, I wouldn’t make a 110km round trip for brunch, but it just so happened I was heading south that day.

The Success café doesn’t have that rustic chic vibe like so many cafes do these days. I love that it’s totally original. The bright and sunny café has a fun colour scheme, incorporating my favourite brunch component – the humble runny egg! There’s cosy booths, inside and outside dining, and a gorgeous tiled communal table, where Little Chef and I set up camp.

8 Yolks, Success

First up we order some coffees – an almond flat white for me and a baby chino for Little Chef.

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The menu is made up of all sort of al day brunch goodies. Staples like bircher muesli and eggs benny are joined by a few Asian style dishes, so you’re sure to find a dish to tickle your fancy.  Nine year old Little Chef ordered the adult sized banana and nutella pancake ($17.5), Fluffy pancakes are topped with hazelnut crumble, banana, strawberries and finishes with a couple of generous scoops of vanilla bean ice cream. He managed to polish the whole lot off! It would be fantastic to see a kids menu for younger children though.

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I enjoyed the gluten free version of the Smokey BBQ Pulled Beef Benedict ($21). The tender Angus beef brisket is slow cooked for 14 hours and it shows. The meaty deliciousness is topped with two eggs and buttery hollandaise sauce. A gooey egg is my idea of heaven and these were perfectly poached – yolk oozing everywhere. Great for mopping up with the gluten free bread.

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All in all, we both loved the relaxed atmosphere and well cooked brunch offerings at 8 Yolks. If I lived in the area I’d be stoked to have it as my local café!

Find 8 Yolks at 660 Beeliar Drive, Success.

More details on 8 Yolks Café here.

I dined as a guest of 8 Yolks Café, all opinions are my own.

Gascoyne Food Festival Long Table Lunch

20180810_120754As part of this year’s Gascoyne Food Festival I was attending many of the tasty events in and around Carnarvon.  I was told that the festival’s highlight is the Long Table Lunch and I could barely contain my excitement about the 10 course lunch that lay before me!

My word, the location under the shady trees at the Bentwaters Plantation was amazing. We took our seats and spent a sunny winter’s afternoon chatting and mingling over some good wine and seriously amazing food, much of which was cooked using fresh produce that we’d seen the day before, on the Chef Tour of the Plantations.

Gascoyne Food Festival Long Table Lunch

I was there as part of the media group of food bloggers and journalists, it was so nice to get dressed up, after touring the farms the day before.

Gascoyne Food Festival Long Table Lunch

L-R: Liz Sheehan (aka Breakfast Confidential) & Me

Chef Don Hancey

Chatting across the table to WA Food Ambassador, Chef Don Hancey, I discovered that the long table lunch gets longer each year! This year over 360 guests (locals and visitors) enjoyed the epic meal cooked with local produce by Chefs from all around WA.

Gascoyne Food Council

As a Chef that’s very passionate about supporting local growers, Don has been one of the key people involved in growing the festival over many years. It comes as no surprise that this year he was awarded with a Gascoyne Hero Award, for his contribution towards the Gascoyne Food Festival. Usually Don is in the kitchen, but this year he got to sit back and enjoy the lunch – which was very well deserved.

The Epic Long Table Lunch

To get our tastebuds warmed up, we devoured a canape of crab and avocado, with a sriracha kick on a tapioca crisp by MasterChef alumni Brendon Pang.

Gascoyne Food Festival Long Table Lunch

Entrée of the chilled Mareterram prawns, with charred corn and melon salsa and a jalapeno sauce was created by Chef Jason Beste (of Suppa Road, an Award winning south west catering co). What a stunning dish!

Gascoyne Food Festival Long Table Lunch

The drool-worthy 12 hour beef rib by Chef Matt Neeble (of Arthur and Co, a new restaurant in Hibernian Place) was so meaty and delicious!

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Delish Ice supplied the palate cleanser, a combo of tomato, strawberry and basil.

Gascoyne Food Festival Long Table Lunch

I loved the wood grilled BBQ lamb shoulder by Chef Melissa Palinkas (Owner/Head Chef of Young George). The yellow beans were so crunchy – I could have eaten a bucket-load!

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Chef Dean Wood (of Dean Street Quarters, all the way from Esperance!) dished up spiced roasted pumpkin with pickled beans and a smoked yogurt and granola. Chef Lucas Fernandes (of Long Chim, in the Treasury Buildings) created a scrumptious crispy fried goldband snapper dish.

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Stuffed eggplants by Chef Gurpreet Bagga (from Sauma, one of my favourite Perth Indian restaurants) were packed with flavour and served with paratha.

Gascoyne Food Festival Long Table Lunch

The chefs had their own long table, where they carefully plated the components of the MOST spectacular Sweeter Banana Dessert by Chef Nathan Thomas (of Laundry 43, in Busselton).

Gascoyne Food Festival Long Table Lunch

The bananas were poached in beurre noisette and served with a banana and lime parfait. Trust me, it tasted as good as it looks!

Gascoyne Food Festival Long Table Lunch

And we finished our feast on a sugary high of the Desert Bloom strawberries and cream. I could smell the strawberries from about 10 meters away, they’re so sweet. A simple way to end the lunch, the strawberries are heavenly. I must have eaten about 10.

Gascoyne Food Festival Long Table Lunch

It’s so difficult to play favourites. For me, my highlights had to be the beef ribs, the snapper and the banana dessert, but in truth I loved each and every wonderful dish cooked under the verandas of the homestead by the chefs. 

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Well done to Chef Stuart Laws who brought everyone together and executed such a memorable meal!

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The Gascoyne Food Festival Long Table Lunch was a luscious lunch featuring so much of the produce we’d seen growing just the day before. It brought together the amazing local produce, the Chefs, the farmers and the landscape in one blissfully sunny afternoon!

I’d highly recommend you put the long table lunch and the Gascoyne Food Festival onto you WA foodie bucket list. The amazing produce really has to be tasted to be believed.

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I attended as a guest of the Gascoyne Food Council.

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Fresh Gascoyne Produce on the Chef Tour

Fresh Gascoyne Produce on the Chef TourDo you know where your fruit and veg is grown? Is it from WA, over east or even China or the US? I love a local Farmers Market, where you can chat to the people who picked the crop just hours before. The convenient lure of the big supermarkets is often too much for me. I still keep an eagle eye out for the Buy West Eat Best logo and any other indicators that I’m buying local produce. I like to keep my shopping dollar in WA.

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The Chefs with our guide Robyn Bumbak (far right)

This is why I was SO excited to join in on the Gascoyne Food Festival’s Chef Tour of the Carnarvon plantations. We spent a day visiting just a handful of the many growers in the area. Carnarvon is an amazing food bowl – there’s such an impressive abundance of food grown and caught here. The quality is outstanding. Here’s what I found…

Fresh Gascoyne Produce on the Chef Tour

Robyn Bumbak of Bumbaks & Sons Grapes was our tour guide for the day. She’s incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about Gascoyne produce. We stopped at the Gascoyne River, which only flows a couple of times a year. There was actually a little water flowing. This is the lifeline of the plantations. Even when the river bed is bone dry, there is still water to be found in the underground aquafers.

Fresh Gascoyne Produce on the Chef Tour

Before we got going we stopped for some delicious, freshly baked goat pies from Mundillya Homestead. You can grab them from Meat@79 in Nedlands too!

Fresh Gascoyne Produce on the Chef Tour

Mareterram

First stop was seafood company Mareterram, where James Clement ran us through the fishing history of the area. Mareterram use sustainable methods to fish just 4000 sq kms of a 40000 sq km area per year for Tiger prawns, King Prawns, Blue Swimmer Crab and scallops. Their premium product is dipped in an organic melacide to stop discolouration of the prawns, when many other overseas companies use chemicals to do this.

Fresh Gascoyne Produce on the Chef Tour

Bumbaks & Sons Grapes

Robyn took us to her huge plantation of grapes, where the vines were just starting to shoot for the season. It was interesting to hear how Bumbaks team up with other growers from the Swan Valley and around WA to offer their customers an almost year-round supply of grapes.

Fresh Gascoyne Produce on the Chef Tour

Sweeter Banana Co

My Mum has always drilled into me from a young age that Carnarvon Bananas may be smaller, but they are far tastier than their Queensland counterparts. I have to agree and now that’s all my own family eats. I was thrilled to see where my “nanas” came from at the Sweeter Banana Co.

Fresh Gascoyne Produce on the Chef Tour

Here bananas are brought in from the plantation and sorted into the very recognisable packaging. These bags are necessary to protect the fruit, as Carnarvon bananas have thinner skins than other varieties of banana. It’s really important to note that a leaf of the banana tree may brush the banana and bruise the skin, but the fruit will still be perfect inside.

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WA Food Ambassador, Chef Don Hancey loves the Sweeter Bananas too!

Kuzmicich Plantation

The next stop was the immense Kuzmicich Plantation. Which grows all sorts of fruit and vegetables year round. We marvelled at the rows and rows of capsicum and eggplant grown by the Kuzmicich family. Dan Kuzmicich took us through how the crops are grown, used high tech computerised monitors as well as the challenges they face. And who knew eggplants had such pretty flowers?!

Fresh Gascoyne Produce on the Chef Tour

Bumbaks Farm Shop

Robyn’s family also have a very popular produce shop selling all sorts of by-products of their fresh produce – including some absolutely delicious icecreams and preserves. My choc dipped mango icecream was amazing! I wish you could get them in Perth.

Fresh Gascoyne Produce on the Chef Tour

Desert Bloom

Farmer Paul Shain gave us a walking tour of the produce around Dessert Bloom. The no-nonsense local grows an incredible selection of fresh fruit and veggies. His simple philosophy of “Don’t f*** with the fruit!” really resonated with me. All my favourite restaurants (like Millbrook Winery and Manuka Woodfire Kitchen) focus on seasonal local produce and don’t mess about and get too “cheffy” with it, allowing the produce to be the star of the show.

Fresh Gascoyne Produce on the Chef Tour

These incredibly sweet strawberries are hands down THE BEST I’ve ever tasted. I was gutted to hear they don’t sell them in Perth, as their high sugar content means they don’t have a very long shelf life. We ate these at the Long Table Lunch, simply dipped in a little cream. I ate a bucket load of them!

Fresh Gascoyne Produce on the Chef Tour

Paul encouraged us to pick beans and corn straight from the plants. Everyone raved about the corn, it was deliciously sweet. Brendan Pang (from MasterChef) sure thought so to! Desert Bloom’s produce can be purchased at the Stirling and Claremont Farmers Markets.

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What the Farmers Think

The common ground all producers had, regardless of the type of fruit or veg they grew, was the concern over waste caused by our major supermarkets demanding perfect produce. For me, I don’t care if my broccoli is too big, or my banana is too bendy. It’s probably going to be chopped, sliced and diced anyway! Apparently, it’s what the consumer wants, but I’m not convinced by this.

What we Can do to Support the Farmers

I came away from the Chefs Plantation Tour feeling 100% compelled to make sure my grocery dollar stays in WA, but unless you visit a farmers market and speak to the stall holders, it’s often hard to figure out the origin of fruit and veg at the shops.

Fresh Gascoyne Produce on the Chef Tour

You may be like me. I’m on auto pilot every time I hit the supermarket, my mind on a hundred other mummy/wifey/work-y things. I like to buy Aussie. I very rarely purchase fresh produce that is grown in Asia or overseas. What I’d really like to do, is to buy West Australian whenever I can and be really mindful of keeping my dollar in WA.

If you shop at your local growers market, then you’re buying WA produce – well done you! If you shop at Coles, IGA or Wollies, be sure to ask the store manager where the produce is from, if you’re not sure. They often list fruit and veg as “Produce of Australia”, which for me is only half way there. I want to know that the produce is WA grown – that it’s picked from a tree in Donnybrook, or plucked from a plant in Carnarvon. This kind of thing…

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Off the top of my head, the only products I buy that I know are from WA are apples grown in the Southern Forests, Brownes Dairy/Harvey Fresh products, Mount Barker Chicken, Harvey Beef and Carnarvon Bananas – as they have labels and packaging that really catch my eye.

It’s hard yakka out on the plantations. Whether the producers have to contend with drought, floods or cyclones (some places are still repairing after the 2015 cyclone) or the supermarkets refusing their produce, as it’s “too big”, we need to consciously do our own little bit to support these wonderful West Aussies!

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I toured the Carnarvon plantations as a guest of the Gascoyne Food Council.

My Trip to the Gascoyne Food Festival

Fresh Gascoyne Produce on the Chef Tour

As a child, I visited my Nanna in Geraldton often, but I never made it any further north… until now! I was SO excited to be invited to this year’s Gascoyne Food Festival and discover a little about North West WA.

I know loads about what’s on offer in the south west, but I’ve always been a little clueless about what’s “up north” beyond beaches, fishing and the vast, arid outback. What could a foodie like me get up to? I’ve since discovered, that there’s lots of tastebud tempting things to see and eat in the Gascoyne!

Fresh Gascoyne Produce on the Chef Tour

The annual Gascoyne Food Festival holds events to celebrate the regions amazing produce – like fruit, vegetables, seafood and goats (yes, really!). It’s a remarkable food-bowl on the banks of the Gascoyne River. And after my four day adventure, I can tell you that it is produce well worth celebrating.

I started my trip on a damp, wintery morning at Perth Airport. I hopped on a REX twin prop plane…

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and before I knew it, I was in sunny Carnarvon! Here’s my rundown of events:

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Long Table Lunch

Many people’s highlight of the festival is the Long Table Lunch, held at the beautiful Bentwaters Plantation was amazing!

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This year over 360 guests (locals and visitors) enjoyed the epic meal cooked with Gascoyne produce by Chefs from all around WA. It was a luscious lunch and it’s so difficult to choose a favourite dish… the Carnarvon banana dessert was sensational! More on the Long table lunch to come.

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Taste of Gascoyne Sunset BBQ

This casual barbie showcased the best produce the Gascoyne region has to offer. Chef Stuart Laws from Showcase Events WA cooked Mundillya Homestead goat and lamb Asado style – long and slow over hot coals. It tasted absolutely divine!

Gascoyne Food Festival

There was also Gascoyne fish, prawns, fruit and vegetables alongside special dishes created by a local Vietnamese community group. Due to the unusual weather (rain in Carnarvon?!), this was held inside the old wool shed. The weather wasn’t enough to dampen the festive atmosphere and a delicious meal was had by all.

Chefs Paddock Tour

We spend hours traipsing around fields and plantations and I loved every second! From the sweetest strawberries and corn to fresh king prawns and the iconic Carnarvon banana – meeting the producers was so interesting and also really empowered me to make sure what’s in my own shopping trolley is from WA farmers.

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Fruit Loop

The annual Chefs tour is especially for the visiting Chefs and media. You can DIY your own tour of the plantation’s farm stalls and shops by grabbing the “Fruit Loop” map from the tourist information centre in the heart of town. The Fruit Loop is a drive yourself tour you can do at any time of year and brilliant for picking up cheap local produce. 

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Gascoyne Growers Markets

The weekly Saturday morning markets are a huge deal in Carnarvon’s town centre.

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As well as the freshest produce imaginable, you can find some really unique gifts, preserves and accessories. There’s goat handbags!

Gascoyne Food Festival

A popular goat pie, scrumptious mango pancake or very tall “church burger” are the go-to breakfast options at the markets.

Gascoyne Food Festival

Especially for the Gascoyne Food Festival, Chef Stuart Laws (Showcase Events WA) put on a cooking demo, along with Masterchef’s Brendan Pang and Chef Lucas Fernandes (Long Chim).

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And it wouldn’t be an outback market without a Bushchook windmill! #Straya

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Sue Helmut Art Exhibition

The Artist in Residence for the Gascoyne Food Council is local painter Sue Helmut. Her colourful landscapes in the “From the Source – A Landscape of Food” collection take you from the rains on Mount Augustus, which flow down the Gascoyne River, replenishing the underground aquafers that water the fruit and vegetables and then out to the sea, where the nutrient rich rainwaters trigger spawning of seafood. Who knew art could be so educational?! And well done to Sue on her first solo exhibition.

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Other highlights…

Dirk Hartog Island hosted a Campfire Seafood Paella Dinner by Chef Russell Blaikie. And Dirk’s Long Table Lunch cooked by Chef George Cooper.

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Pic : Gascoyne Food Council

The Carnarvon Races was an event to get your glad rags on for!

Outback Meets Reef at Mantarays Ningaloo Beach Resort was hosted by WA Food Ambassador Chef Don Hancey. For beer lovers a 6 Course “Beergustation” was held at Froth Craft Brewery, Exmouth.

Gascoyne Food Council

Pic : Gascoyne Food Council

And the grand finale The World’s Biggest BBQ at The World’s Biggest Rock will be held on September the 8th under the stars at Mount Augustus.

The annual Gascoyne Food Festival is the perfect excuse for checking out Carnarvon and the rest of the Gascoyne region. I’d highly recommend that you take a winter break in 2019 and enjoy next year’s Gascoyne Food Festival, some sunshine and amazing fresh produce!

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I attended the festival’s events as a guest of the Gascoyne Food Festival. 

D’s Authentic Japanese, Connolly

D's Authentic Japanese, Connolly

I’ve said it before – D’s Authentic Japanese is a local gem. The once teeny tiny restaurant opposite Gipsy Boy soon outgrew its spot and moved to a serene spot in suburban Connolly. The dining room overlooks a Japanese water garden and is the scene of organised calm. There’s boxes to organise handbags (is that good fung shui?!) and efficient waiters with earpieces.

D's Authentic Japanese, Connolly

We were there for a lovely friend’s big 4-0. The lunch specials offer great value for money. Each of the main dishes are accompanied by fresh salad, rice and warm miso soup. On the menu there’s lots to choose from, teriyaki, katsu and more. My Wagyu Teriyaki ($28) was delicious, I did struggle a bit with the chopsticks… it had been a while since last using them! Once positive though, it makes me eat a lot slower. I had time to really savour the meaty flavour of the thinly sliced beef and sautéed cabbage.

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The grilled salmon teriyaki is very well cooked and accompanied with a tasty dressed salad, rice and miso soup. Great value at $20. Chopsticks are provided, though you are welcome to request a knife and fork if you don’t want to struggle to use them!

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For dessert I loved the Yuzu cheesecake (GF). The baked cheesecake is served with a tasty blackcurrant sorbet. I really relished the chance to eat such a yummy dessert – I don’t have many cheesecakes these days being gluten intolerant.

D's Authentic Japanese, Connolly

The birthday girl enjoyed a sweet homemade Wasanbon Caramel ice cream presented in beautiful hand-made bowls. Wasanbon is a fine grained Japanese sugar, traditionally used in high-end Japanese cuisine.

D's Authentic Japanese, Connolly

D’s Authentic Japanese is easily the best Japanese spot in the outer northern suburbs of Perth . The fresh produce used is excellent quality and the service is friendly, if not a bit business-like. I hear amazing things about their famous tuna parties that they hold from time to time. Check their FB page for deets.

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D’s Authentic Japanese is fully licenced and also offers some delicious Japanese style teas. It’s well worth seeking out for an authentic Japanese meal.

La Veen, Perth CBD

La Veen Perth CBD
La Veen Coffee & Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

La Veen, has long been on my brunch hit-list. I’d heard the hip inner city café, found in a heritage listed building on King Street, serves up some of the city’s best brunch and coffee. I needed to check this out for myself!

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The dining area of the café is compact, so be prepared to get close to the person on the next table. Service is friendly and prompt.

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The five senses coffee is delicious and smooth.

La Veen, Perth CBD

I chose an XO “Popsicle” tea of hibiscus, peppermint, elderflower, guava and strawberry. This combo  was sweet and refreshingly delicious.

La Veen, Perth CBD

I absolutely adored the dish I picked – a crisp potato rosti ($23), topped with an avocado smash, two runny poached eggs and crisp thick cut bacon.

La Veen, Perth CBD

My Dad enjoyed the avo smash ($16) with beetroot and Danish feta.

La Veen, Perth CBD

Little Chef ordered the adult sized “eggs your way” (we helped him out!). LC’s favourite way is scrambled. He also chose extras which included mushrooms, chorizo and crispy bacon. 

La Veen, Perth CBD

La Veen is definitely worth paying a visit if when you happen to be in the city. I did find the prices a little on the high side, but the drinks and food are all high quality. If you love a bustling atmosphere, a trendy brunch and great coffee, this spot is for you.

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Find out more on La Veen at http://www.laveencoffee.com.au/

Restaurant Hyun, Claremont

Restaurant Hyun, Claremont

Restaurant Hyun Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I was intrigued when I heard about Restaurant Hyun, a new modern Korean and French fusion diner in Claremont. There are strong French influences in Vietnamese cooking, though I wasn’t aware the same could be said for Korean food. The combination of French and Korean is certainly unchartered gastronomic territory for Chef and I. Can kimchi really marry seamlessly with French flair? We are about to find out.

We enjoy a warm welcome by our waiter, though the minimalist décor of the dining room leaves me feeling a little cold. The entry, which could serve as a funky bar-style dining spot, is packed with empty glasses and feels more like a storage area. Packed with busy tables, the cottage-style dining area lacks soul – or perhaps that should be Seoul?!

The small wine list is constantly evolving. Chef’s Plantagenet Three Lions shiraz is has a peppery, blackcurrant aroma and Chef notices it’s not served in a red wine glass. I choose a citrus driven Willow Bridge Semillon Sauvignon Blanc from WA’s Ferguson Valley region. The crisp drop compliments fresh Asian flavours well.

Restaurant Hyun, Claremont

Rather than rice laden traditional dishes, the French influence and cooking techniques lend to a lighter style of dining and interesting flavour combinations. I wonder if it would be more accurate to say the cuisine is more Korean-European? Kimchi, a chilli-spiked Korean staple of fermented vegetables, features throughout the menu. Their kimchi arancini is an Italian-Korean hybrid and a green tea scallop ceviche even has Peruvian origins.

The sautéed mushrooms ($14), is a beautifully plated entree. The classic, though modern fine dining style of plating certainly borrows from French cuisine. The enoki, shiitake and shimeji mushrooms, are served in a mushroom consommé, along with an earthy mushroom and cashew mash, smooth pumpkin mousse, pickled baby courgette, labne, and a drizzle of truffle oil. A spoon would have been handy, to fully enjoy the tasty consommé, a French-style clear soup.

Restaurant Hyun, Claremont

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32 Restaurants That Have Closed in Perth

Pic Cred: Tim Mossholder

For the best part of the last decade, Perth has been all about the latest brand spanking new café, bar or restaurant. While this dining boom has been going on, there has been many venues quietly closing their doors.

With recent high profile closings, I realised that about 10% of the spots I’ve dined at in the last 5 years have closed. There’s lots of places that I never even made it to before they closed their doors, like Greenhouse, The Terrace Hotel, Gogos, and The Witches Caldron. I was probably the only person in Perth never to enjoy their garlic prawns!

So why are all the restaurants closing?

Restaurants close all the time. It’s the nature of the dining scene. But what we ‘ve been seeing in the last 18 months are a lot more businesses failing than usual and failing fast.

There is a huge oversupply of restaurants in Perth. There is simply too many seats and not enough bums to fill them. Last year, when the Trustee, Fuyu and Restaurant Amuse closed their doors I thought that there would be a slow-down in new openings, but there’s still a new café, bar or eatery opening every 5 minutes. Hat’s off to these restaurateurs taking a punt – they are very, very brave!

Customers complain about the high price of eating out in Perth. This is a valid reason for people dining at home. If you look carefully there is definitely quality, value for money dining still to be had. Hospitality workers put in the hard yards, particularly the kitchen teams. I’ve seen the blood, sweat and tears, not to mention ridiculous amounts of overtime. They deserve to be paid fairly and well. The margins in any hospitality business are tight. It’s no wonder they have to hike their prices to try to break even, due to sky high rents, wage bills, quality produce and other overheads.

Chefs and other hospitality staff are spread very thin, so staffing issues can easily mess with quality and consistency. Chef often finds it difficult to find good kitchen staff, which is a Perth-wide problem. I know a few restaurant owners that had amazing restaurants, with schmick fit outs, and a really good concept, but just didn’t find enough quality staff to realise their dream.

There’s those restaurants that have renovated or rebranded, those old stalwarts that just didn’t keep up with the times and then the places that were excellent, but couldn’t survive in a climate of fast “Uber Eats” style home dining. The brunch trend is sure to have contributed too, with many people opting to dine and socialise over cheaper, non alcoholic brunches than going out for a more expensive dinner.

Closed Restaurants in Perth

Here’s a nostalgic list of just some of those Perth restaurants gone, but not forgotten. Where do you miss?

1. FuYu, Nedlands A Mod Asian favourite by chef David Coomer is now Lawleys Bakery.

2. Wok St Chow House, Northbridge When I walked by a few months ago the building’s frontage was being demolished and the restaurant, which was also formally Darlings Suppa Club, was closed.

Closed Restaurants in Perth

3. Suburban Table, Mosman Park Still run by Chef Josh Prosser, now South East Larder, a modern Asian take away.

4. Barque, East Fremantle the ex-mod Asian spot is now buzzed about Cook and Mason.

Closed Restaurants in Perth

5. Celtic Kitchen, Joondalup this casual café didn’t last very long at all, then it morphed into Lemongrass Thai Kitchen. The building is currently up for lease.

6. Stix Bar, Burswood this classy little restaurant was too much of a hidden gem, concealed amongst the apartment blocks between Crown and Optus Stadium. I miss their French Martinis!

Closed Restaurants in Perth

7. Pata Negra, Nedlands before FuYu, Chef David Coomer’s Spanish joint was a favourite of ours. Now Lawleys Bakery. David now has his own truffle farm in Manjimup.

8. Chophouse, Perth CBD We loved Chophouse, but it was hit by the mining slump on the terrace, now it’s home to a British gastropub, The Butchers Arms.

9. West at Ku De Ta, East Perth One of the most spectacular implosions in recent times. West and Ku Dining have been closed indefinitely, while The Deck (the more casual bar) is still open. The thing that struck me most about the venue, was the lack of floor to ceiling river views. We really loved the food at West. The cost of parking and ticket clock watching, coupled with a remote location didn’t help it’s cause.

Restaurants Closed in Perth

10. Shiro, Perth CBD This tasty Japanese overlooking leafy Central Park has been closed for some time.

11. Mattisse, Scarborough Every time I went to Mattisse it was empty! It was the biggest victim of the Scarborough Beach redevelopment. I think it opened about 4 years too early.  Now it’s gone back to it’s pre-millennium roots as the Lookout pop-up bar. Another of the Reid family’s venues, The Breakwater at Hillarys, is on the market.

Closed Restaurants in Perth

12. Wild Duck, Nedlands This delicious fine diner which moved to Perth from Albany quietly closed a couple of years ago and is now casual Mexican, Santa Fe.

13. Health Freak, Joondalup This venue changed to The Healthy Plate Café once it made the move to Lakeside Joondalup and that has now re-opened as trendy Tiago Kitchen.

14. Alphabet Soup, Various This pop up restaurant by one of our favourite Perth Chefs Mellissa Palinkas enjoyed a popular run at cafés all around Perth. Mellissa is now busy co-owner and Head Chef of Young George. Pop up’s come and go, but we particularly loved Alphabet Soup!

15. The Brown Fox, West Perth Now the British styled Mayfair Lane, where the pub grub is a little bit fancy – their stake tartare is to die for.

16. Cookie Dough Biscuits, East Fremantle This cute as a button café on the George Street strip became Alder & Co. Now known as Ari & Esmay – their High Teas look scrumptious.

Restaurants Closed in Perth

17. Yocal, Fremantle  was a typical, hippy-chic, eclectic Fro café. Found just off the cappuccino strip, it’s now known as Duck Duck Bruce Café.

18. Hippo Creek, Hillarys Not only did the popular steakhouse close in Hillarys, but also it’s Subiaco and Waterford restaurants. Now it’s home to chain Hurricanes Grill. I miss the massive Assagai meat skewers… drool!

19. Restaurant Amuse, East Perth Perth’s finest fine diner closed it’s doors in 2017. Chef surprised me with a wedding anniversary dinner at Amuse and it was superb. Owner and Head Chef Hadleigh Troy has now opened a café in Vic Park – Hampton and Maley, which I hear is outstanding and I can’t wait to try it!

20. Kustom Cupcakes, Lathlain The decadent cupcake bakery is long gone. I miss their chocolate coated Oreo and Reece’s peanut butter cups.

Restaurants That Have Closed in Perth

21. Park & Vine, City Beach At Empire Village, wasn’t around for long. When we dined there, we were the only table, which sadly didn’t make for a very enjoyable atmosphere.

22. The Wine Store, East Fremantle  We had a good brunch here years ago, but haven’t made the trip back since it became Young George, co owned by Chef Mellissa Palinkas (previously Head Chef at The Cabin) and a certain Mr Broadfield. Young George looks seriously delicious and has been on our to-try list for far too long.

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23. Gooseberries Café, Kensington Now the cosy cottage is home to The Little Banksia and their brunches look as tasty as ever!

24. Snags & Sons, Leederville We were sad to see the posh dog spot go, but the ever so yummy Spanish Pinchos, has more than made up for it.

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25. Hopscotch, Roleystone was a gem in the Perth Hills, now under new ownership, it’s been stepped up a gear as the Naked Apple Cider House. Great food, drinks and grounds to explore for the kids.

26. Ace Pizza, Highgate was a cool lil spot with dark lighting, comfort food and seemed to tick all the boxes. This venue has had a run of bad luck with Ace Pizza becoming the short-lived Rockefeller, maybe Italian eatery “No Menu” can turn this around?

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27. Plenty Thai, Perth CBD This casual Asian spot hidden down Shafto Lane was my go-to pre concert spot to grab a cheap n cheerful bite to eat before heading to Perth Arena. Now Fifteen Soi Shafto Thai Bistro.

28. Beluga, Claremont Chef and I loved to dine at Beluga (waaay back in 2013). The classy spot was opened by ex West Coast Eagles Dean Cox and Andrew Embley. Now Miss Chows.

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29. Naked Fig, Swanbourne This eclectic spot overlooking Swanbourne Beach closed long ago. Now it’s much more light and bright as Shorehouse, which incidentally, now has different owners (The Kailis Group) from when it first opened.

30. Basq, Currambine. I was SO SAD when I heard this northern suburbs eatery had served it’s last meal. We always enjoyed their quality offering and in my opinion it was one of the only great spots to dine north of Hepburn Avenue. The venue is currently empty.

Restaurants That Have Closed in Perth

31. Guylian Belgium Chocolate Café, Perth CBD. This sweet café was only open for about a year, not even enough time to write up my blog about it!

32. Shipping Lane, North Fremantle. This Leighton Beach eatery had the best of both worlds… top notch sushi coupled with a mouth-watering Mod-Aus menu. Now Freemans Restaurant.

Restaurants That Have Closed in Perth

What can we do to stop this madness?!

We all have our favourite little independent restaurant or café in Perth. Support them. Forget about the chain steakhouses and cafes. Don’t dine at the “It’s OK” place or “the foods average, but you get heaps for your money” eatery. Book a table at the little guy’s place, the person who is passionate about their offering and serves amazing food! We need these restauranteurs and Chef-Owners to stay in business for the future of Perth’s dining scene.

Something that can be said for the hospitality industry is that it never stands still. It’s a constantly evolving thing, that is changeable to the economy and consumer trends. With so many venues competing for your dining dollar, one thing is for sure, it’s survival of the fittest in Perth right now!

Note – This will be an ever growing list, which I’ll be sure to update.

To add…

Layup, Northbridge

The Byrneleigh, Nedlands

Hermosa Cantina, Wembley

Urban Bowl, Perth CBD

Zephyr Restaurant, North Beach

Penny Garden, West Swan

Feast Café, Wembley

Yabba Dabba, Dalkeith

Bibs Tuck Shop, Yanchep