Meat & Wine Co Perth

We almost didn’t get the pleasure of eating in one of Perth’s finest dining rooms. The one hundred and twenty two year old Palace Hotel, which sits of the corner of St Georges Terrace and William Street, was set for demolition in 1972. Thankfully, after decades of serving as a bank, the grand old lady has been beautifully restored to its former glory and is now home to The Meat and Wine Co.

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The high-end chain restaurant, hailing from South Africa, has a choice of two dining spots.

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The bar area overlooking bustling William Street, is heaving with city workers on business lunches.

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Chef and I are seated in the opulent “heritage dining room”, where the contemporary and traditional mingle beautifully, with its grand high ceiling, whisky bar and funky furniture.

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The booths are covered with chunky knotted ropes that give a private, cosy feel to each table.

Heritage Dining Room

We’re handed menus with striking images of lions, leopards and rhinos – just a few subtle nods to the fact that we’re sitting in an African steakhouse. There’s no naff theming here.20181001_125558

As for the epic wine list, there’s not as many South African labels as I would have expected, with most of the wine list made up from local West Australian as well as South Australian drops. Rare, vintage and a very special selection of Penfolds wines are also on offer at a hefty price. I enjoy a fresh and fruity glass of Cape Mentelle Sauvignon Blanc Semillon.20181001_132215

The service is attentive, though still green, a few weeks into the venue opening its doors. Many menu components are double checked with the kitchen, as well a drink forgotten, but quickly rectified.

The menu is not in-your-face African. It includes boerewors and a spicy African chilli sauce, other than that, it’s all red-meat and sides with a few chicken and fish dishes added for good measure. We devour the tasting plate ($54), brimming with mildly spiced Szechuan calamari, halloumi, succulent pork belly and a bruschetta overflowing with fresh tomato.

Tasting Plate

A colossal 500g cut of Wagyu rump ($49), lives up to its marbling score of 6+. The deliciously tender piece of meat is basted, grilled medium rare and full of flavour – melting in the mouth like butter. Served with crunchy chips and a choice of sauces – Chef liberally pours a nicely reduced red wine jus over the steak.

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I choose skewered Portuguese chicken ($32) which rains meaty juices onto a bowl of crunchy chips below. The incredibly tender peri peri spiced chicken thigh easily slides off the skewer and is nicely charred.

Chicken

As with all upmarket steakhouses, at The Meat & Wine Co, side dishes are a must. This can turn lunch into an expensive meal for two. We share a posh mac and cheese ($12). Rigatoni and charred cauliflower is covered in a creamy two cheese sauce (American Monterey Jack and parmesan) and finished with a little truffle and panko crumb.IMG_8458

Our onion rings ($7) are more like crisp onion slices, with not a circle in sight, but delicious all the same. I also order a token healthy side of sautéed greens ($13), so our lunch isn’t solely a meat, wine and carb fest.

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Squeezing in dessert, we enjoy a perfect crème brûlée ($13), topped with a patisserie chocolate meringue biscuit and moreish, crisp dehydrated mandarin.

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The pretty pavlova ($13) with caramelised pineapple, sweet berries, chantilly cream, passionfruit coulis and baked meringue is a swoon-worthy dessert.

Pavalova

The Meat and Wine Co has hit the ground running with a stunning fit-out, attentive service and the well-cooked proteins are packed with punch. If you are mad about meat, you won’t be disappointed.

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At a glance

■ The Meat & Wine Co
108 St Georges Terrace
Perth
Phone 6163 8880
■ Opening times
Sunday to Thursday 12pm -10pm
Friday to Saturday 12pm – Late
■ Rating
food 4
service 3
ambience 4
value for money 3
■ style – Steakhouse
■ wine – an extensive list. Many WA,
Interstate and International wines.
■ Chef – Nicole Finlay
■ Owner – Seagrass Boutique Hospitality Group
■ feel – Warm, classy heritage interior
■ wheelchair access – yes
■ cost
Entree – $9 – $54
Mains – $25 – $79
Dessert – $13 – $49
■ all in all – Meat & Wine Co delivers
exactly what it says on the tin,
mouth-watering meats and fine wines –
all done exceedingly well. One for the carnivores!

Xanadu Margaret River

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Chef and I were wowed by our winery lunch at Xanadu earlier this year. The restaurant is a stunning setting for a long lunch – the perfect mix of classy and casual. The plates that came out of the kitchen were thoughtful, innovative and above all – delicious. Their Head Chef Melissa Kokoti knows exactly what to do with the amazing local produce on her doorstep, as well as growing a lot of her own vegetables and herbs onsite.

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I jumped at the change to dine there again, when we were recently invited back for an encore. It was brilliant timing as I was already planning on enjoying a break with my parents in the foodie’s paradise that is Margaret River. This time the weather was a little chilly, so we enjoyed the ambiance inside the stone and timber-clad restaurant.

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As well as the amazing food, I was looking forward to a glass or two of my all time favourite chardy (the Black label 2016 Xanadu Chardonnay). I was so excited to hear that just a few days earlier Xanadu had been awarded the prestigious Jimmy Watson Trophy at the Melbourne Wine Show for their 2016 cabernet sauvignon. It’s regarded as being Australia’s top wine award, it’s been awarded to a WA winery only a handful of times.

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Xanadu Restaurant Manager Dexter, with the Jimmy Watson Trophy

We started off our lovely lunch with a glass of bubbles, from Xanadu’s sister winery Yarrabank. The sparkling Cuvee is made with French yeast and went down a treat. We looked over the menu and there are so many taste bud tempting dishes on there. The sashimi style ocean trout is a vibrant, flavour bomb of a dish. Plated beautifully with beetroot, black sesame, fish roe and lime, the fresh trout was silky smooth and absolutely delicious. I loved this entrée.

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My Dad made a bee-line for the moist smoked hock – mainly as it featured a bit of black pudding, a favourite of his. Plump broad beans, mint and apple made up this tasty dish which was finished with a garnish of thinly sliced crisp pig’s ears. That may sound a bit iffy, but they’re essentially the same as pork crackle and very moreish.

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The katalfi prawn dish was served in a deep, wide lipped bowl, which added to the drama of the striking whole prawns. The plump prawns are wrapped in a crisp pastry, which sit on a bead of smoked almonds, quinoa and pomegranate.

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The three of us were still gushing about our entrees when our mains arrived. I don’t think the Arkady lamb belly dish should ever leave the menu. Scrumptious rolled belly meat is so flavoursome. I love it. Served with parsnip, green olive, an almond vinaigrette and broccolini, I was so chuffed that I chose this dish.

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Rankin Cod was the market fish of the day, perfectly pan fried and accompanied by fennel, potato, tartare, herbs and lemon.

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There is so much finesse to the pretty venison dish. The game meat served in a crisp cigar along with beetroot, an oyster cream and bone marrow.

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Desert was a showstopper. Last time, I adored the strawberry panna cotta. This time a zingy lemon mousse, white chocolate, lemon balm, apple granita is served in a stemless wineglass… which was really quite apt, as after a few wines I was on the way to  feeling a bit legless myself! I love wine, but rarely have more than a glass or two in a sitting, as it does go to my head.

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My Mum also loved her mille-feuille of salted caramel, vanilla, praline, and dark chocolate sorbet. mille-feuille means “million layers” in French and refers to the puff pastry.

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Cheese goes so well with wine, so my Dad chose a creamy blue gorgonzola. The cheese, which was surprisingly sweet, was spread liberally on lavosh with nut and fruit pastes.
If the choice of a whole menu is just too much, Xanadu’s Chefs can create a degustation of their favourite dishes for $85 per person.

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The day we dined, Xanadu had been announced as being in the top 50 restaurants in Western Australia, by the WA Good Food Guide. Another very well deserved accolade for the popular winery restaurant. If you haven’t been to Xanadu yet to see what all the fuss is about, you really must book a table next time you’re in Margs – it’s simply superb.

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Find more info on Xanadu Margaret River on their website.

Big thanks to Dexter and his friendly front of house team, as well as Chef Mellissa and her talented Chefs, for making our Xanadu lunch so special. We’ll absolutely be back.

Slate Café, Bennett Springs

Slate Café, Bennett Springs

Slate Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Slate Café is found on the fringes of the Swan Valley in Bennett Springs. It’s a casual spot, predominately made out of shipping containers.

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The café is very popular with mums, as it caters well for kids with it’s large outdoor area featuring a covered playroom, a nature play area, play equipment, cosy coupes and lots of grass where you can throw down a picnic rug and watch the kids while you sip on a hot coffee.

Slate Café, Bennett Springs

We visited on a chilly day. Luckily I’d dressed warmly as the café, though covered, is still very open. I’m what my Yorkshire friends would call “nesh”, in that I feel the cold really easily. God knows how I survived 10 pommie winters! Luckily  a cup of coffee, a local Fiori roast, warmed me up.

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The menu is a mix of brunch favourites and Vietnamese dishes. I enjoyed a pulled pork eggs benedict, with Asian flavours and nicely runny egg. There’s a more traditional ham eggs benny available too.

Slate Café, Bennett Springs

One of my friends ordered the spicy prawn omelette.

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The kids menu has quite a few choices and from what I saw generous servings too. Not only is this café very child-friendly, Slate is dog-friendly too, with a fenced dog agility course next to the nature play area. Lots of fun for fur-babies!

Slate Café, Bennett Springs

Slate Café is very close by to Whiteman Park so it’s a good place to stop for a tasty feed on the way to the park.

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Find Slate café at 12 Dulwich Street, Bennett Springs. 

 

 

Esther Café Kalamunda

Esther Cafe Kalamunda

If you love to help an excellent cause, as well as enjoy a great cup of coffee, check out the brand new Esther Café in Kalamunda! There’s a lot to this little café, which overlooks leafy Haynes Street, next to the Vault Restaurant. As well as a great coffee spot, there’s a recycled clothing boutique and it also doubles as a training café.

Esther Cafe Kalamunda

The Esther program trains young women that have been through crisis situation and traumatic experiences like abuse and eating disorders, in Baristering and baking, helping them gain important skills and a certificate in Hospitality II.

Esther Cafe Kalamunda

Some of the tasty and wholesome fresh bakes you’ll find at Esther Café are hummingbird cake, chocolate beetroot cake, chocolate banana cake, the famous Esther brownie (GF) and much, much more.

Esther Cafe Kalamunda

We sat outside with our pup Ruby. She’s a 4 month old Groodle and full of energy, but thankfully, she behaved herself!

Esther Café Kalamunda

The Roma coffee, served in unique handmade cups, is so smooth and creamy. I’ll certainly be back for more.

Esther Café Kalamunda

Little Chef ordered a babychino, made with lots of love.

Esther Café Kalamunda

He also devoured a homemade beef sausage roll, it was huge!

Esther Café Kalamunda

I chose the fresh poke bowl ($14). The healthy bowl is brimming with free range chicken, organic brown rice, quinoa, roast pumpkin, feta, beetroot, avo, salad and more.

Esther Café Kalamunda

For little one’s there’s a small table with toys and colouring essentials.

Esther Café Kalamunda

I love that when people pop in for a cuppa and a bite to eat, they’re not only treating themselves, but helping a very worthy cause.

Find Esther Café at 23 Haynes Street, Kalamunda (Was previously located in Como)

Esther Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Moore & Moore Café Fremantle

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Moore & Moore Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I’ve always heard great things about Moore and Moore Café in Fremantle, found in a heritage listed building on Henry Street. It’s in a beaut location, just around the corner from Bread in Common and a stone’s throw from the Fishing Boat Harbour, Esplanade Park, Round House and Cappuccino strip. Making it really accessible to pop by for a coffee whatever you’re doing in Freo.

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Moore and Moore is very Freo – a little alternative, very artsy and boho chic. You’ll find the eclectic café in the Moores building, a beautifully rustic warehouse which is also home to a contemporary art gallery.

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You can choose to sit out in the shady courtyard.

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We chose to sit inside, in the cosy front dining space, which has mismatched furniture. It was a lot quieter in here, filled with uni students, from the neighbouring Notre Dame.

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To our delight, they serve Karvan Coffee, which is excellent.

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Everyone on our table (my parents and Little Chef) were pleased as punch with their food choices. The menu has a lot of options and locally scoured, organic produce. My Mum enjoyed New Zealand king salmon, with crispy skin, a poached egg, delicious dill creme fraiche and rocket with blistered cherry tomatoes on Turkish toast ($21).

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My Dad loved the grilled gouda and parmesan potato cake, with runny poached egg, toasted broccoli and an organic sun dried tomato and cashew pesto ($19). He added bacon to the dish too.

Moore & Moore Café Fremantle

I enjoyed an absolutely delicious grazing bowl. It was chock-full of so much flavour, there’s roast pumpkin, salsa, sesame avo and pickled veg, as well as some spicy pulled Harvey Beef! All that and gluten free too – I was stoked!

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Little Chef chose a toasted croissant from the kids menu. Even this was beautifully presented with house made sauce.

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For the kidlets, there’s not one but two areas in the back courtyard where they can play. There’s an Astroturfed kid’s corner for toddlers that’s full of toys and a blackboard.

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As well as that, there’s a shady play area with sandpit and boat, as well as some brilliant climbing ladders that older kids will enjoy.

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If you’re in Freo, Moore and Moore is an excellent spot to stop by for a coffee and bite to eat – even with kids in tow. The service is so friendly and I was really impressed by their brunch offering, it’s so good to see a café that is clearly very passionate about local produce and the food it sends out of the kitchen!

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Find Moore & Moore at The Moores Building, 46 Henry Street, Fremantle.

More info on their website.

Cott & Co Cottesloe

Cottesloe is almost deserted on this mid-week winter’s day, as we watch waves crash against the groyne and rain clouds blow in from across the churning ocean. Sure, it’s not a picture-postcard sunny day, though it’s equally stunning. We take cover at one of Marine Parade’s stalwarts – The Cottesloe Hotel.

Interior

Inside the dining room of Cott and Co Fish Bar, the seafood focused restaurant at “The Cott”, is a hive of activity. Distressed timber and strong blues give a casual, driftwood chic feel to the light-filled room. Here we can sit at the kitchen bench and watch the Chefs in action in the open kitchen or at a table with ocean views. We choose a front row view of the stormy ocean, at a table by the window.

Service is efficient, if not a little business-like. The wine list is substantial, with lots of popular drops, as well as a few interesting tipples to try from smaller vineyards. Not surprisingly, Sandalford wines appear on the list. The winery is run by the Prendiville Group, The Cottesloe Hotel’s owners. We pick a crisp Forrest Hill Gewürztraminer from Mount Barker to compliment the seafood dishes.

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A crowd pleasing menu is small, and features the dishes you’d expect at an upmarket pub – fish and chips, steak, chili mussels and more.

The black boards are where the really exciting dishes are found. These individual boards change daily, depending on what fresh and local produce the Chefs have to hand. Expect to see such WA delicacies as Busselton whitebait and Exmouth tiger prawns, as well as Humpty Doo barramundi from the Northern Territory.

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Plump oysters ($4 each) from the pristine waters of South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula are served no-fuss, with a squeeze of lemon. I love natural oysters, and enjoy their fresh, salty flavours.

Cott & Co Cottesloe

Smoky chargrilled chorizo ($14) with a Pedro Ximenez and orange reduction, almonds and a creamy hummus, is a delicious share plate.

Cott & Co Cottesloe

The Shark Bay manna crab ($16) absolutely blows the chorizo dish out of the water. The luscious chunks of crab meat, with a hefty kick of Aleppo pepper, adorn a mound of creamy polenta. Perfect for smothering over the grilled bread. A cracking dish from the black boards. I could have easily gone back for more.

Crab

For Chef, beer battered Shark Bay Whiting ($28) with triple cooked chips and tartare sauce ticks all the right boxes. Crisp golden batter, check. Hand cut chips, check. Scrumptious flaky flesh, check. I’d like to see the smashed minty peas served hot, not chilled, but maybe that’s my British blood and a hankering for mushy peas, getting the better of me.

Fish n chips

Another dish chosen from the fresh specials is the coral cod ($38). Poached to perfection, this silky cod is swimming in a fish broth along with asparagus, capers, basil oil and confit heirloom cherry tomatoes.Coral Cod

I’m always a sucker for a good side dish, and the chunky roasted chat potatoes are spot on.20180814_130122For dessert, there are just two choices on the menu. The different textures of dark chocolate biscuit, with hazelnut cream and a decadent white chocolate gelato tempts Chef.IMG_7923

Fans of a liquid lunch will be happy to know Cott and Co offer “liquid dessert” cocktails. I pick the Tiramisu Martini ($16), garnished with a sponge finger. The chocolaty, vodka concoction is a pleasant way to end a tasty lunch at one of WA’s most iconic ocean side pubs. Be sure to hit The Cottesloe Hotel this Spring, as there will be a fresh new look at the iconic Beach Club.

Cott & Co Cottesloe

Cott and Co Fish Bar is more “swish and chips”, than your average Cottesloe fish and chip eatery. The Chefs at Cott and Co certainly know how to cook their seafood to second-perfect timing, allowing the quality local produce to shine. It’s a top spot for fresh seafood by the seaside.20180814_135518

At a glance

■ Cott & Co Fish Bar
104 Marine Parade
Cottesloe
Phone 9383 1100
■ Opening times
Mon – Sun 12pm to late
Breakfast Sat & Sun, 8am to 11am
■ Rating
food 4
service 4
ambience 4
value for money 4
■ style – Seafood
■ wine – great selection of
local and international labels
to please all wine lovers.
■ Chef – Marco Purussini
■ Owner – Prendiville Group
■ feel – casual coastal
■ wheelchair access – yes
■ cost –
Entrée – $3 to $14
Mains – $26 to $38
Dessert – $14
■ all in all – Catch a table at Cott and Co
to enjoy well-cooked local seafood,
with top notch wines and ocean views.

Cott & Co. Fish Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Charcoal Charlie’s Currumbine

Charcoal Charlie's CurrumbineBarbeque has been on trend for a few years now. In my own ‘hood there’s been a distinct lack of BBQ’s meats… until now! There’s a brand new BBQ ‘n burger joint in Currambine – Charcoal Charlies. If you love your meats cooked low and slow, then CC’s is well worth trying out. First and foremost, Charcoal Charlies is a takeaway, found at Currambine Central Shopping Centre. We found about 8 tables there too, which made it the perfect spot to enjoy a casual family meal close to home.

The eatery, which has recently opened, specialises in slow cooked meats, and burgers. Tender meats are cooked in a custom built smoker and Chef Andrew makes all his marinades, sauces and rubs from scratch. I’m very happy to report there are no nasties, additives or MSG here!Charcoal Charlie's Currumbine

Ordering your meal can be a little tricky, as we wanted to try everything! The menu has lots of tasty meats to choose from charcoal rotisserie cooked chicken, saucy ribs, and more coming soon.

I chose the lip-smackingly delicious lamb ribs, which are full of smoky flavours, moist and incredibly moreish. On the side I had the tastiest, herb-y rice, as well as a salad.

Charcoal Charlie's Currumbine

There are loads of delicious sides to pick from, including about 4 different freshly made salads. The potato bake, mac n cheese, poutine (on my list for next time!) and charred corn cobs look great too.

Charcoal Charlie's Currumbine

Chef ordered the “Chubby Charles”, which is not for the faint hearted. Two thick beef patties, double American cheddar, a gooey fried egg, smoked bacon, onion, lettuce, tomato, beetroot, pickles, American mustard and the special CC burger sauce. He devoured almost every bite, but the burg did bet him! The seasoned chips are also very tasty too.

Charcoal Charlie's Currumbine

Little Chef picked the “Cluckin Hot”. There is a kids menu, but the little chili addict just HAD to try this adult sized burger. A buttermilk fried spicy chicken breast, American cheddar, slaw, chipotle mayo and lashings of CC burger sauce are all served on a buttery brioche bun.Charcoal Charlie's Currumbine

There’s vegetarian and gluten free options, so everyone can enjoy the epic burgers. Charcoal Charlies is a walk in spot serving soul warming food. I’d happily grab a tasty chook, salad, rice and chips for a “chef inspired take away” family meal if I’m short on cooking time too. If you love meat and live in the Joondalup area, then Charcoal Charlies is for you!

Find Charcoal Charlies at 1244 Marmion Avenue, Currambine.
(Right on the outside corner of Currambine Central, on the Shenton Ave side)

More info on their website.

I was invited to dine at Charcoal Charlies at a discounted rate. Thanks for having us! 

Lil’ Sistas Yanchep

20180916_143314There’s a new café in Yanchep! The outer northern suburbs spot is found in the location that was once home to Bib’s Tuck Shop. And the story behind the name? Lil’ Sistas is the sister café of Burns Beach Café, so I was sure that it would have amazing coffee, just like our local by the beach. There’s not a lot of tables inside the small, narrow café, so we sat on the long bench bar table along the wall. Gone is the vibrant spray-painted lily mural, now a pretty tree with birds hiding in the branches gives a more grown up, but still playful vibe.

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We had popped by for a coffee and sweet bite to eat, after a lunch nearby. On the all day brunch menu there’s loads of taste bud tempters like Belgian waffles with grilled banana and marshmallow gelato, Salmon eggs benedict, a big brekky, burgers, fish n chips, salads, and much more. My flat white was excellent. The coffee roast used at Lil Sistas is by the organic artisan Fix Coffee.

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There’s plenty of sweet treats – muffins, slices, doughnuts and tarts in the chiller cabinet. I loved the rich and fudgy chocolate brownie, which is also gluten free. Winning!

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Little Sistas is a vibrant local café that’s pretty rare to find north of Joondalup. I wouldn’t mind trying their brunch offering, as the smells from the kitchen were mighty tempting! Next time I’m out that way, we’ll be sure to stop by.

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More on Lil’ Sistas here.

Tim Ho Wan Perth

Over the years, Chef and I have eaten at many Michelin starred restaurants throughout the UK and in France. Chef has fond memories of running his own section in the kitchen of a Michelin starred restaurant in the Derbyshire countryside. I worked in the kitchen too… as a dishy! So, when I heard a Michelin starred standard restaurant was hitting Perth, I was very, very excited.

Tim Ho Wan Perth (13)

I was invited to Tim Ho Wan, which originated in Hong Kong, on their sneak peek launch night. The arrival of the Dim Sum spot at newly opened Raine Square has been causing a lot of buzz. It was a hole in the wall eatery that was hailed as the most affordable Michelin starred restaurant in the world. While we don’t have the Michelin bench mark here in Australia, this set my expectations very high.

Tim Ho Wan Perth (14)

Being the opening, we were treated to Chinese lion dancing, music and good luck traditions.

Tim Ho Wan Perth

I’m not that familiar with most Chinese cuisine, so the pictured menu did come in handy. There’s a lot of choice of Dim Sum, or “bite sized offerings”. We were given a notepad, for writing up your own order.

Tim Ho Wan Perth

Then I pressed the “doorbell” button on the table when we were ready to send the order to the kitchen.

Tim Ho Wan Perth

Our Chinese tea and food came out of the bustling kitchen in record time. No sooner had our order been picked up from the table, plates and trays started arriving just minutes later. The food comes out as its ready and soon our entire table was brimming with food.

Tim Ho Wan Perth

Being gluten intolerant I was limited to what I could order but there was enough to fill me up. I tried congee with pork, century egg and salted egg, a sort of savoury rice porridge. Rice with chicken, sausage and mushroom was also a GF winner.Tim Ho Wan Perth (9)

I couldn’t get enough of the steamed beef balls with bean curd skin. The poached fresh seasonal vegetables were nicely coated in soy sauce. Other dishes people on my table enjoyed were pan-fried turnip cake, steamed prawn dumplings, spring roll with egg white and these pretty crisp, deep fried wasabi salad prawn dumplings.

Tim Ho Wan Perth

I’ll put my hands up and admit I was far too chicken (!!) to try the braised chicken feet with abalone sauce. I’m pretty adventurous, but that was a bit too much, even for me.

Tim Ho Wan Perth (7)

By this time we were starting to struggle, but had just enough tummy space to fit in a sweet and creamy mango sago pomelo.

Tim Ho Wan Perth

I did expect Tim Ho Wan to be a bit more “high end”. I didn’t realise we placed our orders on paper and used the bell – like at Pappa Rich. We liked Tim Ho Wan – we both left feeling full, the menu wasn’t expensive and I’m sure it’s going to be an incredibly popular addition to William Street.

Find out more on Tim Ho Wan here.

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