Tag Archives: Eat Drink Perth

Love Thy Neighbour, Northbridge

Love Thy Neighbour

When it comes to warm and fuzzy feelings for my fellow man, I’ve got to confess – I’m a much nicer person once I’ve had my morning coffee.

And breakfast. Let’s not forget about the most important meal of the day!

Love Thy Neighbour

On a recent Saturday, my husband J (die-hard coffee nerd) suggested we drop by at one of his favourite coffee finds in Northbridge, the aptly named Love Thy Neighbour (LTN), and I was very keen to see if their caffeine and grub would help improve my mood.

Love Thy Neighbour

Their coffee, made with the house blend ‘seven’, was strong, flavourful (with a slight fruitiness) and damn good. It comes from Single Origin Roasters in Surry Hills – which I’m pretty sure I wandered past at least once on my last visit to Sydney.

J was equally impressed with his traditional long macchiato, and neither of us hesitated when we were offered a second round.

Love Thy Neighbour

J’s brioche breakfast came with softly scrambled eggs, house cured trout on a lightly toasted individual brioche. The Organic Loafers brioche was beautifully light and pillow-soft with a golden glow that only comes from the addition of fresh egg yolks.

Actually, this was declared some damn good brioche. I’m sure it would have been perfectly satisfying on its own, with a generous smear of jam.

But partnered with the salty-sweetness of the trout and the creamy eggs, this golden, buttery bread was even better!

Love Thy Neighbour

When there’s a biscuit on the menu, you’d better believe I’m going to order it. It took all of eight and a half seconds for me to make up my mind, and I’m hoping if you visit LTN, you’ll do the right thing and make the same choice.

Love Thy Neighbour

The American-style biscuit is rarely seen on Aussie menus, a rare mysterious breakfast (and any time) food that’s probably closest to a scone, but usually lighter in texture, dusted in cornmeal, and often made in it’s homeland with the snowiest of unnatural looking cooking fats – Crisco.

Love Thy Neighbour

The money shot – the bacon was hiding.

I don’t think the partially-hydrogenated-police have anything to worry about with the biscuits on offer at LTN.

The lovely light biscuit served here sandwiched a generous combination of fresh spinach, bacon, spicy homemade chutney, cheddar cheese with a softly set egg over easy.

I was glad the egg was cooked to the point of being slightly oozy, but just enough to ensure it didn’t dribble out of my biscuit.

It’s a deliciously different departure from the usual Saturday morning fry up that still manages all the main hangover food groups – in a neat carby package!

Truth be told, even though I was relatively stuffed after this, I did entertain ideas of other breakfast “snacks”.

Love Thy Neighbour

And how could I not, with the promise of smoked white chocolate ice cream, spotted on the blackboard as we wandered inside?

Consider my interest piqued. If I ever try it, you bet I’ll be telling you all about it.

Love Thy Neighbour

Oh hai, J’s phantom hand!

Love Thy Neighbour

Love Thy Neighbour are located at the rear of William Street Arcade, next to Ezra Pound. The team have recently expanded the seating area, so there’s choices for all – inside and out, bikes optional.

Love Thy Neighbour on Urbanspoon

Opening hours

Monday – Friday
6.30am – 5.00pm

Saturday
7.30am – 4.00pm

Closed Sundays

Afternoon tea at the Hyatt Regency Perth

Hyatt-elephants

My friend A joined me yesterday for a spot of shopping in Perth, and a leisurely afternoon tea at the Hyatt Regency Perth.

Afternoon tea starts at 3.00pm, and is served from Cafe at the Hyatt, with seating in the lovely surrounds of the Observatory Lounge.

High tea at the Hyatt Hotel

Cold desserts – including passionfruit pannacotta, lychee and coconut pudding,
mango pudding, Eton mess, chocolate mousse and tiramisu

We were shown to a table for two, and our host Yvonne gave us a quick rundown of what was on offer.

The friendly servers visit each table and topping up our glasses (and cups) with as much sparkling wine, tea, coffee as we like. This suits us just perfectly, as shopping and walking is thirsty work ;)

High tea at the Hyatt Hotel

There’s a comprehensive dessert bar – which features cakes and other sweet treats, gelato, freshly cooked Belgian waffles, biscuits, meringues and cold desserts (puddings, pannacottas and mousses).

High tea at the Hyatt Hotel

Meringues and biscuits

High tea at the Hyatt Hotel

Finger sandwiches – egg and mixed greens, front
and salmon with chargrilled eggplant, back.

The servers also join us tableside and present us with a selection of finger sandwiches. They’re deceptively substantial, despite their positively dainty appearance.

Fillings included salmon and chargrilled eggplant, egg and mixed greens, and salmon cream cheese with cucumber.

I particularly liked the subtly smoky chargrilled eggplant with the rich salmon spread. An unusual combination, but one I think would be excellent for future lunchtime sandwiches.

High tea at the Hyatt Hotel

High tea at the Hyatt Hotel

High tea at the Hyatt Hotel

There’s also an extensive section with hot finger food, including crispy goat’s cheese fritters, eggplant and zucchini frittata, curried savoury muffins, brie and mushroom tarts, filo tarts, and chicken and vegetable curry puffs.

We find ourselves immediately obsessed with the curry puffs – the filling is spot on, with tender chunks of chicken, potato, peas and a fragrant curry sauce, which even includes fresh curry leaves!

High tea at the Hyatt Hotel

Curry puff innards shot

They’re wrapped up in bubbly crisp pastry, and fantastic dipped in sweet chili sauce. It’s difficult to stop at one. (I had three :))

High tea at the Hyatt Hotel

High tea at the Hyatt Hotel

After our savoury stomachs are taken care of, we move on to sweets. There’s a lot on offer, so we opt to share a plate of cakes and fruit.

High tea at the Hyatt Hotel

A was immediately impressed with the strawberry cheesecake as it reminded her of her Mum’s strawberry shortcake.

I was initially attracted to the layered green cake, thinking it was pistachio flavoured.

I was pleasantly surprised to find it was subtly flavoured with a creamy lemon-lime filling. Not what I expected at all, but lovely!

High tea at the Hyatt Hotel

As soon as I spotted this bowl of chocolatey goodness, I knew we would be friends. A large bowl of chocolate ‘bark’ has a prominent place at the dessert bar, next to the gelato section.

There’s milk, dark and white chocolate bark, which has a gnarled rough appearance. I was delighted to realise the bark was made with puffed rice – like fancy chocolate crackles for grown ups!

We all suddenly lose our sense of decorum around this bowl and I spy sophisticated ladies who lunch gleefully destroying the beautiful display to get to the goods.

High tea at the Hyatt Hotel

It wouldn’t be afternoon tea without freshly baked scones, and the scones at the Hyatt’s high tea certainly deliver.

High tea at the Hyatt Hotel

High tea at the Hyatt Hotel

There’s a generously filled bowl of thick whipped cream, and a sweet selection of jams available at each table.

We enjoy our scones topped with thick cream and strawberry jam, which hails all the way from Austria.

The scones look pretty standard, but they proved to be impressively feather-light and fluffy, despite their crunchy exteriors. I’m really more of a soft-sided scone kinda gal, so I guess this experience proves – never judge a scone by its exterior!

High tea at the Hyatt Hotel

I wasn’t content to stop there. Oh no. I’d been staking out the waffle section, watching with eagle eyes from our seats by the fountain.

The piano man probably thought I was giving him the eye – but I was actually checking for signs of freshly cooked Belgian waffles.

I’m very pleased to report my weird waffle watching paid off. They were light and tender-crumbed with a fantastic crisp exterior. A and I shared this one with a dollop of thick cream and a drizzle of maple syrup – but there was also an evil looking chocolate sauce and fresh fruit sauces on offer.

High tea at the Hyatt Hotel

As we neared the end of our afternoon, I realised we hadn’t sampled any of the cold desserts. Food blogger fail.

It would have been remiss of me to leave without trying at least one of the options available.

I tried the Eton Mess, which was a lovely take on this traditional Brit dessert (I know I’m supposed to say ‘pudding’ but that seems like a misnomer).

This version featured layers of sweet chantilly cream, strawberry and passionfruit coulis, a drizzle of dark chocolate and crumbled vanilla meringue.

Happy birthday A!

This afternoon tea gets A’s seal of approval

My partner in crime A declared the afternoon tea at the Hyatt a major success. We both had a lovely afternoon, and really enjoyed the selection of food available.

The surroundings are calm and relaxed (no struggling to hear the conversation you’re having with your friends), and the staff are friendly and attentive making it a comfortable dining experience.

Afternoon tea is served on Saturdays and Sundays between 3.00 – 5.00pm, for $48 per person, and includes tea, coffee, free-flowing sparkling wine (or soft drink).

Reservations are recommended. You can book online at the Cafe at the Hyatt website.

Cafe at the Hyatt Regency Perth on Urbanspoon

Disclosure: we enjoyed this afternoon tea courtesy of the City of Perth, as part of Eat Drink Perth.

Dragon Seafood Chinese Restaurant, Northbridge

Dim Sum at Dragon Seafood Restaurant

Char Siu Pau (Steamed BBQ pork buns)

Though we’ve been friends for close to eight years, I only recently found out that my good friend L had never experienced the delicious chaos that is dim sum.

Whether it’s the lining up for a table, to the billing system or the endless chatter of pushy waitresses offering you food from steaming carts, for the uninitiated, eating at a dim sum restaurant can be a little intimidating.

For starters, dim sum is traditionally served from as early as 7.00am, if you can find a restaurant open (common in parts of Asia, but not in Perth!), and service ends typically at 3.00pm.

There’s growing numbers of restaurants now serving all the favourites through dinner, but dim sum is usually eaten for breakfast, brunch, lunch or as a snack anywhere in between.

Dim Sum at Dragon Seafood Restaurant

Har gao (steamed prawn dumplings)

Once you’re seated, the real fun begins, as trolleys of steamed dumplings clatter towards your table. 

My all time favourite steamed dumpling are har gao. Chunks of fresh bursty prawns are mixed into a delicious paste that’s steamed inside a sticky glutinous rice dough. There’s something so addictive about the slightly al dente wrappers.

Watch out as you manoeuver your chopsticks around a dumpling – those sticky wrappers have an uncanny tendency to stay attached to the steamer basket!

 Dim Sum at Dragon Seafood Restaurant

Pai gwut (pork ribs) with black beans

A big grin spreads across our friend I’s face when another trolley comes along stacked high with pork ribs in a black bean sauce.

The ribs are chopped into bite-sized pieces, perfect for sharing. The black beans add a burst of salty flavour to each bite.

Dim Sum at Dragon Seafood Restaurant

Salt and pepper chicken wings 

Waitresses bearing trays laden with fried treats arrive, and we pounce on the last dish of fried chicken wings.

They’re liberally dressed in a spicy salt mix that includes a tumble of chopped spring onions and generous pieces of red chili.

Chili heroes J and I are game to enjoy their wings with bites of chili, but it’s a different story of L and me, who instead just go for the least chili-doused wings on the plate.

This dish comes with four pieces … but there’s only three pictured above because someone (not me!) started eating before I snapped a pic.

You’d think after years of being friends with a food blogger they would be used to the routine by now ;)

Dim Sum at Dragon Seafood Restaurant

Siu Mai (steamed pork dumplings)

We also enjoyed some plump Siu Mai – steamed pork dumplings wrapped in wonton wrappers and topped with bright orange flying fish roe (which you might recognise from Japanese menus as Tobiko).

Dim Sum at Dragon Seafood Restaurant

Spring rolls

When the offer of hot spring rolls straight out of the fryer comes up, we’re given the option of vegetarian or meat versions. 

The decision is unanimous - meat please! - we all say at the same time.

Dim Sum at Dragon Seafood Restaurant

kai lan with oyster sauce

Lightly steamed or blanched kai lan is one of the healthiest options on the dim sum menu, and comes doused in a flavoursome oyster sauce based dressing. The crunchy stems are my favourite part.

Dim Sum at Dragon Seafood Restaurant

Salt and pepper fried squid tentacles

The crunchy salt and pepper squid is J’s favourite, and the talking subsides as we all dig in. Dragon Seafood Restaurant always seem to manage the perfect balance between salt and spice in their flavouring mix, with just a bit of fragrant garlic for good measure. 

Dim Sum at Dragon Seafood Restaurant

BBQ pork puffs

These baked puffs are one of my favourites, featuring a flaky buttery crust and sweet-salty barbecue pork filling. 

Dim Sum at Dragon Seafood Restaurant

Loh mai (Lotus leaf glutinous rice)

I and J both polish off the sticky rice, fighting it out for every last scrap of Chinese sausage, shiitake mushroom and chicken. 

Dim Sum at Dragon Seafood Restaurant

Fried prawn dumplings

And just in case you’re still in the mood for more prawns – don’t forget the fried prawn dumplings, which come wrapped in super-crunchy wonton wrappers. They’re the evil twin of Har Gao, and just as delicious as their saintly-steamed siblings! 

This crash course in dim sum was highly successful, with the final bill coming in under $20 a person. 

I realised L’s dim sum conversion was complete, when we piled in the car and drove out of Northbridge, as she declared her new obession for Char Siu Pau.

Dragon Seafood Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Things I Love Thursday: favourite Perth breakfasts

Eggs Benedict

Eggs Benedict from Toast, East Perth

Things I Love Thursday

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and I for one, agree wholeheartedly.

Breakfast is by far my favourite meal, and I’ll happily eat breakfast food at any time of the day (or night).

This year I’m one of the bloggers who will be part of the fun for Eat Drink Perth. March is the month for food fans in the city, with restaurants, cafes and bars around Perth, Northbridge, East Perth and West Perth participating in the events.

For this Things I Love Thursday I thought I’d take a look at some of my favourite Perth breakfast spots.

Eggs benedict from Toast, East Perth

Toast, East Perth is one of my go-to spots. Located right on the water at Claisebrook Cove, this sunny breakfast, brunch and lunch spot serves breakfast options all day, starting from 7.00am.

The coffee is great, and I find it hard to ever order anything other than their fantastic Eggs Benedict!

Toast on Urbanspoon

Jean Pierre Sancho Boulangerie and Patisserie is a stand out for Perth Francophiles who need their croissant and cafe au lait fix daily. Their chocolate and banana croissants are buttery, flaky, sweet perfection.

Just try to say no to their beautiful Eclairs or Macarons, even at breakfast. I dare you!

Jean Pierre Sancho on Hay Street on Urbanspoon

Tiger Tiger

Tiger Tiger probably doesn’t need an introduction. Their reputation for fantastic food and the perfect caffeine fix goes without saying. I’ve been heading to Tiger Tiger for lazy Saturday breakfasts for years. A recent revelation was their freshly baked apple and cinnamon muffins.

It’s a fantastic spot tucked in a laneway off Murray Street, that’s popular with shoppers and cyclists alike. On a Saturday, head down early to be sure you snag a seat.

Tiger, Tiger Coffee Bar on Urbanspoon

Bocelli Cafe is one of my favourite pit-stops for coffee in Forrest Place – consistently good every time, and I admit I’m a bit of a fan of their muffins and banana bread!

Great for when I’m on the go, especially on a busy work day.

Bocelli's Espresso‎ (Perth Train Station) on Urbanspoon

City Farm on the run

And let’s not forget my work day favourite, City Farm Cafe. I battled a mild addiction to their spinach and feta muffins … I’m sorry to say I’m still not fully rehabilitated ;)

They make an excellent coffee (using Rubra beans) too – mandatory for me, Monday to Friday.

City Farm Cafe on Urbanspoon

hello caffeine

Hello caffeine! At Toast, East Perth

This is, of course, a mere snapshot of all the fantastic brekkie eats around town, and not a comprehensive list by any means!

What are your favourite breakfast spots in Perth?

I hope you’ll be keen to catch some of the Eat Drink Perth events around the city this March. There’s lots on offer, from free family events, food tours, food and wine tastings to gourmet dinners and special offers for lunch and dinner around the city. The program is now available online at Eat Drink Perth!

Look out for me in the Eat Drink Perth Program in the STM liftout in the Sunday Times this weekend. 

Follow @ShowMePerth on Twitter for updates during March!

Fine Food Western Australia 2011

I mentioned in my previous post that there was some serious belly-space-conservation going on on a recent Monday…

And it was all in aid of this – Fine Food Western Australia 2011. It’s WA’s largest expo for the food service and hospitality industries, and it was very exciting to be invited as part of Eat Drink Perth. It was a fun outing, and it reminded me of the episode of The Simpsons where Homer and Marge go to a candy convention (apologies – the only clip I could find is dubbed in Italian!)

From catering sized packages of pre-made food to a huge range of specialty products. There was also top of the line ovens and industrial-sized stick mixers. An international cooking competition. Impressive displays. Oh, and there were samples..

Like the garlic balls from Specialised Chicken Services

And then there was the delectable duck from Pepes Ducks…

And Whoopie Pies!

Here are some other highlights from Fine Food Perth 2011

 

 

Royal Siam Kitchen, East Perth

On Saturday night, J and I enjoyed dinner at my favourite work-adjacent Thai restaurant. I’m a semi-regular visitor (I am a big fan of their seafood pad thai) - but I had never visited at dinner time.

Fried Tofu, with chili peanut dipping sauce | $5.50

We started with hot, crispy, just out of the wok fried tofu. I loved the soft and warm tofu, which had been quickly fried until satisfyingly crisp on the outside. Dipped into the sweet-sour sauce, it was bliss! J was convinced the sauce needed more chili and way more peanuts. So chili-wusses – fear not. You could definitely manage this one!

Roast Duck Curry | $19

To go with steamed rice for two ($2.50 each), we decided on a rich and deeply flavoured duck curry (one of my all time favourites!) which was thick with coconut cream, and featured lots of tasy morsels – tender (skin on) sliced roast duck, tangy and fresh grape tomato halves, sweet pineapple chunks, fresh capsicum strips and a few errant bits of coriander (which I picked out).

J and I both enjoyed sneaky spoonfuls of curry gravy while we ate our meal. While I am a long time duck curry fan, this was J’s first taste – he declared it a winner!

Siam white wine prawns | $22 (price from memory!)

Siam white wine is one of the chef’s special dishes – the fat, fresh prawns were satisfyingly bursty. The sauce was thick with chopped garlic, and had a great zing from chopped fresh chiles. Served on the side was a mix of steam veggies, including broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. This could be described as a anti-vampire dish. Definitely worth checking out if you’re a garlic fan! Delicious :)

Royal Siam Kitchen | My plate

I was really happy to have finally made it to Royal Siam Kitchen for dinner. We both had a great time, and left with full bellies and big smiles on our faces.

The service was snappy and thoughtful (refilled water glasses, checking on progress, asking if we wanted anything else), and the food was as delicious as I expected.

Royal Siam Kitchen is a well priced restaurant with a good range of Thai favourites. I can’t confirm just how authentic it is (I’m definitely not an authority), but I don’t really think it matters, because the food is great. Definitely worth a visit if you’re looking for Thai in East Perth.

 

Royal Siam Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Eat Drink Perth 2011: Twilight Hawker Market

Friday morning in Perth

Murray Street Mall, Friday 4 March – 7:45am

As part of Eat Drink Perth, every Friday this month, Forrest Chase will be having a bit of a make-over. I spotted the transformation on Friday morning as I made my way to work. As part of the first-Friday celebrations of Eat Drink Perth, stalls were set up in the Murray Street mall, as temporary street-side locations for favourite food retailers such as Jaws and Jean Pierre Sancho to sell their tasty wares.

Though the Murray Street Mall will be going back to its usual state for the remainder of the month, you can still catch the Twilight Hawker Markets every Friday night in March, from 5pm to 8pm (or until the food runs out!)

 

After work I caught up with my sister TFP, and we made a bee-line for Marcelita’s Colombian Empanadas, which is run by Abstract Gourmet and his wife, M.

As you can see from the row of boxes in the photo above, the crew at Marcelita’s  were busy churning out hot tasty treats for the forming crowds.

Marcelita’s Empanadas | 3 for $10 (or $3 each) – pork and lime filled with guacamole

TFP and I only had eyes for the pork. Sure, I loved the sound of slow cooked beef brisket. And the potato filled empanadas sounded delightful (who doesn’t love a bit of carb-on-carb action). But it had to be pork.

After waiting patiently for our order we were rewarded with three crispy and piping hot empanadas – the pork filling was generous, and was fragrant with fresh coriander and lime. We devoured them quickly with the zesty guacamole, which was the perfect partner for these tasty pillows of goodness.

Have I ever mentioned how much I love anything made with masa? Pupusas, empanadas, tamales… so many tasty options all made from corn meal. My favourite thing about it is the satisfyingly earthy and comforting flavour which corn brings to the food.

We loved the empanadas so much we even went back for more :)

The satay stall

Chicken satay |$7 for 5 sticks with satay sauce

We also tried the chicken satay, which was hard to resist with the smell of the charcoal grill and lemongrass wafting through the market. My favourite part was the super-crispy, extra charred bits on the chicken. Yum!

Crowd-sized paella | $10 for a bowl

I almost didn’t get to sample the paella. As I stood in line as the second pan of the night was dished out, I realised (with horror) that there were about ten people standing between me and paella. As each person in the line happily walked away with their steaming bowls, I was faced with a near-on empty paella pan. Luckily for me, the friendly ladies behind the pan were happy to sell me a ‘tasting size’ plate for $5, with a chicken wing, some squid, pork and other goodies. I missed out on seafood, but that wasn’t important at the time!

I’ll be sure to go back next week to have my own full-sized plate for dinner – it was delicious, and I’m sure it will be even better next time in a full-sized portion with the blue swimmer crab, prawns and mussels which are dished out for each customer.

 

Some observations from the first Twilight Hawker Market

  • I think everyone at the market was a little surprised by the turn out – I heard a number of stall holders and customers saying “I can’t believe this crowd!” It really was a great night, but I hope the event organisers make some tweaks to the upcoming markets.
  • Space was an issue – though people were generally really good about it, it was quite difficult to navigate the stalls, line up to be served and find a place to stop and eat. Some tables were set up in break-out areas amongst the stalls, but the entire ‘square’ area outside the GPO was unused – surprising, because it seemed much more logical (to me) to spread things over the entire area in Forrest Chase.
  • Signage – the most common question I overheard at each stall was “how much” and “what is it”? Adding bigger signboards would help (at least a little), and could improve the overall flow of traffic, allowing people to walk by and make choices without having to stop and ask for information.
  • Drinks – there seemed to be lots of food, but not a lot to drink on offer. After eating and wandering around the stalls for two hours, I would have drank practically anything.
  • A number of the stalls ran out of food well before 8pm, which was a shame. I hope this will be rectified in the coming weeks, as everyone seemed to be hungry – and hungry for more.
  • With this experience, I really hope we see the establishment of more hawker markets in future! They’re one of my favourite things about travelling in Asia, and it’s a shame it’s not more popular here. It seems like Perth people are pretty keen on the idea!

For more information about the Twilight Hawker Market or other events happening in the City of Perth this March, visit Eat Drink Perth

 

 

Eat Drink Perth 2011

It’s going to be a busy month of eating this March!

Eat Drink Perth is hitting the city from 1 – 31 March 2011. It’s an annual event held by the City of Perth, which celebrates what’s good in food and drink around Perth, and in the surrounding suburbs of East Perth, West Perth and Northbridge.

What’s happening this month:

If you’re interested to find out more, visit Eat Drink Perth. You can also download a calendar of events (PDF 167KB), follow the coffee trail (PDF 6MB), and find a brochure (PDF 7MB) which explains what Eat Drink Perth is all about.

Watch out for tweets during Eat Drink Perth – follow @eatdrinkperth and use the hashtag #eatdrinkperth on Twitter. You can also ‘like’ Eat Drink Perth on Facebook!

I’ll be blogging my Eat Drink Perth adventures this March, so stay tuned, and put on those eating pants!