Health Freak Café, Kings Park

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Health Freak Cafe, Kings Park  Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

From as far back as high school I’ve had a bit of a “funny tummy”. Without giving you TMI (too much info), it’s often uncomfortable and very bloaty. My love of food has put me in denial about a possible food intolerance for 20 years. I knew it wasn’t as catastrophic as being coeliac, but little by little I came to the realisation that I needed to get to the, ahem, bottom of the issue.

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So after a load of blood tests and ‘scopeis earlier this year, it turns out that I have a mild gluten intolerance and possibly an intolerance to some other foods (I suspect apple and onion). My GP advised me that I needed to go on a strict low FODMAP elimination diet for about 6 weeks, which I’ve now completed (thank goodness!). FODMAPs are basically short chain carbohydrates that are poorly digested. They include some fructose, monosaccharides, and sugar alcohols, such as sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol and maltitol. So there was a lot I couldn’t eat – even common foods like garlic and mushrooms!

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Cutting out some of these foods has made me feel a whole lot better, though it’s been a nightmare eating out. I now have a new-found appreciation for a well labelled menu. If I see lots of “GF” options it makes me so happy. One spot in particular has been a godsend – Health Freak Café, who have a menu that even caters for FODMAPers! There’s lots of dishes labelled “FOG”, free from onion and garlic. Continue reading

Pearth Organic Kitchen – West Leederville

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Pearth Organic Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Pearth Organic Kitchen is all about healthy, wholesome food. I was meeting my lovely friend Kimmie for brunch and I thought Pearth would be well, perthfect (sorry, I just couldn’t resist!). For starters, I can never have too much healthy food, as long as it’s tasty anyway. Also Kimmie is gluten and dairy intolerant, so I thought they would have lots of menu options for her and they did. Pearth also caters well for vegans and vegetarians.

We met in the small Cambridge Street café, grabbing the last table. First up we enjoyed some good coffees. My flat white is made from Fiori organic coffee beans and organic milk from The Grumpy Farmer.IMG_3866

I just HAD to chose the Perthfect Parmesan eggs – I can’t imagine why! The scrambled parmesan eggs ($22) were wonderfully creamy, on top of a slice of thickly cut sourdough toast. On the side was avocado, wilted kale and a tasty house made tomato relish. I really enjoyed this.IMG_3871

Kim loved her smashed avocado with house made hummus, $17. Sprinkled with dukkah and a poached egg on the side. She swapped the sourdough for gluten free bread by Strange Grains. Kimmie enjoyed this, particularly the delicious hummus.  IMG_3867

I love that Pearth don’t use processed products or refined sugars in their cooking. For me, having a guilt free brunch is great, especially as I’m sensitive to some food additives and preservatives. I like knowing what I’ve got on my fork is going to 100% nourish my body. You don’t have to be a health food nut to enjoy Pearth Organic Kitchen – just a tasty food addict like me! IMG_3876

 

 

Layup – Northbridge

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

I do get rather giddy about checking out a trendy café. Layup, is found at the quieter, suburban end of Northbridge. I was meeting one of my besties Nays for breakfast and I had visions of a massive wait for a table, like our trip to Hylin last year. We decided to meet at 7am on a Saturday morning, to be sure to get a table. Though the café was bustling when we left, at 7am we had no problem getting a table at all. We grabbed a coffee while we waited for our brekkie. The coffee, by small batch Blacklist Coffee Roasters roast is very, very good – off to a promising start!IMG_2476

Nays enjoyed her Guacamole and pico de gallo, $20. Pico de gallo,  a fresh salsa, is served on charred sourdough with smoked corn and a jalapeno custard – which gives a spicy little kick to the dish. It’s usually topped with a slow cooked egg too, but Nays is the only person I know that doesn’t appreciate a bit of #eggporn IMG_2477

I showed A LOT of restraint in my order. I was eyeing up the brioche doughnut balls, but instead  chose something far more healthy! I really loved the strawberry black chia seed pudding, $17. It reminded me a bit of sago pudding that I ate when I was little. It’s served with honey toasted granola, poached pear, passion fruit pulp and pepitas. It was a fab way to start my weekend.IMG_2483

Layup is an excellent inner city café and I’m not surprised one iota by the buzz that it has been creating. The menu is interesting, food and coffee top notch and the service is with a smile. We were offered split billing too, which is rare, but much appreciated. I’d love to return to check out Layup’s lunch menu, which looks like a cracker.IMG_2474

Litte Sisto – Doubleview

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Little Sisto Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Our trip to Little Sisto was spur of the moment to say the least. We’d actually planned on visiting a favourite of mine, Sushi Wawa, but it was closed on this weekday lunchtime. I had to get my thinking cap on quick smart to find a worthy Plan B in the area. I’d wanted to try Little Sisto for ages, so we drove over to Doubleview with our fingers crossed that the little café wasn’t shut too!

Luck was smiling on us. We found Little Sisto open and it was positively bustling! Luckily we f0und a table inside (there is also a small courtyard out the back). My Mum and I both ordered a very healthy sounding green bowl each.While we were waiting for our late lunch, we enjoyed an excellent Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee and a fresh juice.20151203_131626

The green bowls arrived and boy were they packed full! Leafy salad greens, roasted pumpkin, soft cheese, almonds, quinoa, ribbons of zucchini and smashed avocado were drizzled with a delicious citrus dressing. A perfectly poached egg sat on top, it’s golden yolk oozing out.

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I don’t tend to choose the healthy option much, but based on this bowl of deliciousness, I think I may consider it more often! Little Sisto is a friendly suburban café that has outstanding coffee, a healthy take on much of their menu and good vibes. Next time I go there it won’t be my plan B!20151203_134427

 

 

Post – Perth CBD

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

The Eat Drink Perth food festival is being held in the city now – until April 23rd. Food lovers are spoiled for choice with progressive dinners, special degustations, masterclasses, foodie tours and more. When contemplating a visit to the stunning State Buildings for this month’s newspaper review, I was struck with a choice of which restaurant at the newly renovated city venue to dine at – Petition, Long Chim, Wildflower or Post? It was a no-brainer. I’d review Post for the Post Newspaper!IMG_2376_Fotor

Found in the historical heart of the city – the old GPO – Post restaurant resides in what used to be the franking room of the post office. We are greeted and seated in the minimalist dining room. There is an indoor tree and vaulted ceilings, making the bright and inviting space feel more like an outside courtyard.IMG_2245

Chef has met me at Post fresh from finishing a 12 hour shift and is in great need of a cold beer. Post feels like more of a wine-drinking establishment, though looking around, beer seems to be the choice of drink for many others in the room. There are bottled boutique beers available, which are poured into long stemmed beer glasses. I’ve never seen a beer look so fancy!IMG_2386

While craft beer is very on trend, Post has an interesting international wine list. It’s the kind of restaurant where enjoying a chilled $475 bottle of Dom Perignon would not be out of place. I choose a French rose from the drinks menu, which unfortunately isn’t available. Instead, I opt for a glass of the local Pemberley rose, $10, which still fits the bill nicely.IMG_2387

As well as the main menu, there is a wellness “Shambhala Cuisine” menu. There are six dishes on this clean and raw organic menu, perfect for those on a health kick that are not wanting to stray from their clean eating diets.

We order our meals with the knowledgeable waitress and nibble on some freshly baked bread while we wait. In no time, our food arrives and Chef admires his kingfish entrée, $24. Cured hiramasa kingfish with a subtle chardonnay dressing and sesame cream is hiding under thin disks of sweet, crisp apple and sharp daikon. It’s has well balanced flavour and is a beautifully plated dish.IMG_2389_

Pork belly, $26, is cooked twice which results in a crisp slice of meat, topped with two plump Shark Bay prawns. There is a dollop of a sweet blood plum sauce on the plate which marries the meat and seafood flawlessly. The dish is finished with crunchy fennel and finger lime. Whilst the fat to meat ratio on the pork belly is a little lopsided for my liking, it is a fatty cut of meat after all.IMG_2393

Meat is the hero in both our main dishes. Chef’s Rangers Valley beef, $44, is served with deep fried broccolini and a spinach puree. The tasty steak cuts as easily as the café de Paris butter that is melted on top of it.IMG_2396

My Arkady lamb dish, $39, is deliciously tender and sits upon a smear of eggplant puree, with crisp cavolo nero kale and a Spanish piperade jus – made of sautéed green peppers, onion and tomatoes.lamb

We order a side of chips, $12, and I’m disappointed that we’re served seasoned skinny fries. I would have much preferred chunky chips to dip in the lush malt vinegar aioli.IMG_2403

Whilst we don’t feel rushed, service is efficient and our meals come out promptly. I’m aware that our table is booked for a later sitting at the popular Post. Though who knows what time the second sitting is, as Post is open till 2am daily!

I finish on a sweet and somewhat healthy note. Usually dessert fills me with guilt – this dessert from the “Shambhala” menu is as nutritional and natural as one can get. The vibrant, yet simple cacao mousse, $16, is listed on the menu as “clean” for those following a gluten-free, vegan or sugar free diet. It’s served with fresh berries, pistachios and some edible snapdragons for a big splash of colour.IMG_2413

Chef does indulge and tucks into the chocolate cremeux, $18. The rich mousse-like chocolate cream sits upon a sponge base. It has a deep, nutty aftertaste and is finished with caramelised hazelnuts and milk ice-cream.cremeux

And the sweets don’t end there. When we request our bill, a plate of two flavour packed salted caramel truffles arrive along with it. The truffles are made on site by Sue Lewis, a chocolatier that sells her goodies at her store downstairs.IMG_2416

Post is a wonderful addition to the city’s dining scene and it offers oodles of class and superbly cooked food without a drop of pretention.

** Published in the Post Newspaper March 2016 **

At a glance

■ Post

1 Cathedral Ave

Perth

Phone 6168 7780

■ Opening times

7 days – 8am till 2am

■ Rating

food 4

service 4

ambience 4

value for money 3

■ style – Modern Australian bistro

■ wine – interesting local and

international wine list

■ Chef – Kim Brennan

■ Owner – The COMO Group

■ feel – simple chic

■ wheelchair access – yes

■ cost

Entree – $22 to $28

Mains – $32 to $44

Dessert – $16 to $24

■ all in all – beautiful venue,

with well cooked and delicious

bistro style food. Great for a

date night.

Haynes Street Larder – Kalamunda

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Haynes Street Larder on Urbanspoon

Over the last few years, many councils in Perth have deregulated and relaxed a lot of licences in the hospitality industry. From that “common sense attitude” we’ve seen wonderful small bars and other new businesses really thrive and make our communities much more vibrant.

I really like to support our local businesses, so it really pains me when the little guys are still being stomped on by some local governments with endless red tape, bureaucracy and regulations. An example of this happening is the Haynes Street Larder – a lovely coffee shop on the main street in Kalamunda. They’ve been open for about five months. Due to a misunderstanding, the wrong licence was given, so they are unable to make their own food on the premises. Everything at the Haynes St Larder is pre made by other businesses. They’re not even allowed to cold press their own juices… for now at least.IMG_6767

Kalamunda has a few cafes, but they are either favourites of retirees or chain coffee shops. Not that there’s anything wrong with either I hasten to add – they just might not be your cup of tea (pardon the pun!). A funky, allergy friendly café with fresh healthy food is something Kalamunda really needs. A few coffee shops on the main street have shut recently, so you’d think the Shire of Kalamunda would be encouraging new business in the area. The tone I get from people that live in the area is the Kalamunda Shire is pretty out of touch with what their rate payers want and has been for a very long time.IMG_6769

I popped into the Haynes Street Larder for a takeaway juice and some morning tea snacks to take to my parents’ house. I almost missed it, as there’s no sign out the front – look out for the stripy canopy! For now, the peeps at Haynes Street Larder are focusing on sourcing food from local artisan suppliers. The raw treats come from Molly’s Picnic, the bottled juices from the Swan Valley’s “World’s healthiest Juice Co”. The “Rainbow” juice I chose was one of my favourite combos – carrot, apple, beetroot and lemon.

I purchased a couple of Choc mint spirulina slices – which contain ingredients that help cleanse the mind and body to fight off stress and body fatigue. Spirulina is a nutrient rich salt water plant. The slice was pretty indulgent for health food – I felt like I was eating an aero bar! Delish. I also got a couple of ginger slices, but there’s no pic of them as they got squished in the bag! Whoops…IMG_6775

The locals tell me the coffee is great at Haynes Street Larder and I’d love to enjoy a nice brunch or lunch there in the future. The menu is “coming soon” – I’m really keen to see what they can do in their own kitchen, hopefully we all will find out very very soon!

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Yocal – Fremantle {CLOSED}

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The strangest reason I’ve had for visiting a café has to be because it starts with the letter Y. Recently, I was on a mission to finish my A-Z of Perth and Yocal fitted the bill perfectly. I also love any reason to travel down to Fremantle, as I wish I visited south of the river more often. Chef and I are certainly not locals to Yocal, but it was worth the trip. We found the eclectic little cottage on Collie Street – just across from the cinemas.IMG_1071

We stepped through the little blue gate and into the café, which is full of up cycled furniture. I’d wanted to sit in the leafy little courtyard, but it was a very busy mid-week morning, so we found a spare table inside by the window.IMG_1056

We sat on mismatched stools at the tall bench, made of an old wrought iron bed and what appeared to be a fridge door with a sheet of glass on top. What a clever idea – it looked really cool. Sun poured in through the window as we enjoyed our pick me up drinks; a double shot flat white for Chef and a bright green juice for me. Chef has a “you don’t win friends with salad” approach to most things and he turned his nose up at my juice – a concoction of spinach, coconut water, chia seed and much more… I really enjoyed it and I felt like I was being uber healthy to boot.IMG_1059

Potato latke w spinach, roquette, pemberton smaoked trout, 2 poached eggs and hollandaise sauce $18IMG_1062

I really enjoyed the whole dish, from the flaked trout to the crispy latke – though I would have loved it if they were a bit more generous with the trout serving.

Billy’s Big Breakfast: Herbed mushrooms, grilled tomato, pork & fennel chippolatas, bacon, eggs (your way) and toast $20IMG_1061

Chef enjoyed it, but he thought that there needed some beans or relish on the plate, to add some moisture to the dish.IMG_1066

The bustling café is very Freo. The staff are cheerful and looked like they love working there. It’s a good spot for coffee, just off the beaten track from the busy cappuccino strip. If you live in the area, you most definitely should become a local at Yocal!IMG_1074