Category Archives: Reviews

Restaurant reviews, product reviews

Breakfast at The Flying Taco, North Perth

Breakfast at The Flying Taco

I’ve been a loyal fan of The Flying Taco since it opened in 2007. Thoroughly obsessed since I first tried Anna’s carnitas quesadillas with her zingy salsa verde. So much so that I pretty much always order the same thing. Every time. For seven years! 

But just a few weeks ago, I was excited to hear that Anna had added breakfast to The Flying Taco menu… and naturally, in the interests of blog research, I had to check it out.

The menu features a mix of Flying Taco originals and a few classics for those already acquainted with Mexican breakfast dishes.

The Flying Taco’s much loved house made guacamole, refried beans and salsas are prominent on the menu.

It’s predominantly veggie-based, though you’ll find carne asada (steak – usually skirt or flank cut) on the menu as well as bacon – an optional, though welcome addition to any meal at $3.00.

Breakfast at The Flying Taco

On our first visit, we tried the Danny ‘Machete’ Trejo, $12.50, with added guacamole, $2.50, on recommendation from Anna.

Breakfast at The Flying Taco

It’s a take on the classic breakfast dish – Huevos Rancheros, and features two fried homemade corn tortillas smothered in a spicy ranchera sauce and topped with refried beans and two fried free range eggs.

To be honest, it was so good both J and I ate our meals in about two minutes flat.

The ranchera sauce is tomato-based, but with a definite kick. It’s a wake up call for taste buds. And though I haven’t tried it on a morning after the night before, I’d be willing to bet it’s one of the best ways around to blow off the morning cob webs.

Breakfast at The Flying Taco

The following weekend, we returned without a moment’s hesitation.

And without much discussion – we were back to see Danny again, this time, plus bacon.

And coffee. Let’s not forget the coffee.

Breakfast at The Flying Taco

The Flying Taco’s brew comes from Vic Park favourites - Antz Inya Pantz. It’s fruity and fresh with bitter chocolate notes. It’s filtered (using a Moccamaster, if you’re interested) – which is a departure from the usual around town.

At $3.00 a cup (with free refills for dine-in customers), it’s not bad value, and would definitely be worth a spin if you’re usually a long black drinker.

I know filtered coffee cops a lot of flak. But I personally love filtered coffee. It’s a love that was definitely cemented by our 2012 wedding and visit to the States. Diners + coffee + Juji = winning.

It’s probably also been influenced by a love of a particular TV series featuring two main characters that drink way too much coffee and eat too many meals in a diner that features a baseball cap wearing, coffee-pot toting owner*.

We’re already fans of breakfast at The Flying Taco. But next time, I just have to try something else …

The Flying Taco
40 Angove St, North Perth
For the full menu and opening hours, visit The Flying Taco website

*Props to you if you can work out that reference…

Addison & Steele Specialty Coffee, North Perth

Addison & Steele Specialty Coffee

The cool cats from Standing Room Only (one of my favourite coffee spots in Perth), have brought the caffeine to the suburbs by way of their latest venture – Addison & Steele Specialty Coffee.

The name comes Joseph Addison and Richard Steele, two Oxford scholars who brought together coffee-guzzling intellectuals in 18th century London. 

Now open on Fitzgerald Street in North Perth, I have a feeling this place may just become  my new favourite weekend hangout. It’s cool and breezy, filled with shiny stuff for all you coffee nerds, and I do like their playlists…

On any given day, you’ll find several varieties of coffee on offer (roasted by Melbourne’s Small Batch Coffee Roasters)…

Saturday 22 February
Candyman blend
Alvaro aya (Colombia)
Hunkute (Ethiopia)
Pricing
Black $3.70 / $4.70
White $4.00 / $5.00
Comp style $7.00

Addison & Steele Specialty Coffee

If you have trouble making decisions, I recommend going with the comp style (pictured above).

You’ll receive the coffee of your choice two ways: as a single shot espresso-style and with milk. You can of course, refresh your palate with a slug of sparkling water too.

My comp pick on Saturday was the Hunkute – lightly fruity with a floral aroma, with a medium acidity that was tempered well by soy milk.

Addison & Steele Specialty Coffee

Bringing your appetite is a great idea when you visit Addison & Steele. Just try and ignore the delicious baked goods on offer. I dare you.

Addison & Steele Specialty Coffee

I had to have a bagel – an everything bagel, fresh baked by Fremantle’s Holy Bagel Company.

Schmears come with your toasted bagel; a smoked salmon cream cheese and sun-dried tomato version.

And even though it’s not Kosher… I’m secretly hoping there’s going to be a bacon and egg option one day. (Hey, a girl can dream.)

If bagels aren’t your scene – don’t worry, there’s also pastries from La Galette de France on offer, granola and toast. Insider tip: highly recommend the almond croissant (Perth’s best, I reckon)!

Addison & Steele Specialty Coffee

Next time I visit, I think we’ll be hanging around the brew bar…

Addison & Steele Specialty Coffee

Addison & Steele Specialty Coffee

Addison & Steele Specialty Coffee

Addison & Steel Speciality Coffee on Urbanspoon

For opening hours and updates, visit Addison & Steele on Facebook or follow on Twitter.

PS. I’m personally itching to correct the misspelling of ‘Steele’ in the Urbanspoon reference. I mean, c’mon.

The Old Crow, Northbridge

Breakfast at The Old Crow

There’s something seriously magical about a slow cooked egg. Cooked in their shells below boiling point for far longer than the usual (65 degrees celsius for 65 minutes) – the resulting egg is soft and silky, but quite solidly set.

This weekend,  I met the slow cooked egg of my dreams, at The Old Crow in Northbridge.

Breakfast at The Old Crow

The slow cooked egg was served with a flavoursome mix of lightly sauteed mushrooms including fresh shiitake, portabello and button varieties ($19.00). I really enjoyed the meaty texture of the mushrooms. Lightly browned just a hint of caramelisation, they really satisfied my craving for something something - though they weren’t my usual breakfast go-tos (bacon, chipolatas).

Breakfast at The Old Crow

The provolone croquettes were seriously good. A delightful contradiction, even. Crisp yet pillowy soft. Salty yet just barely sweet. Rich but amazingly light and almost fluffy.

When paired with the rich red sauce (hidden beneath the mix of mushrooms and croquettes) – utterly moreish.

Breakfast at The Old Crow

As well established gluttons, it was hard to ignore the fried potatoes with cajun salt and ranch ($9.00). ‘They’re a bargain!’ we said. ‘But I’m starving’, I assured J.

But try as we might, we were utterly defeated by these crunchy beauties. I’m guessing their fantastic crunch and deep golden brown was the result of being double-fried (or par-boiled then fried). The cajun salt had a kick that was perfectly offset by the cool and creamy ranch dressing.

Breakfast at The Old Crow

Getting into the weekend spirit, J kicked off his meal with a mustardy, spicy Bloody Mary ($15.00). I’m not much of a fan of tomato juice …so he enjoyed that by himself! (My usual soy flat white did the trick, thanks.)

Breakfast at The Old Crow

Though I passed on the Bloody Mary, J’s choice of cowboy beans and eggs with belly bacon ($18.00) was much more covetable – just check out that charry belly bacon!

We both really loved the faint sweetness and subtle smoke of the beans. They tasted like the real deal – cooked low and slow with a flavoursome tomato-based sauce and probably a meaty bacon bone or two for a mellow yet flavourful punch. Mild hints of cumin, paprika and maple (I think) were a highlight.

Suffice it to say – we’re really quite smitten. The food and drink options we tried were really well executed. It’s a well thought out menu that’s got options, but isn’t so big that you just can’t pick. The service was friendly, but more importantly quick and efficient. It was a great way to start my weekend!

Breakfast at The Old Crow

The Old Crow on Urbanspoon

In other Juji Chews news…

After much debate, pro and con lists, and general procrastinating … I’m now officially a Mac user. Bye bye, old laptop. You served me well.

It’s weird but exciting, and I’m getting the hang of the command button. And holy crap, when I’m using Lightroom to post-process my photos … oof. This thing looks amazing!

Are you a Mac person or a PC die-hard? Opinions? Favourite tricks? Got any advice for Mac noobs? Make sure you share in the comments!

Pinchos, Leederville

Celebrating Pinchos

Disclosure: Juji Chews was invited to attend this launch.

Celebrating Pinchos

Last month I was invited to attend the launch of Pinchos, the latest brainchild of Justin Bell, the man behind Perth’s favourite burger (well, mine, anyway) – Jus Burgers.

The food served at Pinchos, draws inspiration from the bar snacks of northern Spain. Usually enjoyed alongside a glass of wine (or two), they’re delicious diversions from the range of homegrown and Spanish wines, beers, ciders, cava and sherry on offer.

Celebrating Pinchos

Menu options include the bar’s namesake, pinchos / pinxtos – small bites charged per piece (as is the style in Spain), ranging from $1-4 each. They’re served on skewers. Not coincidentally, pinchos get their name from the Spanish word for spike – pinchos (or pinxtos in Basque).

You’ll also find tapas (small plates) to share ranging from $6-9 each, salads, desserts and mixed boards best served for two (or one, if you’re particularly hungry).

Celebrating Pinchos

I am officially addicted to smoked almonds. I just might have eaten all of these. And a bowl at the adjacent table.

Celebrating Pinchos

Celebrating Pinchos

Celebrating Pinchos

Pinxtos chorizo con miel – chorizo, cheese and honey, $2.00 per piece, were definitely one of my favourites of all the food we tried. The sticky warm honey was a surprisingly delicious combined with the salty chorizo and cheese with the sourness of the gherkins.

Celebrating Pinchos

Pinxtos Gilda – white anchovy, pickle and green olive, $1.00 per piece.

Celebrating Pinchos

Front: Pinxtos palmitos – palm hearts, olive, tomato and cheese, $1.00 per piece
Back: Pinxtos Gilda – white anchovy, pickle and green olive, $1.00 per piece

Celebrating Pinchos

A huge pan of Albondigas de Cordero Arabe (lamb meatballs, beans, yoghurt with fig and dukkah) was on the go, ready to feed the hungry crowd.

Celebrating Pinchos

Celebrating Pinchos

Albondigas de Cordero Arabe – lamb meatballs, beans, yoghurt with fig and dukkah, $8.00 a serve.

The rich meatballs were complemented really well by the crisp fresh green beans and the sticky sweetness of the figs.

Celebrating Pinchos

Chicharrones – roasted pork belly, cumin and lemon, $7.00 a serve.

Celebrating Pinchos

Quite possibly the most enticing kind of lollipop I’ve ever had the pleasure of enjoying … a pork belly pop!

Celebrating Pinchos

Gazpacho con Piquillo – Spanish summer salad with red pepper puree, $7.00 a serve. Chef Justin’s different take on the traditional cold Spanish soup, Gazpacho, in a salad chock full of bold tomato, capsicum and sweet red onion.

Celebrating Pinchos

White anchovies with orzo salad, pickled fennel and currants

Celebrating Pinchos

Champinones con queso azul – mushrooms, blue cheese, PX vinegar and almond crumbs, $9.00 per serve, were a hit all round. These juicy mushrooms were gone in a flash – and not a speck of crunchy almonds or oozy cheese remained. I might have been partly responsible for that…

Pinchos on Urbanspoon

Opening hours
Monday 11.30am – 9.00pm
Tuesday to Saturday 11.30am – 10.00pm
Sunday 11.30am – 9.00pm

Noodle Forum, Perth

Noodle Forum

If you’ve visited Malaysia or Singapore, you’ve probably been initiated into the joy that is hawker food. From noodles to deep fried bananas, some of the best food I’ve ever tried has come from these stalls.

Most of the time, each hawker stall only serves dishes that are related, either by cooking method or ingredient. Noodle hawkers make noodles. Porridge hawkers make porridge. And so on.

Though the variety of dishes on offer may be narrow, I find the devotion to a specific kind of food to be pretty special, as it showcases the skill of the cook in using a particular cooking style, method or star ingredient.

Noodle Forum

At Noodle Forum, the devotion to noodles; wantan mee (wantan noodles) to be exact, is pretty clear. Here, chef Erich Wong makes fresh egg-based wantan noodles daily, having perfected his craft over the last 40 years.

There’s no shortcuts here, and you’ll see real eggs being mixed by hand into every batch of noodles made by chef Erich. He’s clearly very passionate about his craft – which you’ll notice easily as you watch him making noodles through the glass doors of the kitchen adjoining the restaurant.

Chef Erich may be focused on his noodles, but he still finds the time to beckon me closer and pop his head out of the door to tell me that it’s fresh spinach being added to this batch of noodles.

Noodle Forum

I only had eyes for the BBQ pork noodles (char siu mee, $11.90), which are always my pick whenever I’m eating somewhere that specialises in this particular kind of noodle.

Noodle Forum

The noodles here are thin with a perfect bite that’s probably best described as toothsome or al dente. They’re tossed in a salty and sweet soy-based sauce.

Though the noodles are without a doubt the star of the show, the char siu (or BBQ pork) is a stunner, caramelised to a deep-dark crunch along the edges, with tender meat that’s rippled with just a hint of fat, leaving each mouthful juicy.

Word of warning: this is not crisp white shirt food. You might need a bib for the inevitable caused by eating with reckless abandon.

Noodle Forum

Like all the other noodles on offer, the Crispy Check Fillet Noodle, is also a bargain at $11.90. The noodles are dressed in the same soy-based sauce as the BBQ pork noodles.

Noodle Forum

But instead of juicy pork, here you’ll enjoy crisp chunks of tender chicken thigh, which are coated in a light crisp coating. The chicken is coated, deep fried, sliced and loaded atop the noodles with a generous drizzle of chili mayonnaise (I’m guessing Japanese Kewpie, spiked with chili).

Noodle Forum

Each bowl of noodles here comes with a signature crunchy cracker – made a dough that’s very similar to the wantan wrappers chef Erich churns out for Noodle Forum’s signature wantans in soup (5 for $5.50).

Noodle Forum

I’m swooning over the whole Exmouth prawn that’s enclosed inside each wantan with a generous mouthful of marinated minced Plantagenet free range pork. The wantan wrapper is silky and smooth, and rolled so thin I’m surprised there’s not a single tear in any of the dumplings.

The wantan soup is a clear broth spiked with loads of sliced spring onions. It’s salty but a little sweet, which is always a good sign in my book, signalling long slow cooking and lots of bones in the stock (here at Noodle Forum, that means Mount Barker free range chicken bones).

Even the salty and sour pickled chillies are homemade here. A good thing too, as they’re essential with noodles like this, just ask my Mum.

Noodle Forum

I couldn’t resist abandoning J for a moment to watch chef Erich making his noodles using a huge bamboo pole. You can watch the super short video I took of chef Erich making spinach noodles below:

Noodle Forum

Noodle Forum on Urbanspoon

Like Noodle Forum on Facebook.

Opening hours 

Monday to Thursday: 11.00am to 5.30pm
Friday: 11.00am to 9.00pm
Saturday: 11.00am to 5.30pm
Closed Sunday

Morries Anytime, Margaret River

Breakfast in Margaret River

For our first wedding anniversary, J and I packed up the car and the pup, and made our way down to Margaret River for four nights.

Other than a loose plan involving a little beach time, fishing and a lot of lazing around – the only other thing on our agenda was eating our way around this lovely part of Western Australia.

Breakfast in Margaret River

Morries Anytime was high on our ‘to try’ list. We debated visiting for lunch, and talked about dinner – but in the end my insatiable love for all things breakfast helped us make up our minds.

Breakfast in Margaret River

Convincing J turned out to be much easier than I thought, when I pointed out the smoked salmon, grilled polenta, soft boiled egg, chick pea and rocket salad ($20.50) on Morries’ breakfast menu.

Breakfast in Margaret River

Just a squeeze of juicy lemon was needed over the silky smoky salmon, peppery leaves and charry polenta. The plump chick peas were delicious as they were, just barely al dente, alongside the perfectly poached egg.

Breakfast in Margaret River

The coffee at Morries is a worthwhile mention – we sampled two traditional long macchiatos and a soy flat white, which I found to be perfect drinkable temperature, creamy and rich, with hints of chocolate from the beans they used.

Breakfast in Margaret River

I’m always a sucker for a full cooked breakfast.

When I saw the Morries breakfast – bacon, eggs, chipolatas, mushrooms & hash browns, smoked relish ($21.50), I was completely powerless to resist. I’m glad I’m easily swayed – it was a great choice, especially with a generous dollop of sweet and sour cumin-spiked smoked relish to enjoy with each and every mouthful.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much bacon on a plate at any cafe … ever, so I was more than happy to share with my dear husband (a well-known bacon obsessive). Even with his help, this was a breakfast of epic proportions, and I had to leave some of it behind.

Breakfast in Margaret River

I don’t know when we’ll next return to Margaret River, but I’m looking forward to visiting Morries Anytime for another meal.

Morries Anytime on Urbanspoon

Ley St Cafe, Como

Breakfast at Ley St Cafe

Despite living in Perth for all of my 27 years, there’s many areas of my fair city which I’ve not explored. Como is one such suburb, even though it was effectively en route to Curtin University, which I attended daily for four years.

So when our good friends Damage Catastropic and The Ministry moved into the neighbourhood – and spoke glowingly of their favourite local breakfast haunt, Ley St Cafe – I dutifully took note.

Breakfast at Ley St Cafe

Coffee, check. Mug sized option, check. Things were already looking up. Better still, when I took my first sip to find that it was a well made cup. Being lactose challenged, I’ve come to find that soy-based orders really seem to be a challenge for some baristas. This flat white was the perfect temperature, with well textured milk that was satisfyingly creamy.

Breakfast at Ley St Cafe

Hello, maple glazed bacon. Nice to meet you. 

I’m shocked, and saddened, that we haven’t met sooner. And more often.

Breakfast at Ley St Cafe

Here at Ley St Cafe, bacon and eggs aren’t just your standard fry up.

The Maple glazed bacon and eggs ($11.00) comes with two thick slices of sourdough toast topped with a sunny side up egg (perfectly runny), and a generous portion of sticky and sweet maple glazed bacon.

Buyer beware – if you’d hoped to snag a piece of this bacon from your generous dining partner, you might be out of luck. This bacon is too good to share.

Breakfast at Ley St Cafe

The breakfast classic, Eggs Benedict ($6.50 for one egg, $12.00 for two eggs) were J’s choice.

Breakfast at Ley St Cafe

As a devoted Benedict lover, he was pleased to find the hollandaise at Ley St was homemade, and the poached eggs perfectly oozy. The ham was subtly smoky.

Breakfast at Ley St Cafe

Ley St Cafe is situated in a cosy converted corner frock shop. The huge windows provide perfect sunny positions to enjoy the weekend papers with your favourite brew.

Breakfast at Ley St Cafe

Ley Street Cafe on Urbanspoon