CAT Bus Adventures in Perth With Kids

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Public transport can be a real novelty for kids, who spend much of their time travelling in Mum or Dad’s car. Young children will delight in a train ride or trip on a bus. The Perth CAT busses are a quick and easy way of getting around the city, when little legs get weary or just to see a bit more of what the CBD and Northbridge have to offer.

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Jump on and off the free CAT (Central Area Transit) busses at their dedicated stops all around Perth. Kids can answer their own “When will the bus be here?” question by pressing the big button and having the voice tell them how many minutes away the next CAT is. The busses are also pram friendly and have priority seating.

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There are four coloured CAT BUS routes, zig zagging around the city from West Perth to East Perth and Northbridge. Grab a map from the bus ports, train stations or tourism information stand in Forrest Place and get exploring the attractions, parks and eateries of the city of Perth!

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Here’s my guide to the best bus stops to hop on and off with your family in Perth.

BLUE CAT ROUTE

STOP 1 – Elizabeth Quay Bus Station

If you’re planning a day exploring the city by CAT bus, you may even arrive here by bus or train. The Elizabeth Quay Bus Station is just over the road from the Quay itself. The brilliant Elizabeth Quay is a great place for a ride on the Venetian Carousel, game of mini golf, a scoop of delish Gusto Gelato or casual bite to eat at V Burger.

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STOP 2 – Barrack Square

There’s loads to do at Barrack Square! This stop is also the best for the south side of Elizabeth Quay. Opposite the CAT Stop is the famous Perth Bell Tower, cafes and ferry stops for exploring the Swan River. Stroll over the Elizabeth Quay bridge and check out the excellent playground! Continue reading

V Burger – Elizabeth Quay

IMG_3685V Burger Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I’m a big fan of V Burger – we often visit their Floreat outlet. When I heard they had opened up a kiosk at Elizabeth Quay, Little Chef and I dropped by for a bite to eat, after we’d seen the Scooby Doo Live show at PCEC. The kiosk is found at the city end of the quay, near to the water playground and ferry terminal. The seating is outside, with most tables undercover.

For my lunch, I chose the “Blue Mushy” ($16) from the gourmet burger menu. A grilled prime beef patty is topped with mushrooms, lettuce, tomato, onion and a house made aioli. Blue cheese oozes out of the burger. I liked the flavour combination, I’m a fan of blue cheese. The beef was moist and tasty, the salad crisp. Though as I got to the end of the burger the richness of the blue cheese did get a little overpowering. I do prefer a softer bun to Turkish bread too. IMG_3690

Of course, never one to stick to the rules, Little Chef decided he didn’t want a burger. Luckily for finicky kids (and adults) there are fish and chips also on the menu. Little Chef had a mini portion ($10). He loved these, they were fresh and good quality.IMG_3688

Though I didn’t love it as much as my previous V Burgers, I’d put that down to my choice of burger. I do prefer brioche over Turkish bread. V Burger is a great option for a casual family meal at Elizabeth Quay. We went for a stroll over the bridge after and play at the playground. Little Chef even had enough room for some Gusto Gelato! IMG_3694

Gusto Gelato – Elizabeth Quay

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Gusto Gelato Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Gusto Gelato in Leederville has opened a store at Elizabeth Quay, where you can enjoy your gelato with a stunning view! The small batch gelato is handcrafted by owner/operator Sean Lee who learnt his craft at the Carpigiani Gelato University in Bologna, Italy. There are so many different flavour combinations, from  strawberry, mango and ginger beer and lime. This chocolate fudge brownie gelato looks pretty darn good!IMG_3711

Not content with just one scoop, Little Chef chose the decadent chocolate fudge brownie as well as the cookie monster – a sweet cream gelato with triple choc cookies, cookie dough and a milk chocolate ganache. As always, the gelato was absolutely scrumptious and smooth. IMG_3716

The gelato is made onsite. It’s natural too, with no hidden nasties, making it perfect for kids (of all ages!). You can view the kitchen where the magic happens through a window. Winter or Summer anytime is a good time for Gelato in the city! IMG_3709

Perth Night Noodle Markets 2016

IMG_2766Have you been to the Night Noodle Markets yet? It’s part of Good Food Month. Last night we checked out this years line up of 20+ stallholders with hawker style eats under the city lights at Elizabeth Quay.IMG_2789

I’d heard how popular the markets are, so as soon as I got there I made a bee-line for Bao Stop which was top of my food wish list. They are a mobile container restaurant based in Sydney. For the uninitiated, bao is essentially a small, soft Chinese bread bun. First in the line, I ordered the bao trifecta ($20). Wow -those bao were jam packed with flavoursome fillings and if you think $20 is a bit steep, I think this dish is worth the splurge. (Left to Right) There’s Peking Duck, Pork Belly and Fried Chicken. I loved them all – the fried chicken had to be my favourite.IMG_2763

The Peking duck fries ($15) were also a must try for me. I would have like the fries to be hotter, but topped with a sweet plum sauce and shredded, crisp duck they were pretty darn fine.IMG_2761

Hoy Pinoy Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Hoy Pinoy was a favourite of ours from last years Night Noodle Markets. Their smokin skewers are divine, $13 for two. Choose from chicken BBQ’d in a traditional marinade or BBQ pork belly with a banana ketchup glaze. Chef ignored my “no eating before pics” rule, his pork belly skewers were so good!IMG_2786

I visited the lovely Mei at Turban Chopsticks and she has some tasty options for those with dietary requirements. Most of her dishes are vego, vegan and gluten free. The satay “gado gado” noodle bowl is so fresh and vibrant – proving healthy food can be super tasty too! Its brimming with rainbow salad, kale, tofu, coconut milk, tapioca chips, rice noodles and finished with a nicely spiced satay sauce. Yummy! (gifted).IMG_2780

Mei also gave us some sweetcorn fritters to try. The crisp fritters were accompanied by a tomato eggplant chutney and they went down an absolute treat! IMG_2781

Time for something sweet… Black Star Pastry hails from Sydney and I have had my eye on their stunning  Strawberry Watermelon Cake for some time (via Instagram!). It’s a scrumptious layered cake made up of almond dacquoise, rose-scented cream, strawberries, watermelon and finished beautifully with dried rose petals and pistachios. It costs $9 and is worth every cent.IMG_2770

Black Star Pastry has teamed up with N2 Extreme Gelato, who have stores in Mebourne and Sydney . Little Chef scoffed their Ferrero Gelato, $9. It has a crisp rice bubble choc top and a chocolate ganache filled syringe. I had a bite and the Ferrero Rocher gelato was spot on.IMG_2769

Not to be outdone, Chef’s dessert was a fancy Nutella covered waffle from Waffle on a Stick. It was served warm and super fresh.IMG_2802

It’s simply impossible to try everything – though we gave it a good go! Other local and interstate vendors include: Dainty Dowager, Low Key Chow House, Apple Daily, Lucky Chans, Bangkok Jump Street, Cili Padi, Roti Road and more. There’s also a few bars scattered around and live entertainment too making for a fantastic atmosphere.

IMG_2795All in all the Night Noodle Markets are a great event. My tip is to get there when it opens  to grab a table and minimise queueing. I saw a few people who brought picnic rugs, which is a good idea too. There were a few reservations about accessibility, but with the EQ train and bus stations, the ferry and plenty of parking, the foodie event is pretty easy to get to. Get your noodle on before the Night Noodle Markets end this Sunday (10th of April). See you next year!IMG_2805

For more info visit the Good Food Month website.

C Restaurant – Perth CBD

IMG_7444For Chef and I the C Restaurant evokes thoughts of special occasions, romantic proposals and intimate dinners for two. Saying that, neither of us had actually been, so when we received an invitation (a subsidised meal, not free) to dine at C – we eagerly accepted. It’s a totally unique venue in Perth’s CBD.

IMG_7414We headed into the city mid-week. We parked in the convenient underground car park at St Martin’s Tower and hopped into the lift, eagerly pressing the button to the 33rd floor! Our booking was for 6pm, as I was keen to see the view both in the day and by night.

IMG_7435As the lift doors slid open, we were warmly greeted by the staff. The contemporary restaurant is stylish and classy with white linen tablecloths and tea lights – perfect for a romantic dinner for two! We were seated at the window. It’s no surprise that the view is amazing! It’s from a totally different perspective than we’d normally have on our beautiful city. I’m always in awe of the Perth skyline when we see it from Kings Park or the South Perth foreshore, but at C restaurant you’re right there, amongst all the shiny skyscrapers.

New Image2Chef had to keep telling me to concentrate on the menu – he wanted to order! I could barely keep my eyes off the view and was pointing out all the landmarks. We started our meal with a northerly outlook – we could see NIB Stadium, Forrest Place and its “cactus” art, the Aviary rooftop bar, Perth Arena, the Horseshoe bridge, the State Theatre and much of Northbridge.

IMG_7466We were dining from the four course mid-week dinner menu ($99 pp). We nibbled on a little bread, creamed salted butter and Chittering Valley evoo ($7) whilst we enjoyed the view. If you’re not familiar with C, it’s a revolving restaurant – a first for us! A complete rotation of the floor takes 90 minutes. So you don’t miss out on a thing. The floor moves slowly, but fast enough for you to see it move.

New Image1For first course I chose the Huon Valley Tasmanian salmon tartare with pickled beet, horseradish cream, salmon caviar, fresh orange and garnished with dill. The salmon was very fresh and tasty. It was a light dish, a great way to start dinner.

New Image3Chef had the exquisitely plated goat cheese panna cotta with vinegar glazed beetroot, blood orange, golden beetroot, apple jelly and roasted pecan nuts. It was pretty as a picture. Having a cheese panna cotta was quite different and it was creamy and very smooth. Chef really savoured this dish.

IMG_7456By now, we’d made our way around to Adelaide Terrace – looking east. Dusk was falling and the neon lights on the Perth city council building were putting on a great show for us.

IMG_7469For second course Chef enjoyed the ‘36 hour cooked’ pork belly with a celeriac purée, apple & rhubarb chutney, chorizo crumb and a calvados jus. It was an excellent piece of pork belly – there was hardly any fat on it. The skin was perfectly crackled. A cracking dish!

IMG_7471I thought the slow braised spring lamb shoulder roulade was full of flavour. On the side was a minted garden pea purée, parmesan custard, cumin foam and Serrano ham crisp.

IMG_7458Now we were looking south towards the Swan River – it was a fantastic vantage point to have a view of the Elizabeth Quay development. I can’t wait for it to be finished – adding another dimension and yet more restaurants to Perth.

IMG_7477For third course I enjoyed char-grilled pitch Black Angus beef tenderloin with pumpkin textures, grilled pickling onion, braised beef cheeks roulade and wasabi beef jus. The beef was perfectly cooked and had a fabulous smoky flavour.

IMG_7473The Char-grilled Wagyu beef sirloin was tender and had that buttery flavour synonymous with quality Wagyu. with spinach & potato gratin, braised beef cheeks roulade, shallot purée and persillade d’escargot, spring vegetables (additional $28). Cheeky Chef gave me a “mushroom” to try – I should have noticed his wicked grin! Good job I like snails!

New ImageBy now it was night and we enjoyed the twinkling lights of the office towers on St Georges Terrace.

IMG_7485For dessert my pick was the milk chocolate and passion fruit tart topped with hibiscus whipped ganache and a raspberry sorbet. Very tasty and not too heavy.

IMG_7487Chef was in a chocoholic’s dream with and ooey-gooey chocolate fondant, vanilla Ice Cream, caramelized poached pear. He scoffed the lot and looked tempted to lick the plate. I was enjoying my dessert so much I forgot to take the money shot – when Chef cut into the pudding and the fondant flows out! Whoopsie 🙂

IMG_7418All in all we both enjoyed our first trip to C Restaurant. The service was friendly and attentive. The view was to die for and one-of-a kind. The food was, honestly, better than we had expected.

We try to remain impartial when dining FOC or with a big discount. We concluded we would have been happy to pay for that meal, which, with extras would have come to about $250. It’s something that all Perth-lovers should try at least once. It’s a great place to take visitors to Perth too. C Restaurant actually won a Gold Plate Award for “Best Tourist Restaurant” this week! Congrats!!

I’d absolutely return to C Restaurant. I do think it’s a venue perfect for an extra special occasion. I’d love to dine there on Australia Day – wouldn’t that be spectacular! Our friendly waiter was telling us all about it – sounds amazing.

Thank you to Caitlin for organising and to the C Restaurant’s team for a memorable night!

**The C Restaurant is also in the 2014/15 Entertainment book**

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