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!


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.


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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Woodfire Restaurant, Ellenbrook


Last year I wrote about a hidden gem that’s hiding in suburban Ellenbrook – Woodfire Restaurant. Italian Chef/Owner Lorenzo, (formerly Head Chef of Jamie’s Italian both in Perth and the UK) asked me along to a bloggers brunch to celebrate their opening for an Italian-style breakfast.


The bustling, open restaurant has an open kitchen, complete with wood fire. To begin our feast, we got to try a whole array of what Woodfire offers on it’s brand new brunch menu.


Here’s the pick of the brunch… ahem, bunch: Continue reading

Canteen Pizza, Cottesloe


Canteen Pizza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Say Ciao to the latest eatery from the people behind Cottesloe’s ever popular Il Lido, who have opened another casual Italian a little further up Marine Parade. Canteen Pizza has a laid back Mediterranean feel, with a crisp, light interior and walls lined with bottles of wine. By night, the venue takes on a louder, darker wine bar vibe.


Canteen Pizza is not your typical pizza joint. Though the focus is undeniably pizza, but the menu is punctuated with Italian style cheese, meat and fish dishes. One of Australia’s most renowned pizza pros, Napoli-born Ettore Bertonati, has been brought over from Adelaide to set up the pizza menu.

A lot of Italian produce and terms are used in the menu and the friendly wait staff are only too happy to explain and “translate” for me.

Given the fantastic wine program at Il lido, I’m expecting an impressive wine list and Canteen Pizza delivers. The ever evolving list is a mix of accessible Australian and Italian labels, with a focus on natural wines. A glass of Aperol spritz seems the perfect choice for enjoying casual Italian dishes by the sea. Their quirky glassware is a big hit, with the quote “Because you can’t drink pizza” printed on their wine glasses.

Aperol Spritz

We start our lunch with dishes of antipasti. We’re spoilt for choice. There’s cold cuts of meat, seafood, veal and pork meatballs, freshly baked bread and more. I adore the baked Chevrac du Perigord ($18) French goats cheese is rolled in pistachio nuts and served upon freshly chopped rocket. The creamy cheese paired with zesty flavours of house made candied orange marmalade makes for a cracking summer dish.

Baked Goats Cheese

Plump Rottnest scallops ($18 for two) are served in the shell along with pickled carrots, leek, and cauliflower. The scallops, topped with golden pane fritto crumbs (fried bread), are full of flavour and I’m wishing for more.


The Margherita, $20, is simply stunning. A pizza rossa (red sauce base) is topped with Italian Pomodoro san Marzano tomato sauce, Fior di Latte mozzarella, sharp parmesan and basil, the thin base is light and puffy, with just a hint of a crispy black edge. We shouldn’t mess with the simplicity of a Margarita, though we add pork and fennel sausage. At least it’s not pineapple! The punchy toppings aren’t loaded on, which gives the crisp base a chance to shine.

Margarita w Sausage

The Neapolitan-style pizzas are top notch. Their dough is left to rise naturally for 48 hours, topped with Italian and fresh local ingredients, then cooked in the roaring wood fire in their open kitchen. Chef also enjoyed the “Rustica” with creamy stracchino cheese, pork and fennel sausage,  broccoli, fennel and fresh chili.


It’s not just about pizza at Canteen Pizza. The porchetta, a rolled roasted pork loin, catches my eye. Tempted as I am, this seems a meal in itself, so I order the rainbow trout. Sadly, it’s not arrived in the kitchen yet. The chefs are more than happy to cook their market fish (line caught Geraldton Bream) in the same way – stuffed with pancetta and rosemary, oregano and garlic. Here’s a truth bomb – I’ve never tackled a whole fish before! Put off by bones and not to mention being eyeballed by the fish as I ate it, I’d never taken the plunge. Boy, have I been missing out. The moist, buttery flesh easily slides off the bone. I am mightily impressed.

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Toastface Grillah, Perth CBD


Tucked away down Grand Lane you’ll find the grungy cool of Toastface Grillah. A top spot for a pimped up toastie and hip hop beats, it was also one of my very first blogs, over four years ago. The name “Toastface Grillah” grabbed me – it’s a twist on the name of US rapper Ghostface Killah (Wu Tang Clan), who has incidentally visited and played an impromptu gig here in the lane! This little eatery is a little bit “gangsta” too.

Toastface Grillah is a fantastic place for breakfast, brunch and lunch. We’ve been toasted sandwich fans since our childhood. This is much more than your Mum’s simple cheese and tomato toastie. The café itself is thrift shop chic. It’s very casual, with a few benches dotted around the small courtyard and cool beats coming out of the retro speakers.


These toasties are all superb in there gooey, oozey cheesy-ness. Little Chef loved the simple “Get Ya Veg”, vegemite and cheese toastie, $5.


Chef gobbled down the ham, cheese and mustard toastie, $7. The boys relished their toasties. Continue reading

Whitfords Brewing Co, Westfield Whitford City


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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!


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!


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!


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!


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.


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.


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.


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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Fun, Food and Flying Pigs at the 2017 IGA Perth Royal Show

It’s showtime! The IGA Perth Royal Show is on NOW till Saturday the 30th of September.


Growing up, the Perth Royal Show was a firm favourite of mine. I have fond childhood memories of Bertie Beatle showbags and cuddly animals, as well as stomach churning rides when Chef and I were dating in our early 20s.


This year it was Little Chef’s very first time experiencing all the fun of the show and he’d given us very strict instructions on what show bags he’d like and just what he wanted to see and do.


Not surprisingly, other than the rides and side show alley, he was most excited about seeing all the animals. Little Chef cuddled chicks, guinea pigs and patted some piglets too.


Just outside, you’ll find the “Racing and Flying Pigs Show”. This goes for about 15 minutes and we loved seeing those porkers fly!

We really enjoyed “Walk Through WA”, here all regions of WA are featured. Little Chef loved the farming virtual reality, seeing cute baby camels and also prospecting for gold, where he found a gold coin to keep.


Before we knew it, it was lunchtime! We headed to the huge Taste WA tent, which was a perfect place to discover some delicious Royal Show award winning West Aussie produce to eat – from Perth’s best sausage to gold medal pies and bread.


There’s loads of seating, making it a good stop in the changeable weather.


Little Chef tucked into crumbed Pilbara Spanish Mackerel. The hand cup chips are from the south west – even the salt is from WA!


I had some saucy Linley Valley pork ribs and chips.


While we were chowing down on all that, we watched a cooking demo by West Australian Food Ambassador, Chef Don Hancey.


There’s a bar and cider truck from my favourites Core Cider House too!


There’s loads of other food options all around the show. From the run of the mill hamburgers and hotdogs, to something a bit wild and wacky – deep fried Oreos anyone?!


OMG… I sniffed out these giant turkey legs and lamb shanks, which looked A-frikkin-mazing! Too bad we’d just had our lunch.


These meaty morsels are found at that little food vendor with the yellow roof that’s between the top of the oval and the Ferris wheel. I remember it from when I was a kid, so it’s been there quite some time! A trip here is definitely on my list for next year! Continue reading