Basq, Currambine

It was my parents wedding anniversary recently. Usually, I don’t celebrate it with them (I think wedding anniversaries are a couples thing), but today was an EXTRA special day… I had been plotting a surprise!

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One of my sisters (who lives in England) had let me in on her exciting news. She is coming to Perth for a holiday with her kids this December. I’m completely giddy with excitement, particularly as they have never made the big trip to Australia and my parents were going to be over the moon to hear the news! It’s been years since we saw them. So, I’d planned a Skype call after lunch, so my sister could tell them face to face!

Anyway, to our lunch!…

Being a special occasion, we picked Basq in Currambine, one of the best dining spots in our area. The modern European restaurant has a stylishly modern fit out and a buzzing atmosphere. It’s a very light and airy place, with high ceilings and huge open windows.

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Styled as “tapas”, the menu has small share plates, as well as more substantial options for those who don’t like to share their food. The drinks menu at Basq will suit all tastes and there’s always room for a cheeky cocktail or two…

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Monsterella Pizza, Wembley

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Monsterella is a suburban pizzeria with a warm, laid back feel. The bustling Grantham Street eatery has a hip a rustic interior and lively, family-friendly atmosphere. We were lucky to get a booking at the incredibly popular spot. We needed to come in early, which was fine with us, as we’re generally early eaters anyway. We got there at 5.30pm and it was soon heaving with diners.

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As soon as we sat down, a friendly waitress brought our menus as will as a blank pizza box with a load of textas for Little Chef. That’s a very cool alternative to your usual colouring book! He soon set to work, busily designing his own pizza box. Monsterella was named after the way that the owner’s little girl pronounces mozzarella cheese. How cute is that?!

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In no time the eatery was buzzing with busy tables and lot of people coming in for take away pizzas too. Their focus is on handmade wood fired pizza with traditional toppings, though there’s also some tastebud tempting traditional Italian street food on offer, with cheese, meats, salad and fish dishes on the menu. Continue reading

Inglewood Night Markets

Loads of people get Monday-itis… Poor Monday is the most unloved day of the week. Personally, I love Mondays, and not just because one of my most favourite binge-worthy shows (Outlander) is on telly. You can make Mondays a no-cook zone in your house and head out to the food-tastic Inglewood on Beaufort Night Market. This food truck extravaganza is held each and every Monday evening from 6pm in the warmer months.

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Both sides of Beaufort Street between Sixth Avenue and Dundas Road are lined with a mix of food trucks and hawker food stalls, with a couple of craft and fresh produce stalls too.

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We started our foodie trail at the city end, near Mondos Butchers and walked up one side of the street then down the other side on the way back. It’s a nice stroll and there’s lots of live music along the way adding to the vibrant atmosphere.

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There’s a huge choice of cuisines from all around the world… This fresh paella looked and smelled amazing.

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And what a mouth-watering  mountain of meat at El Argentino!

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The grassed Town Square area is a really popular spot with families to throw down a picnic rug. The kids will love having a dance to the live music.

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We’ve been a few times in the last month, here’s out pick of what we’ve tried (so far!):

 

Delicious Columbian empanadas from Marcelita’s – the pulled pork and lime (3 for $11) is my favourite filling and best of all their tasty morsels are gluten free.

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Little Chef chose a woodfired pizza ($15) from Fire Truck Pizza. This is by Chef Lorenzo, who’s Ellenbrook Woodfire Italian Restaurant is a huge favourite with us. Lorenzo has decked out an old fire truck with a pizza oven and flashing lights in the Italian colours – of course. Continue reading

Whitfords Brewing Co, Westfield Whitford City

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The new foodie hub at Westfield Whitford City is an entertainment and dining hot spot.  We headed down there to check out just one of the many restaurants, the shiny new Whitfords Brewing Co. Inside you’ll find somewhere to prop up the bar, as it’s one of the longest bars in WA and upstairs there is a rooftop terrace, from which you’ll be able to enjoy sunsets in the evening.

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Chef was chomping at the bit to have a pint and some eats here. The WBC is from the peeps from Beerland, who are behind the Northbridge Brewing Co.

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There’s dining areas outside, overlooking the lush and green central space of the new Whitford City piazza, where there’s a small stage for live entertainment, and sculptures.

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These sculptures double as an interesting place for children to play and explore.

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We found a high table near the bar and a friendly waitress brought Little Chef an activity pack, as soon as we sat down.

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For a weekday lunchtime the brewery was pumping and it has a jolly atmosphere. On tap are the WBC’s ale, lager, a wheat beer, kolsch and IPA, as well as brews from other craft breweries.

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The large menu features all the crowd favourites. Chef picked the angus burger ($19). A succulent, flame grilled patty sits on a bun, along with shredded lettuce, aioli, cheese, dill pickle, house made tomato chutney. He loved the patty, which had a real home made taste to it.

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I chose the roast pumpkin pizza, on a gluten free base. I find the GF substitutes very hit and miss, but this base was not far from the real deal, topped with a tasty combo of Danish feta, rocket, caramelised onion and cashews.

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Little Chef chose the mini beef slider and chips from the varied kids menu. The slider was oozing with cheese and looked delicious.

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We had no complaints with the pub-style food. I’m sure we’ll be back to check out the rooftop terrace and I’ve no doubt this spot will soon become a northern suburbs favourite.

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Other eateries at Westfield Whitford City include:

  • East Village NY
  • Hunter & Barrel
  • Max Brenner Chocolate
  • Miss Chows
  • Jersey Jack Gelato
  • Gami 
  • Bombay Talkies
  • Bangkok Brothers
  • Dough Pizza
  • Grill’d Bugers
  •  Eat House
  • Guzman Y Gomez
  • Event Cinema

There’s so much to discover at the Whitfords piazza and it’s a brilliant place for lunch with the family before a movie at Event Cinemas or even a cheeky date night.

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NEW Vines Mini Golf & Kid Friendly Swan Valley Eats

The newly opened Vines Mini Golf course at The Vines Resort is very impressive. This stunningly landscaped miniature golf course has wine barrels, tractors and lots of timber, giving it a real Swan Valley feel.

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The course has been designed for both adults and children to enjoy. And the three of us do love a family game of mini golf! Everybody tees off from the same point, but depending on your own choice, you can aim towards the blue or red flags – designed to give you a slightly different experience if you play more than once.

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Each hole has its own individual challenges – sand traps, slopes and hills, bridges, tunnels and water features. There are streams meandering past many of the holes. We lost a couple of balls in there… whoops!

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All the holes were fun and each had its own individual challenge. There’s a hole with two tunnels, taking the balls down to a lower level, that was a big hit with Little Chef. He was stoked that he got TWO holes in one too!

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Unlike traditional golf at The Vines, there’s no strict dress code, though everyone must have footwear on at all times and you cannot wear high heels on the course. There’s no shade and the average play time is about 1 hour, so remember to slip, slop slap!

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When we played, we were lucky to get a sneak peek before the course opened to the public. They were still making a few finishing touches, including a fun “winner’s podium”, just to make it a little more competitive – everybody wants to be on the top step and get mini golf bragging rights!

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Vines Mini Golf is a “hole” lot of fun! We enjoyed the challenges of trying to keep the ball out of the water and of course, Little Chef beat me. I’ll be challenging to a re-match very soon. We will definitely go back there again. It’s loads of fun for the whole family – no experience necessary!

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8 Swan Valley Kid-Friendly Eats

And while you’re in the Swan Valley, how about you try one of these kid-friendly spots?

Oakover Grounds – this winery has excellent casual food in a beautiful setting on a lake. There’s free peddle boats and fishing too! If you’re lucky enough to catch a fish (like us) you can pay for it and cook it up at home! Read my blog here.

For Kids: kids menu, loads of space for them to run around, peddle boats and fishing.

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Taylors Art and Coffee House – my favourite Swan Valley brunch spot. There’s fluffy pancakes, great coffee and other scrumptious creations. Read my blog here.

For Kids: kids menu, casual vibe and a sandpit in the back courtyard.

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The Hen – The Hen has bucket loads of character, for a new spot. The rustic, country vibe works well in the Swan Valley and we enjoyed a tasty lunch there last year. Read my blog here.

For Kids: kids menu, and loads of space for them to run around – balls and frisbees available.

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Maison St Honore – this macaron factory is a fantastic spot for a sweet treat and coffee. There’s a few savoury items available too and I did spy a brunch menu, so I’ll have to “investigate” that further! Read my blog here.

For Kids: scrumptious treats, loads of lawn and a playground.

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The Left Bank, East Freo

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The Left Bank Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

A top spot for lunch on a sunny day is the historic Left Bank, found right on the Swan River in East Freo. We grabbed a table out the front, overlooking the river and its amazing views to the traffic bridges, Fremantle port and beyond.

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At the iconic pub, there’s seating in the conservatory, in the popular leafy courtyard and out the front too.

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I had called earlier, to make a booking, as I know the Left Bank can get really busy, but found that they have a walk in policy. That was fine with us. The Left Bank offers a big menu full of all the pub food favourites.

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Once seated, Chef went over to the bar and ordered our drinks and food. He enjoyed a pint with his view.

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I treated myself to a cheeky mojito. Not long after we ordered, the food arrived promptly.

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There’s a few gluten free options, I chose the grilled Barramundi served with kipfler potatoes, chorizo, kale and a capsicum vinegar ($32). The barramundi was perfectly cooked.

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Chef tucked into the huuuuuge “Wharfies Burger” packed with a beef patty, Monterey Jack cheese, mustard, pickles, battered onion rings, salad, aioli in a toasted pretzel bun ($24).

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As if all that wasn’t enough, Chef upgraded, adding bacon and egg to his burger. The runny yolk was oozing out, making it look even more delicious!

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Little Chef chose the kids cheeseburger and chips ($10) There’s also fish n chips, pizza and mac and cheese for the little ones, who also get a free activity pack to keep them out of mischief! The Left Bank has a kids night each and every Tuesday too. There’s arts and crafts, toys and face painting. Kids also eat free with every main meal purchased.

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It’s a beautiful spot to spend a couple of hours under the pine trees, gazing at the river over a lazy lunch and a couple of drinkies!

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The Left Bank is located at 15 Riverside Road, East Fremantle. Find out more on their website. 

We dined as guests of the Left Bank.

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The Packing Shed, Bickley Valley

The Bickley Valley area of the Perth Hills is fast becoming a must go weekend destination. There’s wineries, cafes, mini golf and the popular Core Cider House. To me, the spot nestled just behind Kalamunda is a far prettier drive than the Swan Valley, with its native bushland, winding roads and green rolling hills covered in vineyards and orchards, giving it a real country feel.IMG_9659

The Packing Shed opened up earlier this year. Found at one of Bickley Valley’s vineyards, Lawnbrook Estate, the rustic eatery is a peaceful spot for brunch or lunch all year round.IMG_9668

We’ve previously been there on a sunny day and sat on the patio with a glass of wine.IMG_6679

Little Chef loved to run around on the expansive lawns.IMG_9653

This time we visited for brunch, we spent a winter’s morning sitting inside, by the roaring log fire.IMG_9661

The staff are always welcoming and friendly. The coffee is very good too.IMG_9624

The brunch cut off is 11.30am, but there are a few breakfast dishes that make it onto the lunch menu for late-risers. My top brekkie pick has to be the shakshouka. It’s one of my all-time favourite brunch dishes and the Packing Shed’s version of eggs baked in a spicy Moroccan tomato sauce is very tasty and the fresh bread is perfect for dunking! IMG_6691

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