Rose & Crown – Guildford

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Rose & Crown Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Rose and Crown Hotel, on leafy Swan Street in Guildford, is a stunning heritage building. It is the second oldest operating pub in Australia. The grand old building, which is over 175 years old, has been restored beautifully.IMG_6129

We’ve visited the historic hotel many times over the years. It’s somewhere we like to have long lunches, drinks with friends and take overseas guests to. We just love any excuse for a bite to eat in the shady beer garden.IMG_6126

The Rose and Crown is also lovely on a cold winter’s day. We’ve often stopped by on a chilly day and eaten indoors, by the roaring fire. I cannot rave enough about the beer garden. If you’ve never been, do yourself a favour and go and have a lazy afternoon in the sun dappled garden.IMG_6125

On this day I was meeting my parents on my birthday. We wanted to meet somewhere near the Swan Valley that had good food, but was casual enough for kids. We sat in the beer garden with a glass of wine, while Little Chef busily chatted and coloured in.IMG_6096

We enjoyed a delicious lunch. My Dad loved his masterstock pork belly ($36). A generous slab of flavoursome pork belly is served with tender grilled Freo octopus, a herb salad, crispy pork scratching and an apple gel.IMG_6103

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Hey Griller – Vic Park

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Hey Griller Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

A new restaurant has hit the Albany Highway strip in Vic Park. Hey Griller serves up some tasty and interesting Asian fusion food. IMG_3167

I headed along to a bloggers dinner at Hey Griller last month. I am always keen to try a new spot and till I received an invite from Hey Griller, I hadn’t heard of them. I don’t visit Vic Park very often and they’d completely flown under my radar. We were treated to an epic three course dinner, share plates for entrée, then my choice of main and dessert. There was so. much. food. Here’s my best dish picks from the night…

It was difficult to choose which share plates to try, many of them sounded absolutely mouth watering! We ordered tasty chicken wings, pork skewers, prawn toast, pork belly mini wraps, grilled squid and chicken karima – a crisp pastry which looked like a toasted sandwich.

For me, the pork skewers, $14, were the stand out of the entrees. The morsels of meat were so tender, nicely seasoned and came with a big cumin flavour hit!IMG_3155

I also loved the grilled squid, $9.50, served smothered in an Asian plum sauce. The delicate squid melted in my mouth.IMG_3172

For main, I was really temped by Hey Griller’s signature flaming steaks. On the menu they are described as being served medium well to well done, which I have to admit put me off ordering it. I’m a medium-rare kinda gal. Instead, I opted for the Salmon, $26. It was a perfectly cooked piece of salmon, on top of sautéed veg and cauliflower puree, finished with a sprinkling of pistachios.IMG_3207

Next to me, Vanessa from Perth Foodie Girls did choose a flaming wagyu tenderloin, $39. I did get rather a lot of food envy when the flaming tenderloin,  arrived. Straight away I could see by the pink meat it was not cooked well done, or even medium. The waitress poured the “HG house made flaming sauce” over the sliced tenderloin and whoosh – it was a flaming steak! I loved the theatre of it.IMG_3188

I was getting very full, but also interested to see what Hey Grillers twist on dessert would be. I devoured the simply stunning chocolate and hazelnut fudge, $12, which was hands down the best dessert of the night! Served in a fairly unassuming cup was a layer of ooey gooey melted marshmallow, when I dug a little deeper I found a rich chocolate and hazelnut fudge and a layer of cake in the base.  It was a decadent dessert and worth every calorie!IMG_3221

Hey Griller is a great little venue and not knowing what to expect, I was impressed with the food. The staff were friendly and helpful. Though I didn’t pay for my meal, I did take note that the prices are reasonable too. Thanks to Owner Hans and his team for a terrific meal.IMG_3152

 

Layup – Northbridge

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

I do get rather giddy about checking out a trendy café. Layup, is found at the quieter, suburban end of Northbridge. I was meeting one of my besties Nays for breakfast and I had visions of a massive wait for a table, like our trip to Hylin last year. We decided to meet at 7am on a Saturday morning, to be sure to get a table. Though the café was bustling when we left, at 7am we had no problem getting a table at all. We grabbed a coffee while we waited for our brekkie. The coffee, by small batch Blacklist Coffee Roasters roast is very, very good – off to a promising start!IMG_2476

Nays enjoyed her Guacamole and pico de gallo, $20. Pico de gallo,  a fresh salsa, is served on charred sourdough with smoked corn and a jalapeno custard – which gives a spicy little kick to the dish. It’s usually topped with a slow cooked egg too, but Nays is the only person I know that doesn’t appreciate a bit of #eggporn IMG_2477

I showed A LOT of restraint in my order. I was eyeing up the brioche doughnut balls, but instead  chose something far more healthy! I really loved the strawberry black chia seed pudding, $17. It reminded me a bit of sago pudding that I ate when I was little. It’s served with honey toasted granola, poached pear, passion fruit pulp and pepitas. It was a fab way to start my weekend.IMG_2483

Layup is an excellent inner city café and I’m not surprised one iota by the buzz that it has been creating. The menu is interesting, food and coffee top notch and the service is with a smile. We were offered split billing too, which is rare, but much appreciated. I’d love to return to check out Layup’s lunch menu, which looks like a cracker.IMG_2474

Café 2TwentyFour – Belmont

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Cafe 2 Twentyfour Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

One of the most talked about new cafés of the last few months is Café 2TwentyFour. It lured me in with the multitude of Instagram posts of MEGAshakes and drool-worthy brunch dishes. It’s found opposite Belmont Forum, which could have been an odd spot, but with Sapore just down the road, it’s not so out of place.IMG_1192

I met a couple of pal’s there for lunch – Kimee and Kez – with their baby daughters in tow. Though it’s a fairly small café, it was easily navigated with a pram and there was also room for two high chairs on our table. The day was a little warm, so we grabbed a table inside, away from the busy Belmont Ave.IMG_1193

The coffee at Café 2TwentyFour is very good – as are the juices. Though it was the giant milkshakes that tempted me, I chickened out on the calorie fest (they are topped with cream, cookies and goodness knows what else) and I chose a refreshing watermelon and strawberry juice instead. Unfortunately, they had run out of melons – whooopps. One of the waitresses dashed over to the shops and appeared a few minutes later with my lusciously sweet juice – it was worth the wait!IMG_1199

Kimee chose the Eggs Benedict (with side of avocado), which is pretty much all she orders when we go out for brunch. Apart from totally loving this dish, it also suits her dairy/gluten intolerances. Add some pulled pork to the dish and she is in heaven! Like many other brunch spots in Perth, Café 2TwentyFour does a eggs bene version with pork. Yay for pulled pork!!IMG_1203

I chose the Chorizo Stack and boy, am I glad that I did – it is a cracker of a dish! The toast was topped with wilted greens, crumbled soft cheese, chorizo and two perfectly runny poached eggs – with some sweet roasted tomatoes on the side. Every component was as tasty as could be.IMG_1207

Kez enjoyed her generous serve of scrumptious pulled beef nachos. It was finished with a dollop of sour cream and a pretty cornflower, adding colour and making it totally insta-worthy!IMG_1200

Café 2TwentyFour is a super little brunch spot. I “mmm’d” and “yum’d” all the way through my chorizo stack – it is absolutely one of the tastiest brekkie dishes I’ve had in a while. I wholeheartedly recommend it and next time I might be brave enough to order a decedent milkshake too!

The Flour Factory – Perth CBD

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The Flour Factory Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tis the season for merriment and indulgence! I’d been researching where to dine in December, to enjoy a Christmas menu with all the trimmings. Though unless I want to dine exclusively on the 25th of December or bring fifteen work colleagues with me – there is no room at the inn for this couple of foodies hoping for a traditional Christmas spread. So onto plan B – a feast fit for a king!IMG_1323

We find The Four Factory on Queen Street, in inner city Perth, where restaurants are heaving with office Christmas parties. As the name suggests, the renovated 100 year old building was once a flour mill and has returned to its roots, albeit in the guise of a bar. It’s a fusion of many things; a New York deli, Spanish bodega, cocktail bar and a kitchen. The Flour Factory prides itself on making almost everything in house – in the butchery and bakery with its own flour mill.IMG_1335

Stepping through the entrance, we notice the aroma of freshly baked bread. Chef and I are greeted and seated in the dining area, away from the main bar. As the bar starts to fill up, we enjoy the festive atmosphere, which is a little loud at times. The Flour Factory’s soundtrack – with everything from Johnny Cash to “Going Loco down in Acapulco” is eclectic and fun.

The drinks menu is home to the CBD’s largest gin and fortified wine collection. If that’s something that tickles your fancy, then you’ll love “The Sherry” rooftop bar upstairs.IMG_1339

I order a fruity Villa Sandi Prosseco to sip whilst we look over the menu of roasted meats, charcuterie and gourmet hotdogs. We choose the “Big Feast”, $75 per person, a three course chef’s choice meal that is shared by the table.IMG_1329

We start with an aperitif. The Flour Factory’s very own vermouth is made with Howard Park.IMG_1324

A basket of freshly baked sourdough, served with house-churned smoked butter and a charcuterie board are the first morsels to arrive. The waiter presents us with today’s selection of house cured meats and pickles – though he’s not sure of what each item is. There is chorizo, bresaola and more. I particularly relish the ox heart pastrami.IMG_1332

On Zomato, The Flour Factory is described as “child friendly”, so rather than bothering with a babysitter, we happily took Little Chef along with us. He was warmly welcomed and though there is no children’s menu, he happily chowed down on a gourmet rueben dog; beef sausage, smoky pastrami, sauerkraut, shavings of gruyere and thousand island dressing, $15. I think it’s fine to take a well behaved child along for lunch or an early dinner – but probably not too late – as it can become quite a noisy bar.IMG_1350

Onto second course and Chef’s eyes widen with glee when a large platter of Rangers Valley Wagyu appears at our table. The marbled piece of grain fed beef is smothered in a rich jus. It is cooked perfectly medium rare and melts in my mouth.IMG_1351

Also on the platter are crisp duck fat potatoes. Served with a drool worthy bacon mayo, they are fluffy on the inside and so very moreish. The perfectly cooked asparagus is served with smoked egg yolk, crunchy puffed wheat and a sharp parmesan cream.IMG_1356

My only grumble about the platter is that most of the components are lukewarm. This is mainly due to the food being presented on a wooden board and the meat served sliced and fanned means it doesn’t hold its heat well.

IMG_1367Next we have a sweet collection of cheese and dessert. We’re both wowed by the subtly of the King Saul Blue cheese dish. The very first unpasteurized Australian cheese is $300 a kilo and liberally crumbled over sliced yellow grape tomatoes and a celeriac and fig puree. We scoop up the dip-like creation with crisp lavosh. It’s superb and I make a mental note to try to recreate it at home.IMG_1373

We end on a sweet note with a malted milk ice-cream, chocolate and salted caramel dessert. The caramel is stick-to–the–top-of-your-mouth delicious.IMG_1361

The house made white chocolate truffles are scrumptious too.IMG_1362

Though there is not one turkey in sight, mouth-watering meats coupled with roasted veg and scrumptious desserts make it a festive feast indeed!

** First published in the Post newspaper **

At a glance

■ The Flour Factory

16 Queen Street

Perth

Phone 08 9485 1711

■ Opening times

Monday – Friday: 12pm till late

Sat: 4pm till late

■ Rating

food 4

service 3

ambience 3

value for money 4

■ style – American/Spanish Deli

■ wine – well rounded local

and international wine list.

Focus on gin & fortified wine

■ Chef – Matt Carulei

■ Owner – Andy Freeman

■ feel – inner city warehouse

■ wheelchair access – yes

■ cost

Small – $6 to $35

Large – $15 to $50

Dessert – $5 to $14

■ all in all – trendy venue,

though a little noisy. Excellent

food and smallgoods, most

made in-house. Interesting drinks list.

HopsScotch – Roleystone

IMG_0634HopsScotch Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Little Chef, my parents and I took a drive to Roleystone in the Perth Hills. Along Brookton Highway we found a quaint little cottage café, HopsScotch, to stop for a spot of lunch.IMG_0630

Driving up the gravel track, flanked with tall trees, I felt at home. As an ex-hillbilly I do miss the fresh smell of gumtrees and the sound of Kookaburras laughing away. Walking down little pathways to get from the car park to the café its clear that there is more to HopsScotch than simply being a café in the bush. There’s a lot to explore – after lunch of course! A tip – take your flats/walking shoes. I came in my heels (straight from work) and they didn’t fare too well on the gravel paths.IMG_0624

The property has been taken over by new owners in recent years and the cottage fully renovated. There is plenty of cosy seating inside by the fireplace and out under the enclosed verandas too. IMG_0607

The lunch menu is made up of small dishes (perfect for sharing), salads and something a bit more substantial – there are also sandwiches and sweet treats in the cabinet. Their hot drink selection are T2 teas and the Essenza coffee blend. As I placed our order at the counter, I spied a familiar face in the kitchen, Chef Sebastian Sindermann. He is the new Head Chef at HopsScotch. It was such a surprise and so lovey to see him. Chef used to work with him at the Duxton Hotel, in a time well before I was the Chef’s Wife! It must have been almost a decade since I saw him last. My, how time flies!

I felt like something light, so I picked the avocado bruschetta ($10.50) from the small plates part of the menu. Topped with fresh avocado, tomato, onion, feta and pesto it was very tasty and with 3 pieces easy to share too.IMG_0615

My Mum enjoyed the battered barramundi with fries and house made tartare sauce ($25). IMG_0612

My Dad is quite a carnivore, though he’s always had a thing for roasted vegetables, particularly eggplant. He loved the veggie stack ($16.50) of eggplant, zucchini, capsicum and sweet potato – finished with tomato relish and a chive sour crème.IMG_0610

With the promise of a play on the playground, Little Chef wolfed down his kids meal of house made crumbed barramundi and fries $10, which includes a drink.IMG_0611

There is extensive gardens to explore as well as a fully fenced modern playground.IMG_0632

The grounds at HopsScotch are charming. Just when you think you’ve seen it all you turn another corner and discover something new!IMG_0623

There are lots of surprises too – which the kids love!IMG_0626IMG_0628

There are many pieces of art scattered throughout the gardens and some of it is also for sale.

We thought the Modern Australian café style food was tasty, fresh and well priced. Little Chef would have liked a little more time to explore, so I’m sure we’ll be back again soon. What a gem!IMG_0625

Café Avellino – Drovers Wanneroo

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Pizza is a big crowd pleaser in our house – it’s one of the only dishes everyone will happily eat without being fussy. We’ve found a cracking little pizza place – it’s been open just a few weeks. Chef and I think the bases at Café Avellino are to die for – they are super thin and soft, with just a millimetre of crispness on the bottom.

Café Avellino opened just a couple of days before the AFL grand final. We were having a gathering to watch the big game and Chef’s BFF, the Ice Cream Connoisseur, suggested it for the half time feed. What a great idea! They promptly delivered 11 pizzas to our house and everyone (including 4 Chefs) were very impressed. Frankly, after the West Coast Eagle’s performance – it was the highlight of the afternoon!

We were keen to check out the new café in person, so this week we had a casual family meal there. Café Avellino is found in the Drovers complex, on the corner of Joondalup Drive and Wanneroo Road. It’s BYO and as well as pizzas they also have authentic Italian pastas on their menu.IMG_0660

We started with the house baked garlic bread ($4) – thickly sliced and super fresh. With that scrumptious melted butter and garlic aroma, it didn’t last very long!IMG_0659

Chef chooses a Meatlovers ($18). It’s generously topped with ham, bacon, pepperoni, cheese and BBQ sauce (though Chef swapped this for a tomato sauce). He loves it and wolfs down the whole lot.IMG_0661

Little Chef enjoyed the adult size “American” ($16) – topped with cheese and pepperoni. He managed half, which was a good effort and Chef was stoked he had some pizza for breakfast!IMG_0663

At the AFL lunch the biggest pizza hit was the “Avellino”. I just HAD to order it again! It’s topped with prosciutto, creamy ricotta, tomatoes, chilli, fresh basil and cheese. And that soft, yet slightly crisp base was spot on again. This pizza is a definite favourite. Not quite my all time numero uno, (that is Delisio’s Mushroom Trio), but the Avellino is absolutely a close second.IMG_0665

It’s great to have a local café to rely on for those nights you can’t be bothered cooking! Café Avellino is open 7 days – breakfast, lunch and dinner and the staff are very friendly. We’ll be back again – and again and again…IMG_0658