Savour The Moment | To appreciate fully; enjoy or relish

Growling for Grillah

Toastface Grillah, Perth CBD

Owls and whatnot…

Owls and whatnot…

When Toastface Grillah first opened, I couldn’t help but scoff at the concept – a place that sells toasties? What a medicore idea! I could easily make my own at home with my trusty Breville sandwich press and a few loaves of bread from Coles, so why would I want to spend a handy $10 for one made by other people? As expected, my ignorance and lack of open-mindness was sure to backfire on me – quickly.

Alice in Limboland

Alice in Limboland

Turns out that, despite me thinking that a toastie specialist place was an incredibly overrated idea, Toastface Grillah had soared in popularity over the past few years. I finally plucked up the gall to taste test one on a weekday morning, on the way to work. That particular day, I was craving a bread-based something – I had a light breakfast before leaving the house, but my appetite had reared its ugly head once again, and I could feel my stomach rumbling. Having been past the blackboard sign too many times to count, I finally entered the squalor that was the little alleyway off Wellington Street.

Outside Toastface

Outside Toastface

After initial concerns that I wouldn’t be able to find Toastface (alleyways and I do not meld well together – must be my undeniable inability to find anything, anywhere at any one time), I was able to spot it relatively easy. The place itself is tiny, to the point of being cramped. Being particularly indecisive that morning, I needed a few seconds to figure out which toastie I was going to indulge in, while people squeezed in and out of the store.

You’ve found it!

You’ve found it!

Service was minimal on Toastface’s part, but that is probably the nature of the business. It has a similar service style to that of a food truck (side note: I think they would do swimmingly in the food truck industry if they expanded!), where the order was quickly taken, currency exchanged, and food delivered out pronto. The guy that took my order was a little bit too hurried, leaving me in one of those awkward buyer-selling interactions. It was one of those moments when you barely get a word in edgeways. I actually wanted to order a drink, but the guy already has his hand out for the money. Needless to say, I didn’t get the cold pressed juice I originally was tempted to try out – maybe for next time.

The infamous B.A.G ($8)

The infamous B.A.G ($8)

Back to the toastie. I ordered the B.A.G toastie, or to be more specific, the bacon, apple, gouda and white onion toastie ($8). I waited a good 10 minutes for it, which was finally delivered to me after I had peeled through the daily newspaper. I was a little miffed at the wait, but my indignation quickly turned to delight when I took my first whopping bite. I could finally see what the fuss was all about – this was not just a toastie, it was a toastie. The bread was buttery and chewy, crunchy on the outside, pressing together the contents of the sandwich. These contents included a few slabs of sizzling bacon and an abundance of gooey gouda cheese.

The open jaw of a toastie monster

The open jaw of a toastie monster

It was well executed toastie, but what made it special was the fact that it was piping hot and housed some deliciously crisp slices of green apple. I would have liked a couple more slices of the apple, as I’m a huge advocate of the sweet/ savoury mishmash, and it would have been good if there had been a tad more apple to balance out the saltiness of the bacon. The white onion was in sparse quantities, adding a delicate balsamic-like element.

Turn this way for toasties!

Turn this way for toasties!

I had (expectantly) burnt the roof of my mouth from devouring the toastie with fervour, but I’ll be honest – it was so worth it. I was pretty full and content with my toastie and the best part was pulling the cheese apart with my teeth – it must the sensory aspect that I enjoy! I loved the ambience of Toastface’s al fresco area as well – sunny, with a splash of colour from the mismatched pillows, scattered amongst the wooden benches – it reminded me a bit of Little Willy’s in Northbridge. A few people filtered in and out of the shop, all pretty happy with their toasties. The artwork decorating the outside alley was also very funky and retro, adding to the fun that is Toastface Grillah. It’s a great place for a quick pick me up, or for food on the go. It also, predictably, does some great toasties! One for the books.

Lounges and breakfast

Lounges and lunch

That will teach me to be more judgmental in the future.

Rating: 7 out of 10.
★★★★★★★☆☆☆

Address: Grand Lane, Rear 143 Barrack St, Perth 6000
Website: http://www.toastfacegrillah.com

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Toastface Grillah on Urbanspoon
Bites:

  • Open Monday to Friday (from 7am to 4pm) and Saturday (9am to 4pm).
  • Cold pressed juices on sale, along with soft drinks, tea and coffee.
  • Other toasties include the brie & jam and the chilli cheese! Toasties range from $5 to $9.
  • No reservations available – just walk in!

- L.

Officially a Regular @ Foam Coffee Bar

Foam Coffee Bar, Leederville

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Foam Coffee Bar is distinctive along the Oxford Street strip in Leederville

A few months ago, I had a mild obsession with Foam Coffee Bar in Leederville… that’s if you classify going nearly every day for weeks as “mild”. I was only lucky enough to go so often because the weather was absolutely beautiful and sunny, as you can tell in the photos! I live(d) so close to Leederville that I used it as an excuse to ride my cute bike there (you can see my bike next to the moped in the above photo!). Towards the end of my graduate program, I needed a perfect place to do some work during my days off, just to rustle up my resume and selection criteria for potential work opportunities after my graduate program finished up. Foam was my best bet, and I’m glad I went. I had wanted to try out Foam for ages, as I would always walk past it whenever I was in Leederville. So I rode to Leederville, with my iPad in tow to work on the blog.

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Lunch, dessert and a delicious iced chocolate after a hard bike ride!

Foam was relatively busy with people catching up with others over coffee. I went inside to check out their front counter, which was loaded with mouthwatering slices, cakes, huge cupcakes, and savoury food such as toasties, paninis and salads. I quickly flipped through the drinks menu, ordered pronto, and took a seat outside to do some people watching as I waited. I also took advantage of the free wifi set up by the City of Vincent along Oxford Street!

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Icy cold iced chocolate to quench my thirst!

I ordered the iced chocolate ($6) which I somewhat regretted in the end because I also got a cupcake. I always seem to do this to myself – too many sweets! I wish I had gotten tea or a juice instead. Nevertheless, the iced chocolate was nice but slightly bitter for some reason, possibly from the type of chocolate they used. Otherwise, it was indeed cold and refreshing, thick from the ice-cream scoop and totally indulgent that would send my blood sugar levels to sky high.

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Cookies and cream cupcake

I ordered a cookies and cream cupcake as a little treat, to undo the exercise I had done riding to and from Leederville. The cookies and cream frosting was absolutely delicious and beautifully piped on the vanilla butter cake. The Oreo on top was soft, which was nice because sometimes it can be difficult taking a bite of the whole cupcake with a crunchy Oreo on top! The vanilla butter cake was a little plain, but that was okay considering how sweet the frosting was. I found the price of the cupcake to be a little steep – I can’t remember how much it cost but it must’ve been around $4-$5. As an avid baker, I could probably make this cupcake at home and sell it at a higher price to make a profit… I should quit my day job.

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Spoilt for choice inside Foam’s display cabinet, in which I chose this uber delicious toastie!

I was pretty peckish from the bike ride so I also got this toasted sandwich that was filled with cheese, mixed salad laves, tomatoes and roasted vegetables. The sandwich was hot and toasty, which was so delicious, and thankfully was a healthier option than the Grill’d burgers next door (which can be healthy too, don’t get me wrong). The toasted sandwich was a little watery possibly due to the tomatoes, but the bread still remained relatively crunchy until the end. There were chunks of vegetables throughout the sandwich, which was great because who likes a sandwich lacking in filling? Although the sandwich was nice, it was still tasted a little bit bland. Their other sandwiches and paninis do look great as well and probably would taste just as better.

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Come in!

As aforementioned, I was at Foam at least twice a week for a number of weeks. I finally had access to Foam’s own wifi, and brought along some more work for work. During this time, I ordered numerous things from their drinks menu, such as their smoothies, fresh juices, coffees, and teas, and slices of their delicious cakes.

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A slice of tiramisu cake

I once ordered a slice of their tiramisu cake, which ended up coming as a fairly larger slice than usual, compared to other cafes. The cake wasn’t hugely big on the coffee taste, but it was still sweet, spongy and moist. However to me, it was quite cold, to the point where I suspected that the cake was once frozen. It had that icy crunch to it, which explained the coldness of the cake. According to their menu, their sweets are made off-site by someone else. Not sure how fresh it was, but it was still a decent cake.

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FOAM Full Breakfast ($22)

I went to Foam for brunch with my girl friends on a Sunday morning after their atmosphere appealed to us for a catch up. It was packed when we came at 11am but we managed to snag the end of the communal table for the four of us. We ordered pronto as we knew how busy it was but the food didn’t come for a while. I decided to go all out and ordered the FOAM Full Breakfast ($22), which had two poached eggs, roma tomato, roasted mushroom, foam chipolata, homemade baked beans, bacon, potato cake and toast. I was completely full by the end of it, as you can see from the size of the plate! Everything was cooked well, bar the poached eggs which were more on the hard side than runny side. Everything was delicious – the toast was perfectly crunchy and toasty, the starchy potato cake was a great alternative to the hash brown, the chipolatas were your usual chipolatas (nothing too special about it), the salty bacon always a good choice, the vegetables moist and full of bursting flavour, and the homemade baked beans… which were ridiculously spicy. It didn’t say anything in the menu about it being spicy, so I got a shock of my life when I had a taste, which I couldn’t eat in the end and had to leave it. Everyone else enjoyed their meals without any memorable complaints, and their smoothies were a hit at the table.

Service has always been top notch at Foam. Everyone has a smile on their face, and they are attentive towards their diners, making sure the tables are always cleared.

I personally think that Foam excels the most in their coffees, and their simple yet delicious food in their display cabinet. Although their breakfast options were good, I found them relatively expensive compared to other places in Perth. However with the lack of decent cafes in Leederville, minus Sayers, Smuggled Seeds and Studio Bomba, Foam ranks highly with them, being in the heart of Leederville. Being open all day until 10pm daily is another reason why I love Foam. Where else can you go to just sit somewhere and chill out with some friends or even by yourself, whether it’s 9am or 9pm, soak up on some free wifi or read a book (that’s not Greens & Co, sorry)? I’m sure you’ll like Foam as much as I do.

Rating: 7 out of 10
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Address: 130 Oxford St, Leederville WA 6007
Website: http://www.foamcoffeebar.com.au

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Foam Coffee Bar on Urbanspoon

Bites:

  • Open 7am until 10pm every day.
  • Stay all day with their free wifi! Just ask the friendly staff for the password.
  • Huge communal table is available for those with large groups, which you can also reserve at (08) 9444 7475 if you want to use it for large catch ups or meetings.
  • Breakfast is served until 11am on week days and 2pm on weekends.
  • Foam Coffee Bar uses Five Senses ‘Dark Horse’ beans in their coffees.

- A.

A new chapter is a positive one @ Chapter 88

Chapter 88, Nedlands

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Walking to Chapter 88 from the car park

To be honest, I have never visited Ciao Italia in South Perth before (shock horror!). Every time I drive past it, lines spill out onto the street – it just always looks extremely busy no matter what night of the week, and that’s always deterred me from going… I’ll go one day, but their new restaurant, Chapter 88 in Nedlands, was my alternative. I have many places that I want to try out in Nedlands, and Chapter 88 was one that both myself and my boyfriend wanted to try – he had heard from workmates that Chapter 88 was good, and I had seen delicious food photos everywhere about them. We decided to make it a date and headed there for brunch on a Sunday.

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Chapter 88 features an open kitchen, where you can watch your food being made!

Chapter 88 is easily within walking distance from UWA, which makes Chapter 88 the perfect place for students to go to for breakfast or lunch, which I’m super jealous about – I wish I could have done something like that near Curtin University when I was a student! This area also houses Tommy Sugo and down the road, The Tenth State, both places I desperately want to try out. Nedlands is starting to create some top eateries as of late, and I’m excited for more to open up.

We found parking at the nearby IGA on Broadway, which was a short walk to Chapter 88. When we arrived, there was a huge group of university students waiting outside. We waited for a couple of seconds before heading inside to see if there was a table for two available, to which there were a few. We were led to our table, and were advised that we had just missed the breakfast menu… darn! Lunch it was then.

Chapter 88 has a completely open space, including an open kitchen. The restaurant was really busy with different groups of people. We ordered straight away, as we were starving. The menu was quite big, featuring some not as heavy dishes, pasta, meat and seafood dishes. Lots to choose from, even for the most pickiest of eaters!

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Mango Tango smoothie: mango pulp blended with honey, yoghurt, milk and ice-cream ($7.50)

My boyfriend, being a huge mango lover, ordered the Mango Tango smoothie ($7.50), which had mango pulp blended with honey, yoghurt, milk and ice-cream. The smoothie was deliciously sweet and had a very authentic mango taste to it, which was really nice, as some smoothies we’ve had didn’t have the strong mango flavour to it. The smoothie was also really thick from the mango pulp. So good.

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Honeydew Green Tea, pot for one: Pure Japanese green tea and honeydew pieces infused with apricot flavours ($4)

I had the Honeydew Green Tea, pot for one ($4) which had Pure Japanese green tea and honeydew pieces infused with apricot flavours. This definitely felt like it was a pot for two – there was so much (which I could never seem to finish), but who’s complaining? My honeydew green tea was delicious, and super fruity with the honeydew taste. It was definitely the alternative kick I needed, other than the usual green tea.

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Steak Sandwich: Grilled scotch fillet, caramelised onion, cheese melt, slow roasted tomatoes and Jamaican barbeque sauce served open on toasted Panini with a mixed salad and chips ($23.50)

Our meals came out and my boyfriend’s Steak Sandwich ($23.50) arrived first. It featured grilled scotch fillet, caramelised onion, cheese melt, slow roasted tomatoes and Jamaican barbeque sauce, served open on a toasted Panini with a mixed salad and chips. My boyfriend really enjoyed it. The chips were hot and crunchy, but lacked salt, and my boyfriend wanted some sauce with it. We asked if we could have any sauce with it, and we got to choose any sauce we wanted. He chose aioli in the end, and when we asked how much it would cost, they said it was for free. Better yet, we were given heaps. Score!

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Handmade potato rosti with a salad of honey roasted sweet potato, eggplant, capsicum, tomatoes, rocket, pine nuts & herb pesto ($21.50)

I had the handmade potato rosti with a salad of honey roasted sweet potato, eggplant, capsicum, tomatoes, rocket, pine nuts & finished with a herb pesto ($21.50). My eyes lit up when it arrived – it was MASSIVE! And it was incredibly delicious. The potato rosti were of the mashed potato variety (instead of grated potato) and it was hot and crunch. There were two big rostis, and they were very filling, so much so that I didn’t even get to finish the meal. There was an abundance of flavours, including the herb pesto flavour that was all throughout the meal. The honey roasted sweet potatoes were my favourite as they were so soft, and sweet from the honey. Very delicious – I highly recommend this dish! I always feel bad for not finishing my meals, but I tried to finish it as much as I could, but in the end, the potato rosti won.

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Sweet treats and cakes! I see the tiramisu…

I had heard that Ciao Italia’s tiramisu was amazing, and hopefully the next time I’m at Chapter 88, I can try it. I would definitely come back to Chapter 88, now that they’re open for dinner as well. We didn’t have a reservation but I would recommend making one if you are thinking of going during a popular time. Their menu is not exactly cheap, but it is affordable with huge portion sizes. The service is warm and excellent – we were able to strike up a friendly conversation with them, which we love doing. They were incredibly accommodating, happy to give us free sauce and were able to fit us in during peak time. There were smiles all around, and we had a great time. Their portions are quite big which is something they have taken with them from Ciao Italia! Next time, I’m trying their infamous pasta mains.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10
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Address: 39/88 Broadway, Nedlands WA 6009
Website: http://chapter88.com.au

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Chapter 88 on Urbanspoon

Bites:

  • Open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 11:30am to 3pm, and dinner from 5pm to 9:30pm (according to their website). Their opening hours may be out of date on their website, as we were able to go on a Sunday at 11:45am.
  • Reservations are recommended at any time of the day. You can call them at (08) 9389 6689.
  • You can check out their big menu online here.
  • Why not have lunch at Chapter 88, then head down to the Swan River for a nice stroll along the foreshore? Just a suggestion. :)

- A.

Everything is ‘pear’fect @ The ‘Pear’fect Pantry

The ‘Pear’fect Pantry, Wembley

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The pears are everywhere here.

I always see the sign that leads to The ‘Pear’fect Pantry in Wembley whenever I drive by to and from work. Initially, you’d have no idea where The ‘Pear’fect Pantry was. All you could see were many blocks of units (lucky for them!). I had heard that they were located behind a laundrobar, so honestly, I took a guess of where to park… thankfully I took the right turn! The ‘Pear’fect Pantry is another cafe situated in the ‘burbs – just what I love. And they really do love their pears.

I caught up with one of my best friends on this occasion. It was a weekday morning, and it was just us and a few other people. There’s not a whole lot of seating, but they utilise the outdoor area well, with more seating (‘pear’fect) for when the sun comes out. Lack of seating is sometimes why brunch is best done during the weekday. The ‘Pear’fect Pantry is small, in a little odd location, but don’t let that fool you. I had wanted to visit The ‘Pear’fect Pantry for ages, and they didn’t let us down. This one is literally a hidden gem.

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Vegan, gluten-free, raw!

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The choices are endless at The ‘Pear’fect Pantry

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Cabinet items for sale!

We took a seat next to the wall and admired how much stuff The ‘Pear’fect Pantry had for show. The crazy amount of food at the front counter caught our eyes! I eyed every single thing that was there. There was an insane amount of food in the front glass cabinet that would be pear’fect for lunch or even dinner later. And then the sweets underneath the glass domes…! “Stuff brunch, I’m having cake instead,” was what I was thinking. The food was presented so deliciously in the glass cabinet. My mouth was watering over the cakes… thank god the domes were there otherwise my hands would be all over them in a heartbeat. Anyways, enough of that.

The night before, I noticed on The ‘Pear’fect Pantry’s Facebook page that if we show them that we checked into their Facebook page, we could get 10% off our bill (what pear’fect timing). I usually hate doing stuff like that because I feel like an el-cheapo, but I was trying to save money as my bestie and I were heading to Seoul a few weeks later (bring on the street food, shopping, and many consecutive Korean BBQ dinners, one after another!). I put my shame aside (like when I’m trying to take food photos…) and presented my phone to them, which they gladly accepted. Woohoo!

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Avocado toast with pistachio dukkah, poached eggs, marinated feta, beetroot relish and spinach ($17)

I ordered the Avocado toast with pistachio dukkah, poached eggs, marinated feta, beetroot relish and spinach ($17). For some reason, this reminded me of what my boyfriend and I had at the lovely Piccolo’s Corner in West Leederville… yes, both meals, combined. That could only mean one thing… this dish was delicious. It was the pear’fect serving size, too. The toast was delicious with the dukkah, which gave the meal more of an earthy taste. There was a heap of feta, although it didn’t taste marinated… or, it wasn’t marinated enough. The dish may not present as well as it tastes, but it was simple and not an overpowering dish. It definitely did taste pretty healthy too, which was a good thing. I was just glad I was able to finish it!

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Avocado lime salsa with roasted mushrooms and tomatoes, hash browns, rocket and aioli ($17) with extra bacon ($4).

My friend ordered the Avocado lime salsa with roasted mushrooms and tomatoes, hash browns, rocket and aioli ($17). My friend added the extra bacon, which was an extra $4. The serving was pretty huge, which is always better than lacking in portion size. The mushroom was huge, and the hash brown laid on top of the pieces of toast. Talk about a hearty meal! My friend did like the meal in the end.

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Apple, kale, lime and spirulina juice ($8.50) and strawberry, apple and lemon juice ($8)

We spoiled ourselves and grabbed some juices each. I had the strawberry, apple and lemon juice ($8), and my friend had the apple, kale, lime and spirulina juice ($8.50). Although the prices seem to be more expensive than what they’re worth, it was still delicious. My apple, strawberry and lemon juice was mighty tangy, and I could actually taste the fruit in the juice, more so than other places that do juices – it was great! The apple, kale, lime and spirulina juice was also reported to be good. The ‘Pear’fect Pantry really do love their pears – even the glasses are pear shaped. Too cute!

The ‘Pear’fect Pantry does catering as well, which also sounds delicious (see  the ‘Bites’ section below for more information). I wish I had more room in my belly for their sweet stuff. We stuck around to catch up for a bit longer and the staff had no worry on their faces. The service was super friendly and welcoming. If The ‘Pear’fect Pantry was located in a more busy area, people would flock here from local businesses and whatnot, because of their good food and their down-to-earth nature, but maybe being situated in the quiet suburbs is a good thing. At least if it’s hidden away from the general public, then it’ll be our hidden little secret food spot for a little bit longer!

Rating: 7 out of 10
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Address: 49 Herdsman Parade, Wembley WA 6014
Website: http://www.pearfectpantry.com

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Pearfect Pantry on Urbanspoon

Bites:

  • Open every day except public holidays from Monday to Friday 7am until 4pm (breakfast until 11am, lunch from 11:30am, and counter food all day), and weekends from 8:30am until 2:30pm.
  • They provide vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options as well as raw desserts.
  • They also have high tea from Tuesday to Friday 10am until 2pm!
  • The ‘Pear’fect Pantry also does catering for both savoury and sweet options. They provide tortilla stacks, tarts, baked risotto, salads, and more, plus brownies, whole cakes (plus gluten free and vegan cakes), and cupcakes. You can pick up their latest catering menu at the cafe if you’re interested, or check out their website.
  • There is easy parking at the back (or at the tavern) behind the laundrobar and The ‘Pear’fect Pantry. Just use the lane way on the left side to enter. It is a car park for the block of units though, so please observe where you park, just to be safe.

- A.

The burgers are actually better @ The Burger Bistro

The Burger Bistro, Leederville

My boyfriend and I had once set up this challenge many years ago – to find the best burgers in Perth. We set ourselves on a task to try every burger joint in town, but eventually gave up, as life got in the way. We still keep this challenge in the back of our minds before every burger that we eat though. We were looking for a place to eat down the Leederville strip of Oxford Street, checked out almost every menu at every restaurant, and finally decided on The Burger Bistro. We had heard that The Burger Bistro was pretty good, and as my boyfriend had previous worked at Grill’d for a few years, he too had also heard a thing or two about The Burger Bistro being good.

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Delicious burgers and chips at The Burger Bistro

The Burger Bistro is proudly West Australian, using Certified Australia Angus Beef (CAAB) and Mt Barker free range chicken in their patties. Their Leederville store is their second store in WA, with their first store on Shafto Lane in the CBD. We had a quick browse through their menu, and ordered at the front counter. We couldn’t help but compare the different burger combinations with Grill’d. Most of them were similar, but we wanted something different.

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Medium sized thick cut chips with two dips ($8)

We ordered the thick cut chips to share (medium size was $8 with two dipping sauces), which came out first. The chips were good but not as good as the famous herbed chips from Grill’d. The chips were hot, crunchy and delicious. The price of the chips were a bit on the expensive side, but you do get quite a bit (much better than the tiny cup serving of chips you get at Grill’d).

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Gourmet New Yorker ($16.50) – CAAB Angus beef, balsamic caramelised red onions, sharp vintage aged cheddar, dill pickles and salad leaves

Our burgers came out about five minutes later. I ordered the Gourmet New Yorker ($16.50), which had CAAB Angus beef, balsamic caramelised red onions, sharp vintage aged cheddar, dill pickles and salad leaves. The burger came out with all the juices coming out of it, so we were expecting some finger licking goodness to come out of this burger. And indeed it was really delicious. My boyfriend said that the patty was much better than the one at Grill’d. The burger was mighty juicy, and the caramelised red onion was sweet and so delicious. The pickles and cheese were just spilling out of the burger with every bite I took. The burger had so much flavour from the pickles. It was mouthwateringly good.

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Rose and Thyme ($14.50) – Mt Barker free range chicken breast marinated in lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, rosemary, thyme, with salad and garlic mayo

My boyfriend ordered the Rose and Thyme ($14.50), which had Mt Barker free range chicken breast marinated in lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, rosemary, thyme, and came with salad and garlic mayo. My boyfriend loved it. The chicken was cooked perfectly – not of the dry and chewy variety. It was juicy and tender from the marination of lemon juice, rosemary and thyme. There was a decent amount of meat in there, too. The burger had a simple taste to it, but it was not over-the-top. It was just right.

The Burger Bistro has other options other than the usual meat burgers. They have vegetarian options, as well as a no-carb option which replaces the bun for a large salad and a choice of cheese, for the same price of the burger. Now that I think about it, I wouldn’t mind having this the next time I come back.

The Burger Bistro keeps everything simple. Their burgers are more on the pricey side, but they use unique ingredients in their burgers. They might not be as ‘cool’ as Grill’d or Jus Burgers just around the corner, but if you’re after a simple meal without the glitz and glamour, then The Burger Bistro has it all.

Rating: 6.5 out of 10

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Address: 147 Oxford St, Leederville WA 6007
Website: http://www.theburgerbistro.com.au

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The Burger Bistro on Urbanspoon

Bites:

  • Open for lunch Monday to Thursday from 11:30am utntil 3pm, and for dinner from 5pm until 10pm, Friday all day from 11:30am until 10:30pm, and Sundays from 11:30pm until 10pm.
  • Their first store is located at Shafto Lane in the CBD, and their third store is located at 181 Adelaide Terrace in the CBD.
  • The Burger Bistro has recently opened up their pop up store, called BB, a pop up in Mount Lawley. Their menu sounds amazing and they use brioche buns – yum!
  • You can view The Burger Bistro’s menu on their website.

- A.

Capitalising on Tarts @ Cafe Myriade

Café Myriade, Northbridge

Board game galore!

Board game galore!

I don’t classify myself as an exceedingly competitive person. Even when I used to play netball in primary/ high school, I would never get wrapped up the heatedness of the competition, and would rarely resort to aggressiveness and complaints if we were losing. I’ve never been too concerned about ranks, prizes or recognition in either my personal life or career – I like to think of myself as someone who’s pretty chilled and easygoing, enjoying life in a calm, collected, appreciative way.

This all changes when I start playing board games. I completely and utterly lose my head – I can change into a point-winning-take-no-prisoners monster. Monopoly on play? Game on. I will buy Mayfair, build a million hotels, take all your money, reduce you to bankruptcy and annihilate you. It’s funny that something so kiddish can reduce me to a shouting, bubbling mess, but it’s times like this in Café Myriade that you can loosen up with friends, pass the time and have plenty of fun.

Chess pieces, imprisoned

Chess pieces, imprisoned

My friends and I had just wrapped up dinner at Pleased To Meet You, and both my friend and I came up with a simultaneous brainwave – why shouldn’t we indulge in drinks over one of our favourite pastimes? I hadn’t been to Café Myriade in over a year, but I’ve always thought the concept was brilliant – games, food and coffee. Who wouldn’t be able to resist it? It was time for a well overdue visit.

Taboo time!

Taboo time!

The four of us got there at about 9pm that Saturday night, the incensed crowds of partygoers thankfully still home bound. Café Myriade was pretty quiet so we grabbed a table on the floor, which was bordered by dozens of colourful cushions. A lovely lady came up as we sat, asking if we had been before. Half of us had, but the rest of us needed a quick overview. She introduced the different packages available. We purchased the drinks and 2 hour game package, which only came to $13.50 each. The lady had accidentally put in an extra cashout on my card, but the problem was fixed up pronto. She said she would be back at our table soon to set up a few games for us. It was a relief for me, because the café was crammed with every board/card game known to mankind. It was great to have some guidance!

A snapshot of the Monopoly themed roof!

A snapshot of the Monopoly themed roof!

Pot of green tea

Pot of green tea

My friend and I both had a green tea, a pot of hot fragrant herbal tea that washed down the desserts we had previously. It was delicious, not over brewed and had a mild taste. Whilst my friend hugged one of the chess set pieces for comfort and had their chamomile tea (she’s strange like that), we started off with two easy games – The Spot It card game and Geistesblitz 2.0. Both were super fun, quick games that didn’t involve too much brainpower and the instructions were simple and easy to understand. It was a good warm up before we got stuck into Taboo, Articulate (I always, ALWAYS lose that game) and the politically incorrect Cards of Humanity.

Chocolate Ganache tart ($5.90) 

Chocolate Ganache tart ($5.90)

The lady at the counter was very helpful, encouraging us to go and see her when we were finished with our games, which we did when we were finished. At about the halfway mark, my friend felt like something sweet, so she ordered the Dark Chocolate Ganache tart ($5.90). I believe it was factory manufactured, but it looked tantalizing all the same. I managed to get a small bite of it – a crisp, thin chocolate biscuit base contained a concentrated amount of chocolate, with fragments of peanuts embedded at the bottom layer of chocolate. It was extremely rich, so it was good that we shared it between the four of us! The strawberry tarts also looked particularly delectable that night – maybe for next time!

Inside Cafe Myriade!

Inside Cafe Myriade!

We hadn’t realised we had crossed over our 2 hour paid game session – it was only when we were notified by the staff that we even grasped how invested we were into our games! Articulate, in particular, was a struggle between the four of us – it was equal parts stressful and hilarious. Luckily, the staff at Myriade were unruffled about us going over time. They said we could continue up till about 12.15 am (yes we had played for three hours, unknowingly) and pay the extra hour afterwards, which only happened to be an extra $2.50 per person on top. The lady who had explained the games to us was going to notify us that our game session was up, but saw we were so into the game (it had got pretty intense with Taboo and Articulate by that stage), that she didn’t want to interrupt. How considerate!

The horse!

The horse!

More games on offer!

More games on offer!

I love Café Myriade. The set up is great, there are plenty of tables and chairs inside to accommodate for large groups of people. The games are all stacked up on easily accessibly shelves and it’s all fun and colour inside. There are also Wii packages available, though everyone that night were more into playing the old fashioned way, with cards and boards. The great thing for me was the Monopoly themed roof, which bordered the ceiling!

Tournaments = game on!

Tournaments = game on!

The drinks were nice, the food was good and the service was delightful – the three people that worked there that night were friendly and incredibly helpful! The games are also very user friendly and well organised. The range of food available is good if you feel like a bit of dessert (i.e. cakes, tarts, chocolate slices), though there are also some savoury dishes on offer. If you want to be entertained and want to try something different from the movies/shopping (or, like the girls and I that night, need a break from eating) than Café Myriade is your place (caution: you may become obsessed)!

Opening times!

Opening times!

Cafe Myriade outside!

Cafe Myriade outside!

 Rating: 7 out of 10.
★★★★★★★☆☆☆

Address: 2/98 Lake Street, Northbridge
Website: http://www.cafemyriade.com.au

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Cafe Myriade on Urbanspoon

Bites:

  • Open in the afternoon till late on weekends (2pm to 11pm on Sunday, 2pm to 12am on Friday and Saturday). Open Tuesdays to Wednesdays (from 7pm to 11pm).
  • Café Myriade also do loyalty cards (9 hours of game time and get one hour free!)
  • Many different events held at Café Myriade monthly including tournaments, duels , Nintendo challenges and social role playing games (check out their webpage for more info!).
  • No bookings available (though if you are looking for a function or space availability, you can contact them via email: Enquiry@cafemyriade.com.au).

- L.

Public & Co is Picture-Perfect

Public & Co, South Fremantle

Public & Co is now (sadly) closed – hopefully it will reopen in the near future!

I am extremely wary of Scoopon deals, especially when it comes to dining out. I’ve heard from many others, first-hand or via reviews, of the bad experiences from cafes and restaurants who advertise through Scoopon. The difficulty with the system is that the restaurants/cafes are either a) not in a central location and hence don’t attract a big customer base, b) includes food selection from a limited menu, c) has sneaky terms and conditions in their fine print, or d) have limited dining time options. Luckily, my cousin had taken into great consideration all these factors when she purchased one from Public and Co. We were well overdue for a catch up, as we both had been wrapped up in the trials and tribulations of work, especially my cousin, who had just started up at a new job.

One for the bike riders!

One for the bike riders!

The Scoopon included brunch and coffee or juice for $29 for two, at Fremantle’s Public and Co. My cousin also had consulted Urbanspoon for its aggregate rating (a safe 83% from 267 reviews) and have a quick look through reviews (most of which were positive) before she purchased it. We made a date for a Sunday morning, arriving there at 10am. Both of us rarely go to Fremantle as we both live North of the River, however we were going to make a day trip of it and do some walking at the nearby dog beach and go rug shopping (my cousin was doing some DIY interior designing).

Look out for the red door!

Look out for the red door!

Inside....

Inside….

I was immediately smitten by Public & Co as we arrived. It was on the corner of a suburban street, looking like a converted, refurbished house. We walked down the pathway along the side of it, ducking under an alcove of tree branches and leaves which had been artfully moulded into an archway – it looked like the doorway to a secret garden. We emerged on the other side, unscathed and up the stone steps to the fire engine red front door.

Beautiful inside!

Beautiful inside!

Public & Co was separated into three sections – the dark, main foyer area which looked a bit like a classy bar lounge from the 1940’s; the undercover outdoor area which had a quaint garden appeal and the area which we sat in, the main café area. I loved the trendy lime stone sections and the high ceilings. Best of all, it was bright and sunny from the French styled windows. It was still quiet when we chose a table in the sunshine, with not many tables occupied for the morning breakfast.

More places to sit!

More places to sit!

My Scoopon fears dissipated when I consulted the menu – there were at least 8 breakfast items to choose from, as well as a number of other lunch style dishes, if you needed something more substantial. The food was more than your standard eggs and bread as well – bacon bruschetta and a salmon gravlax sounded fantastic, but I decided I needed some comfort food for the cold, winter’s morning.

Spicy baked beans with chorizo

Spicy baked beans with chorizo

My spicy baked beans with chorizo (usually $18) was spot on – some of the best spicy baked beans I’ve had for a while. It was a little smaller than other cafés, however I’m always for one who favours quality over quantity.  The spicy baked beans were no canned version – it was a fabulous, hot combination of cannellini and red kidney beans, stewed perfectly and hadn’t collapsed into a mushy mess. The beans had been simmered with pieces of carrot, tomato, slices of chorizo and celery. I generally don’t like celery because I find it rather sharp on the palate, but it added a slight crunch to the earthy dish, and it had been cooked so that the majority of its flavours had melted away. They also hadn’t gone overboard with the chorizo, as it can often get overpowering – it was used to balance the heatedness of the dish. The egg was beautifully poached, with a translucent white and runny yolk – so very good. The last bit of perfection was the ciabatta bread, which had been lightly toasted and sprinkled with a splash of salt. Genius.

Big breakfast!

Big breakfast!

My cousin’s big breakfast (usually $26) included bacon, eggs, grilled tomato, mushrooms, gourmet pork sausage, avocado and toast. My cousin chose to have her eggs poached and just like mine, they were amazing. They hadn’t been scant on serving sizes just because it was a special deal as well – there was a mound of mushrooms, two large, meaty pork sausages, two halves of tomato and my prized beans on her dish. She loved it and found it exceptionally filling. Both dishes were pretty as a picture as well.

Orange juice

Orange juice

My orange juice looked like it was the manufactured juices, as opposed to the freshly squeezed variety. Despite this, it was still very nice and woke me up! My cousin and I really liked the candy cane striped straw that had been popped in the drink. The straw, made from paper, got a bit mushy after a while, but at least it was biodegradable.

Latte

Latte

My cousin’s latte looked heartening as well. Coffee as a kick-start is always great and my cousin relished in the well-textured milk, the perfect shot, and the decent amount of froth on top. Sugar had been placed on the side for her own admission. We sat for a while afterwards, catching up. The lovely, stylish ladies who served us were (like my cousin and I) equally rugged up for the chilly morning and asked if we wanted to more drinks to accompany our chitchat session. We passed, but it was nice that they gave us the option!

Our dishes!

Our dishes!

If I lived a little bit closer to Public & Co, this place would be my local favourite. It does clean, fresh and filling food. Their brunch menu on the weekend also extends from 8am till 4pm! I loved the ambience of Public & Co – it had a soothing atmosphere, evocative of a modern beach house with bikes parked out the front for those who had ridden in. They obviously take pride in their food and service, which was spot on. I was super impressed by everything, and for $14.50 each for drinks and food it was a giveaway. I would recommend it for anyone who is in the area; otherwise if you feel like a trip down South, this is a place to visit!

The bar area!

The bar area!

 Rating: 8 out of 10.
★★★★★★★★☆☆

Address: 25 Douro Rd, South Fremantle WA 6162
Website: http://www.publicandco.com.au/

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Public & Co on Urbanspoon

Bites:

  • Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner (Wednesday to Saturday, from 8am to 11pm; Sunday from 8am to 4pm).
  • An extensive list of drinks are on offer, including morning cocktails (ranging from $10-$18 per cocktail), ale, wine, smoothies and cold drip coffee.
  • Take away coffees also on offer!
  • Reservations available via phone (contact: 9336 4147) or through Dimmi.

- L.

Getting Sated @ Gaya Applecross

The Gaya Applecross, Applecross 

Getting invited to events has been a pretty exciting experience for A and I since we’ve started the blog – whilst we haven’t been inundated with requests to eat at places, we have received the odd exciting email. A couple of weeks ago, both of us were invited to The Gaya Applecross to try out their fusion Korean food. Both of us were keen to catch up after a few long, busy couple of months, so one wet, windy night, we made the trek down south to indulge in their food.

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Did you know that these towels expand? Nor did I….

Gaya looks like your average Korean restaurant from outside – wooden chairs and tables, artwork adorning the walls, candles on the table. A’s name was scribed on a little place card on the table, indicating our reservation. I’m not a huge consumer of Korean food (kimchi sets my mouth on fire, and Korean BBQs will leave a lingering smell of burnt coal in my hair for days on end), but A has travelled to South Korea extensively, so she knew her stuff when it came to authentic Korean food!

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Floral centrepiece

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Complimentary starters!

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A lovely way to start the meal….

We began the night with some complimentary starters, including two bites of what appeared to be airy cheese puffs. There was a sharp bite of parmesan in them and they were relatively crunchy, thought melt-in-the-mouth after the first initial seconds of being inside the oral cavity.

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Green Tea ($4)

Both of us ordered teas ($4 each), which came in hot steaming pots. A had the green tea, whilst I went for the yuzu tea, a speciality Japanese citrus fruit. I could smell A’s tea from afar – it had my favourite aroma of toasted rice! My tea was a lot more sweeter, almost like consuming a deliciously hot honey-lemon tea. Heavenly and perfect for the wet night!

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Crabmeat croquettes ($14)

The crabmeat croquettes ($14) were crunchy, crumbed spheres containing crabmeat, potato, cream, onion and egg. They were nicely deep fried and contained a compact amount of crabmeat. It came with a slurry of spicy tartare sauce, which also contained a few pieces of something pickled that added a flash of tartness before the next bite of croquette.

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Beef cream roll ($14)

The beef cream roll ($14) reminded me a bit of the dry bean curd rolls you get at dim sum. It consisted of enoki mushrooms, asparagus, beef, cucumber, capsicum and cream cheese tightly wrapped up into a roll. It was a lovely medley of colours, flashes of red and green, served alongside Gaya’s special sauce. I found the thinly sliced beef a bit too chewy, with a bit more effort required to tear away the parts of asparagus and the roll’s skin. I loved the combination of beef with cream cheese though! It was a decent starter, made better by the presence of those garlic chips, which added a crisp, smoky element. A loved it, finding the interesting ingredients working well together.

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Kimchi Cheese Jimiji ($12)

The Kimchi Cheese Jimiji ($12) was the surprise hit for the night. Like I had said prior, I’m not the biggest fan of kimchi, but I really liked this homemade cheddar-kimchi-onion-carrot hybrid. The kimchi was a spicy, chilli hit for A and I, but it was countered by the stretchy cheese. I loved the flavour of the cheese and the crispness of the whole pancake. It was drizzled in a sticky, balsamic-like sauce which further added to the curious combination of flavours.

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36 Pork ($30)

The 36 Pork ($30) was a bargain for its price tag. It was a mammoth section of sous vided pork belly, cultivated for a good 36 hours, as aforementioned. It had a crisp crackling and a dense amount of juicy pork, which for the most part, was rather tender. The sweet potato puree was a lovely accompaniment, though I felt that the Korean chives on top didn’t really add a lot to the dish except colour. The apples were beautifully glazed in soya bean sauce and in added in good proportion to the pork meat.

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Gaya BBQ Rib Galbi ($30)

Our Gaya BBQ Rib Galbi ($30) was a tall stack of gleaming, grilled short beef ribs, which was accompanied by a daikon roll salad, a nice fresh and attractive side to the ribs. The potato egg salad was something starchy to add to the works and I really liked the coconut rice ball on the side, which was like a compact ball of savoury glutinous rice. The ribs were nice, but lacked that fall-off-the-bone quality that you associate with hearty, finger-licking ribs. It looked a treat on the plate though!

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Truffle Hamburger Steak ($28)

The truffle hamburger steak ($28) was a moist, crumbly beef and pork mince patty. I couldn’t really taste the truffle, but I really enjoyed the cream sauce which complimented the meat and the rice alongside it. The mushroom was well cooked, as was the cauliflower. I skipped out on the bean sprouts as I wasn’t a particular fan of it, but as a whole the dish was quite nice. A found the dish rather odd with the rice, meat and sauce, and was probably her least favourite dish for the night.

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Red Misu ($8)

The Red Misu ($8) was a red bean take on the traditional tiramisu dessert. I loved it – it was probably my favourite dish of the night. It looked a bit like an oriental garden, the soil made of crumbly dark red chocolate, decorated with gleaming pastel coloured stones (candy coated peanuts). Beneath it were spongy portions of chocolate cake, saturated with a light syrup. It wasn’t excessively sweet and was broken up by pockets of red bean. Absolutely lovely.

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Gaya Gold Pave Chocolate ($8)

A had amazing things to say about the Hotteok, one of our another dessert options, but unfortunately the waitress came back around to say it had walnuts in it (cue internal cry of sadness). Instead, A ordered the Gold Pave Chocolate ($8) for us, which was creatively decorated with icing sugar. The chocolates were dense, with a smooth-paste like texture inside. They were incredibly rich and came in three separate flavours as denoted by the powder dusted on the outside. The green tea one was my favourite (as the bitterness of the matcha powder), followed by the wholegrain one (the white one on the far left) and then the chocolate cocoa one.

Overall, I had a very pleasant experience at Gaya Applecross. A and I received a 50% discount on our total bill as part of the invitation that Gaya had sent us, which meant that we had certainly got value for money! The service was straightforward, attentive and pretty good with recommendations, becoming very apologetic when they came back to tell us that the Hotteok did in fact have walnuts in it. Initially, the restaurant was relatively empty when we arrived, but it began to fill up quickly – The Gaya Applecross was indeed quite popular with the locals. The food was overall at a good standard, with colourful, clean plating and some very homely, traditional flavours. We knew we had ordered way too much when the third dish came out, and we were not even half way through. But at 50% off the bill, we didn’t want to complain that much! I would certainly recommend the red misu dessert and the kimchi cheese jimiji. Thank you Gaya for having us!

Rating: 7 out of 10.
★★★★★★★☆☆☆

Address: Shop 3 & 4, 3 Kearns Crescent, Ardross WA 6153 (inside Applecross Arcade)
Website: http://www.the-gaya.com/

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The Gaya Applecross on Urbanspoon

 Bites:

  • Open for lunch and dinner (Wednesday to Sunday from 5:30 pm to 10pm; Friday to Sunday from 11:30am to 2:30pm).
  • Set menu also available  from $45 pp.
  • Bookings can be made via phone (contact: 9364 8887) or through Dimmi.

- L.

Pleased to Eat You

Pleased To Meet You, Northbridge 

Asian fusion. Dude food. My four favourite words. I’ve always loved an inventive twist on traditional Thai/Chinese/Singaporean cuisine and it is even better when the experience can be shared with family and friends. Perth is undergoing somewhat of a food revolution over the past few years – restaurants are becoming more concept orientated than ever before, and unafraid of trying out new combinations, importing over things like dude food, tapas styled joints from America and what not. The sheer quantity of restaurants opening up makes the competition harder, so it’s originality and word of mouth that keeps foodies invested.

Menu consultation...

Menu consultation…

Pleased To Meet You was my recommendation for a catch up with my three high school friends. I had heard pretty great things about their food from fellow friends, and my sister, who had visited over a week before. First impressions were that it was very “Melbournian” – foliage crawling up the white washed brick walls, long tables with stools for communal dining, an extensive sparkling bar area and half a dozen Siriyacha chilli bottles, which was found in almost every restaurant I went to in Melbourne. Best of all were the bag hooks (which I did not discover until halfway through our meal) – it made for so much more space in our adjacent area.

Hot sauce!

Hot sauce!

The menu is printed out on a long board right next to the till. Drinks and food are ordered at the counter, where it can be prepaid or placed on a food/drinks tab. We decided to just pay for all our food upfront. The menu was divided up into five sections – small plates, breads, garden, animal and sweets. The guy at the till  was jovial, quick and on the ball, smashing out our rather extensive order.

Pulled Pork Sliders ($9)

Pulled Pork Sliders ($9)

The Pulled Pork Sliders ($9) were the first to come out and were a quick favourite between my foodie friend and I. The brioche buns had a nice kick of glazed sweetness, on the chewy, buttery bread that worked well with the delicious, moist pulled pork. They had really packed it on the meat, which had a smoky, tomato-y BBQ like flavour to the pork. Stewed peppers accompanied the meat inside. It was tender, delicious and a true representation of dude food.  We had ordered two between the four of us, which was just enough considering the onslaught of food that would be following it.

Buffalo, Shitake & Blue Salad ($15)

Buffalo, Shitake & Blue Salad ($15)

The Buffalo, Shitake & Blue Salad ($15) was a strong recommendation from the guy at the till (I had originally wanted the watermelon salad, but he quickly suggested I try something outside my comfort zone). I don’t like blue cheese very much, but luckily it was used sparingly in the dish, as a underscored flavour for the dressing. I captured bites of the pungent taste of blue cheese at random intervals, but luckily it had only touched parts of the salad. The salad had been predominately made up of parlsey and cos lettuce leaves, and livened up with a good handful of pecan nuts. My favourite component were the grapes – they had been halved,  and were juicy and fresh, scattered liberally throughout. I don’t know if all the elements melded together – it was a slightly mismatched salad with the greens, the grapes, the nuts and the cheese, but it wasn’t too bad.

S&P Squid Banh Mi ($8.50)

S&P Squid Banh Mi ($8.50)

Love was found in the S&P Squid Banh Mi ($8.50). The kitchen team at Pleased To Meet You had considerately halved the baguettes into four portions for us to share. The bread was soft, stuffed with an abundance of salt and pepper squid. The crunch of the deep fried squid was fantastic – it was brittle, crumbling, flavoursome and provided a great contrast in texture to the bread. Pickled carrot, mayo, parsley and mint made up the rest of the Banh Mi. It was absolutely fantastic. I could have had another few more of it!

Beef Tongue Ruben Bao ($6)

Beef Tongue Ruben Bao ($6)

We all shared one Beef Tongue Ruben Bao ($6), which equated to about a bite each. This wasn’t as bad as it sounded, because we all weren’t bowled over by this dish. I loved the Ruben Bao, which had been well steamed, with its trademark glossy skin – the downfall for me (and the rest of my friends) was the strong metallic taste from the beef tongue. It came to my attention that this could possibly be a defining characteristic for beef tongue, but its dense condition didn’t really appeal to our personal tastes.

Ground Rump Burger ($13.50)

Ground Rump Burger ($13.50)

The Ground Rump Burger ($13.50) was another fist pump moment during our dinner. It utilised another brioche bun, which had been grilled inside giving the first few bites a nice toasty crunch. There was a slick slide of sticky tomato sauce, lettuce, a gooey section of cheese and lettuce crammed inside. The beef fillet was phenomenal – burning hot, fresh off the press, the meat just melting away in the mouth. We shared one between the four of us, which still gave us considerable quarters after I butchered my way through it. I can understand why my friends are embarrassed to dine out with me sometimes.

Coconut Ceviche ($12.50)

Coconut Ceviche ($12.50)

The Coconut Ceviche ($12.50) dazzled the taste buds. It was probably the best refresher for the insurmountable number of “breads” we had ordered off the menu. The fried shallots worked wonders with the coconut milk infused pieces of fish. The fish was iridescent in colour and very fresh, mixed with cubed pieces of cucumber and tomato. It came in a small wooden bowl, but was certainly enough for the four of us – we got a good few scoops out of it.

Roast Pork Ramen ($17)

Roast Pork Ramen ($17)

As crude as this sounds, my favourite form of Ramen is the home cooked-packets-bought- at-the-Chinese-store type. For my well travelled friends, they weren’t singing high praises over the Roast Pork Ramen ($17), as they have had “authentic” ramen over in Japan and Taiwan. They thought the broth was a rather underseasoned and that the noodles had been slightly overcooked. I agreed with the lack of flavour, but I did like the roast pork – thick slabs of meaty pork, with veins of fat still intact. The egg inside was killer, a slow cooked version with an oozy yolk. It also came with a sprinkle of shallots, spring onions, bamboo shoots, straw mushrooms, dried seaweed and big portions of fresh corn (which was my favourite element). A touch more salt in the dish could have made it a good one.

The Ice Cream Nachos ($6)

The Ice Cream Nachos ($6)

The Ice Cream Nachos ($6) were an enigma. The crunchy, tortilla chips were slightly salty, but had been powered with icing sugar. It had pierced several scoops of ice cream, which had a distinct nutmeg/cinnamon flavour to it. Tiny chopped pieces of strawberry, mingled with fresh mint, had been scattered on top, along with some strips of canned mango. As a whole, it had a unique set of combinations – an organic spice from the ice cream, a slight sourness from the mango, saltiness from the corn chips and a sweetness from the strawberry.  They clashed a little bit, and I felt as though the strawberries had been suppressed by the sheer amount of mint that had been tossed in with it.

S’Mores ($7)

S’Mores ($7)

The S’Mores ($7) were a revelation. First of all, they looked great – charred cubes of marshmallow, globs of cream, quenelles of chocolate mousse and shards of chocolate biscuit. It was an innovative interpretation of the American favourite. The marshmallow was a bit dense, but worked well with the crisp chocolate biscuit which cracked under pressure. The globs of cream were like a delightfully light whipped custard. The chocolate mousse was glossy, smooth and decadent. I loved it.

Back at the bar...

Back at the bar…

Our food was ogled at by the party of four seated up next to us and we were happy to point out which dishes had really done the restaurant justice! Between my friends, there were mixed reactions at the end of the day. One of my friend’s was decidedly not impressed with the food, whilst my foodie friend and I thought it was a mixed bag, with a series of highs and some that missed the mark. The pros included the fun, lively bright atmosphere, matched with bubbly and excitable staff who went that extra step to provide a great atmosphere.

A gem on Roe St!

A gem on Roe St!

I loved the blue patterned vintage plates, which was a throwback to the cutlery plates in my grandma’s house. It made the ambience in the mess hall-like dining area all that more warm and homely. I would certainly return to PTMY and perhaps sample their duck taco and their coal roasted suckling pig.There is so much on the menu to choose from – that is half the fun! The other half, is of course… eating.

Sneaking away a business card!

Sneaking away a business card!

 Rating: 7 out of 10.
★★★★★★★☆☆☆

Address: 38 Roe St, Northbridge WA 6003
Website: http://www.pleasedtomeetyou.com.au/

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Pleased To Meet You on Urbanspoon

Bites:

  • Open for dinner Monday to Thursday (5pm to late) and Friday to Sunday for lunch and dinner (12pm to late).
  • Sister shop of La Cholita and Who’s Your Mumma (all owned by Lavish Habits).
  • The menu is divided up into different sharing plates – small (entrée size), bread (rolls/sliders/burgers), garden (salads and sides), animal (more hefty mains) and sweets (self explanatory). Menu available on the website!
  • No reservations available.

- L.

 

Tucking into some Brunch

Tuck Shop Café, Northbridge 

It’s astounding what a couple of years can do. The Northbridge territory often draws shudders of fear from Perth-ians and rightly so. It’s a suburb notoriously known for its wild nightclub scene, its random acts of violence, gang assaults and heavy police crackdowns. During the day however, Northbridge is a relatively calmer and safer scene. In the last couple of years, it’s gone up in terms of popularity, eatery wise. A few of my local favourites are placed in the new cultural hubbub of Perth, one of which is Tuck Shop Café.

Back on Newcastle St!

Back on Newcastle St!

The very first time I went to Tuck Shop Café, I remember being remarkably impressed. The pork belly was a standout, complete with my two favourites: potatoes and chorizo. It certainly went down a treat and to this day, has set the benchmark for clever, nourishing food at affordable prices. On top of that, the service is always gracious and the dishes look a treat!

My friend from Melbourne was in town for a couple of days, and so we decided to catch up on a balmy Winter’s day. Both of us were ultimate foodies – when I had visited Melbourne earlier on in the year, she had been happy to recommend a list of her favourite cafes and restaurants, which I was eternally grateful for. We had quite a bit to talk about, so we chose Tuck Shop as a reliable destination.

Loyalty Card Member galore!

Loyalty Card Member galore!

I had gleaned on Urbanspoon that Tuck Shop could take reservations, so I called up the day before to make a booking. The lady on the other end said that they were only currently taking bookings for 6 to 8 people (damn), so she suggested that I call up tomorrow, 30 minutes before I was due to arrive, so that my name would be put on a waiting list. They were anticipating the Saturday morning breakfast rush, which was pretty smart. I followed her instructions to the tee, and met my friend there at 9am on the dot. The lady at the front confirmed that I was indeed on the list and we proceeded to wait. The place looked packed.

Whilst we were waiting....

Whilst we were waiting….

The lady came out at random intervals to let us know how far we were away from being seated. Luckily, my friend isn’t the complaining type, so as the minutes ticked by, we preoccupied ourselves by chatting about our lives. By the time we were ushered in, we had been outside for about 30 minutes. I also bumped into another friend who was in the area grabbing a coffee. She had been waiting for her take away flat white for about 20 minutes (inching towards the half and hour mark), which gave us an initial indicator of how long we would be around for, pre-food. The curses of popular places…

Apple Juice ($7.50)

Apple Juice ($7.50)

When we were finally seated (up towards the front, me on a cushy black booth, my friend delegated to a chair), we were given menus and tap water. To my delight, the menu had changed very little from my last visit, a year previously. All my favourites were still there! I settled for an apple, lemon and ginger juice ($7.50). It was pretty expensive for a drink, but as it was a freshly squeezed juice, infused with one of my favourite herbal remedies (go ginger!) I wasn’t too fussed. The juice itself was rather stimulating. It had taken about 10 minutes or so to come out, but it hadn’t taken as long as my friend’s latte, which took a good 20-25 minutes to arrive at our table. The poor barista must have been busting his chops that day.

Latte ($3.90)

Latte ($3.90)

The regular sized latte ($3.90) had a beautiful consistency of froth, but there were some obvious flaws with the coffee. A glance at the drink told me almost everything I needed to know – the glass housed a latte that was tinged with a brown-greyness, dull in comparison to a typical coffee, which is often identifiable by the golden caramel glow of a rich crema. Another sip from my friend and I informed us that the coffee shot was well over extracted – burnt, bitter with a slight ashy aftertaste. It was not good, and my friend felt very bad as she left it on the bench, almost untouched.

Smoked cod, potato and leek bake ($19.50)

Smoked cod, potato and leek bake ($19.50)

The food fared a lot better that my friend’s latte. Nothing spoke to me more that day that a heady, hot pot of smoked cod, potato and leek bake ($19.50) which came in a burning hot china pot (potential burning accidents pre-emptively avoided by the waitress, who had warned me about how hot it was). Big, flaky portions of pink and white fish had simmered in a rich, creamy sauce, along with portions of potato and specks of leek. The fish had been cooked immaculately, gleaming fragments of fish falling apart at a single touch. My poached egg was magnificent in its element, gooey yolk and all. The large slab of toastie to the side was a bit too crusty and dry for me – I like my toast only lightly grilled, so it still retains the sponginess of the bread. Despite this, it was an ingenious idea to pair a toastie with the smoked cod bake and I had no qualms in devouring it.

Chilli Con Carne ($19.50)

Chilli Con Carne ($19.50)

My friend’s Chilli Con Carne ($19.50) was a Spanish affair, a medley of tomato, beans, vegetables and beef. The dish was mildly spicy, setting the taste buds off in drooling mode with its aromatic presence – you could smell the spices mingling in the air, as it was placed down complete with the tomato, avocado and lime salsa. The poached egg was a polished, white island in the middle of the lava-like chilli con carne, the remnants that were, of course, swept up by the two pieces of sourdough toast.

Hot chilli anyone?

Hot chilli anyone?

Our food had arrived about 30 minutes after our drinks had been delivered, which meant that our total waiting time that morning had equated to about an hour, from arriving to embarking on our food. It was clear that Tuck Shop was struggling with its heavy influx of customers – even the wait at the till was about 5 minutes after we got up to leave. The lady who served us was polite and very nice, but having to wait 20-30 minutes for a coffee isn’t a particularly ideal situation.

My winter warmer!

My winter warmer!

Despite this, the food at Tuck Shop speaks volumes – for less than $20, you are getting substantial food, sure to please anyone with its colourful, homey presentation. As much as I would love to give this place top marks, I think it was just an off day for one of my favourite joints – the five times I have visited previously, Tuck Shop Café possessed pitch perfect service, coffee and food. It’s a step up from its seemingly humble name, a place that serves so much more than jelly cups and cheesies.

Al fresco dining

Al fresco dining

Tuck Shop is a must try for those who want an enjoyable brunch experience, though I would strongly advise going on a weekday – hopefully, the pacing of food is delivered more promptly than the day I went and the coffee is a little more spot on. Their breakfast is always something special – no plain eggs and toast here at Tuck Shop – instead you get a range of different items across a range of international cuisines.

Rating: 7 out of 10.
★★★★★★★☆☆☆

Address: 178 Newcastle St, Northbridge WA 6000

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 Bites:

  • Open for breakfast and lunch every day of the week (7am to 4pm daily).
  • Serves take away coffee, utlising Toby’s Estate beans!
  • Daily specials are available on the blackboard menu.
  • Takes reservations for parties of 6+ people (contact via phone: 9227 1659).

 – L.

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