Value: Reasonable

La Belle Sweets - Passionfruit & Mandarin Cruffin and Matcha Croissant

La Belle Sweets – 17 Sep 2016

How did you start your weekend? I popped into La Belle Sweets being a lover of patisseries and baked goods. Situated in a quiet suburban area of Lathlain, several people drop by for a coffee, a baked item or a sweet treat. Looking at the display cabinet had me drooling over what I should get. There’s lots to choose from and they also have hot items like quiches for example. We’ve got cronuts, now they have cruffins – a croissant type pastry formed into the shape of a muffin and filled with something special. With several fillings to choose from, I chose a cruffin with a passionfruit and mandarin cream and really enjoyed this delicious creation. The croissant is firmer and has a slight salty tinge like those in Paris. The cream filling is tasty but swings from too overpowering to perfect. The mandarin and passionfruit flavour work extremely well together. I also had a delicious croissant filled with matcha cream. I’m not sure if they meant to overcook the croissant but it adds crunch and the slight smoky flavour contrasts nicely with the rich matcha (green tea) flavoured cream. Yum yum yum.
I couldn’t wait till the afternoon and dove into the creme brulee Danish. Lovely crispy flaky pastry, delicious vanilla flecked custard, soft apple cubes hiding underneath. Very yum! They didn’t have a name for the last item picked up, I call it an almond chocolate gateau, but it has an almond layer followed by a chocolate ganache, hazelnuts and chocolate cream, topped with a white macaron and silver. Pretty good though the different elements and flavour need a bit more balance. Some interesting creations, excellent execution, just need a little more work on balancing the flavours. If you’re local, definitely a spot to swing by but get there early as the items disappear fast.

Honey Creme - Bacon with Chocolate Ice Cream Cup

Honey Creme – 14 Sep 2016

I had walked past Honey Creme on my way to work and was wondering what this place was. An international chain originating in South Korea and Taiwan, Perth is the first store for their Australian venture. I made a visit during my lunch break to try some of their premium soft serve ice cream. Available in a cone or cup, there’s plenty of options from the menu to choose from. I selected the unusual sounding Bacon with Chocolate. Bacon goes with anything right? A bit steep in price but what isn’t expensive these days? Delicious creamy soft serve with a very slight honey flavour, the chocolate and subtle touch of saltiness from the bacon balances out any richness. I like the crunch of the bacon bits too. Yum! Screw winter, ice cream is good in any weather!

Jamie's Italian - Gennaro's Famous Porchetta

Jamie’s Italian – 1 Sep 2016

I haven’t visited Jamie’s for a few year’s now since it first opened. We had lunch here with clients and I notice they have a Super Lunch offer of 2 courses for $25 or 3 courses for $30 which looked tempting. We started with garlic bread which presented a lovely soft bread filled with a delicious herbed garlic butter and garlic chips. I ordered Gennaro’s Famous Porchetta. The pork belly was very tender, though the crackling was a little tricky to cut through. The pork belly was soft and tasty and went well with the salsa verde and herbed garlic and chilli mixture. However, the apple sauce, while nice, dominated the pork and vegetables, to the point I left the sauce to the side. The meal was okay, not to the standard I had enjoyed on my first visits. The flavour balance is a bit off. I don’t think Jamie Oliver would be happy with the dish.

Lido Restaurant - Fried Crocodile

Lido Restaurant Northbridge – 23 Feb 2016

I can’t say that many of the dishes on the menu were recognisable to my time in Vietnam though there are some typical dishes and also a fusion with Australian produce too. The rice paper rolls were solid though lacked that burst of freshness typically associated with Vietnamese cuisine and the rice paper was a bit chewy, though it did come with an excellent dipping sauce. The satay skewers, while grilled with a lovely flavour were a little dry and despite a delicious satay sauce, a bit uninspiring. The sang chou bow, however, was an excellent entree with a very flavoursome fine beef mince filling. For mains, the chef’s special seafood dish was excellent, providing plenty of tender seafood served in a lovely sauce. Special call out to the ultra tender squid. The marinated roast chicken carried lovely flavours though was dry. In comparison, the chef’s special of fried crocodile was moist and tender and was the highlight of the night. In the vein of salt and pepper squid, crocodile was encased in a golden brown light batter, deep fried, and seasoned with salt and pepper, enjoyed with onions, greens, and chillies. Absolutely fantastic! I did have a small taste of ice chendol which was lacking palm sugar syrup and was disappointing. I enjoyed a tasty fried ice cream with a lovely crispy coconut batter. A mixed bag of dishes, some fantastic, others disappointing. The dishes here are more tempered to Western palettes rather than the authentic cuisine Vietnamese can deliver.

Roll'd - Roast Pork Bahn Mi

Roll’d – 5 Feb 2016

I got back to my desk and surveyed the well filled bahn mi. First bite in presented lots of fresh sliced carrots, cucumber, roast pork, and crunchy pork crackling. Chilli is optional but I definitely asked for it. The coriander is distinctive and the bahn mi is tasty, though, lacking in a few areas. The bun is nice though is not like the baguettes made at Le Vietname which are amazing. There is a spread of mayo and pate, though the pate is undetectable. The bahn mi appears a little dry whereas it should be moist. It’s not a bad representation, though it could be better. The iced coffee was excellent though.

Zapfhall - German Pasta with Speck

Zapfhall – 6 Dec 2015

Zapfhall (translation: beer hall) serves beer, wine, and all things German in a spacious hall with seating inside and out where you can overlook the buzz of South Terrace in Freo. There are a range of dishes from share plates, hot dogs, to heartier meals. We decided to order mains and share a bit. I chose spaetzle, the German pasta with speck. The pasta was pea sized, soft and tasty though a little plain till you got some speck. It provided a salty burst of flavour and tied together the mushroom, kale and herbs, plus the melted cheese. It’s quite a tasty meal but does get rich so the apple and fennel salad with a slight acidic kick is much welcome. I also had a taste of the veal and chicken schnitzels which were large in size though needed more oomph to the dish. The veal was a little chewy in spots but the tender parts were delicious. However, I preferred the chicken schnitzel which was crunchy and enjoyed with the malt glaze. I also liked the blaukraut (sauerkraut but with red cabbage) and the potato rosti hidden underneath the schnitzel.

Dusit Thai - Mixed Thai Desserts

Dusit Thai – 8 Sep 2015

I’ve been to a few Thai restaurants and while I’ve heard good things about Dusit Thai, I didn’t feel the experience lived up to the reputation built up. There are much better Thai restaurants than this. I thought that some of the dishes are not worth the price and there was an inconsistency in execution. The entrees were a great start to the night, different, and were tasty. The beef Massaman curry was tasty but required a ramp up in intensity of flavour, while the deep fried fish fillets in tamarind sauce, while cooked well, could have presented more crunch and more depth of flavour in the tamarind sauce. The papaya salad was really disappointing, moist, but chewy and quite dry in the mouth. The best dish of the night which would do itself proud in any Thai restaurant was the Pad Thai which was delicious. The desserts were a bit of a mixed bag with strong call outs to the delicious mor gang and pumpkin custard, but the thick chewy sticky rice was a let down. Despite getting a 50% discount, I certainly wouldn’t be happy to pay full price from a food perspective. The atmosphere and service though is commendable.

Brando's Pizzeria Cafe - Brando's Special Pizza

Brando’s Pizzeria Cafe – 25 Jul 2015

Brando’s is open 7 days a week and been going since 1993. They offer breakfast on the weekends and the menu contains a range of pizzas to choose from as well as mains. I got a takeaway order of the Brando’s special large pizza (other sizes available) and I really enjoyed the freshness and flavour of the tomato sauce. I think it helped make the pizza. The thin base was lovely as too were the toppings. Pretty tasty pizza. I also enjoyed a spinach and ricotta ravioli which had a lovely light tomato sauce and a sprinkle of Parmesan for extra flavour. I also grabbed a delicious cannoli for dessert.

East Village - New York Cheeseburger

East Village – 10 Jul 2015

More and more American styled restaurants are opening up and East Village is the latest addition to that offering, located at 140 William Street. The interior offers a casual relaxed atmosphere gushing with activity and catchy music. While newly opened and very busy on a Friday lunchtime, the wait for a table was quick and service was prompt and efficient, including the kitchen. I ordered the New York Cheeseburger which exuded a delicious flame grilled flavour from the meaty beef patty. I liked the gooey cheese and mustard mayo, along with the typically American pickles, and the tasty bun. The burger was lacking seasoning and oomph which was a little disappointing and the chips were above average at best. I’d favour a visit to a gourmet burger joint instead. I also had room for dessert so ordered the key lime tart which had a lovely thick, heavy, rich curd with ample lime flavour surrounded by a tasty pastry. To take the edge off, the vanilla flecked ice cream was a welcome addition. Pretty good dessert but it needs to be lighter. I’d like to visit again to try some other typically American dishes and see how they are.