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.
I’d heard about this place, in particular, the fried chicken. With staff ties to The Old Crow, I was keen to see what interesting fare would be served up. I’m really glad the sun has emerged and the light is longer. This makes it perfect for going to dinner and grabbing a table outside. I chose one of the starters – smoked brisket chimichangas and salsa. What a delicious dish! Crunch from the crispy tortilla, tasty beef brisket, lovely salsa, but that refried bean paste, what flavour! There’s also a slight acidity from a squeeze of lime juice which ties everything together. So delicious. For my mains it’s hard to go past their specialty – fried chicken. Available in southern, medium or hot, I chose the southern. The chicken is available as a quarter ($15) or a half ($30), I chose the quarter. OMG! Wow! So delicious. Ultra crunchy batter with a most delicious southern style spice mix encasing succulent chicken served atop a slice of bread. I love the spicy kimchi sauce and blue cheese sauce. The pickles cut through the deep fried chicken and the bread soaks up more of that spice. You need to dive in with hands and clean that chicken off the bone. Finger lickin good!
The weather finally seems to be changing so I took the opportunity to go for a lovely relaxing walk under blue skies to Northbridge and stop by Shanghai Tea Garden. I walked in and was immediately met by the inquisitive eyes of the patrons probably wondering what a foreigner is doing in their restaurant. I grabbed a menu which caters to a larger group with an array of dishes, or you can grab lunch time items for a few people. Takeaway is also offered. I chose the pork cabbage dumplings and the dry slightly spicy Shanghai daan noodles. I took a table outside. The dumplings are quite slippery, the skin is pretty thin and reasonably silky, the filling of pork and cabbage delicious. Dip a dumpling into the soy sauce mixture and devour. Dumplings carry a subtle flavour with the soy sauce adding just a touch of seasoning and is a great way to start the meal. With a serving of 15 dumplings there’s no skimping here. The Shanghai Daan Noodles is a little thick and slightly heavy but tasty. It comes served with a minced pork mixture with a slight spiciness, crushed peanuts, and is almost a spaghetti Bolognese of sorts. The mixture is enough to lightly flavour the noodles turning it into a very enjoyable dish and something quite unique. I had to ask for this to be packed away. I also couldn’t resist one of my favourite dishes, red bean pancake. A lovely golden brown deep fried pancake batter encasing soft delicious red bean mix. So yum, totally satisfied but really full. Good thing I’ve got a long walk back.
The Trinidad Scorpion Strikes Again! After the flaming success of last year’s inaugural event, get set to celebrate spiciness again this September as the Chilli Fest returns to the fiery furnace of Northbridge Brewing Company (NBC). The arch nemesis of chilli aficionados around the world – the Trinidad Scorpion – […]
Rejoice craft beer lovers! For the very first time punters will be able to buy takeaway serves of Beerland Brewing’s bespoke brews produced at Northbridge Brewing Company, with the launch of Perth City’s first ‘Canimals’.
Canimals are 946ml beer cans filled fresh from the tap and sealed over the bar using a special machine that creates a perfect seam to ensure freshness is locked-in, while baddies like oxygen and light are kept out.
Priced at $15 each, beer lovers can purchase Canimals of the current Beerland range to take home, which includes Pale Ale, Kolsch, Wheat, Lager and IPA.
Unfortunately I had to work over the weekend on a project but that meant after putting in some hours, it was off for a feed to replenish the energy levels. The talk of chicken rice at Tak Chee House got the nod so we took a leisurely stroll and were fortunate to secure the only empty table in the packed restaurant. A quick look at the menu and the famed chicken rice was chosen by all. You have the option of choosing breast or leg so I went with the breast. A bowl of rice cooked in the water used to cook the chicken is presented, the rice carrying a lovely flavour of the chicken. The tender succulent breast is presented, chopped into pieces, looking very plain, but paired with the soy sauce and bean sprout mixture, it comes to life. It’s a really delicious and also a cheap meal that was polished off and left us all satisfied. Just a few doors down is Esther’s Cake Shop so I grabbed an egg waffle and also some freshly made warm Chinese egg tarts that were both delicious. I love baked goods and these met my sweet tooth cravings.
Frank’d Hot Dogs are a new eatery close to the Northbridge Piazza offering patrons a range of crafted hot dogs using locally sourced buns and sausages from Elmar’s in the Swan Valley. I chose the Mad Dog and also a side of fries. Wow, what a generous serving! Lovely lightly toasted soft bun encasing a tasty bratwurst sausage. It’s the spicy tomato sauce and the ground beef which does it for me. I would have liked some more sauce at the bottom of the bun underneath the bratwurst to liven it up even more. The melted cheese and onions along with the other ingredients just work together to create a pretty good flavour combination. I also really enjoyed the perfectly seasoned and spice coated crunchy shoestring fries. Delicious meal.
It’s fantastic we have a brewery right in the heart of the city serving a range of brews, beers, and ciders. With a multi level venue including a roof top bar overlooking the city and the green grass of the Northbridge Piazza, it’s a casual relaxed spot to enjoy a pint or munch on the meals from the menu. I took a seat outside and ordered the southern fried chicken. It was a cold start to the day but the spices on the southern fried chicken start to warm you up. I really enjoyed the crunchy crispy perfectly cooked chicken coated in a light batter. There are three sauces served to liven up the delicious chicken. I particularly liked the first red chilli hot sauce which has a little extra bite, but the blue cheese sour cream is very soothing and the sweet chilli sauce is more on the sweet side to change tack. There’s a generous serve of chicken which left me comfortably full and satisfied.
Varsity Burgers is the sister shop to Varsity Bar in Nedlands. They serve American style burgers and snack food and are open quite late for that late night meal. They’re situated at the base of an apartment complex and there’s plenty of seating inside and out. I chose the Texan Burger, a double cheeseburger with bacon and BBQ sauce. First bite in and all I can taste is meaty goodness, meat juices, gooey American cheese, the salty hit of bacon, and the crunch from the onions. The beef patty is quite tasty and all the ingredients meld together to form a very delicious burger. It takes a while to eat through all of that but one leaves full and satisfied. The pickle provides some acidity to cut through all that fat! It’s uncomplicated food that just does the job. You have to indulge every now and then.
On my last visit I noticed the famous charcoal beef burger which looks weird but it doesn’t taste unusual. The bun is slightly different but tasty, the caramelized onions provides a lovely touch of sweetness, the sauteed mushrooms are juicy, and I love the gooey American cheese. This is a gourmet burger but the big let down for me is the beef patty which lacked flavour. It reminds me of something you get at the supermarket and is of poor quality. I was quite disappointed because it’s an excellent burger with quality ingredients, lacking a beef patty oozing flavour. The wedges are a saving grace. I’m not sure what the other burgers are like, but I absolutely loved their chicken on my last visit so I’d definitely come back for that.