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Little Ying Thai, Victoria Park

Posted by  | Categories: Perth, Restaurants, Thai

It was Friday night and the boy phoned me say he had just finished work and was about to head home.   We had made dinner plans for in the city and it looked like he was right on schedule to get home in time for us to head straight in.  Excitedly I starting thinking that we may even have time to quickly stop in at the Greenhouse for a pre-dinner drink!  But as he made his way back to his car, he received a call informing him that the air conditioners in the server room were failing.  This meant he would need to wait back for someone to arrive to fix them.  What was even more annoying for him was that the repair men would be at least two hours away!  So by the time he eventually did get home, our plans to head into the city sounded like far too much like a mission for him, so we decided to go local and head to Little Ying Thai instead.

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We have visited this restaurant before and enjoyed its simple charm.  The quality of the dishes do not begin compare to some of my favourites venues such as Dusit Thai, but then neither do their prices and when you add in their BYO license it has all the makings of a cheap but tasty night out.  The service is very friendly and they are more than happy to accommodate for both gluten-free and fructose friendly requests.

"Pla Muk Yang" "Charcoal squid" "Little Ying Thai" "Victoria Park" "Thai restaurants Vic Park" Thai "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "Perth food blog" "food blog" Chompchomp "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption"

Pla Muk Yang (Charcoal squid marinated served with sweet chilli and ground peanuts)

We started off with the Charcoal squid which we have ordered before on previous nights here.  It consisted of marinated strips of squid served with sweet chilli sauce and ground peanuts.  As she did previously, the waitress warned us this dish takes a little bit longer to prepare than other entrees, but to be honest we were not waiting for long at all.  The squid was surprisingly tender and although it appears minimally char-grilled it was still flavoursome presumably due to the marinade.  We also ordered chicken larb, a sure-fire favourite of mine.  Unfortunately with memories of the scrumptious duck larb we had at Dusit Thai still fresh in my mind, it was going to be a big ask to be able to impress my little taste buds.  Little Ying’s larb had a pretty decent kick in it and the addition of fresh mint and coriander made it feel a bit more traditional however the flavours were too subtle leaving it tasting a bit bland.

"Moo Yang" "charcoal pork" "Little Ying Thai" "Victoria Park" "Thai restaurants Vic Park" Thai "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "Perth food blog" "food blog" Chompchomp "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption"

Moo-yang: Charcoal grilled marinated pork with homemade chilli sauce

For mains we shared charcoal grilled pork.  I’m not quite sure why I went all out and ordered so much charcoal dishes!  In fact, I never really used to eat much pork until recently.  In Thailand pork is a very popular meat, and many Thai chefs will use nearly every part of the pig to make a variety of different dishes – including the intestines!  This pork dish was quite a standard fare, marinated nicely and the pork pieces were meaty and not fatty.  It was a reasonably large-sized serve considering the price (around $16).

"Pandan chicken" "Gai Haw Bai Toey" "Little Ying Thai" "Victoria Park" "Thai restaurants Vic Park" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "Perth food blog" "food blog" Chompchomp "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption"

Gai Haw Bai Toey: Pandan chicken

When prepared and cooked correctly, Pandan chicken is a melt in your mouth treat.  Wrapping the chicken in the pandan leaf keeps all the juices of the chicken inside resulting in a very tender and succulent mouthful of deliciousness.  The leaf itself improves things further by adding a distinct sweet and floral like taste to the meat.  Unfortunately a number of my previous experiences of this dish have not been that pleasant due to poor preparation and overcooking resulting in dry and chewy chicken.  But after enjoying it cooked to perfection recently in Thailand, I thought we would give this another try.  Regrettably this time round the chicken was indeed quite stringy and had a strange aftertaste that made me wonder if we would regret our choice tomorrow.  (By the way in defence of Little Ying; there weren’t any further unpleasant outcomes the next day.)

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Chicken Larb

This simple but delicious classic Thai dish never fails to satisfy me.  I love all things eggie and I was happy to take the opportunity to sneak some into a dinner meal.  Coupled with minced chicken, fresh herbs and some hot chilli sauce, we devoured this one very quickly.

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Overall, for a cheap, local night out Little Ying Thai hits the spot.  The food is by no means amazing and will not blow you away, but nevertheless it’s still enjoyable and the staff are all super friendly and attentive.

Price:                     $$ (Entrée $7-10, Mains $10-21)
Food:                    3.5/5
Service:                3.5/5
Venue:                  3/5
Drinks:                 3.5/5      (BYO – my choice was a bottle of Jarrah Ridge Chardonnay that we picked up last time we were in the Swan Valley)
Total =                 13.5/20
Little Ying Thai
Shop 3, 895 Albany Highway, East Victoria Park 6101 | (08) 9362 3899

Little Ying Thai on Urbanspoon

Mexican Madness I A tale of two restaurants: Pancho's Mexican Villa

Posted by  | Categories: Mexican, Perth, Restaurants

Part One | Part Two

I have been keen to try the popular V Burger Bar for absolutely ages, so after creating much hype with the boy all day (including performing a little dance that he calls my Homer dance), we journeyed down to the Albany Highway café strip to give their burgers a shot.  To my extreme disappointment I was to find they had run out of gluten-free buns!  I was so devastated! I had been conjuring up images of sinking my teeth deep into a juicy burger for much of the day and nearly stamped my feet like a child in the middle of the restaurant due to my exasperation.

Walking out of the restaurant I could see the dismay on the boy’s face too.  I know how much he loves nachos, so I made what ended up being a very bad decision and suggested we stroll over to Pancho’s Mexican Villa instead.  We walked by all the tried and tested Thai and other Asian joints and walked down the dirty mall corridor into a packed and noisy restaurant.

Service started off a little slow leaving us sitting thirsty and peckish for long enough to notice.  As I perused the menu I was pleased to see there were plenty of gluten-free options and figured that all I needed to do was stay well away from any salsas to avoid the onion.  We started off with some strawberry daiquiris – this is the boy’s favourite drink when we were in Thailand.  Unfortunately none of our memories came flooding back to us when presented with this toxic looking beverage.  It came out a strange bright fluorescent red colour and was sickeningly sweet presumably with the A to Z of all things artificial.  Not exactly my kind of drink but with a half of a bottle of Cloudy Bay Chardonnay already in me I was willing to compromise and just go with the flow.

"Chilli con queso" "guacamole" "chilli con carne" "Pancho's Mexican Villa restaurant" Panchos Mexican "Victoria Park" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "Perth food blog" "food blog" Chompchomp "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Corn chips" Dips

Trio dips: Chilli con queso, guacamole, chilli con carne

For entrées we ordered some dips with corn chips and some potato skins to share.  Our dips came out after a short delay without the accompanying potato skins entrée.  As we chatted and tapped our feet to the horrific mix of 80’s tunes playing, we ate our first half of our entrée and I began to wish we had stopped at Little Ying Thai instead.  The corn chips tasted commercially made and the dips were very oily and bland.  The guacamole was basically just mashed avocado with minimal lemon juice, tomato, spices or salt added.  The Queso dip tasted like the plastic cheese that you get in little cheese sticks for children’s lunch boxes but melted down into goop a bowl.  I avoided most of the chilli con carne dip as I figured it would most likely have some onion in it.  I had a very small taste of it which proved to be watery and as tasteless as the rest of the dips.

As we nibbled away and wondered where our skins were, a waiter zoomed past our table with a sizzling plate of hot food.  As he walked past us big spats of hot oil came showering over the top of me and left a couple of blisters on my neck.  I wasn’t sure if I was being a bit of a sook but it was stinging a fair bit!  The boy gave a quick glance at my neck in the dim light and could see little blisters starting to form on my skin!  I gestured to the waiter and explained to him what had happened.  He said he would talk to his manager however unfortunately that was all we heard from him all night.  No apology was forthcoming, nor was any discount or compensation offered.

Prawns "Cajun camerons" "Pancho's Mexican Villa restaurant" Panchos Mexican "Victoria Park" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "Perth food blog" "food blog" Chompchomp "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption"

Cajun camarons

Slowly but surely we managed to work our way through our fairly dismal entrées.  We are normally fairly speedy eaters but these dips were by no means delicious.  Finally our mains were brought to our table however we were still without our second entrée.  We let the waiter know that we were expecting another entrée and we were informed that it was on the way.

I ordered the Cajun camarons – this was described on the menu as northwest sizzling prawns, dusted in spices, served with rice and vegetables.  I figured a meat dish with spices and no sauces would be an easy way to avoid onion as it was already marked on the menu as gluten-free.  The prawns came out sizzling in about half a cup of stale oil which drenched through the whole remainder of the dish.  The vegetables that accompanied the meal consisted of a soggy slop of cooked grated carrot, zucchini and capsicum with micro-heads of mushy broccoli.  It was so overcooked the vegetables had progressed in texture to become more of a stringy mash.  The oil from the prawns soaked right through the vegetables to give everything on the plate an unpleasant and nearly rancid aftertaste.  The rice was about the only thing edible on the plate and although that was a little overcooked; in my hunger I still ate it.

The boy ordered his beef nachos.  They were unmemorable and a bit soggy and he had very little to comment about them at all.

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Beef nachos

Once we had both finished our main meals our second entrée finally appeared.  At this point in time we had to laugh.  I was expecting some crisp skins, ones that you could eat with your fingers – a little like wedges but less meaty, with maybe some kind of sauce (we chose beef).  Nothing prepared me for the mountain of mush that was put in front of us.  We started to eat it but found all the oil, cheese and sour cream piled high on top of a barely existent poor potato skin proved as inedible as the rest of our meals.  I gestured to the waiter to take it away before I started to feel ill.

It has been nearly ten years since I have eaten Mexican – we ate it often when we lived in London as there were a couple of favourite places we used to visit.  I am reluctant to even eat it again after this experience but we are going to give it another shot and hit up another Mexican place in my next blog …. Stay tuned……

Price:           $$  ($10-16 Entrée, $17-27 Mains)
Food:           0.5/5  (near on revolting)
Service:       2/5  (service with a smile and a scar to make sure you never forget)
Ambience:  3/5  (a packed restaurant gives good vibe)
Drinks:        2/5  (too toxic and artificial for me but cheap)
Pancho’s Mexican Villa Restaurant
885 Albany Hwy, East Victoria Park 6101 | (08) 9361 2135 |

Pancho's Mexican Villa Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Clarence's Bar, Mount Lawley

Posted by  | Categories: European, Featured, Perth, Restaurants, Tapas Bar, Wine Bar

I simply love the concept of wine bars.  Imagine a relaxing atmosphere without all the hype and pretention of a formal dining establishment, then add in a well thought out wine list plus some quality food and there you have it….the perfect relaxing quiet night out.  Establishments such as Must Wine Bar have mastered this idea to perfection – providing awesome food and service in the best locations and venues.  I know I can go to Must on any night of the week and be guaranteed a reliably fabulous night without disappointment.  I really wanted to add Clarence’s Bar to my list of wine bar favourites in Perth, especially in light of the recent poor experience we had at Five Bar.  In fact I really wanted to love it so much that at the start of our evening there I found myself almost starting to make excuses for all their shortcomings before the Chompchomp voice inside me screamed back “NO! Don’t do it!”

The night was a glut of mistakes and delays to the point that it became quite a comical conversation topic for the evening.  As per usual I had notified the kitchen well in advance of my no gluten and no onion requirements.  My sister also suffers from fructose malabsorption and I wanted to ensure that she could enjoy her time eating out in Perth as much as she does in her foodie hometown of Melbourne.

The night began with us being seated in one of their booths.  The design of these booths was quite curious and I’m not sure what unusually proportioned people they had in mind to sit in them.  They are meant to sit four people in them however realistically only four miniature people could successfully squeeze in and still be able to raise their arms up to eat their meals.  I felt so sorry for the boy as he really struggled to actually fit into the booth at all – he is a strong, broad shouldered man and stands at 6 feet 3 inches tall – certainly not a small person by anyone’s definition.  The poor love shuffled and wriggled in his failed attempts at getting comfortable.  Fortunately my sister, Mum and I have all have quite small frames so we managed to crowd in tightly around him.  But the bizarreness of the booths did not stop there.  The table is set as an oddly high level and the seats are very low – giving one the impression the table is like a bib.  It actually came up to the top of our chest.  Coupled with being jammed in like sardines it did not make for easy eating.

Our waitress was very well prepared to go through their menu with us and she knew all the dishes on the menu thoroughly.  She proceeded to read it out dish by dish, informing us that nearly every dish contained either gluten or onion.  There were a small handful of dishes that she explained the onion (or gluten) could be omitted by leaving out particular key ingredients such as the accompanying sauce or base.  I get frustrated when this happens – I feel like I’m punished because of my allergies with a more bland or tasteless version of a potentially great dish just because the chef won’t offer substitutions. It’s easy enough to leave an ingredient out – but a talented and creative chef can offer alternatives to ensure the dish flavours remain.  This is why I always notify the venue in advance to give the chef time to think and plan.

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Barbecued chermoula spiced squid tentacles, coriander, and lime.

For entree I ordered one of the few dishes that could be served unaltered which was the barbecued squid.  Unfortunately it had been barbecued a tad too long and although I don’t mind a little chargrilled flavour, squid does not do well once it ventures into the well-done and chewy side.  I felt the dish had so much potential if cooked correctly as the chermoula spices were uplifting however there is no coming back from tough tentacles.

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Seared scallops, cauliflower brulee pork crackle.

My mum ordered the seared scallops served on a creative cauliflower brulee with shavings of pork crackle.  The feeling of lost potential came through even more strongly with this dish as it was served meagrely lukewarm and on a cold plate. It left us with that sinking feeling of knowing we missed out of something amazing due to oversight and poor timing.

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Curried crab and sweet corn soup basil oil and spicy popcorn.

Following along the cold dish vibe, the boy’s soup was similarly served at a tepid temperature and I was unable to get any positive comment out of him about this dish.  Unlike pasta, no matter how great a soup is, if it’s meant to be hot, it is rarely enjoyable cold.  His bowl for the soup was also cold leaving us thinking someone must have forgotten to turn the heat lamps and plate warmers on.

Our dishes came out at haphazard times, so by the time I had finished my cold tough squid; my sister had only just received her order of the gnocchi.  On inspection they looked like the familiar soft and fluffy pillows you would expect, however on tasting the dish my sister questioned to us whether the peas contained in the dish tasted frozen.  Upon tasting a few of them I had to agree; there was no burst of flavour as I squeezed the pea between my teeth and they left a distinctive floury after-taste in my mouth.  Thank goodness the company was great because the food was heading down a one way street to nowhere!  To add to the errors of the evening, as we were sipping on our second glass of Chardonnay, I started wondering to myself why it tasted sweet.  Had all this mishmash of tasting and scrutinising everyone’s meals confused my palate?  Surely not!  Then my sister piped up:  “This doesn’t taste like the Chardonnay we ordered!  I think they have given us the wrong wine!”  We called our waitress over, informed her of our cold meals and asked about our strange tasting wine.  Off she quickly went to go and check with the bar staff from which she returned promptly with fresh glasses of Chardonnay in hand.

beetroot "Clarence's Bar" Highgate "wine bar" "house cured" venison "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption"

House cured venison radish beetroot and chocolate.

It was at this point in time, we desperately started wishing that sight of me taking photos of our dishes coupled with our polite complaints would ensure that the remainder of night would proceed with minimal more mistakes.  Our hopes were in vain as the next agglomeration of errors proceeded to pan out.  Our next round of meals were brought out at staggered times and once again on stone cold plates.  At the beginning of the night when she went through the menu in detail with us, she stipulated we couldn’t eat one of the side dishes of chickpeas because it had onion in it, so obviously we didn’t ordered this.  Instead we chose the green beans and some parmesan fries for our side dishes plus we each ordered a second entrée for our main dish.

Despite having a whole discussion with her about the chickpeas unsuitability for us, lo and behold some chickpeas get placed on our table.  We had to send these back only to have them replaced with a dish of undercooked, tough woody beans that were barely edible.  After some considerable wait, some of our meals followed along with the serve of fries.  All the fries were cold, yes cold fries.  Now honestly, cold fries amount to nothing but grossness.   There is no excuse for that surely.

Lucky for me for my second course I had ordered the house cured venison, a dish that was meant to be served cold!  It was the only dish that deserved any praise for the night.  The sweet beetroot sauce nearly got licked off my plate and softened the saltiness of the cured venison.

"Clarence's Bar" Highgate "wine bar" "pumpkin risotto" mascarpone "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption"

Pumpkin risotto, pinenuts, chives and mascarpone.

The boy ordered the risotto which was of course served on a cold plate.  It was at this point we called the waitress over once again and questioned her whether they had heat lamps in the kitchen.  She commented to us that they do.  We then delved further to explain to her that unfortunately all of our meals were served to us lukewarm.  She interjected this feedback by remarking to us that my dish was meant to be served cold, and then proceeded to gloss over the fact that the remainder of the table’s dishes were not.  She appeared to only listen to what she wanted to hear.  After my comment that the flavours of our dishes had so much potential if only they were served at the correct temperature, she latched onto this feedback as positive and as she cleared the table she nodded her head saying: “Oh well, that’s good, as long as the flavours were delicious!” Huh? It was hard to know if she was being serious with such a ridiculous response!

Over all it was a meal that could have been amazing.  The thought that was put behind the creation of the menu was inspiring but the execution was a complete failure.  Was the chef just having a bad day?  I’m not sure I want to find out and next time I’ll just head over the road to Must where I know I will walk away content.

Price:  $$$ (Entrée $19-23, Mains $23-38)
Food:  4/10
Service:  4/10
Venue:  2.5/5 (for the insane booths)
Total = 10.5/25
Clarence’s Bar
566 Beaufort Street, Mount Lawley, WA 6050 | (08) 9228 9474 |

Clarence's Bar on Urbanspoon

The George and our Engagement Party

Posted by  | Categories: Modern Australian, Perth, Pub, Restaurants, Wedding

What a blissful and sunny start to our day!  Starting off with a delicious brunch at the Greenhouse with my family and the boy, the morning got even better when Dad gave me a generously sized suitcase filled to the brim with beautiful Robert Robert and Diavolina shoes.  Most importantly, the suitcase contained some super-hot shoes for the party tonight!  I headed home with my love to spend the afternoon preparing ourselves to look our very best for the big party.  One of my bridesmaids, Amber was so kind to offer to go The George without me earlier in the afternoon so she could set up everything for the night.  This meant all I would have to do would be to arrive on time!  She is such an angel!

The afternoon flew by surprisingly quickly and before I knew it we only had a short time until things were due to kick off!!  I slipped on my shimmering Alannah Hill dress matched with the cutest flower headband, kicked on my most awesome shoes from Dad and jumped in the cab hand in hand with the boy!

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Upon our arrival my heart sunk for a brief second as I expected to walk into an ambient lit room and instead was nearly blinded by bright ugly fluoro lighting.  I subsequently found that some of Amber’s instructions she had carefully given to the staff about setting up the lighting, heating and visual equipment had not been followed through.  Consequently some further little instructions were given to the function staff and they slowly assisted us without an accompanying smile. Not that anything could take the wind out of our wings! Grabbing a quick round of pre-party G&T’s, we all felt our nerves settle ready to greet all the special people in our lives that would join us for our celebrations.

Amber is a very creative person – something my scientific brain is most definitely not – so when she suggested we have a lolly bar at the party I initially struggled to visualise what she actually meant.  We had shopped all around town together in the weeks prior to the party buying a collection of gorgeous vintage vases and bowls that she filled to the brim with lots of colourful sweets.  It looked fantastic!  The boy wasted no time getting stuck into the assortment, tossing handfuls of lollies into his mouth for a strong pre-party sugar kick.

Before guests had even started to arrive, the waitresses started bringing out plate upon plate of turkish bread with dips to scatter around the tables.  I rushed up to the waitresses and advised them stop them filling up two little cocktail tables with plates of food and to try and stagger them a bit with the arrival of our guests.  The food provided was delicious – a part of me wishes I had stopped talking and mingling among everyone for two seconds to be able to snap some photos, but it didn’t even cross my mind until the following day!  I guess us food bloggers should be allow a night off once in a while!  The selected canapés including freshly shucked oysters, spring onion aranchini, lamb koftas, sun-dried tomato and asparagus tarts and a variety of sushi rolls.  The special gluten-free options included five spiced duck pieces – amazingly succulent little cubes of meat marinated in a sweet chilli caramel sauce.  I’m sure I must have greedily gobbled a number of those!

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A major feature of the night was the amazing efforts of two of my guests (one of those being Amber) in joining forces together to bake enough cupcakes for seventy people with a third of the cupcakes gluten-free! They sparkled glamorously in the centre of the lolly bar and almost looked too good to eat!   Being able to enjoy devouring cupcakes with everyone else at the end of the night was such a treat although the way I stuffed the butter cream frosting into my mouth may not have been so nice!

The highlight of the night to me and my sister was surprisingly not food related.  My Mum and stepmum have not spoken words since over twenty years ago when Mum and Dad separated.  We have all accepted this and our family events have always been planned separately to accommodate for this.  So when I looked over and saw my Dad arm in arm with my dearest Mum on one side and his wife on the other my eyes started to burn hot.  My sister came running over to me in amazement and we shared watching this special moment together before flicking away our tears of joy.

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Toward the end of the night I wanted everyone to be able to have something more substantial than just the canapés so we arranged for some noodle boxes to come out with sticky pork with ginger, chilli and bok choy.  The pork was so scrumptiously juicy and the sticky marinade had nearly caramelised but not burnt.  This was the most popular food for the night and I’m sure I saw a few people go back for a second box!

As with all good parties, the night flew by at the speed of light and before I knew it we were standing under those hideous bright fluoros with the reality that it was over.  All those weeks of preparation and anticipation for a night that felt like it only lasted one hour!  I was extremely chuffed to see that our budgeted bar tab lasted for the whole night and no one had to dip into their pockets to pay for a drink.

After such a fabulous occasion, the events that followed on next totally took me by surprise.  Bear in mind that the venue was nearly empty in the main bar for the whole night so our party of 70 people would have been the only real income for the night for The George.  As we were all slowly drifting out of the function area and leaving through the main bar a couple of the bar staff got annoyed with us not leaving quickly enough for them.  As they walked past the bar, a number of my guests clearly overheard the staff retorting insults and foul language directed at us presumably because they wanted to us to hurry up so they could go home.  None of my guests were unpleasant or rude to any of the staff to call for this attack.

We all waited outside The George for what felt like hours all trying desperately to hail cabs. One of my friends had taken a bit of a stack on the pavement and had developed a very swollen ankle (she actually ended up in RPH early that following morning poor thing) so I wanted to get her home quickly.  I was also mindful that my dearest mother was keen to get home as she is not accustomed to standing up in her high heels for hours on end anymore.  I went back to the front door of the hotel and knocked to get someone’s attention.  All the staff were still inside closing up everything for the night.  I asked the bartender if he could kindly please arrange us some cabs for us as my friend was injured and many others were tired and ready to hit the sack.  He refused and told me to walk down the street to the closest hotel the Hilton where apparently I could find many taxis.  I explained to him my friend was injured and couldn’t walk, he then repeated that he wouldn’t call us cabs, and that was that! He closed the door in my face and locked the door!!

After spending thousands of dollars at their venue that night I was completely gobsmacked at such rudeness and appalling service.  Despite the actual night being such a wonderful success, it was so disappointing to end on such a sour and  unprofessional note.

Price:    $$$ (Entree $18-21, Mains $25-39)
Food:    7.6/10 
Service: 3/10 (for the rudeness!) 
Venue:  4/5
Total:   14.6/25 (58%)


Well, things have gone from bad to worse with the level of customer service that I have received from The George.  We left my old iPod touch there on the night of the party and since then I had attempted to contact the functions manager by phone and email to let her know that I would be popping back to collect it on my day off.  As I had received no reply, I figured that it’s not too complicated a request to fill so I went into town on my only day off to collect it.Upon arrival my bestie and I spoke to the bartender who explained to us in a curt manner that I needed to speak to her manager.  She got her bar manager who happened to be very same person who had bad mouthed to my friends and refused to call us cabs on the night.

I started to explain to him that I had left my iPod behind and had tried to contact the functions manager but had received no reply from her.  I purely just wanted to collect my iPod and that was it.  He fobbed us off saying that the functions manager was in a meeting and that she couldn’t be disturbed.  So I offered to go into the cupboard in the functions room myself to collect it upon which I was then told that she was having the meeting in there so this wasn’t possible.  He said to us:  “And that’s if you actually have left it here.”  If?!?!  He offered to call me in an hour when she would be finished her meeting but then uttered that she could be in there for hours so who knows how long she would really be.

My bestie and I popped down the road to the Sentinel for a drink (where the service by the way was very friendly – a total contrast).  During this time we received no phone calls from The George.  So after one hour we left and made our way back to The George.  On my way I called through and asked to be put through to the functions manager, consequently I was put through straight away implying that her meeting was over.  She then proceeded to tell me she had no time to walk to the cupboard where I left my iPod and retrieve it for me as she was far too busy!  I explained that it was my only day off, I had come into the city specifically and I was 50 metres away!  She repeated to me:  “I have absolutely no time to search for it, I am very busy and that’s provided you have actually left it here anyway!”  She said she would try and call me back by the end of business – it’s now been nearly a week and not a peep!

Final update:

So it’s been a number of months since all this happened and I thought I better give you dear readers a final report on the outcome with The George… to read my Epilogue.

The George
216 St Georges Terrace, London House, Perth 6000 | (08) 6161 6662 |

The George on Urbanspoon

Fraser's Restaurant, King's Park

Posted by  | Categories: Degustation/Fine dining, Perth, Restaurants

My sister has never been known for her punctuality.  That’s not to say I’m an expert in such matters myself however she does tend to take it to the next level.  I guess I wasn’t considering this fact when I decided it was a great idea to book an elegant dinner at Fraser’s for the boy and myself, my sister, Dad and our stepmum for the very next day after our Engagement party.  We had spent the bulk of the day nursing sore heads and rumbling tummies and feeling the foggy effects of overindulgence and sleep deprivation.  So when I saw it was only thirty minutes before our departure time and that she still had not started to get ready for our special dinner I prepared myself again for a late arrival.  Surprisingly she managed to get beautified in a whirlwind of hair straighteners and outfit changes for us to arrive an acceptable 20 minutes late.  A record for us as a team I’m sure and it makes me wonder why it normally takes her three and a half hours to get ready?!?

My stepmum has never been to Perth before so I wanted to show her the fabulous view of the city at night from King’s Park.  Fraser’s offers spectacular views from the restaurant and it seemed like a logical choice.  If you exclude a couple of veterinary functions sponsored by drug companies I haven’t actually eaten here in the restaurant before.  Such events generally involve far too much wine and networking for the food to even make a mention.

When we arrived at the Duxton for a few pre-dinner drinks, I was relieved to see the little blue bag containing our shiny gift from Tiffany’s had made the journey from The George where it was initially given to us both as our engagement gift, then returned back to their hotel room for the night only to be handed over to us a second time but in a much more sober fashion.  As I pulled it out of its box I couldn’t help but admire its shininess.  It is a classic Tiffany’s style silver frame which we shall be placing one of the many gorgeous shots of us as a newly engaged couple from the memorable night.

For the duration of our evening, we were all blown away with the high quality of service.  Our waiter for the evening named Justin went above and beyond his call of duty to ensure that our every whim was accommodated for.  This flexibility and can-do attitude carried right through to the kitchen where the chef Chris Taylor and his team were more than happy to alter dishes and suggest alternative options for us rather than just omitting sauces or key ingredients and serving us half of the intended dish. (See my next review on Clarence’s for a comparison!)

House made Gluten free bread $14 a serve!!

Justin informed us that the chef makes his own gluten-free bread on the premises and recommended we try a couple of serves.  It was accompanied by some Baba ghanoush topped with a sprinkling of Dukkah and some fresh butter.   It was grainy bread with good texture – poorly made gluten-free bread can turn out very crumbly like cake or worse still very heavy and stodgy like a rock.  This bread had just the right balance of flours to create normal bread-like consistency and was matched well with the Baba ghanoush.  The only downside which we discovered at the end of the meal was it cost $14 per serve!  We got two serves!!

For entrée my sister and I ordered the Grilled WA rock lobster which was served the only way lobster should be; simply with lemon butter.  Lobster is one of my favourite seafood creatures to eat, and its unique sweet flavour is often spoilt by complex creamy sauces and heavy cheese.  This time round it was fresh and cooked just to perfection, the meat easily tearing delicately away out of its shell and into my mouth!

Sashimi of Tasmanian salmon, Bluefin tuna, hiramasa kingfish, soy pickled ginger wasabi

The boy is a huge sashimi and sushi fan.  He has been known to journey over to Kailis Bros Fish Market in Leederville, bypass all the little packets of pre-prepared sashimi cuts of fish and buy a big chunk of tuna and an even bigger chunk of salmon and proudly carve it up at home for us to eat.  The sashimi he ordered was brightly coloured and soft and the size of his serve was reasonable given the location and the price.  I did think the Fraser’s card on the top of the dish was a little touristy and tacky however.

Crispy fried Soft shelled crab with cumin salt and ginger dipping sauce

My Dad wanted the “Soft crab shell” as he called it (we were all still a little exhausted from the night of fun last night) which was only available as part of the tasting plate of the day.   Once again the kitchen was very accommodating and was happy to offer this separately as an entrée sized meal.  Such an easy task for a kitchen to do yet this is often something that is refused to customers as chefs allow themselves to become nothing more than a line cook preparing meals without alterations.  Having eaten his way around the world hundreds of times over the past years, my French-born father is a natural food critic.  He was impressed with the amount of meat on the crab and seemed to enjoy it thoroughly.

Chilled asparagus soup with manna crab and asparagus salad

My stepmum ordered the crab soup which was vibrantly coloured, thick and creamy.   Despite all of us commenting our appetites were a little depressed from the evening prior we all managed to gobble up our entrees without complaint ready for our mains.

Roast duck breast and confit sausage with brandy butter jus (normally served with pistachio beetroot jus)

For mains I ordered the duck which is originally served with a beetroot jus.  As with most jus, there was onion contained in the stock so it was not suitable for me or my sister.  To our delight this was no problem to our chef who created delicious gluten-free, onion-free brandy butter jus to pour over the duck instead.  Both my sister and the boy also ordered the duck and commented to me that a few of their pieces were a little overcooked and dry.  I must have been the lucky one at the table as every piece of my duck was juicy and scrumptious and I could not complain.

Rocket pear and parmesan salad with chardonnay vinegar dressing, Salt roast potatoes, Local new season white and green asparagus, rocket parmesan and pinenuts

Our side dishes were fairly standard and unexciting except for the salt roasted potatoes which looked a little bit like the eggs from the movie Aliens but they tasted absolutely divine.  As we watched the smoke from a bushfire roll in over the city like a blanket we all started to infect each other with our yawns.  We realised just how exhausted we all were and skipped ordering dessert to head home for some well-earned rest.

In my sleepy content state I foolishly left the little blue bag behind at the restaurant and didn’t realise this until the boy shouted as we drove off in the cab: “The Tiffany’s present!!!”  My heart literally jumped into my throat and I was completely awake in a second!  Before the boy had even managed to jump out of the cab; lo and behold we see Justin our waiter running toward us clutching our treasure in his hand.  This gesture just clinched the deal that I’m happy to say this is the best customer service we have received in Perth for a long time!  My opinions of Fraser’s have been completely turned around from previously feeling it may be a bit of an overpriced tourist trap to now understanding that you simply get what you pay for.  I look forward to our return; we just might have to save up for a while!

Score Food 8.7/10 Service 9.5/10 Venue 8.6/10

Fraser’s Restaurant
Fraser Avenue, King’s Park, Perth 6005 | (08) 9481 7100 |

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