Manuka Woodfire Kitchen, Freo

wood fire

Manuka Woodfire Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

A chilly winters evening begs for a wood fire. We find a cosy little eatery in Fremantle that fits the bill perfectly. Manuka Woodfire Kitchen, on High Street, serves hearty comfort food cooked exclusively in its wood fire oven.

19821000_10155209730215660_1523428883_o

Head Chef Kenny McHardy is a champion of West Australian produce. It’s showcased in his ever changing menu which is currently full of winter goodies including roasted beets and truffles. I can sniff out a truffle as well as any truffle dog, so I am pleased to see that they’re currently being featured at Manuka – we’re in the thick of truffle season after all. They’re sourced from a boutique truffle orchard in Manjimup, run by none other than Chef David Coomer (Star Anise, Pata Negra).

19840242_10155209730345660_83523344_o

The intimate restaurant oozes Freo with its limestone feature walls. A friendly waiter presents us with a small, though well chosen, drinks menu that features WA wines, beers, ciders and spirits. We enjoy a velvety smooth pinot noir from Mount Barker winery Mount Trio. The drop has cherry aromas and is a great match for slow cooked red meats.

IMG_9397

The popular spot is soon full with customers and the open kitchen is a hive of activity. In saying that, it’s not a noisy restaurant and we’re happy we don’t have to shout over the table as we order our meals. The menu is made up of share plates and gourmet pizzas.
We choose the “Chef’s Menu” at $55 per person. This includes seven dishes from the menu, with the addition of the fresh truffles for an extra cost of $20 per table. Money well spent in my opinion! Along with our wine, we devour roasted olives, which are served warm. The roasting process gives them a softer texture and slightly milder flavour.

19850848_10155209730405660_1736151378_o

The deliciously spiced flat bread is served with Cooladerra Farm olive oil from Frankland River. The simple bread, freshly baked to order, arrives hot and fluffy from the wood fire. We tear at the bread and dip chunks into the luscious smoked eggplant babaganoush, lapping up every morsel.

IMG_9402

The wait staff are very knowledgeable about the produce used and tell us a little about each dish as it’s served. Next, we share organic feta from Over The Moon Organics, a small Albany dairy farm where the farmers milk the cows and make the cheese. The creamy cheese is delicious drizzled with honey and a scattering of walnuts.

19820974_10155209730610660_2076518373_o

Little Chef tucks into a smoked beef chorizo pizza ($21) topped with olives, capsicum, spring onion and feta. We sneak a slice and discover that the base is as fluffy and light as the flat bread.

IMG_9408

The first of our meat dishes, Manuka’s award winning charred chicken thigh, is incredibly moist and full of smoky flavours. On the side is pickled red cabbage and a moreish miso sauce.

15725502_10155209730945660_552951092_o

The wood roasted beetroot is insanely good. I’m a beetroot fan. I love it on burgers and in salads. Roasting this winter vegetable takes it to a whole other level of flavour. Glistening pomegranate pearls, shaved truffle and a smoked labne make this a decedent veggie dish indeed.

beetroot

The beef shin, slow roasted for sixteen hours, is gelatinous, smoky and rich. Served with baby roast potatoes and shavings of parmesan and truffle, adding an earthy flavour. It’s good, honest food and absolutely mouth-watering.

19720387_10155209731330660_616333919_o

We finish with little bowls of deconstructed lime cheesecake. Sprinkled with roasted white chocolate and laced with juicy chunks of persimmon, it’s a zesty and light dessert to end our tasty feast.

19866908_10155209731590660_2119655669_o

Chef Kenny owns Manuka, along with his wife Jody, who runs the front of house. The kitchen team use the simple cooking method of the wood fire, which really allows the top quality produce to shine. The menu at Manuka changes by the day, depending on the local ingredients that are available, so you’re always able to try something new.

Chef and I are impressed by Manuka Woodfire Kitchen’s punchy flavours and beautifully cooked food. We would happily return for more of their warm hospitality by the wood fire.

IMG_9440

** First published in the Post Newspaper

At a glance

■ Manuka Woodfire Kitchen
134 High Street
Fremantle
Phone 9335 3527

■ Opening times
Tuesday to Sunday
5pm till 9pm

■ Rating
food 4
service 4
ambience 4
value for money 5

■ style – Wood-fired cuisine

■ wine – small list of wines from
all around Western Australia.

■ Head Chef – Kenny McHardy

■ Owners – Kenny and
Jody McHardy

■ feel – warm and inviting

■ wheelchair access – yes

■ cost
Share $7 – $38
Pizza $17 – $21
Dessert $12

■ all in all – Manuka serves
delicious soul-warming
dishes straight from it’s
wood fire. Bookings are
essential.

Varsity Bar, Nedlands

IMG_8955

Varsity Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Varsity Bar is quite the popular burger joint. The American themed bar, with huge mural of the “stars and stripes”, was heaving on a Sunday lunchtime. Tables full of punters devouring burgers, $5 pint cans of PBR American beer and Pyrex jugs filled to the brim with creamy milkshakes.

IMG_8930

The bar is found on the ground level of Broadway Shopping Centre, a hop skip and jump from UWA, giving Varsity a student bar feel, though there were plenty of “cough” older people chowing down on their burgers there too.

IMG_8933

The crowd at Varsity is pretty lively. It’s not a quiet bar. There’s sports on big screens, pool tables, ping pong and more.

IMG_8952

With Little Chef being an only child, we tend to think of where we’d like to go to eat and hope that there’s a kids menu, rather than take him somewhere geared at kids with an indoor playground and average food. Varsity isn’t a bar you’d immediately think of taking kids to, though there were quite a few families when we visited. I think its fine for older kids, like 8 year old Little Chef. There’s a kids menu so it ticked that box for us.
Little Chef picked the cheeseburger and fries ($10), which he devoured in next to no time.IMG_8937

Continue reading

Zephyr Restaurant, North Beach

IMG_8971

Zephyr Mediterranean Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I hadn’t heard of North Beach restaurant Zephyr, who kindly asked us in for dinner, so I asked my friend Google a little about them. What I found was a Gold Plate winning restaurant that has many positive reviews online and a very loyal local following in the Perth northern beaches.

Zephyr’s website describes it’s self as an Italian restaurant. So when I arrived I was expecting to see pasta and pizza on the menu… you won’t find that at Zephyr. It’s a European restaurant, which has “Mediterranean style” dishes on the menu.

IMG_9024

We dined on a rainy Wednesday, the restaurant had a lively atmosphere, with tables of people happily chatting and enjoying tunes played by Pablo the Spanish guitarist in the enclosed alfresco area. I enjoyed a bit of music with my fruity drink!

For main, Chef chose the Harvey beef fillet ($39). Cooked nicely medium rare, it was topped with a plump field mushroom, truffle salt, shaved parmesan and a red wine sauce. He also picked a side of chunky roasted rosemary and garlic potato chips.

IMG_8999

I picked the pork belly ($36) as it’s one of my favourite cuts of meat. The pork was served with creamy mash, scallops and a house made spicy kim chi. Julienned snow peas were perfectly cooked. Unfortunately the crackling wasn’t crisp, but the rest of the belly meat was moist and flavoursome.

IMG_9006

Continue reading

10 of The Best Hidden Coffee Spots in Perth’s CBD

IMG_8192

Where’s the best coffee in Perth’s CBD? You might have missed it! Down the city’s many laneways and arcades, you’ll find some hidden coffee spots that are not to be missed.

If you’re a street art fan like myself, and like a bit of culture with your caffeine, you will be able to spy some of Perth’s most vibrant works near some of these spots too. So follow the aroma of freshly ground beans and discover a favourite new coffee haunt today!

IMG_8407

 

Max + Sons

Head off the beaten track, down Rail Lane and you’ll find Max & Sons. Here, the friendly baristas are likely to remember your name after a few coffee runs. Their excellent coffee is a custom blend that is developed with Five Senses and the maple bacon and cream cheese bagels are not to be missed!

Find Max + Sons at 140 Perth, Rail Lane, Wellington St, Perth (behind The Globe).

More on Max + Sons here.IMG_8358

 

Uncle Joe’s Mess

At what first appears to be a King Street barber shop, head down a corridor and you’ll find Uncle Joe’s Mess, where they serve up their own “Joes Blend” roasted by Dimattina Coffee. At this cool little spot you can escape the bustling city streets and enjoy a chilled brunch with funky tunes.

Find Uncle Joe’s Mess at 76 King St, Perth.

More on Uncle Joe’s Mess here.

 

Standing Room Only

Standing Room Only Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

You get the feeling that at Standing Room Only the baristas are deadly serious about their coffee, which is outstanding and many rate as amongst the very best of Perth CBD’s coffee spots. There’s nothing else to lose their focus, no food or fancy smoothies, just good honest caw-fee.

Find Standing Room Only at Piccadilly Arcade, Perth.

More on Standing Room Only here.IMG_8230

 

Hopper Espresso

This popular little coffee shop in Shafto Lane, brews up a top house blend as well as offering four different single origin coffees. They even have a range of quality milks to choose from including local Banister Downs and Bonsoy. Their food offering is sure to tame those lunch time cravings too.

Find Hopper Espresso at 3A Shafto Lane, Perth.

More on Hopper Espresso here.

 

The Wolf Espresso

Wolf Espresso is found on Wolf Lane which is a mecca for vibrant murals by local and international street artists in the Perth CBD. Here you can indulge in a guilt free treat with your Veneziano coffee as there’s a focus on balanced and healthy food.

Find The Wolf Espresso at 800 Hay St, Perth.

More on The Wolf Espresso here.IMG_8416 Continue reading

Flics Kitchen, Mandurah

IMG_7430

Flics Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

One thing I love about discovering a town I know little about, like Mandurah, is that I don’t have any preconceived ideas about where I should and shouldn’t dine. I’ve not been brainwashed by a multitude of foodie posts in my social media feeds. Flics Kitchen is just the type of place I would pick for dinner, if I hadn’t already been invited there by the local experts at Mandurah & Peel Tourism Organisation. We arrived early for dinner and we could see that the eatery is a funky morning café by day, which transforms to a buzzing restaurant in the evening.IMG_7432

Flics 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. I just had to have a Mojito in Mandurah. It may be almost winter, but I was still keen to lap up the holiday vibe.IMG_7434

The dinner menu, as they say, is “kinda like tapas”. There’s boards and share plates packed with the best of WA produce from Exmouth prawns, Baldivis rabbit, Shark Bay Whiting and a Mandurah favourite – Blue Manna Crab.

We start with Flics Charcuterie board ($31), which is absolutely brimming with goodies! There’s a long list of delicious cured meats including San Jose venison and wild boar salami, La Boqueria Cabacero air dried pork neck, 18 month aged jamon, salami, salumi and more. We agree the pulled pork coquettes and the smoked pork, pistachio and mustard fruit terrine are absolutely delicious. On the side is a house made piccalilli, cornichons and sourdough.IMG_7444

Continue reading

Café Moka, Mandurah

IMG_7497

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

Continue reading

Rose & Crown – Guildford

IMG_6144

Rose & Crown Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Rose and Crown Hotel, on leafy Swan Street in Guildford, is a stunning heritage building. It is the second oldest operating pub in Australia. The grand old building, which is over 175 years old, has been restored beautifully.IMG_6129

We’ve visited the historic hotel many times over the years. It’s somewhere we like to have long lunches, drinks with friends and take overseas guests to. We just love any excuse for a bite to eat in the shady beer garden.IMG_6126

The Rose and Crown is also lovely on a cold winter’s day. We’ve often stopped by on a chilly day and eaten indoors, by the roaring fire. I cannot rave enough about the beer garden. If you’ve never been, do yourself a favour and go and have a lazy afternoon in the sun dappled garden.IMG_6125

On this day I was meeting my parents on my birthday. We wanted to meet somewhere near the Swan Valley that had good food, but was casual enough for kids. We sat in the beer garden with a glass of wine, while Little Chef busily chatted and coloured in.IMG_6096

We enjoyed a delicious lunch. My Dad loved his masterstock pork belly ($36). A generous slab of flavoursome pork belly is served with tender grilled Freo octopus, a herb salad, crispy pork scratching and an apple gel.IMG_6103

Continue reading