There was a time when the Galleria in Morley was ma 'hood. We hung there every Thursday night throwing our pocket money at clothes from Hounddog and Live. I don't head to Morley much these days but every now and then a trip to Coventry Markets calls. Its great to stock up on sriracha and kim chee at the Asian supermarkets or spices and chillis at The Spice Wagon and end with a trip to Singapore Chicken Rice.
I'm a firm believer in starting on a Monday. Monday not only marks the mourning of the weekend, but it brings that pretty sparkle of hope to start anew with a whoooooole juicy week do things right. I have uttered those words … I'll start [enter new obsession] on Monday … so many times even I roll my eyes.
The latest obsession is to tighten up on dining out. Work gets cray, the social calendar plumps up and the fridge grows bare, evenings at bikram turn into nights at Brika, Monday comes round and we've been out every night. It gets exhausting and there is only so much kombucha a girl can drink before she needs to slow down a little on the degustations. I'm not saying there will be a gastronomic drought or that you won't find new blog posts each week, just going to spend a little more time in. My aim for the new year to get back into the kitchen, find my inner yogi and spend more time enjoying the sunshine (and not in a beer garden somewhere enjoying pizza, okay well that's a lie).
So with this on my conscience, as anyone in my position would do, I crammed in as many eating adventures as my digestive system could handle before Monday rolled in. It had been a long time between stuffed chicken wings so we thought Viet Hoa in Northbridge would be perfect for lunch. We ordered all the things (well except the stuff chicken wings) cos I'm starting on Monday.
Established by Drew and Rosemary Brent-White in 1998, Windance Estate is a family owned and operated vineyard. Just five kilometres south of the picturesque Yallingup beach and in the heart of the Margaret River wine region, the team at Windance focus on producing quality wines whilst incorporating sustainable land management and environmentally friendly viticultural practices.
Sometimes it takes a stroke of luck to stumble upon these little gems whilst venturing the South-West. We always pop in for a tasting in their humble little tasting shed and always leave with a case of award winning wine.
Oh Northbridge, I love this change in you.
Is it right to eat dessert at breakfast? Mary Street Bakery's head chef Courtney Gibb is forever pushing the breakfast boundaries and turning the boring ol' hour of eggs on toast and bircher on its head. Our ensemble had the air of a decadent evening meal but was happily consumed with coffee before the clock struck 10am.
A luxe way to start the weekend with favourite friends Ai-Ling of Food Endeavours of the Blue Apocalypse, Custard & Co's hustler Caitlyn (also of Mixed Dozen) and Stacey Clark Stylist. We spent the hours talking shiny new diaries, pop up dining adventures with Custard & Co that will soon fill up our calendars and all the wonders that inspire us about embracing the clean slate that is the new year. Fuelled by salted caramel, candied bacon and caffeine we went on our merry way clutching our Custard & Co Family Xmas ciders.
Love you girls xo
I'm definitely a Swan Valley girl at heart. I grew up in Henley Brook, before this rural village-style living was barely a whisper. Blessed with a childhood of vegetable patches and scarecrows, weekends fearlessly riding ponies through the bush. Our family home is still just that, the scarecrow might be gone but that dry, hot scent of summers gone remains unchanged.
I love taking that long, winding drive down West Swan Rd and seeing how the view has shaped over the years. Pointing out familiar houses that have stood the test of time, whilst pleasantly surprised to see some have moved aside for new developments. The Swan Valley is just brimming with fresh new life, that Australian spirit of let's give it a red hot go lingers here.
Mandoon Estate is one of those new additions and is home to a fine dining restaurant, winery with a classy cellar door and the Homestead Brewery. When you enter the gates and take it all in, you can't help but think … why didn't anyone do this before? The green grass sprawls with families enjoying hot lamb rolls and deli meats in the sunshine and not worrying that the kids are running riot on the playground. The restaurant is a relaxing reprieve to the chaos outside whilst the brewery is lively, full of cheer and welcomed cold beer.
I'm yet to enjoy one of those hot lamb rolls, but have now spent two separate Sundays enjoying the laid back vibe at Homestead. You've gotta love a good dose of pub food after a day of sampling far too many wines. Mandoon Estate really captures the essence of the Swan Valley, a haven for families to retreat, where kids can be kids and where honest, wholesome local produce grows strong.
With a pocketful of gems we manoeuvred our way through the Gourmet Village, eating and sipping, stall after stall. A bite here and a bite there, often stopping for a chat all the while discovering the magic that the South West and beyond are serving up. Gourmet Escape is by far one of my favourite weekends on my culinary calendar.
Here is a snapshot of some of my favourite stops on our journey .
Its little cafes like this that ensure I step out of the comfort zone and venture outside the shire of Mt Lawley. Harvest Espresso is the kind of place you want to call your local.
You will spot this bustling gem by the throngs of people standing outside, patiently waiting for a table. Clutching the menu wide eyed with grumbling tummies, wondering what to order, they would all tell you its definitely worth the wait.
The team at Harvest Espresso serve up serious coffee and the prettiest plates. The beef tongue was possibly one of the hottest breky plates captured on Instagram this Spring. Served up on a delightfully fluffy grilled polenta, sauce gribiche, gorgeous poached eggs with the brightest puddles of yoke and a crunchy sprinkling of rye and mixed seed.
Chef Jason Jujnovich spent many moons in the kitchen at Divido, a hidden gem in Mt Hawthorn serving up smashing regional Italian fare. Chef's Back to Balkan feasts provided exceptional value, tables laden with peasant style fare paying homage to his Eastern European roots.
I’m pretty sure that Divido is still going strong, but those Balkan flavours have been taken to the streets with Jason hanging up his chef whites and bidding farewell to the restaurant world. I love feel-good-foodie stories of those who crave a sea change and muster up the courage to take that leap of faith. Jason and his wife are now tackling the world of food trucks, markets and street food, embarking on a new adventure with their pop up stall, Back to Balkan.
I met Jason whilst madly (hmm .. okay maybe badly) pressing empadas on the first night of the Inglewood Night Markets at the Marcelita’s Empanadas stall. It’s pretty handy living so close to Beaufort St. Now I can pop down on a Monday night and support local producers and peddlers whilst stocking up on organic groceries and grabbing something for dinner. I got a little more than I bargained for when my friends at Marcelita's Empadas were an empanada-ida down. So many familiar faces from the market scene popped by whilst I was pitching in. So it was only right that when the next Monday rolled in, I stopped by Back to Balkan to show my support.
The Perth food scene is in this crazy state of evolution, such an exciting space to be in right now. If pork-belly in brioche and Croatian doughnuts tickle your fancy, you will find the Jason behind the Back to Balkan grill on Mondays at the Inglewood Night Markets or this Saturday night at Maylands Markets. Ukusan!
Ben and Elvis from Porteno. An old shearing shed with stunning rustic decor. Akrady lamb cooking over the fire. Local produce. Feast in the Forest was everything I've ever wanted from an afternoon down south.
Twas a frantic morning in the office when tickets to the satellite events at Gourmet Escape went on sale. I think I leapt out of my chair, fist in the air, yelling yessssss!
It was so lovely to step away from the stiff corporate hoo haa and just experience an amazing feast where the food simply spoke for itself.
Charred toast with romesco and marinated sardines
Water crackers with morcilla and smoked oyster mayo
Black lipped mussels in chilli and black bean
Leeuwin Estate Wines was on the pour and Colonial Brewing Company's latest addition, #1. I swear when I go to edit my photos, every second photo has a dirty big man thumb in the background (thanks Ryan!). The photo ahead just took it one further as he found another recruit.
MEATS AND SIDES
Cordero a la cruz - wood fired lamb with chimichurri
Crispy fried brussel sprouts with lentils and mint
BBQ peppers with ricotta. chilli and garlic
Ensalada clasica - tomato and onion salad
The grungy streets of Shimokitazawa have that untouched, organic feel yet only a few stops away from the craziness of Shinjuku. A popular escape for Tokyoites, musos and uni students, full of record shops, vintage stores and great little bars and cafes. I love the ramshackle feel of the landscape here.
We stumbled upon Cafe Okidokei by sheer chance. The shop sign had a vintage look and the blackboard menu was scrawled with care. I usually get a feel of a place through its signage, its like the font talks to my tummy, telling me its a safe place to eat. So we ventured up the stairs and found ourselves in a cool little bar with smiling staff and the warmth of a little wooden cabin.
Okidokei is actually the Japanese translation of clock and, of which general manager, Taikan Nagai, seems to have a soft spot for. Although, not to be confused with okie dokie (we all had a giggle about this). Clocks and vintage farming bric-a-brac dot the walls and the woodwork gives it a charming edge. We escaped the rain and grey skies of an Autumn afternoon in Japan and nestled in for a set lunch.
For ¥1000 you can choose from a beef curry, baked chicken or a garlic pasta, served with a salad, rice and a drink. It can be a little tricky ordering food in Japan as you will be pressed to stumble across an English menu. It kinda adds to the charm of the whole process.
We settled in with a few beers and enjoyed the cheap and cheerful eats that Okidokei has to offer. It really was like being invited into someone's home and made this little meal all the more special. All I can say is always look up, you never know what wonders await as you climb up those stairs.
Searching for things to do in Japan that are a little off the beaten track is near impossible. We stumbled across this cool site called Voyagin where you can attend workshops or tours with English speaking hosts. From doing your makeup like a Harajuku girl, taking a traditional cooking class and tuning up your ninja skills.
Whilst you can purchase tickets to the Studio Ghibli Museum from its official website you may find buying from Voyagin just a little easier.
I am so excited for our little adventure to Mitaki for a dose of Ghibli wonderment, I am jumping up and down like Totoro!
It's kinda hard not to have a love hate relationship with Korean bbq. I am down with pickles and spice, the frozen pieces of meat don't phase me and I am quite happy to cook my own meat and chop it up with communal scissors. It's just the aroma of smokey cooked meat that clings to your clothes, following you home like an awkward first date.
Bbq cologne aside, Tong 86 with its gritty warehouse interior is perfect for a group catch up. Sinking Korean beers, we ordered an assortment of meat and fired up the cooker. All eyes were on the pancake and pork belly, as we drowned each mouthful in kimchee.
A cheap and tasty farewell dinner for our fab friend Hannah. Complete with a fragrant little bonus.
I'm not talking about an outback Aussie pub where the toilet is down the grassy footpath and the menu consists of soggy chips and two day old pie. This is Bill's Bars & Bites, named after the first settler in Leederville, William Leeder or Bill as he was affectionately known. Bill's offers small bites and an awesome drink list with a stellar fit out. One visit will have you heading back for more.
Every now and then I stumble upon a stream of food photos that I forgot to blog about. One glimpse and they transport me back those plates and places rich with flavour. Cecchi's has long been a favourite. A welcoming family restaurant serving modern renditions of Italian classics. Whilst the menu has turned over, refreshed as the months roll on, you will still find yourself with the plate just as pretty.
Hi, I am Laura and I am an addict. Since the glass door swung open, I have easily ventured into Pleased to Meet You every other week to get my fix.
Maybe it's my love for street food and food trucks, or the staff who are as laid back as the hip hop tunes they play. Hidden amongst the asian haunts of Northbridge, the stripped back warehouse style feel welcomes you with small bar ambience. It is just all kinds of right making you go back for another hit of beef tongue reuben euphoria.
A sneaky little tip is to head in early on a Sunday. Whilst all the breky joints are heaving with 40 minute table waits, Pleased to Meet You is only gearing up. Who wouldn't want a wagyu burger and a cocktail for breakfast?
We idle way those quiet times escaping into the screen, forever scrolling our way to early RSI. Some are searching for inspiration, whilst others are the curators, who share breathtaking moments of wonder captured in that small square frame. Instagram has fast become the epicentre of fashion, design, culture and dreams.
Perth is just bursting with creative folk many of whom have become a little Insta-famous. Without these people amongst us, who else would be colouring not just our world, but our local communities and circles with their inspiration and talent.
For the past year I have been blessed to get to know, work with and become wonderful friends with Stacey Clark. Not only is Stacey a bundle of talent, but she is a pocket rocket full of laughter and all things bright. Stacey is one of those lucky few, living her dream of connecting creatives all over.
On a lovely Spring evening, Stacey Clark and Instagram maven Bec Tougas joined forces to curate Perth's first Instameet. A perfect night for the flourishing community to get together, have fun and swoon.
Window styling and event curation ~ Stacey Clark Stylist
Event curation ~ Bec Tougas
Photography ~ Christine Lim
Space ~ Empire Homewares Mount Lawley
Video ~ Ethan Ho
Typography ~ Tash 'The Articulate'
Delicious gelato ~ ChiCho Gelato
Coffee times ~ Micrology Coffee Roasters
Cupcakes ~ Cakes by Laura Isabella
Cold pressed juices ~ Pure Glow Cleanse
Grown up drinks ~ Bar Pop
Culinary magic is bound to happen when the owners of two of Perth’s best restaurants join forces. St Michael 6003 is the love child of Red Cabbage's Scott & Hazel O'Sullivan and Petite Mort's Todd Stuart with talented chef Adam Sayles in the kitchen.
It was the end of an era when Jacksons closed its doors but now newbie St Michael 6003 has taken up residence on Beaufort Street.
St Michael 6003 uses a small plate approach where diners mix and match each dish creating their own degustation. This was our first experience and it was so good, we went back.
An enchanted ceiling dotted with stars and floating candles hangs over the room, where bottles, vials of dragon blood and empty beakers flicker against the burning candles on the bookshelf of the Potions room. Dobby pokes his head out of an urn, too afraid to step into sight, perhaps hiding from the shrills of a Mandrake crying in Herbology. The dull echoes of Moaning Myrtle are heard from the Chamber of Secrets whilst the aroma butter beer punches the air.
Two months ago, we carefully opened envelopes sealed with Hogwarts' crimson wax and excitedly scribbled the date in our diaries …. Harry Potter Party!
Thank you Bryt for a magical evening at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry. We were all utterly swept away by your amazing attention to detail! Dressed in robes, we supped on pumpkin pasties, polyjuice potion and sweet treats like treacle tarts. With each enchanted memory beautifully captured by our wonderful friend Danica Zuks. Take a peek at The Great Feast below …
8 lemons, flesh only
2 continental cucumbers, chopped
1/2 cup spinach leaves
100 g raw sugar, dissolved in 1/2 cup boiling water to make sugar syrup
300-400 ml gin, to taste (try Hendricks or a West Australian local The Sabre by The West Winds Gin)
2L soda water
Blend or juice lemon, cucumbers and spinach leaves.
Place juice into serving ware with sugar syrup and gin. Stir well.
Add soda water and ice and serve chilled.
This recipe makes the perfect amount for a 5.6L cauldron (or serving jar).
Bryton Taylor - Food in Literature
Bryt's video - watch here
A Harry Potter Hogwarts Dinner Party part I
A Harry Potter Hogwarts Dinner Party part II
Danica Zuks for her amazing photography and talent behind the lens
Danica's sweet treat recipes - The Brazen Duck
The Tales Compendium - Harry Potter party
Whit - dinewhitme
Briony - Eat Meets West
Teresa - Chi Garden