The Left Bank, East Freo

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The Left Bank Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

A top spot for lunch on a sunny day is the historic Left Bank, found right on the Swan River in East Freo. We grabbed a table out the front, overlooking the river and its amazing views to the traffic bridges, Fremantle port and beyond.

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At the iconic pub, there’s seating in the conservatory, in the popular leafy courtyard and out the front too.

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I had called earlier, to make a booking, as I know the Left Bank can get really busy, but found that they have a walk in policy. That was fine with us. The Left Bank offers a big menu full of all the pub food favourites.

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Once seated, Chef went over to the bar and ordered our drinks and food. He enjoyed a pint with his view.

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I treated myself to a cheeky mojito. Not long after we ordered, the food arrived promptly.

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There’s a few gluten free options, I chose the grilled Barramundi served with kipfler potatoes, chorizo, kale and a capsicum vinegar ($32). The barramundi was perfectly cooked.

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Chef tucked into the huuuuuge “Wharfies Burger” packed with a beef patty, Monterey Jack cheese, mustard, pickles, battered onion rings, salad, aioli in a toasted pretzel bun ($24).

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As if all that wasn’t enough, Chef upgraded, adding bacon and egg to his burger. The runny yolk was oozing out, making it look even more delicious!

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Little Chef chose the kids cheeseburger and chips ($10) There’s also fish n chips, pizza and mac and cheese for the little ones, who also get a free activity pack to keep them out of mischief! The Left Bank has a kids night each and every Tuesday too. There’s arts and crafts, toys and face painting. Kids also eat free with every main meal purchased.

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It’s a beautiful spot to spend a couple of hours under the pine trees, gazing at the river over a lazy lunch and a couple of drinkies!

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The Left Bank is located at 15 Riverside Road, East Fremantle. Find out more on their website. 

We dined as guests of the Left Bank.

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Rose & Crown – Guildford

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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

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Mundaring Weir Hotel – Perth Hills

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Mundaring Weir Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

As a kid growing up in the Perth Hills, I went on many a Sunday drive to Mundaring Weir – it usually would end with a cone from an ice cream truck at the dam or a trip to the Mundaring Weir Hotel. Now with Little Chef, it was a case of history repeating itself some decades later, as we stopped at the historic hotel for a bite to eat.

The Mundaring Weir Hotel, just a two minute drive from the Mundaring Weir dam wall, has huge gardens and an amphitheatre where they stage regular concerts by popular artists like Kacey Chambers, Kate Cebrano and more. We walked through the historic hotel which is over 110 years old. The upstairs bar is full of antiques, which caught Little Chef’s interest. He’s never seen a gramophone before.

The hotel’s café is found downstairs, at the back of the building and there are loads of shady decks and verandas dotted around it in an eclectic fashion. It can be a bit of a maze. We ordered our food at the café and about 15 minutes later our buzzer went off for us to collect our lunch.

Both my Dad and Chef chose a steak sandwich, $21, to enjoy with a cold pint of beer. They gave it the thumbs up. A scotch fillet steak with onion jam, cheddar cheese, beetroot, rocket and BBQ sauce was served between two slices of Turkish bread with a serve of extra chunky beer battered chips.

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Mayfair Lane – West Perth

IMG_2160Mayfair Lane Pub & Dining Room Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Mayfair Lane is a British pub, but not as we know it. The West Perth venue is not similar to other theme bars, with their faux Tudor façades and twee interiors. Mayfair Lane oozes cool Britannia.

We reviewed this venue, then known as The Brown Fox, a few years ago. It was adequate and did everything it said on the box. With the addition of new owners Chris and Foni Pollitt, and a new Head Chef, everything has been stepped up a few notches.

Gone is the dingy interior, now there’s welcoming subtle blue/grey hues and chandeliers to lighten up the bar. The dining room is elegant. If you’re after something more casual, sit on a high table near the bar or outside on the veranda along with the West Perth office workers.IMG_4815

Foni, along with her husband Chris, have spent many years in hospitality all around the world. Their very different experiences bring a lot to this gastro pub. Foni has had a polished, silver service career in high end restaurants as a Maître’D, as well as opening many gastropubs in the UK and Canada. Chris ran some of the hippest bars in East London. Head Chef, Shannon Wilson has rattled his pans all around the world, including at Necker Island for Sir Richard Branson, no less.

As we arrive for lunch, there doesn’t seem to be any wait staff on the floor. We seat ourselves on the veranda and find menus, unsure if table service is on offer. It is and after our wait person arrives, the service is on the ball. At Mayfair Lane you can dine on traditional pub fayre, like bangers and mash or choose something a little fancy, like their lamb assiette. I’m here for one of their signature dishes, the steak tartare, which some have said is the best in Perth.IMG_2178

The extensive wine list is a little bit special. Foni, is somewhat of a Sommelier extraordinaire. The certified wine educator has created what is arguably the best wine list of any pub in Perth. There’s a large choice of by the glass wines and I pick a French rose, feeling confident that it will be a cracker. The pale rose Château Les Crostes Cinsault Grenache is indeed a tasty drop.IMG_4746

I start with the famed steak tartare, $22, which is always a good measure of a kitchen. Ultra-fresh raw steak is bound together with herbs, shallots and a spiced mayo then topped with a gooey, soft-boiled quail’s egg.  I scoop at the delicious tartare with the house made game crisps. It’s spot on.IMG_4771

At $21, the three pan-fried scallops are a touch on the pricey side. Served with a creamy pommes purée, vanilla tomato compote and a verjuice jus, this light dish has well balanced, punchy flavours.IMG_4763 Continue reading

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

 

The Village Bar {See Subiaco}

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The Village Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Subiaco is full of hidden gems that are frequented by locals who I’m sure would like to keep their haunts under wraps. One of these local “secrets” is The Village Bar, which is owned by the same people as the fabulous Little Way in Nedlands. It doesn’t look very big from the outside, but it’s a bit of a tardis, with plenty of room inside.img_0697

The Village Bar, the third venue on our cocktails and canapés tour of Subi, has a pub feel and the menu has a lot of pub favourites on it. We enjoyed some classic share platters, Moroccan crumbed squid rings served with hot sauce, a prosciutto board brimming with cheese, salami, olives, fetta, bread and more, My favourite morsel was the crisp pumpkin and saffron arancini.img_0694

To wash down all of the tasty food we were treated to a couple of their cocktails. First up was their gin and tonic with a twist.. this G&T had an added kick of fresh chilli! It was an interesting take on the classic drink. We also tried a delicious wine based cocktail that has been made especially for the UnWined 2016 after party.img_0691

The Village Bar has good vibes and is a great spot for a casual meal and drinkies with a group of friends. Check out their website for food specials, quiz nights and more.img_0688

NEXT STOP ON THE SEE SUBIACO TOUR… Bibik Chan

**I enjoyed The Village Bar as a guest of the City of Subiaco/See Subiaco **

The Parkerville Tavern – Parkerville

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Parkerville Tavern Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Winter days are made for country pubs. The smell of rain in the gum trees, roaring wood fires and hearty food. We took a drive up to the Perth Hills, to the Historic Parkerville Tavern – a perfect spot for a chilly winters lunch. IMG_3401

I’d not been to the Parkerville Tavern since I was Little Chef’s age (7 years old). I had vague memories of an old pub, which had a big beer garden and a donkey. Well, some 25 years later the donkey was gone, but there are still some cute animals at the Parky.IMG_3374

Every time I visit my parents in the hills I have to take an extra jumper – it always seems to be much cooler up there! Since it was so cold we arrived there early to score a cosy table next to the open wood fire. There’s also a more formal dining room and lots of tables outside too.IMG_3377

We ordered at the bar and our piping hot food soon arrived. My dad, who loves a bit of pork belly, recommended that I try the Parky’s version ($18) on their light bites/share food menu. The sliced Linley Valley pork belly was served on a sweet apple and quince puree, which was scattered with candied macadamia nuts. The belly was ever so crisp, and each slice was topped with some wonderfully crunchy crackle. Lush!IMG_3385

I also enjoyed a Parky winter salad ($24) which would be tasty in any season. The bowl was brimming with spinach, roasted sweet potato, roasted beetroot, quinoa, caramelised pear, rocket, and topped with creamy crumbled Persian feta and toasted pepitas and almonds. The delicious salad is drizzled in a honey citrus and coriander dressing. I love it when healthy food tastes this good!IMG_3389

My parents both chose the fish special, which they asked to be served with wedges instead of chips. The fish (I think it Esperance flake) was moist and full of flavour, they really enjoyed it.  IMG_3378

Outside, there is a huge, shady beer garden. There’s plenty of tables, but get in early as it fills up quick, even in winter.IMG_3405

There are some sheep and an ostrich living at the Parky too, which the little ones love.IMG_3402

You’ll also find a shaded sand pit, cubby house, boat and play equipment.IMG_3403

The Parky is perfect for a weekend drive. The pub food is good quality – tasty, unpretentious and good value. The pizza oven gets fired up each weekend too – so next time we’ll sit out in the beer garden and try the wood fired pizzas.IMG_3407

The Duke – Carramar

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Waiting for a local pub in the Perth northern suburbs is a bit like waiting for a bus. You wait for ages (in this case 9 years!) then two come along at once! The Duke, like The Ashby Bar & Bistro, is long awaited pub in our area. It opened officially on Monday, though we got the hot tip and went there on Sunday for a cheeky pint. My Dad, a proud Yorkshireman, was very pleased to see that a couple of his favourite tipples Old Speckled Hen and Newcastle Brown Ale are on tap. There’s a good range of beers and a decent wine list too.

IMG_9680It is a different pub to The Ashby. Though modern, it has a more traditional British feel to it, which no doubt is a nod to the many British ex-pats that live in the Carramar/Tapping area. It’s smaller than The Ashby and has a warm feel to it – we sat by the fire as the rain poured outside – and it felt very cosy!IMG_9696At The Duke there is the main bar, dining room, sports bar (with TAB, pool table and huuuuge TV screen) and a few outdoor courtyards – which will be nice in the warmer months!

We were seated in the dining room (which was full before 6pm) and ordered a spot of dinner. The menu is brimming with  typical pub fayre and has some British classics on there – a Ploughman’s platter, Steak & stout pie, Scotch eggs, pork scratching’s, lamb hot pot and much much more.

IMG_9685My Mum and Dad both enjoyed their beer battered fish and chips ($23). The fish was tasty and flaky in a crisp golden batter. The rustic-looking chips (skin on) are double fried and there’s a side of mushy peas and tatare sauce.

IMG_9688Chef said his thin crust beef pizza ($21) hit the spot. It was topped with salted rump, chili, artichoke and smoky BBQ sauce.

New Image1I just had an entrée as I was still full from going out for a big lunch in the city (I know – food blogger problems…lol). I enjoyed the pulled beef brisket tacos ($14). The soft shell tacos were lightly toasted and the tender beef sat upon a bed of lettuce, tomato and cheese and topped with sour cream and chilli. It was a good little snack.

Little Chef was also well catered for with a kids menu and colouring pack.

My parents also squeezed in a sticky toffee pudding for dessert. Which got the thumbs up.IMG_9693

First impressions were positive – we all enjoyed our food, which was well priced and the staff were all friendly and helpful with our questions. We’ll absolutely be back for more good times at The Duke!IMG_9698

The Ashby Bar and Bistro

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Chef and I built our house in the outer northern Perth suburbs in 2006. When we signed up for our block with the developers, there were grand plans of shopping centres, schools and pubs in the area. It took years for most of that to actually be realised and 9 years later we are finally seeing our two local pubs being opened. The Ashby Bar and Bistro has just opened and in another few weeks we should see The Duke open in Carramar.IMG_9554 We can walk to The Ashby (and stumble home), so in it’s first weekend of opening we were there more than once for dinner. Arriving at the massive bar we were impressed by how modern, light and airy it felt. There’s an outside courtyard and bar, large bistro and a sports bar (with TAB and pool tables) is next door.IMG_9559 It has a really nice fit out. It seems like everywhere new has the on-trend “rustic” or “industrial” look. The Ashby is a little different. It still is a little rustic, with it’s white washed dining tables and exposed brick walls, but it’s beautiful blue tiles on the bar and colourful print in the bistro give it a crisp Latin vibe.IMG_9558 The service for the most part on our two visits was helpful and friendly. It was a little shaky in patches, mostly on product knowledge and speed, but Chef and I were happy to give the benefit of the doubt. I really feel with brand new venues you should give a little leeway, as the teething problems haven’t had time to be sorted out. It seemed like the entire population of Ashby, Tapping and Carramar had descended on the pub too – it was crazy busy with everyone having a sticky beak of their long-awaited new local.IMG_9490 Chef and I shared the pulled lamb shoulder tortillas for entrée. We liked them so much we ordered them again on visit #2. The slow braised lamb shoulder was tender and full of flavour, the chickpeas adding a little crunch – it was also accompanied by lettuce and tzatziki yogurt. IMG_9470 Our friends, Mr & Mrs H, are oyster aficionados and chose to share the oyster taste plate. The fresh oysters came with a range of toppings – chilli orange crispy caper lemon and herb crust, bourbon Kilpatrick, natural, and a shallot vinaigrette. The oysters got a thumbs up from them.IMG_9472 Chez and Krist both had a creamy clam and pasta dish. It was so incredibly creamy it looked like a chowder. IMG_9479 The grilled chorizo salad ($20) looked good. It was also brimming with red onion, chickpeas, semi-dried tomato, pickled zucchini and wild rocket with a chilli lemon dressing drizzled on top. Chickpeas are on many of the bistro’s dishes, which left us wondering if The Ashby has shares in a chickpea farm?! hehe IMG_9474I chose the Curry plate ($26). It consisted of two curries of the day, a sweet mango chutney, house naan, pappadums and coconut rice. It was very filling and it was only after I’d finished and declared myself very full that I realised I didn’t get any nann bread – no biggie. It was tasty and I enjoyed it.IMG_9483 Overall the food was good. Sure it’s pub food, but cooked to a good standard. Chef and I enjoyed our meals there – Chef’s only gripe was he wished his Parmigiana was bigger.IMG_9489 Alas, our babysitting curfew was up when the espresso martinis came out – so we didn’t get the verdict on those, but we’ll be back again (and again). We took Little Chef the second time, but considering there’s a lot of young family’s in the area, there’s nothing for kids to do – so we made sure the I pad was fully charged!  Little Chef enjoyed the kids food, which was made from quality ingredients. IMG_9481 There’s a good drinks selection – I loved my French rose and Chef was super excited to see his favourite tipple – Colonial Kölsch – is on tap! We’re pretty impressed with The Ashby and stoked that this is our new local. Cheers 🙂IMG_9488

   

“Heston Magic” at The Hinds Head, Bray

IMG_6017 The Hinds Head on Urbanspoon

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The Fat Duck, Bray

If you ask our five year old who Heston is – he’ll tell you all about him. Little Chef knows that he makes bacon and egg ice-cream and he made a giant lunchbox full of fantastical treats at Legoland. He may even tell you that Mr Blumenthal is his favourite chef –if daddy isn’t within earshot! Since our holiday to England in August, Little Chef lights up every time he sees Heston on TV and tells anyone who’ll listen he’s eaten at Heston’s restaurant – where he got to taste some “Heston Magic”… IMG_6009a Chef and I first heard of Heston Blumenthal in about 2004, when we lived in the UK. It was before he got really popular – but he was making big waves in the culinary world with molecular gastronomy. It had been on our bucket list to eat at the Fat Duck, in Bray, but with Little Chef in tow that wasn’t really going to work – so we opted to go for Heston’s more family friendly gastro pub next door, The Hinds Head. We were also dining with my lovely cousin H and her family.IMG_6015 The Michelin starred Hinds Head is a historical 15th century pub. Think low beams and wood everywhere! It felt like a proper village local. You can even pop in for a pint and bar snack – Scotch egg anyone?IMG_6020 We weren’t really sure what to expect, but we were surprised at just how welcome and at ease the staff made us feel. We’ve dined at many Michelin starred restaurants and most of them you get quite stuffy and sometimes even snooty silver service from the wait staff. The waitresses and waiters at the Hinds Head were very professional – but in a warm way.IMG_6025 One waitress in particular kept up a hilarious banter with the kids, which was just lovely and made us all relax. She whisked the boys away for a few moments to let them poke their heads around the kitchen door and see the chef’s cooking their dinner. We thought that was a wonderful idea, sitting in a lovely restaurant sometimes it’s easy to forget there are many people busily cooking to create a wonderful meal for you! The boys were also kept entertained with pencils and an activity sheet that turned into a chef’s hat! You’ll notice from the food pictures that the dishes look very simple. It can be a bit misleading, especially when you’d probably expect something with all the bells and whistles on coming from one of Heston’s kitchens. It is a much different style to the Fat Duck. The produce used is still of an exceptional quality. The classic British food at the Hinds Head is done exceedingly well. For “starter” Chef loved the fresh raw highland estate venison, with a carro and horseradish puree and shallot dressing (£10.50)IMG_6028 - Copy I chose the Smoked Guinea Fowl and Foie Gras Terrine (£9.95). The silky terrine was absolutely mouth-watering and complimented with a side of apple chutney. Loved it!IMG_6032 - Copy Cousin H had beetroot and goat curd with cider poached pear and pumpkin seeds (£8.75). The plating of this dish was beautiful and she really enjoyed it.IMG_6029 - Copy Chef, ever the carnivore, chose the Hereford prime rib eye, (£33.95) for his main. It was the most expensive item on the menu, but Chef absolutely raved about the very tasty piece of meat – worth every penny. He drizzled the bone marrow sauce over it and soaked up all the meaty-ness with a side of French fries.IMG_6037 - Copy There’s not much in life I love more than a slow cooked egg! When our waitress brought out my empty plate she said ”there’s your dinner” with a wink. Shortly afterwards, my wild mushroom macaroni (£17.95) followed, the extra plate was to spoon my macaroni onto. The hen’s egg was deliciously runny and I really relished the earthy and cheesy flavours. Delish!IMG_6035 - Copy Banana and custard quaking Pudding (£7.95). We’re avid Heston watchers and we know he loves his historical food. Chef jumped at the chance to try the quaking pudding and he wasn’t disappointed!IMG_6041 - Copy It was the perfect end to my brilliant meal – I had a Cherry Bakewell with yoghurt Ice cream (£7.95). The Bakewell was spot on. The yogurt ice-cream was quite different and worked really well with the nutty flavours.IMG_6047 Little Chef had a bowl of ice cream and the waitress sprinkled some “Heston’s Magic” over it – which is actually chocolate popping candy! His little face was priceless!IMG_6045a - Copy It was an incredibly special experience to dine as a family at the Hinds Head and one that we’ll never forget. We even got our menu signed by the talented kitchen team. The food was superb, in an understated British way – we thought it was really well priced too. The service was absolutely wonderful – easily the best we’ve ever had, by a Berkshire country mile. We all certainly experienced a bit of Heston Magic and hopefully it wasn’t the last time! Outstanding.