Grab a Yabby – Mt Lawley

img_4095Grab A Yabby Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I discovered Grab a Yabby just a few days after it’s opening. Little Chef and I had been to Ibiza N2 Gelato and spied Beaux Lane, a little alley just off Beaufort Street, which is lined with new eateries. We popped our heads in to see what this new dining spot was all about. Grab a Yabby’s concept of bringing an authentic US eating experience to Perth sounded like a mouth-watering prospect. A couple of weeks later,  I was very excited to receive an invite to their blogger dinner.img_4088

Dining at Grab a Yabby is a unique experience in Perth. Prepare to get your hands dirty! There’s no cutlery, well there is, though you’re encouraged to eat with your hands and there are no plates. We’re told to just go for it! Armed with a wooden hammer, plastic gloves, shelling tool and a bib (with handy food catching flap!) we got to sample their menu, where shellfish are the star of the show.img_4100

Owners, husband and wife team Phil and Bec, first opened Grab a Yabby in Melbourne. It was in idea born from the American food discoveries they made when travelling in the US. They opened up a pop up restaurant in Melbourne and Grab a Yabby has grown from there. It’s not strictly a seafood restaurant, as you won’t find much fish on the menu, but they do specialise in crustaceans. You don’t have to be a shellfish lover to enjoy Grab a Yabby, they also have huuuge racks of beef and pork ribs on the menu too. We all had our bibs on and were ready to eat! Here’s a great pic of the bloggers waiting in anticipation, by Martin of food blog Morsels.morsels

We started our feast with sweet potato chips sprinkled with “Cajun magic dust”, which is Grab a Yabby’s special seasoning.img_4104

I really enjoyed the soft shell crab sliders, which are a favourite bite of mine, whenever I spy it on a menu. There are also chicken sliders available for the non seafood lovers.img_4105

The branding of the slider buns is really cool. I hand modelled this yummy slider for Raymond (@Perth_gram), for his excellent Instagram pic.ig

The pork ribs are massive and the tender meat is cooked to perfection. Chips and hot “lava sauce” is served with the rack of ribs and I’m told it’s super hot.img_4129

For the main event , the shellfish, you order in 3 stages. Firstly you need to pick your seafood. Grab a Yabby have a big range – think king prawns, Morton Bay bugs, mussels, pipies, clams, rock lobster, mud crab and much more. They have local yabbies and marron from the south west as well as importing special varieties like the Alaskan king crab. To keep the American theme going, Grab a Yabby’s seafood is priced by the pound. One pound is equal to 0.45 kg, so that’s about half a kilo.img_4166

Next, you pick your sauce. There’s the Grab a Yabby special sauce – the traditional flavours used in Cajun cooking in America’s deep south. The XO sauce is bursting with Asian flavours like lemongrass, shallots, chilli dried shrimp and scallops. The garlic butter sauce also compliments the seafood really well. I really enjoyed them. Lastly, your choice of heat depends a lot on how spicy you like your shellfish. You have the option of mild, hot, extreme and insane! Call me a wuss, but I’m a “mild” kinda gal.

The Alaskan king crab legs, poking out of their bag, are seriously massive. They are cooked in the bag with the sauce, potatoes and corn on the cob, with some rice on the side.img_4138 Continue reading

Bistro 38 – Joondalup Resort

IMG_1086Bistro 38 @ Joondalup Resort on Urbanspoon If you’re not familiar with Joondalup Resort you may think that Bistro 38 is just for hotel guests and golfers. Not true! Absolutely anybody can dine there and enjoy its relaxing holiday vibe. I really love sitting by the pool on a sunny afternoon with some drinks and nibbles. Nothing quite beats a cocktail in a jar! I attended a bloggers menu tasting at Bistro 38 recently and the new menu is one of the very best I’ve experienced there over the past few years.

Erick, head chef of Bistro 38, has an impressive CV of hip Perth eateries. He used to work at Balthazar, Duende and Andaluz – some of the best tapas restaurants in Perth. He hails from El Salvador in South America. His menu is bursting with share plates. If you are eating there with friends I’d suggest that you share a few plates as an entrée, before you get stuck into the mains. There’s quite a choice, here’s what we tried… Salt and Pepper Squid ($12) & Soft shell crab, wakame, wasabi mayo ($14)IMG_1088Chicken and duck liver pate, brioche, fig & fennel relish ($10)IMG_1095 Gorgonzola & manuka honey ($12)

My favourite was the soft shell crab. Oh my, it was SO delicious. Admittedly, I’d never actually had soft shell crab before, which I couldn’t quite believe. I had to pause a moment to check that the other people on our table were eating the WHOLE tempura battered crab, shell and all, which they were. Pheeww! The pate was also spot on. The gorgonzola pana cotta was something a bit different, which I enjoyed too. Then we tried some of the dishes that feature on the mains menu… Beef cheek cooked in red wine and tomato sugo, polenta ($32)IMG_1100   Lamb Cutlets, grilled witlof, radicchio, lemon ($35) & Ricotta gnocchi, wild mushrooms, chestnut and parmesan ($30)IMG_1097 Steak house fries ($10) – with extra, béarnaise sauce. Because you just HAVE to have chips in Béarnaise sauce!

The stand out for me was the gnocchi. It was a very tasty dish. The gnocchi was so soft and fresh, coupled with the earthiness of the mushrooms, made it absolutely delicious. It’s a shame I was starting to feel so full, as I wanted to eat so much more of it! The beef cheeks just melted and lamb was also well cooked. Everyone around the table was struggling to find some tummy space. We all said we’d have a nibble of dessert, after one bite we would be well and truly full. Then we saw the tower of desserts – which featured tasters of items on the dessert menu. Usually I’m not too much of a sweets person, but these were scrumptious deserts, made by the resort’s pasty chef extraordinaire Charlie. I loved the choc raspberry parfait the best. Though the Mojito lime cake (with coconut panna cotta) and the rhubarb vanilla crème brulee, were also very nice. IMG_1103 IMG_1107 The “feature” cheese changes by the week. If the Jackson’s Track cheese is available when you go, you must try it! A whole wheel of the cheese is baked and is wonderfully goo-ey. That is served with crackers and roasted plums and pears. It was to die for.IMG_1109 Thanks to , Head Chef Eric and Restaurant Manager (and fabulous cocktail maker) Bianca for a wonderful lunch. IMG_1101   Disclaimer – at the time of dining my husband was the Executive Sous Chef at Joondalup Resort  If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me where Chef worked, I’d be a rich lady! As my blog has evolved, I’ve become far more aware of the need for transparency than I initially was. I’m happy to tell you that Chef worked at this resort for a few years, till November 2014. If you’d like to take my praise of the resort and it’s poolside restaurant Bistro 38 with a pinch of salt, then that is totally up to you. Also, we used to dine there before he was employed by the resort. If you still think I’m biased, just remember that 98% of the time I am blogging about other excellent places in Perth. I still stand by the fact that if I don’t like it, I don’t blog about it.

Bistro Guillaume

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Bistro Guillaume on Urbanspoon

UntitleduhiBistro Guillame is where modern and classical French cuisines collide beautifully. The Crown Perth restaurant is by Parisian Chef, Guillaume Brahimi. In his early career, he worked under legendary Chef Joël Robuchon (who has amassed an amazing 28 Michelin stars).  Brahimi is also a celebrated chef, famed for his restaurant Bennelong at the Sydney Opera House amongst others.

UntitledBistro Guillaume must be one of the most stunning dining rooms in Perth. It’s mainly black and white, with a big splash of green. From the entrance, to the bar, to the statement foyer sofa; the striking shade of green is used throughout – even down to the green bottle of Tabasco sauce on each table. It’s very fresh and bright. This theme is also mirrored in the food.

IMG_0311I met my lunching partner, The Singer, in the Crown foyer. She had been living in Sydney for the last four years and certainly noticed a huge change at the old Burswood Casino. On arrival at the restaurant, I gave the greeter our booking details, but didn’t get too much of a response – so the Singer and I just stood there looking a little confused. After a minute, we were seated and had a warmer welcome from our friendly waitress. We had a wonderful glass of French bubbles each. Some freshly baked bread and butter arrived soon after.

IMG_0291iiThe “Charcuterie plate” was a delight. The singer and I decided to share the entrees. She noted that she would happily swim in the Chicken liver parfait  – if they filled the Metropol’s pool full of the delicious stuff. It was indeed the best I’ve had in a long time – silky smooth, creamy, well-seasoned and a lovely smoky after taste. The country-style chicken terrine and pork rillettes were also spot on,  as was the selection of cured meats (jamon, a mild cacciatore and salami with capers).

IMG_0285aaThe plating of the “Spanner crab salad with avocado cucumber and capsicum coulis” was beautiful. It was as fresh and colourful as the décor around us. The crab was very tasty – I don’t eat crab often. I really enjoyed this.

IMG_0297For main we both chose “Leg of duck confit with petit pois a la francaise”. This was quite a light meal, for a main. I thought it was perfect for a summer lunchtime. The duck was moist and sweet, as were the peas – with the cubes of spek tossed through with a little butter. The Singer requested a little more bread too, which the waitress was only too happy to provide.

UntitledbbbThere are spaces for groups and intimate gatherings. There’s also a large balcony, where you can dine alfresco, overlooking the Vegas-styled pool. We very much enjoyed our lunch at Bistro Guillaume and its relaxed, but sophisticated vibe.IMG_0318

As a side note – Guillaume at Bennelong closed its doors late last year. Brahimi is currently working on a new restaurant in the inner Sydney suburb of Paddington, opening in April 2014.