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Archive for the Perth Category

Perth – Eating and Drinking at Swanbourne Beach

Posted in Australia, Perth, Swanbourne, Western Australia with tags on January 14, 2020 by gannet39

Swanbourne is the next beach up from Cottesloe to the north. It’s a continuation of the same beach but as it’s at the far northern end which is relatively isolated and windy, so the only people you’ll meet here are kite surfers or naturists and gay men posing on top of sand dunes in the buff!

My reason for coming here though was this great beach restaurant…

The Shorehouse (High Intermediate A), 278 Marine Parade, www.shorehouse.com.au

The Shorehouse has a One Hat rating from the 2018 Good Food Guide. I love the terrace out front which has a great view of the sea and the sunsets although it can get a bit cold later in the evening, so you should bring warm coverings and some mosquito spray.

I enjoyed it so much I came twice, once for lunch and the second time to celebrate my brother’s birthday meal.

On both visits I kicked off with a G&T of which there are six on the menu to choose from. The Bangkok Hilton did it for me (B+) but the Sipsmith Cucumber less so (B-).

I was starving on my first visit so I rattled through four courses, beginning with some decent, very knobbly oysters (B).

The Evoi Sauvignon Blanc went well with them (B).

The following Watermelon Salad with Seared Nectrines, Heirloom Tomatoes, Mozzarella and Basil with Organic Honey absolutely blew me away (A+). Must have a bash at this at home.

For the pasta course the Linguine with Blue Crab and Prawns was also very good (B+).

And I couldn’t fault the final Panna Cotta (A).

Six of us sat down for Dan’s birthday a week later and I was too busy talking to score or take pictures of the food but I enjoyed the Burrata Salad (B+), even though it wasn’t my idea of burrata, it was just very fresh mozzarella with no cream inside.

Next the Tiger Prawns, cooked on a Josper charcoal grill, were good but I’ve had better (B).

Finally the cheesecake was okay except that it was lacking a base which is usually the most tasty part (B).

To drink, the Silkman Semillon was okay but lacked fragrance (C+) despite being from a region known for this aromatic grape. The Cullen SBS was better (B+) and I enjoyed the sweet Juniper Estate (B) with dessert.

Everyone else seemed to enjoy their food so I have no hesitation in recommending The Shorehouse as one of my favourite spots in Perth.

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Perth – Eating and Drinking at Cottesloe Beach

Posted in Australia, Cottesloe, Perth, Western Australia with tags , , , , on January 13, 2020 by gannet39

Cottlesloe Beach is one of the most popular and beautiful beaches in Perth. Video here.

It’s well located between Perth and Fremantle. My map here.

My brother and I rented an AirBnB in neighbouring Mosman Park (see previous post) just so we could come here every day. As you can see from the stunning houses along Marine Parade, it must be very expensive to stay in the area unless you have the wherewithal.

Most days we would do the twenty minute walk to start the day with brunch on the terrace at this lovely Art Deco cafe…

John Street Café (Intermediate A), 37 John Street, www.johnstreetcafe.com.au

As well as their traditional ‘John’s Lot’ fry up (A)…

…I can recommend the San Daniele prosciutto (preferable to Parma for me) with rocket, goat’s curd, poached eggs, ciabatta and caramelised fig (A)…

…and the Bruschetta with smashed avocado, tomato medley, Spanish onions, basil, garlic and a field mushroom (B+).

For lunch you could come here…

Indiana Tearooms (Intermediate B), 99 Marine Parade, www.indiana.com.au

The tearooms are in the iconic Art Deco building that overlooks the most popular part of Cottesloe beach.

It’s a good spot to sit and watch the goings on.

However I didn’t rate their oysters (C-) which I thought were very metallic and the least favourite of the many I tried in Perth. The bar seems a bit lacking too.

I’d still go again though, once I’ve worked through the menu at this place over the road…

Il Lido (High Intermediate B+), 88 Marine Parade, illido.com.au

Usually I’d think twice about eating Italian food outside of Italy, unless I cook it myself, but I’d heard good things about Il Lido so I gave it a shot.

I liked it so much I came twice; once as a lone diner for lunch and again with my brother for dinner. The food is very good but the wine is overpriced I think.

On my first visit I begain with the Arancini of the day which were great (B+).

The menu suggested a wine match of imported Inama Soave (B) without saying how much it would cost. I nearly choked when the bill came and it was A$17! (About £10).

The Fremantle Octopus with chickpeas, garlic, shallots, cherry tomatoes and lemon on bruschetta was a winner as well (B+).

With a glass of Bisleri Chinotto (a fizzy bitter orange drink) and a macchiato coffee, the bill was just shy of A$70, so a bit excessive to my mind.

With my brother on another night I had the excellent Polpetti meatballs (A)…

…and the less impressive Mozzarella (B) which came with a char-grilled tomato (C).

We shared the Lasagne which was great (A)…

…and finished with the Chocolate Truffle (B+) which was more reasonably priced at €5.

The Whicher Ridge ‘Elevation’ Cab Sauv was okay (B).

One thing I really like about this place was the soundtrack which had obviously been chosen by a person with great musical knowledge. There’s not many restaurants where you’ll hear Fela Kuti’s ‘Water Got No Enemy’.

Amberjacks (Elementary B), 28/94 Marine Parade, amberjacks.com.au

This is a decent fish and chip shop on the seafront for when you’re trying to reign in your budget, if you consider paying £10 ‘reigning it in’. The chip portions are huge (go small) but they’re a bit stingy with the fish portions.

I regretted getting the grilled mackerel (C) as my brother’s battered hake was much better (B). The only chippy I’ve been to where the vinegar comes in a spray gun!

Boatshed, 40 Jarrad St, www.boatshedmarket.com.au

A very posh deli off the Stirling Highway on the way to the beach. It’s nice to go and have a drool even if you don’t intend to buy any of it. There are often lots of free samples to graze on.

Wish I had the money to live in Cottesloe!

Off to Swanbourne now, the next beach up to the north…

Perth – chilling in Mosman Park

Posted in Australia, Mosman Park, Perth, Western Australia with tags , , , , on January 12, 2020 by gannet39

Mosman Park is a fairly affluent residential area that’s well positioned for getting into central Perth to the north (45 mins by bus, less by train) and Freo to the south (20 mins on the bus).

My brother and I rented an AirBnB here for about £50 a night. Our main reason for staying in the area was to go to nearby Cottesloe beach (see next post) which was just 20 mins walk due west.

My map here.

Foodwise there are a few decent places…

Good Things (Intermediate B+), 28 Wellington Street, goodthingscafe.com.au

A decent breakfast spot. I liked the ‘The Hulk’; smashed advocado with peas, mint, pickled red onion, seeds, sesame, whipped feta and chili on toast (B+). The smoothies are great too (A).

Nasi Lemak Korner (Intermediate B), 626 Stirling Highway, www.nasilemakkorner.com

A decent Malaysian place. The mixed starter plate was huge, and pretty good (B).

The Beef Rendang is their star dish by all accounts. We really enjoyed it (B+) with my bro going as far as to say that it was better than the ones he’d recently had in Indonesia (which has a lot of culinary crossover with Malaysia).

However I wasn’t too impressed by the Rotis which were a bit greasy (C+).

Tsunami (Intermediate B), 18 Glyde Street, www.tsunamisushi.com.au

Opened by one of the chefs from Nobu, the most famous Japanese restaurant in Perth. The Sukiyaki was alright (B-) as were the Lamb Ribs (B) and the voyager Sauvignon Blanc (B).

One Sunday we didn’t have a lot to do so we went to the Chidley Reserve and had a pleasant walk next to the Swan River.

You’re surrounded by nature all along the path. Amazing to think this is all reclaimed industrial land.

After our walk we went on a tour of the Leighton Battery www.artillerywa.org.au in Mosman Park.

It’s a WW2 gun instillation which was built to resist attack from the Japanese.

It has since been preserved and renovated by volunteers. It’s quite atmospheric wandering the underground tunnels and imagining what it must have been like to serve there.

The battery is only open to the public on Sundays.

So nothing terribly exciting about Mosman Park but it is well placed for Cottesloe, more of which next.

Perth – eating and drinking in Northbridge

Posted in Australia, Northbridge, Perth, Western Australia with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 5, 2020 by gannet39

Northbridge is the coolest residential district in central Perth according to my research so I got an AirBnB there for a week. You’ll find some of the more avante garde restaurants here and it also serves as the city’s Asiatown with lots of Vietnamese, Japanese and Chinese businesses. There are lots of great boozers too. Here are some of my favourites, there are lots more on my map.

Lot Twenty (Intermediate B+), 198-206 William Street, www.lot20.co

This gastro pub is a nice little spot. I’d like to come back try some other things off the menu but I was brought here by the promise of great oysters from Jerry Fraser the (self-dubbed?) ‘King of Oysters’. He’s at different pubs on different days so check his movements on oystershucker.com.au. He’s a nice chap and very happy to chat.

It was to be my first experience of local oysters and I wanted to learn as much as I could from him. For $25 he gave me a mixed half dozen of Rocks (not the same as UK Rocks apparently) and Pacifics which, like all Aussie oysters are farmed.

The Rocks won hands down (B+) being more creamy and salty than the Pacifics, although they were pretty decent too (B).

I really wanted to try the local Angasi mud oysters but these are only available in the autumn apparently.

It was fun listening to Jerry talk about his time working in oyster bars in London. His personal opinion is that Scottish Lock Fyne oysters www.lochfyne.com are the best in the world which is something I need to test for myself.

Shadow Wine Bar (Intermediate B+), 214 William Street, shadowwinebar.com.au

This is a great place to try West Australian wines although with full priced servings of only 100ml, I could only justify one visit.

I had the Spagehettini with crab, tomatoes and the tiniest capers I’ve ever seen (B+).

The Woodlands Wilyabrup Valley Chardonnay was truly excellent (A) but I felt the pours were a bit stingy at $10 per 100ml glass. The total bill came to $54. Not cheap but I’d definitely go again.

Okay Vietnamese (Intermediate B+), 6/457 William Street

There are many Vietnamese restaurants in the neighbourhood but this is defintely a good one.

I enjoyed their raw beef Pho Tai soup (B+). Wish I’d had time to try the rest of the menu.

Ichiraku (Elementary B), 43 Monger Street, www.facebook.com/ramenichirakuperth

There are better ramen-ya bars in the CBD but this is the best in the neighbourhood. I had the ‘Signature Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen’ and a rack of five Gyoza dumplings (both B) for A$25.50.

I wouldn’t bother with Oceans (C) at 62 Roe Street. It’s fine at a pinch but their broth doesn’t cut it for me.

The Re Store (High Intermediate A), 72 Lake Street, www.facebook.com/therestore.northbridge

This big old deli is great for getting stuff to take home, especially wine. I’m sure the café is good too.

They have an even bigger and better branch at 231 Oxford Street in Leederville. m.facebook.com/restoreoxford

GOOD PUBS IN NORTHBRIDGE:

Brass Monkey Hotel (Intermediate A), William Street corner of James Street, www.thebrassmonkey.com.au

A nice old pub with lots of different bars with areas for playing pool, watching sports, sitting outside or being quiet. It’s centrally located on the city side of the neighbourhood.

The Brisbane Hotel (Intermediate A), 292 Beaufort Street, www.thebrisbanehotel.com.au

The spacious beer garden often features good house music DJs from abroad. Think this might be one to avoid though.

The Standard (Intermediate B+), 28 Roe Street, www.thestandardperth.com.au

Their terrace is a great place to watch the sun go down. Food looks good.

Picabar (Intermediate B+), 51 James Street, www.picabar.com.au

A popular drinking spot near the Cultural Centre where a lot of people can sit outside under a big tree.

Hyde Park on William Street is a nice place for a leafy walk. Lots of interesting birds and plants, and jacaranda in spring.

So lots to eat and drink, see and do in Northbridge! It’s such a great neighbourhood, wish I could have stayed longer.

Off to Freo next!

Perth – choice breakfast spots in the centre

Posted in Australia, Central Business District, Leederville, Northbridge, Perth, West Perth, Western Australia with tags , , , , , on January 4, 2020 by gannet39

I spent my first week in Perth staying in an AirBnb in Northbridge which is the most happening neighbourhood in the centre. Every morning I’d walk to a new breakfast spot. Aussie breakfast cafes rule and the ones within walking distance were no exception. Here are a few of my favourites…

The Little Bird Cafe (Intermediate A), 100 Lake St, Northbridge, m.facebook.com/thelittlebirdcafe

This was my local spot which I visited a few times. Nice staff, pleasant outdoor seating, good coffee, great food.

I adore their Acai Bowl with seasonal fruit, ‘coastal crunch’ granola and coconut flakes overlaying an acai, orange and blueberry smoothie (A+). Such a great way to start the day.

The Bird Benedict with bacon, poached eggs and hollandaise sauce on sourdough with fresh spinach was another good one (A).

The classic Brekky Brushcetta with fresh tomatoes, smashed lemon and mint avocado, bacon, poached egg and feta on sourdough can’t fail (A).

These were all around the $20 to $18 mark. If you’re staying in central Perth, my advice is to get a place near here!

Leederville, another central neighbourhood with a few good eateries and shops, is a thirty minute walk from Northbridge.

Sayers (Intermediate B+), 224 Carr Place, Leederville, www.sayersfood.com.au

I liked their Potato Rosti with poached eggs, bacon, onion jam and ‘lemon-scented’ wilted spinach (B+).

Their chocolate-banana bread with honey butter is also great for a bit of indulgence (B+).

While you’re in Leederville you should check out Restore at 231 Oxford Street m.facebook.com/ReStoreOxford. This deli is a treasure store of ingredients and wine. Dare say the cafe is good too.

West Perth is another central neighbourhood between Leederville and Northbridge…

West End Deli (Intermediate B+), 95 Carr St, West Perth, www.westenddeli.net.au

A nice neighbourhood spot. I had poached eggs with dukkah, smashed avocado with mint and peas, and seared kale. All very healthy and simple but totally delicioius (A).

Dukkah by the way is an Egyptian spice and nut mix that is used around the Arab middle east. It has really taken off in Australia due to immigration from the Lebanon and other Arab countries, and has been further popularised by cooking shows.

Wish I’d been here more than once to try the rest of the menu.

And in the CBD, a previously mentioned favourite…

Toastface Grillah (Elementary B+), on Grand Lane, a side alley off Wellington St near the corner with Barrack St, www.toastfacegrillah.com

Top marks for the name! They serve great cheese toasties and decent coffee. See my Perth CBD food post for more info.

Petition (Intermediate B), State Buildings, St Georges Terrace & Barrack St, petitionperth.com

A busy lawyers hangout in the CBD. I had their wonderful Poached Salmon, Smoked Egg Gribiche, Rocket and Ricotta Salata (B+).

I miss these breakfasts so much! They’re a major reason I to go to Australia!

Perth – great places to eat in the CBD

Posted in Australia, Central Business District, Perth, Western Australia with tags , , , , , , on January 3, 2020 by gannet39

There are heaps of places to eat in the CBD, from basic to high end. These are my favourites, all scoring high marks on my scale of A to D, and a couple to be wary of at the bottom (Cs). There’s a gem for every meal of the day so you could have a toastie for breakfast, ramen for lunch and a top notch Thai or Italian with great Aussie wines for your evening meal, it’s all there.

My map here.

Toastface Grillah (Elementary A), Wellington St & Barrack St, Perth, www.toastfacegrillah.com

I love this little place, for its name, attitude and grungy location down a back alley, and the coffee and toasties are pretty good too (A/B+).

I can recommend the ‘Ol’Faithful’; smoked ham, cheddar, sweet pickle relish on grain.

There are lots of other interesting combos with great names like the ‘Notorius B.A,G’; bacon, apple, gouda!

Nao Ramen (Intermediate A-), 191/580 Hay St, www.naojapaneserestaurant.com.au

I know my ramen, and this was the best ramen-ya of the four that I tried in Perth. The all-important broth is deep and rich (B+) and their cha-siu pork is some of the best I’ve ever tasted (A).

You can choose from four kinds each of flavoured broths and noodles. I had the Miso and I came back a second time and had their Spicy Miso too (both B+). Plain egg noodles every time for me.

Their Pork Gyoza are very dense which might be to some people’s taste but I like them to be just a little more delicate (B).

Hikaru Ramen (Elementary B+), 4b/50 St Georges Terrace, www.hikaru.com.au

Hikaru is another very good ramen place that’s worth trying, but it comes in second to Nao.

The Aviary (Intermediate B), Level 1/140 William St, www.theaviaryperth.com.au

This is a good spot if you’re looking for a beer terrace to escape the afternoon heat or watch the sunset. Slightly more expensive than other pubs I think but a good location.

Lalla Rookh (High Intermediate A), 32/77 St Georges Terrace, www.lallarookh.com.au

This atmospheric basement restaurant off Perth’s main drag was awarded One Hat by the 2018 Good Food Guide, so I felt had to try it and I was very glad I did.

It serves very authentic Italian food at not unreasonable prices and I also learned a lot about local food and wine from the accommodating staff.

I had the tasting menu; ‘Il Capo’ for A$68. With an additional wine matching the total came to a hefty €162. Not cheap, but it was good value for what I got.

The Beef, Stracciatella and Bottarga was a bit salty but still very good (A). The pic was blurred sorry.

I had this with the first of many good local wines; a Lowboi Riesling which was bone dry with very little nose (B+).

The Kingfish Crudo with pink peppercorns, grapefruit and thyme was nice (B).

I really liked the oaky Vasse Felix Chardonnay matched with it (B+).

I forgot to take a pic of the delicious Marinated Ox Tongue Marjoram and Lemon (B+), sorry.

The Blind Corner Field Blend Shiraz wasn’t bad (B).

Best of the food was the Paccheri Pasta with Smoked Pancetta, Ox Tongue and Pine Nuts which was absolutely killer (A+).

The Empirica Syrah with it was just okay (B).

Food-wise I also loved the Quail with Beetroot, Pistachio, Orange and Chevre (A).

Thankfully I had a good red with it, the Hay Shed Cabernet Sauvignon (B+).

For dessert just a canolo…

… and a glass of a local sweet liqueur called Talijancich Verdelho which was fantastic (A).

I liked it so much that I went back to their shop (entrance just around the corner on Sherwood Court) and bought a bottle for $40. Absolute nectar.

I was also treated to a shot of Limburners Honey Liqueur (A).

As a finale the waitress offered up the information that at a recent wine festival in Perth, all the wine spat out by the tasters was distilled and made into a spirit called ‘Kissing A Stranger’. I’m actually quite glad I missed out that one!

Long Chim (High Intermediate A-), corner of St Georges Terrace and Barrack, www.longchimperth.com

Long Chim, meaning ‘come try’, sells authentic Thai street cuisine. The food is very good, but it sure ain’t cheap, by UK let alone Bangkok standards. Chef owner David Thompson has managed to garner quite a reputation and it’s another One Hat winner in the 2018 Good Food Guide.

It’s located in the basement of the 19th century Treasury where the government records and archives were once stored.

There’s a nice outdoor area…

… featuring quirky décor and cartoonish street art.

The Mandarin & Lemongrass Negroni was an interesting twist on the classic (B+).

I was by myself and not particularly hungry, so I couldn’t justify splashing out. In the end I made the very unimaginative selection of Pad Thai, which was excellent (A) and made with a good variety of ingredients. I particularly loved the tiny chunks of tofu which I’d not had in Pad Thai before.

The Tirra Lirra white blend was nice (B).

I would go back to Long Chim if I was with a group. It’s very famous and popular so booking in the evenings is definitely recommended.

Wildflower on the roof of the same building is also very well reputed but I saved it for next time.

A couple of places I went to weren’t that great.

This well-known Vietnamese cafe was a let down…

Mama Tran (High Elementary C), 6/36-40 Milligan St, www.mamatran.com.au

Despite having a rep for being the best in town I thought their pre-packaged Banh Mi (pork sandwich) was tasteless. I’m sure their pho is fine. It’s cheap and very busy at lunchtimes, closed in the evening.
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Another one to be wary of despite the great location on the waterfront…

Oyster Bar (Intermediate C), Level 1/&2 Geoffrey Bolton Av, Elizabeth Quay, www.oysterbar.com.au

Not particularly keen on this place even though oysters were half price on the night I went. I’ve had better oysters elsewhere (see my Northbridge posts). We sat on the top floor to catch the view but it got a bit windy. Service wasn’t great and the other food was mediocre.

However I would go again just for their Bloody Mary Oyster Shot which is a very fine concept indeed!

More good food in neighbouring Northbridge next!

Perth – Street Art in the CBD

Posted in Australia, Central Business District, Perth, Western Australia on January 2, 2020 by gannet39

Perth has a big reputation for street art and many local businesses have embraced the form to decorate their buildings, so you’ll see it everywhere. However the main hot spot is around Wolf Lane in the CBD, where I took most of these pictures on my visit in 2017. Two years late I know but hey, I’ve been busy 😀 My map with Wolf Lane on is here. I’m going to dedicate a seperate post to street art in Fremantle which has its own thing going on.

Click on the pics to expand.

Perth – Urban Architecture Old and New

Posted in Australia, Central Business District, Perth, Western Australia on January 1, 2020 by gannet39

In January 2018 I had a few weeks holiday in Western Australia. It was my second time in Oz (see my New South Wales posts) but my first time over this side of the country. Although I originally had plans to experience the natural beauty of the northern part of the state, I instead decided to leave it until my next visit and, except for a couple of weeks in the Margaret River wine region in the near south, keep things fairly urban. Seventy nine percent of the state’s population lives in Perth, the capital, and city boy that I am, this is where I most wanted to be.

You’ll find my state map here and my Perth map here.

One of the best places to get a view of Perth’s skyline is from Kings Park which has an elevated view over the city, video here.

Many people enjoy coming here around dusk to watch the sun go down. Video here.

Another good view of the CBD can be had down at Elizabeths Quay on the waterfront. Video here.

The quay is also very atmospheric at night. Video here.

The whole area was redeveloped in 2016 so it’s a good area to walk around whatever the time of day.

Perth was built with mining money. One of the highest towers belongs to mining behmoth Rio Tinto, coincidentally named after one of the rivers mentioned in my previous posts on Huelva in Spain. You’ll find a brief history here.

To be honest the skyscrapers don’t have much going for them and the Rio Tinto HQ is no exception.

Local architects are getting quite good at the smaller scale modern stuff though. The City of Perth Library and History Centre is a nice example of the contemporary timber style of modernist architecture.

If nothing else at least it’s a good place to cool down on a hot day!

My favourite building is just a short distance away at 27 St Georges Terrace. Council House is a beautiful (to me) brutalist monster by day…

…and is now an even lovelier glowing rainbow by night. What a great way to show off the design.

You get the full effect from the video here.

Another modern building I quite liked was the newly completed Children’s Hospital.

And there were a few other post-modern bits and pieces dotted around that caught my eye.

There’s the odd nice bit of Deco.

They are quite good at integrating old colonial era facades with modern buildings.

The entrance to the Cadogan Song School next to the Cathedral is another example.

Plenty of colonial buildings have been lovingly preserved alongside their modern counterparts.

So, lots of architerctural eye candy around Perth. Street art next…

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