Food for the Public

Public House, East Perth

The best thing about summer and autumn is the outdoor cinema season – warm nights means chilling out on the grass with a bottle of Rekorderlig and a tub of ice cream, ready to watch the latest action-packed adventure. This particular Thursday night, I had tickets to the Ben and Jerry’s Open Air Cinema, so my friend and I decided to make a date night out of it and chow down on some dinner beforehand. We decided on some food in East Perth before a session of Monuments Men by the foreshore.

Glowing bright, glowing light

Glowing bright, glowing light!

After a decent walk down Terrace Rd and up Victoria Ave, my friend and I finally reached Public House. I had heard mixed things about this corner restaurant, this bringer of all South American food. As we came around the side, we could already see all the corporate suits crowding the al fresco area, sipping on after-work wine, cocktails and beer. We entered and approached the bar, which was already swarming with people. I looked around, trying to catch the eye of some of the wait staff, who appeared to be busily folding napkins.

Casually grabbing a booth!

Casually grabbing a booth!

My friend and I debated for a few seconds about whether or not we would have to take a seat of our own accord, or if we should wait for the staff to greet us, before we were finally approached someone, who waved a hand in the direction of the booths at the back of the joint. The chaos of Public House was starting to get to me by this stage, which was a tad unnerving. I’m all for lively atmospheres, but when it borders on chaotic, then it can foreshadow scary things to come (i.e. unorganisation).

Peeking into the al fresco area!

Peeking into the al fresco area!

We grabbed a seat on a high, cushy leather booth, sidled up next to each other. There was quite a bit of space, which was good for me, as I unloaded what felt like half my house – I had brought blankets and jumpers along for the impending cool weather later, as well as the usual camera gear. We were given menus and poured over them for about 5 minutes, before we finally received a bottle of tap water and two glasses. It was another substantial wait before we had our order taken, and the staff whizzed off to get the food a cookin’.

Corn Fritters

Coriander and corn cakes with corn salsa ($13)

The menu was divided up into different sections: más pequeño (smaller plates), compartido (shared dishes), acompañamientos (sides) and sobremesa (desserts). The first of our dishes included the coriander and corn cakes with corn salsa ($13). The corn cakes came out as a trio and were lying on a bed of golden corn kernels and finely chopped pieces of red onion and tomato. I loved the freshness of the corn, onion and tomato medley which really cut through the creaminess of the corn cakes.

A strange but inventive addition was the popcorn – I don’t know if it necessarily added anything to the dish apart from an extra crunch and unfortunately the popcorn was a little on the stale side. The corn fritters themselves however, were delicious, though appeared to be more like croquettes than cakes (however both can be considered “fried batter,” so I suppose the distinguishing factor was subtle). They were killer croquettes though – crumbed, crisp and fried on the outside, beautiful and gooey on the inside. It had the right amount of corn and cheese, flavoured brilliantly. I was enamored by them.

Coffee and honey lamb ribs, mint and lime ($17)

Coffee and honey lamb ribs ($17)

Our coffee and honey lamb ribs, mint and lime ($17) were a stack of six, next to a pot of coffee and honey marinade and a grilled half of lime. Thoughtfully, the kitchen had put the marinade off to the side with a wooden kitchen brush for liberal application, dependent on the consumer’s preference. I tasted the individual components before combining them together.

The ribs were succulent and already slicked in a sticky marinade, with the coffee honey sauce dominantly sweet. Coffee beans had been infused in the honey, creating patches of earthy bitterness from the espresso beans. It was a lovely amalgamation of flavours, that worked even better with the meatiness of the lamb ribs. A splash of lime added some zing to the works. The only negative I could pinpoint was the quantity of meat on the ribs – though it fell straight off, as if it had been immaculately braised, there was a sparse amount of meat in proportion to bone and a decent quantity of fat. My friend and I wanted more!

Peruvian potato salad ($9) 

Peruvian potato salad ($9)

Being a potato freak, I ordered a side of Peruvian potato salad ($9) which came with lime & chimichurri. The potatoes were delightfully cooked, half mashed together in big chunks. It was dosed with a light sour cream/mayo-like base, a slight acidity coming from the lime. The herbs and chimichurri added a sharp crunch to the whole dish, cutting through the heaviness of the starchy potatoes. The potatoes themselves were a bit on the salty side, which made it harder to stomach at about the half-way mark. Despite this, it was a decent side and was a good accompaniment to the ribs!

Consulting the menu....

Consulting the menu….

My friend and I were discussing the evolving culture of Perth’s food scene – one of my favourite things about modern dining in our city is the investment of restaurants in tapas, shared plates and usage of local produce. I love the communal feel of sharing food, sampling different dishes and discussing the pros and cons of the shared plates with friends and family. Public House appears to embrace this emerging tradition as eagerly as we were, which was a definite plus.

The spread!

The spread!

The execution of food at Public House was overall at a good standard, though there were some parts of our dishes that weren’t perfect. The food had come out at a cracking pace (almost five minutes after we ordered), but the lack of organisation from entering the building to sitting down outlined either a problematic system or lack of inattentiveness from the staff. There were also a few other people looking around behind us, a touch lost about where to go and what to do. Waiting around to be seated, while there are staff who are folding napkins, wasn’t the best first-hand experience of Public House.

Random Cacti behind us!

Random cacti behind us!

Overall, I would love to try out Public House again, especially to delve further into their extensive menu. I had seen great pictures of their Ecuadorian 70% tart with dulce de leche, and would be very keen to sample it!

Rating: 7 out of 10.
★★★★★★★☆☆☆

Address: Shop 2, 263 Adelaide Terrace, East Perth 6004
Website: http://www.publichouseperth.com.au/

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Public House Kitchen & Bar on Urbanspoon

Bites:

  • Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner on Mondays to Fridays (8am to late) and for dinner on Saturday (4pm to late).
  • If you fancy some wine, Public House provides white and red wines from Argentina and Chile, as well as some local South American beers (such as Aguila and Quilmes), spirits, liquors, cocktails and shared pitchers.
  • Pre-theatre dining packages are also available, as Public House is a quick walk from Perth Concert Hall (starting at  $35 a head, including a glass of house wine or beer).
  • Bookings can be made via phone (contact number: 6336 9780) or through Dimmi.

- L.

Bellisa Cafe is a Beauty

Bellisa Cafe, Morley

Fancy chandelier at Bellisa

I will enjoy myself, thanks!

Lunch while you are at it?

Lunch while you are at it?

Finding a reliable brunch destination in Morley is one of the most challenging tasks in living history. As a permanent resident of Morley for the majority of my life, I have often ventured out for a 15 minute trek to a decent spot on Beaufort Street. Within a 5 minute radius from my house, there is nothing remotely good to eat in the area. Luckily, one busy Saturday morning, Bellisa was up and running, ready to meet our brunch needs. Bellisa is one of the few independent cafes in the area and best of all, it’s not too far from the Galleria, where I had to pick up some things for work. That morning I was at a particularly low point of physical condition, having just gotten over the flu and a sprained ankle (best immune system ever).

Sweet treat, anyone?

Sweet treat, anyone?

Bellisa is always consistently packed with locals, but the staff there are always buoyant and run a tight ship. No missing dishes or wrong orders at Bellisa. They also deal with the crazy people that frequent the area on a regular basis – not once, but twice, have I seen their staff calmly deal with stranger members of the population, who have made a public scene either inside their dining area or out near the road. The situation is always dealt with aplomb by the crew at Bellisa and at the same time, they are able to happily cater for their relatively more sane customers.

Big Breakfast ($22)

Bellisa Big Breakfast ($22)

My sister’s boyfriend had the Bellisa big breakfast ($22) which had the Italian chipolatas, bacon, roasted mushrooms, potato cake, spicy beans, roasted tomato and scrambled eggs on sour dough toast. The chipolatas were still sizzling, as was the bacon which pleased my sister’s boyfriend as he teared through it. The scrambled eggs were said to be fluffy and creamy, the typical characteristics of eggs done well. I received a snippet of the potato cake, a packed disc of fleshy potato, fried on the outside and speckled with salt and herbs inside. Delicious and substantial.

Harissa Chickpeas ($18)

Harissa Chickpeas ($18)

My sister ordered the Harissa chickpea, avocado, pomegranate and feta ($18) on toasted rye bread with a poached egg. It was the ultimate vegetarian health dish and a beauty on the plate, a kaleidoscope of colour. Harissa chickpeas tumbled from beneath a wonderfully poached egg (we sensed the golden yolk before it oozed out), and the chickpeas crumbled once masticated, leaving behind a mild nutty aftertaste. The avocado was in creamy abundance on the plate, mingling with the pop of a pomegranate seed and spots of feta cheese. My sister thoroughly enjoyed the combination of all the different flavours, praising how clean she felt after eating it too!

Smoked Salmon Omelette ($18)

Smoked Salmon Omelette ($22)

Whilst I was eyeing off the French toast, I finally settled on the smoked salmon, saffron potato and confit grape tomato omelette ($22). My waning appetite over the past few days was now coming back in full force, so when the dish arrived, my first reaction was disappointment – it looked so small compared to the size of the plate. Looks however, were deceiving. Delving into the folded omelette revealed thick cubes of soft fried potato, spiced up by the saffron. The smoked salmon threaded its way through the egg, substantial flakes to warrant an internal cry of relief from my starving tummy. If that wasn’t enough to fill me up, there was a piece of ciabatta bread beneath it, as well as some creme fraiche and rocket to add extra colour and taste.

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Hot Chocolate ($4.50)

Our drinks came out the same time as our food, possibly due to the fact they wanted us to enjoy the whole food and drink experience together. As the food did take a while to come out however, it would have been nice if we had the drinks beforehand, so we could nurse something in our hands while we waited for the food and kept the hunger at bay. We ordered the hot chocolate ($4.50), the iced chocolate ($5.50) and a long black ($4) with skim milk on the side. My hot chocolate was particularly good – nice and hot, with a luscious amount of froth and a good hit of chocolate sauce. I almost considered taking another one for the road, but we decided instead to take home a biscuit. The other cupcakes at the counter also looked delightful, but we were quite full by this stage and ready to head home.

Iced Chocolate ($5.50)

Iced Chocolate ($5.50)

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Long Black with Skim Milk ($4)

As mentioned before, the service at Bellisa is always fantastic, though considering how busy it was, there was a bit of time taken on the food (about 25 minutes). Not a huge worry for me, as I don’t mind waiting for good quality food, which Bellisa always delivers on, plus it was popular that weekend. One of the great things about Bellisa is that it is warm and homely  – dark tables and chairs packed together, the place littered with kitchen homeware and high tea decorations, and newspapers and magazines for your own perusal down the front (near the coffee bar, which gives a good view of the streets outside). They also sell the Weekend West at the front counter, which I was super keen on purchasing because it had the Eat Drink Perth guide in there.

What is even better is the fact that Bellisa is child and pram friendly – the staff will go out of their way to entertain kids with books and toys, whilst also demonstrating super-human abilities while re-positioning the tables and chairs to fit in multiple strollers. Bellisa is always a reliable cafe that will be sure to please the locals.

Rating: 7 out of 10.
★★★★★★★☆☆☆

Address: 60B Walter Rd, Bedford WA 6052
Website: http://www.bellisacafe.com.au

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Bellisa Cafe on Urbanspoon

Bites:

  • Bellisa is open from Tuesday to Sunday for breakfast and lunch (breakfast from 7.30am to 11am from Tuesday to Saturday; till 1.00pm on Sundays). Lunch is available from 11.30 am to 3.00pm on Tuesday to Sunday (closed at 4pm) and counter lunch on Sunday from 1.00pm to 3.00pm.
  • High tea also available on Sunday from 1.00pm to 3.00pm.
  • Bellisa also caters in house for up to 60 people seated or 80 people standing for functions (they have a fantastic catering booklet outlining the different dishes and prices that are available in store).
  • Picnic hampers are also on offer!
  • Bookings can be arranged via phone on 9370 1348.

- L.

Ready to Rumble Food Trucks!

Food Truck Rumble 2014, Perth Cultural Centre 

I’m not one to set goals, but this particular weekend I had a few. Number one: organise a beach outing with the Youth Group I was a part of. Number two: do some well-overdue baking (cupcakes, perhaps). Number three: eat myself silly at the Food Truck Rumble. This year’s Food Truck Rumble was set for Sunday 13th April, smack in the middle of the 2014 Eat Drink Perth festivities.

Ready to Rumble!

Ready to Rumble!

Since Eat Drink Perth 2014 had launched, I had sadly been unable to make it to many of the fantastic events on offer, due to previous personal commitments. This particular Sunday though, I had cleared my afternoon schedule for some serious feasting. I had been following the Food Truck Rumble Facebook page like a hawk, and was in high anticipation of the goodies advertised. Also, I planned to do a lot of walking and standing as I ate, which meant that I could promote exercise whilst eating, and burn off those impending kilos!

Don't be deceived, there were actually heaps of people behind me!

Don’t be deceived, it looks quiet, but there were actually heaps of people behind me!

Three other things became apparent that Sunday. Number one: it was seriously crowded. I arrived at Perth Cultural Centre at 3.30 pm and it was already swarming with people – mostly families who had screaming children in tow. Number two: it was sweltering hot. It had tipped 33 degrees at some point while I was there, and I was sweating like a pig as I marched my way through the throngs of people, determined to satisfy my food cravings. Number three: there was going to be a long wait in all the queues for almost all the food trucks, with long lines clogging up the walkways.

Feeling merry at the moment...

Feeling merry at the moment…

The “long-line predicament” was applicable for The Merrywell food truck, which I had decided would be my first target. A had been to The Merrywell at Crown Perth previously and had an enjoyable time there, whilst I had mixed past experiences with it. Despite this, I loved the type of cuisine that The Merrywell promoted – good old American dude food. Parked outside the State Library, the Merrywell food truck appeared to be the quintessential dude food experience for many other people there that day, out of the whole array of food trucks – more than a few strapping guys were standing around it, ordering The Merrywell’s chips and their infamous mac and cheese bites.

I also felt like something similarly hearty, so I ordered the BBQ Pork Quesadillas ($10). I stood there for a good 20 minutes, solemnly waiting as those who had ordered after me got their white take away boxes and melted back into the crowd. My stomach decided at that moment to rumble unhappily at me.

BBQ Pork Quesidillas ($10)

BBQ Pork Quesadillas ($10)

At long last, I had the quesadillas in my hand (the man handing out the orders apologised for the wait) and made my way to a grassed area to settle the hunger pangs. The quesadillas were seriously very good. The quesadillas had a crisp, crunchy pastry-like exterior, cut into four triangular slabs. They were piping hot inside, smeared with a layer of tender pulled pork. The pork was wonderfully flavoured, with its trademark Mexican tanginess. On top was a smatter of red onion and freshly chopped tomato.

I think they went a bit over the top with the red onion that day, which had been so liberally provided, it had started to smart in my mouth. I needed to scrap it away a few times, so that it didn’t overpower the rest of the dish. The dollops of sour cream on top were delicious with the tomato, which I scrapped up using a portion of the quesadilla (no fancy cutlery needed). It hit all the right spots and it made the epic reach up for the quesadillas (those food trucks are really quite high!) all the more worthwhile.

Delish Ice = delicious!

Delish Ice = delicious!

Salted Carmel Ice ($4)

Salted Carmel Ice ($4)

Next, I decided to try one of Delish Ice’s Salted Caramel Ice ($4). I had sampled one previously at the 2014 All Saint’s College Pasar Malam, where I had been a guest of my sister. This one was a little on the sweeter side that the one I had previously, but it was still wonderfully creamy and milky. It had melted rapidly throughout the heat wave, dripping aggressively before it turned into a melted slurry. I had to slurp my way though it, before it disintegrated. Still very worth it.

To the cupcakes!

To the cupcakes!

Waiting for a restock…

Waiting for a restock of cupcakes…

Kustom Cupcakes had sold out of all their cupcakes by the time I arrived, with a small sign promising more to come at 5pm. However, by the time it hit the 4:30pm mark, their food truck was already restocking. A large crowd had gathered for the cupcake eating competition, where the ultimate prize included free cupcakes for a year. A whole year. It sounded like my dreams had come true….

Cupcake Eating Competition! It is on!

Cupcake eating competition! It is on!

Sad to say, I didn’t think I had the potential to swallow (more like inhale) a large quantity of cupcakes that day. Instead, I weaved to the front of the pack as a mere spectator, only to be met head on by a man in an elaborate El Macho costume, hailing brave competitors to rough out the sweet fest. I almost lost it laughing, watching his enthusiasm. He appeared to be doing a welcoming dance, drawing significant parallels to the Hakka. It was all very entertaining.

Red Velvet & Strawberry Icing Cupcake

Strawberry Red Velvet Cupcake ($4)

While these antics were on, I decided to buy a cupcake for my sister. I saw a cute one with pink icing, which the girl with the garland at the counter informed me was a strawberry red velvet cupcake ($4). The icing was fluffy and buttery, sprinkled with rainbow hundred and thousands. There was quite a generous quantity of icing spiralled on top of the cupcake itself, surely intended to send me into diabetic shock. The cupcake itself was rich, spongy and moist. All the marks of a great red velvet cupcake recipe. I also got it in a plastic take away box, which was an added bonus.

Crepes!!

Crepes!!

Other trucks that were there that I had tried on previous occasions included the Butty’s Food Truck (best rib burgers ever!), Jumplings (a highlight from my time at the 2013 Good Food and Wine Show) and Churro Central (which had the longest churros I’ve ever seen in Perth). I unfortunately wasn’t hungry enough to try these favourites, but I still grabbed glimpses of their trucks, surrounded by people.

The food truck craze in Perth has been influenced by its Los Angeles / New York counterpart, predominantly featuring in community events across America. Food trucks cater for quick, hot and convenient food, matched with creative wheels. I love how the industry for food trucks has since expanded in Perth, and I can’t wait to see many of these type of meals spread across different events. Park’d in Curtin University is a prime example of a successful collaboration of multiple food trucks, as was this year’s Food Truck Rumble. Looking forward to this event in 2015!

Website: http://eatdrinkperth.visitperthcity.com/blog/are-you-ready-rumble
Address: Perth Cultural Centre (access from William Street/Beaufort Street)

Rating: 7 out of 10.
★★★★★★★☆☆☆

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Urbanspoon has an amazing list of Food Trucks in Perth that can be viewed here.

Bites:

  • This year’s Food Truck Rumble was part of the 10th Eat Drink Perth Festival, showcasing food trucks from 11am to 8pm.
  • The full line up included: Churro Central, Comida Do Sul Brazilian Food Truck, Delish Ice, Franklin Foodies, Hey Pesto, The Juicist, Jumplings Tasty Dumplings, Kustom Cupcakes, Lil Tortilla Boi, Little Caesars Pizzette Food Truck, The Merrywell Food Truck, Miam Miam a bite of France, Miss Tartufo, Mojito Cantina and Vince’s Mobile Wood Fire Pizza.
  • The Perth Food Truck Rumble was organised by Ai-Ling Troung from Food Endeavours of the Blue Apocalypse. What a fantastic first time job!

- L.

Fez is Cool

Fez, Mount Lawley

The above title is a reference to one of my favourite Sci-Fi shows of all time, Doctor Who (nerd alert). The Eleventh reincarnation of my favourite British alien would consistently proclaim that “fezzes are cool.” In regards to Fez, just off Beaufort Street in Mount Lawley, he couldn’t have been more right. Whilst he was probably talking more about the attributes of his favourite hat rather than the Perth cafe, it certainly is an apt descriptor for the place I had chosen to catch up with one of my longest known friends. My friend and I are primary school mates and had coincidentally gone to university together, both graduating with a bachelor of speech pathology. Since we have finished university, we’ve still maintained our friendship, and as she was a recent newly wed, I was curious to hear about married life from one of the most beautiful people I know!

Inside Fez!

Inside Fez!

Fez had elements of “Africa” within its interior designing – the scrubbed wooden chairs and tables, the splashes of sunset gradients and the handcrafted tiles that decorated the inside, gave Fez an exotic feel. Fez prides itself in providing a variety of foods across different cuisines – continental, Mediterranean, French and Moroccan. The bubbly staff behind the counter also embraced a relaxed, casual vibe, making you instantly feel like you were at home. My friend and I chose to sit inside, close to the al fresco area, so we could get a bit of the sunny breeze. The odd rumble of a large truck down Beaufort Street did its best to drown out our conversation, but nothing deterred us from our morning gossip sessions.

Hot pancakes ($15)

Hot pancakes ($15)

My friend ordered the hot pancakes ($15), three thick, fluffy pancakes which had the lightest touch of a crispy border. They were dotted with strawberries and sprinkled with icing sugar, which really added to its colourful presentation. Alongside it came an impressive number of condiments, including dishes of mixed berry compote, maple syrup and vanilla mascarpone.  She really enjoyed the pancakes and found them very filling – so much so that she couldn’t finish them! I honestly don’t know how my friend can eat pancakes on such a regular basis (she had ordered a similar dish at a previous outing we went out to a few months ago) and still retain a waif-like figure. If I didn’t love her so much, I would have huge amounts of body-image envy.

Berber traditional breakfast ($18)

Berber traditional breakfast ($18)

My Berber traditional breakfast ($18) was a brunch item I had over a year ago at Fez and I had been thoroughly impressed by it. This time around, it didn’t let me down. It came with two slabs of sourdough, lightly grilled with a side of packet butter. The meatballs had been braised in a traditional tomato sauce and had been generously provided; I counted eight steaming meatballs in my pan, all which were chewy and beefy. I wish there had been a little bit more caramelised onion in the dish, as it was drowned out by the rich tomato stew. The fried free range on eggs on top were wonderfully cooked, both with a crunchy edge and a gooey yolk. A fine Moroccan style dish that was well worth the $18 I paid for it.

Lemon, Coconut and Raspbery Cake ($5.50)

Lemon, Coconut and Raspberry Cake ($5.50)

The counter was crammed with house-baked goodies, so I went for the no nut option and chose the lemon, coconut and raspberry cake ($5.50). My friend couldn’t share it with me, as she felt as though she had over indulged herself with the pancakes, so I was left to my own devices and tackled it myself. I was absolutely besotted with this cake. My slice was packed with moist crumbs, interrupted on occasion by a glistening purple gem, in the form of a juicy raspberry. The raspberries were in plentiful abundance throughout the cake, giving it a tart kick. I usually don’t enjoy desiccated coconut because I find it has a rather jarring texture and taste, but in this case, the coconut had melded into the moisture of the cake. The traces of lemon also provided a beautiful acidity to compliment the raspberries. I wished there had been a dollop of fresh cream served alongside the cake, instead of the whipped cream can variety they provided, but as a whole, I really enjoyed my sweet finish at Fez.

The service at Fez was fast and friendly, despite the al fresco area being pretty packed out. I had a lovely (and quick) conversation with the man at the counter, discussing the merits of cake (a fellow sweet treats person is so rare to find in this health conscious world), his friendly nature precipitating to the rest of the cheery staff who served our food. They were keen to hear feedback about their food and delivered everything with a bright smile. Fez is such an underrated place in Perth – it’s service is above average, their food looks beautiful and is incredibly filling, and everything is set at reasonable prices. As a hidden gem, I really hope it stays a secret for a little while longer – just so I can come back and selfishly enjoy my own quiet time at one of Perth’s great cafes.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10
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 Address: 83 Walcott St, Mt Lawley 6050
Website: http://www.fezcafe.net.au/

Fez on Urbanspoon

Bites:

  • Open for breakfast and lunch, Monday to Sunday (7 am to 5 pm). Breakfast is served until 11.45 am, lunch from 11 am to 3 pm, with coffee and cake available all day.
  • Fez serves 5 Senses coffee and uses authentic Belgium chocolate to make their chocolate based drinks!
  • No bookings available, though there should be plenty of space inside and outside for walk in’s!

- L.

Get your coffee fix @ Milk’d

Milk’d, North Perth

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Wall art!

On one of my days off at work, I decided to ride my bike to Milk’d in North Perth, which is about a 15 minute ride from my house, and to try and catch up on some blogging. They also had free wifi, which is why I came in the first place (yippee!). Milk’d is one of my favourite choices to have some food, pick up something sweet or to get my coffee fix. A huge draw card for Milk’d is the fact it’s open so early in the morning (I drive past on my morning shifts and see people picking up their coffee at 6:30am), and closes later than other cafes. I find that Milk’d is a good place to go to get take away coffee and maybe to pick up some lunch, borrow some wifi for an hour or two, or do some people watching. There’s not a lot of seating inside or outside, and I would suggest some place elsewhere for a long catch up with a friend – somewhere like Sayers Sister or Pimlott & Strand, both places that are nearby.

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Only a handful of seating inside and outside of Milk’d

I was absolutely starving after walking up the massive hill on Angove Street with my bike (no way was I going to ride up it!). Unfortunately the potato rosti and smoked salmon were not available that day, so I settled on the Milk’d Plate ($17.90), which had poached eggs, grilled Italian sausage and mushrooms, with tomato and feta on toasted sourdough. I also got myself an apple juice to quench my thirst on a fairly warm day. I sat at the back, in front of the interesting fellow on the wall, which reminded me some what of those interesting characters on the wall inside Sayers Sister.

One of the waitresses happily came to me with the password for the wifi, after coming also armed with my apple juice. The apple juice wasn’t too extravagant, but it was what I needed to satisfy my insatiable thirstiness.

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Milk’d Plate ($17.90)

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Tasty and fresh Milk’d Plate.

My Milk’d Plate came out next. There were thin slices of bread, with two halves being toasted. The bottom layer however, was half toasted and half soggy. The bacon tasted a little overcooked, and it was hard to cut through, but it was still crunchy and delicious. The dish tasted pretty fresh with the tomato and rocket, and there was a very generous layer of feta, which my feta-loving tastebuds gladly appreciated!

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A feast for one person!

I’ve heard some stories about the average to bad service at Milk‘d, but I didn’t experience any of that when I came. My previous visitations were much the same. May I also add that they do a wonderful iced chocolate – yummers! Prices were decent with nothing being over $18 (at the time of writing). They also had counter food which looked great as well.

I hung around for a little bit, watching people come and go, and getting some blogging done. I had to be back at home, so I rode down the hill, happy as Larry, with a belly filled with good food.

Rating: 7 out of 10
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Address: 32 Angove Street, North Perth WA 6006
Website: http://milkd.com.au

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Milkd North Perth on Urbanspoon

Bites:

  • Open every day from 6:30am until 6pm, at both the North Perth and Maylands locations
  • And yes, there are other Milk’d locations in Maylands and Subiaco (with different opening hours).
  • Offers free wifi! Just ask the friendly staff for the wifi password.
  • At the North Perth location, there is limited parking on the street and side streets, as there are other businesses around, but you should be able to find parking somewhere.

- A.

Dae Jang Geum is a jewel in Northbridge

Dae Jang Geum, Northbridge

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Entrance!

My boyfriend and I were craving Korean food for dinner one night but we wanted to try somewhere different that we don’t usually go to. We’ve had our fair share of Sinabro, Tong 86 and Palsaik Namoo. There are actually many Korean restaurants to choose from in the city, so we decided to head to Dae Jang Geum in Northbridge. We had actually been there before many years ago, and since then there have been many reviews that Dae Jang Geum serves decent Korean food.

The restaurant looks small outside compared to the popular Dragon Seafood Restaurant that is located next door. However, once we entered, the rest of the restaurant extended a good 20 metres or so from the front entrance. We came on a weeknight, so it wasn’t too busy inside, with only a few tables taken. We weren’t too sure whether we were meant to wait or just sit down. A good couple of seconds past and we were led to our table.

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Free side dishes for all!

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Mandoo Jeongol (2 for $42) – Korean dumplings with noodles and vegetables.

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The mandoo jeongol when it’s cooked. What a feast!

Originally, we wanted to have Korean BBQ, but we decided to have something different. Our free side dishes came out first, consisting of kimchi, bean spouts and a jelly-like cube that I can only assume was something like radish. We chose to have Mandoo Jeongol (2 for $42), which was a hot soup in a rather large pan, still cooking on a portable gas stove. It only took a couple of minutes for the soup to start cooking. The soup contained a large serving of udon noodles, a good amount of beef slices, 6 mandoo dumplings (Korean dumplings), bean sprouts and several cubes of tofu and zucchini. A few minutes later, everything was cooked, and we tucked right into it. Everything was tasty, and we thought that the mandoo jeongol was a perfect meal for winter on those cold nights. The soup was also not too spicy, which was a nice change because Koreans love their chilli! The mandoo were nice and large (I prefer fried mandoo rather than steamed or boiled ones), and tasted like a spinach and ricotta mix. In the end, it was way too much for us to finish. It would have been enough to feed three hungry souls! We then made the mistake of ordering more food…

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Kimchi fried rice.

We ordered the Kimchi fried rice instead of normal white rice for a change. We didn’t know that it contained tuna, and as my boyfriend is allergic to seafood, so it meant that I had to finish off the fried rice by myself! Luckily it was really tasty, but a little bit spicy, and had that distinct kimchi taste with small traces of tuna. It came with a fried egg on top. I could have just ate the fried rice on its own. It took me back to when I watch Korean dramas, and they would make them in the shows, and I would always sit and stare at them eating a huge bowl of kimchi fried rice. I also could not finish this, but was able to take it back home (which I gladly had during my dinner break at work!).

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Kimchijeon (kimchi pancake with dipping sauce)

Aaaand we also ordered Kimchijeon (kimchi pancake)! The pancake wasn’t the best that I’ve ever had, but it was still really delicious. We also didn’t know that it contained seafood. There was a large amount of seafood (shrimp and octopus) in the pancake. The pancake had a bit of a bland taste, and was more of a thick pancake rather than a thin one. I also took this home to have for dinner the next night.

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Our dinner!

Dae Jang Geum has been around for a while now and has a reputation of being authentically Korean, serving large portions at a decent price. I thought that the menu was a little bit on the expensive side. The servings were certainly large, and the food tasted authentic as authentic could get. The service was average, however I personally feel that this is the usual standard at Korean restaurants, unless you go to a fine dining Korean restaurants. Service is usually casual in most Korean restaurants in Perth, which is also just like in Korea. Dae Jang Geum would be perfect for large groups, as the restaurant is quite spacious inside, accommodating for a lot of people. I would definitely come back and try the Korean BBQ – my favourite!

Rating: 6.5 out of 10
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Address: 74 Francis St, Northbridge 6003

Dae Jang Geum on Urbanspoon

Bites:

  • Opened for lunch and dinner at 11:30am to 3:30pm and 5:30pm to 10pm respectively, Tuesday to Sundays.
  • “Dae Jang Geum” is actually a very popular 2003 Korean television series, also known as Jewel in the Palace, which became popular around the world, and had played a part in the “Korean Wave”, which draws people across the world to be interested in Korean pop culture.
  • EFTPOS available.
  • They accept reservations at (08) 9227 0615.

- A.

There’s nothing harrowing at all about The Office on Harrogate

The Office on Harrogate, West Leederville

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Open for business!

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You won’t miss The Office on Harrogate with signs everywhere leading to it.

I was keen one day to try The Office on Harrogate in West Leederville, as I love to try places close to my house. The Office on Harrogate is aimed for the office workers around the area, hence the name. On the morning that I went, the majority of the customers were workers in the area, grabbing their take away coffees and lunches. Their location is quite well placed as I don’t think there are any other cafes around that area. Furthermore, you can’t get lost looking for the place because they have their signs everywhere to direct you to it!

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A feast for your eyes!

Their counter top is amazing. It was filled with the most delicious lunch choices such as corn fritters, savoury croissants, bircher salads, wraps and even mini burgers, which looked so impressive, by the way. Sweets-wise, they had oversized cookies, muffins that were still in the baking tin, loaves and slices. Our eyes lit up when we saw the counter, but unfortunately, we didn’t get anything afterwards. I would’ve loved to have taken away their massive cookies!

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Herb Scrambled Eggs ($17.50)

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Pear, watermelon and lemon juice ($7)

I caught up with one of my friends for brunch, and easily secured a table for us. My friend ordered the Herb Scrambled Eggs ($17.50), which came with baba ganoush, roast red peppers, grilled haloumi, balsamic glaze and toasted olive bread. There was a huge amount of herby scrambled eggs that sat on top of the toasted olive bread. The dish was reported to be really good, and it looked amazing on the board. The haloumi was too salty for my friend, which I gladly lapped it up. My friend also ordered the pear, watermelon and lemon juice ($7), which came in a jar. The juice was delicious, fresh, light, and tasted so healthy. If you are into fruit juices for drinks, then this is what you should have.

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Corn Fritters ($16.50)

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Beetroot, green apple, orange, lemon and ginger juice ($7)

I ordered the Corn Fritters ($16.50), which included poached eggs, crispy bacon, roast tomato relish and rocket. There was also an option to add avocado for $4. My corn fritters came out as a huge serving on a wooden board, similar to X-Wray in Fremantle. There were two fritters topped with generous servings of streaky bacon, tomato relish and two poached eggs, served with a side of rocket and drizzled with balsamic glaze. There was so much flavour to this dish; so much that I wasn’t after it in the first place. This wasn’t a bad thing, I just wanted something more simple, however it was a well balanced meal. It was a little bit awkward trying to eat the poached eggs on a flat board as I didn’t want to spill anything. I also had the beetroot, green apple, orange, lemon and ginger juice ($7). The juice was definitely delicious, and also quite interesting. There was an amazing purple colour to it due to the beetroot. I was a bit skeptical at first due to the beetroot and ginger, but the ginger taste was subtle, thank goodness!

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Brunch is served

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Inside The Office…

The Office on Harrogate wasn’t anything special, but offered another decent brunch option in Perth. Its menu isn’t too fabulous, but it had good food on there. It offered the usual breakfast suspects such as toast, granola and ricotta pancakes (which sounded amazing, by the way) and also unique savoury options. They are also open at night time for dinner, as they also serve as a small bar. The vibe felt like it catered more towards business workers in the area, hence I would go to catch up with a friend there, but I wouldn’t stay for long. The prices were also decent for what you get, with no meal (at the time of writing) exceeding $20, which is quite rare in Perth!

Do me a favour: if you do visit The Office on Harrogate, make sure you the oversized cookie for me!

Rating: 7 out of 10
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Address: 32 Harrogate St, West Leederville 6007
Website: http://www.theofficeonharrogate.com.au

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The Office on Harrogate on Urbanspoon

Bites:

  • Open for breakfast every day from 6:30am (Monday and Tuesday closing at 5pm), and dinner until late from Wednesday to Sunday.
  • There is an amazing array of take-away options for a snack or for lunch.
  • The Office on Harrogate offers chilli mussels on Wednesdays, beef burgers or thai beef salads on Thursdays, and happy hour on Fridays and Saturdays.
  • Limited paid street parking outside.

- A.

Good food at Jezebelle in the underestimated Guildford

Jezebelle, Guildford

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Jezebelle vs Alfred’s Kitchen, which is right across the road.

Lets face it: when you think of Guildford as a place to have something to eat, you would think, “Are you sure?”, right? Now, Guildford isn’t as bad as you think. Of course, it houses the amazing burgers of Alfred’s Kitchen, but it also has two places I also want to try – Cups Icecream and Pancake Pantry. Guildford is bringing out some of the most raved food to try in Perth, and one of them is Jezebelle. Jezebelle serves tapas style dishes – a style that is showing up in many Perth restaurants today.

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Inside Jezebelle

After my boyfriend questioned me why I was choosing to eat in Guildford for dinner that night, we made our way to Jezebelle. We eyed the huge lines at Alfred’s Kitchen on the other side of the road, wondering if we were making the right choice to eat at Jezebelle. I was curious to try Jezebelle, especially with the 25% off the total bill on the 2013/14 Entertainment Gold Card (now also in the new 2014/15 Entertainment Book). We walked into Jezebelle, and I had this vision that I was walking into someone’s house. Jezebelle had a clean decor to it with wooden floors and dark lighting. We sat outside on the deck, as it seemed like the restaurant was booked out inside.

We were absolutely starving as we both had just finished work for the day. It was a Friday night, the start of the weekend, and we were itching to celebrate TGIF with good food in our bellies. We always tend to over-order, so we decided to not get carried away this time. The menu also contained funny and quirky tidbits, such as a FAQs page at the back that is sure to make anyone laugh. At the end of each page, they also included even more frequently asked questions in regards to the ingredients within their dishes (which I personally think every menu should have).

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Lemon, Lime & Bitters

It was a hot and sticky day, and we needed something to quench our thirst. We each had lemon, lime and bitters, and it easily did the trick.

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Lamb sliders, ratatouille, white anchovy and haloumi ($24).

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That haloumi…

Our first dish that came out was the lamb sliders, ratatouille, white anchovy and haloumi ($24). This instantly became our favourite dish of the night, and not just because it looked so damn good on our table. I believe brioche buns should only be used for sliders. The top of the bun was burnt, however we couldn’t taste the burntness on it. We felt that the lamb sliders were actually quite a big size for sliders. There was so much flavour to these sliders, and the lamb patty was absolutely delicious. The haloumi made the slider even more ‘gourmet” as opposed to using other typical cheese such as cheddar. The melted haloumi on the sliders would make any cheese lover excited (like me!). I find that sliders are usually quite simple and limited in terms of ingredients and flavour, but this was basically like a smaller burger.

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Marinated octopus, potato puree and pico de gallo ($16)

Octopus! My favourite! This dish was more intended for me, as my boyfriend can’t eat seafood. This dish had marinated octopus, potato puree and pico de gallo ($16). This dish was great and contained the most tender octopus that I had ever consumed. Most octopus dishes that I have had can be meaty and chewy, but this octopus was super soft, which was different. The mash was so amazingly smooth, but they probably should have given me a spoon, as I couldn’t scoop out anything with a fork. There was also small chunks of onion in it. The octopus was also smoked, and had a nice flavour to it.

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Field mushrooms, pumpkin, gorgonzola and candied walnuts ($16)

We needed a fresh flavour dish in our choices, so we ordered the field mushrooms, pumpkin, gorgonzola and candied walnuts ($16). My boyfriend easily loved it. It was a great tasting salad, with a sweet kind of syrup-y dressing. It was a good chunky leafy salad alternative.

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Pork belly, coconut, white polenta and citrus pickle ($24)

We were only left with a few choices of non-seafood dishes, so we chose the pork belly, coconut, white polenta and citrus pickle ($24). The two thick slabs of pork belly had a crispy and crunchy crackle, and was deliciously juicy. It was placed on top of the polenta that helped reduce that salty pork belly taste. There were bits of chilli throughout the dish, including garnished on top, so I avoided the chilli as I am not a fan of it.

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Dessert is served: Taste plate of macarons, nougat, honeycomb, and bolitas de coco ($8 per person)

We were mighty stuffed by that point, but we never skip on dessert. I had begun to get attacked by the pesky mosquitoes, so I asked if we could be moved inside, and the staff happily moved us next to the bar. By this point, the restaurant was full and had a good vibe to it. We promptly ordered dessert, which was the taste plate of macarons, nougat, honeycomb and bolitas de coco ($8 per person). The tasting plate was gorgeous, and we didn’t know where to begin. Bolitas de coco is a bite-sized almond pastry rolled in coconut. The pastry was dense, not too sweet, and would be great with tea. The nougat was soft, sweet and tangy. The pistachio green colour in the nougat made it look pretty. The nougat, as usual, was quite sickly sweet. Last but not least, the delicious macarons. We concluded that the macarons were chocolate, and banana caramel flavour. The macarons were to die for. The banana macaron was my favourite. As we saw a lot of the tasting plates being delivered to the other tables, we noticed that the macaron flavours were different for each taste plate.

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The spread!

The service was very friendly and they helped us with any queries that we had. We could overhear the service on other tables, and they were also accommodating to the needs of all the other customers, and answering the many questions being asked. And amazingly, every staff member appeared to have the attitude that they were happy to be working at the restaurant. They seemed proud of the food being served, and offering suggestions and recommendations to the patrons. This attitude, I find, is quite rare in Perth. Having a waiter or waitress being excited or even proud of their food makes the experience so much better.

The dessert ended our night on a high, and we were glad we didn’t end up going to the always busy Alfred’s Kitchen. Guildford is taking off, people. Don’t forget that.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10
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Address: 127 James St, Guildford 6055
Website: http://www.jezebelle.com.au

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Jezebelle on Urbanspoon

Bites:

  • Open for lunch and dinner on Wednesday to Friday from 12pm until late, and open for breakfast on Saturday and Sunday from 7am, with Sunday closing at 4pm.
  • 2014/15 Entertainment Gold Card – 25% off total bill

- A.

Pristine Print Hall

Print Hall Bar & Dining Room, Perth CBD

It was the bestie’s birthday and I was keen to treat her somewhere special. We had a good run of quality restaurants with Sushia at Brookfield Place the previous week, so after jubilant cries of “Print Hall” from the bestie, I had finally succumbed to the pressure and settled on a Friday lunch there (after an intense dental check up by the birthday girl herself). We were shown to the front of Print Hall’s Dining Room, tucked away to the side of Print Hall’s cavernous bar. Through the glass doors we were given respite to the buoyancy outside – it was calm and reserved within the confines of the dining hall. I requested a table for two (no reservation) and we were seated beside a cabinet of wine bottles. I felt as though I had stepped into an up-market restaurant in New York City. Print Hall reminded me a bit of Cumulus Inc in Melbourne – marble tables, mahogany chairs, a wide well lit space with a broad wine cellar any sommelier would be envious of.

Inside the Print Hall dining hall

Inside the Print Hall Dining Hall

As our waitress sat us down, she placed gaudy jewelled accessories on our table, which also happened to be bag hooks, ensuring that my own Mimco white leather bag wasn’t tarnished by possible specks of dirt from the floor. It was a nice, considerate touch, reminding me of the hooks that were installed in Mamasita (also in Melbourne) which helped with the whole cumbersome/ limited space/ accessibility of phones issues during the dining experience. The bestie made an accurate observation as we took our seats; the clientele at Print Hall were predominately corporate suits, dressed up in crisp coloured shirts and bespoke attire, notching up the classiness value of our chosen dining spot. The magical, mind-reading staff at Print Hall also seemed to suspect that it was a special occasion as we were seated, which would be witnessed later.

Consulting the menu...

Consulting the menu…

As we sat, our waitress asked us what the special occasion was. Having not booked previously or even remotely informed anyone around us that the extravagant lunch was for the bestie’s birthday, I soon began to suspect that the staff at Print Hall were psychic. They would magically appear when we would need them the most and then congratulated the bestie for conquering another year of living. I was pleasantly surprised and pleased. On multiple occasions, the waitstaff stopped by on their way past to gather feedback on the dishes and to ask us if we had enjoyed the meal. Most of the time it was with a smile too! The waitstaff were so pleasurable and polite, undoubtedly because they were consummate professionals.

Mocktails ($10)

Strawberry Mocktail ($10)

There was a bit of a wait for the dining menus after we ordered tap water. Meanwhile, we consulted the leather bound drinks menu, which felt like a tome in itself. Our waitress asked us if we wanted drinks, leaving us with more than a few options. In the end we settled for two mocktails; one pineapple flavoured and the other strawberry flavoured ($10 each). Each mocktail was a combination of soda water and muddled fruit. They were tall and pretty, with a bit too much crushed ice, but were simply refreshing. Offers of oysters were rejected, as I am not the biggest oysters person in the world and the bestie seemed to be rather reserved that day, specifically when it came to ordering. “It’s your birthday!” I proclaimed. “It’s okay to splurge a little!”

Complimentary entree

Complimentary entrée

We had barely a few sips of our drinks when a waiter with a brilliant, Californian smile placed a complimentary entrée on our table. He introduced the dish as Print Hall’s interpretation of the common Cheese and Crackers. Simply put, I was immediately smitten by it. I listened intently as he informed us the cheese was a combination of whipped feta, crème fraiche and mascarpone. Sprinkled around the border was a delightful Parmesan crisp and olive crumb, as well as flecks of dill. The crackers were made of brown rice and potatoes, sprinkled with what appeared to be some form of pepper.

Cheese and Crackers (Print Hall style)

Cheese ….

... Crackers

… & Crackers (Print Hall style)

The waiter suggested we begin with dipping a cracker into the middle of the dish and drag outwards, in order to capture all the flavours and textures at once. The cheese was soften and silken, with the mildest lemony acidity. The parmesan and olive crumb could have become overpowering, but in its minuscule portions, it added texture, an earthy sharpness and brininess to the whole dish. The crackers reminded me of the prawn crackers you get at traditional Chinese restaurants, but a healthier, less oil-saturated version. With a brittle snap, we followed the waiter’s recommendations and our tongues waggled in delight. What a prelude to a magnificent forthcoming meal.

Complimentary bread

Complimentary bread

I must have misunderstood our maitre’d as she informed us of the menu and the ordering process, because as I placed the order, she abruptly informed me that we were supposed to order a dish a piece from each of the four courses, identified by their labeled number. The first two courses were starter dishes, the third were the main courses and the fourth course including desserts. I had it in my head that the dishes were to share as opposed to having multiple individual courses, which in hindsight was pretty silly of me as she did mention that it was a “degustation style” menu. After a few clarifications, I decided that the bestie and I would share one a piece from courses “one” and “two” before having a main each. Dessert, we figured, would be best decided for later, after an evaluation of how full we were. A lovely man arrived with a basket of sliced bread, giving us the option of white, rye or multigrain. I went for white, as did the bestie, and the sourdough was popped onto our table, along with a disc of butter. The man circled back around again after I had devoured my piece, offering me another one that I gladly accepted. Thank you well timed service.

Blue Manna Crab ($)

Blue Manna Crab ($20)

Our entrée bolted from the kitchen, merely seconds after we had finished the bread. The blue manner crab ($20) reflected a cultivated sculpture of the sea. The curry wafer crisp stood atop the swirls of golden egg yolk mayonnaise, drawing visual comparisons to delicate seaweed or coral on spiral seashells. It laid on a bed of lightly curried egg, diced with exceptional care, as well as meticulous slices of cucumber and spots of avruga caviar. The curry wafer was airy and crisp, with a sheer of spice. The egg yolk was buttery and rich, with a balanced acidity. The caviar popped in the mouth, but it was the Mandurah Blue Manner Crab which rightfully was the highlight of the dish – with a delicate sweetness and a moist, feathery fineness, it made the dish. A clean and creative starter to the meal.

Pressed Pork Jaw ($????!?)

Pressed Pork Jaw ($20)

One of the recited specials of the day from the second course included the pressed pork jaw ($20). Beneath it was a medley of cabbage and bacon. Off to the side was a date puree and a confit onion. Our maitre’d had informed us that the pork jaw was a cut taken from the lower portion of the pig’s face, near the cheek. As it were, it was a beautiful oblong of meat very similar to traditional pork belly. It was succulent with melt-in-the-mouth meat and the thin layer of crackling on top was sublime. It sported a sharp crack when our knives hit the centre of the amber skin and it shattered in our mouths. It was a rustic, earthy dish with a twist – the shredded cabbage was flavoured nicely with the saltiness of the bacon, and the texture of the cabbage was rather chewy and seaweed-like in texture. The date puree was smooth with a nutty sweetness, working well with the pork itself. The confit onion fell apart easily, shredding layers of sticky caramelized onion. It was the bestie’s favourite dish of the day.

Wood Grilled Cape Grim Sirloin ($40)

Wood Grilled Cape Grim Sirloin ($40)

By this point I was about half full, so when our mains arrived, I wished we had ordered one to share between the two of us. Between the two entrees, the bread and the cheese and crackers, I was still in digestion mode, but met my main with gusto nonetheless. My wood grilled Cape Grim sirloin ($40) was a thick round of meat, cooked rare and smoked with truffle. It had a lovely charred exterior, with the middle juicy and pink. The cut of beef itself wasn’t exactly the melt in the mouth consistency I’ve had with top of the range meats, but it was still very nice. It was also a day of adventure for me, as I had never tried sweetbreads or smoked marrow prior to the lunch, both which were main components of the dish. The veal sweetbread was pink inside, veined in thick ropes of fat. It was a rich, meaty piece, rather substantial on the plate with a slight metallic aftertaste. The bone marrow was a translucent gelatinous tube that collapsed easily once inside the mouth, which had an aromatic smoky flavour.

Roast Wagin Free Range Duck ($40)

Roast Wagin Free Range Duck ($40)

I only had a bit of the bestie’s roast Wagin free range duck ($40) which had been executed three ways – confit duck leg, duck breast and smoked duck tongue. I had a bit of the tongue and immediately could taste the iron – it was a bit too overpowering for me, but the bestie thoroughly enjoyed the dish. It came with a velvety eggplant puree and marjoram, a green oregano-like herb.

Palate Cleansers

Palate Cleansers

We were bursting at the seams by this point, at which time a palate cleanser arrived. I had interrupted myself in the middle of a passionate rant in order to ogle at several glasses filled with bright tropical colours, watching them whiz by to another table. The bestie and I had deduced it was some form of dessert. As luck would have it, it was the complimentary palate cleanser. The palate cleanser was a bright delight, a combination of dry freeze mandarin, raspberry espuma and aloe vera jelly. There was a zing and zap as soon as we put it into our mouth. Sharp, tart and sweet all at once. The dry freeze mandarin was a separate revelation on its own – a tad sweet with the consistency of a light honeycomb, crumbling instantaneously. The palate cleanser definitely achieved its designed purpose because I sure felt refreshed for dessert!

Chocolate Boule ($)

Chocolate Boule ($20)

We requested the dessert menu, in which our waiter, with his well tailored suit, proclaimed that it was perfectly fine we sought further food despite us being really full (no judgment at Print Hall it seemed). We decided on the Valrhona chocolate boule ($20) with raspberry, lemon and gold. The dish reminded me much of the ‘textures of chocolate’ dessert I had at The Butterworth, a creative working of high-grade chocolate. There was the rich chocolate boule, columns of dark chocolate (almost with a dehydrated chocolate texture), two quenelles of decadent chocolate mousse, all which were accompanied by a swirling chocolate biscuit and a chocolate crumb. The chocolate boule was a dome of mousse, cloaked in a rich ganache and spritzed with gold. Being a self-confessed chocoholic, it was my ultimate dessert.

Happy birthday to you!

Happy birthday to you!

With its simplistic sub headings, it left much up to the imagination to see what the raspberry, lemon and gold would consist of on the plate – the raspberries were fresh, halved and seated on a blob of lemon jelly. The lemon jelly was potently acidic, working to clear the heaviness of the chocolate. The gold was a delicate paint splatter on the Valrhona chocolate boule. We also got a special surprise on our dessert as well, in the form of a chocolate piped biscuit plaque that said “Happy Birthday!” A luxurious dessert that the bestie adored.

P'tite Fours

P’tite Fours

We felt as though we had outstayed our welcome at the end of our dessert (we are both notorious for late dining on weekdays, making kitchen staff seethe at our tardiness), so we quickly got up to leave. As we were searching for staff to settle the bill, our petite fours (also complimentary) came up the aisle. I felt bad for rushing and we sat down to enjoy the duo. There were two buttery, crumbling chocolate chip biscuits and alongside that two slabs of raspberry jelly, which was rather sticky and glutinous in texture. A nice end to the meal!

The service was polished, professional and some of the best you will receive in Perth. Napkins were picked up, folded elegantly and laid across the table. Chairs were pulled out for the bestie as she returned from the toilet, the staff almost sprinting up the aisle to do so. Apart from the slight hiccup with understanding the dining concept during the ordering period, the service was mostly consistent. The men in particular that day had some dazzling smiles, sure to win over the harshest food critic! Overall, it showcased some highly trained staff and set a standard for proficiency in Perth. The bill was $170 in total and at the end of it, both the bestie and I were completely stuffed. We felt that we had been quite experimental that day with our food choices, making our unrefined palates a little bit more mature. Best of all, they knew how to make you feel special – the Happy Birthday plaque confirmed it! Our experience at Print Hall was a memorable experience, inflated by the high quality of food, the impeccable service and the stylish ambiance. I can’t wait to try it again!

Rating: 7.5 out of 10
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Address: Ground Floor, Brookfield Pl, 125 St Georges Terrace Perth CBD 6000
Website: http://www.printhall.com.au/

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Print Hall Bar and Dining Room on Urbanspoon

Bites:

  • Print Hall Bar & Dining Room is open for lunch and dinner on Monday to Friday (11.30am to 12am) and on Saturday (4pm to 12am). The Dining Room is only open for dinner at 6pm on Saturday.
  • Print Hall has a number of function and dining spaces for any special occasion (seasonal function packs available on their website).
  • Bookings available via phone (contact number: 6282 0000).

- L.

Little Worries @ Little Willy’s

Little Willy’s, Northbridge 

Little Willy’s has been a favourite of mine since I last went there over a year ago. Hollowed out along a strip of derelict buildings on William Street, Little Willy’s works into the retro scene that is Northbridge. I was there on a Thursday afternoon, looking for some late lunch. Little Willy’s menu swept across its west side wall, printed out on a blackboard. I had missed the brunch cut off, which had finished at 12 pm, but there were still some delicious options available. As I entered, I decided to choose a spot underneath the fan, enjoying the fabricated coolness from the air conditioner, in an attempt to escape the stormy dankness from beyond the doors.

It's a moose!

It’s a moose!

I placed my order at the counter and was immediately impressed by the service. The bearded man at the front was so very chilled, calm and amicable. I always feel a tad self conscious when I dine alone, but that day he was happy enough to ask about how my day was and what I was doing in the area, which was punctured by some subtle smiles. I can dress like a social outcast when it comes to work, primarily because I work with kids, who don’t care much about my fashion sense. That day however, I was fully aware that my purple work shirt clashed with my brown pants (and I was sporting bogan thongs to round off the unsophisticated combo). I was waited for the judging looks from kitchen and waitstaff to flow. Not so much at Little Willy’s thankfully! Everyone on the floor that day was gracious and pleasant.

Bacon Bagel ($12.50)

Bacon Bagel ($12.50)

I’m a sucker for all types of bagels, so I made a beeline for the bacon bagel ($12.50), which also contained avocado and mayo. The crispy bacon fat was rendered well. I can be very particular with my bacon and find it surprisingly hard to screw up, but unfortunately at some cafes, hard and inedible bacon happens more often than not. There were at least three broad rashes of bacon piled high on the bagel, which was rather generous. An abundance of rocket leaves sat on top, sprayed with a dressing that had a slight acidity.

Popping the top off my bagel!

Popping the top off my bagel!

Several identical slices of warmed avocado sat below the rocket. The avocado was lovely and ripe, creamy in texture to offset the oily crunch of the bacon. The bagel itself was a delight, lightly toasted, with a chewy and slightly doughy consistency. The highlight were the flecks of sesame and smoky roasted garlic smattered on top of the bagel. It was rounded off with a schmear of butter inside. A light mayo mingled with the butter, that luckily, was used sparingly and was not excessively overpowering in tanginess.

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Breakfast Burrito ($14)

Another dish included the breakfast burrito ($14), which was packed with “the lot”. What did “the lot” entail? It was literally a big breakfast packed into a wrap. Juicy slices of sautéed mushroom sidled up next to a pillow of creamy scrambled eggs. Sizzling bacon sat on the floor of the burrito, along with some wilted spinach. The best part of the burrito was the buttery corn, which was beautifully fresh and popped in the mouth. There was a hint of tomato relish slicked in between sections of the scrambled egg, which gave the dish a lovely natural sweetness. The burrito wrap was everything it needed to be – toasted and crunchy outside, with an almost pastry-like quality to it. A hang-over cure if there every was one and would be a good option for those on the run!

Watermelon juice ($7)

Watermelon juice ($7)

To drown down the wrap I had a glass of watermelon juice ($7). It was sweet and cold, with not too much ice packed in it. Fresh juices appeared to be Little Willy’s forte, as I saw several people walking out with take away with juices and saw a few more glasses at adjacent tables. I slurped it down as I consulted the most recent Scoop magazine (specifically the food section), whilst other people in the area filtered in and out. I stepped up to the counter to consult my sweet options and was given a dessert selection guided tour, unprompted from the man at the counter, who fully realised my need for a sweet finish. Displayed at the front counter included a carrot cake, a chocolate chestnut cake (gluten free), chocolate raspberry brownies and two salted caramel slices (also gluten free).

Salted Caramel Slice ($4.50)

Salted Caramel Slice ($4.50)

Salted caramel appears to be the rage now, as people are looking for sweet options that aren’t consistently sugar, sugar, sugar. That particular day, it was rather moody, perfect for something chocolate-y like the salted caramel slice ($4.50). The chocolate cravings were essentially satisfied from the top layer of the slice, which was thick, fudge-y and luscious. The biscuit base was a little harder to tackle, as it was rather solid and a little stale. Stuck in between was the viscous salted caramel,which oozed with abundance onto the plate as I broke into it. Both the salted caramel and base were imbued with desiccated coconut and not being a big fan of dry coconut, I was a bit put-out by it. Despite this, I loved the toffee-like salted caramel and its sheer volume! Best of all, it wasn’t too sweet.

I would highly recommend Little Willy’s for brunch and afternoon tea. You instantaneously get a taste of the good-natured, easy going and friendly staff from stepping through the door. They know their regulars and appreciate their customer base. Overall, everything from the service to the food was casual and cool, with a few sweethearts thrown in for good measure (courtesy from the man at the front counter). I loved  the floral plates and the lively flashes of colour inside what could have been a rather drab setting (the table I was at provided a burst of aqua). Little Willy’s is kooky, complete with music from the hip hop/ ghetto-rap genre, fitting into our growing urban and alternative scene. Very Northbridge! Everyone is treated like regular royalty at Little Willy’s.

 Rating: 7.5 out of 10
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Address: 267 William St, Northbridge 6003

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Bites: 

  • Open for breakfast and lunch every day off the week (from 6am to 6pm on weekdays, 8am to 4pm on weekends).
  • Gluten free and vegetarian options available.
  • Hidden somewhere is also outdoor seating for those who need a bit of sunshine!
  • No EFTPOS facillities, so come armed with cash.
  • No reservations available.

-L.