Monsterella Pizza, Wembley

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Monsterella is a suburban pizzeria with a warm, laid back feel. The bustling Grantham Street eatery has a hip a rustic interior and lively, family-friendly atmosphere. We were lucky to get a booking at the incredibly popular spot. We needed to come in early, which was fine with us, as we’re generally early eaters anyway. We got there at 5.30pm and it was soon heaving with diners.

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As soon as we sat down, a friendly waitress brought our menus as will as a blank pizza box with a load of textas for Little Chef. That’s a very cool alternative to your usual colouring book! He soon set to work, busily designing his own pizza box. Monsterella was named after the way that the owner’s little girl pronounces mozzarella cheese. How cute is that?!

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In no time the eatery was buzzing with busy tables and lot of people coming in for take away pizzas too. Their focus is on handmade wood fired pizza with traditional toppings, though there’s also some tastebud tempting traditional Italian street food on offer, with cheese, meats, salad and fish dishes on the menu. Continue reading

Yabba Dabba – Dalkeith

Pork salad

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With a name like Yabba Dabba we aren’t quite sure what to expect from this café on leafy Waratah Avenue in Nedlands. Is it a theme café, perhaps a little retro like the 60s cartoon The Flintstones – from which Fred’s exclamation of “Yabba Dabba Doo” is most famous? Are we in for a caveman style meat-fest? What we find is a pleasant suburban café, with retro-industrial features and a smooth, groovy 1960’s music soundtrack in the background.IMG_9906

We are warmly greeted and seated. The menu is sizeable. There’s something for everyone – salad, pizza, modern Australian favourites, pasta and share food too if you feel like grazing.

The wine list is small, though there are some interesting drops on there from WA and further afield. I choose a crisp Chenin Blanc from the Swan Valley. There is also a BYO option (wine only), if you prefer to sip on something from your own cellar.IMG_9935

Chef and I share the Yabba Taste Plate, $29 for two people. The board is brimming with scrumptious morsels to try – plump little Yorkshire puddings with beef and horseradish, humongous local prawns served with spiced polenta and more. The pumpkin and silver beet empanada really hits the spot with a deliciously more-ish chimichurri sauce. We both absolutely relish the fresh cornbread, complimented perfectly by a wildflower honey butter. The only thing on the plate that doesn’t work are the lamb chipolatas with mint and feta – as we cut into them, we realise to our dismay that they are undercooked.IMG_9916

We leave the sausages almost untouched. The waitress notices and enquires if there is something wrong and we point out the pink middles. After speaking with the chef, she lets us know that the sausages are cooked sous vide, in a water bath. This suggests that the meat protein should have been set all the way through (it isn’t) and they should have also been heated fully – unfortunately they are still cold in the middle.IMG_9915

The Peking duck pizza, $25.50, is mouth-watering. Topped with barbequed duck, peppered zucchini, mixed peppers, spring onion and fried shallots – it’s a tasty pizza indeed. The Hoi Sin sauce gives it a sweet, plumy finish.Duck Pizza

A pork belly and scallop salad, $26, sounds light and interesting. The tender pork belly is pressed into cubes, crumbed and fried. The Japanese fusion salad is accompanied by a plump giant scallop, sweet potato puree, citrus segments, toasted sesame and nori salad.IMG_9928

Children don’t often get much choice when dining out – met with the usual suspects of fish fingers, chicken nuggets, Hawaiian pizza and spaghetti bolognaise. At Yabba Dabba they cater for the little ones really well – giving them a whopping nine menu choices. Little Chef was beside himself at not being faced with fish and chips for the umpteenth time! He chose the well sized meat lovers pizza, $14. It is no surprise then that the restaurant has many young families dining there.IMG_9913

Dessert seems promising. The menu reads “white chocolate mousse with rustleberry foam and rose fairy floss”. What I receive tastes delicious – but doesn’t deliver what is promised. The mousse is a buttery texture. To me, it isn’t what a mousse encapsulates at all – something airy and light. The berry “foam” is actually more jelly-like. I enjoy the tangy rustleberry, which is a hybrid of a blackberry and raspberry.IMG_9944

Overall we enjoy the food, which is full of flavours from all around the globe. Its let down by a few technical errors from the kitchen. Our waitress does not charge for some of our drinks, as we aren’t 100% happy with the sausages, which is a fine gesture. The service is on the ball and we’d certainly return.IMG_9948

** First published in The Post Newspaper**

At a glance

■ Yabba Dabba

101 Waratah Ave

Dalkeith

Phone 9386 7744

■ Opening times

Tues to Sun

7am till Late

■ Rating

food 3

service 4

ambience 4

value for money 3

■ style – Modern Australian

■ wine –small wine list – BYO

Wine is also available.

■ Chef – Haedyn Woollaston

■ Owners – Matthew & Peter Hayes

■ feel – Casual & unpretentious

■ wheelchair access – yes

■ cost

Entree – $7 to $55

Mains – $18 to $36

Dessert – $9 to $16.50

■ all in all – A cool, modern

venue with attentive service

and tasty food.