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

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

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

Brewhouse – Margaret River

img_9997Brewhouse Margaret River Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

All this unseasonal wintery weather has had me thinking about our trip to Margaret River last year. We found a beaut new spot on a soggy old day, with a roaring fire, quality beer and hearty pub grub.img_9994

If there’s something Margs isn’t short of it’s a brewery. Brewhouse is found just on the outskirts of town, about an 8 minute walk from the Margaret River Tourist Information Centre, handy if you’re staying in the town itself. There’s a big beer garden, patio and sandy playground for the kids. img_9983

With the rain teaming down outside, I just had to have a hot chocolate to warm me up. We were lucky to get the best seat in the (brew)house – right next to the cosy roaring fire!img_9979

Chef, who loves a craft beer or three, was spoiled for choice at the bar. There’s something to please all beer lovers from your regular Aussie larger, an English golden ale, stout, pale ales, pilsner, IPA and more. Chef was impressed by Brewhouses’ German style Kolsch. img_9993

The food menu has a stack of choice. You can either share plates and choose several dishes from the “sharing is caring” menu or fly “hans solo” and keep your dish to yourself! Chef chose a pulled pork pizza, $22. The moist meat, with tangy house made BBQ sauce, onions and bocconcini cheese was a delicious combination.img_9985

Feeling like a pork dish too, I picked a very tasty sounding pork roll with chips from the special’s menu, $24. The roll was brimming with a generous chunk of farmhouse pork belly, sweet pear chutney, pan gravy and a fennel slaw. The pork belly, complete with crispy crackling, was as delicious as I’d hoped. I did find it a little difficult to eat without a knife and fork though.img_9991

In keeping with our piggy theme for lunch, Little Chef enjoyed a bacon pineapple and cheese pizza $12, from the “Young Ones” menu.img_9984

We found the food offering at Brewhouse is tasty and well priced. We’d absolutely go there again for a top notch pub meal and hopefully next time the weather is pleasant enough to chillax in their beer garden too!img_9982

 

California Pizza Kitchen – Hillarys

img_3007

California Pizza Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

A taste of California has landed at Hillary’s Boat Harbour. California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) at Sorrento Quay is the very first Australian outlet of the popular American family restaurant. The atmosphere is casual and can get a little noisy – CPK is a BIG restaurant!img_3037

The menu is equally as big with loads of pizza toppings to choose from, as well as many other share plates, soups, meaty mains, a selection of pasta dishes and salads. There’s plenty of international flavours, including lots of American influences – think Jambalaya fettuccine, mac n cheese, chopped salad and roasted NY strip.img_3003

As pizza lovers we were all keen to check out this new joint, though I had heard a few mixed things about it online. I figured I’d try and ignore all the negative noise and give it a go myself. It is still a new venue after all, maybe they had had a few teething troubles?

The old Jetty’s restaurant is all shiny and new. It’s light, bright and has a modern nautical feel.  There’s tables, comfy sofas and cosy booths. We sat at a table by the open window, giving us a lovely view over the harbour and kiddies beach.img_3031

The drinks menu is also extensive, with a good range of drinks and some tempting looking cocktails. My photo turned out a bit rubbish, but here’s the “Ultimate” Bloody Mary, $18. It’s a growing trend that’s stemmed from the “Freakshake” milkshakes, that’s now spilling over to alcoholic drinks too. Tito’s Handmade Vodka, house-made Diablo horseradish sauce, tomato juice, fennel salt rim topped with spicy pepperoni, mozzarella, olive, fresh lemon and thyme. It’s a bit random to have a meat garnish on a cocktail, but I’m told it was a good version of a Bloody Mary.img_3027 Continue reading

The Old Piccadilly – Joondalup

img_0118The Old Piccadilly  Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The tree lined Regents Park Road in Joondalup is transforming into a little foodie destination in the northern suburbs. It’s off the beaten track, in a residential area near Joondalup Hospital and is already graced with fab brunch spot Gipsy Boy and the excellent D’s Authentic Japanese.img_0113

The Old Piccadilly opened it’s doors last week (September 2016) and being big pizza lovers, we were very keen to check out what tasty toppings it had to offer. It’s a small pizzeria, decorated in a vintage style. There’s a few long tables for dining and you can also take your pizzas away.img_0119

Chef and Little Chef shared the meatball pizza ($20 for a large). The crisp base was brimming with meats – plump meatballs, rasher bacon and crisp pepperoni. With lashings of BBQ sauce and stretchy mozzarella, it got two thumbs up from the boys.img_0114

I chose a smaller BBQ pork belly pizza for myself ($18 for a regular size). It’s generously topped with a chipotle slaw, aioli and fresh rocket. The chunky morsels of pork belly are very tender. I enjoy this pizza, though it wasn’t what I was expecting. I had imagined pork belly to be the star of this pizza and it’s a little overshadowed by the flavoursome slaw. Still a mighty fine pizza though.img_0117

We skipped ordering garlic bread to make sure we had room for dessert. The dessert pizzas sounded really yummy. We shared the salted caramel (regular size $14) and boy, was it delicious! Fresh banana is smothered in gooey salted caramel, white chocolate, pecans and a dusting of icing sugar.  img_0123

The eclectic Old Piccadilly is a wonderful little addition to the Joondalup dining scene. They are open lunch and dinner Tuesday to Sunday and also offer fresh continental rolls for the lunch crowd. We hope this area grows and grows with more delicious offerings in the future! img_0124

 

The Henley Brook – Swan Valley

IMG_3734

The Henley Brook Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
The Henley Brook is an exciting addition to the Swan Valley. It’s been open a few months, but it took me a while to get a booking at the immensely popular venue, affectionately known as “The Hen”. The staff were really accommodating, though The Hen was almost fully booked, squeezing us into an early lunch spot at 11am. We could have the table for an hour and a half, which luckily was plenty of time.IMG_3733

The Hen has bucket loads of character, for a new place. The rustic, country vibe works well in the Swan Valley. The cosy bar has many local beers on offer (Mash, Feral, Hop Hog and Homestead), as well as other WA craft beers and ciders. IMG_3736

We met my parents there for a birthday lunch and scored a table right next to the open fire, which was crackling away. Our friendly waiter was prompt and helpful. We tried to be organised for once and got our order in quick, so we had plenty of time to enjoy our food.

IMG_3740

I was very pleased with my choice – slow cooked pork belly, $32. It looked a treat, adorned with a spiral of crispy crackling. The belly itself fell apart at the touch of my fork. It was so moist and tasty. Underneath, was a truffle mash, fresh beans and a field mushroom gravy. Love it!IMG_3747

The Hen House chicken parmy, $26, got the thumbs up from Chef. His pub favourite was topped with smoked ham, semidried tomato fondue, melted smoked cheese and served with fries and salad. IMG_3745

The Beef and stout pie special ($21.50) looked good and my Mum enjoyed it, though she did also say the filling was very rich. It was brimming with beef, spinach and veg and came with a side of chips to soak up the gravy.IMG_3755

My Dad really enjoyed a tasty steak. It was a hearty dish that came with a pumpkin tart and sautéed Brussel sprouts that he loved (yes really!).IMG_3742

There’s a wood fired pizza oven out the back and The Hen’s pizza menu has a good selection of toppings. Little Chef chose a kids Hawaiian pizza and quickly scoffed the lot.    IMG_3739

There’s a lot of seating outside under the veranda. The popular spot also has picnic rugs and crates on the grass. There’s a huge grassed area, so kids have plenty of room to run and it’s great for a ball game too. IMG_3759

We all really enjoyed our lunch at The Hen. It’s a great addition to the Swan Valley.  We absolutely plan to go back, next time I’ll book a couple of weeks in advance to secure a table for a longer stay!IMG_3761