Friday, 2 January 2015

You had me at Fried Chicken.

Beaufort Street.

Be it day or night it is definitely one of the  most busiest and bustling strips in Perth. Take a stroll down the long sidewalk and you'll be bombarded with the difficult choice of choosing where to go and what to eat to satisfy the hunger beast inside. 

Perched on the corner of Mary Street and Beaufort is the now well known, established artisan bakery and cafe, Mary Street Bakery. Open from 7 am to 4 pm, its brunch menu brings many a food forager to its open doors. If the brunch menu does not seem to take your fancy the upper tier front counter is stacked with plenty of tasty morsels - a bread and pastry lovers fantasy. 

Greeted warmly and escorted to a table straight away, we joined the roar of chatter of many a  happening breakfast date. 
Scanning the menu, the rest of the words faded away once my eyes encountered the words fried chicken, pancakes and maple syrup all the same sentence.
My fellow food forager seemed to think the same and so two were ordered and the wait began.
As you can see below we were not disappointed.

Fried Chicken/Pancake/Sunny-side Egg/Maple Syrup

Crunchy, moist Buttermilk Fried Chicken on an island of golden glazed pancake surrounded by a a sea of sticky maple syrup. Topped off with a sunny side molten yolk fried egg, each mouthful was a perfect mix of savoury and sweet sweet ecstasy. 

Needless to say we left our plates quite bare and walked out with silent and satisfied hunger beasts.

So if you love me some fried chicken for breakfast or need to curb a growing carb craving, you've definitely hit the jackpot with Mary Street Bakery. Just make sure you're early, ready to eat and tell me too so I can meet you there. 

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Strawberries, Cream and Cheese.

I love Cheese.

I say this at least once a week. 

Possibly because I eat cheese at least once a week.

Cheese is a staple and part of my five favourite food groups including Tomato, Potato, Bread, Butter - a combination of all of these would send me into food coma heaven.

Give me a tangy cheddar to go with a hot salami or water crackers with a sliver of sweet soft nutty brie and you've already won me over. But today we play with sweet cheese. To be precise, marscapone.

Marscapone's soft, malleable texture and smooth creamy consistency works well into sweets and desserts a plenty, the most well known is the Italian classic, Tiramisu.

Sick of over priced, poorly assembled cakes we took it upon ourselves to make one of our own for my sister's birthday. And so the trusted Women's Weekly recipe book is brought out and the sponge cake recipe we found was used as a foundation for the below.

Strawberry Marscapone Cream Sponge Cake.

Four layers of vanilla sponge, each smeared with marscapone vanilla cream covered with a fan of sweet sliced strawberries and sandwiched together with extra whipped cream. Toasted flaked almonds to give it a bit of texture and  extra sweet strawberries I bought from the markets to add the extra 'icing on the cake'. 

Of course everyone saved room for dessert and I found myself pondering the following post cake consumption:

My mum is a demon with a balloon whisk - she makes better whipped cream than any handheld mixer.

How on earth do they coat the sides of cakes with toasted flaked almonds? This was a three man job and even so, almonds were flying everywhere. 

There better be some left tomorrow.

Oh, and I really love cheese.

Friday, 7 November 2014

The Voyage to Voyage.

With every long weekend we are given comes a great opportunity.

To make the most of a glorious three days break, popular options include taking a drive down south, or up north and of course the quick sneaky trip to Bali (a cheap three hour red eye flight and you're sipping cocktails on the pool deck by midday).

I like to take the opportunity of an extra day off to take a long drive to a fairly far placed cafe for brunch, coffee and fine company.

To continue on from our last post of our lovely Western Australian coast we venture up a little bit further north towards Sorrento and arrive at our destination - Voyage Kitchen.

Located on West Coast Drive its reminds me a giant light blue boathouse to almost match the clear blue sky we are blessed with on most summer days.

We manage to squeeze into a parking spot out the back and walk through the back and are confronted with a small crowd of fellow breakfast seekers and a general roar of chatter echoing into the shared courtyard.

Our wait was not as long as I expected and soon enough we were guided through the restaurant to a table for two out on the enclosed verandah.

Although ridiculously busy I was very impressed at how the staff  handled the volume of patrons with pure ease, efficiency and politeness. Ample and appropriate time was given for us to place our order. Drinks were brought out with little wait and food was quick to arrive soon after. Communication is imperative during a busy service and you could tell the waitstaff are trained well.

Cold Drip Coffee Sparkling Spritzer with a slice of lemon. A Refreshing Caffeine Kick.

Voyage Breakfast Board a deux.

For the hungry individual who loves salty and sweet. 
Why compromise when this breakfast board provides both. 

Now where do we start...

Sweet corn and spring onion fritters were light, fluffy and browned beautifully. 
A crispy pork belly wafer on top a bed of fresh peppery rocket and dollop of creamy Greek yoghurt. 
A warm toasted buttery brioche bun with a perfectly poached egg, tiny shaves of sharp pecorino and a sweet tangy tomato relish. 
The chipolatas were a satisfyingly meaty addition.
And of course the sweet finish of potted creamy yoghurt, poached berry compote and nutty crumble top.

For those who love eggs, yolk and yolk porn - I hope you're happy.

A fair drive for those who live south, I urge you to try this coastal establishment. 
If you live relatively closer, I am truly envious. 

Great food, top notch service and if you're feeling a bit too full, just walk it off along the coast enjoying the clear blue sky and the warm sunshine.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Kranskys and Crab on the Coast Almost.

I must say if there's one thing I love about Perth or WA in general its our coastline.

Magnificent from Margaret River to Coral Bay we are blessed with beautiful white sandy beaches with different shades of blue depending on which part of the Indian Ocean you decide to dip your toes in.

Taking the coast drive on a warm Spring or Summer's day with the windows down, sunglasses on and the radio turned up is hard to beat. Cruising down from Fremantle to Cottesloe's Marine Parade upto Hillary's West Coast Drive overlooking the sparkling water and waves crashing onto the shore is truly magical.

Today we've taken the drive up West Coast Highway to Scarborough. In the heat of summer you'll find many a beach goer on the sand working on their tan and keen surfers out in the water waiting for the next big wave.We turn away from the main beachfront into Brighton Road towards our destination today and find The Hardware Store Cafe and Eatery on a small shopfront in Scarborough's inner suburbia.

You can't miss the orange sign.

The interior speaks for itself - All brick, wood and the odd hammer and saw.

A cleverly chipped map of Australia denoting our approximate location is a nice touch with a perfectly placed pun and pot.

We placed our order and our drinks were quick to arrive. The 'Dream' cold press juice of Coconut Water, Pineapple, Apple and Lime was a not overly sour and beautifully refreshing.
So when our food arrived it is apparent my co-party did not mention that they ordered fries.

Crispy Shoestring Fries served with their signature Curry Mayo. 

Lo and behold - Fries anyone?
The waitress was kind enough to mention we could possibly take a portion home but we declined politely and dug in with gusto to conquer the mountain of fried potato in front of us.
The curry mayo was quite subtle - not as flavoursome as I had imagined but nonetheless a tasty condiment.

The Crackle and Crab - 
Slow Cooked Pork Belly/Soft Shell Crab/Grapefruit/Pickled Vegetables/Pea Puree/Soy Glaze

A blend of salty, sweet, citrus and sour all in one mouthful. The crab was beautifully crispy and crunchy, the pork a little too much. The grapefruit was ripe and refreshing with the sticky soy drizzle and a generous dash of sesame seeds it was a substantial somewhat satisfying salad -pity the pork was overdone.

The Hardware Hotdog -
 Kransky/Sauerkraut/Jalapenos/Cheddar/Caramalized Onions/Tomato Relish/Coleslaw/Root Vegetable Crisps

A hot cheesy Kransky sausage in a warm white soft sliced roll topped with melted cheddar, tangy sharp sauerkraut, tasty tomato relish and jalapenos for an extra kick. Served with a freshly shredded coleslaw and crispy crunchy vegetable crisps it is a great take on the traditional hot dog and fries.

We chatted through the roaring trade of lunch until the afternoon lull and said our goodbyes to the lovely Hardware staff. Enjoying the warm sunshine on the coast drive home I mentally added The Hardware Store to my ever growing 'comeback' list of eateries but next time for breakfast - with a brunch menu of Mixed Mushroom Bruschetta, Herbed Crumbed Poached Eggs and Prosciutto and Pear Pancakes,  if anyone is free I am definitely peachy keen.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Coffee, Bagels and Hazardous Desserts.

Walk down King Street in the city and you'll find yourself in the heart of Perth City's luxury shopping district. Once you are done perusing the leather and fine fashion goods on sale, walk down the street towards Wellington and you'll discover some recent additions to the Perth restaurant and bar scene. There is the whiskey specialty bar, Varnish on King, the American inspired establishment, Old Faithful and of course today's feature, La Veen Coffee and Kitchen. Situated on the corner of King Street and Wellington Street, its in prime location for many a city hustler to bypass and grab a coffee on the go or a cold drip coffee if you have the time.

Today my fellow diner is a somewhat mirror image of myself. She also finds it hard to convince people she is not lying when she is in fact meeting someone with the same name/age and who works in the same profession who also has the same day off. 

We totter down King St and encounter the sound of drills and renovations and peer into the right of its current side entrance and see extensive works going on for expansion of La Veen's current premises. 

Coffee Grinders and Cold Drip.

The interior is all old fashioned brick and mixed timber shades which I love. The staff are busy churning out coffee as we grab a clipboard menu and wait for a table to become available. 

The High Share Table.

The cookbooks in the corner are a great collection I would gladly add to my own.

We each order a caffeine hit and decide on bagels for lunch. On a side note - I find it odd how bagels aren't as popular here in Australia as they are in the US/Canada and are relatively hard to find.

The Flat White. 
My friend @leenthefoodie was not wrong about the coffee - a rich blend needing no sugar to savour the bean brew. 

Pulled Pork Bagel/Salad/Shoestring Fries

A warm, soft Mini-Bagel filled with a generous portion of tasty pulled pork and crispy cabbage slaw served with a tossed vinagrette salad and freshly fried shoestring fries.

Avocado Smash Bagel/Salad/Shoestring Fries

The same Mini-Bagel filled with a mountain of ripe smashed avocado, a wedge of creamy brie and a slice of freshly cut tomato served with the aforementioned salad and fries.

I was told by @leenthefoodie about the House Tiramisu. We decided however on the Ice Cream Waffles instead and when it arrived it did not disappoint in the slightest.

Belgian Waffle/Hazelnut/Ice Cream/Mixed Berries/Chantilly Cream/Edible Flowers/
Live Popping Candy

A crisp warm Belgian Waffle island topped with a sweet compote of Mixed Berries and smooth cold creamy (possibly Almond flavoured) Ice Cream is surrounded by a sea of live popping candy. As I am taking photos the popping candy is randomly flying off the plate like firecrackers set alight to my sheer delight. My friend however does not share the same sentiment and advises we eat it quickly to avoid more onslaught of PC fire. There's always something about popping candy that turns any adult into a giggling child again with its sharp pop and crackle once it hits the tongue. Also served with a quinelle of light Chantilly Cream and a sprinkling of edible flowers, it is a beautiful dessert which literally tickles the taste buds in more ways than one.

Currently trending as one of the places to brunch in Perth, La Veen Coffee and Kitchen's lunch menu I must say is equally as pleasing. That said I am definitely keen to come back for brunch sometime, hopefully someitme in the near and not so distant future.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

The Fried Custard Conundrum.

As we carpool into the Perth CBD on a Wednesday night I did not expect the multitude of people still wandering about the city. Perhaps this is a small sign of things to come as Perth's small bar and restaurant scene in the city is definitely on the up and up. Walking down St Georges Terrace, we walk right past The Trustee Bar and Bistro's inconspicuous entrance and climb up the stairs to then be informed we were dining downstairs in the bistro area tonight. I have been to the Trustee on two previous occasions but have only had the pleasure of dining upstairs. Both of the times were enjoyable in their own way and I hope my recommendation of this place would not disappoint my cohort today.

The five of us enter into the dimly lit bistro filled with loud chatter past a large beautiful vintage framed painting of a possible french flapper girl  and shuffle into one of the raised leather booths. Presented with menus straight away I've noticed the menu has been culled, however there is still a significant selection of classic cuts of beef as well as lamb, chicken and duck. We eventually decided on different dishes as variety seemed to be the flavour of the evening. Our waitress for the night was prompt, courteous and very professional, as expected of any restaurant in Brookfield Place. We continued with our conversation and just as I was wondering where our meal was, it all arrived at once. Quite an impressive feat as many restaurants find collective timing hard to master.

Chateaubriand For Two [Allow 35mins]

Medium Rare Tenderloin Fillet/ Breaded Bone Marrow/ Mustard

I am not one to usually like bone marrow but this was done beautifully. Though I think the meat was slightly more on the rare side, it was absolutely divine with the sweet mild mustard and the sides below.

Paris Mash/Rocket Salad/ Bernaise Aioli.

Buttery velvet Paris Mash - so smooth and creamy that the saucepan was repeatedly scraped clean.

A fresh salad of peppery rocket tossed with small crunchy toasted morsels of walnuts with light shavings of pear.

And a spot on Bernaise Aioli made from a blend of garlic, white wine vinegar, emulsified butter and egg.

Beef Cheek/Pearl Couscous/Beetroot Puree/Seasonal vegetables

Not everyone likes beetroot but I love it's earthy sweet tones. Tiny bits of crisp bacon found among the giant pearls are a salty sweet surprise for bacon lovers.

Special of the Night: 

Angus Beef Sirloin/King Prawn Ravioli/Bocconcini Fresh Tomato Basil Salad

Not your average Surf and Turf the Trustee delivered well with dish - Beautifully cooked hand made giant parcels of pasta each stuffed with a king prawn in a creamy garlic sauce garnished with a crispy potato net cover.

 A perfectly cooked medium rare sirloin and a zesty salad of sweet basil, bocconcini and fresh juicy tomatoes. Though not the main feature of the dish it certainly was a great example of how the right combination of fresh ingredients and flavours can send your taste buds into food heaven. 

The Rib Eye/Truffle Potato Mash/Portabello Mushrooms 

A generous rib eye with a smooth truffle infused mash. The highlight of this dish for my friend was the mushrooms. The highlight of this dish for me was seeing her consume its entirety.

At most times I feel like dinner should end with something sweet and I believe there is always room for dessert. If you say no, your vote does not count and I order dessert anyways. So as our waitress came around, it was an affirmative and definitive yes to dessert. Luckily my fellow diners felt the same way.

Petit Fours - Passionfruit and White Chocolate Mousse Tart/Fried Custard

The passionfruit tart with the white chocolate mousse was as expected- a sweet passionfruit filling topped with a light, not overly sweet mousse. The warm thick gooey fried custard surprisingly held well with its golden crunchy crumb. It certainly perplexed my mind as to how it still held its shape without becoming a total mess on the plate. I queried this with the waitress but she just shrugged and said it was all a mystery to her as well. I still do not know whether she was telling the truth or gatekeeping the kitchens' secrets. 

Blood Orange Tart/ Italian Meringue/Granny Smith Apple Sorbet

A buttery shortcut pastry shell filled with a bitter sweet blood orange filling topped with soft Italian mountain clouds of meringue with a dusting of raspberry sour. A toasted biscuit crumble with the most refreshing granny smith apple sorbet, perfect on a hot summers day to quench and cleanse the palate. Little dots of raspberry coulis and lemon gel give each bite a little dose of sour making this a dessert you would not want to share.

We had ordered two serves of this delectable dessert however one was only brought out at first with our petit fours. I can only assume it was the observant eye of our waitress who apologized as she presented us with our second serving. After all, the first serve had been consumed in a flash.

With full satisfied bellies we said our thank you and goodbyes. Glad to have the short walk to the car, I am happy once again The Trustee Bar and Bistro  provided another memorable dining experience.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Reminiscing Reuben.

 On the corner of Eighth Avenue and Whatley Crescent in Maylands you will find a one of the busiest brunch cafes in Perth, Mrs S.

Known for its good coffee and good food,  Mrs S also shares a love for puppies, kittens, flowers and pretty things. Serving breakfast, lunch and cakes-a-plenty, if you turn up late on a weekend you are bound to wait a while for a free table.

Enter inside and you'll find its homely interior is decked out with a mix of shared benches and odd tables with small vases of fresh flowers and kitchen/home accessories for sale scattered and perched about the place - I always have to stop myself from purchasing the odd apron or tea towel. If you would like to bring your beloved canine friend, external seating caters for such an outing. A giant chalkboard inside denotes the refreshments for the day and as we are seated, the waiter presents us the menu in old children books clipped down with an old peg.  Told to line up to order at the counter when you are ready,  you cannot help but peruse the many cakes, slices and muffins they have for sale to satisfy any sweet tooth.

The interior is abuzz with many a catch up and conversation including our own as our ordered coffees arrive promptly.

The coffee is fresh, hot and brewed well and our meals are brought out shortly after.

Mrs S's Avocado Smash.
Toasted Ciabatta/Poached Egg/Avocado/Rocket/Spinach/Fetta Crumble/Pine Nuts/Pesto/Coriander
A warm not overly crunchy thick slice of Ciabatta bread served with a generous amount of smashed avocado. The poached egg is perfectly runny and the peppery rocket works well with the sharp tang of the fetta and the crunch of the toasted pine nuts. Add  the pesto and you've got a great green combo.
Though quite happy with my Avocado Smash I cannot help but reminisce on the Reuben Sandwich I had last time I visited Mrs S.

Mrs S's Reuben Sandwich.

Corned beef/Red Cabbage Slaw/ Pickles/Sunny Side Egg/Tabasco Sauce/Slice of Rye

I can remember the hot splash of Tabasco, the saltiness of the corned beef, the sour sweet of the red cabbage slaw and the pickles mixed with the runny yolk on freshly baked rye. This sandwich combined my love of cured meats with sour, sweet and hot altogether tantalising my taste buds with each bite.

As far as I could tell and to my dismay, it was no longer on the menu. 
I think I may have to recreate my own version of the Reuben. 

Nonetheless I will be back to Mrs S in the future and if you have not called on her yet, I urge you to do so.