Treat 18: More treats from the land down under where women glow and men plunder

Here is take two of the treats from the first annual Myer girls road trip. In the previous treat I just covered the treats of the first day. Warning, there are still 2 days to go. Day two we were ready for the next eating adventures. We woke up early to birds chirping and a baby crying. Nush was the first riser and we woke up to Bannister Down Iced Coffee and also the snacks from the road trip including an eclectic collection of apples, roasted almonds and the Providore muffin from yesterday. We then went on our merry way to the berry farm and a number of wineries till the hunger pains hit. At one stage the car was silent as we drove down Bussel Highway till we turned left and found the light or olive trees in this case. I had read a review ages ago about the food at Olio Bello and have always wanted to eat there. I finally got my chance and it did not disappoint. At one point I did not know if I wanted a pizza or a pasta. I almost recommended getting pizza as a starter before our pasta. Common sense prevailed so me and Kirsty decided to share a pizza and pasta dish, the best of both world. The fig and goats cheese pizza was delicious. The older I get the more I fall in love with figs. Now I have gotten my head around eating savoury items like cucumber for dessert but here it was the opposite. The sweet fig was warmly welcomed by my palate. For pasta I longingly thought about the fresh tagliatelle but curiosity got the better of me and we tried the ribbons of zucchini instead. For those gluten intolerant out there, zucchini should become your best friend as it makes a great replacement for glutinous pasta. Don’t laugh but we chose the crab for this pasta dish (even though I had crab pasta the night before). What can I say I love seafood and when on holiday I like to order things I usually wouldn’t have at home. Though we wanted to try the olive oil chocolate mousse we didn’t want history to repeat so we left Olio Bello before we became comatose. Instead of getting a cheese board we ventured to the cheese factory on Bussel Highway and indulged in their samples (with a few purchases as well). As we were driving down we saw another cheese factory and decided to stop there without realising it was the same company. So in a moment of déjà vu we again sampled the cheeses and out came the wallets again for more cheese. It was nearing dinner time at this point and we were far from hungry but we had a booking at Arc of Iris, a local favourite on the main street. We reluctantly walked the 200 metres from our resort to the restaurant hoping our appetites would wake up. Once seated we had time to food watch and before we knew it we were ordering large mains each. I had my second rack for the weekend this time of the venison kind. Again perfectly cooked medium rare and accompanied with currant jelly and sour cream, potato mash and green beans. Believe it or not I almost went for my third crab pasta in 2 days but I held back. No wonder Arc of Iris is the local’s favourite, the food is hearty and the restaurant itself is very homely especially with all those clocks on the side wall with the wrong time, I felt like I was back at home. It’s true all our clocks at home have incorrect time usually fast in the attempt to overcome the Khouri curse of lateness. But we know the clocks are fast so the lateness continues. After this reluctant meal which we all unsurprisingly polished off, there was an inkling in me for dessert. My saga of needing to eat sweet after savoury is a constant battle. So on the way home we may have detoured to Simmo’s for a mascarpone and fig ice cream. What can I say I’m predictable, if I were to sum up the food I ate in the three days it would be fig, cheese, crab pasta, rack of meat and chocolate. Let me quickly gloss over the final day of this epic food trip. An early morning trip to the beach was just the trick with the salt air opening up our appetites. After packing up the car we headed off to another local haunt, Blue Ginger. This is a café combined with a specialty gourmet and organic store. While we sipped on coffees and planned the final eating destinations ahead we realised the end of trip was sadly in sight. The first stop was Yahava Coffee where we had another caffeine fix with a coffee tasting. After this we ventured out to the neighbouring Stella Bella to learn more about wine and buy most of the wine of the trip. By this stage the boot was close to capacity. I definitely recommend stopping by Stella Bella, the tasting is thorough with the lady (I forgot her name but she looked like a Stacey) patiently described the different notes and gave us recommendations for food to accompany the wine. Before we knew it, we were late for our final eating destination Xanadu. Now this has it’s own story. Early that morning I rang Xanadu to make a belated booking only to be told that they were fully booked. I rang another winery instead who were happy to have us. But that was not good enough, we all had our hearts (and entertainment card discount) set on Xanadu. Plus I read it rated well in the Good Food Guide as one of the best places to eat in Margaret River. I persisted and called back to be told they could fit us in. After the long and windy entrance to the winery (it felt never ending or that could have been the hunger making me impatient) it was disappointing to see the restaurant pretty much empty. While we sat there we thought it will fill up but no it didn’t. I was disappointed about this but at least the food did not disappoint. I chose to have the two course set lunch. Yes I was living on the edge. For entrée I enjoyed the crispy fried squid with olive caramel, mixing sweet and savoury together is always a favourite combination. The mains was a confit duck leg with fig salad and quince vinaigrette, yes my friend fig and quince make a final reappearance. The food was fantastic and I’m so glad we didn’t miss out especially knowing the restaurant was half empty. After all this treating I need a break…as if! Stay tuned for more treats about dining in Perth especially as Thursday Night Dinner Club kicks off. What is that you ask? For the answer please read the next treat.


Olive caramel…yes it really does exist and it’s delicious.

Fig and quince…if I see either on the menu I am happy to order it. Helps stop the indecisive Capricorn in me.

Olio Bello on Urbanspoon

Xanadu Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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