Village Coffee, Marmion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More info on their website.

Jaffle Shack, West Perth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Find out more on their website.

The Little Bay, Watermans Bay

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Find out more on their website.

Epicurean, Crown Perth

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

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

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

Lunch at Epicurean

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

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

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

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

What a scrumptious feast!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Breakfast at Epicurean

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

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

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

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

The Gluten Factor

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

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

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

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

Book a table or find out more on their website.

Mistelle, Bickley

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

The Gluten Factor

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

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

Find out more about Mistelle on their website.

Hotel Rottnest

Hotel Rottnest Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Hotel Rottnest has been a Rotto favourite for generations of Perthies. Found at the main settlement of Thompson Bay, the former Governor’s Residence was restored and transformed about a decade ago.

Park your bike at the gate and find a table in the shady beer garden, which has to enjoy one of the best beach views in WA. It’s very easy to lose a few hours in the relaxed, lively courtyard.

I was enjoying a day trip to Rotto along with some travel writers from all around Australia and we were there to sample the brand new Head Chef’s menu. The seasonal lunch and dinner menu is brimming with pub favourites made with WA produce. It offers something for everyone, be it a snack, share food, gourmet pizza or a more substantial meal. We were very hungry after a morning of quokka selfies! (It had to be done!).

My spirit animal… a hungry quokka haha!

The beachside location begs for a summery glass of wine or cocktail. I loved this fruity cocktail.

First our group enjoyed a share plate – romano salami, cured pork loin, aged serrano, ashed goats cheese, vintage cheddar, creamy brie, crusty sourdough sticks, pickles and honeycomb.

I loved the meaty, freshly steamed Exmouth prawns with chopped herbs and lemon.

The Arkady lamb shoulder, braised for six hours, was oh so tender and tasty. Served with caviar lentils, golden shallots, black cabbage and shitake butter.

Perfectly pan fried WA Cone Bay Barramundi fillet is served with a delicious charred cauliflower, roasted pistachios and green raisin dish, as well as a creamy basil butter.

Hotel Rottnest is a stunning location to finish up a day-trip to the island, with drinks overlooking the white sands of scenic Thompson Bay.

Read more about my trips to Rotto here:

Rottnest Cruises Seafood Experience

A Day on Rottnest Island

Find more info on their website:

Rottnest Cruises – Wild Seafood Experience

Rottnest Cruises (together with mother nature) provide what is quite possibly the very best view I’ve EVER had from a dining table! I’m a big seafood lover. We’re really blessed in WA to have an ocean chokkas with bountiful fish and shellfish, but it can be difficult to find this quality local produce at Perth restaurants. There’s really nothing like eating freshly caught seafood.

That’s where Rottnest Cruises new Wild Seafood Experience comes in. It’s a unique, hands on and exhilarating tour where you cruise around Rotto’s stunning coastline, catch your Western Rock Lobsters (crayfish) which are then cooked right before your eyes and devoured in a long table seafood feast.

The family owned charter company (who also operate the brilliant Mandurah Cruises) have recently started the luxury boat tours on the sparkling blue-green waters of Rottnest. Step aboard on the boat at the Thompson Bay Fuel Jetty and you’re greeted by the friendly crew with a drink and canapes. Soon, we cruise off to the area where the cray pots are located.

The Catch

On the Rottnest Cruises Wild Seafood Experience, you’re encouraged to have a go at pulling the pots (about 28 meters under the ocean’s surface) and fingers crossed… there’s some big, juicy Western Rock Lobsters to be found inside!

Chef and I both had a go at lugging the pots up to the boat with rope – we had a lot of fun catching our lunch! In my pot there were three crays. First we determine if the lobster is male or female – females that have eggs are thrown back into the ocean.

Luckily, I got to keep a male for lunch. I got my gloves on and wrestled the wriggly sucker from the pot. And the other people on the cruise successfully pulled more pots with hauls of big lobsters – and even a brakesea cod!

While the crayfish were being prepared and cooked on the bbqs, we moored up in the sheltered Little Parakeet Bay (one of my favourite Rottnest spots). The view from our table was quite possibly THE BEST I’ve ever had ever. And trust me, I’ve had some amazing sights from the likes of Le Jules Verne Restaurant (Eiffel Tower) and ARIA (Sydney).

The Feast

While we smell the aromas of our crayfish being cooked ocean-side, we tuck into a three-course seafood feast with unlimited local wine, beer and soft drink. We have a lovely group of locals and international tourists on the cruise.

A seafood platter brimming with whole prawns, crab, octopus and freshly shucked oysters is delicious.

Next up, are fresh fish and slaw tacos. There are plenty of tasty salads and bread too.

Then it was the star of the show… the barbequed western rock lobster, smothered in a herb butter and perfectly cooked. I enthusiastically tackle my massive cray. The soft, juicy flesh easily tearing away from the shell. Hands down it’s the freshest, tastiest crayfish I’ve enjoyed.

And of course, seafood is best washed down with a glass of Margaret River wine. The freshly cooked seafood, Mad Fish SBS and view was heaven on earth. How will we ever top this?!

We finish our feast with a light dessert of strawberries dipped in chocolate and a little chocolate cake.

The adventure tour is a must for foodies, as well as being able to see Rottnest from a different perspective, I loved the ocean to plate experience.  I had a pinch-myself moment when I was munching on the juicy lobster, gazing over the clear turquoise ocean to the white dunes of Rotto. We certainly lived the high life during the two and a half hour cruise.

I highly recommend this day trip with a difference on Rottnest Cruises’ interactive Wild Seafood Experience – for us it will be an afternoon we’ll long remember!

Find out more about Rottnest Cruises on their website.

Thanks to Rottnest Cruises for inviting us to be their guests. All words and opinions are my own.

King Road Brewing, Oldbury

The King Road Brewing Co is an incredibly popular spot in Perth’s southern suburbs. And when I say popular I’m not exaggerating! It’s not uncommon for the gates to be closed on weekends, due to the venue reaching capacity. King Road has been on our hit list for as long as I can remember, though I wasn’t game enough to make the drive from Joondalup, just in case we did get locked out!

The rustic, country vibe works well in this rural area of Perth. It’s pretty much in the middle of nowhere – in between Rockingham and Byford. The cosy bar area has their own beers and ciders on tap, as well as other WA craft beers and ciders.

King Road Brewing Co, Oldbury

While there is seating inside the bar, at King Road Brewing Co the thing to do on a sunny day is to sit under a shady umbrella, on a picnic table in the vast, grassy beer garden.

King Road Brewing Co, Oldbury

The Food

A casual menu has favourites like parmys, steak, Caesar salad, as well as woodfired gourmet pizzas. The meat lovers pizza ($25), got the thumbs up from Chef. The crisp base topped with chicken, chorizo and bacon hit the spot.

Sometimes pub food can be hit and miss, but I was pleasantly surprised with my choice – a tasty pomegranate, roast pumpkin and feta salad. Chicken or salmon can be added to this for an extra $6, but I felt like something light.

The kids menu is small, though there’s items to suit most tastes like fish and chips, a cheese burger and a kids grazing plate with ham, fruit and cheese. Little chef chose the chicken nuggets and chips, which was a decent serve for a 9 year old.

King Road Brewing Co, Oldbury

All kids meals are all served with a fruit box drink and an icy pole for $12 and picked up from their food truck in the beer garden.

King Road Brewing Co, Oldbury

The huge play area features something for kids of all ages. For tiny tots there’s a large shaded sand pit, filled with toys to move the sand.

King Road Brewing Co, Oldbury

Big kids will love the fort, with logs, nets and boulders to climb to the top, then a slide to get back down.

King Road Brewing Co, Oldbury

There’s also a brilliant Land Rover, tractor and a speedboat for some imaginative paly fun!

King Road Brewing Co, Oldbury

As well as traditional metal framed play equipment.

King Road Brewing Co, Oldbury

Little Chef had a swinging time!

King Road Brewing Co, Oldbury

The bustling spot is a good place to enjoy some pub grub and a few drinkies, while the kids roam and explore. And stay tuned for a new covered seating and bar area opening soon!

King Road Brewing Co, Oldbury

King Road Brewing Co is found at 796 King Road, Oldbury, Perth.

Love a family friendly Brewery in Perth? Check out more of my reviews:

Homestead Brewery

Little Creatures Brewery

Indian Ocean Brewing Co

Whitfords Brewing Co

Greenhorns, Perth CBD

The Raine Square redevelopment has created quite the hub for foodies in Perth’s CBD. From Tim Ho Wan and the soon to open Hunter and Barrel, and the plush Palace Cinemas with rooftop bar, there’s plenty of choices for dining. We headed into the city for a post-Christmas shop and pulled up a stool at Greenhorns Bar and Deli to fill up on some gourmet burgers. We were also on the lookout for some of their famous cheese gravy!

The bar is found on the ground level of Raine Square, in the food court. A hop skip and jump from Perth underground station and the Murray Street mall.

The Food

Chef chose the “House Double”, a double beef pattie, made with house ground WA grass fed beef with crisp maple bacon, grilled onions, melted American cheese and salad – lettuce, pickles, tomato, and smothered in house sauce.

The sides menu has tasty morsels like pork belly bites, fried cheese balls and cheeseburger spring rolls. We were there for one thing… the cheese gravy. Yep, you heard right, a bowl of gooey cheese to dip your burger in – talk about lush!

I copied Chef, though the other burger options – pulled beef, buttermilk chicken, truffle mushroom, Mexican, pulled pork and Greek lamb all sounded drool-worthy. The serves of chips are really generous too. The GF bun wasn’t the best I’ve had, but it was pretty good.

Little Chef picked the ”Grom Burger Combo”, which is quite a feast for little grommets. He devoured the cheese burger, fries and a drink in next to no time. It was a very good sized kid’s meal. The kids menu also features popcorn chicken, mac n cheese and even cheeseburger spring rolls!

Beer goes down a treat with a burger and Greenhorns are partners with local brewers Feral. There’s some good quality cocktails and a small selection of wines and spirits on offer too. My pick would be a boozy milkshake next time.

All in all, we liked Greenhorns a lot. The boys loved their fresh burgers, as did I. Though I do wish I could eat their delicious burgers as they are intended to be, on a buttery brioche #GF Problems What we all discovered that Cheese Gravy is a glorious thing to dunk your burger in – get on it!

Find out more on their website

Helm, Fremantle

Helm Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Little Creatures is as Freo as fish ‘n chips or the Dockers. New spot Helm, previously Creatures NextDoor, has an entirely different feel to its beer-hall neighbour. Helm is named for the buildings distinct architecture, evocative of a large ship’s bridge, as the building was designed in the 1980’s for the America’s Cup.

This light and bright bar-restaurant overlooks the bustling Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour, we could be sitting on a cruiser. The décor isn’t so much “Love Boat” as it is cruise chic, with low key, neutral décor leading my eye out to the water view.

As dazzling rays of late afternoon light shine straight into the dinning space, through the huge windows, we shuffle around our circular booth to avoid the glare. Soon enough though, we enjoy a glorious sunset. There’s plenty of choices of where to sit, high tables by the bar, cosy booths, lounging by the window or even alfresco on the balcony.

The coastal, laid back vibe lends well to the kitchen’s focus on quality seasonal produce, with a fresh, Mediterranean feel. On the menu, dishes are cooked over fire and designed to share. There’s even dedicated vegan, vegetarian and coeliac menus that offer a lot of choice. Our waitress asks if we’d like all the food to arrive as it is ready, all together or however else we like.

The Drinks

Cocktails are the name of the game at Helm. A short, but well curated wine list is also on offer, as well as their own Little Creatures range of beers. I enjoy a summery take on the Aperol Spritz – the delicious Aperol Twist, a lip smacking concoction of gin, prosecco and aperol, served with strawberries.

The Food

The cocktail is perfectly paired with freshly shucked oysters ($4.50 each) with a mignonette sauce and squeeze of lemon. Looking at that view with an oyster in one hand and a cocktail in the other is what summer in Fremantle should be all about.

A plate of serrano ham, bresaola, prosciutto and a scattering of caperberries ($12) goes down a treat with a little house-made focaccia on the side.

Silky flesh of fire roasted eggplant ($18), is topped with jewels of sweet pomegranate and mint. Crunch comes from walnuts and crispy fried shallots on this winning veggie dish.

Helm, Fremantle

Several seafood dishes catch my eye, Abrolhos Island scallops, Cloudy Bay clams, but none more so than the tempting grilled Albany mackerel ($34). The fillets are served lustrous silver-skin up, and sit upon sliced green and heirloom tomatoes. A creamy, though mild, chili sauce finishes this summery dish.

Pillow-soft potato gnocchi ($26) is served with plump broad beans, peas, and liberal shavings of sottocenere, an Italian-style truffle cheese. A seagull watches us intently with a beady eye from the window. They’ll be no leftovers for him. While our dishes are delicious, it’s not all plain sailing – the portions are on the small-side.

This is most telling with the 12 hour arkady lamb shoulder, served with goats curd, mint and capers. Although it’s perfectly cooked and packed with charred, meaty flavours, for $36, there just isn’t enough of it. Sharing with Chef, we get just a few bites each.

Still a bit peckish, I devour the strawberry semifreddo ($16), with meringue and popping candy. The desserts are beautifully plated and a little more generous in size.

Thank goodness for Chef, who knows how to pronounce the rich chocolate “cremeux” ($17), saving me from embarrassment. A velvety chocolate custard-like cremeux is served with scrumptious peanut butter mousse and crunchy wattle seed brittle.

Helm is a welcome addition to the casual seafood cafes of the Fishing Boat Harbour. Here you can sit back and enjoy the view with a drink in hand and don’t have to shoo the pesky seagulls away from your share plates. Service is attentive and helpful. If the kitchen beefs up their portion sizes, we’d absolutely drop anchor at Helm again.

At a glance

■ Helm

Upstairs, 42 Mews Rd
Phone 6215 1063

■ Opening times

7 Days – 11.30am until late

■ Rating

food 4
service 4
ambience 4
value for money 3

■ style – Mediterranean   

■ wine – Extensive drinks list focusing on cocktails. Interesting wines, beers and spirits are also on offer.

■ Head Chef – Mathew Powell

■ Owner – Lion

■ feel – a fresh, inviting coastal space

■ wheelchair access – yes

■ cost

Share $6 – $38
Dessert $16 – $17

■ all in all – A shiny, new Mediterranean spot, which has a fresh focus on WA produce, top notch drinks and a stunning view over the Fishing Boat Harbour.