dinewhitme.com

Eat Drink Blog was held over Summer at Perth City Farm and it was many wonderful things.  Blissful memories of eating food, talking about food, talking about writing about food and being surrounded with people who just love food full stop.   Whilst all the food kerfuffle was pretty damn good, I would have to say that one of the highlights was meeting Miss Whitney Ng of dinewhitme.com.  

Whit, which is what I now have the pleasure of calling her as we are pals, is one bundle of immense talent.  She is the baby of our little food circle but only by age. In the short five months since we met, I have admired her awesomeness and been blessed with her wisdom, skills and friendship that she generously shares. She is one of the brightest writers I know and takes a pretty mean photo. She is shooting for the stars but is a little limited without the real tools of the trade (ie. big fk off flash, camera and other fancy stuff). The stomach carries the heart is a Pozible project for our dear little friend to 'dream a little bigger'. This is a such a great project to contribute towards and it has my full support!

The world is your oyster Whit! 

a conversation {Che Tam Nguyen - Butty's}

Food trucks are finally becoming a part of our urban landscape, dotting our horizons with tasty offerings with that smoky smell of the grill wafting through the air.  Butty's American Style are riding the wave of rolling dining options and their big red truck is a welcome addition to the streets.  I had a chat with Tam about Butty's, burgers and what's to come.

The word butty brings visions of buttered rolls brimming with hot chips. What does the word Butty's mean to you?

The name came about reading a sandwich recipe book I have, and it has a sandwich called Butty's which is a chip sandwich, but loosely translated also means "Buddy" friend and that sorts of sums up who we are. Friend and also "unique" food.

I remember first meeting the Butty's team at Beaufort Street Festival in 2012.  What inspired you guys to join forces and take delicious burgers to the road?

We have both been mates since primary school he (vinh business partner) went on the path to be a lawyer myself as a chef. We both love food and when I talked to him about my idea of a food truck he was keen and my dream started to take shape.

So who is the team behind Butty's?

It's a tight knit team with Vinh, Myself  and Daniel. The rest of the team are the close relationship we have with suppliers to get quality stuff.

Exactly how many burgers did you sample when researching the Butty's concept?

As the truck took a year to build so did our menu before we settled on our two burgers.

Aside from yourselves of course, where have you eaten some pretty damn good burgers?

I like the "lunch bar style" from Alfred's Kitchen or Novembars. Also like V burgers and Nic's Burger Shak, always a fan of Justin and Jus burgers and Flipside. I just lovvveeee burgers. It's one of my favorite foods because it can be so complex and so simple at the same time and everybody has a preference, "lunch bar style", "gourmet", "Street", "American", "franchise", you could go on and on and talk about the science of burgers for hours!

Diner pit-stops and popular burger chains seem to be the norm in the US, have you spent any time eating your way through the States?

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LOVE THE US! Before I went I started the truck I went through the US eating at the burger places LOVE in and out burgers, also went through Kansas City to try all the BBQ love BBQ so much really hope to bring that flavor here to Australia.

What are some of the craziest ingredients you have ever eaten in a burger?

Burgers are so awesome the most fun one is the ice cream sandwich not really a burger but two slices of sweet bread with a slab of ice cream in the middle served from a cart in Singapore.

Are there exciting new items to hit your menu or is that a big secret?

We have two burgers in the works a pork belly version and also a ice cream version soon to  hit our truck!

You guys are getting pretty famous now with such a loyal following.  From festivals, to the Cultural Centre and your regular appearances at Curtin Uni, everyone is diving into cheesy fries and rib burgers.  What does the future hold for Butty's? 

Our next move is brick and mortar! My dream is always to have a restaurant and that's our next move adding more sophisticated BBQ items and also beer to the mix.

Butty's at Beaufort Street Festival 2013

Butty's at Beaufort Street Festival 2013

Imagine a life without gelato

That's right ... you can't! 

Lello Lello Gelato is the sweetest little gelato shop in Seminyak.  The good folk have been operating for over six months now and always scoop with a smile.  You can tell that Lello has been a long labour of love.  Gorgeous little sayings adorn the walls, beautiful mosaic tiles lay cool under your feet as you peer into the length of the freezer bursting with bright colours and seductive folds.  With plenty of room to lounge about, you choose your weapon, find a pineapple cushion and snuggle on in. 

Flavours range from traditional Stracciatella (vanilla and choc chips) to the stunning flavours of local fruits,  see the pretty hues of my scoop of Dragon Fruit below.   You can dream away the afternoon with a bowl of Mojito or Gin & Tonic or drop in for an outrageous dose of Green Smoothie (yes, gelato - parsley included) after your morning yoga.

Coconut, Tangerine & Mint + Dragonfruit

Coconut, Tangerine & Mint + Dragonfruit

A true taste of Italy, with a Messina twist, on the busy streets of Bali.   They even serve a shot of water with your gelato to cleanse the palette.  Next time I am definitely going to stop in for a roti at their pop up curry stall and end the night with a gelato degustation.   Life just ain't complete without gelato. 

The gorgeous little curry pop up at Lello Lello.  Next time I am definitely hitting up a serve of roti.

The gorgeous little curry pop up at Lello Lello.  Next time I am definitely hitting up a serve of roti.

#ROTTNESTLOBSTER with the Taste Master

The first of the Experience Perth film series took Taste Master, Rich Keam, to Rottnest in search of fresh rock lobster.  

With a little help from local seafood legend Aristos, Rich and Kiren Mainwairing chef/owner of esteemed restaurants Co-Op Dining and Dear Friends, got their hands on some  beauties.  Fresh rock lobster is just perfect thrown on the barbecue on a Summer's afternoon.  When it comes to sourcing local produce, Kiren sure knows his stuff and effortlessly threw together a pretty amazing dish. 

Watch this video to remember why you should head to Rotto more often. 

Street food: Bali

Tempeh is a traditional soy product which you can find all over Indonesia.  I really need to brush up on my Bahasa as the street vendors cater for the local workers and don't speak much English.  This guy with the awesome mullet was just gorgeous but all I could gather was that he was serving up tempeh and various other deep fried goods for lunch.  

Kinfolk workshop: wreath making

The aroma of wildflowers mixed with freshly ground coffee filled the air, as we escaped the heat in the cool comfort of The Tenth State.  This blissful shop, come café, is a treasure trove of delights and on a scorching hot Sunday afternoon in December, the home of a Kinfolk workshop.

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We swapped names and smiles whilst milling about, stocking up on gifts and guilty pleasures.  I spied a canary yellow rhino vase and cheekily purchased it for my boyfriend (ie. myself) and found a handful of cute cards to see me through the first months of the year.

These local Kinfolk adventures are curated by the infectious, Stacey Clark. A bubbly and damn talented local stylist bent up an Agrarian living and capturing/creating life at its dreamiest.  During our last Kinfolk moment we gathered around long tables laden with hearty home-style cooking in the hearth of a beautiful up-cycled home.  To get an inkling of the magic we call Kinfolk you must watch this video.

This time we gathered to celebrate Mother Nature and the good old time of the Yule.   Bec of Fox Rabbit, a flower fairy who makes anything green look good, took us through the nifty craft of wreath making, using the bright and rustic hues of native Australian flora. 

Photo by Glenn of Still Love

Photo by Glenn of Still Love

We perched cosily in The Tenth State’s intimate rear studio, tools laid before us.   As we selected flowers and leaves and wired away, I remembered how much I had loved getting all crafty.  As age sets in you find yourself reminiscing whilst flicking through magazines, saying things like ‘next Summer I will make that’ or ‘next weekend I will find the time’.  In the hectic lifestyles we all lead, those simple acts that make your soul smile are so easy to forget.

Kinfolk is all about bringing local partners together for the greater good (feeding Kinfolk-ers and making them feel loved).  We were spoilt with treats to sustain the tummy and smother the heart.  We snacked on a bounty of the sweetest popcorn you have ever tasted by The Pop Institute and divine Bahen & Co chocolate. Washing away the heat of the day with icy, crisp cider from Custard & Co.  We clutched our keepsakes for the day; a gorgeous Mitchell & Dent illustration and an adorable Kinfolk decoration.

Photo by Glenn of Still Love

Photo by Glenn of Still Love

Trading coos and compliments over our collection of masterpieces we braved the heat clutching our wreaths for photos by the ever so clever Glenn of Still Love Photography. We sipped ice coffee and shared a moment of glee with our final creations!  How bad ass are my skills?!

Photo by Glenn of Still Love 

Photo by Glenn of Still Love 

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Our dreamy day closed on a sumptuous spread that had Stacey's ethereal touch. Her attention to detail always results in a scene that makes you simply *sigh*.  Over delicious meats, gooey cheese and a wholesome kale salad we shared tales and tribulations on the topics of wreath making, life and our busy Summers ahead.  Kinfolk is the perfect way to meet new friends and enjoy the magic of the season.

salmon + runny eggs

The festive season always takes my food consumption into what most would consider excessive. So being mindful of my expanding booty I found peace with the menu at Cantina.  You can't feel too bad about house smoked salmon on rocket with slow eggs drizzled in zesty capers and pine nuts.   And aren't the calories of banana bread with maple butter best shared with friends? 

Cantina 663 on Urbanspoon

a conversation { Charlie Hunton - Sea Circus }

Let's run away with the circus or just straight to Sea Circus, a quirky little space in Seminyak serving coffee, cocktails and gorgeous eats.  Here is my conversation with the lovely Charlie Hunton. 

Who are the ringmasters behind Sea Circus?

Charlie Hunton {London} and Josh Herdman {Melbourne}

The food at Sea Circus is amazing. Who is the brains in the kitchen?

We have a lot of fun curating the circus menu. Both Josh and I are voracious travellers. We collect flavours from sleepless stateside cities, sleepy mexican beach towns and everywhere in between. Since opening we have worked with a few key chefs {from Australia & New York} to keep the menu fresh and the food fun.

What other adventures have the owners had with venues?

Josh owns a retail shop just next to Sea Circus, called Bali Boat Shed.

Do you have anything else bubbling?

Maybe... just maybe!

It feels as though Mister Zimi breathes the perfect Sea Circus attire! Are the businesses related or just really good friends?

Mister Zimi are close friends of ours in Bali. Josh knew Jimi from Melbourne. Charlie became Bali besties with Zoe. We pretty much arrived here at the same time and instantly bonded over island life and growing businesses {... and maybe a few cocktails too!}

Your Rocket Fuel coffee was the best icy cold coffee I have ever tasted! What is the process?

We got hooked on this one too during to a Five Senses barista trip to Bali earlier this year. The bean is a custom roasted Ethiopian Yirgacheffe. The process is an 8 hour cold extraction. The taste: light and floral.

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What are your favourite dishes on the menu at the moment?

Easy. The pulled pork taco, the snapper ceviche and the churros. {yes, i may have Mexico on my mind}. Although I am super excited about a dish we are about to get onto the menu: acai bowls. My fiance lives in Hawaii and when i'm over there this is my daily breakfast. The acai bowl is to Hawaii as the croissant is to Paris. Excited to get this superfood into Bali!

Where are your favourite 3 Bali haunts other than Sea Circus ....

For a drink at Sunset for blow your mind cocktails?

Potato Head

For coffee?

Revolver

For traditional Indonesian fare?

Any local 'Padang 'joint if i'm wearing havaianas. Or Mamasan/Sarong if i feel like putting on my Chloe heels.

For an escape?

Raw food at Yoga Barn in Ubud.

Fonda Mexican

You can spot Fonda's brightly coloured chairs a mile off.  This bright and breezy Mexican cantina perches prettily in the heart of Chapel Street.  These two little tacos were fresh and bursting with pork, pineapple and crackle and shredded beef, chipotle and pickle.  Happily washed down with agua fresca whilst I powwowed with my friends who make Stereosonic happen. 

'let me see you do the Jane Fonda'

Buenas noches

Months can pass before we synchronise calendars to spend some much needed time together.  I love that even we can still be the same four friends we were seven years ago no matter how many lunar cycles have passed.  

As much as we love eating out it is sometimes the simple nights over home-cooked meals that are the most memorable.   I am  happiest in the kitchen busily throwing together dishfuls of flavour whilst we trade secrets over a glass of red wine. 

Mexican homecooking

The Menu ...

Strawberry Gazpacho from Dani Valent's In the Mix 2 cookbook
Iceberg lettuce chunks with chilli mayo
Oven baked corn cobs with paprika butter
Chipotle and ancho chicken tenderloins with lime wedges
Jalapeno guacamole
Old Lira pizza bases with cheese and chorizo 
Tomato medley with persian fetta and torn basil

The Inspiration ... 

Mexicana