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Szechwan Zen Chinese Restaurant - 16 Nov 2014

Szechwan Zen Chinese - Crispy & Spicy Pork Hock

With so many restaurants in Northbridge, it’s easy to miss this one which is slightly secluded in a enclave of shops and other restaurants, set back from William Street. Stepping in you will be greeted by the friendly staff and sit down to a table in an interior with plenty of open space. The Chinese food is Szechuan which means dishes are spicy – carrying chilli. While the menu does offer some of the usual dishes gracing the typical Chinese menu, there’s plenty of other dishes I haven’t seen before. I really loved the entree of golden fried garlic spare ribs which contained a fair amount of tender meat full of flavour. The crumbed prawns were fantastic, lots of prawns in a lightly coated crumb, a blob of mayo and crispy noodles to contrast against the soft prawn flesh. This was further topped by the highlight, a massive highlight, the crispy and spicy pork hock. This is a dish to rave about. It’s absolutely brilliant and once you sink your teeth into the fall off the bone flesh, the crispy, crunchy, salty, spicy skin, you will be blown away. A must order dish, it’s enjoyed with a delicious serving of fried rice. For dessert, the steamed and deep fried mini buns can be enjoyed with many, dipping them into the sweet custard. A different dessert than one expects but a delicious finish to a flavour packed meal. I’m impressed and look forward to trying some other dishes. . . . → Read More: Szechwan Zen Chinese Restaurant – 16 Nov 2014

Grill & Chill - 14 Nov 2014

Grill and Chill - Lunch Buffet

I’ve eaten here on several occasions and chose the restaurant as a venue to be enjoyed as a team lunch for those interested in coming along. The lunch specials have been replaced with a delicious buffet for $14.99 which allows you the choice of three curries from the two meat and two vegetarian curries on offer, rice, and naan. The curries I had were the butter chicken, lamb rogan josh, and dhal (lentils) which carried a slight pungency bar the butter chicken. The meal was delicious and I particularly loved the fantastic naan. I really enjoyed the food as I have on many visits here and the lunch time buffet represents an excellent offering to the lunch time crowd. From the CBD it’s only a quick bus ride on one of the red or yellow CATs. . . . → Read More: Grill & Chill – 14 Nov 2014

Country Road Cafe - 11 Nov 2014

Country Road Cafe - Pesto Mushrooms with Wilted Spinach on Toast

Not being a fan of eggs severely limits my breakfast choices on any menu. I chose the pesto mushrooms with wilted spinach on toast which sounded rather simplistic but was anything but. Country Road Cafe offer several vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options which my dish ticked on all fronts. From not expecting much, I was pleasantly surprised and then really impressed with a deliciously crafted meal. The Turkish bread is really lovely, warmed through and enhanced by the oil from the pesto. The pesto adds additional flavour to the wilted spinach and there were plenty of well cooked and seasoned mushrooms to provide meat to the dish. Along with a salad to balance any richness or fat from the pesto, and then washed down with a lovely warming honey, cinnamon, red chai latte, my breakfast provided plenty of fuel and energy for the day and left me impressed and satisfied. Even though I’m not a vegetarian, vegan or gluten intolerant, I’d be happy to eat this dish anytime for breakfast. Full marks for creativity and great value. . . . → Read More: Country Road Cafe – 11 Nov 2014

Thai Orchid - 9 Nov 2014

Thai Orchid - Deep Fried Fish Fillets with 3 Sauces

I really enjoyed each dish bar the dessert. The entrees of fish cakes and barbecued lamb racks were both flavoursome and enhanced by the accompanying sauces. The flying duck was very tender and paired superbly with the crispy noodles for crunch and helped to ease the intensity of the sauce. This was followed by a flavoursome Massaman beef curry which had chunks of tender beef and potatoes that had soaked up all that lovely flavour. The deep fried fish fillets were superb in a sweet and sour like sauce with a touch of heat. This was the standout dish for my mind. The pad Thai was also excellent, achieving the right balance of this dish and not leaning too heavily towards sweet. Lots of tender chunks of chicken to enjoy, the dish goes down like a treat. While all the dishes were of a high standard taste wise, the desserts were slightly disappointing. Just a few tweaks needed with the sticky rice to let the dish achieve it’s full potential. Other than that, I throughly enjoyed my experience here. . . . → Read More: Thai Orchid – 9 Nov 2014

V Burger Bar - East Victoria Park - 18 Oct 2014

V Burger Bar - Piggy Back

After my invite earlier in the week to V Burger Bar in Floreat to try their new brioche line (priced at $14.50) comprising the Americana, Space Mushroom, and Piggy Back, I vowed to return. I enjoyed the Americana on the night, but missed out on the Piggy Back. The Piggy Back far surpassed the Americana. The sweet BBQ sauce, the chilli kick from the jalapeños, the moistness of the aioli, the freshness of the coleslaw, the tender flavoursome pork, the crunch from the battered deep fried onions, and the slight sweetness of the brioche bun made for a burger that I thoroughly enjoyed. If they just warm or toast the buns, the burger will be even better! V Burger Bar are having a special offer – half price on this new range for 17 -19 October 2014 only. Check their website for details. . . . → Read More: V Burger Bar – East Victoria Park – 18 Oct 2014

Grill & Chill - Indian Degustation - 28 August 2014

Grill and Chill - Course #3 - Mackerel Magic M2

Who thought an Indian degustation could work? A culinary experience that does not stray away from it’s Indian roots but doesn’t carry the intensity normally associated with Indian cuisine. Rather the spices are carefully selected in creating each unique dish, lending flavour, but creating a different profile to anything you’ve previously eaten. At the same time, it doesn’t become too much like fusion. I really liked the food and the concept is different and interesting and hasn’t been done before. So why not? I can only see this being successful. With the dishes they rolled out, I enjoyed every one of them. While I was guest of the restaurant, the tweaks were minor and mainly concerned with the sauces or condiments. The very essence of each creation was left intact. For the time being, you’ll have to keep your eyes peeled as plans are underway to make this a more frequent event. Check their website http://www.grillandchill.com.au/ and their facebook page http://www.facebook.com/mygrillandchill for potential details. . . . → Read More: Grill & Chill – Indian Degustation – 28 August 2014

La Veen Coffee & Kitchen - 26 Aug 2014

La Veen Coffee & Kitchen - Very Berry Waffle

There are many coffee shops and cafes about Perth, but La Veen has a different feel, friendly staff, and a breakfast menu boasting different options. Not being a fan of eggs, I was happy to see that the breakfast menu wasn’t the usual eggs, eggs, eggs but carried other dishes which are completely different, like bagels, shakshuka, and rosti. The latter are from different cultures and it’s great to see this diversity reflected in menus as it’s very rare. For me, while I went with waffles, the presence of cream cheese was very unusual and piqued my interest. Along with a dash of honey, I was wondering what an unusual combination of ingredients to go with a waffle. However, the chefs have done a brilliant job of creating something unique. The tartness of berries, the light berry cream, the slight richness of the cream cheese, and a touch of sweetness from the honey makes this a dish that works wonders. All elements work together in creating a different take on the usual waffle, no one element dominates and I thoroughly enjoyed it along with the refreshing celery, carrot, ginger & apple juice. . . . → Read More: La Veen Coffee & Kitchen – 26 Aug 2014

Equateur - 21 Aug 2014

Equateur - Creole Snapper Curry

My second visit to Equateur’s Reunion Island creole inspired dishes was just as good as the first. The ever smiling Mickael looks after his customers very well and provides excellent service. I started with an amuse bouche of an Emmenthal filled samosa with a creole vegetable salsa which was delicious. The entrée of pumpkin & choko gratin was an interesting pairing of elements with juicy tiger prawns and those lovely strands of intensified sweet potato. The chunk of creole snapper curry was tender, succulent and contained an interesting mix of flavours – tomatoey, acidic, spicy. With the spiced rice, lentils, and tomato onion chilli salsa, there was plenty to amuse the tastebuds. To finish, the vanilla crème brulee was nothing short of superb. A definite favourite, this version was unusually not rich which made it easy to eat and I truly polished it off with much glee. The 3 course meal at $60 is excellent value and with excellent friendly service from Mickael and quality flavoursome dishes, I can see why booking is essential. . . . → Read More: Equateur – 21 Aug 2014

Jus Burgers - 14 Aug 2014

Jus Burgers - Onion Rings

After an invite to try out the new refreshed menu, there was one burger I hadn’t tried from the diner style burger section – South East Asian Burger. And some onion rings. The onion rings were perfectly deep fried, coated in a golden brown batter and thoroughly enjoyed with the creamy garlic aoili. But the star is the burger and it didn’t disappoint. You have the choice of protein – vegetarian, beef, chicken, and lamb. I went with the latter and after it was served, my mouth salivated as I dove in. The glistening brioche buns are really tasty and hold all the ingredients together. The sweet chilli relish is THE element providing the South East Asian inspiration in tying all the ingredients together. The sweet and chilli kick adds so much flavour to the salad and Asian slaw, while you slowly savour the perfectly cooked flavoursome lamb patty. The coconut lime dressing adds further zing to the salad and the crunchy bits of shallots and garlic are another surprise waiting to be discovered. A big thumbs up from me. Totally satisfied. . . . → Read More: Jus Burgers – 14 Aug 2014

The Gaya Applecross - 28 Jun 2014

The Gaya Applecross - Japchae

Currently The Gaya Appelcross is the talk of the town on Urbanspoon and after visiting here, you can see why. The contemporary Korean fusion based cuisine offers Perth diners something they’ve never previously experienced. Korean food has it’s own take and is distinct from other Asian cuisines. From the dishes I sampled tonight, kimchi and pancakes feature in some form, but they are carefully combined with delicious sauces, finely sliced Asian stir fried vegetables, Korean salads, and chilli to provide that spice kick but not burn your mouth. I particularly liked the kimchi cheese jijimi and the 36 Pork. You can order al a carte or choose from the set menu, either option offers very well priced dishes. We had spent about $45 per head for a 3 course meal which is excellent value for the quality and taste of the dishes delivered. These dishes can be enjoyed in smart modern surrounds taking on a Korean character with service that is really nice and friendly. When the dishes were being served for mains we mentioned we would like to share and the waitress kindly brought out additional bowls and spoons for the seafood stew without asking. This is a nice touch, shows thoughtfulness and being proactive. So if you’re intrigued enough to come out and try Gaya, I strongly suggest you make a booking beforehand or be disappointed as the booked out tables fill up fast. . . . → Read More: The Gaya Applecross – 28 Jun 2014