The Hummus Club, Northbridge

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Years ago, I discovered The Hummus Club at a Perth foodie event and it was love at first bite. I savoured the Club Mix, served from their pop up food stall,  a delicious combo of all their favourites – a generous serve of hummus, fluffy falafels, a middle eastern salad with a pomegranate dressing and fresh pita. All that was washed down with their refreshing pomegranate lemonade. It was absolutely delicious. When owners Ziad and Kaitlin opened their very own restaurant on William Street, I was so excited to visit!

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Earlier this year, one of my BFFs, Nays and I had booked a table at the Hummus Club. We were there for a early pre-movie bite to eat, before heading to the Rooftop Cinema, in Northbridge. I’d hoped their move from market stall to bricks and mortar restaurant had not taken anything away from what I’d loved about the simplicity of their food.

The very popular restaurant, with it’s vibrant feature wall and neon sign is buzzing and it has a really good vibe about it. Bookings are essential! IMG_4599

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CAT Bus Adventures in Perth With Kids

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Public transport can be a real novelty for kids, who spend much of their time travelling in Mum or Dad’s car. Young children will delight in a train ride or trip on a bus. The Perth CAT busses are a quick and easy way of getting around the city, when little legs get weary or just to see a bit more of what the CBD and Northbridge have to offer.

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Jump on and off the free CAT (Central Area Transit) busses at their dedicated stops all around Perth. Kids can answer their own “When will the bus be here?” question by pressing the big button and having the voice tell them how many minutes away the next CAT is. The busses are also pram friendly and have priority seating.

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There are four coloured CAT BUS routes, zig zagging around the city from West Perth to East Perth and Northbridge. Grab a map from the bus ports, train stations or tourism information stand in Forrest Place and get exploring the attractions, parks and eateries of the city of Perth!

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Here’s my guide to the best bus stops to hop on and off with your family in Perth.

BLUE CAT ROUTE

STOP 1 – Elizabeth Quay Bus Station

If you’re planning a day exploring the city by CAT bus, you may even arrive here by bus or train. The Elizabeth Quay Bus Station is just over the road from the Quay itself. The brilliant Elizabeth Quay is a great place for a ride on the Venetian Carousel, game of mini golf, a scoop of delish Gusto Gelato or casual bite to eat at V Burger.

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STOP 2 – Barrack Square

There’s loads to do at Barrack Square! This stop is also the best for the south side of Elizabeth Quay. Opposite the CAT Stop is the famous Perth Bell Tower, cafes and ferry stops for exploring the Swan River. Stroll over the Elizabeth Quay bridge and check out the excellent playground! Continue reading

Chicho Gelato – Northbridge

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Chicho Gelato Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Working from home means that I’ve been able to enjoy all six weeks of the school holidays with my Little Chef. After taking him to a show at the State Theatre, we headed right next door to Chicho Gelato for a treat. Chicho, means “Cheeky Kid” in Italian and Chicho Gelato is a little bit quirky too. They create some really interesting flavour combinations and there are around 20 flavours to pick from. Choosing just one or two flavours is a very difficult job!img_3450

The fresh gelato is churned daily and be sure to look out for their inventive special too. Some of the deliciously different flavours they have are “lavender and honeycomb”, “rosewater, white chocolate and pistachio” and “mascarpone and rhubarb”. There are more traditional flavours too and also a few flavours of sorbet.img_3453

The beautifully fitted out gelato shop has a VERY special feature… a free flowing chocolate tap! For an extra charge, your ice cream can be coated in chocolate sauce, gushing from the tap.img_3463 Continue reading

Whisk Creamery – Northbridge

img_2377Whisk Creamery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

One of our go-to spots for a totally over the top sugar hit is Whisk Creamery. The popular café that started out in Subiaco, has now opened another store on William Street in Northbridge. Little Chef and I had been at Nostalgia Box, a video console museum, for a morning of fun playing retro computer games. Afterwards, we popped into Whisk Creamery for a tasty treat for morning tea, no doubt it would include their speciality – fresh soft serve gelato.img_2358

Deciding what to choose is really tricky, especially with that little voice in my head telling me sternly ”think of all the calories!” . The menu also have photos of each creation and it’s very difficult not to want to try everything! There’s indulgent stuffed cronuts, deep fried gelato, banana splits and more.img_2382

Little Chef had the “Sneaky Caramel”, $12.40. The cup is brimming with salted caramel gelato, hot honey chocolate fudge sauce in a syringe, chocolate wafer shards and coffee mousse. He gave it two very enthusiastic thumbs up!img_2362

I had the “Banoffee Waffle”, $13.50. I don’t have a massive sweet tooth, so I wasn’t too sure if it would be too much, but I really enjoyed it. Super fresh double waffles are smothered in swirls of coffee mousse, a hot caramel fudge sauce in a syringe, fresh banana slices and topped with chocolate fairly floss. The mousse was absolutely scrumptious and so light, so the whole dessert didn’t feel heavy. I would definitely eat it again.img_2369

To drink, there’s some wicked milkshakes, iced drinks, tea, coffee, smoothies and complimentary water. Whisk Creamery’s gelato creations are totally naughty – but so worth it!img_2383

And here’s a little bit on The Nostalgia Box…

Back in the day, my parents had to drag me off my Commodore 64 or Sega Master System. I loved playing Frogger, Sonic and Super Mario Brothers. So Little Chef wasn’t the only one to be super excited to be visiting The Nostalgia Box, Australia’s first interactive video game console museum!img_2283

The museum is found on Aberdeen Street in Northbridge. Half of the museum is a dedicated exhibit to gaming history where around 100 gaming consoles are on display. These date back to the 1970s through to the present day. Some of these machines look like ancient relics and I didn’t actually realise that consoles had been around for that long.img_2291

After walking through the exhibit, you can experience playing the classic games in the gaming area. The inviting space is adorned with a vibrant mural of all the gaming favourites of the 1980’s and 90’s. There are twelve consoles set up with games like Duck Hunt, Space Invaders, Super Mario Bros, Street Fighter, Sonic the Hedgehog, Crash Bandicoot and many more.img_2306

One of Little Chef’s favourites was the shooting game “Duck Hunt”. Little Chef and I had a good time trying to beat each other on the two player games like Mario Kart too! My favourite was Sonic The Hedgehog, though I couldn’t get passed the first boss level, so I am a bit out of practice. It has been about 20 years between games to be fair! Little Chef and I also enjoyed Super Mario Brothers, which I revelled in beating him at.img_2329

I was surprised to learn that the museum is very popular with adults in their 20s and 30s, but afterwards after re-living my youth via Sonic The Hedgehog, I’m not that surprised. You’re sure to discover some random old games, as well as have many blasts from the past. Nostalgia Box takes you back to your childhood, as well as giving your children a chance to experience gaming the “old school” way.img_2341

Lot Twenty – Northbridge

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Lot Twenty Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Lot Twenty is a favourite Northbridge bar of mine, but I don’t go there nearly enough. It’s from the guys behind Five Bar. One of my lovely friends, Reeva (from blog “Proudly South African In Perth” ) and I enjoyed a spur of the moment dinner there recently. We’d been at a foodie event in the city, though our tummies were still rumbling, so we snuck out in search of more food!  I was hoping Jerry Fraser – Oyster shocker extraordinaire – was there. He now divides his time between Lot Twenty and Five Bar (Beaufort Street, Highgate).IMG_7987

The small bar is in a renovated old building right next to Perth Cultural Centre  which brings in a mix of people – students, hipsters and office workers. It has a cool vibe, excellent drinks and a large outdoor courtyard.IMG_3799

It was Jerry’s night at Lot Twenty (He’s there Wednesdays and Fridays) and as always, his oysters were super fresh and spot on!LOT20

Reeva and I also shared gnocchi, croquettes and salad. The cheesy provolone gnocchi was so light and fluffy. It was a wonderful winter dish. The cauliflower and cheese croquettes, $11, were moreish and the house made tomato sauce delivered a spicy kick.  IMG_3797

We both really enjoyed the wombok salad, $10. The crisp wombok and red cabbage was joined with fresh mint, coriander, toasted peanuts and an Asian vinaigrette. IMG_3795

We were both really impressed by the food at Lot Twenty. It was so convenient to grab a bite to eat there. The staff are always very helpful and it was handy to have a split billing option when we paid, which for the small feast we had was great value for money. I’ll be back again! I’m still thinking about that gnocchi…

Layup – Northbridge {CLOSED}

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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

Sauma – Northbridge

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

Found in Northbridge, opposite the brass Monkey, Sauma has a menu with a modern-Indian twist – think butter chicken pies, wagyu samosas and finger-licking sweet tamarind lamb ribs. My Dad is a big fan of curry, so when I found Sauma was on my list of restaurants to explore for Eat Drink Perth I invited my parents along for lunch. Sauma is not your typical Indian restaurant, it’s brimming with light and feels very fresh and modern- just like the food!IMG_2125

What struck me immediately was the excellent service. It was warm, efficient and totally on the ball. I accidentally knocked a knife off the table and the waitress who was a good 10 meters away, noticed and quickly replaced it with a fresh one. Very attentive. No wonder the Michelin assessors use that trick! I started with a Sunshine juice, $7. It is a tasty combo of fresh orange, carrot, apple, ginger and lemon juice.IMG_2133

We all loved the cheese nann bread, $6, especially Little Chef. It was so fresh, brimming with soft cheese and herbs.IMG_2147

The lamb ribs, $16, are twice cooked – adding to the tenderness of the meat. Flavoured with sweet tamarind, chili, mint and coriander they are absolutely mouth-watering. There will be a fight over the last rib! The onion bhajis, $13 have a modern twist -they are beer battered. I love an onion bhaji and these are very good. They’re garnished what I think is a vibrant pickled yellow pepper, which are very tasty too.IMG_2137 (2)

The roast beetroot and potato salad, $17 doesn’t last long! It is full of flavour and. Hiding underneath the veg are lashings of house cured Bombay gin and fennel salmon.It is unmistakably Indian, with strong cumin flavours and finished with a tandoori mayo – but so fresh and modern too.IMG_2151

Another Indian dish with a twist is the butter chicken pie, $9. The golden flaky pastry is spot on and the tasty filling is brimming with meat. The salad, which so easily could be an afterthought, has a zesty coriander dressing drizzled on. IMG_2144

We all relish the spicy mountain style goat curry, $26. The tender meat is cooked on the bone in a sauce of ginger, turmeric, chili, tomato and beetroot.IMG_2153

Sauma is a must-stop for lovers of Indian food. The vibrant restaurant is fantastic for groups, with it’s long tables, as well as for couples. I though Sauma is a great find and we highly recommend it!IMG_2158

EAT DRINK PERTH 2016

During Eat Drink Perth, Sauma has a special Indian street cart menu. Share an Indian street food feast with your sweetheart – cheese naan, tandoori salmon and chicken, a house plate to share, jackfruit curry and slow cooked lamb saag. Finish on a sweet note with a traditional Indian desert – creamy mango kulfi (ice cream).

 

Wok St Chow House – Northbridge {CLOSED}

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Wok St Chow House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I love discovering a new restaurant. I’m a Yelp Elite for 2016 – which means from time to time I’m invited along to dinners to check out cool new spots in Perth. Anyone can become a Yelper – simply review your great foodie and retail finds on the Yelp app and if you do it a lot, you’ll be chosen to take part in some delicious dinners with fellow Perth foodies. For the uninitiated, Yelp is a review site, similar to Trip Advisor and Zomato.IMG_2294

I was checking out Wok St Chow House in Northbridge. It has been open just a few months and has already gained an excellent reputation for it’s authentic Thai street food flavours. What I soon realised as I approached the Lake Street eatery was that not so long ago it was home to Darlings Supper Club.IMG_2297_Fotor

The interior is dim and moody – lit with a green florescent panda light. It seems as though years ago this building would have been an old cottage. It’s charming and cosy with many little nooks to sit in.IMG_2373

We were sitting out the back in the leafy covered courtyard, overlooked by the adorable murual of Yum Yum the panda. There were about 30 of us in the Yelp group. I was excited to sit opposite fellow Perth Food Blogger and fountain of food knowledge Nini of Nini Foodielicious. We were all lucky enough to sample a lot of Wok St’s dishes. Though mostly Thai – the Wok St Chefs also draw inspiration from Filipino and other Asian Street Food. Here’s what I tried…

IMG_2303_FotorThe crisp prawn crackers with a house made chilli jam didn’t long! Everyone was hungry and ready to eat!

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I’m not usually a fan of wings, but these fried marinated chicken wings were super meaty and the Sriracha sauce was finger licking good.

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The Kililaw fish was similar to a ceviche an coated in a mild lime and coconut sauce.IMG_2344_Fotor

The house made Thai fish cakes with sweet chili sauce were very tasty little morsels!

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The marinated beef strip with a Loas Naam Jim had a spicy chilli kick. But nothing compared to the “miang larb ped”.

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Flaming hell!! That’s where my poor mouth was at with just one bite of the “miang larb ped”. Hot & sour chopped duck and roast rice with herbs is served on a betel leaf. I love duck, but I didn’t even taste this one – there was too much burning going on! As a sidenote, the “crying tiger” beef flank is even spicier, certainly not for the faint hearted!

 

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Unfortunately we weren’t forewarned about the extra spicy dish and hadn’t seen a menu. All the dishes have some level of spice, but I’m never one to choose hotter than a medium heat. A kind waitress got poor Nini some watermelon to cool her down! There is a “cooling plate” at Wok St, which tells me that there are lots of hot gobs here!

And that was just the “starters”! Already feeling a little full, out came the main dishes…

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The vibrant Thai green chicken curry was full of fresh herbs.

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Wok St’s traditional pad Thai was easily the best I’ve had outside of Asia. The fried noodles were brimming with egg, chicken & prawns.

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My favourite dish of the night was “Kanna muu grop”. The sticky and crisp pork belly was absolutely do die for and brimming with Asian greens. The Kai-lan oyster sauce brought the dish together – I could have eaten the whole bowl.

So that was our feast! All that food was shared between four of us and I was absolutely stuffed afterwards. If you love Asian street food then head to Wok St. I’m impressed – just no crazy spiciness for me next time.

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Wok St is taking part in Eat Drink Perth this year and is holding a dego at Wok St Chow House… the epic 8 course “Degust-Asian” is a delicious and spicy feast of authentic street food, with the option to match your meal with a cheeky cocktail or two. Not to be missed!

When: Wed 6 April & Thu 7 of April

Time: 5pm – 9pm

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Fringe World Festival Perth & Noodle Palace

IMG_1795It’s that time of year again! When Perth is abuzz with quirkiness and fun – it’s Fringe time!

Chef and I headed along to the opening weekend of Fringe, a month long festival of comedy, cabaret and theatre. The majority of Fringe World events are on in Northbridge, but there are a handful of events in Scarborough, Freo and a few other spots too.

IMG_1771First, we headed to Noodle Palace – a pop up rooftop bar with good vibes, drinks and fantastic food. Their hawker style eats come courtesy of a few Beauford Street favourites of mine… KUNG FOOD is the creation of Mary’s (the evening version of the excellent Mary Street Bakery). Feeling like something light, I ordered the “Spring Rolls Special Sauce”. On the limited menu you’ll also find dirty fried rice, lamb ribs, a soba salad and curry rice. The famed Mary Street Bakery donuts are also available.IMG_1777

I was pleased to get three decent sized crispy rolls for my $9. They were mouth wateringly delicious, so full of  flavour and bursting with very tasty veg. I never found out what was in the creamy dipping sauce – but it sure was special!IMG_1787

Mary's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

From El Publico, who I rate very highly, there is a Mexican pop up – SEÑOR JORGE’S COMIDA. Chef ordered the DF Burger, $13. Also available are chilli agave popcorn, totopos fried chicken, street corn and chorizo tacos too.

IMG_1782Chef loved his burger – he practically inhaled it. The juicy beef patty, cooked medium rare, was served on a fresh brioche bun – oozing with melted cheese and a Mexican style sauce. There is a real spicy kick too, with some jalapenos added for extra bite.IMG_1786

el PÚBLICO Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

As with a lot of these events, we found the drinks are super pricey. Chef gulped at $11 for a small cup of beer and I wasn’t sold on the $15 Pimms cocktail either. I really loved the idea of it being in a bubble tea style cup with a fat straw, but as a big fan of Pimms this version was disappointing and tasted very watery. What a shame.IMG_1773

Other than that we loved Noodle Palace and I bet it would be stunning at night with all the lanterns. There is a DJ spinning some tunes on the decks and lots of spots to sit and chill. We headed over to Lot 20 for a couple more drinks, before the show.IMG_1770

There just so happens to be a Game of Thrones themed show on at Fringe. A little bird told David Gardner PR that we are both BIG fans of Game of Thrones. We went as far as visiting some of the Game of Thrones filming locations in Ireland when we were holidaying there in 2014. DG PR was kind enough to invite Chef and I to enjoy the show at the Circus Theatre!IMG_1768

Graeame of Thrones is a GoT parody – with lots of laugh out loud moments. We enjoyed seeing the three actors scramble to change into the next characters and what crazy scene would be played out next. It’s described as “Featuring a family tree wider than The Wall and more subplots than anyone can follow, it’s a rollercoaster ride of beheadings, incest and war.” It was lots of fun and a little random at times. The re-enactment of the infamous fight scene between The Mountain and Oberyn Martell would have to be my memorable moment! Classic!

Photography by Paul Wilkinson Photography Ltd.

Image from Graeme of Thrones. Photography by Paul Wilkinson Photography Ltd

We really enjoyed our trip to the quirky side at Fringe. It’s here for a whole month, so I’d love to see a few more shows, I really enjoyed soaking up the buzz in Northbridge! I’m looking for some tips – what show will you see?

Click on the links to find out more about Noodle Palace and Fringe World Festival.IMG_1764

Tuck Shop – Northbridge

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Tuck Shop Cafe on Urbanspoon

With a Urbanspoon rating of 91% Tuck Shop was top of my brunch list. Chef and I had very high, perhaps even impossibly high expectations of the Northbridge café because of this – I hoped that we’d be part of the majority that had very positive dining experiences there. It was busy, but we were able to squeeze in for a late brunch. At Tuckshop they run an all day brunch/lunch menu. IMG_9245

The drinks were spot on and just what both of us were after. Chef enjoying a hot caffeine hit with his double shot flat white and me with my healthy juice, my feel good drink in anticipation of some possible unhealthy food choices! IMG_9237

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The service at Tuck shop is on the ball and friendly. I was a bit torn with my choice, so the helpful waitress suggested the black pudding dish, as it is very popular. I decided to go with that choice and hoped for the best!

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Chef absolutely loved the chorizo with paprika potatoes, peppers, Spanish onion and pork belly. The tasty belly had been deep fried and was ever so crisp. That was all topped with a sunny side up fried egg, $19.50. It was a dish busting with flavour and a mild spice, that worked well for breakfast or lunch.

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People are going to think I like black pudding! Admittedly I’m not a huge fan, but I have tried it a few times lately and it is growing on me. My dish was made up of toasted sourdough with grilled black pudding, tomato, parsley, ricotta & a poached egg, $18.50. I enjoyed it, all the components were tasty and the egg was as runny as I’d hoped. The only thing that wasn’t spot on was the sourdough – a little too crispy for my liking and it was tough to cut with my knife.

All in all Tuck Shop certainly delivered. As well as great brunches n lunches they’re also renowned for their homemade pies. We were both too full to try one, though they looked fab – it certainly gives us another reason to return.IMG_9260