{WIN} Tunes on the Terrace at Gusti

Crowne Plaza Hotel, in East Perth, overlooks grassy Langley Park and the Swan River. Their restaurant Gusti is a contemporary place to dine, and not just for guests of the hotel. They invited me down to check out their new Tunes on the Terrace sundowner session, along with one of my friends Renee. We were only too willing to wind down after a busy working week, over a couple of Mojitos and share some tasty food.

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Tunes on the Terrace are held on Fridays and Saturdays. There’s live music, and food and drink specials. We had planned on an evening of food and cocktails on the deck, but Perth’s weather wasn’t playing nice, so we had to make do with sitting indoors. Still, with a window set, it was easy to appreciate just how lovely it would we to sit there on a warm summers evening,  as the sun sets.

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We picked a few dishes to share from the Terrace menu, which is made up of casual, share-style food, easy to eat with one hand – since you’ll be sure to have a drink in the other! There are also burgers and pizzas if you’d like something more substantial.

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Crowne Plaza Hotel Perth

IMG_5274From the moment we pulled up at Crowne Plaza Hotel and handed our keys to Concierge to valet park the car, we felt relaxed. With limited time, a family staycation with just 25 minutes travel required, suited us down to the ground.IMG_5331

The four and a half star hotel is right on the edge of Perth’s CBD, with many attractions just a short stroll or free bus ride away. Crowne Plaza Hotel is found on Langley Park, opposite the Swan River. IMG_5511

Check in was very quick and by the time we’d headed up to the 10th floor in the lift, our bags were already waiting for us in the room. We opted for a Premium River View Room (with a trundle bed for Little Chef), so we could enjoy a river facing balcony. Large family rooms are also available, which have two queen beds and larger en-suites. Before we headed out to explore the rest of the hotel, East Perth and track down some food, we had a good look around our lovely room. IMG_5139 Continue reading

Straits Cafe – Rendezvous Hotel Scarborough

IMG_2260Rendezvous Scarborough and Chef go way back. Back when he was a 4th year apprentice – probably about 2002, he was “Executive Chef” for one night in the Rendezvous kitchen – leading a brigade of HGT apprentice chefs to cook a banquet feast at the HGT annual ball. That year the ball was held at Rendezvous (or “Ob City”). We stayed the night, and had a swim in the rooftop pool. It was nice, but starting to look a bit tired.

Fast forward 12 years and Rendezvous is all shiny and new. Its muti-million dollar refurb over the past couple of years has injected new life into the 1980s hotel. Scarborough as a whole is enjoying a resurgence, with a new café or bar opening every other week and the City of Stirling starting a much needed upgrade to the beachfront in a matter of weeks. In another year or two Scarborough should be back to it’s bustling heyday.

3I was kindly invited to the winter menu launch at the Straits Cafe. I’d been to Rendezvous for my work Christmas party last year and was keen to see more of the impressive make over. We met in one of the stunning 25th floor suites for canapés, oysters and espresso martinis. The view, by night, from the top floor was stunning.

We then headed back down to Straits Café (formerly The Pines). It has a contemporary feel with floor to ceiling windows, overlooking the Indian Ocean. It would be a stunning venue for a sunset dinner. We met a fellow Perth blogger Kristy – the “Queen of Bad timing”. It was great to finally meet her and have a natter about food with her and her partner Jeremy. You should check out her wonderful blog at www.queenofbadtiming.com

IMG_2265We had some moreish Truffle Popcorn to nibble on whilst we looked over the menu. Executive Chef, Wendelin Ulrich (formerly of PCEC) welcomed us and explained that the winter menu was made up of simple comfort food, with earthy flavours.

For entrée we had;

IMG_2268Chorizo croquettes ($16) with a spiced cauliflower puree and crispy sweet potato Chef thought these were flavoursome – the smokiness of the chorizo enhanced the flavour of the cauliflower.

1Twice cooked free range pork belly ($23) seared scallops, honey & cinnamon infused pumpkin (gf) The pork was cooked perfectly and I just love the combination of belly and scallop. The honey and cinnamon pumpkin was a wonderful warming flavour – perfect for a winter menu.

2Roast duck breast ($39) grilled asparagus, pangrattato, kipfler, shallot and agrumes dressing The duck was succulent and I loved the batons of kipfler.

IMG_2284Oven roasted lamb rump ($37) served with soufflé potato, seasonal baby vegetables & jus Chef enjoyed this meaty dish. The lamb was very juicy.

After our lovely dinner, feeling rather full, we went to the lobby bar for some srumtious mini desserts and nightcaps.

IMG_2299los acones origin dark chocolate fondant ($15) vanilla bean ice cream & coffee sauce

IMG_2298mandarin & coconut mascarpone cream ($16) meringue, candied orange & citrus gel (g/f)

The Rendezvous is an absolute knock out. Hardly recognisable from a few years ago. It would be great to treat yourself to a date night or overnight stay.

Chef and I would like to thank Natasha, Wendelin, Matthew and their teams for a wonderful night.

2014 /15 ENTERTAINMENT BOOK DISCOUNTS

* 25% off with gold card

 

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