Chakra, Inglewood

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

Indian cuisine is something I LOVE. Sadly, for the best part of a decade, we’ve not enjoyed dining at Indian restaurants like we used to – which is down to a certain Little Chef. We had a win recently with our fussy eater. He suddenly decided he liked butter chicken. I could have wept with happiness!

When an invite to Beaufort Street newbie, Chakra, landed in my inbox I jumped at the chance to try it out, especially when I learned that it’s child friendly. We could have our biryani and eat it too!20170714_195224

We were welcomed into the stylish dining room, adorned with Indian lanterns and plush red and gold, by our hosts Sonia and Kumar. Chakra is very inviting and a lot more on trend than your average suburban Indian eatery. Chakra is best described as a modern Indian. In the words of Sonia it’s “Indian-ish”. Whilst the methods of cooking and recipes remain authentic, the modern presentation freshens it up and gives the food a fresh breath of life.20170714_190645

The first thing I noticed when we walked in was that the room was full of exotic, aromatic flavours .While we looked over the menus, Little Chef was kept occupied with some colouring in. He did a good job! 20170714_195127

Sonia and Kumar took us through the menu and said they’d send out a selection of entrees and mains for us to try. First came the beef cones. These are a fresh take on traditional beef samosas, are filled with meat, sautéed onion and tomato. Chef tells me the carom seed flavoured cone is absolutely delicious and Little Chef scoffed the other. I love it when he’s feeling adventurous!20170714_191050

I loved the seared scallop dish, served on a bed of roasted capsicum and tomato chutney, with Nigella seeds (DF,GF). The scallops were deliciously plump and complimented by the flavoursome chutney.IMG_9464 Continue reading

Bad Apples Bar – Ardross

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Bad Apples Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I’d been kindly invited to Bad Apples Bar in Ardross, near Applecross. I don’t venture south of the river too much, so I was excited to visit a bar that I’d heard great things about on the Perth foodie grapevine.  I met one of my oldest friends there – Miss G “The Dancer” who has appearing in two Beyoncé videos to her credit. I wish I had a claim to fame like that!!

IMG_3617Bad Apples is a chic bar worthy of Bey herself. There’s a classy lounge area, high tables near the bar (with AFL for the footy fans) and the outside alfresco area too. Miss G and I met there to have a casual weekend lunch catch-up over a drink or two.IMG_3618

Bad Apples has a well thought out drinks list. I can’t go past a pretty drink and the cocktail list at Bad Apples is full of them! The vanilla and passionfruit martini is scrumptious. I also love a good pun and like the sound of the “Tequila Mockingbird” (hehe). There’s also a good selection of craft beer, spirits and then there’s the wines…IMG_3581

The wine list is brimming with Australian labels with a few European drops thrown in for good measure. At Bad Apples, they were the one of the first in Perth to offer a unique Enomatic Wine System. It’s a sort of wine vending  machine that allows people to enjoy the premium wines that would usually only be available by the bottle, “by the glass”. The machine keeps the open bottles fresh and at the correct temperature. IMG_3584

With the help of our friendly waiter, we choose a few dishes from the share menu to try. The menu is a mix of international cuisines and bar snack favourites like the hand cut potato chips, $10. The piping hot chips are ever so crisp and well seasoned. We relish the seeded mustard aoli which is really great for dunking!IMG_3596 

The broccolini, $10, is a big hit with these two green loving girls. It was perfectly cooked and tossed in a little chilli oil to give it a nice kick and finished with a little grated manchego cheese.IMG_3598

The pork belly dish is comes highly recommended. Three pieces of crisp pork belly, $18, are deliciously fudgy and have that crunchy crackle that I’m always craving. The flavoursome meat is drizzled with a sweet caramel miso sauce and topped with a pickled ginger salsa. The flavours work together very nicely in this Japanese inspired dish.IMG_3587

The two wagu beef sliders, $16, are tasty morsels. Bursting with fresh salad, a BBQ chipotle sauce and mozzarella – they go down a treat.IMG_3591

The shredded duck tacos are also a great share dish, $16 for three. The duck meat has that deliciously rich game-y flavour. The soft tacos are stuffed with fresh greens, a sweet pineapple salsa and chipotle sauce.IMG_3604

Also on the menu are gourmet pizzas and more substantial main dishes if you’re feeling extra hungry. For us, it was time for dessert! The spiced rum chocolate tart, $13, was to die for! A generous slice of chocolate tart is topped with a creamy citrus mascarpone and a nut praline. We cut through the scrumptious tart with spoons, the pastry is spot on and the chocolate not too sweet, but enough to give you that coco fix. A decadent way to end a yummy lunch.IMG_3612

Bad Apples is one of those neighbourhood bars that everyone wishes they lived within walking distance to. It’s a big hit with the Applecross locals. The cosy bar has a great atmosphere and hosts weekly quiz nights, as well as live music.IMG_3622

Thanks to the Bad Apples team for having us for a delicious lunch. We genuinely enjoyed their mix of international cuisines and will absolutely be back.IMG_3621

 

 

Kinky Swell – Scarborough

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Kinky Swell Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

This tiny corner café in the heart of suburban Scarborough is a great little surprise. It looks rather unassuming, but it’s very popular with locals, we even spied a Freo Docker on the next table (though I have no idea of his name!).IMG_1880

The café is cosy and compact, so it can get a little noisy. Kimmy and I enjoyed the coffee, which is a locally roasted coffee blend and served in BIG cups. Just what I needed on this rainy morning!IMG_1863

Kimie enjoyed her gluten free version of the eggs benedict, $18. She devoured the crisp bacon, with a poached egg and creamy hollandaise sauce served on GF toast.
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I was hoping Little Chef would pick the pancakes, so I could choose a healthy brunch, but he had other ideas – so I had to take one for the team! To be honest, I was pretty happy as the buttermilk pancakes on other people’s plates looked divine. The fluffy pancakes are served with fresh strawberries, mascarpone, pistachios and bananas drizzled with salted caramel sauce. Woweee! SO GOOD. IMG_1874

Little Chef chose his favourite – a ham and cheese croissant from the cabinet. With nothing really on the menu for Little Miss M, we requested a fruit plate, which the staff were only too happy to whip up. She got stuck into her massive fruit plate and nearly managed to polish all the fruit off. Great to see a toddler with such a healthy appetite.IMG_1866

Kinky Swell is a fab little find and the Doubleview/Scarborough locals are loving it. With pancakes like these – I’m not surprised!IMG_1873

St Stephens Farmers Market, Tapping – Week One

Like all foodies I love a good farmers market. We’re blessed with some crackers in Perth – I enjoy the bustle of the Subi Farmers and love the village feel of the Kalamunda Sunday Markets. Wherever we go, it’s always a hike, as we live north of Joondalup. On Saturday, Little Chef and I enjoyed a new farmers market… The St Stephens Community Farmers Market is just a few streets from where we live – it was nice that the farmers, food trucks and artisans came to us for a change *wink*IMG_0031

The St Stephens farmers market is on from 8am to 12noon, in Tapping, each Saturday in September. If locals get behind it, it will be around for a lot longer. We left home a bit later in the day and missed the biggest crowd, though it meant that by the time I made it to one of my favourites – “The Juicist” – they had sold out of juice! Bummer.IMG_9983

It makes a lot of sense having a famers market in Tapping. Before the suburb existed 15-20 years ago it was mainly market gardens. There are still many operating market gardens in the surrounding suburbs of outer Wanneroo. The fruit and veg stalls are brimming with local produce and I got some to cook that night in a stir-fry.IMG_9982

We sampled some award winning olive oil, made locally in Gingin. The oil, from family owned Guinea Grove Farm is organic and biodynamic. Guinea Fowl roam free amongst the olive groves to reduce pests. I bought a bottle of olive oil that is blended with lime juice. I had a lovely zesty flavour and is apparently great with seafood and as a salad dressing – I can’t wait to use it!IMG_9994

I spotted the lovely Mei, creator of Turban Chopsticks. You may remember I cooked some TC onion bhajis and biryani – check them out here. For a lazy cook like myself, the Turban Chopsticks meal kits are a godsend and make cooking a tasty dinner a breeze. Mei was very kind to gift me a jar of her butter chicken sauce – so I’m looking forward to cooking that along with the Turban Chopsticks ricotta bites. Stay tuned to how that turns out in the next week or two.IMG_9986

Raw food is so on trend at the moment. There are a couple of raw sellers at the market. After a couple of taste tests, I bought a Red Velvet bliss ball from Sneaky, who have a range of organic, gluten free treats – including protein bars.

I was intrigued by the Bon Pussy chilli sauces. Jamaican food is something I don’t know too much about and I’d love to find out more. We tried a couple of sauces, which are also great as marinades – they were really tasty! The chillies used are grown in Freo and the popular product is shipped all over the world.IMG_0023

I had a chat with another fantastic Perth foodie, Latasha from Latasha’s Kitchen. She has a multitude of spice blends, oils, pastes, chutneys and more. Check out the scrumptious Chicken Kuruma Masala I made a few months ago HERE. At the market, I tried one of her sweet creations – a cherry chocolate sauce – which would be amazing on a pavlova! IMG_0001

Little Chef can’t go past a Bratwurst stand or a sausage sizzle without begging me for a snag. These smelled heavenly, but the little fella scoffed the lot before I even managed a nibble! Greedy guts.IMG_9996

As well as a multitude of foodie stalls there’s also home ware, crafts, beauty products and more.IMG_0018

It’s a great place to find a unique gift.

IMG_9989With so many delicious aromas in the air, I sniffed out a giant paella dish before I saw it! It was from KQ Spanish Food – I happily tasted the paella which was brimming with chorizo, carrot, zucchini and corn on the cobb.IMG_9992

There’s lots for the kids to do – a bouncy castle, petting farm, pony rides, go karting – as well as a big sandy and shaded playground. There’s also live entertainment, which adds to the atmosphere.IMG_0025

On our way back to the car we made one last stop. Little Chef had been so good while I chatted to many stall holders so I let him have an “Ice cream”. I’m not entirely sure if frozen yogurt is more healthy than Ice-cream, but I assume it is. Little Chef chose to have a Tim Tam crushed up into it too – so it turned out to not be such a healthy snack – whoops.IMG_0034

We both enjoyed the St Stephens Farmers Markets and will be back again next week for sure – when I got home I tucked into the Red Velvet Sneaky bliss ball – so scrummy and healthy to boot!IMG_0038

We hope everyone else in the Joondalup and Wanneroo areas get on board too – it will be wonderful to see this become a permanent fixture in the outer northern suburbs! Each week the stall holders line up changes a little, so I’m looking forward to what I discover there next Saturday morning!

For more info check out the website… www.sscfarmersmarket.org.au

 

The Leopard Lodge – Carabooda

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Diving up the bush lined driveway to The Leopard Lodge, in Perth’s northern suburbs, we could have easily been in an African game reserve. It feels like we’re in the middle of nowhere. We’re 20 minutes’ drive from Joondalup – the African themed lodge is just off Wanneroo Road near to the old Dizzy Lamb Park (from the 1980’s).

The north of Perth is full of ex-pat poms (my parents are pommie so I can say that!). There’s also a lot of South African ex pats in the outer northern suburbs – I know this is a favourite dining spot for a lot of them. Somewhere they can have a Castle Larger, Savanah Dry Cider or even a Pineapple Fanta! We have a few South African friends and it would seem the Leopard Lodge is a haunt of theirs. It’s a steakhouse in the same vein as Hippo Creek.

IMG_1246We step into the dining room, styled like a hunters lodge and see several of our friends at a long table; a few of them had been here before and enjoyed the steaks. The ceiling is tented and there is wildlife everywhere – stuffed of course! I have an impala or springbok (I’m not sure!) looking right down at me, from up in the rafters. The friendly waiter, who enjoys a bit of banter, takes our orders. For entrée we have;

Boerewors ($14) – an African sausage, cut and served with sauce. It was ok, but kindof tasted to me like a regular beef sausage! I wasn’t blown away.=

Escargot (Garlic Snails) – Mrs H was ever so kind to let me try a snail! I actually really enjoyed it. Though I may have been telling myself I was eating a little garlic button mushroom!

The menu was pretty typical of a steakhouse. It is made up mainly of meat of varying cuts and weights; all with a choice of sauces, veg and potatoes. You can make your own combo. There are also vegetarian options and some traditional African dishes like Bobotie, Durban Curry and Zulu Ox Tail Potjie for those that are more adventurous or wanting a taste of home.

IMG_1235Chef and I both had Steaks, since it’s what Leopard Lodge is all about. They were cooked just how we liked and very tasty. The meat is sourced from Harvey. I had a 250g scotchie ($37), with a Monkey Gland (BBQ) sauce. The chips were excellent too. The veg could have done with another 10 minutes in the oven – the roast veggies were a little firm and undercooked. Other than that I enjoyed it.

There is a good wine and beer list – with lots of African options. There’s also quite a range of African spirits I’ve never heard of (Klipdrift brandy, Van Der Hum Tangerine, Cape Velvet Crème etc). I fancy a cocktail and treat myself to a “Sex on the Beach” – oh-er!!! It was delicious and I feel like I had over indulged after I clocked the size of the Banoffi Pie ($10)!

All in all we liked The Leopard Lodge and the friendly and attentive service. It was our first time there, so nice for a change – to  enjoy the home style food and well cooked meat.

 

REVISIT – Cafe Elixir

I think Café Elixir is the PERFECT spot for a casual catch up with friends in Wanneroo. Considering that the City of Wanneroo is a large region, there is really just a handful of café and dining venues worth visiting in this area, which is a shame.20140111_104638

Elixir is great for lunch or a nice cruise-y brunch. Their cooked brekkies are almost legendary in the area. On this visit we opted for something lighter – still feeling guilty after all the Christmas face-stuffing.

I had lovey fresh muesli ($13). It was packed with dried fruit and topped with yogurt, honey and a mixed berry compote.20140111_104453

Mrs S and Little Chef both had a super fresh and fluffy croissant with ham and cheese ($8)20140111_104300

Elixir has a busy, friendly atmosphere. The 5 senses coffee is top notch. The staff are welcoming and always greet Little Chef with a colouring book and crayons, which keeps him entertained. That was lucky as Mrs S and I were nattering on for such a long time we ended up there for hours and not even noticing the time!! We love Elixir, and I’ll be back, again and again.Untitled

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Bib and Tucker – Leighton Beach

IMG_9696Bib & Tucker on Urbanspoon

We had wanted to visit Bib and Tucker for months. I’d heard some excellent things about the tasty food and fab location. It was just my luck that we’d had one of the wettest winters in recent years. The weather was very relevant. Now that I’m a blogger, I usually take something ridiculous like the weather conditions into consideration, when picking somewhere to eat. I had decided I’d hold out for a super sunny day, for our first trip to Bib and Tucker.

The day we chose was gloriously bright. Bib and Tucker, right on Leighton Beach, is a very welcoming place indeed. It’s a stunning venue, inside and out, with a few quirky vintage touches. Its part owned by Olympians – swimmer Eamon Sullivan, pole vaulter Steve Hooker and hockey player Jamie Dwyer.IMG_9683

We sat on the balcony, just meters from the snow white sand dunes. The service was efficient and with a smile.IMG_9660

Chef Scott Bridger’s philosophy of fresh, simple, well-cooked food really works. Everything we had was brimming with flavour. We ordered;

I started with a Juice. I’m constantly on the lookout for a good veggie juice and this was pretty good. I loved that they were served “bubble tea” style too. IMG_9666

The Sanchez Pizza ($27) Chef really enjoyed his “Pizza”. It was topped with pulled pork, charred corn, avocado, fetta, smoked chili and coriander.  The base was fresh and tasty; the toppings were delicious too. There was just one sticking point. The size of the portion. For the price we paid, we assumed we’d be getting a regular sized pizza (we weren’t advised otherwise by the wait staff or the menu). It came out as a kind of oval shape, as the dough had been twisted at the sides. This made the surface area of the pizza much smaller and hence, much less topping. It would have been half the size of a regular pizza. Chef had wanted a bigger feed for lunch, but didn’t feel compelled to order more food, based on the prices. As I said though, he was very happy with the taste.IMG_9675

Smoked Beef Brisket Slider ($8 each) I’d wished I ordered a few of these sliders, they were so good. The fresh brioche bun was packed full of crispy beef and a celeriac remoulade. They were very more-ish. Serving the beef in a slider is such a tease!! IMG_9674

Fish Tacos ($15) The battered fish was served in a soft taco, along with a charred corn salad, avocado and Chipotle Mayo. The two tacos were really tasty; it was a nice change to have seafood along with Mexican flavours.

“Best bib and tucker” is old Australian slang for wearing your best clothes. However, Eamon Sullivan says that the Leighton restaurant is actually named after two WA bushrangers who were “infamous for their fine threads, rascality and rollicking good times”. This theme is also reflected in the Bushranger-style mural, by local fashion illustrator Pippa McManus. IMG_9685IMG_9687

We really loved most things about B&T, the only thing we could fault was the serving sizes of the pizza. I’d like to think we’ll be back again – perhaps at the pointy end of the day to watch a sunset over the Indian Ocean. Stunning!IMG_9692