{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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The Hummus Club, Northbridge

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Years ago, I discovered The Hummus Club at a Perth foodie event and it was love at first bite. I savoured the Club Mix, served from their pop up food stall,  a delicious combo of all their favourites – a generous serve of hummus, fluffy falafels, a middle eastern salad with a pomegranate dressing and fresh pita. All that was washed down with their refreshing pomegranate lemonade. It was absolutely delicious. When owners Ziad and Kaitlin opened their very own restaurant on William Street, I was so excited to visit!

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Earlier this year, one of my BFFs, Nays and I had booked a table at the Hummus Club. We were there for a early pre-movie bite to eat, before heading to the Rooftop Cinema, in Northbridge. I’d hoped their move from market stall to bricks and mortar restaurant had not taken anything away from what I’d loved about the simplicity of their food.

The very popular restaurant, with it’s vibrant feature wall and neon sign is buzzing and it has a really good vibe about it. Bookings are essential! IMG_4599

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West at Ku De Ta Perth {CLOSED}

IMG_5554Ku De Ta Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I sit with a cocktail in hand on the deck of one of Perth’s most anticipated new venues. A Bali favourite, Ku De Ta has opened its first international outpost in Perth, one thinks as Perth natives are most familiar with the chilled chic of the Indonesian restaurant and beach lounge.IMG_5563

Ku De Ta Perth doesn’t borrow from its Bali counterpart, except for the luxe vibe, water views and smooth soundtrack. For a true Bali experience, Ku De Ta will soon will have Bintang on tap. IMG_5559

Natural and organic materials are used throughout the venue, many incorporating a little piece of WA. Reclaimed timber from the Bunbury Jetty is used for bench seats. Dark wood is used throughout and the space has an industrial feel.IMG_5557

Architect Perparim Rama has created three distinct spaces at Ku De Ta, each with a different purpose. The Deck bar sits above the Swan River offers casual food, including gourmet pizzas.IMG_5555

A second area, West, steps things up a notch with a focus on fresh seafood and charcuterie share dishes. Ku Dining is their contemporary a la carte restaurant.IMG_5649

Apart from its stunning setting on the Swan River, the thing that immediately grabs me is the sheer number of staff. They’ll be needed when the 850 capacity venue gets busy. They are well versed in engaging customer service and knowledgeable when quizzed about their offerings.IMG_5610

After pre-dinner drinks on the Deck, we head to West without a booking – a bit risky in opening week, but for an early midweek dinner, we think it will work. We’re greeted by a group of wait staff and after a shocked gasp that we did not have a booking, we are ushered to a table which we are happy to hand back by 7.30pm.IMG_5665

The menu descriptions name just a few main ingredients for each dish, which adds to the element of surprise. I guzzle down three freshly shucked oysters, with a dash of a zesty vinaigrette.IMG_5583 Continue reading

Market & Co – Crown Perth

Market & Co Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Little Chef and I have been to some exciting family events at Crown in the last couple of months. Both times, we’ve had plans to have a pre-show bite at one of my favourites, The Merrywell – both times it’s been far too busy to get a table. Our go to “Plan B” is Market and Co, which is found opposite The Merrywell, at the Crown Promenade Hotel.

To be honest, the first time we ate there I wasn’t sure how good the food would be, but we were pleasantly surprised. We sat in the bar area and choose from the tapas menu, which was perfect for what we were after – a few share plates to nibble on.

The kids menu is packed full of all the usual favourites. All kid’s meals are $12.90. Little Chef chose the Hawaiian pizza, which he said was very tasty and had a thin crust.

On our first visit, before Santa’s Magical Kingdom, my Mum and I had quite a feast to get stuck into! We had grilled Turkish bread, $14, which was nicely toasted and served with olive oil, balsamic and a fresh capsicum dip.

The pulled pork soft tacos, $15, were absolutely delicious. The meaty tacos were brimming with lime slaw, chipotle mayonnaise and guacamole. We both really loved those.

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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 **

Gordon St Garage – West Perth

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Gordon St Garage Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tucked down a West Perth side street is an old auto garage, repurposed as a bustling “breakfast till late” canteen. I met Nays at Gordon St Garage for some drinks and nibbles after work, before a spot of shopping at Harbour Town… sorry – Water Town. I’ll never get used to that!img_1275

We were greeted and taken to our seats, which remind me of old bus seats. The décor is up-cycled and funky. The huge vaulted ceilings give the eatery a grand warehouse feel and it has much the same vibe as another favourite of mine, Freo’s Bread in Common.img_1284

It’s been too long in-between drinks for Gordon St Garage and I. I last visited over two years ago and didn’t intend on leaving it so long. It’s a reflection on Perth’s ever expending hospitality scene. Too many places – not enough meals in the day! Nays and I had a few cheeky Friday afternoon drinks at GSG. I love their Mojitos.img_0228

The menu lends easily to share and share we did. First up, we ordered the Bread in Common bread. The fresh bread is perfect for spreading lashings of the scrumptious eggplant and golden beet dips on. We even ordered extra bread – we couldn’t possibly leave any of the tasty dips.img_0227

The gnocchi dish with tomato, capsicum, basil and pecorino was so simple and pretty darn good too! img_0229

Like my first trip to GSG, we really enjoyed the food and laid back atmosphere. I’d still love to return for something a little more brunch-y and to try out their raved about coffee. Hopefully I won’t leave it so long next time.img_1287

Petition Kitchen – Perth CBD

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Petition Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

This month marked the beginning of Eat Drink Perth and where better to join in on the Eat Drink Perth festivities than right in the heart of the city. The beautifully restored State Buildings were once home to the GPO of Perth and the historic city centre. We are spoiled for choice with lots of dining options at the old treasury and Chef and I recently enjoyed a chilled lunch at Petition Kitchen.On first glance Petition Kitchen looks very casual – but don’t be fooled! One of my first impressions was just how polished the service is. IMG_2239

Chef, ever the craft beer connoisseur brought his beer across from Petition Beer Corner (more on that in a later post). The drinks menu at Petition is impressive. I like the way they set out the wine list under headings like “full, generous, textural” and “bright, juicy, herbaceous”. I’m going to have a closer look at that wine list soon! It was a lazy public holiday, so I decided I’d make it a Mimosa Monday *wink*.20160307_122338-1

The menu is set up to share, with mainly small plates; starters, raw, small, meat & fish and sides. First we dived into the charcuterie selection, $29. The plate was piled with a fresh selection of cured meats, including an interesting squid ink chorizo. Pickles, mustard and croutes are on the side.IMG_2217_FotorThe raw kingfish dish, $23 was divine. The fish “cooked” in a tangy ginger vinaigrette was ever so fresh and complimented by the crisp  beetroot and horseradish.IMG_2216_Fotor
Ever the fungi lover, I enjoyed the roasted mushrooms, $20. The many varieties of ‘shrooms,  served with salted ricotta, warrigal greens (a native Australian spinach) and potato made for a very tasty dish!IMG_2227Chef and I both got a bit giddy over the Black Angus sirloin, $32. The tasty steak was perfectly medium rare and accompanied by a rich romesco sauce. The meat was slightly charred and a tad fatty, which gave it a full flavour. A great dish, topped with asparagus and watercress.IMG_2230I’m not sure that we really needed the side of roast potatoes, $8. We had that dilemma when ordering – you know, when you go to a new place and aren’t familiar with the portion sizes – then panic that you’ve under ordered! Anyhoo, though we were getting a bit full, I was glad we ordered the spuds. They were nicely seasoned and served with salt bush and confit garlic. A simple dish, done well.IMG_2225

Struggling a bit, we decided to share dessert. Chef made a brilliant choice with the brown butter parfait, $16. It was a different dessert and we both enjoyed it’s textures. The toasted oat, crunchy apple, and smooth condensed milk complimented each other in a really interesting way. It is pretty too, garnished with sprigs of samphire. IMG_2231

At Petition Kitchen we both agreed that the service, Head Chef Jesse Blake’s deliciously different food and well thought out wine list are all top notch. It’s the perfect place for a classy date night without pretention.IMG_2251_Fotor

For Eat Drink Perth, Petition Kitchen is holding the “In Good Company” food and wine pairing degustation dinner. Enjoy Head Chef Jesse Blake’s rustic share plates, which are promised to be a little bit quirky. Each course is matched with wine. Petition has an extensive wine list – so there are sure to be some cracking drops on offer!

Location: Petition Kitchen, cnr St Georges Tce and Barrack St, Perth

When: Tue 5 Apr 2016 & Tue 19 April

Time: 6:00pm – 9:30pmIMG_2249

Barque – East Fremantle {CLOSED}

IMG_2051Barque Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Charming George Street has to be one of the prettiest neighbourhoods in Fremantle, with its historic terraced cottages and quaint eating spots. The old Grand George Hotel, presides over the east end of the street, looking down at the many cafes, boutiques and restaurants on the historic dining strip. Soon the hotel which has been closed for almost forty years, may be restored to it’s former glory, which would be wonderful to see! IMG_2019Chef and I are enjoying a stroll along the tree lined street and stop at one of the popular restaurants, Barque. We have the option to sit in the sun drenched courtyard, on the veranda or inside the little blue colonial cottage.IMG_2023The Freo doctor is a little blustery and we opt to sit inside. The renovated interior is eclectic and inviting.IMG_2028Our waitress immediately brings us water and their drinks menu. The wine list is a decent size, though only four reds and four whites are available by the glass. Mostly Australian drops feature with a few Europeans thrown in for good measure. I choose the local Stormflower Sauvignon Blanc. It’s a smooth and fruity drop from Margaret River which has notes of gooseberry, nectarine, passionfruit and guava. A perfect match for Asian flavours.IMG_2027The menu at Barque is described as modern Asian fusion. The dishes are designed to share and we choose two small plates, a side and two more substantial dishes. Will that be enough or too much, I worry. Our waitress assures us that we’ll have plenty of food and we put our trust (and hungry tummies!) into her hands.IMG_2024The first dish from the kitchen’s pass is soft shell crab, $11. It’s a make your own snack and we set about wrapping the crab in an iceberg lettuce leaf. The deep fried crab, topped with spicy kimchi (shredded chili cabbage), fresh mint, coriander and crisp lettuce make for a delicious start to our meal.IMG_2031This is quickly followed by lamb ribs, $18. The generous serve of ribs are very moist and bursting with rosemary. They are well-seasoned and a touch fatty, which only adds to the lip-smacking meaty flavour. IMG_2037Though the smoked bbq pork shoulder, $27, is on the “substantial” part of the menu, we think that three slices isn’t really substantial enough. A well balanced grilled peach and fennel salad accompanies the smoky slices of pork. The tasty meat is more-ish and we certainly want more of this dish!IMG_2033The prized half roasted duck, $36, arrives at our table. Along with the whole fish, it is one of Barque’s most popular dishes. The tender duck is served on the bone and it has wonderfully aromatic and crisp skin.duckFor an additional $8 we order pancakes, hoisin sauce, cucumber & spring onion. We eagerly make our duck pancakes, with lashings of plum sauce. This is another get your hands dirty kind of dish. I’m not one to pick at bones in restaurants, so I would have preferred the meat was shredded for us. I think there would have been less wastage that way too.IMG_2064We’re not yet full and for dessert I pick the vanilla cheesecake, $14. The creamy dessert is served with poached rhubarb that has been spiced with cardamom and star anise. It’s a deconstructed style dish, with a nut brittle on the side, instead of the traditional biscuit crumb.cheesecakeChef devours the rich chocolate marquise, $16. Sprinkled with salted caramel oats, the silky smooth chocolate marquise, is made from bitter Vietnamese chocolate and finished with a dollop of sour crème.IMG_2070Barque is a great little spot for a date night or to share meal with friends. We wander off into the summer night, our hungry tummies satisfied. This part of the world leaves me with a romantic notion of living in a quaint old cottage with a food-topia like George Street at the end of my street – East Fremantle locals I envy you!IMG_2080

At a glance

■ Barque

125 George Street

East Fremantle

Phone 08 9339 5524

■ Opening times

Weds – Fri: 12 to 10pm

Sat: 9am to 10pm

Sun: 9am to 3pm

■ Rating

food 4

service 4

ambience 3.5

value for money 3.5

■ style – Asian Fusion

■ wine – well-chosen mainly

local wine list.

■ Chef – Stuart Mitchel

■ Owners – Simon & Charles

■ feel – relaxed & classy.

■ wheelchair access – no

■ cost

Small – $4 to $26

Substantial – $27 to $68

Dessert – $12 to $16

■ all in all – The well cooked food

is on point. Service is always at hand,

but not in an intrusive way.

The Flour Factory – Perth CBD

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The Flour Factory Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tis the season for merriment and indulgence! I’d been researching where to dine in December, to enjoy a Christmas menu with all the trimmings. Though unless I want to dine exclusively on the 25th of December or bring fifteen work colleagues with me – there is no room at the inn for this couple of foodies hoping for a traditional Christmas spread. So onto plan B – a feast fit for a king!IMG_1323

We find The Four Factory on Queen Street, in inner city Perth, where restaurants are heaving with office Christmas parties. As the name suggests, the renovated 100 year old building was once a flour mill and has returned to its roots, albeit in the guise of a bar. It’s a fusion of many things; a New York deli, Spanish bodega, cocktail bar and a kitchen. The Flour Factory prides itself on making almost everything in house – in the butchery and bakery with its own flour mill.IMG_1335

Stepping through the entrance, we notice the aroma of freshly baked bread. Chef and I are greeted and seated in the dining area, away from the main bar. As the bar starts to fill up, we enjoy the festive atmosphere, which is a little loud at times. The Flour Factory’s soundtrack – with everything from Johnny Cash to “Going Loco down in Acapulco” is eclectic and fun.

The drinks menu is home to the CBD’s largest gin and fortified wine collection. If that’s something that tickles your fancy, then you’ll love “The Sherry” rooftop bar upstairs.IMG_1339

I order a fruity Villa Sandi Prosseco to sip whilst we look over the menu of roasted meats, charcuterie and gourmet hotdogs. We choose the “Big Feast”, $75 per person, a three course chef’s choice meal that is shared by the table.IMG_1329

We start with an aperitif. The Flour Factory’s very own vermouth is made with Howard Park.IMG_1324

A basket of freshly baked sourdough, served with house-churned smoked butter and a charcuterie board are the first morsels to arrive. The waiter presents us with today’s selection of house cured meats and pickles – though he’s not sure of what each item is. There is chorizo, bresaola and more. I particularly relish the ox heart pastrami.IMG_1332

On Zomato, The Flour Factory is described as “child friendly”, so rather than bothering with a babysitter, we happily took Little Chef along with us. He was warmly welcomed and though there is no children’s menu, he happily chowed down on a gourmet rueben dog; beef sausage, smoky pastrami, sauerkraut, shavings of gruyere and thousand island dressing, $15. I think it’s fine to take a well behaved child along for lunch or an early dinner – but probably not too late – as it can become quite a noisy bar.IMG_1350

Onto second course and Chef’s eyes widen with glee when a large platter of Rangers Valley Wagyu appears at our table. The marbled piece of grain fed beef is smothered in a rich jus. It is cooked perfectly medium rare and melts in my mouth.IMG_1351

Also on the platter are crisp duck fat potatoes. Served with a drool worthy bacon mayo, they are fluffy on the inside and so very moreish. The perfectly cooked asparagus is served with smoked egg yolk, crunchy puffed wheat and a sharp parmesan cream.IMG_1356

My only grumble about the platter is that most of the components are lukewarm. This is mainly due to the food being presented on a wooden board and the meat served sliced and fanned means it doesn’t hold its heat well.

IMG_1367Next we have a sweet collection of cheese and dessert. We’re both wowed by the subtly of the King Saul Blue cheese dish. The very first unpasteurized Australian cheese is $300 a kilo and liberally crumbled over sliced yellow grape tomatoes and a celeriac and fig puree. We scoop up the dip-like creation with crisp lavosh. It’s superb and I make a mental note to try to recreate it at home.IMG_1373

We end on a sweet note with a malted milk ice-cream, chocolate and salted caramel dessert. The caramel is stick-to–the–top-of-your-mouth delicious.IMG_1361

The house made white chocolate truffles are scrumptious too.IMG_1362

Though there is not one turkey in sight, mouth-watering meats coupled with roasted veg and scrumptious desserts make it a festive feast indeed!

** First published in the Post newspaper **

At a glance

■ The Flour Factory

16 Queen Street

Perth

Phone 08 9485 1711

■ Opening times

Monday – Friday: 12pm till late

Sat: 4pm till late

■ Rating

food 4

service 3

ambience 3

value for money 4

■ style – American/Spanish Deli

■ wine – well rounded local

and international wine list.

Focus on gin & fortified wine

■ Chef – Matt Carulei

■ Owner – Andy Freeman

■ feel – inner city warehouse

■ wheelchair access – yes

■ cost

Small – $6 to $35

Large – $15 to $50

Dessert – $5 to $14

■ all in all – trendy venue,

though a little noisy. Excellent

food and smallgoods, most

made in-house. Interesting drinks list.

The Shorehouse – Swanborne

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The Shorehouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Shorehouse opened just a month ago, so I expect a short wait to be seated. This popular new dining spot is owned by the people from buzzed about inner city venues – The Trustee, BeaufortLocal and Enrique’s School for to Bullfighting. There are two distinct areas at The Shorehouse – the chic restaurant and the outside deck, shaded with yellow and white stripped umbrellas.IMG_1183

Once we are at the front of the queue a waitress motions for us to follow her. She stops to talk to another waiter and wanders off. We’re left standing in the middle of the restaurant – not knowing where to go! A minute later the waitress re-appears, taking us to a table on the outside deck. Whilst the deck looks very inviting, I had specifically booked for the restaurant – as the full menu isn’t available outside. Eventually, we are seated at the correct table. No menu appears in the first ten minutes. An eagle eyed waitress notices, apologizes profusely and swiftly provides us with menus and takes our drinks order. From here on in the service is flawless – almost.IMG_1170

I dined at this Swanbourne venue’s previous incarnation – The Naked Fig. It’s gone from a dark, bohemian café to a light and open Hamptons style restaurant – totally reflective of its beautiful coastal view. The dining room’s centerpiece is an antique copper bath which is where the wine is chilled in ice. The wait staff look like they’ve stepped straight out of the GAP – dressed in trendy cottons and denim aprons. A note to the ladies – be careful that your heels don’t get stuck in the decked flooring!IMG_1182

The wine list of mainly Australian and French drops is extensive – with 50 whites and 50 reds on offer. I feel like a glass of red wine – though the weather is too warm for me. I pick a Tomfoolery Rose, which feels much more like a chilled red – I love its crisp flavors. There are other excellent drink choices – craft beers, ciders and bespoke cocktails.

The kitchen is led by Good Food Guide Young Chef of the Year, Head Chef Oliver Gould. The menu, features a lot of seafood as well as grilled meats from the “Josper”, a Spanish BBQ oven. The Shorehouse’s menu has a sophisticated feel and it’s certainly not the place for a casual burger or pizza.

I enjoy an entrée from the “small house” small plates menu, which can double as share food. A summery salad of ripe heirloom tomatoes, $24.50, sugar cured fresh kingfish, watermelon, watercress and basil has sweet and sour flavours.IMG_1165

Sweetcorn and manchego croquettes, 12.50, are wonderfully crisp on the outside and positively goo-ey on the inside.IMG_1155

Little Chef chooses the grilled fish and chips, $19, which includes a drink and dessert. Initially I think that $19 is quite steep for a kids meal and the portion isn’t huge – though I think that’s more of an optical illusion, as a regular plate is used to serve it on. Little Chef wolfs down the meal and absolutely loves the fish fillets – which are super fresh and clearly very good quality. He asks, ‘when are we coming here again for dinner’, high praise from this 6 year old indeed.IMG_1161

Cooking at 400 degrees in a Josper keeps meat juicy, whilst adding touch of charcoal for added smoky flavour. I choose the slow cooked pork belly, $36.50, with sweet and sour shallots, peach and mustard seeds. The pork is deliciously moist and it is a beautifully plated dish.pork belly

Chef’s Harvey scotch fillet, $43.50, is topped with grilled eggplant, kipfler potatoes, taleggio and anchovies. Whilst it is a tasty piece of meat, oozing with smoky flavours, Chef questions the hefty price tag – he’s had better steaks.IMG_1175

As we watch the pink sunset over the ocean our dessert arrives. We admire the sweet creations, then realise we have no cutlery! Eventually, Chef devours the white chocolate sponge, $16.50, with different textures of mango cream, banana and almond milk ice cream.white choc sponge

A rosemary pannacotta, $16.50, with tart passionfruit sorbet and coconut crumble, is a tasty way to end my meal.IMG_1186

We enjoy The Shorehouse, which is styled as “casual beachside dining” and whilst the vibe is very chilled, the food is far from casual.IMG_1144

At a glance

■ The Shorehouse

278 Marine Parade

Swanbourne

Phone 08 9286 4050

■ Opening times

7 Days

7am till late

■ Rating

food 4

service 3

ambience 4

value for money 3

■ style – Modern Australian

■ wine – Large list, lots of

“iconic drops”

■ Chef – Oliver Gould

■ Owner – Scott Taylor

■ feel – beachside chic

■ wheelchair access – yes

■ cost

Small – $3.50 to $29.50

Big – $32.50 to $125.50

Dessert – $14.50 to $25.50

■ all in all – stunning restaurant

with a menu to match. Excellent

drinks. Service is a little patchy.