{NEW OPENING} Island Market, Trigg

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Just a few years ago, Perth was lacking in quality dining venues by the beach. Now we are positively spoilt for choice! Up and down the coast are restaurants worth booking a table at, where the food is as fine as the view. Think Odyssea, Bib and Tucker, Shorehouse and now there’s a newbie to add to the list – Island Market.

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Behind the menu of Mid-Eastern eats are two excellent Chefs. Head Chef Sonny de Ocampo (Formerly from Apple Daily), and one of Perth’s very best Chef’s David Coomer (Pata Negra, Fuyu, Star Anise), who acts as their consult chef.

Brunch at Island Market

On my first visit (yes, there’s been a few already!) we arrived  mid morning for brunch. The interior of what was briefly “Kailis Trigg Beach” has had an upgrade. Now the dining room has a younger, more on-trend feel than it’s earlier Hamptons chic incarnation. The slick white dining room has splashes of baby pink everywhere. Chairs, neon signs, flooring, plant pots, even pink lights in the ladies bathroom…

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The eatery is bathed in natural light from the huge windows, giving diners a picture postcard view over the white dunes of Trigg Beach. We had a window table and I have to admit I was very distracted by the ocean, and it took me a while to focus on the menu and place an order!

Five senses coffee, one of my favourites, is the blend of choice at Island Market.

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The brekkie menu has all your brunch favourites with a Levantine-inspired twist. Think Israeli smashed avocado, Persian omelette, Blended strawberry and banana bowl with chia coconut pudding and much more.

I picked an old favourite, Shakshuka ($17). Two delicious free range eggs are surrounded by a wonderfully rich tomato sauce and creamy labne. Pita is usually served on the side, but I chose the GF option. Gluten free bread isn’t as exciting as their pita, but hey, the GF bread was still tasty dipped into the ooey gooey eggs – yummo!

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Chef loved his breakfast pide ($17), which is a sort of Turkish stuffed pizza. Inside is meaty Turkish sausage and peppers – topped with crumbled haloumi and a perfectly runny egg. He also ordered some crispy bacon on the side. 

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Little Chef, who had already eaten breakfast, had a house baked orange and cinnamon morning bun from the well stocked cabinet of sweet treats.  Continue reading

Woodfire Restaurant, Ellenbrook

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Last year I wrote about a hidden gem that’s hiding in suburban Ellenbrook – Woodfire Restaurant. Italian Chef/Owner Lorenzo, (formerly Head Chef of Jamie’s Italian both in Perth and the UK) asked me along to a bloggers brunch to celebrate their opening for an Italian-style breakfast.

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The bustling, open restaurant has an open kitchen, complete with wood fire. To begin our feast, we got to try a whole array of what Woodfire offers on it’s brand new brunch menu.

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Here’s the pick of the brunch… ahem, bunch: Continue reading

Paper Avenue – Joondalup

Brand spanking new Paper Avenue has just opened in Joondalup. I went along to a sneak peek brunch this morning, ahead of the cafe’s official opening at noon today. So this is a super fresh review!20170904_104820

Paper Avenue is an incredibly welcome addition to Joondalup. Apart from the wonderful Gipsy Boy, nothing here really fills me with excitement and I have longed for Joondalup to become more of an indi food destination. It has so much potential, beyond the chain cafes of Lakeside. Paper Avenue is everything I look for in a café – a mod fit-out, great coffee ethos, a nicely put together (and trendy) brunch menu, friendly service and a bit of soul too.IMG_9697

The light and bright café is graced by a beautiful mural by local artist Peter Ryan. I’ve followed him for a while on social media and love his creations. As a side note, Peter has also got involved in the painted rock craze and Little Chef treasures one of his rocks that we found in a local park. IMG_9700

The peeps at Paper Avenue are serious about their coffee. The impressive La Marzocco machine is custom made, there’s cold drip on offer and the coffee is Locale from Victoria.IMG_9755

There’s some different drinks on offer on their menu too, something other than your on-trend matcha and beetroot lattes. Cha Cha tea’s “Strawberry Swoon” pink tea latte is made of strawberry, hibiscus, rose hips, apple and orange. They look pretty as a picture too. Their “Apple Kiss” smells like apple pie! IMG_9712

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The Packing Shed, Bickley Valley

The Bickley Valley area of the Perth Hills is fast becoming a must go weekend destination. There’s wineries, cafes, mini golf and the popular Core Cider House. To me, the spot nestled just behind Kalamunda is a far prettier drive than the Swan Valley, with its native bushland, winding roads and green rolling hills covered in vineyards and orchards, giving it a real country feel.IMG_9659

The Packing Shed opened up earlier this year. Found at one of Bickley Valley’s vineyards, Lawnbrook Estate, the rustic eatery is a peaceful spot for brunch or lunch all year round.IMG_9668

We’ve previously been there on a sunny day and sat on the patio with a glass of wine.IMG_6679

Little Chef loved to run around on the expansive lawns.IMG_9653

This time we visited for brunch, we spent a winter’s morning sitting inside, by the roaring log fire.IMG_9661

The staff are always welcoming and friendly. The coffee is very good too.IMG_9624

The brunch cut off is 11.30am, but there are a few breakfast dishes that make it onto the lunch menu for late-risers. My top brekkie pick has to be the shakshouka. It’s one of my all-time favourite brunch dishes and the Packing Shed’s version of eggs baked in a spicy Moroccan tomato sauce is very tasty and the fresh bread is perfect for dunking! IMG_6691

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Frisch & Barc, Como

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Frisch & Barc Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

What’s in a name? Frisch and Barc is all about community. Back in the 1800s, Austrian Karl Ritter von Frisch made a Nobel prize winning discovery about bees and their beehives (a Barc). They’re all part of a community and the barc is it’s hub. Here, the owners have hoped to create a community hub and somewhere for locals to meet, their own little “barc” in Como.IMG_9616

Now we’ve had a little history lesson – let’s get to brunch! Inside, the Canning Highway café has a minimalist Scandinavian feel. There’s a beautiful bird mural that dominates the stairwell and there’s seating upstairs and down.20170812_103413

Nays and I ordered a couple of coffees, which went down a treat. They use Mano a Mano, roasted in West Perth. There are some delicious sounding dishes on the menu, which has a very International feel. There’s a Cubano, a buttermilk fried chicken sandwich (!), brioche French toast, Singapore chili crab omelette and more to choose from. There were abut 3 GF options, keeping me happy. 20170812_084638

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Little H – Duncraig

IMG_9533Little H may as well be called “Little G”, because it is 100% a little gem, hidden in suburbia. Off the beaten track in Duncraig, you’d never know it was there unless you were a local. Thank goodness for social media!IMG_9529

The café is small and very on trend, with concrete walls, broken up with lush indoor plants. Outside is a small patio, draped in lightbulbs, which is lovely place to sit on a sunny day. We found a hexagonal table inside. The odd shape looks cool, but a little impractical, since you can’t fit as much food and drink on it. The coffee is good, and I was buzzing after such a big mug.IMG_9513

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Sayers Sister, North Perth

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Sayers Sister Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

One of Perth’s most highly regarded brunch spots is Sayers Sister, found on the quiet end of Lake Street, near to Hyde Park. The interior is gorgeous. It has a shabby chic feel, with elegant glass pendant lights and comfy high backed armchairs.IMG_0647

The coffee is top notch. There’s a well curated menu full of brekkie staples and some surprises, like waffles and their ever-popular croquettes.IMG_0635

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Nic and Kolo, Applecross

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Nic and Kolo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

It’s not too often I venture into the southern suburbs, so I want to make it count. When I was meeting my parents in the area, I did a little homework to see where we should head for lunch. Now I’ll always choose something tasty or trendy. I thought I might be able to tick both of these boxes at Nic and Kolo, a café on the leafy Ardross Street in Applecross. The contemporary café is very minimalist and chic, with it’s soft oak timbers, grey finishes and marble detailing, set off by a brilliant blue feature wall. There’s seating outside too, where you can watch the world go by in the shade.

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The brunch menu is an all day affair, and so I’m faced with all sorts of possibilities. All of us being caffeine lightweights (no coffee after noon) we ditched the coffee in favour of water. In the end I felt like something healthy and light, choosing the acai bowl ($15.50) with seasonal fruits and coastal crunch granola. It was a darn good smoothie bowl. Healthy food can be tasty… sometimes! 😉 IMG_4375

Mum chose the fish of the day ($34). The barramundi was well cooked and my Mum liked the dish, though the fennel was under cooked and she struggled with cutting it with her knife.IMG_4368

My Dad picked the pan roasted gnocchi ($27), which was plated beautifully with spinach puree, delicapra and mushrooms. He really enjoyed this pillowy gnocchi dish.IMG_4366

And of course, their token bowl of chips… Whenever I dine with my parent’s they have to order a side of chippies, the chunkier the better. I think it’s their secret yardstick for rating an eatery! These chips and aioli ($7.50) seemed to pass.

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Nic and Kolo is a nice little spot for brunch. I did find it a little on the pricier side, which might have had something to do with it’s location. The food was well cooked and presented, the service was fine. If I was a “Southie”, I’d go again, for sure. IMG_4379

{NEW OPENING} Lot One Kitchen Hillarys

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Lot One Kitchen  Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

This one’s HOT off the press! This morning we brunched at Lot One Kitchen, a brand new eatery in the northern suburbs, which has really hit the ground running!

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We popped by for a late brunch. So late, that Little Chef preferred to eat something for lunch. The new restaurant, which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner has had a beautiful fit out. There’s lots of tables and a cosy nook with sofas too. I love it’s use of tanned leather and stunning light fixtures.

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The service was good, but a little green. I’m happy to give them the benefit of the doubt, being so new! The roast used at Lot One Kitchen is Di Bella. Chef was happy with his flat white and even grabbed a take away on our way out.

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Feeling a cold coming on, I chose a “beet it” beetroot and ginger juice.

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Little Chef had a chocolate milkshake treat. Continue reading

Health Freak Café, Kings Park

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Health Freak Cafe, Kings Park  Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

From as far back as high school I’ve had a bit of a “funny tummy”. Without giving you TMI (too much info), it’s often uncomfortable and very bloaty. My love of food has put me in denial about a possible food intolerance for 20 years. I knew it wasn’t as catastrophic as being coeliac, but little by little I came to the realisation that I needed to get to the, ahem, bottom of the issue.

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So after a load of blood tests and ‘scopeis earlier this year, it turns out that I have a mild gluten intolerance and possibly an intolerance to some other foods (I suspect apple and onion). My GP advised me that I needed to go on a strict low FODMAP elimination diet for about 6 weeks, which I’ve now completed (thank goodness!). FODMAPs are basically short chain carbohydrates that are poorly digested. They include some fructose, monosaccharides, and sugar alcohols, such as sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol and maltitol. So there was a lot I couldn’t eat – even common foods like garlic and mushrooms!

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Cutting out some of these foods has made me feel a whole lot better, though it’s been a nightmare eating out. I now have a new-found appreciation for a well labelled menu. If I see lots of “GF” options it makes me so happy. One spot in particular has been a godsend – Health Freak Café, who have a menu that even caters for FODMAPers! There’s lots of dishes labelled “FOG”, free from onion and garlic. Continue reading