Basq, Currambine

It was my parents wedding anniversary recently. Usually, I don’t celebrate it with them (I think wedding anniversaries are a couples thing), but today was an EXTRA special day… I had been plotting a surprise!

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One of my sisters (who lives in England) had let me in on her exciting news. She is coming to Perth for a holiday with her kids this December. I’m completely giddy with excitement, particularly as they have never made the big trip to Australia and my parents were going to be over the moon to hear the news! It’s been years since we saw them. So, I’d planned a Skype call after lunch, so my sister could tell them face to face!

Anyway, to our lunch!…

Being a special occasion, we picked Basq in Currambine, one of the best dining spots in our area. The modern European restaurant has a stylishly modern fit out and a buzzing atmosphere. It’s a very light and airy place, with high ceilings and huge open windows.

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Styled as “tapas”, the menu has small share plates, as well as more substantial options for those who don’t like to share their food. The drinks menu at Basq will suit all tastes and there’s always room for a cheeky cocktail or two…

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The Resident, Nedlands

The Resident is the new kid on the Hampden Street block. The venue, previously known as the Byrneleigh Hotel, has moved into Nedlands with a fresh new look.

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The stark interior of white walls, soaring ceilings and crisp white furniture is softened by the use of light woods and fresh flowers. Outside there’s a courtyard dominated by a large boab tree.

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By day, this neighbourhood bar enjoys a café feel. Locals can get their smashed avo fix at The Little Resident” – the café space that flows into the bar. By night, the venue has a buzzing pub feel and a DJ spins the tunes at their popular Sunday sessions.

We sit at a high table, looking over the small, yet interesting wine list of six whites, six reds and bubbles. The wine offering rotates regularly and has a focus on natural, certified organic drops. I find the vegan Geyer Muscat of Alexandria, a very easy drinking wine, with exotic notes. There’s a selection of local beers, spirits and cocktails too.

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The menu is described as “casual Italian”, though we don’t immediately get the Mediterranean feels, since pizza and risotto feature so heavily on all bar menus. At The Resident you’ll also find burgers and ribs, thought the menu is by no means typical pub fare – there are no parmis here! Instead you’ll find food for the health conscious. There’s a fresh mix of local produce, lighter options and more gluten free dishes than you can poke a stick at. Continue reading

{WIN} Tunes on the Terrace at Gusti

Crowne Plaza Hotel, in East Perth, overlooks grassy Langley Park and the Swan River. Their restaurant Gusti is a contemporary place to dine, and not just for guests of the hotel. They invited me down to check out their new Tunes on the Terrace sundowner session, along with one of my friends Renee. We were only too willing to wind down after a busy working week, over a couple of Mojitos and share some tasty food.

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Tunes on the Terrace are held on Fridays and Saturdays. There’s live music, and food and drink specials. We had planned on an evening of food and cocktails on the deck, but Perth’s weather wasn’t playing nice, so we had to make do with sitting indoors. Still, with a window set, it was easy to appreciate just how lovely it would we to sit there on a warm summers evening,  as the sun sets.

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We picked a few dishes to share from the Terrace menu, which is made up of casual, share-style food, easy to eat with one hand – since you’ll be sure to have a drink in the other! There are also burgers and pizzas if you’d like something more substantial.

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Monsterella Pizza, Wembley

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Monsterella is a suburban pizzeria with a warm, laid back feel. The bustling Grantham Street eatery has a hip a rustic interior and lively, family-friendly atmosphere. We were lucky to get a booking at the incredibly popular spot. We needed to come in early, which was fine with us, as we’re generally early eaters anyway. We got there at 5.30pm and it was soon heaving with diners.

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As soon as we sat down, a friendly waitress brought our menus as will as a blank pizza box with a load of textas for Little Chef. That’s a very cool alternative to your usual colouring book! He soon set to work, busily designing his own pizza box. Monsterella was named after the way that the owner’s little girl pronounces mozzarella cheese. How cute is that?!

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In no time the eatery was buzzing with busy tables and lot of people coming in for take away pizzas too. Their focus is on handmade wood fired pizza with traditional toppings, though there’s also some tastebud tempting traditional Italian street food on offer, with cheese, meats, salad and fish dishes on the menu. Continue reading

Canteen Pizza, Cottesloe

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Canteen Pizza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Say Ciao to the latest eatery from the people behind Cottesloe’s ever popular Il Lido, who have opened another casual Italian a little further up Marine Parade. Canteen Pizza has a laid back Mediterranean feel, with a crisp, light interior and walls lined with bottles of wine. By night, the venue takes on a louder, darker wine bar vibe.

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Canteen Pizza is not your typical pizza joint. Though the focus is undeniably pizza, but the menu is punctuated with Italian style cheese, meat and fish dishes. One of Australia’s most renowned pizza pros, Napoli-born Ettore Bertonati, has been brought over from Adelaide to set up the pizza menu.

A lot of Italian produce and terms are used in the menu and the friendly wait staff are only too happy to explain and “translate” for me.

Given the fantastic wine program at Il lido, I’m expecting an impressive wine list and Canteen Pizza delivers. The ever evolving list is a mix of accessible Australian and Italian labels, with a focus on natural wines. A glass of Aperol spritz seems the perfect choice for enjoying casual Italian dishes by the sea. Their quirky glassware is a big hit, with the quote “Because you can’t drink pizza” printed on their wine glasses.

Aperol Spritz

We start our lunch with dishes of antipasti. We’re spoilt for choice. There’s cold cuts of meat, seafood, veal and pork meatballs, freshly baked bread and more. I adore the baked Chevrac du Perigord ($18) French goats cheese is rolled in pistachio nuts and served upon freshly chopped rocket. The creamy cheese paired with zesty flavours of house made candied orange marmalade makes for a cracking summer dish.

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Plump Rottnest scallops ($18 for two) are served in the shell along with pickled carrots, leek, and cauliflower. The scallops, topped with golden pane fritto crumbs (fried bread), are full of flavour and I’m wishing for more.

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The Margherita, $20, is simply stunning. A pizza rossa (red sauce base) is topped with Italian Pomodoro san Marzano tomato sauce, Fior di Latte mozzarella, sharp parmesan and basil, the thin base is light and puffy, with just a hint of a crispy black edge. We shouldn’t mess with the simplicity of a Margarita, though we add pork and fennel sausage. At least it’s not pineapple! The punchy toppings aren’t loaded on, which gives the crisp base a chance to shine.

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The Neapolitan-style pizzas are top notch. Their dough is left to rise naturally for 48 hours, topped with Italian and fresh local ingredients, then cooked in the roaring wood fire in their open kitchen. Chef also enjoyed the “Rustica” with creamy stracchino cheese, pork and fennel sausage,  broccoli, fennel and fresh chili.

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It’s not just about pizza at Canteen Pizza. The porchetta, a rolled roasted pork loin, catches my eye. Tempted as I am, this seems a meal in itself, so I order the rainbow trout. Sadly, it’s not arrived in the kitchen yet. The chefs are more than happy to cook their market fish (line caught Geraldton Bream) in the same way – stuffed with pancetta and rosemary, oregano and garlic. Here’s a truth bomb – I’ve never tackled a whole fish before! Put off by bones and not to mention being eyeballed by the fish as I ate it, I’d never taken the plunge. Boy, have I been missing out. The moist, buttery flesh easily slides off the bone. I am mightily impressed.

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Whitfords Brewing Co, Westfield Whitford City

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The new foodie hub at Westfield Whitford City is an entertainment and dining hot spot.  We headed down there to check out just one of the many restaurants, the shiny new Whitfords Brewing Co. Inside you’ll find somewhere to prop up the bar, as it’s one of the longest bars in WA and upstairs there is a rooftop terrace, from which you’ll be able to enjoy sunsets in the evening.

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Chef was chomping at the bit to have a pint and some eats here. The WBC is from the peeps from Beerland, who are behind the Northbridge Brewing Co.

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There’s dining areas outside, overlooking the lush and green central space of the new Whitford City piazza, where there’s a small stage for live entertainment, and sculptures.

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These sculptures double as an interesting place for children to play and explore.

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We found a high table near the bar and a friendly waitress brought Little Chef an activity pack, as soon as we sat down.

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For a weekday lunchtime the brewery was pumping and it has a jolly atmosphere. On tap are the WBC’s ale, lager, a wheat beer, kolsch and IPA, as well as brews from other craft breweries.

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The large menu features all the crowd favourites. Chef picked the angus burger ($19). A succulent, flame grilled patty sits on a bun, along with shredded lettuce, aioli, cheese, dill pickle, house made tomato chutney. He loved the patty, which had a real home made taste to it.

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I chose the roast pumpkin pizza, on a gluten free base. I find the GF substitutes very hit and miss, but this base was not far from the real deal, topped with a tasty combo of Danish feta, rocket, caramelised onion and cashews.

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Little Chef chose the mini beef slider and chips from the varied kids menu. The slider was oozing with cheese and looked delicious.

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We had no complaints with the pub-style food. I’m sure we’ll be back to check out the rooftop terrace and I’ve no doubt this spot will soon become a northern suburbs favourite.

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Other eateries at Westfield Whitford City include:

  • East Village NY
  • Hunter & Barrel
  • Max Brenner Chocolate
  • Miss Chows
  • Jersey Jack Gelato
  • Gami 
  • Bombay Talkies
  • Bangkok Brothers
  • Dough Pizza
  • Grill’d Bugers
  •  Eat House
  • Guzman Y Gomez
  • Event Cinema

There’s so much to discover at the Whitfords piazza and it’s a brilliant place for lunch with the family before a movie at Event Cinemas or even a cheeky date night.

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Westfield Whitford City Dining Hub

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This morning the eagerly awaited new piazza and Event Cinemas has opened at Westfield Whitford City Shopping Centre. The foodie hub promises to make Whitfords an entertainment and dining spot, not just a place for shopping. I headed down with what felt like the entire Perth NoR population to check out just what’s on offer.

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The space is lush and green. The restaurants and cafes are in a U shape around the central space, which has a small stage for live entertainment, lots of alfresco dining and some sculptures, which will double as a place for children to play and explore.

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There’s lots of variety with the food vendors. I found mainly casual spots that are also family friendly and many different cuisines. Here’s what you can expect to find…

Whitfords Brewing Co – with one of the longest bars in WA and a rooftop terrace, this spot will soon become a Northern Suburbs favourite. I know Chef is chomping at the bit to have a pint and some eats here. From the Beerland, who are behind the Northbridge Brewing Co.

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East Village NY – this all day diner has a New York vibe.

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Eat House – another NYC ‘Deli & Grill’ with an Italian twist. The menu changes daily and you’ll find things like gourmet sandwiches and

Max Brenner Chocolate  – chocoholics will LOVE Max Brenner, an international chocolate café.

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Guzman Y Gomez – a Tex-Mex casual eatery where burritos, nachos, taco, quesadillas and more are found on the menu.

Miss Chows – this chic Asian specialises in dumplings and other mod-Asian delights. Best of all, no MSG!

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Gami – serving mouth-watering Korean fried chicken. Man I wish there was a GF version!

Bombay Talkies (coming soon) – this sounds amazing! Here you’ll find vibrant Indian-inspired takeaway street food.

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Bangkok Brothers – a popular Northbridge spot, this bar and casual Thai eatery looks delicious.

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Jersey Jack Gelato – now we don’t have to drive allll the way to Como to enjoy Jersey Jack and their crazy gelato cones!

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Dough Pizza (coming soon) – another Northbridge favourite, serving traditional Italian wood fired pizzas.

Grill’d Bugers – a firm family favourite. We love their gourmet burgers!

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Hunter Barrel – coal roasted meats by the peeps behind Ribs n Burgers. The interior looks really sleek and I’m looking forward to dining there.

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Event Cinemas – finally, we don’t have to treck to Innaloo for Gold class! Event Cinemas are found upstairs. There’s brand new cinemas and VMax too. The candy bar is impressive, with a choc top fridge, soda bar and loads of pick n mix lollies.

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There’s so much at the Whitfords piazza to discover and it’s a brilliant place for lunch with the family before a movie at Event Cinemas or even a cheeky date night.

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I’m planning on dining at several of these spots – so stay tuned!

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