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Light Up Leederville Carnival Launch party

Posted by  | Categories: Perth

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

P1040477 590A 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.

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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.

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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.

www.leedervillecarnival.com.au | Facebook

 Jenna attended the Light Up Leederville Launch as am invited guest on behalf of Chompchomp. 

Layup Cafe, Northbridge

Posted by  | Categories: Breakfast/Brunch, Coffee, Featured, Perth, Restaurants

Birthdays are meant to be celebrated and it is an incredible surprise to me that this humble blog has just turned four. Four human years converted into food blog years must equate to at least a decade. That is definitely a cause to crack open the champagne. Writing this blog has certainly been a colourful journey of eating amazing food, but also has seen me cultivate wonderful, lasting friendships and interact with some very passionate Perth business people and chefs. I have loved every minute of it.
For me, this year has been all about time and its ability to slip through my fingers like sand. Admittedly I am my worst enemy and perpetually keep taking on more than I realistically have time for. To add to this dilemma, I spent a decent chunk of my year debilitated with back pain which terminated all physical activity in my life at the time. Thankfully my back troubles are becoming something of the past, and I am embracing life with a new found zest.
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Last Sunday I woke up quite early, hours before the Boy and the cats cared to be awoken and couldn’t get back to sleep. It was a stunning Spring morning so I snuck quietly out the front door and took my new bike for a spin around the river leaving the sleeping beauties snoring peacefully in a pile together. Upon returning home later I was chuffed to see the Boy up and about, ready to go out for breakfast. I was recently followed on Instagram by a new café called Layup Cafe that has just opened in Northbridge so we agreed to check it out.

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Guacamole & pica de gallo ($16, V, GFO) with added slow cooked egg ($4)

Layup’s menu had plenty of gluten free options with a number of interesting dishes that moved away from the comparatively boring egg benny and big breakfasts. We selected a few dishes to share, all gluten free adapted.
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The guacamole on toast came with smoked corn and pica de gallo and we elected to have it topped with optional slow cooked eggs. A few dollops of jalapeño custard decorated the side of the plate and this custard had just a gentle chili kick to it. Being a hater of all things spicy, the Boy didn’t trust my description of “very mild” and gave the custard a wide berth. He was determined to avoid tasting something too hot for his delicate palate.

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Sicilian anchovies, charred gluten free bread, slow cooked egg and shichimi togarashi ($8, GFO)

Sadly these efforts were in vain as I didn’t get to warn him in time about the shichimi togarashi that accompanied the Sicilian anchovies.
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After proudly thinking he dodged a bullet with the jalapeño custard, the Boy proceeded to dunk his charred gluten free bread in gooey slow cooked egg heaven before coating it liberally in the innocent looking red powder. He nearly choked in horror at the heat and proceeded to gulp gallons of water quickly.

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After the subtle tease of the jalapeño custard I was much more game and dunked my generously coated bread confidently. It was a wonderful, nostril clearing experience that had me going back for more. Combined with the salty fishiness of the anchovies this was a flavour combination I hadn’t tried before and would happily try again.

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Breakfast pannacotta ($15, V, GF)

Thankfully there was a cooling dish on the table to soothe the poor lad’s burning tongue. The breakfast pannacotta came on a bed of toasted gluten free muesli and goji berries topped with a strawberry compote and fresh berries.
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I love having two courses for breakfast. This was something my dear friend and business partner Chis and I started doing long ago and that habit has stuck. Making the decision for sweet or savoury is far too difficult to do first thing in the morning so my advice is having both is the best way to go.

Layup Cafe only opened this month and it looks like they are well on their way to fulfilling the high expectations of regular Perth breakfast punters. I loved their creative menu options and use of local produce and hope to return soon.

Layup Cafe
197-199 Brisbane Street, Northbridge WA 6003 | 0481 064 166 | Facebook
Layup Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

WA Signature Dish Semi-Final Cook Off 2015

Posted by  | Categories: Events, Featured, Gascoyne Region, Perth, WA Signature Dish

The WA Signature Dish is an annual cooking competition that promotes Western Australia’s beautiful and abundant local produce. The competition is open to amateur cooks who must create a recipe that best represents our “State on a plate” using one or more of the “hero ingredients” from either the Gascoyne, Kimberley, Swan Valley & Surrounds or Peel regions.

This year’s competition at the WA Signature Dish Semi-Final was fierce. The cook off was held earlier this month in Perth and was a nail-biting morning for everyone. Following with Perth’s latest food trend, a number of the dishes showed the creative use of Australian native plants. There are so many interesting flavours hidden out there in the outback and I love seeing how chefs use these unique flavours.

Gascoyne seafood broth with Shark Bay wild prawns

Gascoyne seafood broth with Shark Bay wild prawns

The winning finalist for the Gascoyne region is Jerolina Rankin. Jerolina participated last year and narrowly missed the place in the finals. This year she returns to the competition with her Gascoyne seafood broth with Shark Bay wild prawns.

Gascoyne finalist Jeroline Rankin

Gascoyne finalist Jeroline Rankin

The finalist for the Kimberley region is Arylene Westlake-Jennings with Cone Bay barramundi and green mango and mizuna salad.

Cone Bay barramundi and green mango and mizuna salad

Cone Bay barramundi and green mango and mizuna salad

Talented local Perth food blogger Matt Cook is carrying the flag for the Swan Valley and surrounds with his dish; lemon-myrtle marron laksa-inspired curry.

WA Signature dish semi finals cook off

Lemon-myrtle marron laksa-inspired curry

Finally, Rachel Hartshorn is representing the Peel region with her dish of Harvey Beef eye fillet, bush tomato, native thyme and pepperberry with red wine jus.

Harvey Beef eye fillet, bush tomato, native thyme and pepperberry with red wine jus

Harvey Beef eye fillet, bush tomato, native thyme and pepperberry with red wine jus

The four finalists now must spend the next few months working alongside their dedicated Mentor Chefs in order to perfect their dish for the Grand Finale. The Mentor Chefs this year are Chris Taylor (Fraser’s) for the Kimberley, Peter Manifis (InContro) for the Gascoyne, Kiren Mainwaring (Co-op Dining) for Swan Valley & Surrounds and Jason Hutchen (Redmanna Waterfront Restaurant) for Peel.

Jerolina with Mentor Chef Peter Manifis

Jerolina with Mentor Chef Peter Manifis

The WA Signature Dish Grand Finale takes place at the Gourmet Escape festival on the 22nd of November. A 60 minute live cook-off will be held on stage and each finalist will present their dish for judging to Chefs Guillaume Brahimi and Shane Osborn and restaurant critic Matt Preston to select the 2015 winner.

WA Signature dish Finalists for 2015

WA Signature dish Finalists for 2015

It will be a great relief to many that this year, each of the four finalist’s dishes will be available to buy this year at Gourmet Escape. Chef Peter Manifis plans to prepare about 6000 of the finalist’s dishes at the WA Signature Dish pop-up restaurant. Festival punters will be able to vote on their favourite dish for the People’s Choice award which will be announced at the cook-off finale.

For more details visit www.wasignaturedish.com.au

Please note photo credits with thanks to Peter Maloney, Department of Agriculture and Food WA. I was afflicted by a bad gastro and couldn’t attend the semi-finals. :(

Alphabet Soup Truffle Dinner, Canton Lounge Perth City

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

I love being part of unique dining experiences. I find the excitement of the unknown combined with the knowledge that it is a once off event makes the evening feel so special. Alphabet Soup Dining is a Perth-based pop-up restaurant run by chef Melissa Palinkas who is also the Executive Chef and part owner of Young George in East Fremantle. Melissa started Alphabet Soup because she wanted to offer a quirky degustation style meal where she could let her creativity run free. She holds a dinner event once monthly in locations all around Perth and has popped up in places like Milk’d in Maylands, Cutlery Draw in Manning, Frisk! Small Bar and 399 Bar in Northbridge and most recently at Canton Lounge in the City.

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I have wanted to attend an Alphabet Soup dinner for some time so when I saw that chef Melissa was holding a truffle themed dinner this was my immediate cue to book us in. I can never say no to truffle. Before booking I checked that the event could cater for gluten free and was happily assured that it wouldn’t be a problem.

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Reverse crayfish truffle sushi roll (GF)

The Alphabet Soup events are based around a six course meal and the menus are published online just a few days before the event. After being seated for the evening, we received a couple of rounds of “snacks” that were not on the menu as a surprise. Our first treat was a reverse crayfish truffle sushi roll using locally caught Mindarie cray. The cray meat was tender and sweet having been cooked sous vide with truffle in the bag to infuse a strong flavour.

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Truffle Miso lamb ribs (GF)

Our second surprise snack was a basket of miso lamb ribs, also cooked sous vide in a bag with truffle. The meat slid off the bones easily and the Boy and I sat speechless, both far too busy for words as we sucked and slurped each rib until it was clean.

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Sake cured ocean trout (GF)

Our next dish was a little theatrical; sake cured ocean trout with truffle with a yuzu and coconut salad. The portions of ocean trout were suspended on a miniature hanging line with pint-size pegs. Super cute.

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Pomelo mojito ($14)

The trout was matched with a pomelo mojito, made with Havana 7, pink grapefruit, lime and crème de menthe. It was an interesting experience having a meal matched with not just wines, but also a collection of cocktails.

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Truffle chicken karage (GF)

Who said eating gluten free meant you had to miss out? My truffle chicken karage was made using tapioca flour and tasted just like the real thing. Two crispy morsels were accompanied by some truffled Japanese mustard aioli topped with black sesames. This was finger licking good chicken that left no grease on my hands, my only gripe was that I was left wanting more.

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62 degree egg with broken truffle rice (GF)

My fried chicken yearning was quickly forgotten upon the arrival of the next dish; broken truffle sticky rice with a 62 degree egg. It is hard not to fall madly in love with the magical combination of slow cooked eggs and truffle, and thankfully there are a number of chefs in Perth that have caught onto this simple decadence.

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62 degree egg with broken truffle rice (GF)

It is guaranteed that this combination will never fail to make me swoon, those flavours are perfectly married in heaven. Poised with my camera in hand, my predictable squeal of delight emitted when the Boy cut into his yolk was met with his usual eye roll. I may be a little over the top with my love for yolk porn, especially after a few cocktails.

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Pork and truffle dumpling (GF)

For our next dish, we enjoyed a pork and truffle dumpling served in a richly flavoured dashi broth with fresh shiitake mushrooms. To finish the dish, shavings of fresh Manjimup truffle cascaded on the surface adding a stronger hit of truffiliciousness.

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I was to learn that the element of surprise is the norm for the Alphabet Soup dinners. Our next course was yet another secret item that was not found on the menu. I really love surprise dishes! A super tender, baby carrot was cooked in truffle dashi before being grilled and then served with an XO sauce ash.

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Carrot (GF)

Our final main course was the seared duck breast, cooked Chinese BBQ style with truffle mushrooms, edamame and of course, fresh truffle.

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Seared duck breast (GF)

The duck breast was crispy thin on the outside yet remained tender pink and buttery moist on the inside.

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Seared duck breast (GF)

To freshen up our palates ready for dessert, we were given a bite sized spoonful of mandarin and yuzu jelly. It was uplifting and refreshing, combining perfectly with my jazzed up G&T made with Bombay Sapphire, lemon and jasmine tea.

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Palate cleanser

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G&T: Bombay Sapphire, lemon, jasmine tea ($10)

Our dessert brought me back to my childhood when Mum and I would go to the Adelaide Central Markets to do our weekly food shopping. My reward for being the good daughter who would come along and help her mother would always be some sort of treat we shared before going home. Most weeks we would end up walking over to Adelaide’s Chinatown precinct and finding something delicious. These were the days I was oblivious to the fact gluten was killing me, and in my ignorance I would eagerly look forward to the times we would get ourselves a steam pork bun.

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Truffle and pear steam bun (GF)

For our final course with Alphabet Soup, the Chef made a special batch of gluten free truffle and pear steam buns just for me. The buns were made using potato, corn flour and rice flour giving an authentic doughy, but fluffy texture. We were given truffle honey and Anglaise sauce to drizzle lavishly over our buns. It was a perfect way to end our evening.

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Truffle and pear steam bun (GF)

We both thoroughly enjoyed our evening out with Alphabet Soup and will be watching out for her next event. There was all the right elements of entertainment, quirkiness and originality that I had hoped for with some extra surprises to boot. Chef Mel effortlessly catered for my dietary needs without making me feel like I missed out on any of the degustation experience. Thanks Melissa!

Alphabet Soup | www.alphabetsoupdining.com

Canton Bar | 532 Hay Street, Perth WA 6000 | (08) 9325 8887 | www.cantonbar.com.au

Canton Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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WA Signature Dish Competition 2015

Posted by  | Categories: Events, Featured, Gascoyne Region, Perth, Regional WA

This year I return to join the team of bloggers and follow the journey of the WA Signature Dish Competition 2015. Many of you will remember my comprehensive coverage of last year’s competition which included a trip up to the stunning Gascoyne region where I went on my own paddock to plate experience meeting the local farmers and producers in person. I visited a number of banana plantations, ate chocolate pudding fruit straight from the tree and even got to climb on board a crabbing boat.

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From the Archives: WA Signature Dish 2014, Carnarvon

The WA Signature Dish is an annual cooking competition that promotes Western Australia’s beautiful and abundant local produce. The competition is open to amateur cooks who must create a recipe that best represents our “State on a plate” using one or more of the “hero ingredients” from either the Gascoyne, Kimberley, Swan Valley & Surrounds or Peel regions. Two contestants from each region will be chosen to compete in the Semi Final cook-off event on the 14 October in Perth.

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Image courtesy of Buy West Eat Best

This year Peter Manifis will join us again as the mentor chef for the Gascoyne region. Peter grew up on WA’s Pilbara coast and being the son of a commercial fisherman, he developed a passion for our State’s abundant seafood from a very young age. By the time Peter was ten years old he had already decided that he was going to be a chef. He trained at the famous Loose Box under French Master Chef Alain Farbregues and is now a partner in the successful South Perth restaurant InContro. Read my interview with Peter last year and see some of his mouth-watering creations at InContro restaurant.

The Hero Ingredients that the contestants must use from the Gascoyne Region this year are:

• Wild Shark Bay Prawns (Northern Star Ocean Products)

• Carnarvon grown tomatoes, capsicum, zucchini, eggplant and chilli (Loveapple)

• Shark Bay Mullet, Shark Bay Scallops, Pink Snapper and Shark Bay Whiting (recommended by the WA Fishing Industry Council)

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Last year’s winner Rhiannon Birch with the Chefs. Image courtesy of Buy West Eat Best

Once the four regional Semi Final winners are selected, they will each then work with their mentor chef for their chosen region to prepare them for the Grand Finale which will be held at Margaret River Gourmet Escape on the 22 November. The judging panel for the Grand Finale will consist of Guillaume Brahimi (Bistro Guillaume), Shane Osborn (from Michelin starred St Betty’s restaurant in Hong Kong) and a third high profile chef who is yet to be named.

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The regional winner for the Gascoyne 2014 Paul Kelly

The winner of the WA Signature Dish Competition 2015 will receive two days mentoring with Guillaume Brahimi at Bistro Guillame in Crown Perth, plus a trip for two to a luxurious remote Western Australian location for a wine and dine experience and the opportunity to meet some of WA’s most respected chefs and industry figures along the way.

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Disclaimer: Chompchomp is the official blogger for the Gascoyne region for the 2015 WA Signature Dish Competition. The competition is organised by Buy West Eat Best, a food labelling program that’s all about supporting the local food industry in Western Australia. Buy West Eat Best aims to grow the value and consumption of local WA produced food. Buy West East Best provides consumers and the local food industry with a food-specific brand to clearly show Western Australian grown, farmed, fished and produced food. 

Leederville Food Safari Progressive Dinner by Rickshaw

Posted by  | Categories: Degustation/Fine dining, Featured, Malaysian, Perth, Restaurants, Wine Bar

I am an eternal sufferer of FOMO (the fear of missing out). This terrible affliction of mine means that to make the simple decision on where to go out for dinner becomes a complicated task involving restaurant shortlists, reading menus in advance and scanning social media for evidence that I’m not missing out eating somewhere else.

But now I have found the perfect solution to this ailment; why should I limit myself to dine at just one single venue per outing when I can go on a progressive dinner and enjoy three restaurants in one night?

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The Leederville Food Safari offer progressive dinners that run over about three hours and visit three of the most popular restaurants in Leederville; Ria Malay Kitchen, Kitsch Bar and Foam Coffee Bar. To make the night even more interesting, instead of walking between venues the guests are transported to each restaurant in a rickshaw.

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Malay mule ($16)

On my first Leederville Food Safari experience, we started our evening at Ria Malay Kitchen for entrées and it didn’t take long for our group to discover the awesome cocktail list. I ordered a Malay Mule; made with lemongrass infused vodka, fresh lime and homemade ginger beer. It had just the right amount of ginger bite to it and would have been an easy drink to slam back in succession if it wasn’t a school night 😉

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Starters (GF option)

All three of the Safari’s restaurants are able to cater for dietary requirements including gluten free and vegetarian options. My gluten free entrée plate included a generous heap of peppered squid and grilled satay chicken skewers.

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Starters (non-GF option)

There was a lot of other starters brought to the table for the other guests which were devoured in no time. We remained blissfully oblivious that we were about to be served an even more extensive amount of food for our mains at the next pit stop.

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Starters (non-GF option)

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Laura Dew from Yelp Perth and I head off to our next venue in our rickshaw

I climbed into one of the trusty rickshaws with the lovely Laura from Yelp Perth and we snuggled up together to keep warm. Neither of us are ever short of a word to say and having not seen each other for a while we chatted away vibrantly while our driver carefully negotiated the busy traffic to whisk us over to Kitsch Bar.

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Chilli ginger beer

I had really enjoyed the gingeriness of my Malay Mule cocktail and subsequently was prompted by friends to order Kitsch Bar’s chilli ginger beer. I was given the option for no chilli but of course I politely declined and asked for it to be hot!

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Tamarind salted chicken skins (GF)

As the food started to come out to our tables, I was extremely excited to hear that everything they were serving was gluten free! This was definitely a night of NOT missing out! For our first dish we enjoyed was the very naughty, but scarily addictive tamarind salted chicken skins. Super crispy with no oily aftertaste, these skins are a treat that you will have to forget about dieting and just tuck in.

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BBQ Szechuan chicken (GF)

The chicken skins were gone in a quick flash and we were warned to pace ourselves by veteran Safari guests as there was a fair amount of food on its way. Kitsch’s menu is based on a modern twist of many Asian street food favourites. The barbeque Szechuan chicken was first on the list, the tender chicken was tossed through with charred corn salsa and coriander.

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BBQ Szechuan chicken (GF)

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Black vinegar braised lamb neck (GF)

My favourite dish of the evening had to be the sticky black vinegar braised lamb neck. The meat tore off the bone effortlessly and literally melted in my mouth it was so moist and soft. It was served with a mild eggplant sambal and green beans.

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Greens with kai lan with ginger and soy (GF)

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Sriracha cauliflower (GF, V)

One of the vegetarian dishes on offer was the sriracha and garlic roasted cauliflower. I loved the addition of thick chunks of paneer, a fresh white Indian cheese.

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Thai street noodles with kai lan, lime and shallots (GF, V)

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Chilli caramel crispy skinned pork belly (GF)

Our final main dish of crispy skinned pork belly came at a point in the night where my sides were nearly splitting at the seams. This food safari is a great night out for people with a healthy appetite! The pork belly was prepared with a sticky sweet chilli caramel sauce and served with a fresh apple salad. Although we all proclaimed we would struggle to fit anymore, we each managed to nibble our way through a slice of the pork before piling back into our rickshaws to head back down to Foam Coffee Bar for dessert.

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Raw peppermint slice (GF)

Laura and I were the first to arrive at Foam and stood starry-eyed in front of the cake cabinet for some time before we could make our decisions. There were numerous gluten free, dairy free and raw options to choose from in addition to some more “normal” desserts for those without any dietary requirements.

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Pistachio and almond cake (GF)

We opted to both share our choices and ordered a wedge of pistachio, berry and almond cake along with some raw peppermint slice. We both agreed that anything peppermint flavoured wouldn’t actually fill us up as it is very refreshing and light. Kind of along the same lines as eating peppermint thins at the end of meal. I could easily eat a whole packet of those little chocolates.

The Leederville Food Safari is a fun night out and gives a brilliant alternative to the usual dining experience. The food is served in abundance and I recommend to arrive hungry so you can eat everything on offer. This summer’s rickshaw driven food safari season begins today on the 1st of September and will run through until the end of summer.

Disclaimer: Chompchomp was an invited guest of the Leederville Food Safari. Thanks to Meg Coffey from Coffey & Tea for organising such a fun night out.

 

Leederville Food Safari

Phone (08) 9242 1229 | Cost $95 per person excluding drinks | Book online at leedervillefoodsafari.com.au

 

Ria Malay Kitchen

106 Oxford Street, Leederville WA 6007 | (08) 9328 2998 | riamalaykitchen.com.au

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Kitsch Bar

229 Oxford Street, Leederville WA 6007 | (08) 9242 1229 | kitschbar.com.au

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Foam Coffee Bar

130 Oxford Street, Leederville, WA 6007 | (08) 9444 7475 | www.foamcoffeebar.com.au

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Manuka Woodfire Kitchen, Fremantle

Posted by  | Categories: Featured, Modern Australian, Perth, Pizza, Restaurants, Wine Bar

I owe you, my dear readers a small apology. Many of you may have noticed that my recent posts on Chompchomp have been fewer and far between and are often written using content that dates further back than I would prefer. For this I am truly sorry. If the lack of reading has bothered you, I can assure you that the frustration is mutual. Whilst I hate to go on like a broken record and whinge incessantly, the reality is that my slipped disc in my back has made our dining experiences virtually non-existent. Needless to say, life goes on around me and consequently my list of new venues in Perth that I want to visit is growing at an alarming rate.

For the Boy and me, our times spent dining out together form a major part of our enjoyment and their absence leaves us both feeling depressed and disconnected. So, this weekend I necked back a couple of strong pain killers, splashed on some mascara and red lipstick and headed out for a lunch date with my love. I will not be beaten by pain! The Boy wanted to take my new wheels for a spin so we headed down to Fremantle to Chef Kenny McHardy’s new restaurant Manuka Woodfire Kitchen.

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Chef Kenny is one of those who will go above and beyond for us allergy-prone intolerants as I discovered recently on our decadent Truffle Kerfuffle weekend. When I heard that he had moved up to Perth with his family from Albany and opened a new restaurant I placed his venue at the top of my to-do list.

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Manuka Woodfire Kitchen is a cosy space with a warm and inviting atmosphere, a gluten free friendly menu and a short but well-chosen Western Australian wine list. We selected a bottle of Domaine Naturaliste 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon. It was rich in luscious berry and spice aromas making it perfectly matched to the stormy weather outside.

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Garlic and herb flat bread ($6, not GF)

The Boy filled himself up quickly with the wood fired garlic and herb bread while I appreciated having my own gluten free counterpart to enjoy. Manuka make their gluten free bread themselves and it tasted wonderfully fresh and fluffy.

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Gluten free house made garlic bread

Manuka’s menu features a number of uncomplicated share plates using fresh seasonal produce cooked to smoky heavenliness in their wood fire oven. It was hard to choose where to start so we agreed to let the chef decide while we sat back and relaxed.

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Wood roasted olives ($4, GF)

At $4 a serve there was nothing not to love about Manuka’s wood roasted olives. Served warm, the delicately flavoured olive flesh slid off the pits with a light squeeze of my teeth. It would have been an easy task to sit all afternoon with my wine in hand eating more of these olives while we watched the quirky world of Fremantle walk by.

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Chorizo sausage grilled over hot coals ($15, GF)

Our next dish was a plate of chorizo sausage that had been grilled over hot coals. The sausage had a gentle hint of spice and each slightly charred piece remained burst-in-the-mouth juicy.

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Roasted button mushrooms with crisp kale, garlic, rosemary and balsamic ($16, GF)

One of the standout dishes for me was the roasted button mushrooms, the mushrooms were so meaty and succulent. They were served with paper-thin, crispy kale leaves and dollops of garlic sour cream.

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Roasted baby beetroot with fresh ricotta and toasted hazelnuts ($14. GF)

Another fabulous vegetarian dish was the roasted baby beetroot. I could really taste the difference from cooking the beets in the wood fire oven, there was a subtle smokiness and just so much more flavour.  The toasted hazelnuts added some great crunch and texture.

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Wood roasted chicken pieces with miso sauce ($18, GF)

The Boy’s favourite dish was the wood roasted miso chicken. Each piping hot piece of chicken was torn apart easily by our eager fingers and we gobbled it down like we had only just sat down to eat.

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It was tempting to lick the remaining sticky miso sauce from the bowl as we both slurped sauce from our messy fingers. I guess we could have used a fork and knife to eat but when the chicken is this finger-licking good why bother?

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Slow cooked osso bucco with parmesan mash ($32, GF)

Just when we thought we were too full to fit in any more food, our waitress brought us one last dish to the table. And of course being good sports, we found room to fit in some dreamy tender slow cooked osso bucco. 😉 All my good table manners fell out the window as I sucked loudly on the shin bone ensuring to remove all traces of the rich bone marrow.

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Milk chocolate mousse with fresh strawberries and clotted cream ($9, GF)

Despite continuing to feebly protest about being too full, my rubber arm was easily twisted into sharing dessert. Look, my back may be injured but there is nothing wrong with my stomach!! Secretly you and I both know I ALWAYS have room for dessert. Our chocolate mousse was so light and airy leaving us with no problems polishing it off.

Manuka Woodfire Kitchen has only been open for three weeks and yet their team showed no signs of any teething problems that I have come to expect with newly opened establishments. The wait staff are friendly and passionate, the dishes are decently priced and the Chef’s use of fresh local ingredients cooked in a wood fire oven speaks for itself.

Manuka Woodfire Kitchen, Fremantle

134 High Street, Fremantle WA | (08) 9335 3527 | Facebook

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Hop to Hopscotch Bar, South Perth

Posted by  | Categories: Bars, Featured, Perth, Tapas Bar, Wine Bar

I am refusing to let this back pain rule my life. When I originally injured it ten years ago, the pain overwhelmed me and I was terrified that I would never get back to my previous level of activity. This time round I am better prepared for the ride and thankfully my pain has been easier to control. It was my mother-in-law’s birthday a few weeks ago and it was at a point that I was still maxed out on my pain killers and mostly housebound. I was determined not to be beaten by this fact and agreed to join them for a lunch outing to celebrate.

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To avoid having me seated in a car for too long, the Boy chose a local venue called Hopscotch Bar which is a new addition on Angelo Street in South Perth. This beautifully decked out bar is located in an old supermarket that remained vacant for some time after a storm blew its roof off last winter. I was glad to see they opted for a more modern and social way of dining with a small menu of share plates.

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Hand cut potatoes, aioli, ($9, GF, V)

My parents-in-law are always so accommodating and generally let me order for everybody so that I don’t miss out. I think the truth of it is they like being able to sit back, relax and not have to stress about trivial things like what to eat or drink. Neither of them have any food intolerances nor are they fussy so it is an easy job for me.

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Free range chicken wings, spicy sauce, slaw ($16, not GF)

We started with the free range chicken wings which I was originally told were gluten free provided I didn’t eat the sauce so the waitress ordered the sauce to be served on the side. After placing our order she came back and informed me that the chef wanted to advise that the oil may be contaminated with gluten as he had fried food with a flour coating prior to cooking the wings. This level of knowledge about gluten inspired great confidence in me. It is such a relief to know the chef already understands the basics of cross contamination when it comes to feeding a Coeliac.

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Duck liver pâté, spiced port Jelly, toast with GF crackers on the side for me ($12, GFO)

Many of the small plates were able to have gluten free crackers substituted for bread leaving us quite a few options to enjoy. The duck liver pâté was smooth, smearable and richly flavoured although the jar made it a little difficult to serve easily. I cannot say I’m a fan of the trend of serving food in jars. I always feel like it is a short cut way to serve things rather than making an effort to plate the food up.

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Jamon serrano, pickled cucumber, mustard ($15, GFO)

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Mushrooms, quinoa, kale, goats cheese ($16, GF, V)

One of the vegetarian dishes of quinoa tossed with kale, mushrooms and goats cheese was a more substantial size and reasonably priced. It appeared that they had run out of kale and substituted spinach instead. The mushrooms had a wonderful meatiness to them and I could have happily eaten this dish to myself. But then again I am a mushroom addict!

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Salmon fillet, jamon, cauliflower, asparagus ($36, GF)

The jamon-wrapped salmon fillets were served on a bed of cauliflower purée and topped with grilled asparagus and microherbs.  The crispy jamon gave a great textural contrast to the softly cooked fish and I was pleased to note the salmon was cooked to have a satisfying dark pink centre. I get cranky when my salmon is overcooked as I believe it ruins it.

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Earl Grey pannacotta, raspberry ($15, GFO)

Neither of the desserts on the menu were gluten free however the Earl Grey pannacotta could be easily adapted by the omission of the shortbread biscuit. It had the requisite wobbly movement and the hint of bergamot aromas were so uplifting.

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Sailor Jerry chocolate pudding, pistachio, vanilla ice cream ($15, not GF)

The Boy ordered the chocolate pudding to share based purely on the addition of vanilla ice cream. Ice cream really is his weakness. The “Sailor Jerry” chocolate pudding was irrelevant to him and he left it for his parents to enjoy instead. He can be easily pleased sometimes. Sometimes I said! 😉 

Angelo Street was in dire need of somewhere cool that took it beyond the realms of sandwich bars and brunch spots. I look forward to seeing how Hopscotch Bar fits into the scene and will definitely be returning.

Hopscotch Bar | 79 Angelo Street, South Perth WA | 0418 399 966 | Facebook

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Shadow Wine Bar and Dining Room, Alex Hotel, Northbridge

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

At the very tail end of my annual leave I received a spontaneous call from one of my dearest friends and business partner Chris to join her on a lunch date. She was freed of the responsibility of her little offspring for the afternoon and wanted to make the most of it. She wasn’t fussy where we went and let me choose the venue. With so many new bars popping up around town it is hard to keep up despite being a food blogger. One bar that has sparked my interest is Shadow Wine Bar located in the new Alex Hotel. Moving away from the current trend of tight spaces and walk-ins, Shadow Wine Bar fills a large space with dramatic black and white interiors, massively high ceilings and an industrial warehouse-gone-chic feel.

I tend to avoid making an early judgement on the fluidity of service for new venues like this, not only are the staff new but everything is new and everyone deserves time to land on their feet. So I excused our waiter’s error in telling me all the pasta dishes were gluten free along with a dish with a rye crumb. It was even easier to forgive him quickly when the rest of our service was accompanied with smiles and attentiveness.

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Potato crisp, crab, lemon aioli $6 each, GF

We started with the potato crisp topped with fresh crab and a lemon aioli. These morsels were a mouthful of flavour however the potato didn’t hold up to the weight of its toppings and became a little soggy in the middle.

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Pan fried haloumi, pink grapefruit, watercress, balsamic $19, GF

The pan-fried haloumi was a squeaky treat matched beautifully with slightly sweet, slightly sour pink grapefruit and peppery fresh watercress. A simple collection of ingredients that balanced elegantly.

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Veal carpaccio, rocket, parmesan, truffle mustard dressing $22, GF

The veal carpaccio was the winner of the day. Nearly translucent slices of veal were marbled with spider thin strands of white fat and tore apart like tissue paper across the plate. Truffle mustard drizzled generously on top gave a subtle hint of truffiliciousness.

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Crispy pork jowl, roasted cauliflower, pomegranate, sauce agrodulce $36, GF

Shadow Bar’s crispy pork jowl is a must for pork lovers. The crackling was browned to a tooth-chipping, crunchable texture while the underlying unctuous goodness melted in the mouth without any lingering aftertaste.

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Crispy pork jowl, roasted cauliflower, pomegranate, sauce agrodulce $36, GF

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Pear tart tartin (not GF)

A meal with Chris is never complete without sweets. In fact, over nearly two decades of friendship I cannot recall ever eating with her and not ingesting something saccariferous. Not that I am complaining because I am no different. After a round of giggles from us both trying to pronounce “tart tartin” properly in French, Chris ordered the pear tart tartin. It was served with tonka bean ice cream which had a similar flavour to vanilla with a hint of caramel.

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Poached rhubarb, meringue, mascarpone GF

The only gluten free dessert option was the poached rhubarb served with a scoop of mascarpone and shards of meringue. Whilst my dessert certainly looked the part, I found its flavours to be underwhelming with the creaminess and tartness unbalanced due to a distinct lack of sweetness. It almost felt like there was a missing ingredient.

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Poached rhubarb, meringue, mascarpone GF

Our lunch experience at Shadow Wine Bar left me undecided on my opinion so the following day I brought the Boy back there for lunch for a second chance. Our waitress was much more clued on about what was gluten free and sailed me through the menu without hesitation. Sadly only a handful of the small plates could be adapted and despite being a hotel there was no gluten free bread available.

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Jamon Iberico $25, GF

We started with the jamon iberico which was served with fresh bread on the side for the Boy and some very tasty pickles. Like the carpaccio, the meat was high quality and similarly soft and flavourful.

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Fish of the day $42, GF

The fish of the day was two fillets of pan-fried King George Whiting with a puttanesca sauce made with olives, eggplant, zucchini and capsicum. I picked out the fructose loaded onions easily. As the Boy devoured his share he wondered why I had any reservations about this venue as he had only experienced winning dishes.

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Braised lamb neck ragu, polenta, gremolata $34, GF

Our next dish was the braised lamb neck ragu and this cemented his positive opinion on Shadow. Served on a bed of soft polenta, the lamb was delicately textured, moist and rich and we both savoured each mouthful.

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Cheeses: Manchego, Brillat Savarin, Bleu d’Auvergine

In contrast to Chris, the Boy doesn’t have a sweet tooth except for his weakness for ice cream. I was happy to settle for some cheese instead especially as I had seen two of my favourites of all time on the menu; namely Manchego and Brillat Savarin. These are two very different cheeses but are both ground-shakingly amazing. The cheeses were served at the perfect temperature to maximise their flavour but sadly there were no gluten free crackers or bread to accompany. I am hoping this is just one small oversight that they plan to resolve.

I am glad I returned back to Shadow Wine Bar as I can now appreciate it has oodles of potential. Housed in an impressive space, with a short to the point menu and serving wines by the glass or carafe Shadow Wine Bar proves that our little city Perth is finally growing up. I am hoping that they will progress to becoming a little more gluten free friendly so that people like me can enjoy more of their European styled menu.

Shadow Wine Bar

214 William Street, Northbridge WA | (08) 6430 4010 | www.shadowwinebar.com.au

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Truffle Masterclass with Kiren Mainwaring at Co-Op Dining

Posted by  | Categories: Attractions, Featured, Food and Wine Festivals, Perth, Southern Forests, Travel

Excitement is mounting as the truffle season is about to kick off for the winter. This year West Australia is in for a bumper crop as our conditions have been close to perfect for maximum yield and quality. For those of you who have yet to fall in love with this mysterious black “fruit of a fungus” you are truly missing out. For gourmands around the globe it is highly sought after and has earned the name “black gold” due to it high price. This high value is enhanced by the fact it grows very seasonally and has a short shelf life due to losing its aroma and flavour very quickly.

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Every year there is an annual food and wine festival called Truffle Kerfuffle that is held in Manjimup, in the heart of the Southern Forests truffle growing region in WA. The three day festival allows national and international tourists to live it up for a weekend of luxurious truffle excesses. This year’s festival will run over the last weekend of June from the 26th to the 28th of June and tickets to the events are selling out quick.

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Last years TK Hunt and Harvest Dinner: Southern forests beetroot carpaccio with truffled kohlrabi remoulade and truffled walnut dressing by Michelle Forbes of The Trustee (GF)

Many of our state’s top chefs will be attending the event helping promote what an incredible region the Southern Forests has become, not just for their truffles, but for other sought after produce including chestnuts, buckwheat, finger limes, marron, cherries, cheeses and fine wines.

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In the lead up to Truffle Kerfuffle I recently attended a preview event truffle masterclass with Chef Kiren Mainwaring from Co-Op Dining. Kiren and I share similar passions when it comes to food and wherever possible he sources his ingredients locally and seasonally. He has always taken such individualised care for my dietary needs, even at big events where it must be such a hassle to make one dish to order.

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Being a small group we were taken behind the scenes into the kitchen of Co-Op Dining to get a true chef’s table experience. Not a bad way to spend my rainy Wednesday afternoon indeed!

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Kiren talked us through a couple of methods that can be used to preserve truffles as their potency starts to diminish significantly after just four days. Having said that, working in the kitchen of a fine dining establishment means that he is spoilt with the luxury of not needing to preserve his truffles and uses them fresh for the duration of the season.

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For those that have dined at Co-op, I imagine you would have already gone goo-goo gaa-gaa over Kiren’s slow cooked egg yolk. He cooks the yolk at 55°C for 45 minutes to yield a yolk that is technically cooked but with the consistency as if it is raw. It makes for a perfect blogger’s yolk porn shot which even in the tight constraints of someone else’s’ kitchen, I simply couldn’t resist.

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The yolk snuggled on a bed of broccoli puree surrounded by crispy puffed basmati and buckwheat. This gave the ultimate play on textures with the egg’s creamy silkiness contrasting with the crunchy grains. Generous shavings of fresh black truffle gave this dish an extra depth that rocketed it into absolute heaven.

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Our second dish showcased more ingredients from the Southern Forests region that are also seasonal to this time of year. Pemberton grown Jerusalem artichokes formed the base of the dish featuring both as a puree, and also cubed and fried in smoked pork fat for that added oomph of umami flavour. Roast chestnuts signal the beginning of winter for me and added a wondrous nutty element to this dish.

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It was finished off with shaved parmesan, crisp onion skins and grated fresh truffle. For this dish Kiren grated the truffle finely as he wanted the truffle flavour to evenly disperse throughout the dish.

It is only three weeks to go until Truffle Kerfuffle and this year I am so excited to be taking my Dad and stepmum along with us. Living in Melbourne, they have never explored outside of Perth and I am nervously proud of what we are soon to show them. They are both well-travelled foodies who have spent much of their careers as fashion designers hitting up the hottest places in the trendiest cities around the world. Hopefully I can impress them!

Truffle Kerfuffle runs from the 26th to the 28th of June 2015. Tickets for the festival and associated events can be purchased from their website at www.trufflekerfuffle.com.au

Check out my comprehensive post from last year’s TK at www.chompchomp.com.au/2014/07/southern-forests-truffle-kerfuffle-truffle-festival-2014

Disclaimer: Chompchomp was an invited guest of Truffle Kerfuffle and Offshoot Creative

May Street Larder, East Fremantle

Posted by  | Categories: Breakfast/Brunch, Coffee, Featured, Perth, Raw Food, Restaurants

After graduating from high school I left Adelaide and moved across to Perth to study for my dream career in Vet Science. Being only seventeen at the time, my worldly possessions consisted of a suitcase of clothes, some hand-me-down pots and pans, a hand written note book with all of Mum’s family recipes and my stereo tape deck. I couldn’t imagine why I would need or want anything more; music and food were enough to keep me happy.

It was fortunate that I was so easily satisfied because for the next six years I got to experience what it is like to live below the poverty line on Austudy, Australia’s government funded student income. It is easy to learn to go without when you barely have enough income to eat and pay your rent, and it forces you to become much more resourceful.

Many years have passed since then and reflecting back I struggle to comprehend how on Earth I made ends meet on such a small amount of money. I am so grateful that through all my years of perseverance, sacrifice and hard work it has finally paid off. Whilst I can hardly call myself a “rich bitch”, I am enjoying a level of luxury that I wouldn’t have even dreamed of having in my student days.

The Boy has developed a similar appreciation for the finer things in life having originally also come from humble beginnings. He has recognised my last couple of years have been tough ones and so he decided to spoil me for my 40th birthday with a brand new AMG A45. After driving a 1999 Honda Civic for the past ten years now I feel like I’m in a fantasy land. I never thought I could be in love with something with no heartbeat but who am I kidding, I’m completely smitten. She is fast, has a satisfying loud sporty engine and comes complete with personalised plates.

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Of course I now want to get behind the wheel at every given opportunity and our occasional weekend lunch dates generally involve a Sunday drive paired with a pit stop somewhere decent for food. In keeping with this concept we headed down to East Fremantle to check out May Street Larder, a new café from the creators of Bib & Tucker. Knowing Bib & Tucker’s food well I was anticipating good things.

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Banana fig smoothie

As we waited for our table in the standing area, the barista called out to us to see if we wanted any coffees. We had been up quite late the night before and a hit of caffeine was just what I needed.

The Boy isn’t a coffee drinker which is something I will never quite understand. To each their own I guess. Once we were seated at our table he ordered himself a banana fig smoothie instead. It was not overly sweet and quite creamy, and he didn’t utter a single word until it was all gone.

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Zucchini, lupin and lemon fritters (GF, $21)

I was keen to try the zucchini, lupin and lemon fritters. Lupins are a Western Australian grown product and were one of the main hero ingredients for last year’s WA Signature Dish. They are high in protein and fibre making them very filling.

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My lupin fritters were topped with smashed avocado, savoury granola and a couple of poached eggs. The eggs were cooked magically with the fluffy whites encasing liquid gold yolks. We were seated on a communal table and I received a couple of bemused looks as I furiously photographed to capture ever second of my egg porn moment.

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Pulled pork sandwich ($21)

The lack of sleep was giving the Boy a small dose of indecisiveness over the menu until he saw a waiter with a pulled pork sandwich scoot past to a nearby table and then his choice was crystal clear. The pork shoulder was slow cooked to a near melting point and was ever so moist and flavoursome. The chipotle aioli wasn’t too intense for his sensitive tastebuds and he informed me he liked that it had a subtle sweetness to it. His sandwich also came with some May Street Larder house pickles along with very moreish deep fried sweet potato crisps.

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Sadly this was a rare day where my appetite lacked its usual gusto due to a persistent hangover. Additionally my dish of lupin and zucchini fritters was so filling it left me no room for any sweets. I was so disappointed and consoled myself by wandering over to the counter to at least have a peek. What a shame! There were heaps of desserts for people like me; gluten free, vegan and raw options so I would have been spoilt for choice. Basically this simply means I will just have to come back again another day!

May Street Larder

Shop 23, 155 Canning Highway, East Fremantle WA 6158 | www.maystreetlarder.com.au

May Street Larder on Urbanspoon

Taste of Perth 2015: My Gluten Free Eats

Posted by  | Categories: Degustation/Fine dining, Events, Featured, Food and Wine Festivals, Perth

Taste of Perth 2015 proved that this is a city of passionate and dedicated gourmands. Over 15,000 people braved strong winds and horizontal rain to enjoy icon dishes from our city’s best restaurants served up by the Head Chefs themselves.

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It was a very wet weekend with only a brief few hours of sunshine during the Friday lunch session which was fortunately the session that I attended! The festival is divided into lunch and dinner sessions which allows you four hours to eat, drink and mingle with friends. Food is purchased using “Crowns” which one Crown equally the value of $1.

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I was joined by my fellow blogging friends who, like me, know the importance of having a “Taste of Perth Game Plan”. Prior to attending each of us had read the full menu, decided on our chosen dishes and could visualise the basic map layout in our heads. This is serious business!

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The lack of indication for the gluten free dishes on the menu was a slight source of frustration for me. Some stalls can develop reasonable sized queues and no one wants to wait in line to find out they cannot order anything. Not wanting my frustration to turn into disappointment, I created a Plan B in the case that my desired dishes were glutenised. Yes that is a word.

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Nobu’s 9+ Wagyu Carpaccio (GF adapted, 32 Crowns)

After a few snacks in the corporate lounge, we kicked off our designer degustation at Nobu with their icon dish of 9+ Wagyu Carpaccio served with a slightly gooey quail egg and a kick of aji amarillo aioli. My dish was gluten free adapted with the omission of soy-salt. Whilst some may baulk at the price to portion ratio of this dish, I assure you that it would take just one mouthful of that buttery meat to liquefy on your tongue to make you understand what real Wagyu is.

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El Público’s Lamb Ribs (GF, 12 Crowns)

Nobu’s spicy aji amarillo aioli lingered on our palates making the perfect introduction to head to El Público’s stall for some Mexican. I had already had the pleasure of tasting their dishes at the sneak preview a few weeks back so I looking forward to more.

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El Público’s Street Corn (GF, 6 Crowns)

I loved the sweet freshness of the street corn charred and braised served with crema, chili, lime & fresh cheese.

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El Público’s ICON DISH Flavours of Mexico (GF, 30 Crowns)

Later that night on the evening session, the Boy was desperate to try El Público’s icon dish called the “Flavours of Mexico” as he hasn’t had the chance to chow down bugs since we last visited Thailand. The fried crickets were served with two shots of throat clearing mezcal.

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Bib & Tucker’s Head chef Scott Bridger demonstrating in the Electrolux Taste Theatre

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Bib & Tucker’s Rosella Flower Cured Kingfish (GF, 12 Crowns)

Bib & Tucker had a few gluten free options on offer. The colourful rosella flower cured kingfish with beetroot, finger limes and beach herbs injected much needed vibrancy to the afternoon as the sun began to slink behind the rain clouds.

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Bib & Tucker’s ICON DISH Flinders Island Wallaby Shank (GF, 16 Crowns)

Their icon dish was Flinders Island wallaby shank served with textured puffed wild rice and pickled grape agrodolce. Head Chef Scott Bridger demonstrated how to prepare this dish in the Electrolux Taste Theatre where the aromas of his cooking only served to increase our appetites even more.

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Modo Mio’s Vitello Tonnato (GF, 6 Crowns)

Moving on from Bib & Tucker, I couldn’t stop myself nabbing a bite sized serve of Modo Mio’s vitello tonnato as it is one of my favourite dishes from their restaurant. The tender, thinly sliced veal was drizzled generously with tuna and caper mayo, topped with a quail egg and finished with a splash of truffle oil. However it really was not much more than a mouthful.

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As we all looked at our watches, we realised we were running out of time! I was feeling rather content and happily followed the consensus of the group to head to Asado.

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I quickly deduced that Asado is the place to be if you are a meat lover. I stood in a trance for more than a few minutes watching the chefs meticulously cook thick chunks of sizzling marbled meat on the BBQ grill.

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Eventually I broke away my gaze, presumably because my eyes were tearing from all the smoke and decided I had eaten enough to satisfy my savoury tastebuds. I was ready for a sugar hit.

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Asado’s Burnt Banana (not GF, 6 Crowns)

I was in luck as Asado was one of the few stalls offering a dessert option. Their burnt banana dish was not gluten free as it came with a butter biscuit base. I was grateful that the chefs were happy to make me a special adapted versio.

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Asado’s Burnt Banana (GF adapted, 6 Crowns)

The banana was caramelised with a satisfying crunchy layer but I have to say it was the dulce de leche that won me over. I know salted caramel is starting to be a bit old hat, but I still love it!

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Bistro Guillaume’s Macarons

With the day nearly over and my stomach nearly overflowing into my oesophagus, I accepted that if I bought any more food it would need to come home in a doggy bag. Of course that wasn’t a problem, and with a surprisingly quick step for someone so full I managed to whisk over to Bistro Guillaume.

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Bistro Guillaume’s Duo of Macarons (GF, 8 Crowns)

Last year Bistro Guillaume’s massive “macaron burger”, or macaroon as it was inaccurately called, was enough to out-macaron even me! This year it was replaced with a more digestable boxed “Duo” of salted caramel and strawberry macarons although they were still quite a decent size. Sugar high here we come!

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Honeycake (GF version)

As we were leaving Taste of Perth, we walked past the Honeycake stall and I noticed a little “gluten free available” sign on their table. I have attempted to try tasting the Honeycake for months and months after my dear friend Michelle from Foodie Cravings told me there is a gluten free option. Sadly every time I try to buy one they have sold out….but not this time! Oh my, I can now understand what Michelle was on about because it really is worth the hype!

Taste of Perth runs every year in May and brings out talent from our top restaurants all in one location. There are also many other wine and food producer stalls to visit, entertainment and VIP lounges for those wanting something a bit more special. Whilst it isn’t the cheapest food festival on the circuit it is one that I always thoroughly enjoy.

Disclaimer: Chompchomp was an invited guest at Taste of Perth and Electrolux. Some of her dishes were provided free of charge and some she purchased herself.

Nobu | Crown Perth, Great Eastern Highway, Burswood 6100 | (08) 9362 7551 | www.noburestaurants.com/perth

Nobu Perth on Urbanspoon

El Público | 511 Beaufort Street, Highgate WA 6003 | 0418 187 708 | www.elpublico.com.au

el PÚBLICO on Urbanspoon

Bib & Tucker | 18 Leighton Beach Boulevard, North Fremantle WA 6159 | (08) 9433 2147 | www.bibandtucker.net.au

Bib & Tucker on Urbanspoon

Modo Mio | Crown Perth, Great Eastern Highway, Burswood WA 6100 | (08) 9362 7551 | www.crownperth.com.au/restaurants/premium/modo-mio/about

Modo Mio on Urbanspoon

Asado | 34 Saint Quentin Avenue, Claremont WA 6010 | (08) 6424 9877 | asado.com.au

Asado on Urbanspoon

Bistro Guillaume | Crown Perth, Great Eastern Highway, Burswood | (08) 9362 7551 | www.bistroguillaumeperth.com.au

Bistro Guillaume on Urbanspoon

The Honeycake | Shop 40, Fremantle Markets, Henderson Street, Fremantle WA 6959 | www.thehoneycake.com.au

A Spanish Siesta after Pinchos, Leederville

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

“Take me back to Barcelona!” These are words that escape my mouth on more than one occasion. My love affair with Spain first developed back in the 90’s when the Boy and I went backpacking around Europe together for the summer. We were uninhibited by shackles of any debt or responsibility and traveled nearly six months roaming from city to city without any real plan. We stayed in hostels and I successfully survived living out of a backpack with only two pairs of shoes to choose from. I laugh at this fact when I think of how I travel now; with suitcases the weight of bricks complete with multiple pairs of shoes, boots, jackets, dresses, running gear, party outfits, lap tops and camera equipment. My how time can change people!

More recently I traveled alone to Barcelona on conference and despite being ten years between visits, I slipped back into my hedonistic state within the first day. Simply I ate, and I ate and I ate. There wasn’t a single meal that didn’t excite me and my only regret was not bringing the Boy with me.

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House made Sangria $19/caraffe

People in Barcelona don’t eat three square meals like us Aussies tend to prefer, and more curiously they eat at the strangest times of day with most restaurants not opening their doors until 9 pm at night. During the day for those who want a snack, there are a multitude of “pintxos” bars serving a variety of small bites of tapas with a wooden stick skewered in the middle of it. At the end of your meal, the waitress would count your sticks to determine your bill.

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Pintxos have started to take off in Perth with a couple of options around town. It is somewhat comforting to know I don’t have to travel too far to get a little piece of Barcelona. I was recently invited to dine at Pinchos in Leederville for a bloggers lunch.

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Pintxo Chorizo con miel sausage, honey, cheese ($2 each, GF)

Run by the same team behind Jus Burgers, Pinchos takes that concept of all day bites to the Spanish level, with a multitude of morsels to fill your hungry belly. They have a separate food intolerances menu making ordering very easy.

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Boquerones y pulpo ($9, GF)

We ordered a bunch of my favourites including boquerones y pulpo; white anchovies and octopus served with ribbons of zucchini, chilli and grapes. The octopus was not as tender as that in Spain but then I have set very high standards for myself. I loved the addition of sweet grapes. The Boy added even more sweetness to his by drizzling the honey from the chorizo pintxos on top.

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De la Casa (House salad) ($8, GF)

Another Spanish thing I adore is manchego cheese. This aged hard sheep cheese has a very characteristic flavour and I ate it by the truckload in Barcelona. The De la Casa salad, or house salad, is made with thin slices of manchego tossed with iceberg lettuce and a sherry vinaigrette. A simple but addictive dish that I could easily eat every day.

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Embutidos: A Taste of Four for one ($16, GF)

We wanted to try a few of Pincho’s cured meats but I was mindful that there were a number of other dishes I was desperate to order. We agreed to compromise and order a “taste of four for one”. Our plate included Jamon Serrano, Morcon, Chistorra and Fuet Anise.

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Our favourite two on the meat plate were the Jamon Serrano and the Chistorra. Chistorra is a traditional sausage from the Basque region made from minced pork and flavoured with garlic, salt and paprika.

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Bienmesabe fish and stuffed squid ($10, GFA)

Both of the two daily specials were able to be adapted gluten free so we chose the Bienmesabe fish with stuffed squid. Served in two components, the fish was delicately tender and infused with gentle spices on a bed of roasted cherry tomatoes and capsicum.

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Bienmesabe fish and stuffed squid ($10, GFA)

The stuffed squid were particularly delicious, stuffed with a sweet fig paste and drizzled in caramelised balsamic. My only gripe was I was left wanting more.

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Tortilla de Bacalao y Patata ($9, GF)

A Spanish tapas feast is never complete without a slice of tortilla. In Spain a tortilla is not a form of flatbread, but instead comprises of a thick omelette with chunks of potato and other ingredients cooked through. They are generally gluten free and an easy quick snack for a Coeliac on the go. Pincho’s tortilla is served with some salad and made a substantial meal on its own.

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Pintxo de Chocolate ($3, GF)

We were far too full for dessert but as always I was left with the need to end with something sweet on my palate. We ordered a couple of chocolate and sherry fig truffle to finish. They were soft and melted in the mouth leaving a creamy sensation to roll over my tongue for a lingering moment.

Disclaimer: Chompchomp dined as a guest of Pinchos. Her opinions and photos are her own and she will not be influenced by the fact her meal was at no cost. In a desperation for a little bit of Barcelona without the cost of an airfare, she has already returned in cognito and found the quality of the food and service to be consistent.

Pinchos

749 Newcastle Street, Leederville WA 6007 | (08) 9228 3008 | pinchos.me

Pinchos on Urbanspoon

Taste of Perth 2015 Sneak Preview and Ticket Giveaway

Posted by  | Categories: Attractions, Degustation/Fine dining, Events, Featured, Food and Wine Festivals, Perth, Restaurants

For those of you that missed out on experiencing the glorious feast at Taste of Perth last year, my best advice for you is not to miss out again. Taste Festivals are one of the world’s greatest restaurant festivals and are held in a number of locations all around the world including Paris, London, Sydney and Moscow.

Taste of Perth made its début last year attracting over 16,000 hungry punters over the three days. This year’s Taste festival will be held from the 15th to the 17th of May at Langley Park and it looks like 2015 is shaping up to be even better than last year.

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Photo courtesy of Jessica Wyld

At Taste of Perth, you will be able to create your own designer degustation as many of Perth’s top restaurants will be participating in the event. The 2015 line-up will include some of my favourite venues such as Lalla Rookh, Bistro Guillaume, Bib & Tucker, Nobu, Next Door at No4, Print Hall, El Público and more.

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Photo courtesy of Jessica Wyld

To give an insight into what to expect this year at Taste, I was invited to attend “Taste on Tour”; a fun-filled roving dinner where I joined a small group of bloggers to visit three of the participating restaurants and sample some dishes on the Taste of Perth ’15 menu.

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Pork Belly Taco (GF)

Our first venue for the evening was El Público in Highgate. El Público will have four dishes on offer at Taste, and I am happy to say all of them will be gluten free!

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Pork Belly Taco (GF)

We started off with tasting the pork belly taco served with charred pineapple, salsa picante and chicharon. The taco was topped with shreds of pork crackling giving it a wonderful play on textures with a lot of depth of flavour.

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Street Corn (GF)

The braised street corn dish will be a filling option for vegetarians and was served with cream, fresh cheese chill and lime.

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Lamb Ribs (GF)

For those festival goers needing something a bit meaty, El Público will also be serving their uber soft twice cooked lamb ribs with sesame, cucumber & lime.

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Fried crickets (image from Chompchomp’s Taste of Perth 14)

After it’s sell out popularity last year, El Público will be bringing back their icon dish called “Flavours of Mexico”. This dish consists of a serve of their renowned fried crickets alongside two shots of village mescal.

Photo courtesy of the Food Pornographer, thefoodpornographer.com

Photo courtesy of The Food Pornographer: thefoodpornographer.com

Our next stop was Lalla Rookh in the CBD and to everyone’s surprise and delight a tram pulls up in front of El Público to transport us to our next destination!! We piled into the tram filled with giggles while our tram driver proceeded to get some pop music cranking loudly. So much fun!

Before long we arrived at Lalla Rookh, my favourite Italian restaurant in Perth. I love how Head Chef Joel Valvasori has a strong focus on using West Australian produce and am grateful that he will always effortlessly cater for me despite my dietary requirements meaning I never feel like I miss out.

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Braised Lamb Shank (GF)

Lalla will be serving their braised lamb shank as their icon dish for Taste this year. This dish is available by pre-order from the restaurant and has a level of cult popularity amongst the regulars.

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Organic polenta and parmigiana, Nonna’s style (GF)

It will be served with organic polenta made in a more traditional way with a texture that is almost like a light bread. Perfect for dunking in all that luscious, sweet lamby sauce.

After nearly exploding with full stomachs, we were greeted by our chirpy tram driver out the front of Lalla Rookh to transport us onwards to our final Taste on Tour location; Next Door @ No4 in North Perth. Despite protests from many of us of being way too full to be able eat anymore, it never ceases to amaze me how food bloggers can continue to push the boat out and keep eating!

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Croquettes- Taleggio, Broccolini – smoked lardo, hazelnut marmalade (not GF)

No 4 Blake Street’s Head Chef Tom Randolph is passionate about using seasonal and local produce and will source many of his ingredients directly from the small-scale producers themselves.

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No4 Risotto (GF)

The two gluten free options on No4’s Taste of Perth menu this year will be their signature No4 risotto and a 45 day dry aged beef.  The risotto is a vegetarian option made with cauliflower, cocoa and topped with burnt rice crisps.

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45 Day Dry Aged Beef (GF)

The organic grass-fed beef was tender enough to cut with a fork and was served with a fried egg, crispy kale and sprinkling of dukkha.

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Valrhona Chocolate Garden (not GF)

No4 will also return one of their sell out dishes to the menu this year; their Valrhona Chocolate Garden. This pot of chocolate decadence contains salted caramel, chunks of chewy peanut dacquoise and sandalwood rocks but is sadly not gluten free due to the chocolate soil.

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My GF adapted Valhrona Chocolate Garden (no chocolate soil)

I think the chef may have seen a jealous glint in my eye as I watched everyone’s eyes roll in ecstasy devouring their Gardens. Before long I was presented with a gluten free adapted version, sans soil but topped with shards of salted caramel chocolate instead. Thank you chef!

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Photo courtesy of Jessica Wyld

I will be giving away TWO double passes to Taste of Perth on my Facebook page over the next week valued $72 each.

To enter simply tell me which is your favourite restaurant attending Taste of Perth this year and why they are your favourite. You can write your answer in the comments section below or alternatively head to my Facebook Page.

 The winners will be selected by the Boy and will be based on the most interesting and original answers.

Entries close Sunday 10th May 2015. This competition is open to residents of Australia only.

Disclaimer: Chompchomp attended Taste on Tour as a guest of Taste Festivals and 3am Thoughts.

el PÚBLICO | 511 Beaufort Street, Highgate WA 6003 | 0418 187 708 | www.elpublico.com.au

el PÚBLICO on Urbanspoon

Lalla Rookh Bar and Eating House | Lower Ground, 77 St Georges Terrace, Perth WA 6000 | (08) 9325 7077 | www.lallarookh.com.au

Lalla Rookh Bar & Eating House on Urbanspoon

Next Door @ No 4 | 4 Blake St, North Perth, 6006 WA | (08) 9444 6678 | www.no4blakestreet.com.au

Next Door @ No4 on Urbanspoon

South of France Eat Drink Perth Menu at Blackbird, East Perth

Posted by  | Categories: Events, Featured, Food and Wine Festivals, French, Perth, Restaurants

This week is the final week for Eat Drink Perth festivities and for my last official EDP hurrah I attended the “South of France” dinner at Blackbird Restaurant in East Perth. Blackbird is a quaint little place tucked away in the corner nook of Claisebrook Cove facing out onto the water. Their focus is on serving traditional rustic European dishes and they have an interesting wine list with a collection of both local and International wines.

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The South of France Dinner includes a three course meal accompanied by a bottle of French wine to share for the very reasonable price of $55 per person. I notified the kitchen staff in advance of my gluten free dietary needs and found then to be more than happy to accommodate.

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Our entrée consisted of a share plate with three traditional Southern French dishes; a mushroom truffle dip with fresh baguette, pissaladière and salad Nicoise. I am always so grateful that there are many restaurants in Perth that now offer gluten free bread. I accept that these offerings will often be stodgy and, well, gluten free-ish but beggars can’t be choosers they say! I’m just happy to be considered. However for this evening, to my delight, our waiter served our entrée plate accompanied with some gluten free baguette!

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Wild mushroom and truffle dip

Crunchy on the outside, and soft and light on the inside, it actually tasted like real baguette! With Perth’s truffle season creeping up close, I am getting to desperate levels of anticipation for a three month truffle binge. Just a single smear of truffilicious dip on my gluten free baguette was enough to make my eyes beam wide and I started to bounce up and down in my seat with excitement like a child.

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Pissaladiere on GF baguette

Pissaladière is a bit like a French alternative to pizza that is often served in bakeries in Nice on the southern coast of France. It consists of a thick dough topped with caramelised onions, olives, garlic and anchovies.  My pissaladiere was adapted by replacing the base with gluten free baguette. Containing caramelised onion meant that this wasn’t exactly a fructose friendly morsel, but sometimes I find it hard to say no to such deliciousness. Although I knew I was going to suffer a bit from onion bloating later on, I temporarily cast aside my worries and got lost in the moment enjoying my gluten free treat.

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Salad Nicoise (GF)

The final dish on the share plate was a salad Nicoise with green beans, cherry tomatoes, boiled egg, chat potatoes and tuna aioli. The tuna aioli was creamy, rich and packed a powerful flavour kick to the more gentle fresh ingredients.

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Salad Nicoise (GF)

For the main course there was a choice of two dishes which were also designed to share. The options were either Coq au vin Blanc with Provençale rice, or, Bouillabaisse. My stepmum makes a killer version of both these dishes so it was a hard call to pick which one to order. After some careful deliberation we chose the bouillabaisse.

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Bouillabaisse (GF)

It was a wise choice. Chunky fillets of Red Emperor were cooked to a flaky perfection and joined cockles and prawns to bath in a bright and heart-warming broth. There was a slight chill in the night air and each mouthful of soup helped warm my bones.

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Bouillabaisse (GF)

Our dessert required only a slight adaptation to be gluten free with the standard dish consisting of little bite size tart aux pomme, or apple tarts with some fresh stone fruits and brandy cream. The chef made me a gluten free tart by fashioning a shell using a chunk of walnut cake.

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Tart aux pomme, brandy cream, fruit

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The GF adapted version

Our midweek South of France dinner was one that we arrived with no expectations and walked away more than contented and satisfied.

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Simple stone fruit added some tartness to the tarts

Growing up with a patriotic French-born father resulted in French cuisine forming a considerable part of my childhood. My Dad grew up in the south of France and so food from this region is something I was taught to know well from a young age. Getting to enjoy some of these classic dishes at Blackbird brought back fond memories of my younger years and it was definitely a weeknight worth leaving the house for.

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The Boy’s “normal” tart

Disclaimer: Chompchomp’s meal was paid for by the City of Perth as part of her official blogging duties for Eat Drink Perth 2015.

Blackbird

10 Eastbrook Terrace, overlooking Claisebrook Lake, East Perth, WA 6004 | (08) 9225 7880 | blackbirdrestaurant.com.au

East Drink Perth Offer South of France Dinner: $55 per person for two people, three course with a bottle of French wine

Blackbird on Urbanspoon

Martinis and Oysters at Frisk for Eat Drink Perth

Posted by  | Categories: Events, Featured, Food and Wine Festivals, Perth, Restaurants, Seafood, Wine Bar

This is my second year to join the team of official bloggers for the Eat Drink Perth Festival which is an annual event held over five weeks in Perth City and its surrounds. Eat Drink Perth is a festival where there is something for everyone with all sorts of brilliant foodie events held every day ranging from degustations to walking tours, bar wars to cooking classes and there is even a Food Truck Rumble. We are now half way through the festival and reflecting back over the past few weeks I am happy I have managed to cram a lot in despite my non-blog working life being super busy. I have attended the annual Gluten Free Expo, an intimate long table diner by The Creatives, eaten some velvety raw desserts at CNR and watched a friend eat nearly 900 grams of pork knuckle at Brotzeit.

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In return for our writing and photography efforts for the festival, each blogger has been kindly delegated complementary tickets to some events that we listed on our individual top ten festival picks. For me this included an opportunity to attend Frisk Small Bar’s Martini and Oysters night.

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Along the same lines that I don’t understand people who don’t like cats, I don’t understand those that don’t like oysters. They are so succulent and juicy, slightly sweet and slightly briny all in one mouthful and I could easily eat my body weight of them if I was given the chance.

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Normally I love pairing oysters with French champagne however in all honesty I am generally happy pairing champagne with almost anything! For a change, I was interested to see how the oysters paired with a Martini as this was a combination I haven’t tried before. Would the Martini complement the flavours of the oysters or would it be too overpowering and just drown them out?

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The bar team at Frisk can churn out some of the best cocktails in town and I had confidence that they could pull this combination off with a hit. They have one of the most enormous and amazing gin collections that I have even seen and I figured that if anyone could match a cocktail to an oyster they would be the ones to achieve it.

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And my gut feeling was right. I was soon to discover that sipping Martinis with oysters is indeed a perfect match with the flavour of each seemingly enhanced by the other. The botanical crispness of the martini meant it didn’t overpower the creamy oysters and my palate ended with a harmonious briny finish. This is a combination definitely worth trying again provided I can muster up the will power to say no to champagne. And that is never easy!

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Disclaimer: Chompchomp is one of the official bloggers for Eat Drink Perth ’15 and enjoyed her oysters and martini courtesy of the City of Perth. For more details of Eat Drink Perth events head to their website

Martinis & Oysters Every Thursday during Eat Drink Perth ’15 at  Frisk Small Bar, 103 Francis St, Northbridge WA 6003

$20 | 3pm-midnight | No bookings required | EDP Program details | www.frisksmallbar.com.au

Frisk. Small Bar on Urbanspoon

Catering for all diets at CNR Kitchen, Northbridge Piazza

Posted by  | Categories: Featured, Food and Wine Festivals, Paleo, Perth, Raw Food, Restaurants, Vegan, Vegetarian

It is a known fact, I don’t know how to relax. I almost always have at least 101 things on the go at any one point and this can be both extremely exciting and stressful. Although I have no one to blame for being so busy but myself, yet I cannot help but look upon my feline fur-kids with envy as they happily laze entire days away sleeping, cuddling and lounging about. They are true experts in relaxation. After years of recurrent illness and always being “sickly”, I have finally learnt that to keep up this crazy pace without falling apart it is crucial to take time to nourish my body with excellent nutrition.

Part of this commitment to myself has included switching to eating a more plant-based diet, and whilst I would never claim to be a true vegetarian, we certainly do find ourselves eating less and less meat as the years go on. And for once in my life I can honestly say I don’t really miss it.

A couple of weeks ago I had some surgery to remove a suspicious looking mole from the sole of my foot. While I waited for the pathology results to come back, I madly ticked over in my mind nearly all perceivable potential outcomes, both good and bad. I decided to start to mentally prepare myself in case they needed to perform a much more invasive repeat surgery to take wider margins. All the while my carefree alter-ego sat on my shoulder saying “Settle down woman, it’s just a weird looking mole!”.

And thankfully that imaginary brazen smart-arse was right, there was no evidence of any cancer in my biopsy. Relieved, elated and very grateful, I immediately proceeded to plans with the Boy to head out that evening and celebrate together. Having recently attended a few too many boozy events lately, we both wanted a meat free dinner. I chose CNR Kitchen as I knew they had a lot of vegan, vego and gluten free options on their menu.

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Tasting Plate $29.90 (GF, raw, vegan)

We started with the raw vegan tasting plate. It came with a collection of items including Moroccan savoury cakes, dolmades with cashew mint aioli and a serve of raw vegan Pad Thai. It also had a small serve of their house-made dehydrated corn chip crackers with fresh guacamole and pineapple salsa to dunk them in.

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Tasting Plate $29.90 (GF, raw, vegan)

The tasting plate was a simple but satisfying dish and would be a great option to order for those who haven’t eaten raw food before. I will have to remember that when on my next pub crawl with my meat-eating friends. The Moroccan savoury cakes contained a careful balance of spices and were my favourite part of the tasting plate despite there being one slight problem. They didn’t hold together very well at all and combined with my usual level of clumsiness, my cakes crumbled apart after the first bite making them very messy to eat.

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As I dunked the last half of my Moroccan cake into the cashew mint aioli it crumbled into numerous pieces and fell into the bowl of dip. The Boy could barely stifle his chortle as he grinned and watched my useless attempts to scoop out my crumbs. They still tasted just as good!

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Raw nachos $29.90 (GF, raw, vegan)

Thankfully I managed to eat my raw nachos much more elegantly as my house made corn chips had enough strength and substance to withstand a decent amount of toppings. The added sweetness of the pineapple into the salsa was a winning element and you would have never guessed the cashew sour cream was actually dairy free.

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Raw nachos $29.90 (GF, raw, vegan)

In the dim lighting of the evening I struggled to get a good shot of the eggplant lasagne. This was a vegan version of the Boy’s favourite meal and yet wasn’t missing any flavour despite the lack of any meat.  I was actually inspired a few days later to make my own grain free, dairy free lasagne at home.

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Eggplant lasagne $26 (GF, vegan)

The lasagne was packed full of veggie goodness with layers of pumpkin, eggplant, mushroom and zucchini flavoured with a rich tomato and black olive marinara and house made macadamia ricotta. I loved the sweet potato crunchy curls tumbled on top.

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Chilli chocolate slice ($3 each GF, raw, vegan)

For dessert we ordered a small selection of the raw desserts. One of the slices I ordered was the chilli chocolate slice but I nearly got in trouble for ordering it by the Boy. He is not a fan of chilli at all and cannot handle anything more than the most mildest of mild heat; lucky for us this slice had just a subtle hint of oomph in it and so thankfully there were no complaints.

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Banana creamcake $8.90 (GF, raw, vegan)

The banana cream cake was decadently indulgent and for once I was happy it was only a small serve. Raw desserts can be very rich and even someone with a huge an appetite like me can be easily satisfied with smaller portions.

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Lemon raw slice ($3 each GF, raw, vegan)

For someone who must eat gluten free, CNR Kitchen is a welcoming reprieve from all the gluten ladened dude food and Asian eateries located around in Northbridge. I will definitely be reminding myself of their presence next time I’m out partying and become tempted to risk eating a taco or burger. I know that my body will thank me in the morning.

CNR Kitchen are active participants in Eat Drink Perth festivities and hosted a raw dessert teaching class a couple of weeks ago when the Festival began. Attendees were taught how to make a number of delicious sugar free, dairy free and gluten free raw desserts. Of course this was accompanied by taste testing everything.

CNR’s second raw food class is held this week on Tuesday April 7th and for this session they will making dairy free cheese, milk, cream and ice cream using nuts. To find out more head to the Eat Drink Perth website.

Disclaimer: Chompchomp is an official blogger for Eat Drink Perth ’15. Whilst the Eat Drink Perth blogging team are kindly each gifted a number of event tickets from the City of Perth, Chompchomp just cannot help but get into the Perth City mood and attend more than just what she is given. I mean who doesn’t love food festivals! Consequently, she paid for this meal in full.

CNR Kitchen

Northbridge Piazza, 44 Lake Street, Northbridge WA 6003 | (08) 9228 8861 | cnr.net.au

CNR Kitchen on Urbanspoon

The Creatives Autumn Table for Eat Drink Perth

Posted by  | Categories: Featured, Food and Wine Festivals, Modern Australian, Perth

The Creatives is a new networking platform in Perth launched by Stacey Clark Stylist early last year and this vibrant team have been responsible for running a number of workshops in addition to hosting stunning sell-out long table dinners. Their gorgeous boutique dinners work on following the seasons and focus on showcasing local produce and wine in a wonderfully relaxed and positive atmosphere.

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Each dinner has been held in a beautiful space in Perth and it is no surprise that tickets come in high demand. As part of the Eat Drink Perth festival this year, The Creatives held their Autumn Table dinner in the City in the historic Moana Chambers building.

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It is an impressive space with a stunning jarrah staircase with wrought iron balustrades leading into a wide open plan area with massively high ornate ceilings. Our long table was set out on the balcony overlooking Hay Street Mall, with an aptly timed cool autumn breeze.

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We started off our evening with some pre-dinner drinks by Whipper Snapper Distillery. I found the lime and ginger moonshine cocktails gorgeously refreshing such that I probably went a little too hard too fast and had to pace myself afterwards. Old habits seem to die hard!

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The night had such a friendly vibe with a distinct lack of the pretention and elitism that I can sometimes see at such events. Guests were there with open hearts and minds with strangers being treated like dear friends. As we mingled amongst ourselves, the lovely team from Stacey Clark Stylist handed around some scrumptious nibbles provided by Kent Street Deli.

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Prosciutto & zucchini pies with feta (GF)

My favourite was the prosciutto & zucchini pies with feta. They were obviously a hit with the Boy too as I’m sure I saw him gobble a number before turning to me with wide eyes and nodding “These are really good!”

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Beetroot, goats curd and honeycomb with spinach & walnut toast (Not GF)

Our second rounds of starters were spinach and walnut toasts with smears of creamy goats curd and topped with beetroot and a sprinkling of honeycomb.

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Beetroot, goats curd and honeycomb with spinach & walnut toast (GF version)

I was so appreciative that the chef made some separate gluten free versions of these using some toasted gluten free multigrain bread. I love it when I don’t miss out!

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Following with the casual feel for the evening, our mains were served in a shared manner giving the feeling you were actually at a family get together rather than a ticketed event. I wished I wasn’t working the following morning otherwise I could have easily drank the night away with our friends new and old.

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Bridgetown lamb (GF)

For mains there were a couple of meats and a couple of vegetarian options. The Bridgetown lamb was wrapped around chorizo and roasted to a gorgeous ruby red. The meat was beautifully tender and moist.

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Rack on black with babaganoush & lavender jus (GF)

The ribs were a particular hit amongst the meat eaters and as I glance down our table I was impressed to see most guests had a significant sized pile of bare bones of each of their plates. Good company, a light autumn breeze and simple but delicious food is enough to ramp up anyone’s appetite.

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Zucchini noodle, tomato and olive salad (GF)

Whilst I did enjoy the meats, it isn’t something I eat much off these days and I’m happy to enjoy a small serve accompanied by a much larger serve of something more plant based.

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The zucchini noodles filled this green need for me and were literally dripping in flavour with pesto, tomatoes and olives. I make a mean version of zucchini noodles at home which is hard to beat but I will humbly say these noodles came damn close.

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Cassis poached pears, honeycomb and ginger crisp

Desserts were provided to us by Sugar and Nice and consisted of a collection of autumn tarts, pies and other delights. Focusing on seasonal fruits not all were fructose friendly, but in the love of the moment I swallowed a couple of glucose tablets and joined in the fun.

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Fig pistachio frangipane tart (not GF)

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Carrot cake Pavlova with candied heirloom carrots (GF)

The carrot cake Pavlova was the eye-catcher of the evening with candied heirloom carrots and a hint of spice in the gooey meringue centre. It was hard to participate shamelessly in the crooning and gushing over this beauty as it was brought to the table.

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Apple ribbon, hazelnut tart and butter milk caramel (GF)

The apple ribbon hazelnut tart was gluten free and yet it had a crust that would fool any Coeliac;  it was buttery, firm and far from crumbly. Having had many an argument with gluten free shortcrust pastry over the years, I admired the perfect execution and had to stop myself going back for seconds so I could save room for the rice pudding.

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I consoled myself with a single serving of apple tart by drizzling my slice with generous lashing of thick buttermilk caramel.

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Coconut creamed rice pudding, cardamom and blood plum (GF)

The final dessert was a creamy rice pudding made with coconut milk, cardamom and dark coloured blood plums. If I had the room I would have eaten the whole bowl but sadly I had to accept that all good things come to an end. More to the point, one person can only eat so much.

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The dinner had been more than adequately catered and at the end of the evening as guests were leaving we each received a little doggy bag of left over morsels to enjoy the next day. I was once again reminded how warm and welcoming it was, just like a family gathering.

I love secret pop-up dinners and have been an obsessed follower of WA-based Fervor for a number of years. Having attended my first Creatives long table dinner, I can now happily say I have another crew to stalk on social media and I look forward to trying to secure tickets to the next Creatives event.

Disclaimer: Chompchomp is one of the official bloggers for Eat Drink Perth this year however she chose to purchase her tickets to The Creatives Dinner at her own expense. It was worth every cent 😉

The Creatives by Stacey Clark Stylist | Facebook | Twitter

My Top Ten Highlights from the Coles Gluten Free & Healthy Living Expo 2015

Posted by  | Categories: Attractions, Events, Featured, Food and Wine Festivals, Perth

This year is my second year as the official blogger for the Gluten Free and Healthy Living Expo. The expo was held this weekend over two days at the Perth Convention Centre and received a fantastic turn out on both days. The stallholders have caught on to the concept that people love free stuff and at nearly every exhibit there was something to try. I strongly recommend arriving at the expo with an empty stomach! For those who make the mistake of having breakfast beforehand, there are some great discounts so you can fill up your show bag and enjoy them later on.

It makes such a pleasurable experience to attend a food expo and to not have to worry about cross contamination with gluten! 2015 brought a number of newcomers to the expo to join all the gluten free fun and I was pleased to see there were also a number of new FODMAP friendly products available.

Here are my top ten highlights for 2015. For my full album of photos head to my Facebook page.

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1. Lupin Foods – www.lupinfoods.com.au

After my involvement with last year’s WA Signature Dish I am no stranger to Lupin Foods. It was used by Rhiannon Birch as one of the hero ingredients for her winning dish of Dorper lamb with a lupin and za’tar crust.

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Rhiannon Birch from Lupin Foods

Lupin Foods is a proud Western Australian company founded in 2012 and have grown to a high level of popularity in a short space of time. Lupin is not only gluten free but high in protein and dietary fibre in addition to being very easily digestible.

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They had a couple of different options to taste at their stall including sweet apricot balls and a variant of hummus made with lupin instead of chickpeas. They were also the proud winners of the Expo’s best Display Award for this year.

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Lupin Foods Pomegranate and lupin salad

My favourite sample was their pomegranate and lupin salad which was made to be like a couscous salad. It is the first gluten free “couscous” I have had that isn’t gluggy and had a wonderful fluffy texture. I made sure to go home with a bag of Lupin Flakes to make this dish for myself at home.

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2. Turban Chopsticks – www.turbanchopsticks.com.au

Turban Chopsticks are another Western Australia company that drew the crowds at the show. With a constant stream of hot food pouring out of their tiny makeshift kitchen it was hard to walk past the stall without drooling.

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Photo courtesy of Turban Chopsticks

Turban Chopsticks are a family business who have helped simplify meal preparations for busy people with food intolerances. Their meal kits make it so easy to conjure up dinner without too much effort but still with maximum flavour. Their tropical Thai coconut rice was highly addictive and I cannot wait to make some more.

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Dr Sue Shepherd

3. Sue Shepherd – shepherdworks.com.au

I was very excited to see Dr Sue Shepherd lecturing this year. Dr Shepherd is an Advanced Accredited Practicing Dietician and Advanced Accredited Nutritionist and is recognised as one of the world’s leading dietician in the areas of Coeliac Disease and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

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She is one of the pioneers in researching and understanding the low FODMAP diet which in turn has helped so many sufferers of IBS around the world. She gave talks on the FODMAP diet and on Coeliac Disease versus IBS to a full audience. There wasn’t a spare seat in the house.

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Kez’s Kitchen Gluten Free Cereal Bites Low in Fructose

4. The huge range of new fructose friendly products that are available!

Many of you will be familiar with Kez’s Kitchen gluten free products. They make a range of gourmet gluten free biscuits sold in major supermarkets however most of them contain dried fruit making them not suitable for those on a low FODMAP diet. They have now brought out a product called “Cereal Bites” that is low in fructose and has received the FODMAP Friendly logo to prove it.

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Kez’s Kitchen Free & Naked Gluten Free Choc Mud Bar (note this isn’t FF)

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Another new product I discovered was Rick Grant’s Seasoning Mixes. Rick has brought out a range of gluten free, onion free, and garlic free seasoning mixes to please both Coeliac and FODMAP bellies. I bought myself all four to try; Tempura Batter mix, Wedges Seasoning mix, Chicken Seasoning mix and Fish Seasoning mix.  I will let you all know how I go!

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Rick Grant giving a cooking demonstration

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Well & Good

5. Well & Good stand – www.wellandgood.com.au

The Well & Good stand are strong performers at the expo every year with a guaranteed chance at sampling most of their premixes all freshly baked.

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There is often queues of children lining up for their free cupcakes and I cannot help but smile that these food intolerant kids can finally get a chance to do what some take for granted.

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Well & Good Rye-less Rye bread

A new Well & Good product I hadn’t seen before was Rye-less Rye bread. It has the added goodness of spirulina and sunflower seeds and had a wonderful texture and flavour.

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Well & Good Carrot Cake

6. Vintage Style Cakes & Cookies – www.vintageglutenfree.com.au

I may be a little biased in my love for Vintage Style Cakes & Cookies as they are a regular attendee at our local Vic Park Farmers Markets. The company was only established last year and has since hit cult levels of popularity for some Perth residents. My favourites include their carrot cake, lemon slice and the jelly cakes. I will often confuse my in-laws when I bring some of these cakes along to family lunches as they don’t believe me that they are gluten free!

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Vintage Style Cakes & Cookies

7. Solomon’s Cafe – solomonscafe.com.au

Solomon’s Café is based in Mount Lawley on Beaufort Street and serve delicious gluten free, dairy free, organic meals made from scratch in their kitchen. The Boy and I ate a meal at Solomon’s earlier last year where I got to enjoy gluten free gnocchi and healthy raw zucchini noodles. At the Expo they offered some meals for hungry punters.

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Buckwheat wrap and juice from Solomon’s Cafe

We tried their buckwheat tuna wraps made with cashew cheese and salad. I washed mine down with a carrot and ginger juice adapted to be fructose friendly by the omission of apple.

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8. Coles Supermarkets

Being the main sponsors for the Expo the Coles stand was a buzzing hive of activity. In addition to a having a mini-store selling all their Coles-branded gluten free products there were a couple of stands offering free sampling.

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There was also a main stage with Master Chefs Michael Weldon and Courtney Roulston performing cooking shows held throughout the day. They also engaged in some popular interactive cupcake decorating classes for the children.

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9. Barilla – www.barilla.net.au

Barilla only launched their gluten free pasta range last year and are slowly rolling out to selected stores across the state. I was lucky enough to be sent samples to try and made vegan truffle mac and cheese and creamy vegan mushroom pasta.

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I have been busting to refill my pantry with more Barilla pasta as it is the closest to “normal” pasta that I have tasted since going gluten free. I have been told that the Barilla gluten free range is now stocked in Woolworths and it will not be long before they will start appearing in Coles too so look out for them on the shelves!

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10. Delish Ice – delishice.com.au

Our final pit stop at the Expo was for a cooling ice-pop from Delish Ice.  This is one of my favourite food trucks in Perth; the girls are always uber-cool, dressed impeccably suave, never stop smiling and pump out some seriously delicious flavours. They always have something in their freezer that will be gluten free and fructose friendly and are more than happy for me to taste test before I buy.

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Delish Ice

Disclaimer: Chompchomp attended the Coles Gluten Free & Healthy Living Expo 2015 as the official blogger and received a free double pass to attend the event. This year’s event was held as part of the Eat Drink Perth Festival

Brotzeit German Bier Bar & Restaurant

Posted by  | Categories: Burgers & Snags, European, Featured, Perth, Restaurants

Invited blogger events can be unpredictable; some events are so well organised and thoroughly enjoyable such that we end up staying for the evening and then there are some events that end up being total fizzers resulting in us slinking off elsewhere to find better food and fun. I recently attended one of the later type of events which left me with two other blogger friends Kristy from Queen of Bad Timing and Carly from Perth Munchkin desperate for some decent eats. Each accompanied by our better halves we only had to utter the words “German Beer House” and all boys were super keen to make a night of it.

After taking our seats at the newly opened Brotzeit German Bier Bar, there was a bit of confusion with respect to their menu. My first impression was that ordering would be an easy task as there are a number of “GF” marked options. However, after being asked by our waiter “how severe is your gluten intolerance?” I realised that people like myself need to be a bit more careful. A number of the GF marked dishes on their menu are actually only made gluten free by adaptations illustrating how important it is to explain to the waiter dietary requirements before ordering.

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Ripperl (Honey Bavarian Pork Ribs, $35.90, GF)

The Boy and I are mostly vegetarians and always feel a little apprehensive when confronted by a menu filled with meat. Brotzeit do not offer many non-meat options so accepting defeat we ordered the waiter’s recommendation of the Ripperl; Honey Bavarian Pork Ribs. Unlike my peers, my knees do not buckle at the mere mention of pork and it takes a decent porky dish to win me over. Our Bavarian ribs were not overly fatty with plenty of tender meat on the bones. The sauce was finger licking good and although I haven’t be converted to a die hard pork fan just yet, I would happily eat these again.

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Würstelplatte (Sausage platter, $36, GF on request)

Our second dish was the Würstelplatte; a sausage platter that can be made gluten free on request. We received a generous portion of authentic German sausages including flavours like spicy chicken, grilled pork, pork cheese, pork and veal, and garlic pork. It came with some salad and sauerkraut. No one believed that we could finish both dishes but in true style we did, albeit we could barely walk afterwards.

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Schweinshaxe (Oven roasted pork knuckle, 900 grams, $44, not GF)

The most impressive looking dish on our table was Carly’s husband’s pork knuckle; a behemoth sized 900 grams of oven roasted ham hock served with potato salad, sauerkraut and their highly touted special sauce. There was no way one man could eat all that pork surely? I was totally impressed with his efforts but could see the relief on his face when our waiter offered him a doggy bag to take the left overs home.

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Lamm Haxe (Slow roasted lamb shank, 400 grams) (not GF)

Kristy ordered the slow roasted lamb shank, this was also a large serve with 400 grams of lamb, but her plate appeared pint-sized beneath the shadow of the pork knuckle. The meat collapsed effortlessly off the bone and was served with cranberry red cabbage and napkin dumplings.

Before we all slipped into a protein induced coma on the floor of the restaurant, we staggered up to the counter to split the bill before journeying home. But things were not end for the Boy and I so soon. As we slowly rolled down back William Street to our car with stomachs bursting at the seams we walked past the new Koko Black chocolate store. Before I could stop myself I was wandering around the store like a princess in a diamond store; eyes wide, hands waving about in excitement and thoughts of my meaty fullness cast far, far aside.

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The Boy and I made a small selection of hand made chocolate truffles with the wise idea of having some for now and saving some for later. Of course when we pulled into our driveway at home there was not a single chocolate left. We will never learn!

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Disclaimer: Chompchomp paid for her meal in full. This post was also published on the Eat Drink Perth 2015 website. 

Brotzeit German Bier Bar & Restaurant

140 William Street, Perth WA 6000 | (08) 9321 6654 | www.brotzeit.co

Brotzeit German Bier Bar & Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Koko Black Perth City

140 William Street, Perth WA 6000 | (08) 9226 3929 | www.kokoblack.com

Koko Black Perth on Urbanspoon