Itsara – Nedlands


Itsara Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Itsara, a high-end Thai eatery on Stirling Highway, is an unassuming spot from the outside. The modern restaurant is packed with locals and it’s not hard to see why, once you’ve stepped inside. Never in Perth have I seen such a breathtaking eating space than the garden dining room at Itsara. You can imagine that you’re eating in a Thai jungle as you are completely surrounded by the lush greenery of the vertical and hanging gardens.

It’s comes as no surprise that their thriving indoor garden is down to Head Chef and co-owner Itsara  Pracharoenwattana, who has a PhD in plant molecular biology. As well as nurturing this dining oasis, Chef Itsara also grows a great deal of his own vegetables and herbs.

We step into the busy restaurant and are shown to our table at the door of the contemporary main dining room, which has large windows spilling out to the garden dining room below. I can hardly take my eyes off the greenery long enough to look at the drinks menu. I choose a glass of Pierro LTC Semillon Sauvignon. The delicate drop from Margaret River has tangy stone fruit flavours and compliments Thai food well.


Most people share dishes at Itsara, though you don’t have to if you’re feeling greedy. The tempting modern Thai menu is completely gluten free, besides a couple of deserts. The kitchen makes all their own pastes and sauces from scratch, using fresh ingredients, meaning MSG and other nasty food additives aren’t used in their cooking.


Soon enough our “Pretty Duck” arrives, $18, which is indeed a pretty dish. Char-grilled marinated duck is served with fresh julienned green mango, shallot and cashew nuts. The sweet dish has crunch and is drizzled with a cracking house made dressing, made of pineapple and sweet chilli.

Pretty Duck Continue reading

Wildflower – Perth CBD


Wildflower Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wildflower sits proudly in the rooftop of COMO The Treasury Hotel, giving stunning views over Perth’s CBD to St George’s Cathedral, Council House and glimpses of the river. At the helm is Executive Chef, Jed Gerrard. This fine West Australian Chef has worked for Tetsuya Wakuda as well as in Michelin-starred restaurants around Europe.

We are greeted at the fourth floor restaurant’s lift and shown to our table besides the glass wall. The contemporary restaurant is bathed in sunlight as we are essentially sitting in a steel and glass box. The interior has an elegant feel, with warm green and grey tones. We have the option of enjoying a five course tasting menu or dining a la carte.img_0627

Wildflower’s dishes are inspired by the six Noongar seasons. Chef and I are dining during Djilba, which is the season of conception, when native flowers like the lemon myrtle and wattle come into bloom. Sustainable local produce is the star on the “farm to plate” and forager-driven menu.

From their extensive wine list, Wildflower’s Sommelier recommends a wonderfully smooth drop from the Barossa, the Kalleske ‘Moppa’ Shiraz.img_0591

We begin our degustation with beautiful appetisers on a plate adorned with Geraldton Wax flowers, bark and a Banksia nut. I pop a tiny taco-like morsel into my mouth which is filled with cured emu.img_0579

We break a small loaf of house baked bread made with caraway, fennel and wattle seeds. Chef chastises me for spreading the warm bread with overly generous amounts of whipped butter, topped with macadamia shavings – it’s so moreish!img_0582

An exquisitely plated dish of Shark Bay saucer scallops are served with theatre. Before we eat, our waiter spoons a subtle eucalyptus snow onto the side, which creates dramatic icy clouds. The raw scallops are served with sour grass, chunks of green strawberries and a sprinkling of vibrant red strawberry dust– giving it layers of sweet and sour flavours.img_0583

Delicately flavoured cured Southwest rainbow trout is served with river greens, salted radish, chive and preserved finger lime butter. The perfectly in tune flavours and textures sing on the plate. I notice my fork has a food dried to the handle and ask the waiter for a replacement. He starts to ask me if it was already like that, but thinks better of it. A Michelin inspector may drop a fork on the floor, but I’m not in the habit of tripping up unsuspecting waiters with dirty cutlery. It’s a small blemish on a polished and attentive service from our waiters.img_0587

The dry aged Wagin duck dish is like a West Australian version of duck a l’orange. The tasty duck with orange is served perfectly pink with tart quandongs preserved in vinegar.img_0589

Another impressive dish is the moist dorper lamb, which melts in my mouth. It’s topped with a blackened Cipollini onion, broad beans and thinly sliced turnips that are preserved in peppermint tree vinegar. A dollop of creamy set sheep’s milk is on the side.img_0599

A palette cleanser of mint oil, rhubarb gel, fresh baby peas and snow pea ice is far more interesting than a traditional scoop of sorbet. We enjoy it, though the tart rhubarb overpowers the other flavours.img_0602

For dessert, local chocolatiers Bahen & Co provide the base for a scrumptious chocolate mousse. Salt from Lake Deborah is used in the sweet salted caramel.img_0607

We finish our delicious degustation with a couple of pretty petit fours, a whisky jelly and chocolate truffle.img_0625

Wildflower is a wonderful celebration of West Australian produce. It’s a perfect spot for a special occasion or wining and dining interstate and overseas guests, giving them a true Western Australian experience. It’s Wildflower season all year round in the city!img_0585

 At a glance


1 Cathedral Ave


Phone 08 6168 7780

Opening times

Lunch – Tuesday to Friday 12-3pm

Dinner – Tuesday to Saturday 6pm till late


food 5

service 4

ambience 4

value for money 3

style Modern Australian fine dining

wine An extensive wine list with

an impressive selection of reserves.

Some good drops available by the glass.

Chef Jed Gerrard

Owner – COMO Group

feel modern elegance

wheelchair access yes


Entrée $32 – $35

Main $36 – $49

Desert $22 – $29

5 Course Tasting Menu – $145pp

all in all A stunning restaurant

with true West Australian flair. Menu

inspired by indigenous seasons, using local

organic produce. An exquisite experience.

Co Op Dining – East Perth


Co-Op Dining Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Chef Kiren Mainwaring is all about sustainable food and sourcing his food locally. He gave a very passionate talk about that at the Eat Drink Blog conference in 2013. I’d heard many great things about the fine diner that he runs with his wife Kellie, in East Perth. Chef and I have wanted to go for quite some time – and so he surprised me with a visit for our wedding anniversary recently.IMG_0215

We are greeted by a friendly waiter and seated in the contemporary dining room. I choose a local wine from Myattsfield in the Bickley Valley. Chef picks an Eagle Bay ale – a favourite of his. I’m almost surprised that chef picks beer over wine to accompany his degustation. Co Op has a classy feel – but it’s also relaxed and not at all stuffy, so a beer isn’t too out of place. There’s some good boutique brews available and local spirits too.

We start our epic ten course dego with freshly baked bread, which we spread with lashings of Guernsey butter.IMG_0197

There are two courses of finger food. The meat charcuterie is a trio of house made coppa, little skewers of chicken liver and bresaola on crunchy rye. It’s a mouth watering start and I really enjoy the tender chicken livers – something I wouldn’t usually go for.IMG_0198

I love the ‘From the sea’ course of Ama Ebi prawns, Confit Sardine and Mojama – a Mediterranean delicacy of filleted salt-cured tuna. Not only are these morsels delicious, but I’m also delighted to see chef eat a prawn – for what is probably the first time ever. He’s not usually a big fan – but he enjoyed these as they are super fresh. Our waiter asks us if we are finished, when he clears the plates – he gesturers for me to eat the prawn head. Hmmm, it’s not something I’d imagine I’d enjoy – but I’ll try anything once. The head was surprisingly ok. The texture is crunchy, but soft. I won’t be rushing out to eat a prawn head again, but it’s something I can tick off the list!IMG_0200

The delicate Manjimup marron dish is stunning. The flavours of chicken fat, avocado and pancetta work so very well together. I’m also surprised by the use of Geraldton Wax – a native flower that I didn’t realise is edible.IMG_0201

I’m a big fan of egg dishes – this free range confit egg yolk oozes through the crisp puffed basmati rice at the merest touch of my knife. I love the earthy flavours of the Swan Valley fungi and aubergine too.IMG_0203

Anthea’s Dorper Lamb is a fab little dish with interesting ingredients – Gosht spice, charcoal emulsion, cabbage, fried shallots and sunrise lime.

Different textures of butternut pumpkin with walnut and linseed is a hit. I absolutely love the use of the roasted onion skin, it’s flavour so more-ish. The dish is finished with sharp parmesan.IMG_0206

One of the courses that really knocks our socks off is the chicken & stinging nettle. It arrived at the table – a beautifully plated dish of root vegetables; carrot, beetroot and a cauliflower puree. Chef and I looked at each other, both assuming the same thing – that there was a roast potato in the centre. Comically, we soon discover that it is actually perfectly cooked chicken delicately wrapped in it’s own skin.IMG_0207

After a palate cleanser served as popsicles, we head toward something sweet. By this point of the evening, I’m paying less attention to the components of each dish and just simply enjoying chatting to Chef over some amazing food. A beautiful little dish – described on the menu as Kombucha, Rosella, Strawberry, honey, ginger has perfectly balanced flavours and delicate textures.IMG_0210

Mandarin segments, served with wonderfully rich dark chocolate and shiro and ginger work very well together too.IMG_0212

We finish the night with scrumptious house made petits fours.IMG_0214

Some people say that the dego is dead. We totally disagree. There will always be special occasions when you’d want to treat your someone special to a dinner to remember. With interesting ingredients, stunning flavours, spot on technique and a completely unpredictable menu – we’ll absolutely remember these ten courses for a long time to come!IMG_0194