Nolita, Claremont

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

Nolita is a stylish little eatery. Set amongst the chic boutiques of Bayview Terrace, the modern Italian restaurant has a very Claremont feel – sleek, high-end and architecturally designed.

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We’re greeted at the door by a friendly waiter with the warm, musical tones of an Italian accent. The intimate dining room is long and narrow. We are seated along the wood panelled feature wall, poured water, with lemon and directed to the very informative menus which are a wealth of information.

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Not only do we find our food and beverage options on the menu, but also a little on the charitable ethos of the family owned restaurant, and a list of their standard kitchen practices to put those with food intolerances and allergies minds at rest.

The wine list offers great choice of both Australian drops and Italian imports. Mondays and Tuesday you can raid your own wine cellar and bring along a bottle of vino with no corkage charge.

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I choose the crisp, fruity Italian Breganaze Pinot Grigio, knowing it will be a good match for seafood and pasta. Chef’s pick is the 2014 Kaesler “Stonehorse” Shiraz, from the Barossa. There’s also a selection of Italian beers and tempting Italian cocktails – think negronis, Aperol Spritz and fruity bellinis.

Nolita, an abbreviation of “North of Little Italy”, is a neighbourhood in Manhattan, New York. Whilst its menu is steeped in traditional Italian dishes, it also has a contemporary feel.

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First, we order three dishes to share. Chef and I can never resist a good carpaccio ($21.50). The thinly sliced raw beef fillet, topped with a creamy truffle aioli, melts in my mouth. Toasted pine nuts, and shaved parmesan give the traditional Venetian dish a little bite.

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Next up is the polpette ($17), four plump meatballs of chicken, veal and pistachio nuts. The moist meatballs are covered in a rich tomato sugo. Whilst it’s a tasty dish, I had hoped for more punchy flavours. I’d love to see the meatballs served with a spicy arribbiata sauce.

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Crisp arancini ($16) ooze with cheese. The tomato and mozzarella rice balls, served with a basil pesto, are bursting with smoky flavours.

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The service at Nolita is friendly, on the ball and unobtrusive. We didn’t even realise our water had been topped up several times. I certainly don’t have to wave a waiter down like I’m trying to direct traffic.

For main, as one would imagine, there are pasta dishes aplenty. Those with intolerances don’t have to miss out on the carb-fest, as gluten free pasta is also available. Soft house-made potato gnocchi is entwined with gloriously tender morsels of White Rocks veal. This is covered by a rich tomato ragu, broad beans and sharp, shaved parmesan.

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Crispy-skin salmon, served perfectly pink in the middle, is complimented by a roasted beetroot puree and dill crème fresh. A salad of fennel and zucchini has clean flavours and a crisp texture.

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Chef enjoys another glass of Shiraz along with a cheese plate. The three cheese selection is made up of a soft Mauro Taleggio, the strongly flavoured Mauri Gorgonzola Piccante and mildly spicy Perenzin Formajo Ciock al Vino Rosso, served with sweet fig chutney, crackers and lightly toasted ciabatta.

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For the grand finale, a coconut, cherry and white chocolate semifreddo is absolutely luscious. I savour every bite of this delicious dessert, surrounded by a pool of raspberry coulis and crowned with an impressive pile of chocolate fairy floss

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Nolita is so much more than your average suburban Italian eatery, where enormous sauce laden serves of pasta are the norm. Here, the food is well cooked and full of Italian flair. It’s a tasty little spot and we suggest you get down there – pronto!

At a glance

■ Nolita
16 Bayview Terrace
Claremont
Phone 9284 6090
■ Opening times
Monday to Saturday
Lunch 12pm to 3.30pm
Dinner 5.30pm till late
■ Rating
Food 4
service 4
ambience 4
value for money 3
■ style – Modern Italian
■ wine – Good selection of Australian
and Italian wines, beers and cocktails.
■ Head Chef – Robert Boorman
■ Owner – Jon Stubbs
■ feel – classy, with a lively atmosphere
■ wheelchair access – no
■ cost
Entrée/Share $4.75 to $21.50
Main $22.50 to $42
Dessert $4.50 to $22.50
■ all in all – A chic little Italian in
the heart of Claremont. Tasty, modern
Italian dishes and drinks. Buon Appetite!

Flics Kitchen, Mandurah

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Flics Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

One thing I love about discovering a town I know little about, like Mandurah, is that I don’t have any preconceived ideas about where I should and shouldn’t dine. I’ve not been brainwashed by a multitude of foodie posts in my social media feeds. Flics Kitchen is just the type of place I would pick for dinner, if I hadn’t already been invited there by the local experts at Mandurah & Peel Tourism Organisation. We arrived early for dinner and we could see that the eatery is a funky morning café by day, which transforms to a buzzing restaurant in the evening.IMG_7432

Flics Kitchen is found on the bustling Mandurah foreshore. The Head Chef and owner, Felicity Evans, has created a tastebud tempting modern share menu. Her wait staff are warm and helpful. The drinks offering is well curated with wines, local craft beers and more. I just had to have a Mojito in Mandurah. It may be almost winter, but I was still keen to lap up the holiday vibe.IMG_7434

The dinner menu, as they say, is “kinda like tapas”. There’s boards and share plates packed with the best of WA produce from Exmouth prawns, Baldivis rabbit, Shark Bay Whiting and a Mandurah favourite – Blue Manna Crab.

We start with Flics Charcuterie board ($31), which is absolutely brimming with goodies! There’s a long list of delicious cured meats including San Jose venison and wild boar salami, La Boqueria Cabacero air dried pork neck, 18 month aged jamon, salami, salumi and more. We agree the pulled pork coquettes and the smoked pork, pistachio and mustard fruit terrine are absolutely delicious. On the side is a house made piccalilli, cornichons and sourdough.IMG_7444

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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

 

Barque – East Fremantle {CLOSED}

IMG_2051Barque Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Charming George Street has to be one of the prettiest neighbourhoods in Fremantle, with its historic terraced cottages and quaint eating spots. The old Grand George Hotel, presides over the east end of the street, looking down at the many cafes, boutiques and restaurants on the historic dining strip. Soon the hotel which has been closed for almost forty years, may be restored to it’s former glory, which would be wonderful to see! IMG_2019Chef and I are enjoying a stroll along the tree lined street and stop at one of the popular restaurants, Barque. We have the option to sit in the sun drenched courtyard, on the veranda or inside the little blue colonial cottage.IMG_2023The Freo doctor is a little blustery and we opt to sit inside. The renovated interior is eclectic and inviting.IMG_2028Our waitress immediately brings us water and their drinks menu. The wine list is a decent size, though only four reds and four whites are available by the glass. Mostly Australian drops feature with a few Europeans thrown in for good measure. I choose the local Stormflower Sauvignon Blanc. It’s a smooth and fruity drop from Margaret River which has notes of gooseberry, nectarine, passionfruit and guava. A perfect match for Asian flavours.IMG_2027The menu at Barque is described as modern Asian fusion. The dishes are designed to share and we choose two small plates, a side and two more substantial dishes. Will that be enough or too much, I worry. Our waitress assures us that we’ll have plenty of food and we put our trust (and hungry tummies!) into her hands.IMG_2024The first dish from the kitchen’s pass is soft shell crab, $11. It’s a make your own snack and we set about wrapping the crab in an iceberg lettuce leaf. The deep fried crab, topped with spicy kimchi (shredded chili cabbage), fresh mint, coriander and crisp lettuce make for a delicious start to our meal.IMG_2031This is quickly followed by lamb ribs, $18. The generous serve of ribs are very moist and bursting with rosemary. They are well-seasoned and a touch fatty, which only adds to the lip-smacking meaty flavour. IMG_2037Though the smoked bbq pork shoulder, $27, is on the “substantial” part of the menu, we think that three slices isn’t really substantial enough. A well balanced grilled peach and fennel salad accompanies the smoky slices of pork. The tasty meat is more-ish and we certainly want more of this dish!IMG_2033The prized half roasted duck, $36, arrives at our table. Along with the whole fish, it is one of Barque’s most popular dishes. The tender duck is served on the bone and it has wonderfully aromatic and crisp skin.duckFor an additional $8 we order pancakes, hoisin sauce, cucumber & spring onion. We eagerly make our duck pancakes, with lashings of plum sauce. This is another get your hands dirty kind of dish. I’m not one to pick at bones in restaurants, so I would have preferred the meat was shredded for us. I think there would have been less wastage that way too.IMG_2064We’re not yet full and for dessert I pick the vanilla cheesecake, $14. The creamy dessert is served with poached rhubarb that has been spiced with cardamom and star anise. It’s a deconstructed style dish, with a nut brittle on the side, instead of the traditional biscuit crumb.cheesecakeChef devours the rich chocolate marquise, $16. Sprinkled with salted caramel oats, the silky smooth chocolate marquise, is made from bitter Vietnamese chocolate and finished with a dollop of sour crème.IMG_2070Barque is a great little spot for a date night or to share meal with friends. We wander off into the summer night, our hungry tummies satisfied. This part of the world leaves me with a romantic notion of living in a quaint old cottage with a food-topia like George Street at the end of my street – East Fremantle locals I envy you!IMG_2080

At a glance

■ Barque

125 George Street

East Fremantle

Phone 08 9339 5524

■ Opening times

Weds – Fri: 12 to 10pm

Sat: 9am to 10pm

Sun: 9am to 3pm

■ Rating

food 4

service 4

ambience 3.5

value for money 3.5

■ style – Asian Fusion

■ wine – well-chosen mainly

local wine list.

■ Chef – Stuart Mitchel

■ Owners – Simon & Charles

■ feel – relaxed & classy.

■ wheelchair access – no

■ cost

Small – $4 to $26

Substantial – $27 to $68

Dessert – $12 to $16

■ all in all – The well cooked food

is on point. Service is always at hand,

but not in an intrusive way.

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.

Bathers Beach House – Fremantle

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Sunday afternoons are made for Fremantle. For me, they started in the early 1980’s, when my family would take a drive to Freo for some fish n chips, an ice cream and a wander around the markets. Little has changed. Though these days, the food choice at the Fishing Boat Harbour has changed dramatically from what was a simple choice between “Kailis or Cicerellos”.IMG_9816

Bathers Beach House is found in the building opposite Bathers Beach, where McDonalds was for many years. There’s not much to remind you that it was once home to the golden arches – though they have up-cycled their wooden deking, as cladding for a rustic feature wall. Look closely and you might see a pickle stain!

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Bathers Beach House is one of the very few restaurants in the Perth metro area with an absolute beachfront view. If you like the sand between your toes there are sun loungers on the beach too. Inside, the modern restaurant is light and bright, with a wall of windows giving views out to the Indian Ocean. We gaze at a huge pelican surfing the waves, searching for a feed of fish.IMG_9757

I too feel like eating seafood. I look over the menu, which has a mostly casual, Modern Australian feel to it. Looking around the dining room it appears that many people are grazing. The share plates also double as starters. Chef and I chose an entree each, feeling like a more traditional “3 course” Sunday lunch.IMG_9758

The drinks menu is sizable and has plenty of local wines available. Searching for a little bit of summer, I choose a tipple from one of my favourite wineries, a Voyager Sangria ($10). The delicious mocktail is made from fruity Voyager Estate red grape juice, monin sangria syrup and freshly cut fruits.IMG_9772

Bacon hock, vintage cheddar & mustard Croquettes ($12) are crisp on the outside and wonderfully gooey on the inside. The tasty morsels have smoky notes and creamed cauliflower for dipping compliments the croquettes well.IMG_9779

I relish the caramelised belly of pork ($14). Though it’s not topped with crackle (an absolute weakness of mine) it is still very crisp. The moist meat sits upon sautéed bok choi, crisp nashi pear and is finished with a mouth-watering star anise reduction. Through the reduction are tiny specks of crackle, adding texture to the dish, though I would have preferred that it was left whole.Pork Belly

Little Chef gets his lunch served as our entrees come out. There is a good kids menu, made from quality ingredients. For $10 as well as his tasty fish and chips a drink and soft serve ice cream were included.IMG_9774

Chef enjoys the Flamed 200g brioche beef burger ($19) which is certainly much better than McDonald’s! The tender burger is layered with swiss cheese, cos lettuce, tomato, pickles & BBQ sauce and is served with a side of fries.IMG_9795

Seared salmon ($32) is served with creamed saffron potatoes and a curry spiced mussel & butternut chowder. This gluten free dish should please those with food intolerances, it is a little different and ticks all the boxes. I get my seafood fix – the salmon cooked perfectly medium rare and though I think the kitchen could have been a little more generous with the amount of plump muscles served.Salmon

We share a vanilla bean panna cotta ($12) for dessert. The panna cotta is as wobbly as it should be. The grenadine poached rhubarb gives a sharp contrast to the subtle vanilla. Unfortunately, the ginger snap doesn’t snap. It is far too thick and soggy. A disappointing end to what is otherwise a pleasant lunch.IMG_9806

Whilst nothing knocks our socks off, except for the view, the entire experience makes me think what an enjoyable venue Bathers Beach House is. The food is mostly good, the service is friendly – it will definitely be a spot to be seen at this summer.IMG_9814

*** First Published in the Post Newspaper***

At a glance

■ Bathers Beach House

47 Mews Road

Fremantle

Phone 9335 2911

■ Opening times

Weekdays – 11am till late

Weekends – 8am till late

■ Rating

food 3

service 4

ambience 4

value for money 3

■ style – Modern Australian

■ wine –many WA and

Interstate wines available.

■ Chef – Ross Tyre

■ Owner – Anthony Unmack

■ feel – cool coastal

■ wheelchair access – yes

■ cost

Entree – $8 to $72

Mains – $18 to $36

Dessert – $12 to $26

■ all in all – Friendly service,

modern venue & well cooked

food with a beautiful coastal vista.

Straits Café – Scarborough

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I love a good buffet. Not any old buffet mind you – it HAS to be something a little bit gourmet – that’s the food snob in me! Years ago, The Pines at Rendezvous Scarborough (Ob City) was one of the busiest buffets in Perth. Since it’s reincarnation as the Straits Café it hadn’t featured a buffet… till now!IMG_9643

Fast forward a few years and Rendezvous is all shiny and new. Its muti-million dollar refurb has injected new life into the 1980s hotel. The Rendezvous is an absolute knock out. Hardly recognisable from a few years ago. It would be great to treat yourself to a date night or overnight stay. Scarborough as a whole is enjoying a big resurgence, with a new café or bar seemingly opening every other week. In another year or two Scarborough should be back to its bustling heyday.IMG_9602

Recently the three of us were kindly invited to try the newly launched winter buffet menu at the Straits Cafe. I’d been to Rendezvous for a bloggers night when the Straits Café was newly opened. The Straights features a buffet every Friday and Saturday night. There is a wide selection of cold foods, hot foods and desserts to choose from, that should satisfy even the fussiest of eaters.IMG_9604

We were greeted by Denis, the Restaurant Manager, ordered a couple of drinks and quickly got stuck into the buffet. To start we made our way to the table full of cold foods. It’s a seafood lovers delight, there are different morsels to try – including crab, prawns, oysters, sushi, cold meats, salads and more. I enjoyed the freshly made coleslaw and make-your-own Caesar salad.IMG_9603

I chatted to Executive Chef, Wendelin Ulrich over the buffet station. He explained that the winter buffet menu was made up of simple comfort food, with earthy flavours.IMG_9611

As I lifted the lids of the bain-maries I found curry, beautifully cheesy potatoes, slow cooked meats, roasted potatoes and even more hearty, warming food.IMG_9608

There’s a carvery too, so I got a couple of slices of roast beef. With roast beef it’s simply a crime not to have Yorkshire Puddings, so I was happy to see that they had some tasty Yorkshires too – unfortunately the beef was a little dry – other than that everything was cooked very well , fresh and piping hot. By the time I got to the end of the hot food station, my plate was fully loaded!IMG_9626

I really enjoyed the mildly spicy Singapore chicken curry, roasted lamb and the grilled salmon salsa Verde was tasty too.IMG_9630

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It was the first buffet experience for our 6 year old Little Chef and he was chomping at the bit to get to the dessert buffet – a great bargaining tool to get him to eat his veggies. The notoriously fussy eater was also more open to trying different food in this environment. So it was a very enjoyable family dinner for us all!IMG_9619

We loved the petite desserts and being so little, you could try a few different things – I enjoyed the berry cheesecake and trifle.IMG_9639

If you don’t have a sweet tooth, there’s a selection of cheese and crackers too. Little chef got stuck into the house made gelato and had lots of fun decorating his scoops with lollies.IMG_9617

Chef and I would like to thank Dan, Wendelin, Denis and their teams for a wonderful night. The Straights buffet caters to all tastes and such fantastic value – where else can you get a good quality three course meal for $59! Our tip is to make sure you arrive with a good appetite, as you won’t know which tasty dish to try first.IMG_9615

WIN A BUFFET DINNER FOR TWO!!

To celebrate Christmas in July,  Rendezvous Hotel Scarborough’s Straits Café  has a festive weekend dinner buffet. Feast on a sumptuous array of Christmas classics made from WA’s freshest produce. Indulge in buffet favourites with a festive twist overlooking the stunning Indian Ocean.

Adults $59 / Kids $20 (5-12 years old) Only available on Friday and Saturday.

** Enter on my Facebook Page to win!**

 

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