May Street Larder, The Mezz

Hospitality dream-team Eamon Sullivan and Chef Scott Bridger have opened up another venue together – May Street Larder. The second offing of the super popular East Freo spot, is found at the Mezz Shopping Centre – perfect for northies that don’t want to travel south of the river for May Street’s signature “soul sandwich”.

The large venue, which was once home to the Peasant’s Table, offers trendy brunch dining, as well as a separate dining room that’s focused on the family dining crowd. Here there’s a playful kids play corner that is perfect for keeping toddlers to under 8’s entertained.

Outside, there’s plenty of alfresco dining in the leafy piazza.

It also features a small kid’s playground.

The service is on the ball and helpful. Eamon Sullivan is hands-on and brought our plates to the table, which is sure to please Masterchef and swimming fans. He was lovely and had a little friendly banter with my son.

The Food

May Street’s all day menu offers all the brunch favourites as well as coffee and breakfast cocktails. There are a few gluten free options too, which were all tempting enough for me to feel satisfied. The beef brisket hash sounded mighty delicious, though I just had to choose the smoked salmon dish. A potato pave of layered crispy potato, is topped with deliciously fresh house smoked salmon, a crème fraiche tartare, watercress, and shaved fennel.

I added a gloriously runny poached egg for an extra charge. It is a beautiful dish and I savoured every morsel.

The quality kids offering is better than most, with Little Chef having toasties and hotcakes to choose from – as well as something a bit different, like bircher muesli with fruit and green eggs and ham. Kids portions can vary a lot, having to cater for the appetites of toddlers, through to the ages of 10 or 12. The portion of grilled chicken and fries was on the smaller side, but was just enough for 9 year old LC.

If you’re eating on the run, May Street Larder also offers lots of freshly made take away foods and preserves.

I expected that their finely tuned machine would be an instant hit and I was right. The food at May Street Larder is spot on. I’ll be sure to head back soon to try their brisket, Campos coffee and take Chef for a soul sandwich (deep fried buttermilk chicken, with avocado, smoked sour cream, chilli maple syrup and jalapeño in between polenta waffles). Welcome to the north side!

Find out more on May Street Larder at the Mezz on their website.

Kapitol Kitchen, Wanneroo

Kapitol Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Since being diagnosed gluten intolerant nearly two years ago, I’ve found my menu options have drastically diminished. Sure, it’s much easier being “GF” these days then it would have been a decade ago, awareness is pretty high. But still, there are plenty of places I go where I have a choice of just one or two items. I’ve even been places where there were no options! Let’s just say I eat salad way more than I would like, as I often have no other choice.

When I heard that a totally gluten free restaurant was opening in Perth, I was pretty stoked. At Kapitol Kitchen I can eat EVERYTHING on the menu. Talk about being spoiled for choice!

As well as being gluten-free friendly everything on the menu is also refined sugar free. People with dairy free, vegetarian and vegan diets can enjoy plenty of options too.

Kapitol Kitchen is a more upmarket offering than Health Freak Café, though the healthy menu has a similar feel. No surprise then that it has the same owners. The interior has had a schmick fit out. No expense seems to have been spared. There’s plenty of booths and tables upstairs and down, as well as a lovely balcony if you can ignore the busy Wanneroo Road humming outside.

For our first trip Little Chef and I dropped in for an afternoon snack, to check out the new spot and look over its menu.

Little Chef enjoyed a strawberry smoothie. I chose a raw slice from the cabinet. I had hoped they’d be more options than that (like a yummy chunk of GF cake), but it’s still early days.

Both times I had a delicious pot of pomegranate tea, which is served on a beautiful wooden platter. There was another type of tea on the menu I was curious about “Paris”, as I’d never heard of it. I asked the waitress what it was, she didn’t know and didn’t ask anyone else either, which was disappointing.

Lunch was a hit. I was stoked to have battered fish for only the second time in two years! (The other spot was the yummy Piggy Food Co). Fresh red spot emperor ($26) was coated in a lush, crispy batter and served with equally crisp sweet potato fries and a lemon mayo.

My Mum loved the fresh and spicy Thai beef salad ($17) which is packed with tender sliced beef, coriander, carrot, red cabbage, spring onion, bean shoots and rocket with crispy fried shallots and a nam gin dressing.

My Dad chose the veg haloumi panini ($24) with roasted zucchini, eggplant, peppers, sundried tomato, spinach and a herby pesto aioli. A basket with sweet potato fries are on the side.

If you’ve got kids in tow, there is a kid’s corner with plenty of toys, activities and books – as well as a tasty kids menu perfect for kiddies with a gluten intolerance.

At Kapitol Kitchen, you can be sure every choice is a gluten-free one and pretty much guilt free too! This is invaluable to coeliacs, as well as people like me who would like a little more variety in their food choices. I’ll definitely be back.

Find Kapitol Kitchen at 943 Wanneroo Road, Wanneroo.

More info on their website.

Ficus, Perth

Ficus, Perth
Ficus Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The shiny and new Perth City Link development has given the city a whole host of new dining options, from pubs and breweries to a bustling food court. One stand out is Ficus. On the Yagan Square rooftop, this up-market Modern Australian restaurant is a little off the beaten track.

Ficus is owned by Bunbury Farmers Market’s Kevin Ofperkuch and Cantina 663’s Paul Vanderplancke, so it is no surprise that fresh West Australian produce is championed here.

We’re greeted by a chirpy waiter who leads us to “the best seat in the house”. I’m inclined to agree with him – our table sits on a wall of glass overlooking the city skyline. Our nearest neighbour is the Horseshoe Bridge and from here we watch the city workers dash around on their lunch breaks.

Lush foliage in pots hang from the ceiling, and dark timber furniture gives the bright dining room a natural, earthy feel.

The wine list reflects Ficus’s food offering of local WA produce, with a splash of eastern Australian labels. My pick, a Margaret River Domaine Naturalist Discovery Chardonnay, is spot on – fruity, and without too much oak. Local craft beers and a range of gin and tonics made with Australian gin also feature on the drinks menu.

We’re told the charcuterie plate ($28) is one of the kitchen’s specialities. Packed onto the plate is a meaty pork hock terrine with a creamy herbed mayo of fresh capers, tarragon and lime juice. A pastry encased pâté en croute is topped with a sweet citrus jam.

Then there’s more pickled vegetables than you can shake a stick at (where have pickled mushrooms been all my life!) and sliced fresh bread. For me, the lusciously creamy pork rillettes are the standout component on this very tasty share dish.

The slow cooked Linley Valley pork belly ($28) is a classic match of pork, seared scallops and apple. Perfectly cooked belly meat is topped with textural pork floss (intensely flavoured dried pulled pork) and pork crackle which matches the crunch of the crisp, julienned apple. A trio of plump scallops on a smooth apple puree round out this generously sized entrée.

On to mains and while we’re tempted to share the enormous cuts of Wagyu tomahawk, chateaubriand or lamb shoulder. The fresh market fish ($38) catches my eye. Our waiter spins me a lovely tale of the humble Monkfish, selling it beautifully. He returns from the kitchen minutes later to let me know the fish of the day has been changed to Pink Snapper. A shame, though I still enjoy the dish which is served with a garden-fresh salad of fennel, avocado and cherry tomato, along with a generous serve of crushed peas and creamy saffron dressing.

The nicely charred Queensland Carrara wagyu rump steak ($34) is full of deep, meaty flavours and served with chips. Though lip smackingly delicious, it lacks the plating finesse of other dishes, making it feel like “pub grub” in comparison. In saying that, the leaf salad is well dressed and the béarnaise sauce is house made. Rustic, handmade chips would elevate this dish to another level.

We have a break between courses and watch the bustling city scene through the window. Ficus’s take on a traditional French chocolate delice ($16), is a showstopper. The rich cream mousse-like delice is coated in chocolate, in a rectangular chocolate bar style. Served along with walnut biscuit, candied nuts and swoon-worthy salted caramel ice cream – this dessert is a must try.

A pretty summer berries meringue ($16), bursts with sweetness and colour from strawberries, raspberries and blueberries that taste as though they could have been picked that very morning. A mascarpone cream, strawberry coulis and vanilla ice cream make this light and simple dessert all the more scrumptious.

We are impressed. Incredibly fresh fruit and vegetables are used in classic, well cooked dishes. With striking city views, passionate staff and a “farm to plate” ethos, this Yagan Square restaurant is well worth seeking out.

At a Glance

■ Ficus

Yagan Square (Upper level)

420 Wellington St, Perth

Phone – 6381 9140

■ Opening times

Tues to Sun

Noon until late

■ Rating

food 4

service 4

ambience 4

value for money 3

■ style – Modern Australian

■ wine – Many WA drops,

with some interesting Interstate and

 International wines included.

■ Chef – Andre Mahe

■ Owners – Kevin Ofperkuch

and Paul Vanderplancke

■ feel – fresh and vibrant

■ wheelchair access – yes

■ cost

Entrée/share – $3.50 – $28

Mains – $26 – $125

Dessert – $16 – $30

■ all in all – Farm to Plate restaurant

Ficus offers top notch service,

food brimming with fresh flavours,

and a view of the city best enjoyed with

a WA wine or G&T.

Chakra, Inglewood

Modern Indian Chakra has an innovative menu, as well as all the usual favourites. Whilst the methods of cooking and recipes remain authentic, their modern presentation freshens it up. Their stylish dining room is adorned with Indian lanterns and plush red and gold, and exotic, aromatic aromas. When an invite to the Beaufort Street favourite, landed in my inbox we jumped at the chance to return.

At Chakra they have recently implemented tablet menus, so it’s very easy to send your order off to the kitchen with just the touch of a button.

It’s the first time I’ve used a tablet menu in a restaurant and it has lots of positives, including keeping track of your spend, seeing just what your dish will look like, not having to flag down a waiter to order another drink (just press the button and it will be out in a jiffy!) and easy split billing too. Chef was also fascinated by the benefits it gives the kitchen.

I enjoyed an authentic lassi to go along with my meal and enjoyed the rich and creamy drink.

Rather than choose the age old favourites like butter chicken, chicken tikka masala, lamb korma and vindaloo (which are of course on the menu!) Sonia suggested that we try dishes from their modern Indian menu – which was fine with us. Here’s what we feasted on…

The more-ish “butter chicken kulcha” is leavened bread (Khameeri Naan) that is stuffed with classic butter chicken and served with Kasundi, which is a spiced mustard sauce and beetroot chutney.

I loved the mango pickled lamb ribs ($17, GF), served with a deliciously chewy mango Jerky and brimming with flavours of fennel and nigella seeds.

The seared scallop dish (GF, DF) was also tasty. The deliciously plump scallops are served on a bed of roasted capsicum and tomato chutney, with nigella seeds.

Little Chef tried (and enjoyed) a few of the dishes and was also kept occupied with colouring in.

All kid’s meals are served with a smile!  And there’s not only curry on the kids menu. Little Chef enjoyed his butter chicken with steamed rice. Chicken tenderloins and chips are available for little ones that aren’t into curry.

As a sort of palate cleanser, Chef loved the Pani puri shot. This Indian street food is made up of the “Puri”, a hollow, crisp and delicate wheat bubble that’s filled with white lentils and chickpeas. The “Pani” is the liquid of pineapple juice, tamarind, cinnamon, roasted cumin and a hint of chilli tequila. All to be eaten in one bite-sized shot and bursts in your mouth!

On to the mains and my favourite has to be the burnt aubergine ($32, GF). A half eggplant is filled with spicy lamb bhartha, roasted cashews and pomegranate, served with a cooling boondi raita, tomato chutney and a nigella Seed naan.

Another impressive dish is the “Matar Paneer Tower”. A very old Indian dish. The double marinated paneer is served with a pea and coriander curry. I love the way it’s presented too!

Chicken chettinad ($32, GF available) is a spicy dish, with pour your own curry sauce. Served with puffed banana poori, and pindi choley (chick pea dish).

The vibrant goat mughlai ($34, DF & GF available) is served with khameeri naan, grilled pineapple, fried lotus root, pickled onion and mango pickle.

The Indian desserts are also a little different to what you may expect and have a modern twist. We were really struggling for tummy space, but had to give them a taste. The gluten free and dairy free chocolate brownie is very moist and smothered in a chilli chocolate sauce. On the side a house made rose ice cream is served with rose syrup and freeze dried strawberries. Served on a beautiful metallic rose-gold tray.

The “mystery” hand-made choc pot is filled with saffron mouse, warm gulab jamun (milk-solid-based sweet), topped with Oreo dust and pistachio soil.

Thank you to the Chakra team, the service was second to none and again, you made us feel like Maharajas! It was lovely to experience Chakra again.


We thoroughly enjoyed our dinner at Chakra and would happily return as paying guests.


Find out more about Chakra on their website.

Bump-In Burger, Woodvale

Bump in Burger, Woodvale
Bump in Burger Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Another week, another insanely good burger spot in Perth… Bump In Burger is a tiny eatery, with just a few booths and tables. There’s takeaway too. Though it’s found at Woodvale Shopping Centre, this rockin’ joint is far from suburban.

Bump in Burger is a grungy haven in the straight laced northern suburbs. Any fan of alt rock will love it here and as well as the burgers being named after famous musicians, bands and songs – their soundtrack is very, very cool. While we waited for our burger we enjoyed a little Incubus, Myles Kennedy, Led Zep, as well as Acca Dacca and Pearl Jam. And there’s a feature wall filled with loads of these legends. Love it!

We sat in a booth, which comfortably fits four, skateboard light fittings dangle from the ceiling.

Ordering a burger can be a little tricky, as we wanted to try everything. So, we’ve been a few times… There’s beef burgers, chicken burgers, vego and vegan burgers too. On our first visit, Chef ordered the Eddie Cheddar ($15.50). Between two brioche buns are two of Bump ins juicy handmade Aussie beef patties, crunchy mustard pickle, caramelized onion and extra melting American pepper jack cheddar. Served with home-made relish and Dijon mustard, it hit the spot.

Next time we swung by, Chef ordered the Burger Kill (19.50). This burger is a tower of two Bump In hand made beef patties, crispy streaky bacon, crunchy onion rings, melting American cheddar, a sweet potato hash brown, caramelised onion, fresh crisp lettuce and tomato all finished with home-made Aolli & tomato relish. And fries on the side.Wow!

I chose the bunless version of the same mouth watering burger (both times). And considering there’s no bread, it is still ridiculously filling!

As well as the shoestring fries, There are loads of delicious sides to pick from, including bucket of southern fried chicken, triple cooked spuds, beer battered onion rings, red hot chilli poppers and the mozzarella sticks.

The boys loved the crumbed and fried Mozarella sticks with a napolitana dipping sauce. Gooey, melty, saucy greatness!

Little Chef picked the sliders. There isn’t a kids menu, but the two sliders are a good size for under 10s. Biggie Smalls ($10 for 2) is their chef’s selection of bump in favourites in slider form or if your lucky the taste of things to come. Slider selection changes monthly.

And if you still have room after all that, Ice cream sandwiches are also available. Be sure to bump along to Bump in Burger, to get your hands around a seriously epic burg and a rockin’ atmosphere!

Find Bump in Burger at Shop 4, Woodvale Boulevard Shopping Centre, Whitfords Ave, Perth.

More info on their website.

Village Coffee, Marmion

Village Coffee Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

A couple of blocks back from West Coast Highway is a sweet neighbourhood café that you’d never know was even there, unless you happened to visit the Marmion Village Shopping Centre. New spot Village Coffee is a lovely place to grab a coffee and brunch.

Inside the narrow interior, is a lush canopy of devils ivy and other indoor plants, above the large share table.

We’d popped by for a post-teeball drink and snack when it first opened late last year and we returned recently as we were kindly invited to try their brunch menu by owner Marlo. The coffee is good, they use a local Micrology roast.

Little Chef slurped on a chocolate milkshake. ($5 kids size). There’s a small kids corner too.

By the counter, Village Coffee has a cabinet brimming with fresh cakes, slices, pastries, wraps and rolls to choose from. The all day brunch menu has lots of tasty options from healthy paleo protein plates, crunchy granola and avo smash to big brekkies, decadent French toast and more.

Chef chose his favourite – eggs benedict. He was so pleased to taste that the creamy hollandaise is made in-house as it so often isn’t. It was oozing all over the gooey with poached eggs and bacon. Chef also ordered a side of sausages.

I was accidentally vego with the gluten free version of the “Village Breakfast” ($18). Crispy oven-baked kale, a big herb roasted field mushroom, roasted tomatoes, delicious grilled haloumi, runny poached eggs all topped with a housemade pesto (usually served on sourdough). I do love my veggies and this was a tasty dish.

There are some delicious breakfast options on the kids menu and all at very reasonable prices. Little Chef enjoyed a croissant. I hear that Village is popular with Mums and bubs doing the school drop off. I wish I had a cool little hang out like this in my suburb!

The only thing that would make this cute café even more kid friendly would be some colouring in for older children. If you’re feeling energetic the coast is just two blocks away. So you can combine coffee with a coastal walk or trip to the beach. The bustling Village Coffee is a great little local!

Find Village Coffee at 16/19 Sheppard Way, Marmion Village Shopping Centre, Marmion.

More info on their website.

Jaffle Shack, West Perth

I was invited back to my old work ‘hood to check out newbie Jaffle Shack for brunch. You may have heard of them if you’ve stopped by the popular spot in Geraldton.  They’re famous in Gero for the humble toasted sandwich, as well as excellent coffee, waffles and other tasty brunch dishes. Now we can enjoy these gourmet toasties here in Perth – hurrah!

Back in the day (circa 2000-2003), when I worked for gold miners Sons Of Gwalia, the West Perth café used to be a chemist. I’d pass it each day on my trip to the bank. It’s now been transformed and has a few small tables inside, as well as a beautiful gift shop. I’d recommend sitting in their gloriously leafy rear courtyard. Place you order inside at the counter, find a table and your toasted treats will soon be ready.

At Jaffle shack the excellent Karvan Coffee is used. Little Chef was stoked they also have babychinos for kids.

Chef and I both chose jaffles ($9 – $12). There’s so many tasty flavour combos – far more than my cheese and tomato toasties I make at home! Chef’s eggs benedict jaffle, filled with ham and spinach and dipped in hollandaise sauce, was very tasty.

And I got to enjoy a garlic mushroom toastie, as they offer gluten free bread as an option. I didn’t notice that on their menu though, it would be great if they mentioned that they have GF options.

Kids will love Jaffle Shack – they do go crazy for toasted sandwiches after all! Menu items are very reasonable, all around the $10/$12 price point. Little Chef chose waffles ($12), with chocolate sauce, fresh bananas and vanilla ice cream, for his treat.

And once you have a full tummy and your morning caffeine kick, how about a browse around the adjoining gift shop, Cavania. It’s brimming with all sorts of giftware to treat someone special, or yourself. I could have spent a fortune there, with beautiful homewares, kitchenware, clothes and much more.

Jaffle Shack is a casual spot, perfect for grabbing a delicious breakfast or lunch that won’t break the bank.

Find out more on their website.

The Little Bay, Watermans Bay

The Little Bay Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Little Bay (formally Bay 33) is a brand new café over looking the rocky cliffs and sandy beaches of Watermans Bay on West Coast Drive. The ocean-view spot is incredibly popular and has been an instant hit with the brunch crowd this summer! Owned by the peeps behind a favourite of ours, Little H, the bustling spot has hit the ground running and waiting for a table is not uncommon – but worth it.

We wait for a table to come free for about 15 minutes in the waiting area, decorated with a few chairs and indoor plants. The lush foliage is striking against the coastal white wash – Little Bay is really kicking goals when it comes to styling.

Our friendly waitress takes us to a table by the open window, which is soon closed, as the sea breeze is in. We’re given lunch menus, where there’s bruschetta, avo and hummus toast, burgers, salads, brisket sandwiches and pasta dishes on offer.

We’ve tried the coffee a few times now, from their handy take away window, on our coastal walk. Our first time, the coffee was so hot it burnt my mouth. We gave them another go, a few weeks later and luckily the temperature was much more sip-able!

When we dined in for lunch, I tried the berry and rosehip iced tea, a special of the day. The pretty drink was pretty good, but lacked intensity. I think it was either too watered down or the tea needed to steep for a lot longer.

Also from the daily specials, I picked a delicious Asian-style crispy pork belly salad. The pork was spot on and served with ribbons of carrot and cucumber, as well as cashew nuts. I would have loved more dressing, but I enjoyed it all the same.

My dad decided to tackle the karage burger ($23). Served with a big chink of Japanese inspired fried chicken, mizuna, lemon aioli and crispy fried lotus root on a tasty charcoal brioche bun. Edamame were on the side, to pop in your mouth – a nice change to chips! Dad loved this very different take on a burger.

My Mum picked an old favourite – fish and chips ($24). So often this can be a pretty basic dish, but she was delighted that a bit of thought has been put into this simple meal. The beer battered hoki was fresh, tasty and plentiful, served with hand cut chips, as well as pickled onions, a slice of bread (gotta love a chip butty!) and remoulade.

Kids have a choice of fish and chips or popcorn chicken and chips, both served with a side salad.

The Little Bay at Watermans Bay is a very welcome addition to the northern beaches. Here there’s great coffee, delicious food that’s both well cooked and well-priced, and a breezy, friendly vibe.

Find out more on their website.

Epicurean, Crown Perth

Perth’s most lavish buffet, Epicurean at Crown Towers, sure is EPIC! From the best quality cuts of meat, to the freshest seafood, decadent desserts and everything in between, there’s sure to be plenty to fill your plate at the Gold Plate winning buffet.

Chef, Little Chef and I headed there for a special family lunch, invited by Crown. The dining room is a stunner, overlooking the luxe Crown Towers lagoon pools. There’s plenty of seating and the plush chairs are very comfortable.

Chef and I also recently had what was quite possible the biggest, longest breakfast ever when we stay overnight at Crown Towers. Here’s our experience of both:

Lunch at Epicurean

With such an array of tempting aromas, it’s very difficult to decide where to start. I’d suggest beginning with the cold section that has more salads than you can shake a stick at (I loved the Scandinavian salmon and potato salad), a big range of sushi, cured meats, bread, cheese and antipasti.

The fresh seafood selection is also pretty special with crabs, prawns, oysters, smoked salmon and more.

It was tempting to over-indulge in all this tastiness, but I was mindful that there was still so much of the buffet to try. Moving onto “mains” there’s a wide range of Asian, Indian and Roast meats to choose from. In this hot section there are live cooking stations where you can see the chefs whip up something delicious or carve your meat before your eyes.

I particularly enjoyed the tender roasted meats, with all the trimmings – roasties, steamed veg and Yorkshire puddings! The curries were also delicious, none were crazy hot, but full of flavours from the aromatic Indian spices. And of course there’s plenty of rice, vegetable sides, naan bread, as well as pickles and sauces to accompany.

What a scrumptious feast!

I had to have a breather before I could start on desserts, though Little Chef was raring to go! The amazing selection of sweets looks like something out of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory!

Sweet tooths won’t know where to start with cakes, slices, draws packed full of petite fours, fruit, mousse, jelly, ice cream and of course Epicureans beautiful centrepiece, the chocolate fountain. 

We loved decorating the selection of ice creams (including dairy free / gluten free sorbets) with the big range of toppings.

I was really impressed with Little Chef’s plating skills of the mint choc ice cream, Oreo cookies and smarties! Not bad for a 9 year old, he definitely has Cheffing in his genes.

My dessert plate was brimming with mousse, truffles, marshmallow, chocolate bark and a couple of token strawberries.  

And for the grand finale, there’s the stunning chocolate fountain. Here, there’s a selection of fresh fruits and other delicious morsels for sticking on skewers and dipping into the fountain which runs with ooey gooey chocolate. On the day we visited it was International Chocolate day, so there was very special jaffa chocolate, white chocolate and milk chocolate to dip your fruit, cake or marshmallows into!

Breakfast at Epicurean

Breakfast at Epicurean is also a lavish affair. After beginning with a coffee, I started small to work my way up to a full, cooked breakfast. There’s LOTS to choose from – muesli, cereals, toast and preserves, fresh fruit, yogurt… I chose a GF granola with a dollop of yogurt and fruit, as well as a yummy protein ball.

At Epicurean you can load your plate with the ultimate fry-up. Choose from several types of bacon and sausages, eggs done how you like, and all the essential sides like baked beans, black pudding, mushrooms, potatoes, tomatoes, toast and more. There’s even breakfast pizza!

As well as the traditional breakfast foods, Asian and Indian cuisines are also on offer, so I just had to add a little curry and rice to my plate.

And of course there’s the glorious dessert buffet, heaving with tempting goodies like pastries, cake, doughnuts and THAT chocolate fountain. Here, there’s also a juice station set up for breakfast (the watermelon juice is delish) and a big choice of freshly cut fruits.

The Gluten Factor

Being gluten free, I found such a large, unlabelled buffet overwhelming. At Epicurean, it’s safer to ask a chef if something is gluten free or not, as you never know if there’s some pesky gluten hiding in a marinade or sauce. I found a Chef very easily, who seemed to be overseeing the buffet and he happily walked me through the entire buffet and explained what I could and couldn’t eat. With so many dishes, it was a little difficult to remember it all, but I generally steered clear of the Asian section, but the Indian and roast meat/carvery dishes were mainly safe. Even though there was a lot I couldn’t eat, there was loads that I could, so I still felt spoiled for choice and left both times felling very satisfied and like my buttons were going to burst!

Epicurean is a wonderful restaurant for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Even for fussy eaters, there’s bound to be something in the vast selection of dishes to tickle everyone’s tastebuds – making it perfect for a special meal with a big group too. We loved our experiences and Little Chef has been pestering me to return ever since – not that I need any convincing! Epicurean is 100% the best premium and most extravagant buffet in Perth.

Epicurean certainly lives up to its name, which means to be fond of luxury or indulgence in sensual pleasures, especially in eating and drinking!

We dined as guests of Crown Perth. All opinions are my own.

Book a table or find out more on their website.

Mistelle, Bickley

I adore the Perth Hills and any excuse to visit the brilliant Bickley Valley! I’m on a mission to work my way around the many boutique vineyards in this very special little wine region – just moments from Kalamunda. A spot we’ve been repeat visitors to is Hainault Vineyard. Their casual café has now been taken over by a local French Chef Benoit Lasplace (formally from the Print Hall and Rockpool kitchens) and his wife Chantelle (who it turns out I went to school with her younger sister!) and re-opened as French inspired restaurant Mistelle.

The stunner of a spot is surrounded by dense jarrah forests, near to the old Perth Observatory. Sweeping views over the lush vineyards are enjoyed from all tables at the hilltop bistro. We usually sit on the wide veranda or decking area, shaded by a big avocado tree. There’s also more casual seating by the lawns, also perfect for kiddies to run about on.

On the wine list you’ll find a variety of single vineyard Hainault wines. There’s Rose, Merlot, Cabernet, Semillon, Sparkling Pinot Noir Brut, Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer. There is also local beer, coffees, teas and soft drinks available. Their Gewurztraminer is pretty darn good, as is the rose, and I order a glass to enjoy with my lunch.


Since Hainult’s café became Mistelle, the food offering has really stepped up a few notches. We dined on a Friday lunch, when they offer a prix-fixe (set menu). There’s a larger menu on weekends. We opt for the two courses at $38 (or 3 courses for a very reasonable $50). My mum raved about the house made chicken liver parfait, with fresh sourdough and a onion relish. This silky, creamy parfait went down a treat with a glass of wine!

I enjoyed the ball of house made pork rillettes, served with slices of fresh sourdough and baby gherkins.

For main my Mum loved the crispy skinned, confit duck leg, served with a fennel puree and orange.

I loved the succulent Manjimup grass fed beef short rib, with carrot puree, spring onion and a beef jus. Their other mains option of pan seared ricotta gnocchi also sounded delicious.

The Gluten Factor

The menu does not have gluten free information on the items, (eg not marked as GF). Our waitress was really helpful and knowledgeable though, when I asked for a bit of guidance. There are gluten free dishes as well as dishes which can be made gluten free, so I certainly didn’t miss out on anything – even with a smaller set menu. The GF version of pork rillettes is accompanied by deliciously crisp nut and seed crackers.

Mistelle is a charming bistro in the beautiful Bickley Valley and definitely a must stop on a tour of the Perth Hills vineyards, for friendly hills hospitality, delicious bistro-style food, and good wine. Be sure to say bonjour and enjoy a long lunch with that laid back French vibe – I love it!

Find out more about Mistelle on their website.