The Boy had been given a corporate box ticket for the Western Derby game by some work mates and although he is not the hugest follower of AFL he was still pretty excited with his score. There was only one ticket on offer meaning I missed out and so off he headed into Subiaco solo. In order to try and compensate for leaving me home alone, he was kind enough to send me photos of all the delicious food on offer and update me regularly on the game progress. (Not that I’m any more of a footy fan than he is.) Presumably the beer was freely flowing because after the game had finished I receive yet another text message:
“How do I get home? :(“
Considering he was one amongst another 40,000 fans trying to get home, I didn’t like his chances of hailing a cab, nor did I like MY chances of getting through the traffic anytime soon either. After initially considering walking home (so the beer was definitely flowing fast) he offered to meet me over in Leederville where we could stop for a bite to eat before driving home.
At this point in time I was devoid of any makeup, in my track pants and snuggled on the couch with the boys (our two kitties Rollie and Eddie). Any normal person would probably decline an offer of a night out especially considering how cold and wet it was outside and how warm and cosy it was in. But I am never one to turn down a spontaneous night out to eat something other than hum-drum home-made bride food.
After a fairly pricey foodie month of July which included two nights of degustation at Clarke’s of North Beach and Darlington Estate Winery, we opted for a cheap dinner and headed into Justin Bell’s new(ish) venture Snags and Sons. I found out recently at the Mundaring Truffle Festival that they now stock gluten free buns and have a variety of gluten free sausage choices. Many of you are familiar with Justin Bell; several years ago he was one of the first to open up a gourmet burger bar here in Perth namely Jus Burgers. Promoting use of locally sourced produce he has now expanded to include restaurants in Subiaco, Fremantle, Northbridge and now on Chapel Street in South Yarra. S&S is the next chapter for his casual eating empire. As with Jus burgers, the menu is filled with WA produce right down to the desserts. (More on this later!)
Having trekked on foot in the rain from Subiaco, the Boy was keen to order more than just a sausage in a bun so we ordered some marinated olives and some grilled goat chorizo to start. The chorizo was juicy with a subtle hint of chilli heat. The olives were fairly standard and nothing too spectacular.
The Boy ordered the beef Boerwors with smoked Dutch cheese and peach chutney. Although tasty, he wasn’t wowed by his choice at all and felt after the succulent chorizo his sausage was a little dry and lacklustre.
My venison sausage was very succulent and the gamey taint of the meat matched well with the sweet beetroot. The horseradish was barely noticeable through these flavours and a more generous helping inside would have gone down treat. My gluten free bun looked similar to that you find in Jus Burgers, I have to presume the same supplier, and it held its shape well despite all the delicious juiciness contained inside.
A meal ended on a savoury note just doesn’t make any sense. At least that’s what I keep telling everyone. I shimmied out of my corner to wander over and investigate the sweets cabinet. There wasn’t any gluten free cake options however amongst the minitarts and brownies I did notice some vaguely familiar looking nougat chopped up into bite site pieces.
I enquired if it was gluten free upon which I was told they did not know as they buy it straight from Rochelle’s café. “Rochelle Adonis?” I ask. To which I received an affirmative reply. Having feasted on her nougat many times I know for certain that it is indeed gluten free and bought a piece for us both to share. It was perfection as all her creations usually are.
Leederville, 6007 | (08) 9228 3008 | www.snagsandsons.com.au/ Price: $ (Under $15 per meal) Food: 7/10 (may be gourmet, but they are just hot dogs! Keen to try a few more tho) Service: 2.5/5 (our waitress seemed a little distracted but still served us promptly) Ambience: 3.5/5 (funky, vibrant & fresh)
If you are anything like me and have grown bored of ordering old school basics for breakfast like eggs benedict then head over to Maylands. A decent handful of venues all within close proximity to each other will fulfil your desire for something a bit more original than what you easily could cook up at home. Furthermore they all appear to be very gluten free friendly with a number of options for us allergic types.
Mrs S is one of my favourites amongst these establishments however due to a variety of circumstances we haven’t returned to enjoy her deliciousnesses for over six months! After deciding to finally head back there I got myself in quite a state of excited anticipation. I pre-emptively added to my Sunday run an extra 2 kms to my usual twelve in order to have two guilt free courses for breakfast!
To my complete dismay we were greeted by a locked door and an empty cafe with a sign saying they would be reopening the following week. Perhaps my post run jitters exaggerated my emotions a little but I swear nearly cried in disappointment. After scooping my heart off the pavement, we followed our noses back up Whatley Crescent past Chapels and stumbled upon Sherbet Bake House. This bright café was brimming full of life and aromas of freshly roasted coffee wafted out the door and down the street.
Sherbet serve Fiori coffee which is roasted locally by a small business that strive to only import coffee harvested from ethical and sustainable plantations. I recently enjoyed Fiori for the first time (along with some amazing scrambled eggs with truffle oil) at The Imp in Vic Park. I love its smooth yet rich flavour. The perfect style of coffee to be served as a traditional short mac. Sherbet do not sell cooked breakfasts as they are more a bake shop than a café, however they do have a counter full of colourful meal options which can be warmed up and served with a fresh green salad. I chose the roast pumpkin and feta frittata which was the only gluten free savoury option.
Flying close on the coat tails of my perfect frittata I had a few weeks ago at the Little Pantry, this one certainly gave them a run for their money. Its texture was well set and similarly lacked any unpleasant wateriness. There was an abundance of fresh herbs speckled throughout. The pumpkin was particularly sweet and dense making it almost feel like a dessert dish as opposed to something savoury. The Boy’s pumpkin and sundried tomato tart was just as good, with soft flaky pastry and filled with more of the sweet pumpkin.
For dessert options I was a little spoilt for choice; Sherbet has much more to offer than the usual gluten free choices of orange almond or flourless chocolate! I had been trying to abstain from chocolate all week as I am starting to wonder how I will ever lose any weight before the wedding. In true manner of wanting what you can’t have, all that my self-control achieved was effectively to make me crave and obsess about chocolate even more. Thus there were no surprises when I returned to our table with a berry chocolate minicake. The cake had a wonderful light sponge texture, something hard to replicate in gluten free baking and there were plenty of fresh berries buried deep inside. I cannot wait to return for another!www.sherbetbakeshop.com.au Price: $$ ($ under $15/meal) Food: 4.5/5 (minimal savoury GF options but LOADS of sweets) Service: 3.5/5 (no table service, but were quick and efficient) Ambience: 3.5/5 (bustling and energetic, some alfresco tables in the sun) Drinks: 4.5/5 (serve Fiori coffee – very smooth and rich style) Total: 16/20
We are not big eaters of classic fast food; I’m talking burgers, pizza, kebabs and the like. Ultimately I prefer much more refined dining but let’s be honest, one simply cannot afford to do that every weekend. At least not on my income. So when we both got a craving for junk, we decided to head to our local V Burger Bar excited about our naughty treat. Last year our initial attempts at visiting this popular place resulted in us being diverted over to Pancho’s Mexican Villa due to a lack of gluten free buns. Now that was some night…..sloppy microwaved food, blistering burns and a scathing retaliation from a fan (or owner) in the wake of my review; the Pancho’s post has certainly become infamous!
We stopped in at The Balmoral for a couple of pre-dinner drinks and bumped into some old friends that we hadn’t seen for a long time. As we chatted away a local band called Retriofit set up in full view of our tables and started playing some funky acoustic covers. After some time our friends departed to make their own dinner reservations leaving us sitting alone together. We were both in such a fabulous mood so we took the opportunity of using some interesting mood lighting to take portraits of each other with Gordon my SLR (yes, I named my camera!)
After several rounds of drinks and photos my post-run hunger started to climax and was accompanied by some rather unladylike noises erupting from deep in my stomach. We skipped across the road to V Burger Bar nearly drooling in anticipation. I had already called ahead to make sure they had gluten free buns in stock.
After briefly scanning their menu my not-so-sober eyes saw the words “fried egg, beetroot, cheese and bacon” and without giving it one more second of thought my decision was made. I vaguely remember the Boy making some comment about how enormous my burger choice was but in my hunger and excitement I didn’t really register or pay much attention. I was quite disappointed to hear that all the sides on their menu are not gluten free but we ordered a serve of their beer battered chips for the Boy anyway.
Our burgers came out in super quick time and we tucked into them immediately. I observed that my F.B.A. (Full Blooded Aussie) burger had a significant amount of extra height in comparison to the Boy’s Blue Mushie burger choice. I actually struggled to get both by hands around it let alone my mouth! As the Boy finished his burger he started to make wise cracks about my eyes being much bigger than my stomach as I was only half way through mine. Thankfully earlier in the day I had run 12 kilometres around the river at a cracking good pace so like a horse being whipped into action I successfully polished off all of my delicious juicy burger! It was faultless!
The Boy really enjoyed his Blue Mushie too. He was surprised how well the burger held together and didn’t crumble or fall apart in his hands. He loved the hint of blue cheese with earthy undertones of the mushrooms and the succulent perfectly cooked meat patty. The chips were less impressive, they lacked the expected crunch of beer battered chips and needed extra seasoning.
Despite feeling like I was literally going to explode I needed something sweet on my palate to end the night. I had recently read about Taro Taro on WenY Wonders Why and was desperate to check it out. I have always LOVED Asian desserts however there isn’t a great amount of options available here in Perth. Given that Taro Taro is a mere ten minutes’ walk from our front door I had high hopes it would be awesome.
It was getting quite late and much of the bustle of the café strip had started to die off however at Taro Taro it was absolutely packed full of customers. We shuffled into the brightly lit store and felt like we had been transported into another world! Despite being such a fan of Asian desserts I have to be honest, I haven’t got to try nearly as many as I would like. This was my first experience trying herbal jelly and taro.
If you are not familiar with Taiwanese desserts the menu can be a little confusing, so to simplify things for ourselves we ordered the Taro Taro Signature Herbal Jelly ice which contained herbal ice, dark black folds of herbal jelly, balls of sweet potato, sago and taro and lots and lots of sugar. Underneath all the intense sweetness, the flavours were quite soft and delicate and the texture of each type of ball was slightly different ranging from jelly like to nearly chewy. I honestly really enjoyed it but I realise it probably isn’t for every Westerner’s palate.
As we sat outside on a park beach we watched more and more cars turned up full of hungry customers all looking for their taro hit. Such a hive of activity in sleepy Vic Park! We will definitely return again but this time I might be brave enough to create my own dessert of the custom menu.www.thebalmoral.com.au/ Price: $$$ (Entrees $7-23, Mains $22-35, accepts Entertainment Card) V Burger Bar 12/910 Albany Highway, East Victoria Park 6101 | (08) 9355 3702 | www.vburgerbar.com.au/ Price: $$ ($10-15 burgers, accepts Entertainment Card) Food: 7/10 (excellent burgers need to be accompanied by excellent chips) Service: 3/5 (functional and no fuss) Ambience: 3/5 (it’s a burger bar……I don’t expect it to be cosy!) Total: 13/20 Taro Taro Shop 2/ 393 Albany Hwy, Victoria Park 6100 | (08) 9361 0098 | https://www.facebook.com/TaroTaroTaiwan Price: $ ($10-15 desserts) Food: 4/5 (if you love your Asian dessert worth a try!) Service: 4/5 (very efficient considering how busy they are) Ambience: 2/5 (bright white and gleaming) Drinks: 4/5 (good range of teas and other Taiwanese drinks) Total: 15.5/20
It had been some time since Chris and I had managed to coordinate a morning off together for our regular breakfast outing. Normally this is something we do on a regular basis. After a couple of false starts and cancellations we finally tallied up a Monday morning where we were both available. It was the day after a very long-winded business meeting where we had all sat and chewed the fat for far too many hours. It was so good to be able to sit down together and for once actually have time to chat about stuff other than work.
It was her husband’s 40th birthday that week and she had planned a surprise trip over to Melbourne without their two young children. She had organised for him to catch up with some old friends he hadn’t seen in years in addition to anticipating a lot of child-free wining, dining and shopping – things they both love!
After a brief peer into the colourful sandwich cabinet we both agreed that the potato cake with poached egg, prosciutto, asparagus and hollandaise sauce sounded really good and ordered one each. I have to say this dish looked much better than it tasted. My egg was slightly over poached and had nearly lost its runny centre of yolk-lava although I do understand not everyone likes a gooey egg. The ratio of hollandaise and egg to potato was all out with an overwhelming amount of dry potato. If there was more yolk or hollandaise to mop around my plate this dish wound be much more enjoyable.
As we chatted about great places to eat out in Melbourne (of which there are so many) my eyes turned to the sweets counter. Surprisingly Chris’s initial reaction was to decline having a second course for breakfast which is very unlike her. After only a small amount of persuasion I managed to twist her arm to share a small cube of fresh chocolate brownie with me. After a lacklustre main dish, this decadent chocolatey treat made up for some lost ground. It was moist and richly flavoured with a nutty praline aftertaste.
This wasn’t my first visit to Aubergines and previously I have had some better experiences. They do have a reasonable range of gluten free options and there is outside seating where you are welcome to bring your canine companion. They even sell doggie treats at the counter. However given the plethora of fabulous breakfast locations in Fremantle I didn’t get enough wow factor to return in a hurry.
My soon to be parents-in-law are always complaining that they never get to spend enough time with us. Both the Boy and I have pretty hectic careers, so when we do actually have a bit of spare time, we want to spend it out and about enjoying good food and company. So when Christmas approached us last year, instead of buying his parents a gift, we offered to take them out to a fancy meal all expenses paid.
Just as we managed to lock in a weekend for our dinner, we were blessed with our brand new little niece who was born on the other side of the world in Texas! The Boy’s parents jumped on the first plane out to the States and didn’t return back for three months! We were all so envious of them as they got to meet her and we cannot wait to eventually get over there ourselves.
Upon their return to Australia I was keen to book our outing as soon as possible. This was meant to be their Christmas present after all! The timing worked out quite well because we were in the thick of the truffle season and neither of them had ever had either degustation OR truffles before! I booked at Clarke’s of North Beach as it is local to their house.
Those who have met me you know I am a bit of a talker; however my dearest mother in-law gives me a run for my money in the talking stakes. As a result my usual attentive listening skills were lost amongst all our animated gas bagging and I missed much of the descriptions of our dishes! I will do my best to remember. Forgive me if my distracted palate is incorrect.
The Amuse Bouche was a braised beef shin with cauliflower foam. It contained very interesting combinations of textures; with shredded tender shin accompanied by barely existent foam and the crisp crunch of calamari. It entertained our palates perfectly and we were ready for more.
We opted for the truffle supplement which meant that once every dish was served, our waiter came over to our table donning white cotton gloves and shaved fresh black truffle over each of our dishes. The Linley Valley pork belly entrée was beautifully cooked; the fat was soft like custard and the surface of the crackling had a caramelised shimmer to it. It was sprinkled with “crackle dust” and a variety of textures of apple decorated the plate.
The next entrée was a sliver of King George Whiting, scallop and snapper mouse. The whiting was pan-fried to give a subtle crisp to its surface which contrasted beautifully with the smooth mousse and succulent pillow of scallop. Although not specified on the menu there was also some fresh salmon which added an oilier almost satiny element to this dish. Shavings of fresh black truffle once again graced our plates. The Boy’s Dad swallowed this dish in a few quick mouthfuls, but his Mum deliberated in taking her time, differentiating out all the different flavours. She was learning the art of degustation quickly!
Our next dish was an optional one and when I saw the words “slow cooked egg” on the menu my heart leaped with excitement. My introduction to slow cooked eggs happened quite some time ago at Greenhouse and since then I insist on ordering them wherever I see them. They are like the holy grail of poached eggs to me and I am so elated when I see them feature on menus other than just for breakfast!
In order to successfully cook a slow cooked egg, one must cook them at a much lower temperature of about 60 degrees for 1 hour. The end result is like an improved version of a perfectly poached egg. The egg white has a nearly translucent appearance and the yolk is perfectly molten. Imagine this served over a pulled ham hock cassoulet! The cassoulet was wonderfully deep and rich in flavour but unfortunately there was no gluten free replacement for the brioche for me, considering the price of our meal this was a bit of a disappointment ($155 per person, not including BYO wines). I watched enviously as my family all mopped up the delicious juices pooling in the bottom of their plates.
Some may remember my most recent degustation at Petit Mort for the last in the series of Largesse dinners. For these amazing dinners the Head Chefs from six award-winning restaurants from around Perth donated their talents and time to each create one dish to contribute toward a six course extravaganza. All of the proceeds from the evenings went toward a charity of the host chef’s choosing. The head chef of Clarke’s Stephen Clarke was one of these six chefs and his braised Venison shin with Foie Gras Espuma was a definite show stopper for us all.
The foie gras espuma featured again in this dish but a much larger more generous glob was piped out this time round! The confit leg was encased in chicken mousse to make it into a boudin (sausage) and the buttery breast tasted nearly too soft to be duck! We were all so glad we chose to have these two supplement dishes as they were each outstanding and really completed the meal experience.
Where’s the lamb gone you ask? When I returned from the bathroom, our next course had already been served and everyone had decided to start tucking in without me. I sat down quickly and followed suit savouring every morsel on the plate. It wasn’t until I started scraping the plate clean that I realised I had completely forgotten to take a photo! It’s been a while since I’ve done that! Sorry dear readers! The new season lamb was incredibly delicate and tender. The boulangère potatoes were just like my mum used to make with the chewy outer crust and inner discs of potato encased in slippery creaminess.
I was in for some fortunate luck with our cheese course. The plate included a massive FIVE different cheeses: Miguel (a semi-soft cow’s cheese from Portugal), Valdeón (a blue made with goat and cow’s milk from Spain), Buche d’Affinois (a beautifully smooth and buttery surface-ripened cheese made with cow’s milk in France), Will Studd Brillat Savarin (a classic French triple cream brie from France) and Queso Manchego (a hard sheep’s cheese from Spain). Already a plate with five cheeses is pretty exciting but even better still amongst these portions were not just one but two of my favourite cheeses of all time!
Brillat Savarin is in my humble opinion one of the creaminess and most luscious of the French brie. Thankfully it is a regular resident at my local greengrocer’s Scutti in South Perth so I can spoil myself whenever I wish. My waistline may tell you otherwise though! My other favourite cheese is the Spanish sheep’s cheese Manchego. It is a firm compact cheese with a well-developed, slightly salty flavour and has that characteristic aftertaste of sheep’s cheese that I really enjoy. The cheese was accompanied by some crisp lavosh – once again there were no gluten free alternatives here.
For our pre-dessert we were all in for a fun surprise. My dish was a strawberry espuma with raspberry gel and the rest of my family received an Irish coffee espuma. Sprinkled over all of our dishes was something that took us back to our early childhood: popping candy! After such a decadent and luxurious meal, it was very entertaining for us all to sit there like amused school kids noisily cracking and popping away!
I was amazed that for the whole ten course experience only the two courses that had to be significantly altered for my dietary requirements were the desserts. Not being the odd one out greatly enhanced my evening as I didn’t feel like my dishes had key elements omitted (with the exception of a brioche alternative). My family’s dessert course was described as caramelised mandarin tart, raspberry gel, mandarin macaron and sorbet.
Before I had time to feel any macaron jealousy I discovered that scattered across my own plate was even more popping candy! Stretched across the plate was a colourful array of sumptuous morsels including raspberry gel, pistachio nougat, chocolate ice cream, mandarin jelly cubes and some more strawberry espuma. I wasn’t sure which element to savour the most as they were all so different yet so delicious.
As our evening drew to a close I was left with the feeling of complete satisfaction that we had thoroughly and deservedly spoilt our parents. We drove them home in a comfortable silence full of so much trufflicious food. Clarke’s is definitely a great choice for special occasions….it just might break the bank a little!www.clarkesofnorthbeach.com.au/ Price: $$$$$ (Basic degustation $120 including cheese course and Manjimup truffle, supplementary courses an additional $15/20 each) Food: 8.5/10 (exquisitely prepared, need to provide bread/crackers for us GF-ers) Service: 4.5/5 (attentive without intrusion) Ambience: 4/5 (don’t judge a book, enter to find a warm, unpretentious atmosphere) Drinks: N/A (BYO – I tried to cater for the ranging wine palates of the group, starting with Perrier Jouët, then Millbrook Viognier 2009 and ending on Moss Wood Cab Sav 2009) Total: 17/2
I had been stuffing my face with scrumptious gluten free cakes at the Clandestine Cake Club all afternoon. Despite my gluttony I wasn’t feeling overly full and seeing as the Boy had actually gone to the effort to book us a dinner reservation at The Precinct in Victoria Park so I couldn’t exactly refuse. Being the obsessed foodie of the house, I am generally the one who arranges our regular eating expeditions and so I get very excited when the Boy does it all for me. I was hoping I could extend my afternoon with the bestie and drag her along too especially as she hadn’t hung out with the both of us in some time. However my powers of persuasion were seemingly dulled by all my cake indulgence because she declined my pleading to return home to study for her yoga teacher training class the following day.
The preceding week had been a fairly traumatic one for us both due to some distressing major family issues all finally coming to a head. To add insult to injury, we were both under the weather with the winter sniffles and as if things couldn’t get any worse I had accidentally reversed into the Boy’s car in the pitch black of the early morning. Eeeek! So I’m sure you can understand why we just wanted to put all our cares aside and do what we both enjoy most….dining out together.
The Precinct in Vic Park was opened earlier this year by Daniel Morris who is well-known for also running the highly successful Little Creatures, Balthazar and Il Lido. It was to be our first proper wine bar here in Vic Park; something many of us locals feel has been a long time coming. But despite public support they were knocked back twice for their Small Bar license and operated as a BYO wine bar for several months. Finally they have managed to secure a restaurant license and have ensured that all their staff know their wines exceedingly well. We have revisited a number of times since they have opened and I have confidence that they can always recommend a suitable choice for us both.
Initially I found that their gluten free, onion free options were quite limited for me but since then I have noticed that this has improved somewhat upon subsequent visits. The food style is quite casual and simple but seemingly executed fairly well. In usual style we started off with a couple of share dishes before our mains. The marinated olives contained a mix of black and green olives with a variety of types and intensity of flavours.
As the Boy wasn’t nearly as full of cake as I, he also ordered the whitebait (not gluten free). They were very crispy, perhaps a little too much so and came served with a beer aioli.
The Precinct’s charcuterie plate changes regularly and although we order it nearly every time we visit we have never had the same plate twice. This night we had some fresh sliced Angus beef salami, some orange chicken pâté and a pair of pork rillettes. Some cornichons and mustard were served on the side. The salami was delicate and soft with a slight salty aftertaste. Hints of citrus undertones came through beautifully in the pâté although I wish they had some gluten free bread for me to smear it onto. The pork rillettes held great shape and texture and were mildly flavoured.
Although the Boy and I love eating and discovering new foods, prior to my blogging days if we were out at one of our regular haunts, we would often both fall back on ordering our tried and tested favourites. These days I feel so guilty when doing this. I believe in order for me to accurately make an assessment for a review of a restaurant I need to sample as many of their dishes as possible. This gives me a much wider and more realistic perception of their food. This ideal has fallen out the window during our past three visits to The Precinct ever since I tried their roast chicken. It’s really really good!
To be quite honest, I’m not even one to order chicken in the first place. I figure why order something I can cook just as easily (and as well) at home? Thank goodness I forgot about this theory and tried this dish. The chicken is slow cooked (sous-vide) and so be aware it is normal for such chicken to appear slightly pink on the inside. The consistency of this chicken is like no roast chicken you have had before. The breast nearly melts under my knife and is as juicy as you would expect a thigh to be. The leg meat slips of the bone effortlessly. You can taste lemon thyme though every mouthful. It is served simply with some seasonal vegetables on the side.
The boy ordered the lamb duo which consisted of some slow cooked pulled lamb topped with a lamb cutlet. The cutlet was very meaty and although quite chargrilled on the surface was cooked beautifully inside. Walnut spaetzle is a type of Northern European style noodle made with flour and eggs, and in this case also walnuts. They almost looked like little dumplings and tasted fairly bland on their own without any of the lamb or sauce (so the Boy informed me).
The Boy kept proclaiming (again) that he didn’t want dessert! I think this past month of incessant eating has dulled his sweet tooth somewhat. Refusing to be completely defeated I ordered us the citrus chocolate salad. I don’t recommend this dish if you genuinely want a dessert as it is very light and refreshing. However seeing as I had indulged all afternoon on all the cakes, it filled my last spot in my stomach perfectly. For something more substantial I recommend their banana pie. This gluten free decadence is nothing like you expect and is more like a mousse than any pie I’ve ever had.
During the course of this evening, the Boy and I pondered over Chompchomp’s growth and development since I commenced blogging some 11 months ago. It has been such an exciting and rewarding journey so far as I continue to try and further improve both my writing style and my photography. Better still it is satisfying to watch my readership grow week by week knowing that others are (hopefully) enjoying reading it as much as I am writing it. The Boy started to consider whether he too may gain such rewards from writing his own blog and decided if he ever did, it would be about beer; a long standing passion of his.
Thus after a number of drinks, together we created the game “Chompchomp roulette”. This is where the Boy hands the beer menu over to me and I choose a random beer for him to enjoy. Relinquishing this control over his beverage choice is huge…..he is a fussy connoisseur with his beers. To make matters more interesting my knowledge of beers is very poor due to my inability to drink it. For our first play on the “wheel” I chose Delirium Nocturnum; a triple fermented Belgian ale known for its high alcohol content.
Suffice to say after finishing our drinks, his attitude on dessert came around full circle and he insisted on stopping in at Baskin and Robbins for a tub of dairy deliciousness. He defaulted to his usual favourites of cookies and cream with peppermint choc chip.
Every night that we have visited The Precinct we have always found all the staff to be energetic, friendly and very well acquainted with both their wine list and their food. On earlier visits we did find the staff lacking a bit of team work with drinks being forgotten and multiple staff coming to us to asked the same questions however, like the number of gluten free options, this is definitely improving. I figure it is better to have overattentive wait staff than ones that ignore their customers. I am keen to return for breakfast as they have slow cooked eggs on the menu but it currently looks like I’ll need to BYO gluten free bread. That I do not mind! I am so happy this is my new local!
I have been literally dying to take the Boy with me to The Imp in Victoria Park for so long but every time we plan to go there it is so packed full of customers that there is no free table available for us. Having been there several times myself I knew he would love it. It’s always buzzing and alive with atmosphere and the staff are all funky, vibrant and friendly. We had completed our usual Sunday walk around the river together accompanied by my new toy; my first DLSR camera which I have nicknamed “Gordon”. I had been busy happy snapping away at the gorgeous scenery and felt that all too familiar reminder what an awesome city we live in.
The Imp is not a place to go if your prone to claustrophobia, it is a tiny cosy little place and the tables are squeezed together closely meaning you have to shimmy in-between them to get to your seat. We sat next to an attractive looking African family who were enjoying their lunch. Sitting with them was their gorgeous little toddler with hair all up in little pony tails. She couldn’t drag her eyes away from staring at us, seemingly mesmerised by my Fendi handbag brimming with contents. As I pulled out my new camera her interest heightened and she watched with great amusement while I played around with the settings.
Upon ordering I enquired which dishes could be made gluten free. I was informed by the waitress that they no longer can guarantee any dishes gluten free. She explained to me that the previous chef made a big mistake in sourcing non-gluten free soba noodles and served them to a Coeliac who proceeded to become very unwell halfway through her meal. This chef was sacked as a consequence of her oversight and since then they don’t want to take any further risks in making people unwell. Fair enough. I appreciated her honesty. I am lucky enough to not be quite as sensitive as other gluten intolerants; provided gluten isn’t an actual ingredient in the dish any slight cross contamination in the kitchen very rarely poses me too much trouble.
I ordered the scrambled eggs, herb salad & truffle oil which normally also comes with toast. As they didn’t have any gluten free bread as a replacement the waitress kindly offered to serve some fresh avocado on the side instead at no extra cost. To my satisfaction the truffle oil tasted very strong and fresh. I get so disappointed when the oil is aged so much that the truffle flavour is nothing but a mere hint, that’s just teasing.
The Boy ordered the burger which came with pickled cucumber, hand cut potatoes and aioli with the added option of bacon. The beef burger was small but very juicy and seasoned well. The bun was soft and held its shape adequately without going too soggy or brittle. The bacon was grilled a touch short of crispy which was fortunate as the boy prefers his bacon meaty not crunchy. The fries needed a little extra salt but were otherwise quite tasty.
We had both worked up a reasonable sweat during our walk (despite my constant stopping to photograph things of interest) so we agreed to share a dessert. I ordered a flourless orange cake which came with some vanilla ice cream and was topped with the cutest little meringue. I was probably a bit too full to enjoy this thoroughly as I found the cake to be a little bland. The Boy enjoyed most of the ice cream which was creamy and sweet. Perhaps my taste buds were still too busy rocking out on all that amazing truffle oil!
Serving fabulous breakfast, lunch and dinner; The Imp is somewhat of a foodie’s icon here in Vic Park. They continue to be extremely popular due to consistently great food, quirky friendly service and an ever-changing seasonal menu. A definite local fav of ours.The Imp 863 Albany Highway, East Victoria Park 6101 | (08) 9361 2600 | www.theimp.com.au/ Price: $ (Breakfast $6-20, Lunch $13-16, Tapas $8-26) Food: 4.5/5 (who doesn’t love lashings of truffle oil for breakfast?) Service: 4/5 (no table service, but friendly and fast) Ambience: 4/5 (busy, loud and vibrant) Drinks: 4/5 (serves Fiori coffee, big selection of teas, BYO for dinner) Total: 16.5/20