My lifestyle is soon to change as I will be moving to working a Monday to Friday week instead of one with weekend shifts. This has both merits and disadvantages in some ways. I will lose my regular Monday off, which I cannot deny is quite possibly THE best day to have off in the week. But in turn, I will finally be able to spend my weekends with the Boy who hasn’t worked a weekend in years. The first thing I am looking forward with this change is of course food related; I can now be a lady who does weekend brunch.
Now while my inner health freak may have already mentally started lining up juice bars and raw cafes to visit, my alter-ego would much rather an indulgent boozy afternoon.
Enter Swallow Bar with their new debut brunch menu. Moving away from the commonplace hipster chic with its chia puddings and cold pressed juice, these guys are opting to serve a more European styled brunch.
I was recently invited to Swallow Bar to sample their new gluten free friendly brunch menu. Upon arrival we were greeted warmly and shown to our table before being offered one of their summer fresh cocktails.
The Perth sun was already pelting down strongly outside and the mere mention of a seasonal Bellini promised to quench my thirst quickly. Our Bellini’s were made with house made strawberry and rhubarb fruit nectar and Cremant de Loire sparkling brut.
For eats, we started off with a sample dish of Swallow’s Captain’s Cure ocean trout. Our waitress informed us that one serve normally comes with three pieces but she served us a smaller amount to give us more room for what was to come. The luscious soft pieces of trout topped crunchy potato rosti and the dish was rounded off with dollops of horseradish crème and a fresh herb salad.
I think I may have smashed back my Bellini a touch too quick, or maybe it was that there was just a hole in my glass. 😉 Either way this opened up a new opportunity for us to order something different from their cocktail menu.
We were sitting in Swallow’s little courtyard at the back of the bar and the day was really starting to heat up. To help cool us down the Boy chose “A Rose is a Rose” jug made with SOS Rosé, brandy, Cointreau, Rose liqueur and lemonade. The rose cocktail was like a gentle breeze of subtle flavours and freshness and I would happily return just for another.
Our next dish was a grilled piadina. This is an Italian dish of folded, grilled flatbread which is filled with savoury or sweet fillings. Our piadina was generously stuffed with mushrooms, thyme, melted scamorza cheese and a touch of fresh chilli for a little hit of spice. Swallow Bar offer a “normal” or a gluten free piadina on their menu. My gluten free piadina was filled with stretchy, stringy cheese and both of us fell silent as we devoured our serves contently. There is something about eating melted cheese that brings back happy childhood memories for me.
To end our fabulous, somewhat naughty brunch, our waitress brought out a plate of Shark Bay prawns to share.
Many of you have followed the WA Signature Dish journey on this blog as I have been the official blogger for the Gascoyne region for the past two years. This year our region won the competition with Jerolina’s dish using Shark Bay prawns as her hero ingredient. Seeing the hero ingredient on Swallow’s menu made me very proud! Local is best.
The prawns were simply grilled with lemon butter, fresh chilli and parsley. I was even more delighted to find they were so fresh you could suck their heads. For those not in the know, the meat in the prawn head is actually the most tasty bit of a grilled prawn. I suggest you don’t knock it until you have tried it, just make sure they are super fresh!
Swallow makes a fabulous new addition to the weekend brunch scene in Perth. Being a small bar and not a cafe means you can drag your afternoon over into the evening while you work your way through all those wonderful cocktails. Swallow’s menu is very gluten free friendly with lots of options that won’t make you feel like you miss out.
Chompchomp was an invited guest at Swallow Bar and did not pay for her meal or drinks. Given her insanely hectic schedule she was grateful to receive a more personalised approach to sample the new brunch menu rather than the standard group blogger event. Being such a boutique small bar, it allowed her to get a more accurate feel for the venue and their quality of service. She looks forward to returning as a full paying customer in the near future.
This week’s blog post was written by my guest writer Jenna. Jenna and I share our two biggest passions in life; cats and food. With so much amazing things happening around Perth lately, I have offered her the position as my guest blogger on Chompchomp so my dear readers can read even more content on exciting things happening in our city’s foodie scene.
I was lucky enough to receive an invite to a long table lunch to launch the Light Up Leederville Carnival. This was a ten course lunch held in the piazza on Newcastle Street outside Duende to kick off the carnival and to provide recognition to some of the key community members and businesses involved. The day was perfect for it: beautiful blue skies, not too warm with a light breeze blowing gently enough to keep outdoor diners comfortable. All food supplied was made on site in the nearby restaurants and carried to us at the piazza before being served.
The first course was supplied by Guzman y Gomez, a recent addition to Leederville. I always enjoy their guacamole, pico di gallo and house-made tortilla crisps and today was no exception. Such simple fare suited the laid back atmosphere.
We were then presented with a traditional prawn cocktail supplied by Sweetlips of Leederville. The prawn meat was succulent with a tasty cocktail sauce and some silky avocado to enjoy. Being from an Australian household, the prawn cocktail is a very common feature at family Christmas lunch and this dish was a reminder of how close we are to that time of year. I still have to say that my Nan’s is better…just.
We were then offered an onion bhaji from Bricklane. Made in the traditional fashion using chickpea flour, it was subtly spiced with perfect texture. As big fans of Indian food we found it a little bland for our usual tastes but enjoyable and would have pleased most palates.
Zambrero supplied vegetarian chikitos which were very cute child-sized burritos. Enough for a few mouthfuls, I was feeling a little full by this time as the food was coming out quickly. As if sensing my need for a break, we were offered sorbet as a palate cleanser. This was a cucumber and mint sorbet crafted by Gusto Gelato. There was a little too much sugar overpowering the cucumber and perhaps lacking a citrus zing but still very refreshing.
There was no rest for the wicked and the dishes continued to arrive. Malaysian-style satay sticks from Low Key Chow House were a crowd favourite. Deliciously sticky sauce with a smoky undertone from the charcoal grill. I mournfully wished I had put more of these on my plate as I watched the dish whisk away to serve another table.
We were then served a traditional paella from the always popular Pincho’s. As usual, there were no disappointed faces and while I felt the rice in my serve was a little undercooked, the flavours were good.
The wine was supplied by Cherubino Wines from the South West of WA. I have a tendency to get on my soap box about WA wine as I feel we make some of the best wines in the world. Cherubino had some nice wines for the event and I was particularly charmed by their white wine, an interesting blend of Pinot Grigio, Gurwerztraminer, Sauvignon Gris and Riesling.
Our official entertainment included 17 year old Telstra Road to Discovery finalist, Sydnee Carter. Her gentle acoustic guitar and lovely singing voice completed the summer vibe. We were surprised towards the end with a taste of some more of the performers who will join the Carnival, a wandering troupe of lavishly dressed musicians.
A small ceremony to ‘light up’ the Carnival saw Town of Vincent Mayor John Carey pedalling his hardest on a small bicycle to power a case of lightglobes. This represented the amazing commitment to power the carnival using only renewable energy sources, a first for a Western Australian event! All stalls and stages will be powered by a combination of wind, solar, recycled oil as well as pedal power if any cyclists out there are willing to lend their legs to the cause.
To finish our lunch we were served a gluten free Carribean chocolate cake by Alternative Bites. Typical of some GF cakes, the sponge was a little dry but the mousse had a lovely texture and a hint of orange. Orange chocolate is one of my faves, so this was a pleasing end to our lunch.
The Light Up Leederville Carnival runs from 12pm to 9pm on Sunday, December 6th ending in the evening with the ceremonial switching on of the Christmas lights and a fireworks display. The Carnival will also have 200 market stalls, 8 stages of performers and local artists as well as showcasing some of Leederville’s best local eateries.
Jenna attended the Light Up Leederville Launch as am invited guest on behalf of Chompchomp.