Taste Budds Cooking Classes

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Taste Budds Cooking Studio, run by Chef Sophie Budd, is found in Highgate. Sophie has previously worked for popular British Chefs Rick Stein and Jamie Oliver. Predominantly, the cooking studio offers cooking classes for adults, catering, long table dinners, and during the school holidays Sophie runs her extremely popular cooking classes for children.

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Little Chef was invited along for the “hands on” class for eight to twelve year olds. Considering he’s from a family of three Chefs, he doesn’t have many kitchen skills (whoops!). Hospitality is a hard industry to work in and we don’t want to push him into it! Saying that, being able to cook is an important life skill and it’s high time he learned how to peel a spud!

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The class is run by Sophie, with help from Chef Brendon. The main focus of these classes is food preparation skills. Sophie’s passion for cooking is infectious. She’s really great with the kids in the class (usually about 12). Everybody warmed to her instantly and she managed to keep a friendly but authoritative rein on the class. Continue reading

Manuka Woodfire Kitchen, Freo

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Manuka Woodfire Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

A chilly winters evening begs for a wood fire. We find a cosy little eatery in Fremantle that fits the bill perfectly. Manuka Woodfire Kitchen, on High Street, serves hearty comfort food cooked exclusively in its wood fire oven.

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Head Chef Kenny McHardy is a champion of West Australian produce. It’s showcased in his ever changing menu which is currently full of winter goodies including roasted beets and truffles. I can sniff out a truffle as well as any truffle dog, so I am pleased to see that they’re currently being featured at Manuka – we’re in the thick of truffle season after all. They’re sourced from a boutique truffle orchard in Manjimup, run by none other than Chef David Coomer (Star Anise, Pata Negra).

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The intimate restaurant oozes Freo with its limestone feature walls. A friendly waiter presents us with a small, though well chosen, drinks menu that features WA wines, beers, ciders and spirits. We enjoy a velvety smooth pinot noir from Mount Barker winery Mount Trio. The drop has cherry aromas and is a great match for slow cooked red meats.

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The popular spot is soon full with customers and the open kitchen is a hive of activity. In saying that, it’s not a noisy restaurant and we’re happy we don’t have to shout over the table as we order our meals. The menu is made up of share plates and gourmet pizzas.
We choose the “Chef’s Menu” at $55 per person. This includes seven dishes from the menu, with the addition of the fresh truffles for an extra cost of $20 per table. Money well spent in my opinion! Along with our wine, we devour roasted olives, which are served warm. The roasting process gives them a softer texture and slightly milder flavour.

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The deliciously spiced flat bread is served with Cooladerra Farm olive oil from Frankland River. The simple bread, freshly baked to order, arrives hot and fluffy from the wood fire. We tear at the bread and dip chunks into the luscious smoked eggplant babaganoush, lapping up every morsel.

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The wait staff are very knowledgeable about the produce used and tell us a little about each dish as it’s served. Next, we share organic feta from Over The Moon Organics, a small Albany dairy farm where the farmers milk the cows and make the cheese. The creamy cheese is delicious drizzled with honey and a scattering of walnuts.

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Little Chef tucks into a smoked beef chorizo pizza ($21) topped with olives, capsicum, spring onion and feta. We sneak a slice and discover that the base is as fluffy and light as the flat bread.

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The first of our meat dishes, Manuka’s award winning charred chicken thigh, is incredibly moist and full of smoky flavours. On the side is pickled red cabbage and a moreish miso sauce.

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The wood roasted beetroot is insanely good. I’m a beetroot fan. I love it on burgers and in salads. Roasting this winter vegetable takes it to a whole other level of flavour. Glistening pomegranate pearls, shaved truffle and a smoked labne make this a decedent veggie dish indeed.

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The beef shin, slow roasted for sixteen hours, is gelatinous, smoky and rich. Served with baby roast potatoes and shavings of parmesan and truffle, adding an earthy flavour. It’s good, honest food and absolutely mouth-watering.

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We finish with little bowls of deconstructed lime cheesecake. Sprinkled with roasted white chocolate and laced with juicy chunks of persimmon, it’s a zesty and light dessert to end our tasty feast.

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Chef Kenny owns Manuka, along with his wife Jody, who runs the front of house. The kitchen team use the simple cooking method of the wood fire, which really allows the top quality produce to shine. The menu at Manuka changes by the day, depending on the local ingredients that are available, so you’re always able to try something new.

Chef and I are impressed by Manuka Woodfire Kitchen’s punchy flavours and beautifully cooked food. We would happily return for more of their warm hospitality by the wood fire.

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** First published in the Post Newspaper

At a glance

■ Manuka Woodfire Kitchen
134 High Street
Fremantle
Phone 9335 3527

■ Opening times
Tuesday to Sunday
5pm till 9pm

■ Rating
food 4
service 4
ambience 4
value for money 5

■ style – Wood-fired cuisine

■ wine – small list of wines from
all around Western Australia.

■ Head Chef – Kenny McHardy

■ Owners – Kenny and
Jody McHardy

■ feel – warm and inviting

■ wheelchair access – yes

■ cost
Share $7 – $38
Pizza $17 – $21
Dessert $12

■ all in all – Manuka serves
delicious soul-warming
dishes straight from it’s
wood fire. Bookings are
essential.

CAT Bus Adventures in Perth With Kids

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Public transport can be a real novelty for kids, who spend much of their time travelling in Mum or Dad’s car. Young children will delight in a train ride or trip on a bus. The Perth CAT busses are a quick and easy way of getting around the city, when little legs get weary or just to see a bit more of what the CBD and Northbridge have to offer.

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Jump on and off the free CAT (Central Area Transit) busses at their dedicated stops all around Perth. Kids can answer their own “When will the bus be here?” question by pressing the big button and having the voice tell them how many minutes away the next CAT is. The busses are also pram friendly and have priority seating.

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There are four coloured CAT BUS routes, zig zagging around the city from West Perth to East Perth and Northbridge. Grab a map from the bus ports, train stations or tourism information stand in Forrest Place and get exploring the attractions, parks and eateries of the city of Perth!

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Here’s my guide to the best bus stops to hop on and off with your family in Perth.

BLUE CAT ROUTE

STOP 1 – Elizabeth Quay Bus Station

If you’re planning a day exploring the city by CAT bus, you may even arrive here by bus or train. The Elizabeth Quay Bus Station is just over the road from the Quay itself. The brilliant Elizabeth Quay is a great place for a ride on the Venetian Carousel, game of mini golf, a scoop of delish Gusto Gelato or casual bite to eat at V Burger.

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STOP 2 – Barrack Square

There’s loads to do at Barrack Square! This stop is also the best for the south side of Elizabeth Quay. Opposite the CAT Stop is the famous Perth Bell Tower, cafes and ferry stops for exploring the Swan River. Stroll over the Elizabeth Quay bridge and check out the excellent playground! Continue reading

Our City Staycation at Holiday Inn Perth CBD

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I think the Holiday Inn has to be one of the best Perth hotels for a family stay in the city. Not only was the four and a half star hotel recently refurbished and is incredibly modern, it is also slap bang in the heart of the CBD, opposite the Central Park building on Hay Street, close to the pedestrian shopping malls, cafes and attractions.

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Chef, Little Chef and I were excited about our Holiday Inn staycation. I was there on assignment for Buggybuddys, Perth’s top kids website, who I also write for. We didn’t have time to travel anywhere for a break, so discovering our own city was a great alternative and we jumped at the opportunity to check out the Holiday Inn.

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We pulled our car up in the driveway at the side of the hotel, which is really convenient if you want to take advantage of their valet parking. We entered the lobby and were promptly checked in by the welcoming ladies at the front desk. Particular attention was paid to Little Chef, who was given an activity pack and told that there would be a special surprise if he completed the book, so he was totally on a mission to finish it!

Our Rooms

HolInnFamPic Credit: Holiday Inn Perth

We grabbed our overnight bags and electronic key and excitedly headed to our Family Room on the seventh floor. The Family Room features a massive king sized bed in the main area, which faces a large 48” flat-screen TV, perfect for lying in bed and watching a movie!

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There’s an adjoining separate bedroom (which we were stoked about!) with a further two single beds and a 32” flat-screen TV. There’s also a desk – where Little Chef quickly set to work on his activity book. It kept him entertained for ages!

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Continue reading

Maison Staint-Honore, Swan Valley

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Maison Saint-Honoré Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Here’s a truth bomb… for years I’ve been guilty of pronouncing the word “macaron” wrong! It’s “mac-a-ron” not “mac-a-roon” (coconut biscuit). Silly me…

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I had a #girlboss catch up with a couple of lovely ladies in the Swan Valley, coffee and notepads at the ready. I work from home now, freelancing with writing and social media, and these networking and “pep-talk” meetings are invaluable for sharing ideas and encouraging each other. Working on your own can be incredibly lonely!

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Continue reading

10 of The Best Hidden Coffee Spots in Perth’s CBD

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Where’s the best coffee in Perth’s CBD? You might have missed it! Down the city’s many laneways and arcades, you’ll find some hidden coffee spots that are not to be missed.

If you’re a street art fan like myself, and like a bit of culture with your caffeine, you will be able to spy some of Perth’s most vibrant works near some of these spots too. So follow the aroma of freshly ground beans and discover a favourite new coffee haunt today!

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Max + Sons

Head off the beaten track, down Rail Lane and you’ll find Max & Sons. Here, the friendly baristas are likely to remember your name after a few coffee runs. Their excellent coffee is a custom blend that is developed with Five Senses and the maple bacon and cream cheese bagels are not to be missed!

Find Max + Sons at 140 Perth, Rail Lane, Wellington St, Perth (behind The Globe).

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Uncle Joe’s Mess

At what first appears to be a King Street barber shop, head down a corridor and you’ll find Uncle Joe’s Mess, where they serve up their own “Joes Blend” roasted by Dimattina Coffee. At this cool little spot you can escape the bustling city streets and enjoy a chilled brunch with funky tunes.

Find Uncle Joe’s Mess at 76 King St, Perth.

More on Uncle Joe’s Mess here.

 

Standing Room Only

Standing Room Only Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

You get the feeling that at Standing Room Only the baristas are deadly serious about their coffee, which is outstanding and many rate as amongst the very best of Perth CBD’s coffee spots. There’s nothing else to lose their focus, no food or fancy smoothies, just good honest caw-fee.

Find Standing Room Only at Piccadilly Arcade, Perth.

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Hopper Espresso

This popular little coffee shop in Shafto Lane, brews up a top house blend as well as offering four different single origin coffees. They even have a range of quality milks to choose from including local Banister Downs and Bonsoy. Their food offering is sure to tame those lunch time cravings too.

Find Hopper Espresso at 3A Shafto Lane, Perth.

More on Hopper Espresso here.

 

The Wolf Espresso

Wolf Espresso is found on Wolf Lane which is a mecca for vibrant murals by local and international street artists in the Perth CBD. Here you can indulge in a guilt free treat with your Veneziano coffee as there’s a focus on balanced and healthy food.

Find The Wolf Espresso at 800 Hay St, Perth.

More on The Wolf Espresso here.IMG_8416 Continue reading

Canteen, Trigg

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Kailis Trigg Beach Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The old Trigg Island Café was transformed last year into a stunning venue overlooking the Indian Ocean. We’ve been spoilt with ocean side dining spots in the last few years and I was keen to try this offering from the Kailis group. There’s the upmarket Kailis seafood restaurant, as well as the casual Canteen next door.

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We rocked up to Kailis without a lunch booking just before noon, hoping they’d set aside a couple of tables for walk-ins. Unfortunately for us, the only seats they could offer us was the outdoor area that’s mainly used by patrons of Canteen. I didn’t see the point in paying a premium if we couldn’t enjoy the beautifully fitted out dining room. So I put that lunch on the back burner and we decided to grab a quick take away style lunch instead.

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Canteen has plenty of seating inside, but we chose to sit outside under the umbrellas. The sea breeze did get a little chilly, but the sun was shining down and it was such a beautiful view, so we braved it!

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My parents both ordered fish and chips. My Dad had the traditional battered fish and chips ($11.50). The chips weren’t very hot and with the wind blowing too, they were stone cold in no time.

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My Mum had the grilled fish and chips with greens ($14.50) and they both agreed that their fish was very tasty.

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As well as fish and chips, there’s a lot of fresh and healthy options at Canteen. The salads will go down well with the many walkers and joggers that pass by. I chose the King Fish poke ($15), which sounded intriguing. It’s a Hawaiian raw fish salad with Japanese condiments and I found it refreshingly tasty. Served with brown rice, the firm chucks of  king fish are bursting with tropical coconut, lime, chilli, pineapple and coriander. It was delicious, though I wish that the servings were a little more generous.

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Afterwards, we had a little walk along the beach. It’s these kind of days, hanging out with my parents, in a lovely location like this that makes me so happy to live in Perth.

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I could look at this view all day long…

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If you’re eating out with little ones there’s a play area near to the car park too, which really should be fenced. There’s also a breakfast menu on offer for the early risers. All in all, Canteen is a good spot for a casual bite to eat by the beach.

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