Trees Adventure, Dwellingup

IMG_7654Now, maybe for the first time ever, I’m going to blog about something that doesn’t involve food. Well, there was a hot chocolate…Resized_20170514_101045.jpeg

As part of my collaboration with Buy West Eat Best for the WA Signature Dish Celebrity Cooking Competition, I’ve been exploring the “Anytime Adventures” that the Peel area has to offer. Peel isn’t just about the coast and Mandurah, it extends all the way east to Dwellingup, where Trees Adventure provides a tree top adventure obstacle courses at Lane Pool Reserve. Offering a variety of flying foxes and tricky challenges, the fun obstacle courses are suitable for the whole family!IMG_7616

When we arrived on a chilly morning I got to warm my hands on a complimentary hot chocolate (since it was Mothers Day!). There’s hot and cold drinks available from the kiosk as well as snacks.IMG_7659

Chef signed the forms and I was “photographer”, I’m not really much of an action woman! We arrived about thirty minutes prior to our allocated two hour session, to allow time for the boys got kitted out in their harnesses, gloves and helmets.IMG_7560

Next up was an introduction on how to use the equipment, including how to safely lock on and off the ropes with the clips. You’re always attached to the rope, which put my mind at rest that it was nice and safe for my boys!IMG_7561

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5 Top Foodie Spots in Mandurah & The Peel Region

Mandurah and the wider Peel area is home to great produce and some top foodie experiences. Relax by the water at a Mandurah café or restaurant and watch the dolphins swim by or head to the hills and enjoy a long lunch at a top winery. Here’s my pick of the top foodie spots in the Peel region for your Anytime Adventures:

Café Moka

IMG_7497Mandurah locals are very lucky to have the waterside Café Moka on their doorstep. Found at Dolphin Quay, the bustling café overlooks the marina, which is a lovely backdrop for a breakfast, lunch or coffee n cake. There’s a lot to choose from on the all day brekkie menu. Our picks are the flavoursome shashuka and the decedent pancake stack, complete with ginger bread and house made banana ice cream.

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Read more on our breakfast at Café Moka here.

Millbrook Winery

IMG_8063A lunch at Millbrook Winery is not to be missed. Found in historic Jarrahdale, in the Perth Hills, the winery is home to a wonderful restaurant. Head Chef, Guy Jeffreys’ fresh produce philosophy means that you’ll have a unique dining experience each time you visit. Most of their produce is grown onsite by the chefs, in the huge vegetable garden, where many unique varieties of veg is found. The exciting food coupled with excellent wines and a beautiful vista from the lakeside restaurant, will make for a memorable meal.

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Read more about our lunch at Millbrook Winery here.

Flics Kitchen

IMG_7446Flics Kitchen is found on the bustling Mandurah foreshore. The Head Chef and owner, Felicity Evans, has created a tastebud tempting modern share menu. Her wait staff are warm and helpful. The drinks offering is well curated with wines, local craft beers and more. We really enjoyed each of the dishes we tried, particularly the sticky n sweet, twice cooked pork belly with crisp puffed pork crackle, crunchy peanuts and a rich chilli and lime caramel. We’d recommend that you visit the popular Flics Kitchen if you’re in Mandurah too – they’re open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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Read more on our dinner at Flics Kitchen here.

 

Pinjarra Bakery

IMG_1343Pinjarra Bakery is a good place stop for a quick n casual bite to eat. The bakery has won a bag full of awards and we love their sweet and savoury baked goodies. Dine in or takeaway and eat by the Murray River.

Read more on Pinjarra bakery here.

DPM Café

We stopped for our morning coffee fix at DPM on Mandurah Terrace (found next to Flics Kitchen), where they claim to serve the best coffee in Mandurah. The teeny tiny café has a cool vibe and there’s seating outside for sunny days, overlooking the foreshore. There’s also a small selection of fresh bagels, croissants, raw treats and other yummy take away foods. The Geisha coffee really hit the spot!

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Let me know in the comments below if there’s anywhere awesome I should try on my next trip to Mandurah and Peel.

Thanks to Mandurah & Peel Tourism Organisation (MAPTO) we were guests of Millbrook Winery, Flics Kitchen and Café Moka. Nothing is exaggerated or embellished. All words and opinions are my own.

Café Moka, Mandurah

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Cafe Moka Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

To me, there’s not much sweeter than finding a gem of a brunch spot. Mandurah locals are lucky to have the waterside Café Moka on their doorstep. Found at Dolphin Quay, the bustling café overlooks the marina, which is a lovely backdrop for my Mothers Day breakfast. It’s part of our May weekend staycation in Mandurah, and we’d been invited to enjoy a tasty brekkie there by Mandurah & Peel Tourism Organisation, who have expert local knowledge for the perfect brunch spot for my foodie family.IMG_7519

Chef and I ordered a couple of flat whites ($4.50). The Toby’s Estate roast really hit the spot! And being Mothers Day I also got given a rose – what a lovely gesture!IMG_7492

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Woodfire Restaurant – Ellenbrook

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Woodfire Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

There’s a hidden gem hiding in suburban Ellenbrook. Chef/Owner Lorenzo, formerly the Head Chef of Jamie’s Italian both here in Perth and restaurants in the UK. I got asked along to a bloggers lunch and I jumped at the chance, as I’d heard many great things about Woodfire Restaurant. West Australian Food Editor and critic Rob Broadfield also gave Woodfire a glowing review recently. I was expecting big things!img_2871

When I arrive I find the spacious restaurant is lively. The open kitchen, complete with wood fire, is bustling. There’s lots of long tables enjoying lunch. It seems like a popular place for family celebrations.img_2870

To begin our feast, we got to try a whole array of what Woodfire offers on it’s small bites menu. Served on a long board, sitting on tins of tomatoes, was “Fritto misto”. This is a selection of panfritto, crispy gnocchi, crumbed eggplant, arancini and polenta chips and is perfect for sharing. I particularly love the crumbed eggplant, but truth be told it’s all delicious.img_2822

I also dig into the “Panfritto” which are soft golden fried pizza dough bites served with spicy arrabbiata sauce and parmesan.img_2813

The “Cozze al forno” is Woodfire’s version of chilli mussels. They are baked in the wood oven and served with homemade focaccia, perfect for mopping up those yummy juices.img_2820

Next up was a selection of Lorrenzo’s pastas, which are made fresh every day at Woodfire. We tried the linguine al salmone ($23.90). A generous spiral pile of linguine pasta, tossed with Tasmanian smoked salmon, spring onions, capers, white wine and a dollop of mascarpone. Great dish. Usually I won’t order linguine or spaghetti when I eat out (as it’s not always easy to eat!), but I’d absolutely order this tasty dish again.img_2833

The handmade ravioli primavera ($23.90) is filled with spinach, ricotta and pecorino. Served with sauteed peas, asparagus and mint in a zesty lemony butter sauce. It’s a lovely light and summery pasta dish.img_2825

It was a tough call, but if I had to choose, I’d pick the “Casarecce al Maiale” ($22.90), as my favourite. The homemade casarecce pasta is served with wonderfully tender slow braised free range pork, mascarpone, lemony gremolata and herby breadcrumbs. It is so full of flavour, next time I’d like a whole bowl to myself!img_2834

Meanwhile, Little Chef is enjoying “Kai’s Ninja Turtle Pizza” from the Bambino Bites menu. All kids meals are $9.90 and there lots of healthy options. He absolutely wolfed down the pizza, which looked delicious. The freshly made base is topped with cheese and pepperoni. All proceeds from the sale of these pizzas will be donated to Kai’s Wishing Well. Kai is a little Ellenbrook boy who sadly has been having some serious health issues and the big hearted Head Chef Lorenzo has been running a few fundraisers to help Kai and his family.img_2808

I was also really impressed with the main meal selection, these meaty dishes are cooked over hot jarrah coals in their hand built fire pit, adding smoky flavours into the mix. The “coscia d’agnello”, ($33.90) grilled free range leg of lamb, is cooked perfectly medium rare. The tender lamb is served with asparagus, spring onions and an Italian mint sauce.img_2845

I’d have to bring Chef with me next time, he would love the “bavetta alla griglia” a 400g Black Angus hanger steak, $35.90. The beef is grilled on the fire pit and served with baby onions agrodolce, rosemary chips and sticky marsala jus.img_2844

The “filetto di barramundi” ($29.90) was beautifully presented. The sustainably sourced Humpty Doo Barramundi is baked in the wood oven along with potatoes, cherry tomatoes, black olives, white wine and thyme.img_2841

“Pescatrice al Prosciutto” is prosciutto wrapped sustainably caught Monkfish which is served with lentils and a mushroom ragu’, onion puree and hand chopped salsa verde.img_2840

It’s really lucky that we have a whole other stomach for dessert (hehe) as I really needed it at Woodfire. We were treated to a taster of some of their favourites. The “torta al cioccolato”, a chocolate and salted caramel tart that’s served with a dollop of creme fraiche and fresh WA strawberries was a winner.img_2859

The tutti frutti tiramisu is to die for. Luscious layers of mascarpone cream and tiramisu is mixed with summer berries, chambord liquor and caramelised almond.img_2858

The “torta di mele”, other wise known as Nonna Mari’s warm apple cake. Is topped with vanilla ice-cream and butterscotch popcorn. Another lovely dessert.img_2857

And to finish… we just couldn’t leave without trying Chef Lorenzo’s famous bomboloni (filled doughnuts). There are lots of flavours to choose from, Little Chefs favourite had to be the cookies and cream bomboloni. I really loved the salted caramel.img_2863

The residents of Ellenbrook are incredibly lucky to have this restaurant in their ‘hood.  Not only is the food top notch and beautifully presented, but the waitstaff are also very friendly and always happy to help.  We felt very welcome. I’d happily make the 25min drive myself to dine here again. We got to try so much of the menu and after all that delicious food I genuinely can’t pick a favourite – it is all so darn delicious. Do yourself a favour and check Woodfire out, you won’t be disappointed!img_2864

Huge thanks to Chef Lorenzo and his team for a totally tasty lunch. Thank you to Martin (Morsels) for organising 🙂

Odyssea – City Beach

img_0982 Odyssea Beach Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Earlier this year Chef and I dined at Odyssea, enjoying a very tasty dinner with a sublime pink sunset. So when I received an invite in the post from Odyssea to check out their new brunch menu, featuring CharCol Springs eggs, I jumped at the chance to enjoy that stunning view over the Indian Ocean once more. Here’s that beautiful sunset by the way…img_2552

Odyssea are proud to use local West Australian produce and the star of many of their breakfast dishes are pastured eggs from CharCol Springs in Manjimup. The CharCol Springs hens roam around on chemical free pastures pecking on bugs and lots of greens. I can tell you the eggs are really tasty, you can definitely tell they are laid by happy chickens! I’ve cooked them myself, after I received some CharCol Springs eggs as part of the breakfast invitation – what a cute idea.20161107_110149

I made it down to Odyssea for a 7.3oam breakfast, one of the perks of now being a #girlboss is that I can enjoy a lazy breakfast if I like, no having to rush off to work. Nice one! A group of Perth Food Bloggers and Instagram influencers sat in the dining room on a tall, long table with owner Eleanor Hupfer. It’s an ultra mod, light and airy space.img_2511

I had barely stepped through the door when a very efficient waiter asked me what drink I would like to order. I was a little desperate for my morning coffee, so I really appreciated that! My Fiori coffee arrived in no time. Looking over their new morning menu, there are so many tasty sounding dishes – many of the other foodies at the table were gravitating toward the meaty pulled lamb dish and I was no different.img_0968

Before breakfast arrived we indulged in some Peach Bellinis. I’m not usually one for boozy brunches, but I’m also not one to say no to a bit of fizz. These were absolutely scrummy!img_0978

I couldn’t go past the lamb shoulder hash, $22. I wasn’t sure if it would be too heavy for brekkie. Though it’s a filling dish, I found it fairly light. The crisp pulled lamb is served with sautéed courgette, pea and coriander. A CharCol Springs fried egg is served sunny side up and there’s a delicious harissa hollandaise on the side. I was so pleased with my choice and very impressed! img_0989

Here’s some of the other breakfast dishes enjoyed on our table from the new menu:

A healthy option is the gluten free granola, $14. Served with a rhubarb yogurt parfait and poached pear.img_0993

A tasty vego dish is the baked eggs, $18. Served with braised spinach, spiced yogurt, fried chickpeas and flatbread.img_0990

The prosciutto di parma, $18, looked tasty. Accompanied with a radicchio jam, blue cheese mascarpone and toasted sourdough, topped with a 65 degree poached CharCol Springs egg.img_1004

A dish I’d really like to try is the Torbay asparagus, $22. I couldn’t believe just how thick the asparagus was. Served with cured salmon, fennel, goat’s curd, soft boiled egg and sourdough toast. This is a beautiful, summery brunch dish.img_1003

Odyssea’s owner Eleanor, was keen for us to sample the house ginger bread, $16. I couldn’t resist having a bite of this pretty breakfast dish. The spiced gingerbread is absolutely scrumptious and served with whipped ricotta and fresh strawberries. A must try dish for sweet tooths. img_1007

Odyssea is a wonderful spot for a summery brunch whilst watching the waves roll in. With a great selection of house made pastries and breakfast offerings, delicious drinks and beachside dining – it really doesn’t get much better than this! img_1014

Thanks to the lovely ladies at Detail and the Odyssea team for organising a wonderful breakfast featuring freshly laid eggs by the girls at CharCol Springs, Manjimup.img_1011

Gnocchi Masterclass at C Restaurant

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C Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Being married to a Chef ain’t all its cracked up to be. It’s certainly not all gourmet dinner parties and one on one cooking classes. You’d think in the 15 years we’ve been together I’d have picked up some useful cooking tips… not really. Chef is frankly not that stuffed to give me a “how to” cooking lesson after 12 hours in a hot kitchen and I can’t really argue with that!

Something that I’ve been wanting to learn for years is how to make a quality potato gnocchi. So when C Restaurant asked me along to a Gnocchi Masterclass – I was super keen. Finally, I’d learn how to make gnocchi from a chef, just not from my Chef!img_0921

Most Perth peeps are familiar with C, the revolving restaurant on St Georges Terrace has been around for decades. Originally it had been named Highlight 33, as it’s on the 33rd floor of St Martin’s Center. For me, C Restaurant evokes images of romantic proposals and intimate dinners for two. It’s also popular for high teas and special family occasions. Chef and I dined at C Restaurant a couple of years ago. It’s a totally unique venue in Perth’s CBD.img_0877

On my way to the Masterclass, I hopped into the lift at St Martin’s Tower, eagerly pressing the button to the 33rd floor. It’s a longer lift ride than normal and you may even feel your ears pop – it’s a long way up. As the lift doors slid open, I walked into the classy restaurant and I was immediately mesmerised by THAT view!img_0957

We were greeted by Restaurant Manager, Steve Halliday and taken to the main prep kitchen, which is upstairs on the 34th floor, at the very top of the building. Executive Chef Frantisek Ilizi (Fero) and his Sous Chef, Matthew Ladkin, took us through the steps to make their signature gnocchi dish.img_0879

First the potatoes are boiled whole, then we peel the skin. It’s good fun getting our hands dirty!img_0880

The potato is put through a mouli (or a masher can be used) and then the mashed potato is spread onto the floured kitchen bench. We add egg, grated parmesan, plain flour, nutmeg and seasoning.img_0888

Next the ingredients kneaded together to form a firm dough and then rolled into logs.img_0897

The logs are then cut on a diagonal into the gnocchi shape we all know and love – though my own attempt looked a little on the large side – whoops! The gnocchi is then cooked in boiling salted water and then put immediately into iced water, to stop the gluten continuing to cook and that helps to keep it’s soft texture.  img_0903

With the partially cooked gnocchi, we head downstairs to the small service kitchen. It is so interesting to hear how they cook a busy service for so many people from this tiny space! The pass has to have one of the best views in WA too.img_0932

Chef Fero then pan fries the gnocchi to give it a little colour and adds cream, spinach and gorgonzola cheese. This was then spooned over some rich Napolitana sauce and finished with roasted tomatoes and a parmesan cheese crust.img_0937

Then for the best part… it was time to eat our efforts! We were seated at a table by the window, with a glass of vino. A complete rotation of the floor takes 90 minutes. So you don’t miss out on seeing a thing. The floor moves slowly, but fast enough for you to notice it. The view is 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, but at C Restaurant you’re right in there, amongst all the shiny skyscrapers.img_0949

The pillow-like gnocchi totally lived up to my expectations – no wonder this signature dish is a permanent fixture on C’s menu. The sauces added rich and punch-y flavours too. I am impressed.img_0947

All Perth-lovers should try C Restaurant at least once. It’s also a great place to take visitors to Perth. If you go to C Restaurant for dinner, my tip is to book an early table, to see the city view both in the day and the twinkling lights of the office towers by night. You might even get lucky and enjoy a stunning sunset.img_0946

Whilst the Masterclass isn’t a regular event, it would be wonderful if C Restaurant did offer it to the public. I think they’d be a lot of Perth foodies that would relish the chance to learn how to create such a delicious dish in one of Perth’s most unique kitchens.img_0956

Thanks to Meg for organising and to Steve, Fero and the C Restaurant’s kitchen team for a memorable gnocchi lesson, luscious lunch and C’s very own recipe book!img_0943

Bibik Chan’s Kitchen {See Subiaco}

img_0702Bibik Chan's Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

A group of Perth Food Bloggers and I enjoyed a foodie tour of Subiaco, to rediscover one of Perth’s hubs of great entertainment, dining and drinks. We had an unofficial 4th stop on the tour at Bibik Chan’s Kitchen. The popular Malay eatery, that once resided on Stirling Highway for over 30 years, has relocated to Subiaco and is now found next to The Village Bar.img_0703

Our guide, Food Writer Max Veenhuyzen, spied the casual Asian restaurant and excitedly popped in to place a takeaway order. I love his style. We ate the beef and chicken satays in the car park, squatting and standing on the pavement. You can’t get more street than that! The satays were cooked to perfection, the tender meats nicely charred on the barbeque and dripping with peanut sauce.img_0706

I’m always on the look out for great satay in Perth, nothing has ever come close to the authentic satay I chowed down on at The Satay Club at Clarke Quay, Singapore many years ago. This unassuming spot in Subi is pretty darn good. What a find. Thanks Max!

Next, we were off to our special sneak peek of hotly anticipated Italian Lulu La Delizia. The small Italian restaurant and wine bar was yet to be open (it opened on the 26.10.16). We were mesmerised by Head Chef Joel Valvasori and one of his talented Chefs Lily Rossen making pasta in the window of Lulu La Delizia, to a soundtrack of old school Italian music. It was wonderful food theatre and watching them roll out the pasta was almost hypnotic. At Lulu La Delizia fresh pasta is the hero of each dish, complimented by their delicious sauces. I’m so excited to try this new spot very soon.lulula

NEXT STOP ON OUR FOODIE TOUR OF SUBI… Bistro Felix