Timber Café – Harrisdale

IMG_1434Timber Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I’m the first to admit that I’m totally clueless when it comes to dining in the southern suburbs. In my stomping grounds of Joondalup, the inner city areas of Perth, my “golden triangle” Post Newspaper region in the western suburbs, the Swan Valley and Perth Hills – I definitely have my finger on the foodie pulse. If I take a trip over the Narrows Bridge – I don’t have a bloody clue! I suppose that comes part and parcel with just how huge Perth’s sprawl has become.

A couple of my besties live SOR and I do love a catch up with them over a meal – finding a gem that’s close to them is a bonus. Last year I found a firm favourite – Rustico Tapas in Rockingham – I’m still looking forward to another visit there.

When catching up with the lovely Nays recently, we decided on brunch at a hot new café in the Canning Vale area. We met at Timber Café in Harrisdale, where we enjoyed a couple of juices and a natter, whilst we waited for our food.IMG_1424

The cafe has a rustic chic vibe, with a cool mural on the wall – just like something you’d find in Leederville or Mt Lawley. Though it’s right smack in the middle of suburbia. In my opinion there should be way more quality places like this in the outer areas of Perth, as frankly not everyone can be bothered to drive to the city!IMG_1423

Nays had the avocado bruschetta, $15. Though there wasn’t an abundance of avocado, it was still tasty and mixed with a corn and quinoa salad. There was also a poached egg sitting on top of the fresh sourdough and grape tomatoes and sharp radish on the side. Nays enjoyed her dish – especially as it didn’t come with a runny egg. A gooey egg is my idea of heaven, but not for Nays, the chef was more than happy to serve her egg “well done”.IMG_1426

I ordered the mushrooms on toast, $17.50. It was a medley of five types of mushrooms, which are absolutely mouth-watering as they’re sautéed in a herb chilli butter. The yummy morsels of mushroom are served on fresh sourdough with creamy goats curd, wild rocket, a sprinkling of dukkah and a runny soft poached egg. A fab dish!IMG_1430

All in all we both loved the chilled atmosphere and yummy food at Timber and if I lived in the Southern River/Harrisdale area I’d be stoked to have Timber as my local café.IMG_1435

 

{Quick Bite} The Quarie Bar + Brasserie – Hammond Park

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The Quarie Bar + Brasserie on Urbanspoon

There’s good pub grub, like the traditional chicken parmy and then there are pubs that offer really good bistro style food – like The Quarie Bar & Brasserie – in the sprawling southern suburbs of Perth. The pub, just a few years old is relaxed and offers a little style in the suburbs. Kim, Kez and I sat in the pleasant beer garden for lunch, slurping a fruity mocktail or two – since I was driving.IMG_8937

I had the fish of the day. I have to have my pan friend salmon medium rare and this was perfectly cooked. The whole dish was very tasty and very well cooked. I really enjoyed the beetroot puree.IMG_8945

Kim enjoyed the Chicken roulade ($31.50) the moist chicken breast was stuffed with spinach, ricotta and pine nuts and sat atop a crisp potato rosti. Finished with crisp pancetta, sautéed spinach and a smear of capsicum coulis.IMG_8947

Kez couldn’t quite decide, so she chose two things… first a buttery brioche slider ($11.90) filled with slow cooked beef brisket and salad, with a side of chips.

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Kez also tucked into the generous “Quarie Salad” ($22.50). Fresh spinach leaves were tossed with roasted pumpkin, avocado, sun dried tomato, red onion, almonds, sultanas and quinoa.IMG_8940

All in all it’s a great spot for a meal close to home and if I lived in his area I’d be stoked to have a quality local like The Quarie. Do you live in that area? Where do you like to eat out?

Bravo’s – Vic Park

IMG_8975 Bravo's on Urbanspoon When I was fresh out of high school, my buddies and I would go out to dinner on the Vic Park café strip – usually at Bella Rosa, Christina’s, Sebastian’s or any other cheap n cheerful Italian restaurant we could find. In the 15 years since, I’ve graduated from that kind of Italian and without wanting to sound like a total food snob *cringe*  I do want more from my restaurants these days. For me, Bravo’s ticks all the boxes. An inviting, modern dining room. Friendly service – our waiter was a hoot and very helpful. And food that’s about QUALITY over quantity.

On this night, my old high school mates were getting together for a girls dinner – most of us enjoying a quiet night out away from our kids (and partners!). Bravo’s is a busy restaurant and hugely popular, so it has a very lively and loud atmosphere. Hearing someone at the other end of the table was difficult.

We decided to bypass filling entrées and go straight to mains…

IMG_8977Myl enjoyed a Pescatora Plate ($42.50). The whopping plate was brimming with tender salt and pepper calamari, grilled barramundi, sizzling garlic prawns, bread and a side salad. It was expensive, but Myl justified the extra cost, as she’s no longer drinking wine, since she has a baby on the way 🙂 🙂

IMG_8980I absolutely adored my pork belly dish ($38.50) The confit pork belly was so tender I hardly even needed a knife. The spinach was fresh and the mash potato wonderfully creamy. It was finished with a maple butter, apple and my favourite – perfectly crispy crackling! Fab dish.

IMG_8984Ren had the Fettuchine marinara ($29.50). She enjoyed the dish –  commenting there was a BIG kick of chilli and the napoletana sauce was really tasty. There could have been a bit more of the locally sourced seafood in the dish though.

IMG_8985Alysia had the BBQ pollo pizza ($25.50). It was topped with chicken, bacon, mushroom, red onion, mozzarella and  bbq sauce and smelled very tasty!

Sure some of the dishes might be on the pricy side, but when it’s good food, I don’t begrudge paying a little extra. I think there’s enough range on the menu to cover all budgets. The general consensus was that we all enjoyed our first trip to Bravo’s and that another girls dinner is on the cards soon.

*Bravo’s is also in the 2014/15 entertainment book*

Rustico Tapas & Bar – Rockingham

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Rústico Tapas & Bar on Urbanspoon

Rustico Tapas and Bar is on the Rockingham foreshore. I had a little look about before finding Rustico. There were lots of families enjoying the shady playgrounds dotted along the beachside park. The beach was gorgeous too, I was tempted to feel the white sand beneath my toes, but I had a lunch date! IMG_7498

I was meeting two of my besties Mrs C and Mrs H at Rustico Tapas for lunch. I was a tad early, so got chatting to one of the friendly waitresses, who was very welcoming and excited about yet another gold plate nomination. Rustico has won a wall full of awards. The restaurant first came to my attention when Rob Broadfield gave it a rave review. Since then, it’s been on my must try list. IMG_7529

The interior of Rustico is of course rustic! It had a Spanish vibe with colourful feature lights and artwork. I was one of the first to arrive, but in no time the entire restaurant was full to bursting – this is a very popular spotIMG_7504

My two lovely friends are also mammas to be, so that was taken into consideration when picking our share dishes and drinks. We all opted for mocktails, picking a couple of virgin Mojitos and a fruity Barcelona Sunrise ($10). IMG_7507

We started lunch with a dish of more-ish mixed marinated olives ($9). IMG_7508

The salad ($15) of pear, rocket, parmesan and candied walnuts was a delicious combination. It was coated in a seeded mustard dressing. We all devoured the generous portion. IMG_7511

The pork belly ($23) was scrumptious. A collective “mmmm” was heard, as we took the first bite. It was extremely tender and packed full of porky flavour. The crackle was spot on too. The pork was accompanied by apple puree and a sticky pedro ximinez – a Spanish grape variety used to make a sweet dark sherry. We’re all big fans of pork belly and there was some discussion as to who should be lucky enough to eat the last piece!IMG_7512

The barramundi dish ($24) was also excellent and perfectly cooked – the fish moist and flaky with a perfectly crisp skin. It sat on a bed of sauce vierge (olive oil, lemon, diced tomato and basil) and creamed leek. IMG_7514

The nero paella ($28) was sensational. The rice and everything in it (like chorizo) was jet black, coated in squid ink. It was very tasty and topped with squid and scallops.IMG_7516

By this time we were felling full, but decided to be a little naughty and share some churros ($14). The Spanish doughnuts were perfectly cooked. Crisp on the outside, a little gooey in the middle and came with two dipping sauces – a white choc butterscotch and dark chocolate. Devine! IMG_7521

We all absolutely loved the food at Rustico. It was top notch produce, cooked exceedingly well. We all left with full bellies and for $49pp (food and drinks) I thought it was great value. The service is also excellent – friendly and knowledgeable – you get the impression the staff really love working there. For me, it was a 160km round trip there and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Most definitely worth the trip – if you live nearby I am SO jealous!

We were sat near the kitchen and each time a dish got popped up on the pass I would have serious plate envy! I will return to try out more of the delicious looking food – next time I’ll make sure I’m not driving, so I can enjoy some sangria too!

Good luck to Rustico in the gold plates this week! Whether they retain their gold plate or not – Rustico Tapas is an absolute winner anyway!

Check out more at www.rusticotapas.com.auIMG_7505