Santa’s Magical Kingdom Perth

It’s beginning to look an awful lot like Christmas isn’t it?! If you love everything Christmas like we do Santa’s Magical Kingdom, at Crown Pyramid, is a wonderful event for the whole family.

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Chef is usually quite the Grinch at Christmas, thanks to the festive season being the hospitality industry’s busiest time, and many years working on Christmas day. Little Chef and I, on the other hand, LOVE it! Once the 1st of December rolls around we excitedly put up our tree, crank the Christmas tunes and start planning our Christmas feast. This year on December 1st we were invited to check out Santa’s Magical Kingdom, which is back at Crown for it’s second year – and I can tell you it’s even better than last year’s event!

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Here in the southern hemisphere we really miss out on a typical Christmas card style white Christmas, which is what makes Santa’s Magical Kingdom so appealing to us. The huge tent is decked out in stunning decorations, a whimsical winter wonderland and Chrissy music playing in the background – giving us all those Christmas feels.

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There’s lots to pack into a 3 hour session…

Unlimited rides and bouncy castles for all ages and thrill seekers! The older Little Chef gets, the more of a daredevil he is. He particularly loved the Sky Flyer and Sizzler this year. There’s also lots of rides for younger children and wooses like me! The bumper cars were a hit and their teacup ride is super cute.

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Christmas craft and activities including gingerbread decorating and tree decoration making. Little Chef decorated his gingerbread man in record time – just so he could devour it! Continue reading

Stix Bar & Restaurant – Burswood {CLOSED}

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Stix Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
One of my beautiful friends, Miss G, had returned from Melbourne after a whopping 8 years away. It felt like I hadn’t seen her in forever. So when I got an invite from owner Kate Ayris to dine at the new Stix Bar and Restaurant, it seemed like the perfect spot for a welcome home cocktail and dinner, overlooking our beautiful home city. New Image1

You haven’t heard of Stix?! It opened just a few months ago, in an area of Burswood a little off the beaten track. It’s hardly in the sticks though (hehe) – it is found a short walk from Crown – at the base of a swanky apartment building.

Stix has a wonderful view over the Swan River to the Perth city skyline, so I purposely booked an early dinner, so we could enjoy the sunset.

The kitchen is run by Head Chef Francois Morabito who was also once Head Chef at Paris’ two-star Michelin restaurant La Vieille Fontaine. In Perth, I have previously enjoyed his food at Bistro Des Artistes, in Subiaco.IMG_1259

It’s a chic venue, perfect for a pre show or pre dinner drink. A cocktail felt like a fitting choice – the French Martini was absolutely delish and may just be my new favourite!

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Miss G chose a nice drop of prosecco.

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Kate asked us if we’d like to choose from the menu or to opt for the degustation ($80pp). In the interests of seeing as much as Chef Francois’s menu as possible – the dego made sense and everyone knows I DO enjoy a dego! At Stix, the menu has a lot of French elements, but it also has a very international feel – with Asian, Spanish and many more influences.IMG_1298

We start our feast with three spreads. A smoked tomato butter, whipped pork and a red radish butter were presented beautifully. I particularly savour the whipped pork – of course! Also on the board are organic olives, sourced locally from Moore River and delicate parmesan tuiles, we had freshly baked bread on the side.IMG_1275

The Jamon, draped on delicious tomato bread, is mouth-watering. The Spanish ham has been aged for a whopping 30-months and is full of flavour.IMG_1288

The Carnarvon pink snapper tartare, served with passion fruit and Pemberton finger lime, is as lovely as it looks. The salmon is so fresh and complimented by the sweet and tangy fruity flavours.IMG_1281

Thinly sliced seared beef tataki is very tasty, marinated in rice wine, ginger and chilli. It suddenly dawns on me how fussy G is with food – as I glance over at Miss G and she appears to be enjoying it too. Phew!IMG_1292

Next up is the crispy crust salmon, wrapped in a thin pastry crust, tasty vegetable ratatouille and roasted asparagus. The salmon was a touch overcooked for my liking, but I like it nonetheless and really enjoy the crisp pastry.IMG_1295

A perfectly cooked Peking-style duck breast is brimming with authentic Asian flavours. I love hoisin sauce, which is tossed through the wok fried vegetables.IMG_1302

Onto the sweets and a bowl of fresh strawberries and a refreshing basil sorbet really hits the spot.IMG_1305

There is also a cheese course, but we are really struggling at this point and advise our waiter that we sadly have no room – I’m sure it is very tasty! So instead we finish on the penultimate course – a scrumptious rhubarb éclair.IMG_1309

Thank you to Kate, Francois and their teams for having us for dinner at Stix Bar and Restaurant. We really enjoyed it and I’d absolutely recommend that you try Stix too. It has a warm atmosphere, luxurious interior, great food – full of flavour and technique, decedent drinks and million dollar view.IMG_1310

Poolside Bar & Grill – Crown Metropol Perth

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I just adore Crown Perth. When I cast my mind back a few years, before all of the major refurbishments, it blows me away at just what an awesome multi-venue we now have. I’ve been to just about all the restaurants, but one thing I always wanted to try out was the beautiful Vegas-style pool area. We usually walk past it when we visit Crown and I’d be awfully jealous of the people in there, lounging around with a cocktail in hand. I had assumed it was only for hotel guests and selected members, which is partially true. The only other way to gain entry to this exclusive pool is to get a pass.

20140306_134935I spotted a promotion recently, to get a day pass for the pool area, if you dined at certain Crown restaurants. This was only on for a limited time, so I absolutely jumped at the chance! The singer and I lunched at Modo Mio, then a couple of weeks later we booked in to have an afternoon by the pool. I was so excited!!

I had to book our swim in advance, so I was hoping for a hot day. The afternoon we visited turned out to be a 35 degree scorcher – perfect pool weather! The Singer was running late, so I went to “bags” a nice spot in the shade. It wasn’t that busy, so there were plenty of sun loungers around. The enticing day beds can be reserved for $60 per day. The Enclave, a private pool area with 6 state of the art cabanas (inc TVs!) can be reserved from $165 per day per cabana.

20140306_155608I visited the Poolside Bar & Grill, which was very laid back and had lots of pool and foosball tables. I ordered some drinks and food from the summery menu to be brought to our sun loungers.

20140306_132644I had a yummy freshly squeezed juice “Water Cleanser” Watermelon, lemon, ginger & mint $10

20140306_131428We also had a few pool-side nibbles. Very fresh and tasty Vietnamese spring rolls, served with a hoi sin and coriander dipping sauce ($14)

20140306_133649We also shared some Mexican Beef Quesadillas ($23) They were stuffed with pulled beef brisket, cheese, black bean, jalapeño peppers, onion, tomato, capsicum, chipotle lime sour cream, roasted corn salsa $23 The food was nice, cooked to a good “pub food” standard.

20140306_135246It was so relaxing. Lazing by the pool made me feel like I was on holiday and I’d only been at work a couple of hours before. Intermittently we’d hop into the pool and swim across to the bar, then wade back to our loungers with a plastic glass of iced water in hand. Who needs to walk around the pool when you can swim through it!? I laid down on the lounger in the pool and closed my eyes – I nearly fell asleep! The only other time I feel that relaxed is if I have a massage at a day spa. This was just as good.

UntitledI was wowed by the amazing pool area, which is only missing is a swim up bar. With the future addition of the Crown Towers pool area – who knows what that may bring? It has two water slides (which we sadly found out is just for kids – bummer), a Jacuzzi and a shallow kiddie area too. The area caters well for kids, but there wasn’t  very many children around, so it was pretty peaceful and chilled. Summer has finished and the last of the warm, pool weather will be over soon, but you can be sure that IF and when Crown Perth run that lunch & pool promo again – I will be there every week!!

*If you visit on a pass and are not staying at the hotel – please note there are no locker facilities, but pool towels are provided.20140306_155454

 

Bistro Guillaume

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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.

Nobu

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I have to admit – I had a whingey twitter on Twitter about never having plans on Valentine’s Day. Every single Valentines for the last 12 years Chef has worked. I’ve come to accept it really, it’s part and parcel of being married to a chef. This year I actually thought he might have the night off, as Valentine’s Day fell when he usually has his day off. No such luck though. I know Chef wouldn’t have noticed my tweet; besides Facebook, he’s not at all savvy with social media. But later that day he mentioned that he was taking me out for a pre-valentines dinner – at a surprise location! I got my wish after all.

I really love a good surprise. I didn’t even guess where we were heading – not till Chef drove the car past the city and headed towards Crown. Then I guessed we were dining at Nobu! I was so excited, as it was to be our first visit there. Our little bit of Hollywood in Perth. Nobu is owned by celebrity Chef Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa and is co-owned by A-list actor Robert De Niro. It seemed like a perfect pick for a romantic occasion too – The Observer rates Nobu as the world’s  “sexiest” restaurant and actress Kate Winslet said about Nobu “it’s heaven on earth and sex on a plate”. Something that also interested me was a quote from Madonna; “You can tell how much fun a city is going to be if Nobu has a restaurant in it.” I always said Perth was fun!! IMG_20140213_182852

Anyhoo, I’ve digressed a tad… We were greeted and seated at the square bar. It has an absolutely stunning light feature; it’s great spot for a pre-dinner drink. I had a delicious cocktail – the Pina Martini ($19). It was Mango Infused Vodka, Peach Liqueur & Pineapple Purée – woweee! It was a fabulous fusion of two classic cocktails. It set the tone for the rest of the evening.20140213_175245Nobu is a high end Japanese fusion restaurant. Traditional Japanese dishes are blended with South American (Peruvian) ingredients. Though the fusion of each dish is so flawless you’d be excused for thinking that coffee, tabouleh etc are from Japan! We were taken through to the Teppanyaki area at the back of the restaurant. Our chef for the night was a real sweetheart (I had a bout of hay fever and he gave me a tissue for my eye). He was friendly, very polite and explained each course on the $120pp menu thoroughly. We had;

o Chilli & Garlic Edamame – a fave of mine 🙂  20140213_180705

o Mix Salad with Matsuhisa Dressing

o Crispy Squid with Salt, Pepper & ChilliIMG_20140213_210051

o Three Varieties of Seasonal Vegetables20140213_185128

o Prawns with Miso Yoghurt & Dry Miso – the Shark Bay prawns were ginormous and full of flavour. 20140213_190731

o Japanese Scallops with Tabouleh Salsa & Chive Oil – again the scallops were huge. The produce used at Nobu is exceptional.20140213_191041

o Black Angus Eye Fillet w Cabbage Roll, Balsamic Teriyaki – cooked with second-perfect timing. Delicious.

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o Beef Fried Rice20140213_193958

o Miso Soup

o Miso Cappuccino – I thought this was just a mousse, but dig a little deeper and there are many wonderful layers hiding underneath!Untitlednn

There wasn’t as much theatre as at our visit to teppanyaki restaurant Fuku. We hardly noticed though. The chef at Nobu was very handy with a spatula and every dish was cooked to perfection. The couple next to us had the $188pp menu and they had similar dishes to us, with some additional courses. They had some premium ingredients like wagu and random things like eel. It looked great, but I was struggling to fit in my rice and dessert, so I was happy with what we chose.IMG_20140213_210203

We both really enjoyed our Valentines dinner at Nobu (and it would seem we were not the only ones celebrating the day early). We’d love to return to Nobu to try the a la carte menu as I have heard so many great things about the miso cod and fish tacos! And hopefully we’ll return sooner rather than later. As Robert De Niro says “Time goes on. So whatever you’re going to do, do it. Do it now. Don’t wait”. And who can argue with that!

Atrium at Crown

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The last time I dined at the Atrium, it wasn’t the enjoyable experience I’d hoped for! Bistro Guillaume was still being fitted out and we literary had a jack hammer going throughout our whole lunch. Thankfully, it seems most of the stunning transformation of Crown Perth has now been completed. Our lunch this time was a little noisy, thought that just came from our fellow cheery diners.

There are a couple of different areas to sit; we sat in the room overlooking the Crown Metropol’s stunning Vegas-style pool area.  It’s a very elegant dining room, for an all-you–can-eat buffet. It’s popular with groups of people, as it’s easy to please everyone and it can get very busy at times.

The Atrium buffet is immense. There are several different sections, seafood, salads & deli, Asian and traditional carvary. For me, someone that loves to try a bit of this and a bit of that, I was literally like a kid in a candy store.

I had; Beef Curry, Biriyani, roti, steamed dumplings, Asian greens, Peking duck (yum!!), samosas, roast root vegetables, roast pork, salmon w béarnaise sauce, Yorkshire pudding, crumbed fish – I’m sure I’ve forgotten some too! As it’s a very busy restaurant, there is a high turnover of dishes and everything is always super fresh and hot.

The dessert section is a treat. From freshly made waffles, many mini-desserts, lollies, ice-cream, slices and fruit breads; if you weren’t already full, you will be bursting after eating some of this! I had a selection of mini desserts, Pecan Pie, a berry cheesecake, mousse etc They were fantastic.

The Atrium buffet is arguably the best in town. The only other that could seriously rival it, is Café at the Hyatt. We dined at lunchtime (midweek) which at $39.50pp, is much cheaper than dinner times ($65/$75 depending on which night). Whatever your favourite food; something exotic or something more traditional, you are bound to find it here with such a sensational choice!

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* 25% off with gold card

The Merrywell (Crown Entertainment Complex)

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We visited The Merrywell recently – in fact we’ve visited the gastro pub many times since it opened just over 6 months ago. It’s a fantastic addition to Crown. The Merrywell is a breath of fresh air. The venue is stark contrast to the dingy (and now closed) Paddy Hannans. It is incredibly popular and more often than not, we choose to dine a little earlier, just to make sure we get a good table in the beer garden. On a warm night, it’s just a stunning spot for a few drinks. The term “Gastropub” isn’t really bandied around very much in WA – it’s most widely used in the UK. In the early 90s the first gastro pub popped up in London. It was a new concept, where the focus was also on a restaurant within the pub. The standard of food was much higher than the traditional “pub grub” of bangers & mash and a ploughman’s lunch. The phenomenon caught on and now there are thousands around the world. Even Heston Blumenthal runs a few gastropubs – like The Hinds Head in Bray (UK).

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Pic Credit : Crown Perth

The Merrywell’s menu is modelled on American “dude” food. In other words JUNK FOOD, done VERY well. The Chefs, Sam DeMarco and Grant MacPherson hail from the States and nobody does junk food better than the good ol’ US of A. We had a few dishes to share;

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Mac & Cheese Bites ($15) This share dish came with house made HP sauce; just as tangy as the real deal. These deep fried delights were very cheesy – and more-ish.

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Lollipop Buffalo Wings, Blue cheese fondue & celery sticks. ($21) Oh my goodness – These were very tender and much spicier than we were expecting! They had a big tabasco kick. This was balanced by the beautiful creamy fondue. It was delicious. REALLY REALLY YUMMY.

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I scoffed down the The Merrywell Angus Burger (Aussie style) ($28). This was stuffed with sharp aged Cheddar, Bacon, a Secret Sauce and Caramelised onion. We decided to go “Aussie Style” for an extra few bucks, as I’m rather partial to Pineapple and Beetroot on my burgers.  The fries were deliciously crunchy. The burger paddy itself was cooked medium-rare. It was pink in the middle and super juicy!

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D-Man and G-Mac BLT ($28) Chef loved his meat-overload. The BLT came with Porchetta, Pork Belly, Panchetta, SSU Egg, Rocket, Tomato, with a Bacon Aioli, sereved on Bacon Bread. He was impressed.The egg was oozing through the sandwhich and it was complemented further by Crisp onion rings. This also came with a side of pickled chips. Yep, you heard right. I’m all for trying something new, but I don’t think Perth was ready for this one!! Potatoes cut like chunky chips, but uncooked, just pickled!! They were super crunchy, very acidic and just plain odd. But otherwise this BLT was a winner.

The Merrywell didn’t disappoint. The vibe is great. The service is good. Sometimes it can be a victim of its own success with hard to find outdoor seating and slightly slow service. We thoroughly enjoyed it and almost went into a deep fried, salty coma – but that’s what dude food is all about; Delicious, brash, comfort food.