The Brown Fox – West Perth {CLOSED}

A decade ago this West Perth bar was a haunt of mine, for after-work drinks on a Friday. Back then it was a decadent place, called The Onyx Bar. In fact, before Onyx, it was called CY O’Connors and I remember having a few cheeky long Friday lunches there with my workmates at Gwalia. In 2011 it had a complete re-vamp and became The Brown Fox. It’s not a plush and swanky bar now –though that’s not to say it doesn’t have a luxurious feel to it. Its cosy pub-style charm is mixed with chandeliers and pressed tin ceilings.

Friday night drinks at The Brown Fox are still as popular as ever. There’s a merry atmosphere of workers celebrating the start of the weekend and live music. We enjoy the bluesy tones of a certain singer Eve B – who has backing vocals on Nicki Minaj’s last album to her credit. She’s found at the Brown Fox on Friday nights, accompanied by accomplished musicians (Simon Paparo the night we visited) – at the moment her partner in crime is life-long friend Jeff Mann.

We arrive and as the sign at the door suggests we “wait to be seated”. After a minute or two it soon becomes apparent that no one is going to greet us – Chef and I decide to sit in the floral carpeted dining area, in a booth. We’re a bit confused whether there is table service or not, so we order drinks at the bar and grab some menus. Quick as a flash, a waiter arrives to take our food order, but we need more time.

The menu is typical of a suburban pub – BLT, fish and chips, steak sarnies and the like. Chef and I choose a charcuterie board ($34) to start with. Out comes a wooden board brimming with smoked chicken, chorizo, prosciutto, olives, marinated capsicum, candied nuts, blue cheese, smoked cheddar and toasted ciabatta.

Before the charcuterie board has time to be devoured, the waiter brings us our mains, with apologies for the quick arrival. I ponder that the service is generally very quick – much like the brown fox in the typing exercise back in our school days; “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog”.

Though we didn’t get an explanation for the rush, Chef explains that this occasionally happens when part of an order is missed and something gets added on – thus throwing the timings out. In this case, we think perhaps they didn’t treat the charcuterie plate as an entrée – since at The Brown Fox the menu reads “Share Food” and “Mains”. The dining room isn’t full, so it’s safe to say they aren’t purposely hurrying us.

I’m looking for some comfort food on this cool autumn night. The Lamb shanks ($28) are cooked in a deeply rich tomato and red wine sauce – it is the perfect choice. The tender shanks are accompanied by some well-cooked seasonal veg and garlic mash – which is ever so creamy.

Chef choses the rib eye steak ($36) with beef jus, seasonal vegetables and a ginormous potato cake on the side. The equally large rib eye is cooked perfectly medium-rare and is a tasty bit of meat. Chef thinks the thyme-loaded potato cake is delicious.

The wine list is mostly local, with a few SA and NZ wines added for good measure. I choose the Lazy Dog Cider, which is made in the on-site cidery, from Sundowner and Pink Lady apples. Owners, Greg and Ant, are very enthusiastic about their brew. They hold a monthly Cider Club at the Brown Fox.

All in all we enjoy the Brown Fox for what it is – pub food with style.

Poolside Bar & Grill – Crown Metropol Perth

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Poolside Bar and Grill on Urbanspoon

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