PFR Archives Cuisine


Core Cider House - Chilli Chocolate Macquis

Core Cider House – 28 Dec 2016

Just 30ish minutes from the city, there are various wineries dotted in the Perth hills region of Carmel, Pickering Brook and Bickley, a hidden gem of sorts, compared to the well known Swan Valley region. The drive here is like passing through the countryside, peaceful and tranquil. The walk to the cider house is picturesque, with a large grassed area to throw down a picnic blanket and sip on an alcoholic beverage or two while the kids run wild. There’s plenty of outdoor seating seating to enjoy your drinks from the bar, or you can venture upstairs to the semi open outdoor setting where there is lots to choose from on the menu which utilises the stone fruit grown on the premises or makes use of the ciders brewed on site.

I started off with the kangaroo carpaccio which was delicious. The dish is perfectly paired with sweet potato for a touch of sweetness, creaminess from the whipped feta, and crunch from the candied macadamias which also provide a different touch of sweetness. For mains I chose the seared duck breast which was perfectly cooked with just a tad amount of pink in the centre. The duck was enjoyed with some slightly sweet pickled red cabbage, but the sour apple reduction and grilled stone fruit helped balance each other out. For dessert, I thoroughly enjoyed the very generous slice of spiced apple pie. The spices employed lift the pie to a new level, particularly the addition of chilli for some bite. The ice cream is delicious and I did have a taste of the other desserts, a chilli chocolate marquis and a sour apple brûlée, which were both delicious.

The scenery is beautiful and relaxing, and the venue is just like that too. The weather was beautiful and the place was packed out (best to book). Despite that, the service was friendly and everyone was well looked after. Lots of people were enjoying the ciders brewed on site and also the food on offer. Core Cider House also runs a little farmers market on the weekend where fresh fruit, preserves, and ice cream are available. The venue also hosts tours, events (check out their New Years Eve offering), and is also the ideal venue for private functions or weddings.


Holmes and Co - Corn Fritter, Poached Egg

Holmes and Co – 23 Dec 2016

Located down the lane ways where Wolf Lane is close by, this casual cafe has plenty of seating outside which is perfect for enjoying the morning sun and breakfast. There’s lots to choose from, centring around poached eggs. I chose the Holmes Stack, comprising of a corn fritter, smashed avo, poached egg and a choice of bacon or smoked salmon (I chose smoked salmon). Once you cut into the poached egg it has a nice runny yolk. With the avocado, smoked salmon, dukkah, greens and a dash of hot sauce for some pep, this was a tasty breakfast. I also really enjoyed the chai latte which was delicious.


Starfish Bar - Fish Skewer, Crumbed Prawn, Deep Fried and Grilled Fish

Starfish Bar – 18 Dec 2016

From the people behind Zambrero, it’s time for Perth to have a more glammed up fish and chip offering that takes the humble fish to a new level. With fish sourced from Kailis Brothers, The Starfish Bar on the popular Beaufort Street strip in Mt Lawley is just in time for summer where seafood is perfect for the hot weather. I was fortunate to receive an invite to sample some of the food on offer. With beer, wine and soft drinks on offer, a wide array of items on the menu to choose from including sliders, skewers, fish packs, salads, grilled and deep fried fish, there’s plenty to satisfy. The venue is large, open and casual and the staff are friendly and attentive which is refreshing for Perth.


Cloud Gelato - Italian Sweets Cabinet

Cloud Gelato – 16 Dec 2016

I was on my way home and walking though London Court on Friday night when my eye was drawn to the Italian sweets in the display cabinet and stopped me in my tracks. I approached for a closer look and decided on getting some cannoli and an eclair. Once I walked in I was also taken by the gelato. Only been operating for 5 months, a wide range of handmade artisan style gelato, sorbets, natural frozen yogurt and premium sweets including their honoured silician cannoli is available. They also serve a thick waffle to encase gelato dubbed the “cloud waffle”, no ordinary cone.

With several gelato flavours to choose from, I asked for a taste of the coffee and ferrero gelato and I was sold. I happily enjoyed a cup of that. Yum! Still waiting for the bus so I decided to tuck into the Sicilian cannoli. Mmm, the cannoli filing is rich and delicious, a soft but crunchy shell encasing the filling is just as it should be. It’s certainly one of the best cannoli I’ve eaten in Perth. I also got an eclair which I ate the next day. Lovely light choux pastry filled with a light chocolate custard that isn’t too sweet, possibly needs a little more sweetness if anything, but the chocolate on the outside provides that extra bit of chocolate and sweetness.


Moana Coffee - French Toast

Moana Coffee – 15 Dec 2016

Moana Coffee is a hidden cafe, a place I’ve walked past so many times I really think most of Perth does’t know it exists. Situated in the renovated Moana Chambers, from Hay St Mall, keep a look out for Britton’s Formal Hire, walkthrough and to the left and up the stairs or take the lift if you’re lazy. Sharing the space with an artist-run exhibition space, once you do a U turn after reaching the top of the stairs, you will discover this peaceful and tranquil balcony cafe.


Meat and Bun - Dark Knight and Smokey Fries

Meet and Bun – 14 Dec 2016

Situated in the food court on the lower level of Trinity Arcade, Meet and Bun serves fresh made burgers to order. I had read there is quite a queue for lunch so got there a little early and ordered the Dark Knight with Smokey Fries. I wasn’t too impressed that several people behind me had there names called out before mine to collect their orders at the counter. After eventually getting my order, I sat down to enjoy. I tucked into the fries first. They’re pretty good though need more seasoning and a little less paprika as it leaves a slightly raw taste. The dark knight is a burger with a charcoal bun encasing crispy fried chicken, bacon, cheese, and slaw. The succulent chicken breast is coated in a crunchy batter, the cheese is gooey, and there’s a slight salty tone thanks to the bacon. To add some freshness the slaw does the job. It’s a solid burger packed with ingredients, filling, lots to keep you interested, though it didn’t wow. Still, if you needed a burger then this is a good place to stop by.


The Flour Factory - Beef Ribs

The Flour Factory – 12 Dec 2016

Since transforming from the Venn Bar, I haven’t yet made a visit to The Flour Factory despite being right next door to where I work. The former flour mill has been transformed into an intriguing space spanning 3 levels and includes a large bar area as well as offering dining. Offering a range of tapas style dishes, if you can’t decide what to get, just go with the feed me menu.


Manise Cafe - Ayam Bakar Manise

Manise Cafe – 5 Dec 2016

Located at the far end of William Street in Northbridge, Manise Cafe has a home style feel, a warm welcoming environment with good honest Indonesian cuisine. The dishes don’t cost much but the serves are smaller as a result which means you can order more dishes and get a variety of flavours. I started with es cendol, the coconut milk and palm sugar syrup drink with pandan jelly which was pretty tasty and refreshing. Foodwise, we started with ayam baker manise which presented very tender chicken with slight crunch and a delicious sweet but muted sauce. This was really enjoyable. We also got kondro bakar kecap, the meat from the ribs was removed from the bone and are oh so tender and flavoursome. Yum! Can’t go past gado gado, the steamed vegetable dish topped with a creamy satay sauce. The delicious creamy peanut sauce certainly livens up the steamed veggies and is a popular Indonesian snack. Easy to see why. We also got ikar bakar manise, a whole fish containing tender flesh coated in a lovely marinade and enhanced by the refreshing tomato and onion mix. Enjoyed with steamed rice, you start to fill up with all the variety and the different flavours of the sweet soy sauce and sweet sambal mix.


Theo & Co - Built From Bones Dessert Pizza

Theo & Co Pizzeria – 1 Dec 2016

Theo Kalogeracos, the master pizza chef, has a new pizza store in East Vic Park, just opposite The Heart of The Park Shopping Center. The space is casual, the service friendly, and the pizzas are anything but ordinary. Dine in or takeaway, BYO, wait to be seated and then be confused as to what pizza to choose from the extensive menu. I was really keen on trying the skillet pizzas and opted for the pepperoni version. This deep dish beautie was amazing! Not at all soggy, soft fluffy base packed with Mozzarella cheese and delicious pepperoni. Yum yum yum! I also opted for one of their best sellers (which there are many) – Pork Belly on a pizza? Crazy, no genius! Marinated with deliciousness, fennel, garlic, and the creamy dijonaise is a masterstroke. Full of flavour and so enjoyable. Some bits have a slight crunch from the crackling. They have boxes where the cutlery and serviettes are to take the leftovers away which means room for dessert. I’ve eaten several dessert pizzas from different restaurants which have generally been poor. Here, there’s several to choose from and the Built From Bones looked appealing. A deconstructed cannoli – ricotta base with chocolatey drops and broken cannoli shells for crunch, it’s unusual, different but an excellent dessert pizza nonetheless. Really full but very satisfied. The pizzas here are a very different style but are inventive, creative, and the flavour combinations are on the money.


Prego Restaurant - Gnocchi

Prego Restaurant – 19 Nov 2016

One of my work colleagues had recommended I visit Prego which has been on my list for a long time so I finally made it here. Booking is essential, since we walked in on a Saturday evening, the restaurant filled up very quickly. Prego Restaurant is located on the Cambridge Street side with floor to ceiling glass windows creating an inviting, classy, yet unpretentious atmosphere as soon as you walk in. The wait staff who attended to us throughout the night were really friendly which is refreshing, particularly at a fine dining establishment.

Before the meal began, a complimentary plate of falafel was served. The menu here is Italian but has a very strong Mediterranean influence as can be seen with this dish and others that followed. The falafel are full of flavour and not too intense with a crunchy crumbed outer enjoyed with the refreshing Mediterranean salad.

For entree I had the gnocchi but have never seen it served in a seafood broth. Still very plump and juicy potato parcels, they took on the form of a dumpling enjoyed with the delicious flavoursome seafood broth. I really enjoyed the tender mussels and super tender calamari. A really interesting and impressive dish. I also had a small taste of the other entrees, a tasty juicy Moreton Bay bug with tender eggplant, and a perfectly cooked tender juicy chicken liver. I’m not a fan of liver but it depends on the form. Foie gras is amazing and I also like chicken liver pate. Chicken livers done in this form are not to my liking, but I enjoyed the taste I had and glad I didn’t have a plate of this as the liver is rich.

For mains, I chose one of the specials: a duo of slow roasted lamb and wood fired spatchcock. The lamb simply cut like butter, such was it’s tenderness. Lacking a touch of seasoning, the lamb oozed flavour and was thoroughly enjoyed. The spatchcock was also tender and particularly enjoyed with the Mediterranean influenced yoghurt mixture and the accompanying cous cous salad with pomegranates and eggplant. These were tasty and refreshing elements to liven the palate and create a go-between to the meats of the dish. I also had small tastes of the other mains ordered – a juicy tender delicious duck, and juicy delicious prawns and snapper. To add some more veggies to the meal, we also ordered a side of spinach which was suitably sautéed in lots of garlic and butter for bags of flavour. Really tasty.

There’s always room for dessert though I was pretty full at this point. I was really keen to try Prego’s version of kunafe after first discovering this amazing creation at Chee Tayeb. The version here is a little different, tasty but I preferred Chee Tayeb’s version. A hot mini pan of sizzling haloumi cheese covered with the shredded filo is presented before the waiter pours some of the spiced sugar syrup over and around the sizzling cheese. Gooey melted cheese with a touch of sweetness and crunch of pistachios is an excellent way to finish off the meal. Really tasty but way too full. I also had small tastes of the other desserts ordered, a delicious sorbet and a spoonful of a very strong coffee flavoured and slightly heavy tiramisu. A lovely place to celebrate any occasion with quality crafted meals with a different flavour profile to what one typically expects of an Italian restaurant, though this difference makes it unique and one to enjoy.