Bread in Common – Fremantle

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I met one of my lovely besties, Ren, in Freo for a lunch date. Bread in Common has been on my “to visit” list for ages and it’s a great spot for a catch up. We found the hip restaurant in an old warehouse on a Freo side street – just around the corner from the Esplanade Hotel and park.IMG_6996

The aroma of freshly baked bread and coffee fills the air. The set-up of long communal tables, makes for a bustling atmosphere, there are a few smaller tables too and a few outside. Racks and racks of wine adorn the brick walls. We’re seated at a long table and order some juices to start.

IMG_6979The menu is a mix of brekkie, brunch and lunch foods. We opted for the lunch-y dishes. Also on the menu are gourmet sandwiches – I liked the look of the rump, cheese, horseradish, shallots and BBQ sauce. They even do a decadent chocolate, ricotta, honey and cinnamon toastie! This time though, we were not there for sandwiches. Ren and I decided to share our food as we both like to try a bit of this and that. The dishes are mostly in-between the size of an entrée and main – perfect for sharing a few plates.IMG_6966

Our waitress was warm and had a great memory. She took our 6 dish order without need of pen and paper. Maybe that’s not super impressive, but for someone who has a goldfish memory (like me), I certainly couldn’t do it. Our food comes out about 15 minutes later, just as we ordered:

IMG_6967Mushrooms, bitter leaves, coconut, almonds, thyme ($15)

IMG_6975Duck fat roasted potatoes, rosemary, garlic and ketchup ($13)

IMG_6973Salmon, cauliflower, goji berries, sunflower seeds ($26)

IMG_6978Prawns, char grilled cos, salami, orange, oregano ($24)

All the dishes were excellent. I really loved the mushroom dish which was packed full of nutty flavours. I also couldn’t go past the duck fat roasted potatoes – they were perfect and complimented by the sweet tomato ketchup.

IMG_6991We had a side of super fresh bread too – it would be rude not to!

IMG_6974They don’t have a kids menu at Bread in Common. To be fair there weren’t many kids there. They were more than happy to adjust their scrambled organic eggs & rocket (minus hazelnut dukka) $14 so it was friendlier for Little Chef. He relished the buttery eggs.

There is a reason why Bread in Common often sits at the top of the Urbanspoon “Talk of the Town – top 5”. It has the trifecta of fantastic food, great service and casual vibes down pat. It’s also a cool wine bar by night.IMG_6983

The Biggest Morning Tea – 22nd May

I was kindly invited along to the launch of the WA Cancer Council’s Biggest Morning Tea last week. It is a truly wonderful cause. A cause that’s very close to my own heart having lost family members and friends to this terrible illness.

Herb, Anna and Sam. Pic: Cancer council WA.

The launch was held at Perth Zoo. Iron Chef Herb Faust and Junior Masterchef judge Anna Gare were on hand to cook up a delightful morning tea and cavort with Tricia the elephant. Anna whipped up a cake for morning tea and Herb cooked his delicious Thai Chicken Bites. The recipe, along with many other celebrity chef recipes can be found on the biggest morning tea website.

Pic: Cancer council WA.

Pic: Cancer council WA.

http://www.biggestmorningtea.com.au/help-for-hosts/recipes/herbs-thai-chicken-bites

I will be attending the Biggest Morning tea at my workplace. At work we participate every year and dedicate the fundraising to one of our former colleagues; a beautiful lady who sadly developed  a melanoma and passed away in her early thirties.

The official day of the Biggest morning teas is Thursday May 22nd, but you are most welcome to host a morning tea to raise awareness and funds at anytime that suits you in May or June. They can be organised at the office, home, school etc. It’s a great excuse to grab your friends and hold a beautiful high tea or a simple catch up over coffee and bikkies – whatever takes your fancy!

More information can be found at http://www.biggestmorningtea.com.au/

Pic: Cancer Council WA

Pic: Cancer Council WA

The Cabin Small Bar

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I’d known about The Cabin Small Bar since it opened to rave reviews a couple of years ago. The “problem” we face in the rapid growth of Perth’s dining scene, is that there just simply are not enough meals in the week to go to each and every one of the new restaurants and bars. Believe me I’ve been giving it my best shot!! Finally, espresso martini in hand, I found myself in the cosy ski lodge style cabin.

The Cabin is a little inconspicuous, we drove straight past. It sits above a homeware shop at the Mount Hawthorn end of Scarborough Beach Road. You can sit indoors on a Chesterfield sofa (whilst being overlooked by a deer head) or outside on the wrap-around balcony.

IMG_0798I loved the vibe of the Cabin. It was relaxed and a little funky. Beautiful wooden tables and retro fixtures are complimented by a very modern menu. The music playlist was very eclectic and we really enjoyed the mix of everything from The Beatles to 90s house music to the Smashing Pumpkins and other random tunes. The wine and cocktail lists were excellent – cue martini!

UntitledbbChef Melissa Palinkas has created a menu of small and large plates which are designed to share. The wait staff are very knowledgeable. Without being prompted they will fill you in on whether each dish has enough for everyone on the table. They’re really on the ball and friendly too.

UntitledkkkWe dined with Mr & Mrs S on a Wednesday, which was lucky for us. The Wednesday special was A – mazing! Roasted duck wings, sticky with a sweet n sour glaze, topped with crispy shallots & green onions were SO GOOD. Chicken wings? Don’t even bother! Duck wings are where it’s at! A plate was $22 and was accompanied with a bottle of Anchor Steam Lager.

IMG_0786As a bunny lover I had never eaten rabbit before. Having them as pets when I was little, it just seemed wrong – like eating my Labrador. Chef has been trying to get me to give it a go for years and I finally gave into peer pressure. I enjoyed it. That said, the Southern fried rabbit, wasn’t as game-y as I had expected, since it was covered in herbs and spices too. It was served on a steamed bun with pickled carrot and a red curry mayonnaise ($15)

Untitled'''The House ocean trout pastrami, pulled mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes, olive croutes, tomato vinaigrette ($25) was a beautiful and delicate dish.

We also really enjoyed;

IMG_0779Abrolhos Islands’ scallops, hot sauce butter, chicken cracklings ($24)

UntitledccCrispy lamb belly, migas, adobo, macadamia ($22)

UntitledQuail breast Kiev’s, parmesan gremolata, dill mayonnaise ($24)

We left with full tummies – no room to even look at the dessert (for one) menu. Next time!

Even when I love a place I rarely return, as at the moment there’s always somewhere else to try around town. It just happens to be a certain chefs wife’ birthday soon. I’ll shortly be making another visit to The Cabin, as I think it’s a fantastic venue for some cocktails and great food with friends. I’m awfully tempted to pretend my birthday is on a Wednesday – just to get my mitts on some more of those scrumptious duck wings!!Untitledm

Suburban Table {CLOSED}

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It’s just weeks before my little blogs 1st birthday and boy; it’s come a long way in just 12 short months! I took a giant leap recently. I’d been approached to do a spot of food writing for The Post Newspaper – the local paper to Perth’s western suburbs (Cottesloe, Claremont, Subi, Dalkeith etc). It’s such an exciting opportunity, and though it was fairly new to me, I decided to go for it! My brief was simple; dine at a restaurant in the local area and also to keep it BRIEF! I had just 450 words to describe our meal. This for me was a challenge, as I often tend to dribble on a bit! Chef and I looked forward to our meal at the Suburban Table – a restaurant we knew very little about.

UntitledstI remember reading about Suburban Table a few years ago. They were going through every chef and restaurateur’s worst nightmare. The kitchen was gutted by an electrical fire, started by the dishwasher. Their dining room was damaged by heat and smoke. The popular Mosman Park restaurant had to be closed for six months, whilst being fully renovated. There was also a change in owner. Chef Josh Prosser took the reins, along with his partner Kelly Cosnett.

Chef and I easily found the Stirling Highway restaurant, though it is a little inconspicuous in a row of shops. The entry is from the rear car park. We were warmly welcomed by Kelly, who runs the front of house. We were seated in the window, which was framed by a row of chilli plants. Kelly took our drinks from us to pop into the fridge, as it’s BYO (corkage $7 per bottle/6pack). What a great excuse to have that special bottle of wine that’s been sitting in the wine rack!

IMG_0738Local artwork, which changes bimonthly, adorns the walls. The dining room, full of leather (faux?) and dark wood, felt very cosy and intimate. It was clear that many of our fellow diners were regulars at Suburban Table. The staff called them by their first names, like they were old friends. There were many waves being exchanged between tables too. I felt like we’d gone to a friend’s house for dinner.

UntitledaFor entrée Chef had Plump Rottnest scallops ($22) were served with a fresh mango and coriander salsa. The flavours were balanced flawlessly, with a subtle kick of chilli.

IMG_0747I chose the spring roll ($13) served with a star anise dipping sauce. It was absolutely delicious. Crispy on the outside and bursting with pork belly, Asian veg and vermicelli noodles.

IMG_0755For main, Chef had the beef fillet ($40). This was a great piece of meat, which was cooked perfectly, served with a garlic mash and creamy mushroom ragout. On reflection, he thinks that he should have ordered a side of asparagus to complete the dish.

IMG_0761I really enjoyed the chili caramel glazed pork belly ($35). I just can’t go past a bit of crackling! The crunchy Asian salad that accompanied it was dotted with little gems of pomegranate and coated with a Thai dressing, with a fresh zing of lime. It was a very tasty dish.

IMG_0762We had just enough room in our tummies to peruse the dessert menu. Chef had the scrumptious chocolate brownie ($12/$15 with gelato). He wolfed it down with gusto. The rich, moist brownie served with black cherry compote was complimented by the house-made espresso gelato. Chef thought it was a top notch dessert.

IMG_0764I chose something a little lighter, the delightful vanilla and lemon crème brulee ($12).

I feel that Suburban Table has been flying under the radar. I’m sure the locals are happy to keep it their little secret. I can’t recommend it enough. The food is simple, but very well executed. Much of the produce is sourced locally, to ensure its freshness and also to support fellow local businesses. We visited on a Wednesday and though the dining room is small, it was fully booked. We’d both happily return for dinner in the future for Josh’s well cooked food and the excellent, friendly service.IMG_0744

 

Il Lido Italian Canteen

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Il Lido Italian Canteen on Urbanspoon

Chef and I popped down to Cottesloe recently to check out Sculptures by the Sea event. After going over a few dining options, we settled on a visit to Il Lido for brunch. It’s just a stone’s throw from Cottesloe Beach. In fact, it’s just over the road, hiding behind the iconic Indiana Tea House. Though it was busy, we only had to wait a minute before being seated in the light and vibrant canteen, at one of the four long communal tables.Untitleda

I love casual brunch-y restaurants. Gordon St Garage (in West Perth) is a similar type of place, with a cool vibe and good food. It also just happens to be Il Lido’s sister restaurant. We ordered a couple of coffees and perused the breakfast menu. I thought it was a fairly varied menu, but we did notice that there wasn’t much meat. Out of 12 dishes, only 3 had meat on them. However, saying that, you can add a side of bacon to any dish for $6.

20140307_110246I had the Zucchini Fritter ($16) with an organic egg. The fluffy fritter was topped with half an avocado and wilted spinach. It was very tasty and garnished with snow pea tendrils and also crispy quinoa; which when drizzled with evoo, shone like little jewels. I broke open the egg gently with a knife for the “money shot”. A runny yolk is one of life’s little pleasures! This was a great brunch dish.

IMG_0577Chef had the Lido Brekkie ($25). This dish has bacon, Italian sausage, home-made baked beans, mushrooms, bread and butter. It also came with “eggs how you like”. Chef chose sunny side up (which he had to explain to the waitress).“oh FRIED” she exclaimed. Well, yes, but noooo! Sunny side up is fried, but not flipped. Luckily she must have passed on the message, as chef’s eggs came out perfectly cooked. He really enjoyed his brekkie and would gladly eat it again.Untitledlm

Whether you’re dining there for brekkie, lunch or dinner Il Lido is a great all-rounder. I’ve heard from many people that their house made pasta is outstanding. We found the prices pretty reasonable and the service efficient. Expect Il Lido to be a little noisy. We didn’t mind that though – it’s all part of the communal atmosphere at the lively coastal canteen.Untitledl

Littlesweet Artisan Baking

IMG_9368Littlesweet Artisan Baking first appeared on my food radar last year. We’d visited the café Cookie Dough in East Freo for afternoon tea. The scrumptious cupcakes we ate there were – hands down – the BEST in Perth. We found out that Cookie Dough’s supplier was Littlesweet, a small batch local baker.

At the Eat Drink Blog conference last November, all the bloggers received a wonderful goodie bag. There was a packet of Littlesweet Belgian Chocolate Brownie Baking Mix in there, I was very excited! IMG_0716Little Chef and I recently baked these brownies after school for afternoon tea. The method speaks to you like a friend wrote down a favourite recipe for you to follow. I really believe Littlesweet’s success not only lies in the delightful goods; but also in the way the owner (and baker) Megan relates to people. IMG_0718

The Belgium brownies were deliciously decedent. I saved mine for dessert and had a sneaky scoop of ice cream on the side. Bliss! There are also no nasty additives in the Littlesweet products and only premium ingredients are used; like coverture chocolate. As Megan says “Indulgence should be worthwhile”. Amen to that!IMG_0722I was also pleased to hear that their packet mixes are available in more and more outlets;The Lettuce Shop (Belmont), Kookery (Subiaco) etc  From this Friday we’re also able to purchase them from my local – Drovers Gourmet Deli in Wanneroo. Make sure you check them out and support a fantastic Western Australian business.Untitled

Side note – Littlesweet no longer supplies Cookie Dough. But you can find some of their baked goodies at Chalky’s (Freo) and the Perth Upmarkets. Cheak out their Facebook page for updates https://www.facebook.com/littlesweetbaking

Cookie Dough Link>>  http://thechefhiswifeperth.com/2013/09/22/cookie-dough-biscuits/

Padbury’s

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Padbury’s restaurant has been a Guildford stalwart for over 15 years. It’s housed in a quaint old building and despite it being around for such a long time – this was my first visit here. I was there with Miss S and Mrs H. The three of us were seated at a table in the window, under a shimmering chandelier. We had a good view of Terrace Road and the Rose and Crown Hotel; across the street. The service was efficient and friendly. Mrs H even got “happy birthday” sung to her, by the lovely Irish waitress.

The origins of the name “Padbury’s” is from Walter Padbury, one of the state’s greatest builders and entrepreneurs. In the mid-1800’s when WA was a new colony, he became WA’s first millionaire. Padbury was also a great philanthropist. One of his biggest legacies was organising the telegraph line from Adelaide that connected isolated Perth to the rest of the world. The building itself, originally the “Padbury Stores” is heritage listed – it dates back to 1869. But enough of the history lesson.

We ordered a couple of entrées and a couple of mains from the menu…

20140208_185054Chilli garlic prawns (choice of Mild, Medium or Hot) $21.50  A generous serve of WA Tiger prawns, served sizzling – tossed with chilli flakes, garlic and butter served with fresh bread.

20140208_185048Field Mushroom ($15.50) Char grilled, local field mushroom, pine nut pesto, garlic bread with a pear and parmesan cheese salad. Mrs H enjoyed this – it was big and juicy.

20140208_185028Barramundi ($35) This was a well-cooked North West Barramundi fillet served with sweet potato mash, green beans, baby carrots, broccolis, prawns and finished with hollandaise sauce

20140208_184929Suckling Pork Belly ($30.50) The moist pork belly was braised for three hours served with honey apples, beetroot puree, caramel apples, green beans & broccoli and an Asian sauce. I enjoyed this, but I have to admit I do prefer it when my Pork belly has crackle on top.

20140208_192507Chocolate Fondant ($13.50) This is what Padbury’s call their “Famous Fondant”. I had to try it after a big claim like that! So often these aren’t executed correctly – they don’t ooze with chocolaty goodness. This did, and I’m sure I let out a little squeal of excitement! As they say – the proof is in the pudding. It’s a very nice dessert and served with chocolate ice cream.

Overall we enjoyed the food at Padbury’s. Whilst it wasn’t mind-blowing – it was for the most part well cooked and nicely presented. I’d go back for the gooey pud for sure!

2014 /15 ENTERTAINMENT BOOK DISCOUNTS

* 25% off with gold card

Typika Artisan Roasters

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Typika Artisan Roasters on Urbanspoon
Chef, Little Chef and I like dining out mid-week. We can enjoy some of the most busy and popular dining rooms in Perth, without having to deal with the weekend crowds. Saying that, with the FIFO culture in WA, there are still a lot of people eating out on a midday morning. We popped to Typika, in Claremont. I’d heard many good things about the latest venture from the people that bought us the fantastic coffee at Chimbalinos (Nedlands, Cottesloe & the CBD).

IMG_0154You can’t actually book a table, though they say waiting times are kept to a minimum. The day we visited we waited 10 minutes for a table (at 10.30am); we were happy to do that. We were seated at a green-leather covered booth. Though it is a loud venue, we were a little away from the main hussle and bustle. The service was friendly and there was no searching for staff; they were at our table promptly (and with a smile) to take our order.

20140102_112454Typika is not solely a café. They roast their own coffee on site. The finest green coffee beans are sourced from around the world and the end product is a dam fine cuppa coffee. We sat opposite the roasting room and could see the roasters at work. Chef had a coffee (his regular double shot flat white), which he enjoyed.

LC and I had juices, they were really good. I liked my “Boost” a lot (carrot, lettuce, beetroot, spirulina & wheatgrass). Spirulina is highly nutritious micro salt water plant, found mainly in Africa and South America. LC had the “Red Passion” (watermelon, strawberry and apple). I did think though, that for $6, the glasses should be a bit bigger.

We ordered;

IMG_0149The Typika Breakfast Stack ($21) Shredded Potato Crisp, wilted spinach, half an avocado and their delicious house-smoked ocean trout. This is all topped with a perfectly fried egg – sunny side up. I loved this dish and it was a bit naughty and nice; it is mainly healthy, with some crispy potato hiding underneath! Yummo.

IMG_0146Chef had Spiced Beef Benedict ($18.50) Two soft poached eggs, on a bed of slow-cooked spiced beef, on top of chibatta toast. This is all covered with a harissa hollandaise. Chef thought this was well cooked, really tasty and loved the spicy twist to this classic breakfast dish.

Oh and Little Chef had his favourite – a ham and cheese croissant 🙂

20140102_104236Typika, is not your typical suburban café. I thought the food was really outstanding. It’s open 7 days for breakfast, brunch and lunch. We loved Typika, which I thought we would. It’s my kind of food. The breakfast menu is extensive and the lunch menu looks fabulous too. I’m keen to get back there to try the ribs, as they’re apparently not to be missed!

Apple Daily Bar and Eating House

Apple Daily Bar & Eating House on Urbanspoon

In keeping with the theming; Print Hall’s Asian restaurant is named after Hong Kong’s “Apple Daily” newspaper. We climbed the newspaper lined stairwell to the Apple Daily Bar and Eating House, stopping intermittently to read the 1980’s editions of “The West Australian” that adorn the walls.

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There are a few different spaces in the restaurant to sit. You enter into a narrow dining room, which is dimly lit, with booths along one wall – we recommend a booth if you’re in a small group. The next area you can sit on stools near to the bar (this is where we sat). You have the full atmosphere of the Print Hall Bar below – which can get a tad noisy. Then through to the next area are more tables and a large communal table too, below the red neon sign.

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The food, which is based on south east Asian street food, is designed to share. As street food is in Asia, a lot of it is very hands-on and make-it-yourself.

Pilipino Sausages, Sticky Rice, Achar, Lettuce Cups     $16

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This was great. We put the various components into the lettuce cup – San Choi Bow style. We loved the little sausages, which were full of so much flavour. A little of the Achar (Indonesian pickle) was added, along with the sweet little squares of coconut sticky rice; then a drop of the spicy sauce and roasted peanuts. Yummy!!

Saltwater Duck, Spring Onion, Flower Bun, Hoisin       $34

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Another make it yourself dish. The lovely fresh buns were unravelled and spread with the hoisin sauce. The duck was cooked perfectly. Eaten together, all the juicy, meaty, plumy flavours complimented each other perfectly.

Mae Roong Fried Red Pork Curry, Pineapple              $30

Steamed Rice $2

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We were a bit woossy and found the curry a bit too spicy for us. It was delicious though; I just didn’t put too much sauce on my rice!! Chef loved it too. The crispy pork belly was out-of-this-world. WOW. Even though it was submerged in the coconut-y liquid, it was still super crispy. The juicy chunks of fresh pineapple gave welcome refreshment and a lovely sweet and sour taste. It is up there with our favourite pork belly dishes.

We LOVED all the food. We have a Philipino friend “Bundy” who we would love to take there. I imagine it’s really authentic, but we’d love his opinion on the food. I know he wouldn’t woos-out on the Red Curry!

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Apple Daily was REALLY great. The service is fabulous. The drinks orders arrived incredibly promptly, for a busy night. The staff were very friendly. We chatted to our main server, who was also the Restaurant Manager. She was lovely and her dish recommendations were absolutely spot on!

                                                                                                                                                                      

Cheeky Monkey Brewery & Cidery – Margaret River

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It was a beautiful sunny day – PERFECT beer garden weather!! We arrived at Cheeky Monkey Brewery & Cidery at the start of lunch service, as we heard it was a busy venue. We had no problems with wait times for our food or getting a good table.  Little Chef made a bee-line for the gigantic fenced playground, as soon as he spotted it! We grabbed a shady picnic bench, within meters of the slides, so we could watch LC as he played.

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Chef, (surprise surprise) opted for the beef burger ($25). It consisted of a fresh sourdough roll stuffed full of a good sized beef paddy, bacon, cheddar, tomato, lettuce, pickles and cheeky’s secret sauce. It came with a side of fries and aioli. Keeping it local, the paddy was Leeuwin grass fed beef and that was full of flavour and juicy.

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I, regretting that extra scoop of simmos ice-cream, chose the calamari salad ($25). This was packed full of fresh ingredients! The tender squid was crispy, coated in a light Cajun crumb. The salad was made up of watercress, bean shoots, cos lettuce, cucumber, Spanish onion, orange segments, avocado & cherry tomatoes. They were very generous with the squid and avocado. It was dressed with a sweet and sour honey, lime & saffron vinaigrette.

Little Chef had the cheeky plate ($12). We thought that it was great to have a choice other than the standard nuggets and chips etc. On the plate was a vegemite sandwich, yoghurt, apple slices, sultanas and a juice. He thought it was brilliant. Kids love to graze and pick – this was perfect.

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Chef enjoyed the beer, He chose a fresh and crisp Kiwi pilsner named “Hatseller”. For those wine drinkers and designated drivers, fear not! There is also a cellar door in the same building as cheeky monkey. Everyone is catered for. “Killerby Cellar Store” showcases their wines as well as lots of local gourmet produce including;

– cheeses from the Blue Cow Cheese Company

– Seasonal produce from Newton Bros orchards (Manjimup)

– Yahava coffee from Vasse

– Margaret River’s Berry Farm jams

– Frankland River olive oil

– Cambinata marinated yabbies and homemade dukkah

– Pukara Estate’s caramelised balsamic vinegar and mayonnaise

– Manjimup Truffle Company truffle products

Sure it was pub food, but it was GOOD. Everything tastes so fresh and wholesome in south west WA. We enjoyed Cheeky Monkey. Mostly, as our little monkey was so well catered for. All we had to do was sit, sip and admire the view across the dam.

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Open daily from 10am-6pm

 4259 Caves Road, Margaret River