Naked Apple Cider House, Karragullen

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The Perth Hills are alive, with the sound of… CIDER!! The brand spanking new Naked Apple Cider House has opened. The cidery is found in Karragullen, which is found in between Pickering Brook and Roleystone. Naked Apple Cider has been around for a while, I’ve tried it at many food and cider festivals. Now they have opened their very own venue! As well as cider, there are also Bickley Valley Brewery’s beers on tap.

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This spot in the bush, formerly Hopscotch café, has a gorgeous rustic charm. Sit outside on the deck, on the patio or inside the cosy cottage.

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Head Chef Sebastian Sindermann is an old workmate of Chef’s. They used to work together at the Duxton Hotel, in a time well before I was Chef’s wife. Knowing that the already popular venue was fully booked for lunch, we popped along for a Sunday breakfast to check it out.

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The lunch menu is made up of things easy to share like pork belly sliders, and more substantial dishes like steak sandwiches and the German pork knuckle – there are also sweet treats in the cabinet. On the hot drink selection are T2 teas and Essenza coffee.

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I enjoyed the Feta Scrambled Eggs ($15), with smashed avo, wonderfully crisp bacon and blistered tomatoes. This dish is usually served with walnut toast, but I opted for gluten free toast.

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The very filling Breakfast Panini ($14) is brimming with smashed avo, tomato chutney, fresh rocket, crispy bacon and fried eggs.

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The Eggs Benedict ($15) was also a hit, with bacon, rocket, blistered tomatoes, poached eggs and creamy hollandaise on an English muffin. Continue reading

Billie H, Claremont

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Billie H. Supper Wine Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Found opposite the behemoth Claremont Quarter, sits a cute little building, covered in lush foliage. Cosy wine bar, Billie H, has oodles of soul… and I’m not just talking about its jazzy soundtrack.

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From the striking gramophone light feature, to a wall decorated in vinyl album covers, this place oozes old school cool. I bring my Dad along for lunch and, being a vinyl collector and music enthusiast, he certainly appreciates these little details.

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At Billie H you can sit inside the contemporary dining room, laze in the leafy courtyard or perch on a high stool and soak up the bustling atmosphere at the bar. From there we see the all-female kitchen team, headed by Chef Alia Glorie, cooking up a storm in the open kitchen. A female Head Chef is no new thing, but many more of these talented women are getting the attention and accolades that they deserve, for simply being brilliant Chefs.

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With jazz legends like Sam Cooke and the bistro’s namesake Billie Holiday crooning in the background, we look over the menu, rubbing our hands with glee. There are many delicious dishes to pick from, from small bites to larger plates and it’s really up to you how you tackle them – to share or not to share.

Service is friendly and on the ball. We order a carrot dish from the small plates, expecting they will arrive first. Our intuitive waitress asks if we’d like them to come out with our main meaty dishes, as it’s a brilliant side dish too. A grand idea!

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The wine list is diverse, with a decent choice of European drops, as well as many local WA wines. Dad chooses a cracker of a wine, a Margaret River red from Deep Woods Estate. The earthy nebbiolo has red fruit notes. My French le Trois rosé, has a dry finish, which will match our food choices of seafood, pork and duck nicely.

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First up, we spread a lusciously smoky eggplant, mirin and sesame dip ($14) on crisp golden crostini.

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The simple carpaccio of fish ($19) is a menu staple at Billie H. Whatever their fishmonger has fresh that morning is what they’ll use. Today’s fish is silky gold band snapper, cooked in the citric acid of lemon. The juices, along with a little mustard, oil and chives are soaked up with freshly baked bread.

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Seared Wagin duck breast ($34), is perfectly pink. On the side is a celery fricassee, drizzled in a meaty poultry stock. Alia calls her plating style “pretty ugly”, though her creations all look mouth-watering to me. A champion of seasonality, she cooks simple and uncomplicated, allowing produce to shine without fussy foams and soils.

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For us, the dish of the day has to be the incredibly tasty braised pork cheek ($29). Slightly charred, moist jowl meat marries effortlessly with the creamy apricot reduction and sharp, fresh fennel. Intense flavours that are totally swoon-worthy.

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The rainbow carrot dish ($19) is a winner, and thanks to our waitress’s suggestion, a perfect side to our meaty mains. This humble vegetable dish is bursting with flavours and colour. Roasted and pickled carrots are topped with crunchy puy lentils and finished with a sweet sherry glaze.

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Swell, Mullaloo Beach

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There’s a new café in the northern Suburbs! Swell, which opened just a few months ago, sure has a swell view of Mullaloo Beach. Found at the Mullaloo Surf Life Saving Club, it has stunning uninterrupted views over the beach and Indian Ocean. At the entry there’s a deck for casual alfresco dining. Dogs are welcome in this area too.

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The modern interior has natural basket-like light features, crisp timber furniture, and bold blue walls, giving it a coastal vibe.

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It’s fresh, airy and a little bit chic, while still maintaining a casual feel.

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And there’s a wraparound balcony out the back, where you’re so close to the beach you can almost touch the white sand. Continue reading

Due Jolly Winery, Pickering Brook

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Due Jolly Winery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I’ve found yet another gem in the Perth Hills. Due Jolly Winery, is wedged in between Core Cider House and La Fattoria. It’s well worth popping into for a yummy food platter over a glass or two of their wines.

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The little vineyard has a cellar door and lovely decked area, overlooking their lush green orchards. It really is a beaut spot and has that Mediterranean vibe, that I get from a lot of the Hills wineries. Due Jolly means “Two Jokers” in Italian. A lot of the Pickering Brook locals are Italian in heritage, I should know, I went to Lesmurdie Senior High School with loads of Pickers peeps.

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There’s a very nice range of wines available at Due Jolly to buy and try at the Cellar Door. Rob, Due Jolly’s friendly Wine Maker was on hand to guide us through the wines. From a fruity Vermentino to a dry Chardonnay and lovely Shiraz. We ordered a couple of glasses of wine to go with our platter and they were only $5 per glass! If you’re skipper or just not into wine, there’s coffee and tea available too.

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The enormous platter is great value at $45. It’s brimming with three cheeses, pickled veg, salami, a delicious terrine, dips, fruit, chutney, a veggie frittata, nuts, crackers, plus a fresh ciabatta loaf. Perfect for sharing on the deck. Due Jolly can get busy at times, so it’s best to call ahead to book a platter.

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Millers Farm Cafe, Cowaramup

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Millers Ice Cream Farm Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Cowaramup, also known affectionately as “Cow Town”, is a lovely spot in the Margaret River region. It’s no surprise that there are a lot of dairy cows in the area and Millers Farm Cafe is a great place to head for an ice cream scoop of two.

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The Ice Creamery is found on a beautiful dairy farm, about a 15min drive from Margaret River itself. The Millers Farm Café is found in a cute old cottage and has an assortment of hot and cold drinks, including milkshakes, frappes and yummy Yahava coffee. There’s sweet and savoury home baked scones, and of course, their famous ice cream.

There are so many flavours to choose from – then the choice of cup or cone. Or even the famous “Mega Moo”, tasting paddle with 8 scoops – perfect for sharing! There are dairy free options too.

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Little Chef made the tough decision of choosing just one of the 26 available flavours! He loved the choc fudge brownie… he’s not smiling as I’ve told him to wait to eat his ice-cream while I take a photo. Poor kid!

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Chef enjoyed his cone with two scoops of Apple pie flavoured ice cream.

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Inside the café there are also some lovely farm and cow-themed gifts to buy. As well as the scrumptious ice cream, there’s a large adventure playground, big lawns and a lovely bush setting. The spacious playground is set amongst wood chips and features lots of swings, slides, tunnels, monkey bars, and climbing frames.

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There are also two cows (not real!) which children are able to ‘milk’. When they pull on the rubber udders, water pours into a bucket below. It’s always a good thing to let the kids know where their food comes from and it’s a great photo opportunity too.

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Burger Baby, Margaret River

IMG_1756There’s a new burger joint in Margs! Burger Baby is found on Bussell Highway – right in the heart of town. The casual eatery has an eclectic, vintage vibe. At Burger Baby you can dine inside, where there’s lots of tables, as well as comfy sofas. The alfresco area, which overlooks the main street, looks pretty special at night with its fairy lights all lit up.

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The table service is small-town friendly. The chatty staff gave us helpful suggestions, as we decided which burgers to choose from the menu, which also features chicken burgers, pork belly burgers (yum!), lentil burgers and more.

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Chef chose the Everything Burger ($19) on a buttery brioche bun. As the name suggests, it’s a massive burger, brimming with beef, bacon, caramelised onion, tomato, greens, pickles, melted cheese and mayo. The 70% grass fed beef patties are finished with wagyu, just to add a little extra fat content. You know, fat = flavour after all.

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I chose the “everything burger” too. The gluten free bun was totally stuffed with so much tastiness. It’s a delicious burger, and the GF bun was one of the best I’ve had!

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Little Chef wolfed down a mini beef cheese burger ($9). There is also a mini chicken n cheese kid’s burger available. We shared a piping hot serve of chips. There are plenty of sides, like loaded chips, corn and salads available too.

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For families who love a game night there’s a pile of board games (Guess Who, Cluedo etc), as well as a pool table and foosball table. Little Chef found a few friends and had a great time playing foosball.

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Burger Baby’s fresh and tasty burgers are well worth checking out for a delicious and great value family meal in Margaret River town.

Find Burger Baby at 1/115 Bussell Highway, Margaret River, WA.

Magna Pizza at The Mantle, Freo

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

The Mantle is found in a converted warehouse overlooking Freo’s Port. It’s a haven for foodies, with more than one taste bud tempting venue to eat at – like Magna Pizza. The Mantle is also home to Don Tappa, Short Order Burger Co, Stampede Gelato and Alter Ego bar.

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The Mantle was actually our plan B. Originally we were headed to a family friendly Italian eatery on the Freo café strip. There, we walked out before we had even ordered, as there was a strong, stale smell of off seafood! Ewwww. My boys were growing hangry (you know, so hungry that you’re angry) and so I suggested a spot that I knew would be foolproof… Magna. These two LOVE pizza.

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The Mantel has that casual, alternative vibe that Fremantle does so very well. Since this was just before I started eating gluten free, I picked the bruschetta. So simple and tasty – and only $8. Man I miss bread!

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Chef ordered the Cicerone pizza ($23). The Magna Pizza bases are made fresh using natural traditional ingredients, and they let their dough rise for at least 36 hours. Topped with bolognese sauce, mozzarella, sausages, hot salami, capsicum, rosemary – he loved it’s punchy, fresh flavours!

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Little Chef is an eight year old that is not afraid of a little spice. The Nerone ($20) tomato based pizza, with lashings of fresh chilli, mozzarella and hot salami, was right up his street. At the time we ate, there wasn’t a dedicated kids menu, but pizzas are so easy to eat, so we were happy to share this with him!

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Syd and Phyllis, Midland

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Syd & Phyllis Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Who are Syd and Phyllis? Co-Owner and Head Chef Sam named the café after his grandparents, which is a lovely touch and reminded me of my own Grandparents, Stan and Phyllis. It’s particularly fitting that he named this café after them, as his Grandfather worked on the railways. Syd and Phyllis is found up on the “platform” of the redeveloped Midland Railway Workshops.

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We spent an hour soaking up the sun over a spot of lunch and enjoying the view over Railway Square, where the old shunting yards were. It retains the old workshop buildings, as well as train tracks, which run through the great space. At regular intervals stream rises from the tracks, almost like a ghost train has pulled up at the platform. Little Chef loved jumping around in the mist.

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Local roast Bolt is brilliant. Bolt is set up at the nearby Man of the Trees nursery (and roast their beans on a BBQ!).

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It’s seriously one of the best coffees I’ve had. Syd and Phyllis is also licenced and features local craft beers, wines and spirits.

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My Mum and Dad brought us along, they’d previously enjoyed a couple of brunches here. There’s a good selection on the lunch menu, as well as fresh foods and cakes in the cabinet. I picked the heritage salad ($16), which sounded ridiculously heathy. Luckily, it was ridiculously tasty too! Ancient grains, and wild rice, chargrilled broccoli, beetroot hummus, pickled slaw, made for a colourful and yummy lunch.

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My Dad opted for the 6056 burger – I was very jealous. This burger crams in the fillings – not one but TWO beef patties, crisp beer battered onion rings, pickled beetroot, fresh cos lettuce, tomato sauce, oozing with cheese all on a charred bun. Served with extra crunchy triple cooked chips and a light coating of gravy. Gravy and chips – nice one!

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Perth Night Noodle Markets 2018

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The Night Noodle Markets are back for 2018! It’s part of Good Food Month. Last night we checked out this years line up of 20+ stallholders with hawker style eats under the twinkling city lights at Elizabeth Quay. As always, it is a buzzing foodie event, with a fantastic atmosphere and more delicious smells than you can poke a satay stick at!

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I even bumped into a living culinary legend too – Chef Marco Pierre White! He’s in town for Good Food Month and the Taste the Great Southern event. My Pasty Chef little bro used to work for him, at the Michelin starred Mirabelle in Mayfair, so I just had to say hi!

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Even though this is the fourth edition of the Night Noodle Markets in Perth, they are as popular as ever!  So my advise is to get there early and to know what you want! We did queue for around 10 mins for a few of the hawkers stalls, and we ate on the go. I’ve done a Gluten Free guide too (scroll down for that). Here’s my picks of what to devour at this year’s NNM:

The Modern Eatery

The Modern Eatery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Cone-nichiwa (Wagyu Dreamin’ Cheese) – Lightly battered tempura nori cone with yakiniku beef, cheese, edamame, kimchi, and kitty k’s garlic rice.

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Hoy Pinoy

These guys have been a firm favourite each year and their smokin skewers are as divine as ever, $13 for two. Choose from chicken BBQ’d in a traditional soy marinade or BBQ pork belly with a banana ketchup glaze.

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We were a little sad to see my favourites the Peking duck fries were gone for this year as Bao Stop didn’t make the trip west. Don’t panic though… there’s still bao aplenty and lots of new vendors making up the 2018 line up! Hoy Pinoy do a chicken topped fries dish. 

Black Star Pastry

With all that food it’s important to save a little room for dessert! NNM favourites Black Star Pastry are back with their stunning Strawberry Watermelon Cake. It’s a scrumptious layered cake made up of almond dacquoise, rose-scented cream, strawberries, watermelon and finished beautifully with dried rose petals and pistachios.

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Gelato Messina 

Not to be outdone, Gelato Messina are back too. Aunty Tomsu’s Cheesecake – Japanese cheesecake, strawberry and cherry blossom cream, strawberry meringue, strawberries and strawberry gelato is scrumptious.

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And if you’re Gluten Free…

This is my first trip to the NNM since having to eat gluten free food, making it a lot more restrictive. I studied the online menu and found there were over 10 options for me, which I was happy about. I took this info from the Good Food Month website, so double check with the vendor if the dish is safe to eat! Here’s where to chow down at if you’re GF:

Hoy Pinoy

Inihaw na baboy – Pork belly skewers with banana ketchup glaze | GF
Inihaw na manok – Chicken skewers in traditional soy glaze | GF

Bunga Ray Satay

Charcoal Grill Satay – Marinated Beef, Chicken & Lamb serve with peanut sauce | GF

Bangkok Jump Street

Korat Pad Mie ( Korat Fried Noodles) with Soft-Shell Crab| GF options
BJS’s Spicy Pork Crackling Papaya Salad| GF
Jump Street’s Caramelised Pork Belly & Roasted Pork Noodles| GF …This is what I had, and it was delicious, with loads of rice noodles and crispy crackle on the pork belly!

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Miss Chow’s

Salt and Pepper Baby Squid | GF

Saigon Eats

Roast Pork Noodles | GF
Goi Cuon Fresh rice paper rolls| GF

 

Dancing Noodles

Macanese style Portuguese Chicken Rice| GF

The Urban Bowl

The Urban – Charcoal chicken/ BBQ beef/ tofu, with pickles and prawn cracker | GF

Sadly I didn’t find any GF desserts on the list 🙁

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It really is impossible to try everything, maybe more than one visit is in order! Other local and interstate vendors include: Bangkok Jump Street, Ahi Poke, Bao Wow, Puffle, Gyoza Joint and more. There’s also a few bars scattered around and live entertainment too making for a fantastic atmosphere.

The Night Noodle Markets are one of the very best foodie events in Perth. My tip is to get there when it opens to grab a table and minimise queueing. I saw a few people who brought picnic rugs, which is a good idea too. With the EQ train and bus stations, the ferry and plenty of parking, the foodie event is pretty easy to get to. Get your noodle on before the Night Noodle Markets end on March 25th!

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For more info visit the Good Food Month website.

Your Guide to Eat Drink Perth 2018 – Collabs

IMG_2021This year I’m bringing you the best of the Eat Drink Perth Festival’s “Collabs” category. What’s better than visiting one delicious venue? Visiting two, three or many more on a walking tour! Or trying lots of mouth-watering morsels at one exciting venue. Here’s my experiences on the Wandering Wok Tour and delicious Hyatt Vodka High Tea and a round up of the “collabs” events and offers for eating your way through the city of Perth.

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Northbridge Ramble and Relish – Wandering Wok Tours

I met foodie Pauline Lynch from Wandering Wok Tours at the Northbridge Piazza. From here, Pauline guided me through the streets of Northbridge to discover the influence of Chinese, Italians, Greeks, Yugoslavs and Vietnamese immigrants to the Northbridge and wider Perth food scene.

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The interesting walking tour takes two hours and includes at least eight food tastings along the way – you may try tasty morsels like BBQ pork, home-made spring rolls, Italian pastries, Turkish delight and much more. Since I’m gluten-free, Pauline found some yummy GF food for me to sample.

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First we stopped at one of Perth’s favourite gourmet Italian butchers, Torre. It has been run out of the same Lake Street cottage by many generations of the same family since it was established in 1950. Here you can sample the most delectable roast ham. They’re currently installing a massive dry aging room – watch this space!

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Next we enjoyed a coffee and sweet treat from The Re Store, which has been a Northbridge stalwart for over 80 years. The Italian owned store is an emporium of imported European goods and everyone loves their continental rolls!

We popped into Corica Pastries, full of the aromas of freshly baked traditional apple strudels. Also on Aberdeen Street, I salivated over huge cheese wheels at European Foods, which is also home to The Northbridge Coffee Roasters. We strolled down colourful alleyways, covered with vibrant murals, to Newcastle Street.

Next up was Sallys Yong Tau Fu, an Asian grocery store on William Street, which specialises in yong tau fu. There are rows and rows of Asian goodies. I had no idea what anything was used for, Pauline is a wealth of knowledge on many of the products and ingredients.

Ming's BBQ House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

As we explored the streets and back alleyways of Northbridge, my tastebuds got a workout too! Roasted ducks hanging in the window of Ming’s BBQ House enticed us inside. Here we tried roast pork, as well as delicious shredded duck in lettuce cups. Yum!

The post-war migration of Italians and Greeks gave Northbridge it’s alfresco dining scene. In 1929, one of the newly arrived Greeks, Angelo Kakulas, opened the iconic grocery store – Kakulas Bros, on William Street. The store is like an Aladdin’s cave for foodies, and has a huge range of goods and spices, flours, rices and grains, all sold from their original sacks.

Here I tried dark chocolate covered macadamias and some traditional Turkish delight.

Lastly, we walked through Chinatown, to Old Shanghai. I tucked into some silky rice flour rolls, filled with plump prawns. The slippery lil suckers were hard to eat with chopsticks (for a novice like me!) but the delish rolls were totally worth the effort.

The Northbridge Ramble and Relish tour was a brilliant way to delve a little deeper into what Northbridge has to offer. I certainly learned a few new things from Pauline, who has been running walking tours of Northbridge since 2001. The tour is great value for $65 per person. Find out more and book a tour here.

www.wanderingwok.com.au

 

Vodka High Tea Sundays – Hyatt Perth

Who loves vodka? Me! I tucked into a Vodka High Tea at the luxurious Hyatt hotel with a delish Belvedere champagne punch cocktail, an exclusive offer for Eat Drink Perth.

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The Hyatt is close to my heart for a number of reasons. I met Chef back when he was an apprentice at the Hyatt. He took me on our first date at Café, our second date was at Joes Oriental Diner and my first ever fine dining experience was when Chef was working at the fancy pants Gershwin’s Restaurant. I was excited to be back at a spot where I’d spent so much time in the early 2000s.

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High tea is the perfect reason for a girly catch up. I took my Mum along for an afternoon of decadence under the Hyatt’s conservatory atrium. First, we were served our cocktails (or mocktail in the case of my Mum). I loved the Belvedere champagne punch, with its pineapple flavours.

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My Mum and I nibbled on some pre-high tea appetisers. There’s a delish giant tempura prawn, mushroom tart and croquette. I was pleased with their gluten free offering.

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The Hyatt’s high tea is a mix of savoury and sweet morsels. There’s light and fluffy strawberry lamingtons, red velvet cake, orange and almond cake, fruit tarts and more.

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On the savoury tier there’s dainty finger sandwiches, smoked salmon canapés, and mini chicken wraps.

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And no high tea is complete without the tea! Tea Forte loose leaf English Breakfast was poured from the most beautiful Royal Albert teapot (I want one!).

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At $65 per person, the High Tea at the Hyatt is lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon, it features the vodka cocktail each Sunday during March. Hyatt Regency Perth also offers a Rosé High Tea experience each weekend.

Find out more and how to book here.

Other Collab Events on during Eat Drink Perth 2018

• Self Guided Cheese Tasting Tour at Fromage Artisans
• Gluten Free Expo at PCEC
• New flavours at Gusto Gelato
• Easter-ific Hang Out at Cathedral Square
• Northbridge Outdoor Movies – Free Flicks for Kids – Foodie Series at The Piazza
• Foodie Family Fun Day at Forrest Place, Perth
• Dinner and FREE Ben & Jerry’ Dessert Deal at Guzman y Gomez
Varsity Burger of the Month Pineapple Club ( Northbridge )
• Battle of the BBQs – Long Chim‘s Lucas Fernandes and Petition‘s Jessie Blake
Night Noodle Markets – Good Food Month at Elizabeth Quay, Perth
• Great Southern Wine Dinner at the State Buildings Postal Hall.
• The Ultimate Perth Craft Beer Tour by Eat The Street
• Tap and Table ft. Artisan Brewing at Belgian Beer Cafe
• Ginstronomy Experience – Best Brew Bar & Kitchen at Four Points by Sheraton Perth
Lamont’s Winery Sundowner & pop-up cellar door
• Pasta Battle by Perth’s most acclaimed and accomplished restaurants at Post
• Bites, Bars and Backstreets Adventure – Food Loose Tours
• The Beautiful Dinner presented by James Squire at Post
• Sage Amour Package at Sage Hotel West Perth

Find out more details on all these exciting events here. I can’t wait to eat and drink my way around some more of them!

                                               This blog post is sponsored by The City of Perth.                                                 All images, words and opinions are my own.

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Watermelon Cake from Night Noodle Markets