{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.

Gusti-015-Edit

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.

20171027_175608 - Copy

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.

20171027_173642

Continue reading

Monsterella Pizza, Wembley

IMG_0304

Monsterella is a suburban pizzeria with a warm, laid back feel. The bustling Grantham Street eatery has a hip a rustic interior and lively, family-friendly atmosphere. We were lucky to get a booking at the incredibly popular spot. We needed to come in early, which was fine with us, as we’re generally early eaters anyway. We got there at 5.30pm and it was soon heaving with diners.

20170927_172319

As soon as we sat down, a friendly waitress brought our menus as will as a blank pizza box with a load of textas for Little Chef. That’s a very cool alternative to your usual colouring book! He soon set to work, busily designing his own pizza box. Monsterella was named after the way that the owner’s little girl pronounces mozzarella cheese. How cute is that?!

IMG_0297

In no time the eatery was buzzing with busy tables and lot of people coming in for take away pizzas too. Their focus is on handmade wood fired pizza with traditional toppings, though there’s also some tastebud tempting traditional Italian street food on offer, with cheese, meats, salad and fish dishes on the menu. Continue reading

Inglewood Night Markets

Loads of people get Monday-itis… Poor Monday is the most unloved day of the week. Personally, I love Mondays, and not just because one of my most favourite binge-worthy shows (Outlander) is on telly. You can make Mondays a no-cook zone in your house and head out to the food-tastic Inglewood on Beaufort Night Market. This food truck extravaganza is held each and every Monday evening from 6pm in the warmer months.

IMG_1823

Both sides of Beaufort Street between Sixth Avenue and Dundas Road are lined with a mix of food trucks and hawker food stalls, with a couple of craft and fresh produce stalls too.

IMG_1805

We started our foodie trail at the city end, near Mondos Butchers and walked up one side of the street then down the other side on the way back. It’s a nice stroll and there’s lots of live music along the way adding to the vibrant atmosphere.

IMG_0732

There’s a huge choice of cuisines from all around the world… This fresh paella looked and smelled amazing.

IMG_0772

And what a mouth-watering  mountain of meat at El Argentino!

IMG_1806

The grassed Town Square area is a really popular spot with families to throw down a picnic rug. The kids will love having a dance to the live music.

20171030_184604

We’ve been a few times in the last month, here’s out pick of what we’ve tried (so far!):

 

Delicious Columbian empanadas from Marcelita’s – the pulled pork and lime (3 for $11) is my favourite filling and best of all their tasty morsels are gluten free.

20171030_192008

Little Chef chose a woodfired pizza ($15) from Fire Truck Pizza. This is by Chef Lorenzo, who’s Ellenbrook Woodfire Italian Restaurant is a huge favourite with us. Lorenzo has decked out an old fire truck with a pizza oven and flashing lights in the Italian colours – of course. Continue reading

Canteen Pizza, Cottesloe

IMG_0506

Canteen Pizza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Say Ciao to the latest eatery from the people behind Cottesloe’s ever popular Il Lido, who have opened another casual Italian a little further up Marine Parade. Canteen Pizza has a laid back Mediterranean feel, with a crisp, light interior and walls lined with bottles of wine. By night, the venue takes on a louder, darker wine bar vibe.

20171004_131449

Canteen Pizza is not your typical pizza joint. Though the focus is undeniably pizza, but the menu is punctuated with Italian style cheese, meat and fish dishes. One of Australia’s most renowned pizza pros, Napoli-born Ettore Bertonati, has been brought over from Adelaide to set up the pizza menu.

A lot of Italian produce and terms are used in the menu and the friendly wait staff are only too happy to explain and “translate” for me.

Given the fantastic wine program at Il lido, I’m expecting an impressive wine list and Canteen Pizza delivers. The ever evolving list is a mix of accessible Australian and Italian labels, with a focus on natural wines. A glass of Aperol spritz seems the perfect choice for enjoying casual Italian dishes by the sea. Their quirky glassware is a big hit, with the quote “Because you can’t drink pizza” printed on their wine glasses.

Aperol Spritz

We start our lunch with dishes of antipasti. We’re spoilt for choice. There’s cold cuts of meat, seafood, veal and pork meatballs, freshly baked bread and more. I adore the baked Chevrac du Perigord ($18) French goats cheese is rolled in pistachio nuts and served upon freshly chopped rocket. The creamy cheese paired with zesty flavours of house made candied orange marmalade makes for a cracking summer dish.

Baked Goats Cheese

Plump Rottnest scallops ($18 for two) are served in the shell along with pickled carrots, leek, and cauliflower. The scallops, topped with golden pane fritto crumbs (fried bread), are full of flavour and I’m wishing for more.

IMG_0509

The Margherita, $20, is simply stunning. A pizza rossa (red sauce base) is topped with Italian Pomodoro san Marzano tomato sauce, Fior di Latte mozzarella, sharp parmesan and basil, the thin base is light and puffy, with just a hint of a crispy black edge. We shouldn’t mess with the simplicity of a Margarita, though we add pork and fennel sausage. At least it’s not pineapple! The punchy toppings aren’t loaded on, which gives the crisp base a chance to shine.

Margarita w Sausage

The Neapolitan-style pizzas are top notch. Their dough is left to rise naturally for 48 hours, topped with Italian and fresh local ingredients, then cooked in the roaring wood fire in their open kitchen. Chef also enjoyed the “Rustica” with creamy stracchino cheese, pork and fennel sausage,  broccoli, fennel and fresh chili.

IMG_0523

It’s not just about pizza at Canteen Pizza. The porchetta, a rolled roasted pork loin, catches my eye. Tempted as I am, this seems a meal in itself, so I order the rainbow trout. Sadly, it’s not arrived in the kitchen yet. The chefs are more than happy to cook their market fish (line caught Geraldton Bream) in the same way – stuffed with pancetta and rosemary, oregano and garlic. Here’s a truth bomb – I’ve never tackled a whole fish before! Put off by bones and not to mention being eyeballed by the fish as I ate it, I’d never taken the plunge. Boy, have I been missing out. The moist, buttery flesh easily slides off the bone. I am mightily impressed.

20171004_132848

On the side, I enjoy a generous serving of ancient grains (farro, freekeh and red quinoa) glistening with gems of pomegranate and grape. Apple, almonds and herbs are scattered though this tasty dish, tossed in a red wine vinaigrette, giving it loads of bite.

20171004_132858

A creamy tiramisu ($15) is best shared. The soft textures and punchy coffee flavours are the perfect end to this Italian feast.

20171004_135905

Pizza can often be gimmicky and over loaded. We fully appreciate this authentic, stripped back pizza place. Head down to Cottesloe for pinot and pizza or a little prosecco and porchetta – you won’t be disappointed by the simple, yet delicious offerings at Canteen Pizza.

At a glance
■ Canteen Pizza
110 Marine Parade
Cottesloe
Phone 6555 7766
■ Opening times
7 Days
12pm till 12am
■ Rating
food 4
service 4
ambience 4
value for money 4
■ Style – Modern Italian Pizza
■ Wine – An excellent selection of Australian
and Italian wines, spritzes, craft beers and cocktails.
■ Head Chef – Roberto Zampogna
■ Co Owners – Lyndon Waples and Dan Wegener
■ Feel – lively atmosphere
■ Wheelchair access – Yes
■ Cost
Antipasti – $2 to $28
Pizzas/Mains – $20 to $35
Dessert – $3 to $22
■ All in all – A fast paced and fun
pizza place. Tasty pizza plus
modern Italian dishes and drinks.

IMG_0540

Toastface Grillah, Perth CBD

IMG_8216

Tucked away down Grand Lane you’ll find the grungy cool of Toastface Grillah. A top spot for a pimped up toastie and hip hop beats, it was also one of my very first blogs, over four years ago. The name “Toastface Grillah” grabbed me – it’s a twist on the name of US rapper Ghostface Killah (Wu Tang Clan), who has incidentally visited and played an impromptu gig here in the lane! This little eatery is a little bit “gangsta” too.

Toastface Grillah is a fantastic place for breakfast, brunch and lunch. We’ve been toasted sandwich fans since our childhood. This is much more than your Mum’s simple cheese and tomato toastie. The café itself is thrift shop chic. It’s very casual, with a few benches dotted around the small courtyard and cool beats coming out of the retro speakers.

IMG_8194

These toasties are all superb in there gooey, oozey cheesy-ness. Little Chef loved the simple “Get Ya Veg”, vegemite and cheese toastie, $5.

IMG_8198

Chef gobbled down the ham, cheese and mustard toastie, $7. The boys relished their toasties. Continue reading

My Other Favourite F-Word… F1

Now I’m going to let you in on something…

Some people may be surprised to know that “food” is NOT my most favourite F-word.

Though food is a massive passion of mine, it’s not my #1 obsession – that would be Formula One motor racing. I’m a huge F1 nerd. If I was ever faced with a choice of spending a year dining at twenty of the best Mitchelin starred restaurants in the world or travelling to all of the Formula One circuits in a season, I’d choose F1. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

So, you can imagine that when I visited Daniel Ricciardo’s race winning Red Bull at the new WA Motor Museum extension, I was totally giddy with excitement!

20171003_103620

Why F1?

My love of F1 started back in the mid-1990s, when I was a teenager and had been living in the UK for a few years. I’d spend hours on the weekend watching the race build up, driver interviews and religiously watched qualifying and each race.

So why the big obsession? To be honest, it doesn’t come down to just one thing. I love the excitement, speed, noise, glamour and drama of each race and season. What the drivers, team managers and expert pundits have to say absolutely fascinates me.

20171003_103924

My husband “Chef” will occasionally watch a race with me. He’ll shake his head when I insert a random nugget of info that I know – like Michael Schumacher broke his leg at Silverstone in 1999 (at Stowe Corner) or an inconspicuous person sitting on the pit wall is Rob Smedley, one of the technical peeps at Williams – who incidentally haven’t been at their best for a long time (like, decades). Or I have to tell him to “calm the eff down” cos the F1 car is NOT on fire – it’s just brake dust or sparks flying from the undercarriage hitting the track. I’ve forgotten how many times I’ve explained the DRS (Drag Reduction System) to him. My party trick is to name every F1 Champion and team (in order) for the last 25 years. As you can see, a lot of incredibly useless F1 info is swarming around in my head. Though I find it endlessly captivating.

In my 19 years of being a dedicated fan, I’ve not been to a race yet. It is top of my bucket list (in red, underlined AND highlighted). Distance and cost have been factors (gotta love living in the world’s most isolated capital city)! I am determined to get to an actual race weekend one day. Which one would I go to? Melbourne and Singapore would both be obvious choices and fantastic destinations for a foodie too! Monaco would also be an iconic race to visit. My first choice would have to be the Belgium GP. To watch an F1 car zoom up the sweeping Eu Rouge would be breathtaking.

22532361_10155489564295660_1350521067_o

My Most Memorable Race

One of my all-time favourite F1 races was at Spa in 1998. It really cemented my love of F1. It was a crazy race where anything and everything happened (a bit like this year’s Azerbaijan race). Torrential rain caused a mass pile up on the starting lap, which took out about 13 of the cars. It was a spectacular sight and a wonder no one got hurt. Back in those days each team was lucky to have a spare car, so many of the drivers were still able to race at the re-start.

Cars were aquaplaning off the circuit left right and centre in the horrendous conditions. Michael Schumacher was winning by miles (he was the rain-meister after all). His Ferrari came up to lap David Coulthard in the McLaren and he ended up slamming right into the back of him, as visibility was so poor. He lost one of his front tyres and had to three-wheel it back to the pits. I remember chuckling as he stormed down to DC’s garage, it looked like there was going to be a punch up. In the end, after even more bingles, only 8 out of 20 cars finished and the bright yellow Jordan’s earned their very first race win, and a 1-2 at that (Damon Hill & Ralf Schumacher).

 

RB10 at the WA Motor Museum

At the WA Motor Museum (Whiteman Park, Western Australia) the RB10, Daniel Ricciardo’s race winning Red Bull from his break out 2014 season, sits proudly rotating on the turntable. This car is the real deal. It’s not a shell or a replica. Its Renault engine is hidden under the shiny Newey-designed chassis. Even the steering wheel, with its many buttons, is still in the cockpit.

This car took Daniel to his maiden Formula One victory in Canada and then wins in Belgium and Hungary later that year. And he’s been kind enough to loan his very special car to the museum, on a long term basis. We’re so lucky to have this here in Perth.

It blows my mind at how much it is worth, “seven figures” according to Daniel Ricciardo, that’s over a million dollars! In future, I’d love to see some more memorabilia at the museum on Daniel Ricciardo and other past Aussie F1 drivers.

20171003_103630

Anyways, I could go on about F1 till the Minardis come home… Of course Daniel is my favourite of the current drivers, but not just as he’s from Perth (and is wildly entertaining off track). He grabs every chance he gets with both hands and is so fierce. Given the right car (and engine), I have no doubt he’ll be our very first West Aussie F1 World Champion.

Did you know Danny Ric is a bit of a foodie too? He’s always hunting down the best food whenever he travels, Sushi in Japan, BBQ in Texas and he is a partner in a micro-brewery in the South of France with another of my F1 faves, 2009 World Champ Jenson Button. How cool is that! Blue Coast Brewing Co is just outside of Nice. I wonder if he’ll bring it to Perth one day?

And for now, we all have a little slice of F1 at the WA Motor Museum. How lucky are we!? Make sure you go down to Whiteman Park and check it out.

Here’s my Buggybuddys review of the Motor Museum. I was stoked to be able to write about cars for once!

20171003_112042

More on the WA Motor Museum here.

Whitfords Brewing Co, Westfield Whitford City

20171003_124752

The new foodie hub at Westfield Whitford City is an entertainment and dining hot spot.  We headed down there to check out just one of the many restaurants, the shiny new Whitfords Brewing Co. Inside you’ll find somewhere to prop up the bar, as it’s one of the longest bars in WA and upstairs there is a rooftop terrace, from which you’ll be able to enjoy sunsets in the evening.

20171003_120814

Chef was chomping at the bit to have a pint and some eats here. The WBC is from the peeps from Beerland, who are behind the Northbridge Brewing Co.

IMG_0475

There’s dining areas outside, overlooking the lush and green central space of the new Whitford City piazza, where there’s a small stage for live entertainment, and sculptures.

20170921_113755

These sculptures double as an interesting place for children to play and explore.

20171003_124842

We found a high table near the bar and a friendly waitress brought Little Chef an activity pack, as soon as we sat down.

20171003_120914

For a weekday lunchtime the brewery was pumping and it has a jolly atmosphere. On tap are the WBC’s ale, lager, a wheat beer, kolsch and IPA, as well as brews from other craft breweries.

IMG_0490

The large menu features all the crowd favourites. Chef picked the angus burger ($19). A succulent, flame grilled patty sits on a bun, along with shredded lettuce, aioli, cheese, dill pickle, house made tomato chutney. He loved the patty, which had a real home made taste to it.

20171003_122818

I chose the roast pumpkin pizza, on a gluten free base. I find the GF substitutes very hit and miss, but this base was not far from the real deal, topped with a tasty combo of Danish feta, rocket, caramelised onion and cashews.

20171003_122911

Little Chef chose the mini beef slider and chips from the varied kids menu. The slider was oozing with cheese and looked delicious.

20171003_122843

We had no complaints with the pub-style food. I’m sure we’ll be back to check out the rooftop terrace and I’ve no doubt this spot will soon become a northern suburbs favourite.

IMG_0489

Other eateries at Westfield Whitford City include:

  • East Village NY
  • Hunter & Barrel
  • Max Brenner Chocolate
  • Miss Chows
  • Jersey Jack Gelato
  • Gami 
  • Bombay Talkies
  • Bangkok Brothers
  • Dough Pizza
  • Grill’d Bugers
  •  Eat House
  • Guzman Y Gomez
  • Event Cinema

There’s so much to discover at the Whitfords piazza and it’s a brilliant place for lunch with the family before a movie at Event Cinemas or even a cheeky date night.

20170921_113833