Dispersed throughout my eleven year friendship with my Bestie there has been prolonged times of separation where we have lived in different cities, states and even on different continents. In true testament to our strong connection to each other, distance has only ever served to make the heart grow fonder. In the past when our times together were limited, our catch ups would often tend toward the excesses and we both have a number of scars and hilarious but foggy memories to remind us.
In more recent times, we are lucky enough to finally both be settled down in the same city. No longer do we have to schedule our fun times to those infrequent occasions when our paths cross as we only live a short drive away from each other. Impromptu brunches and sleep overs can now be a regular occurrence. After an exciting morning a few weeks ago at Elixir Coffee, we made last minute plans to meet up for brunch before work.
I have had a bit of an emotional week where I have had to make some firm decisions on where I am going to draw my line in the sand with recent family issues. These things always seem to raise their head at weddings. What they say is right: weddings really do bring out the best AND worst in people! My thoughts progressed to a little nostalgia for my Mum’s last visit to Perth where we ate and drank our way around this wonderful city. One of our many eating stops was Sayers in Leederville, so I figured returning there may help re-live some of those happier times. Better still I would be accompanied by the one person in my life that is always guaranteed to make me laugh.
I arrived about ten minutes prior to my Bestie so I ordered a short macchiato and sat back to soak in the atmosphere. I became increasingly overwhelmed with indecision on the menu because everything sounded so delicious! Sayers serve their own special blend of Five Senses coffee. It contains a mix of Brazilian and Balinese beans both sourced from fair trade plantations. The coffee has a very smooth and creamy flavour yet still retained enough kick to wake me up out of my hazy thoughts just in time for the Bestie’s arrival.
I ended up deciding on the slow roasted mushrooms with crumbled feta, truffled rocket and a poached egg on gluten free toast. For those who must endure the rollercoaster ride of hits and misses with gluten free bread, you will understand how exciting it is to firstly discover a venue actually has gluten free bread, but then even better still that it is good!
This bread had texture resembling a freshly baked crumpet and was fluffy, light and slightly sweet. Confronted with a mound of food, I initially decided it wise not to eat it all, especially not all the bread. However once again my stomach won the battle; good gluten free bread doesn’t come around often and I have to make the most of such moments!
The Bestie has been a long-time fan of her oats so it was certainly no surprise as she ordered the porridge with poached pear and blackberry compote. It was served with a dainty little pint size milk bottle filled with fresh locally sourced milk. The small little spoon of honey gave her meal just the right level of sweetness she wanted. She commented that the pear was poached just to the point of melting in the mouth and not a moment prior.
We honestly had no room for sweets but we both just wanted to remain in our blissful states for a little longer so we ordered a piece of flourless chocolate cake to share. We certainly were not prepared for the enormous wedge of nutty rich goodness that appeared in front of us only moments later. It had been warmed allowing the decadent ganache to drizzle randomly down the sides onto the plate. It was absolute heaven. Exploding at the seams this was a day that our eyes really were bigger than our stomachs. We were unable to finish it not because it wasn’t good, but because we were too insanely full. Better luck next time I say!Sayers 224 Carr Place, Leederville 6007 | (08) 9227 0429 | www.sayersfood.com.au Price: $$ (Breakfast $13-22, Lunch $17-27) Food: 4.5/5 (excellent gluten free bread, more than the usual breakfast items on offer) Service: 4/5 (funky, friendly and fast) Ambience: 3.5/5 (buzzing and busy, would have been cosier with a table inside) Drinks: 4.5/5 (Five Senses sure to please coffee connoisseurs) Total: 16.5/20
The Beaufort street festival has grown incredibly since its inception nearly three years ago thanks to a lot of hard work by a group of very dedicated people. Last year more than 80 000 people attended and this year’s attendance is expected to tip at about 100 000! The Festival captures the unique flair of the local community by embracing four faces of creative culture: independent local music, arts, fashion and food.
I am so disappointed that I will be missing the Festival this year as I will be overseas in Singapore, however just like the Mundaring Truffle Festival I will get there eventually! Thankfully I can still partake in a lot of the pre-Festival celebrations and the first of these was the Crust Pizza Tasting Session!
Foodie Craving’s Mount Lawley Crust Gourmet Pizza store will be positioned right in the heart of the Festival so she wanted some foodie opinions on what would be the best sizes and flavours to serve up to punters on the day. I was nominated as the gluten free taster and was more than happy to help 😉
We were entertained by the fabulous tunes of the stunning Nikki Dagostino on her accordion as we all stuffed our faces with lots and lots of piping hot pizzas.
My quest to find great tasting gluten free pizza has paralleled with Lancelot’s search for the Holy Grail. Up until this night I have been unable to find a gluten free pizza that has a base that doesn’t taste gluten free. Many of them have a strong doughy aftertaste; like they haven’t been cooked properly yet the crust is often very hard and chewy.
To my satisfaction, Crust’s gluten free bases tasted, well, like normal pizza! Even the scrutinising tastebuds of the Boy thought they were really delicious! He normally despites gluten free pizzas with a passion yet he helped eat most of my four full sized specially made pizzas with me. I spoke in detail with Foodie Cravings regarding their food preparation and was pleased to hear that her kitchen staff seem well versed in understanding gluten cross contamination and wear gloves to carefully handle the bases. A big (cheesy) thumbs up from me!
Of all the pizzas I tried, my favourite two were not the ones I would have expected. I am normally a supreme with anchovies kind of girl but I have to say my favourites were actually the vegie supreme and the pesto chicken club. Needless to say I did still enjoy them all. My night ended with some decadent gluten free chocolate mousse while the others devoured some incredible looking dessert pizzas. My goodness we were all so full by the end!
A big thankyou to Michelle and her hard working kitchen team for feeding us for the night and I hope we returned the favour by helping her select the finalists for the Festival!Crust Gourmet Pizza Bar Mount Lawley 69 Walcott St Mt Lawley 6050 | (08) 9227 1288 | www.crust.com.au
It never ceases to amaze me how welcoming and friendly the food blogging community is. Here in Perth it is no exception and friendship is made easy through sharing two passions: food and blogging. We all immediately have something to connect over; so when Carolanne from Carol Anne’s Kitchen informed us all that she was moving to South Africa, plans for foodie farewells got well underway.
The first in our series of gatherings brought me back to the lovely Rochelle Adonis for High Tea. It has been nearly a year since I have indulged in her exquisite delights yet the experience remains relatively fresh in my memory. The attention to detail with every single morsel is one you cannot forget easily and she is more than happy to accommodate for us gluten free people. Additionally my ‘no onion’ request due to my fructose malabsorption posed absolutely no problems either.
Rochelle now serves the stunning Seventh Duchess Teas to accompany her High Tea. These artisan teas are “individually sourced from the finest tea gardens“. All teas are hand-picked and are free from anything artificial. I chose the Queen of Hearts herbal tea which is an exclusive blend made just for Rochelle. It contained lemongrass, vanilla beans, juniper, raspberry leaf, rosehips, blueberries, elderberries, pomegranate flowers and hibiscus. It was light, sweet and left no bitter after taste.
For my savoury course I received five delightful little dishes. A refreshing Thai salad was served in a glass cup topped with a son-in-law egg or “khai luuk kheuy”. This traditional Thai dish contains deep-fried hard boiled eggs topped with a sweet and sour tamarind dressing. In this version a cute pint-sized quail egg was used instead of the usual chicken egg. The sweet and sour taste of the tamarind was subtle enough to not be overpowering and left a clean sensation on the palate.
The ashed goat’s cheese pannacotta was a curious liquorice colour and it was a surprise to my senses as I was expecting something with such a bold colour to have a similarly strong flavour. Instead my palate was entertained with a soft tangy creaminess and I was left desperately wanting to lick every last portion off the spoon. I was informed the colouring was achieved using a black bamboo charcoal powder that is flavourless and allows the goat cheese to remain its wonderful unadulterated self. Rochelle sourced this herself when in Singapore recently.
“Fish and chips” were served as a perfectly shaped ball of wafer thin potato chips encasing a soft flaky portion of fish in the centre. It was like a savoury truffle! It was accompanied by aged balsamic vinegar made from an 8 year old Spanish cabernet called Forvm. This vinegar had a gentle berry-like flavour and you could easily smell the oak.
My remaining two dishes were poached prawns with cream of corn and a beetroot salad with Danish feta. The prawns had a distinct crunch to them to signify freshness and the cream corn was very mild in flavour so as not to take anything away from my enjoyment of the prawns themselves. The beetroot salad was a little fibrous for my liking so the creaminess of the Danish fetta was a welcomed addition.
To cleanse our palates we were given some lemon sorbet served on a cute little paddlepop. It had a perfect balance of acidity and sweetness refreshing us all ready for our dessert courses.
My gluten free dessert course was so pretty I didn’t quite know where to start. Everything looked so adorable and almost too good to eat. Don’t worry, that feeling didn’t last long and after a little photo-shoot my little gluten free beauties didn’t hang around for much longer!
The raspberry and coconut cake sundae was topped with crunchy corn crumbles and a tart raspberry dressing. The ice cream was buttery soft and just at the point that it melted on contact with my tongue.
Namelaka is a Japanese term for “creamy texture” and this technique is commonly used in the Valrhona chocolate kitchens. Rochelle has been a big fan of Valrhona chocolate for many years and once you have tasted their chocolate you will understand why. The soft ganache-like milk chocolate namelaka was smeared elegantly and topped with a delicate scoop of milk sorbet. I thanked my lucky stars that I can eat dairy as this was the epitome of dairy milk goodness.
The apple cloud with cider ice cream and pink lady apple gel delved a little into banned territory for my fructose malabsorption. I figured that surely there would be enough glucose in all these treats to counteract any fructose. The fragrant apple flavours were so gentle yet long lasting.
The pièce de résistance of my collection of goodies was Rochelle’s take on Eton mess. A crisp meringue shell dressed with caramel popcorn and one of the freshest blueberries around was filled with a dulcet gooey corn curd with a hint of lemony goodness. The standard non-gluten free course missed out on this darling and I’m sure I saw the glint of food envy in a few of the girl’s eyes! That’s not to say I wasn’t suffering from envy right back at their gorgeous churros and walnut baklava with orange blossom buttercream!
Yes, a year later Rochelle has done it again. I have suitably been wowed by her awesomeness and am desperate to return for a dessert degustation. After hearing a mouth-watering description from some of my companions over High Tea, I realise that I probably should wait until after the wedding for such calorific indulgence. Another thing to look forward to in my married life!Rochelle Adonis 193 Brisbane St, Northbridge, 6003 | (08) 9227 0007 | www.rochelleadonis.com Price: $$$ (High tea $45 for two courses and a palate cleanser, two pots of tea or coffee) Food: 5/5 (honestly this IS perfection) Service: 4/5 (although Rochelle admitted herself she has taken some time to warm to food bloggers, she was very open friendly and courteous) Ambience: 4/5 (bright, light and airy) Drinks: 4.5/5 (7th Duchess Teas are divine, we also BYO-ed French Champagne) Total: 18.5/20
This year has been such a hectic and emotional one which has flown by with the speed of light. It has been a whole year since the Boy finally managed to convince me after much persuasion to start writing a blog. After an initial few quiet months while in its fledgling state, it has now grown to be something I am proud to call my own. Many of my close friends are loyal regular readers and are always keen to be part of the Chompchomp phenomenon by joining me on my gastronomic expeditions around Perth.
My wedding expert friend Tara is one of these supportive people and she jumped at the opportunity of a night out with our respective others to Duende to celebrate my first blogiversary coupled with a bit of “wedding talk”.
It was one of those first glorious balmy spring days and I was drunk on the delightful sunshine and perhaps maybe also the bottle of Billecart the boy bought for us in the afternoon. I donned a short summery frock, slipped on some killer Diavolina platforms and bared my winter legs. Call it a stark rebuttal against any further threats of the dreaded cold weather!
We started at The Garden for a few rounds of drinks before heading over to Duende for dinner. Neither Tara nor her husband suffer from any dietary intolerance and were happy to order a selection of dishes that were suitable for me so we could all share. We started off with a bottle of gorgeously bright ruby coloured Pe Tinto Tempranillo, an organic and biodynamic wine from Portugal. We then proceeded to work our way through most of the gluten free options on the menu. Of which there were many!
The marinated olive selection contained over four different types with a broad range of textures and tastes to suit all of our palates. The chorizo had generous amount of heat in it and was thickly cut and juicy.
Patatas bravas are one of my favourite Spanish dishes. Parboiled potatoes are deep fried before being coated with a variety of spices, vinegar and red pepper. They can be served with a number of different types of sauces depending on the area of Spain and which can range from a tomato based sauce to more of an aioli style. These crispy slices of heaven had a generous paprika dusting and were seasoned with some lemony tasting vinegar. The level of spiciness was fairly mild and I would have preferred a bit more of a punch however the Boy was relieved with the relatively low heat.
The pork belly had a luscious creamy texture and literally melted into the polenta without any fatty aftertaste. The pear and plump muscatels gave a pleasant sweet note but I did my best to avoid these two fructose filled fruits.
The lamb rump was quite a surprise. I didn’t really read the menu carefully enough to be prepared for the enchanting sweet maple flavours from the fenugreek. It actually took us all a few moments to work out where the flavours came from! The rump was succulent and pink.
The pickled beetroots were hidden under a loose pile of fresh rocket, goat cheese and hazelnuts. Hazelnuts are my favourite nut, in part due to my praline addiction but additionally it brings back indulgent teenage memories of eating Nutella by the jar full. Although an interesting dish this wasn’t one of the better ones.
Initially we were a little reserved in ordering the beef cheeks after hearing negative feedback from a friend that found them to be dry. Cheeks are a cheaper cut of meat with a higher proportion of fat, sinew, connective tissue and bone in them. Provided they are cooked correctly this generally means they are more delicious, though they do require a little time and care when cooking.
We were right in taking the gamble because our cheeks were incredibly flavoured, delicately tender and we really should have ordered two serves and maybe left out the beetroot.
The sensation of squeaky haloumi always brings a smile to my face. Coupled with rich smoky undertones of eggplant puree this simple dish was a crowd pleaser.
Px vinegar is made with the sweet Pedro Ximenez grapes and was the perfect combination with gorgonzola to top the earthy mushrooms. I know I’m a little biased as I have a mushroom addiction but these slippery little nuggets packed a powerful burst of flavour and I could have eaten many more had I not already stuffed my face with everything else!
We chose 3 out of the selection of five available French and Spanish cheeses and it was quite a feat narrowing it down to three. If I wasn’t already bursting at the seams I would have said one of each! Our choice included a semi-firm cow’s cheese Mahon from Spain and two French cheeses; Roquefort, a creamy blue sheep cheese and Sainte Maure, a soft buttery goat cheese.
For sweets we ordered the doughnut balls with condensed milk ice cream. Obviously these were not for me as they are full of all the gluten in the land; a fact my companions were very content with as it meant there was all the more for them!
After reading a multitude of positive reviews on Duende over the years I cannot believe it took me this long to try them for myself. They more than exceeded my expectations and have to be the best tapas I have experienced in Perth by far. We loved it so much that we actually headed back for a quick midweek bite later that following week! And yes….we ordered more of those patatas bravas.Duende 662 Newcastle Street, Leederville 6007 | (08) 9228 0123 | http://www.duende.com.au/ Price: $$$ (Tapas share dishes range from $4-25, we share 11 dishes/4 people = stuffed!) Food: 4.5/5 (if I had more room I would have tried more!) Service: 4/5 (dishes didn’t come out too quickly, friendly and helpful) Ambience: 4.5/5 (buzzing vibe, I could nearly imagine myself back in Spain…) Drinks: 4/5 (interesting wine list, plenty of by the glass options) Total: 17/20
I like to be organised. Being surrounded by a world of order gives me a great feeling of peace and tranquillity. To avoid any confusion or lack of clarity for our wedding guests I ensured to keep them well-informed. Save the Date Cards were mailed out a year in advance and the Boy and I designed a detailed wedding website that is packed full of information about Phuket, Kamala and our chosen resort Andara.
This is not to say that a formal wedding invitation will be overlooked. In a similar vein to my early wedding dress shopping days, I found out that I know very little about such matters and was relieved to be invited to a Wedding Upmarket Expo by my friend Tara. Tara is an expert in all things wedding and quickly steered me on the right track helping me obtain the beginning of a vision of what I would like. We came upon a stall for Annie P Paperie. I have driven past their store in Nedlands numerous times and was always curious as to their individual style. We flipped through a few of their portfolios and my curiosity heightened to keen interest.
I made plans to meet the Bestie out at Elixir Coffee one Monday morning to fuel our creativity with caffeine before heading to Annie P’s to start the exciting process of invitation design. Elixir Coffee call themselves coffee specialists and they certainly do take their coffee very seriously. They source single origin unroasted beans direct from traders to promote fair trade and to ensure they only buy beans that are in season and fresh. All beans are roasted on site at Elixir.
I chose the El Salvador coffee “Finca La Fany” served as my usual short macchiato; it was quite sweet and nearly honey-like in flavour with hints of citrus. The Bestie chose one of the house blends which consisted of three beans: El Salvador “Talapo”, El Salvador “Miravalle” and Guatemala “Santa Clara Antigua” which she had served as her usual latte. We ended up both going back for seconds. And thirds. No wonder I felt so hyped for the rest of the day!
For a bite to eat I ordered the Pollastrini sardines on toast. It was served with some fresh fennel, capers, tomato and parsley. I requested a fried egg on top which I was told I could have “only this once”. I figured they must get very busy and don’t do any menu alterations normally. Pollastrini sardines are not like your standard supermarket variety. They may cost $7 a can at Scutti our local green grocers, but you definitely get what you pay for. There is no overpowering fishy odour and the meat is chunky. Cantina 663 often has them on their menu. The thinly sliced fennel was wonderfully crunchy and the addition of the egg gave some gooeyness to tie it all together.
The Bestie chose the house made granola clusters with berries and yoghurt. Initially she was a little disappointed in the small number of clusters however once she started eating she could not stop raving about how fabulous it was. She was amazed at the juicy bursts of tart flavour and was thankful the only sweetness was natural.
At this point we had overdosed on coffee and needed something a little more refreshing to the palate before we headed over to Annie P’s. The Bestie chose a pot of soursop tea for us to share with a slice of flourless orange cake. The tea wasn’t sour at all and had a tropical fruit flavour a bit like a combination of pineapple and pear. It was immensely revitalising and just what we needed. The flourless orange cake was fairly standard; reliably delicious but certainly nothing out of the ordinary.
Excited albeit a tad jittery we left with full tummies guided by Google maps in the direction of the Paperie. It was a gorgeously balmy day and so we both decided to walk but after about 15 minutes of walking I started to get the feeling we were heading in the wrong direction. I couldn’t understand how Google could be wrong. Google couldn’t be wrong could they?!
After a few more minutes as we walked past each landmark my feeling grew much stronger until we eventually agreed we were on the wrong track. By this point in time we were running extremely late for our appointment with the graphic designer so we turned around and sprinted for the car! No more walking in the sunshine! Hot and sweaty we both piled into our cars and I plugged the address into my Tom Tom which confirmed my suspicions that Google was totally wrong! A quick few minutes hurtling through the back streets of Nedlands and we arrived all flustered but pumped for action!Elixir Coffee 45a/145 Stirling Highway, Nedlands 6009 | (08) 9389 9333 | www.elixircoffeespecialists.com Price: $ Under $15 /meal, cash only, free WIFI Food: 3/5 (small selection of dishes, gluten free bread available) Service: 3/5 (quick and efficient but don’t ask for alterations!) Ambience: 3/5 (alfresco, café or living room style areas to choose from) Drinks: 5/5 (the coffee is out of this world – I will be back if anything just for the coffee) Total: 14/20