You may know casual restaurant The Island as “Isle of Voyage”. The spot found on Elizabeth Quay’s “island” in the iconic Florence Hummerston Kiosk has had a change of direction and it’s now home to a microbrewery, restaurant, garden bar and pizzeria. Little Chef, his Grandparents and I were enjoying a day seeing the sights of Elizabeth Quay after arriving on the ferry from South Perth. We popped into The Island, a restaurant that had opened in 2016, for a spot of lunch.
The interior is crisp, bright and airy. We’d recommend
sitting outside, to enjoy the amazing view. In one direction is the Swan River
and look the other way for a magical view over the quay to the city skyline.
The menu has lots of crowd pleasing favourites like fresh salads, share platters, wood fired pizzas, burgers and more. I enjoyed a light pomegranate and mixed leaves salad ($14), with almonds, orange segments, pine nuts, parmesan cheese with heirloom tomato and orange vinaigrette.
Grilled fish and chips ($26) is also available beer battered.
The West Australian fish fillet is served with lemon, tartare sauce and rustic
The junior bites menu… There are lots of yummy options for kids – pasta, pizzas, nachos and more. Little Chef tells me his fish and chips ($10) was very tasty. The fish is good quality and served with a generous pile of seasoned chips and aioli.
And of course the EQ playground is right next door, and
Little Chef enjoyed playing there until his lunch arrived. I hear there are
plans for a sandpit overlooking Elizabeth Quay coming soon.
We all enjoyed our lunch at The Island. I was expecting that it would be good, as so far as I’m aware the spot is still owned by the people behind Voyage Kitchen in Hillarys.
If you love buzzed about spot, Blake Street Merchant, you may want to check out its new sister restaurant on Beaufort Street – Ninth and Merchant. The casual eatery has good vibes, great coffee and a delicious menu. We headed in for brunch after a cheeky trip to Black Pig Deli.
We oohed and ahhed about the delicious coffee. Which was particularly
smooth. I had a feeling it was 5 Senses, which seems to be my favourite coffee.
And it was. So good!
Three types of eggs benedict grace the menu. Traditional,
royale with house smoked salmon, and a Florentine with spinach. The traditional
bene with thick cut ham ($18.50), poached eggs, creamy hollandaise, on an English
muffin went down a treat.
For those who love their veggies, the roasted pumpkin ($18),
is a deliciously different brunch dish. Golden roasted pumpkins is drizzled
with the Merchant’s own rooftop honey, and served with whipped ricotta, poached
egg, almonds and wonderfully crisp kale leaves.
I enjoyed the hummus and chorizo ($15), on GF bread (usually served with Merchant sourdough) topped with roasted peppers and onions. Though tasty and filling, I felt like it was missing something, next time I’d add an egg. It’s difficult for me to not have eggs with brunch!
We loved the coffee, atmosphere and food at Ninth and Merchant. I found the prices reasonable and the service was friendly and helpful. I’ve never been to Blake Street Merchant either and I feel I really must check it out!
A new restaurant has sprouted on the Hampden Road strip –
Mel and Co Garden. You may be familiar with the name. The original, brunch spot
Mel and Co Kitchen, is found in Cottesloe. We’ve dined at this venue before, in
its previous incarnation as The Wild Duck. What we find at Mel and Co Garden is
a different offering altogether.
Service is prompt and friendly. The space has been livened
up from its stuffy fine dining days and lush foliage is everywhere, even on the
ceiling. Vibrant murals of black cockatoos and green leaves adorn the walls,
making it a lovely spot to sit.
At Mel and Co the garden themed concept is a little left of
centre. The Asian fusion menu resembles a theme park brochure, including a map
of dishes, taking you through different Asian cuisines as well as the “Cactus
Garden” (Mexican) and “BBQ Area” (US).
In an age where we eat with our eyes more than ever, this
restaurant pulls out all the stops to create Instagram-worthy dishes. Even
marking dishes on the map as “photo opportunities” and “points of interest”
(signature dishes). A clever move which is sure to appeal to millennials.
The short and sweet wine list is overshadowed by Mel and
Co’s quirky cocktail offering. I just can’t go past one of the cloche covered concoctions.
A fairy-tale inspired “poison apple” martini arrives shrouded in mystery, under
the cover of a glass dome, full with smoke infused with apple woodchips. Our waitress
whips off the cloche and our senses are hit with the fragrant apple smoke. The vanilla
vodka, apple, egg white foam and lemon cocktail is as scrumptious as a lemon
At the waitress’s suggestion, we order five share dishes,
which all arrive at once. I would have preferred that the kitchen staggered the
dishes. We start with delicate lotus chips ($6) loaded with tangy pineapple
salsa. The bite size appetisers make for a delicious start to our lunch.
Pork belly poppers ($12), aka cubed and skewered roasted
pork belly bites, are smothered in smoky bbq sauce. These meaty morsels are
topped with salsa, and dipped into an irresistible crackling dust for extra
Next up, three brioche sliders ($16) are bulging with an
Indonesian rendang spiced beef brisket and slaw. A jalapeno dressing gives even
more kick. One slider is served on a black charcoal bun, which doesn’t add a
smoky flavour as you’d expect, but does add a striking aesthetic to the humble
I’m tucking into the pork poppers when a waitress theatrically
spoons candy pink pomegranate foam onto a salmon dish ($30). While the plate of
food is pretty as a picture, I find the salmon tasteless. The green pea puree,
broccolini, apple and fennel salad add fresh and crisp flavours to this dish.
We’re quickly running out of room on our table. A metal
frame is placed in the middle, where a long wooden platter brimming with pork
ribs ($42) is served, along with a squirt of apple from a spray bottle. Marinated
in a house-made dry rub, the moist and meaty American-style smoky bbq ribs are
finger licking delicious. A generous potato salad is on the side.
Intrigued with what dessert may hold, I squeeze in a cherry
and blackcurrant Pavlova ($12). This is no ordinary pav – shaped like little
mushrooms and surrounded by lashings of double cream, rose petals and fresh
Your mother may have told you not to play with your food –
but that is encouraged with the zen garden ($14). The Japanese inspired rock
garden features miso cheesecake, chocolate and salted caramel “rocks”, on a shortbread
soil and a white chocolate rake. This tasty dessert is a textural treat.
Though it’s not an assault on the senses like the infamous Barton G restaurants in the US, which serve their food in toasters, wheelbarrows and on mannequins – Mel and Co Garden still has that weird and wonderful factor.
Mel and Co Garden has all the table theatre and pizazz of a high
end restaurant, though there are many casual, value for money dining options
here. This spot may not be for you, if you’re a traditionalist. If you like a
little fun with your food, and don’t mind fussy foams and sprays, then head
down to Mel and Co Garden for an unexpected culinary adventure!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.