My friend Louise is moving South of the River and though I am sad to see her leave us Northies behind, on the bright side it means branching out and trying new places that aren’t in my local radius. I do apologise to my followers that are south of the river because I knowingly neglect you. I also apologise for making jokes about needing road trip CDs to get to Fremantle. I’ll be honest I won’t stop making them (sorry Louise and Neha). So in the next couple weeks you will notice new brunch locations and I’ll mention suburbs where I probably have never eaten before. However, I couldn’t let Louise cross to the dark side without one last supper or brunch in this case at one of her former haunts, Hobart Deli in North Perth. This was actually my first time at Hobart Deli. I find myself continually surprised by these random corner cafes in the suburbs. Recent discoveries include Lincoln’s Cafe in Highgate, Piccolos Cafe in West Leederville and West End Deli in West Perth (see Quick Treat: The Slap). Hobart Deli was packed to the rafters on this Monday public holiday. I was lucky to nab a table so quickly. I’d like to think that was because for the first time in my life I was actually on time for brunch. Hopefully this experience will motivate me to become more punctual but I am naturally a late person and I can’t fight genetics. What I like about the Hobart Deli menu is that it has brunch options that you usually wouldn’t eat let alone make at home. The small space inside and out means you are almost practically sitting on the person next to you. It’s not arms distance apart more like a pinky finger space next to you. The advantage in this is that it is great for food watching (and eavesdropping but that’s neither here nor there). Unless you have already ordered then the advantage becomes a disadvantage because then you have food envy staring a pinky distance away from you. I ordered the full vegetarian, which didn’t sound as fun as the full playground (the title for the meat-eaters option). I’m not vegetarian but I like vegetarian options at brunch. You will notice me choosing the mushrooms and feta or anything with poached eggs really. This was a vegetarian’s dream – zucchini and haloumi fritter, roasted tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms and poached egg on rye bread. They should rename it the Full House because it really has all the vegetarian favourites. The standout item for me was the zucchini and haloumi fritter. I loved the texture of the shredded zucchini and the punchy herbs made it memorable. The letdown was the overcooked poached eggs and hard rye bread. The bread choice was my fault. Rye is notoriously hard to cut but for some bizarre reason I like the sour taste that comes with it. The hard poached egg makes me sad because it’s gooeyness would have helped soften the rye bread. I won’t remind you about the last time my heart broke when I got hard poached eggs (see Treat 49: Foam Home ). I won’t give up on this place though. If I take your mind back to food envy, I had that from the lady next to me who in her own words was staring at the ensemble on my plate. In turn, I was staring longingly at her brioche with berries. I can’t wait to go back there just for that. The coffee was decent. When I looked at my coffee connoisseur friend Louise, she did not seem that impressed. She’s only moved in across the river five minutes and she’s criticising the coffee on the northie side. We will see about that. I really mean that….I have a long list of places to try including Ootong & Lincoln, Harvest, Barque, Aubergines….the list goes on. To sort of quote a wise man, Ali G….North side is the best! The crowds at Hobart Deli, Tuck Shop Cafe and Sayers are testament to that. But as a ‘foodie’ who actually eats food (not just take photos of it) I am excited by the prospect of finding the south of the river version of these brunching options. Watch out southies I am coming and I have an awesome road trip CD all ready to go.
THE FOOD JOURNEY
Breakfast is the only time I’m vegetarian (except when I eat bacon)
I have a backlog of treats to write about so I apologise if I keep referring to Christmas and December in the next few treats even though we are well and truly in January. The silly season makes brunching hard to do with many cafes closing up shop for a well-deserved break. I found out the hard way on this Saturday post-Christmas with Boucla in Subiaco closed and not opening till January 14. Despite initial disappointment as I was so looking forward to eating spanakopita, you can’t stay gloomy when the sun is shining. It was such a nice day and I wanted to roam in the outdoors so we went off to Subiaco Farmers Markets instead. Now these markets have such a great buzz. You get that wonderful family vibe because it’s on Subiaco Primary School grounds along with the manic market atmosphere. Today I was in luck because my feeling for spanakopita was happily met by Tom the Greek. The spinach and ricotta filling hit the spot. It helped me survive the long line for coffee. Despite the crazy amount of orders I think I was ninth on a growing list that the barista ploughed through in no time. The coffee was delicious. Enjoy Perth’s sunshine and make your way to Subiaco Farmers markets for quirky brunch options. There are heaps of stalls and an array of cuisines. I almost got swept away by the aroma of spices from the Moroccan stall but I stuck to my initial desires for pastry. I can’t wait to go back and give raw food a go…you heard right, raw food. Watch this space and learn with me what this is all about.
Subi Farmers Market
Subiaco Primary School, 271 Bagot Road, Subiaco
Every Saturday 8am – noon
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Tagged brunch, coffee, feta, markets, moroccan, pastry, raw food, ricotta, spanakopita, spinach, subiaco
I’m not a morning person. No matter how many new years resolutions I make to become one it never happens. Waking up at 6am is rare for me…the only exception I make is when I meet my cousins or a friend for breakfast before work. It makes a great start to the morning. On this pouring morning my friend Kirsty and I were lucky enough to park right outside Foam Coffee Bar, the new coffee hub in Leederville that replaced the hail damaged Cafe 130. I’ve only been there once before to try their whoopie pie offering (it was slightly dry) and a delicious coffee. They have a nice and simple breakfast menu and also have your essential lunch items like sandwiches and wraps. Plus the temptation of cupcakes, brownies and other sweet treats. For breakfast I ordered poached eggs with mushrooms on quinoa linseed bread. It’s the simple things that I take pleasure in. However, it’s the simple things that normally miss the mark. Take for example, poached eggs. This is usually my breakfast/brunch staple. Done correctly, the ooeyy gooey yolky centre soaks the bread. However, my recent experience at Beaufort Merchant with my vinegary and hardened poached eggs were a major miss. For $13 I was left scratching my head especially as I only ordered poached eggs. This would have ended up being a $20 breakfast if I included add-ons like bacon. As the eggs were hardened there was nothing to soak the limp looking bread. It can ruin your morning. Luckily at Foam, the eggs were poached to perfection with the yolkiness soaking the delicious quinoa toast. The mushrooms added a healthy touch. I have learnt a valuable lesson on poached eggs…beware of getting them alone with bread. I think that’s why I am so faithful to Sayers because they have a variety of dishes where the poached egg is a bonus. For example, they used to have this spinach and ricotta crepe that probably didn’t need a poached egg but I was more than happy for it to come to the party. Where Beaufort Merchant failed me, Foam stood it’s ground. I also give them brownie points for a delish pumpkin and spinach turkish bread sandwich. Leederville is littered with a number of cafes and has become a faithful breakfast meeting point because it’s close to work. Watch this space as I treat my way through Oxford and Newcastle Street and pick out my favourite breakfast stops. I’ll find the good, the bad and the ugly. Fingers crossed for runny poached eggs!
THE FOOD JOURNEY
Poached to perfection
Finally, the sun is out in Perth and it feels like summer is around the corner. Today I had a brunch date with Fran. We initially planned to go to Tuckshop but as we drove past the line was crazy long as usual. So I suggested Tarts as I had never been and Fran had heard great things from her boss. It was around 11.30 by the time we got to Tarts and we were starving. The menu is very extensive but I was too hungry for my indecisiveness to take hold. I saw potato cake and I locked it in. As I have mentioned in earlier blogs (Quick Treat: Ikea Traffic) I love potato cakes especially the one from Ikea. I ordered the Potato Head, which included two poached eggs, asparagus, mushrooms and spinach on a potato cake with hollandaise sauce. I have heard great things about Potato Head in Bali but that’s neither here nor there. On the warm day I decided to be different and get a beetroot and carrot juice. Great decision. The juice came in a cute glass bottle. Fran and I couldn’t get over them. At first I thought Tarts was a small café mixed with a gift store but we saw the light outside and found a sizeable backyard area. I say backyard because it was very homely with herbs and bric and brac tables that reminded me of my own backyard. My dad loves his garage sales and collecting random crap so our backyard consists of a jungle (his herb and vegetable garden), a couple of buddas (even though we are not Buddhist) and to make it even more confusing there is a large picture frame of Jesus’ last supper. Sorry another digression. Both the drinks and food came out promptly despite them being very busy. There was a baby shower also happening in the backyard. I think baby showers are stalking me. I went to one in Geelong for my friend Sami’s baby shower, then I had another one the following week and now I was unofficially attending this one at Tarts. It’s obviously baby season. Ok now I will finally talk about the food. My last treat was filled with negitude (Treat 40) and I am so happy to report that this treat is like a ray of sunshine. The poached eggs were runny. Hooray! The potato cake was delicious, I wish there was more of it. All the elements of the dish were perfectly cooked. I was in food heaven. I was happy with the amount of Hollondaise sauce, not like at Dome where your eggs are drowning it. The whole experience at Tarts from start to finish was joy. Fran and I were making excuses to go back there and I was eyeing off the dessert cabinet on the way out. If you are looking for a carefree brunch experience with a homely touch then make your way to Tarts Café.
THE FOOD JOURNEY
How cute are the juices!
You don’t need to go all the way to Bali for Potato Head.
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Tagged aspargus, baby shower, backyard, brunch, desserts, hollondaise, juice, Northbridge, poached eggs, potato, potato cake, Tarts
I have never been slapped before but today I could imagine what it felt like. It’s not anybodies fault but my own…I jumped the gun. My teacher friend Svet usually compliments my good listening but I must have missed the bit when she told me that West End Deli do a variety of mocha flavours. All I remember from her story is that West End Deli does a fantastic mocha. On this weird weather Saturday my poor listening and reading skills were on show…I’ll get to that in a minute, first to the food. The brunch menu is not very extensive; there really is only four items to choose from but like a budget airline has a lot of add-ons to complete your experience. I cheekily went first and stole the omelette right under my dining companion’s nose. We both ended up choosing that option except he added a slab of bacon. It truly was a slab of bacon, one piece of thick cut bacon. This is when my mum would have piped up, for $9 I could have bought a whole kilo of bacon and fed the family. The omelette was fluffy and had an unusual topping of pear, manchego and walnuts. I have no idea what manchego is so I googled it for you and for me. The answer for you…it is sheep cheese and Manchega is the breed of sheep it’s from. I’m not going to lie…I wasn’t blown away by it. I missed the variety of options of a Sayers menu BUT then at the same time I do appreciate that it is a brunch menu and if it was closer to 12 then 10.30 I would have went for the home made spaghetti option. A lesson for next time. Here is the biggest lesson though….read the drinks menu. Don’t do what I do and blindly ask for a mocha. That’s the rookie mistake I made. Don’t be lazy, get the menu and see what’s on offer. Don’t get drink envy like I did when the other person orders a honeycomb milkshake, which you didn’t know was on the menu especially if the chocolate honeycomb was your favourite Brownes Supershake growing up. The consequence of this… when the drinks get put on the table and the waitress informs you there is a honeycomb mocha you might act like a child throwing a tantrum. I’m not proud to admit it but I did act a little childish but it worked because the waitress felt sorry for me and sprinkled honeycomb on the top of my mocha. I can’t wait to go back there and order the real deal.
THE FOOD JOURNEY
You can’t make an omlette without eggs…here I am guessing they used four.
The mocha without honeycomb….a lesson for next time.
I have mentioned Sayers in a number of my treats; it is my favourite brunch spot though Tuck Shop has been leading lately in the competition for my heart and wallet. I always am indecisive when ordering at Sayers and I will have perused the menu for a long time while waiting for the line to die down at the register. However, on more than one occasion as soon as I get to the front I get blinded by the offerings in front of me. On this day it was no exception and I went from ordering cinnamon donuts to choosing a mushroom quiche. Don’t ask me how I changed my mind so drastically but it was worth it. I wish there was more relish on the side not because the quiche was not tasty but because the relish was delicious by itself. I would buy a jar. The side salad wasn’t a player on the sidelines but rather that player you bring on that is guaranteed to score goals like a non injured version of Mark Le Cras. The raw ribbons of carrot and zucchini added crunch and the dressing added zing to the earthy mushroom in the quiche. I loved this experience so much that on the next couple of outings at Sayers and their new sibling Sayers Sister I have went for the tart option and every single time it was a last minute decision. This option has not disappointed me…yet.
THE FOOD JOURNEY
Don’t ignore the salad.
The sun is shining, the birds are chirping…can you smell that…Spring is in the air! To celebrate the warm weather over the weekend I decided to venture to a new brunch place. I was living on the edge. I can’t believe I have never been to Voyage Kitchen in Sorrento before. This newly renovated café stands out from the rest of the brunch pack because of it’s space and coastal views. As much as I love Sayers, Mrs S and Tuck Shop, a drawback is their confined spaces. You will be happy to hear that this sense of claustrophobia is not shared at Voyager. Now there’s a funny story about the location because about 12 years ago my mum’s number plates were stolen after a dinner at the Fratelli Italian Restaurant upstairs. Mind you the number plates were hot property being 1AFL. The replacement plates 1BBZ are just not the same. After that random tangent let’s go back to this trip to Sorrento. On this warm Spring day it was smoothie and juice weather instead of coffee. It’s a shame because I would have liked to try their custom Five Sense blend. That’s ok another reason to go back. My sister ordered a banana smoothie made with greek yoghurt, which you could add nutritious superfoods like maca and chia seeds. I was in a daring mood and asked for maca because lately I have been hearing about its energy benefits, however it depends what website you go to. Yes I am one of those people who google their symptoms to find natural remedies and maca root is my latest discovery. Staying on the healthy theme I ordered a beetroot, carrot and ginger juice, which refreshingly hit the spot. So besides these adventurous drink choices what does Voyage have to offer from the kitchen? I chose Norma’s Salsa, which included poached eggs, spinach, marinated feta, roasted truss tomatoes on toasted ciabatta. This was absolutely delicious but the very generous serve made it a struggle to finish. But don’t worry I persevered. My sister Suzy has gluten intolerance but the menu didn’t have any symbols to indicate the gluten free options. This is where good service is required to compensate. Here it did. The young chap was very helpful going back and forth between me and the kitchen to double check the smoked salmon omelette as well as the accompanying salad. I cheekily stole my sister’s salad because it was so fresh and crunchy with the red and yellow capsicum, red cabbage and almonds. No wonder I was struggling to eat my own meal. The smoked salmon portion was also very generous and was shared among the table. The menu at Voyage is very extensive and I will definitely be back especially as Perth warms up. I can’t wait to take my dad there but I already know my mum who holds a grudge will be reluctant to go back because of the number plate crime of 1999. However with food this good and millionaire dollar views I think I’ll be able to twist her arm. Watch this space.
THE FOOD JOURNEY
Being healthy….beetroot juice!
Not just any ordinary banana smoothie…this has maca superpower (whatever that means)
Tomato + Avocado + Feta + Poached Eggs + Spinach = my favourite brunch combination.
Gluten free does not = boring. The omlette was full of favour and the side salad was so crispy and fresh!
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Tagged avocado, banana, beach, beetroot, brunch, carrot, ciabatta, coffee, dinner, five senses, gluten free, juice, kitchen, lunch, maca, omlette, poached eggs, salad, smoothie, spinach, tomato, Voyage
I am currently crushing on the Tuckshop in Northbridge mainly because of its delicious coffee. From the first time my eyes saw the silky top of my cappuccino I was in love. Tuckshop use a Toby’s Estate blend and each coffee I have consumed has not disappointed. In terms of the tucker, Tuckshop is famous for its pies. Now my first try was the vegetarian curry pie, which didn’t set my heart on fire. I ate it like a curry instead of a pie BUT the chicken pie won me back and I can’t wait to eat it again. The pastry was flaky and the insides creamy and warming perfect for a winter brunch. Instead of overcoming to food envy from my pancake eating friends, I shared the pie so that I left room for pancakes. Great decision. The berry pancakes were accompanied with the most delicious vanilla bean mascarpone. I am not embarrassed to admit that I scraped the plate on this one. The only complaint was that I wish there was more then the two pieces of pancake on the plate. Tuckshop gets a B+ closing on an A for service. The minor hiccup at my recent brunching was they forgot the coffees. This was made up to us with an apple and rhubarb crumble tart and lamington all made in house as their way of apologising. If only all apologies involved food, there would be more forgiveness in this world. I have already forgiven and forgotten and am thinking of an excuse to go back there soon to eat me some pie.
THE FOOD JOURNEY
The chicken pie is a cracker!
A special mention to the vanilla bean mascerpone that takes these pancakes from great to awesome.
I know I just wrote a treat today but while the juices are still flowing and the food experiences of my Sydney trip are still fresh I will keep treating. So it’s no secret I love brunch, I plan walks with friends around lakes just so I can get my poached eggs at the end. The walk is non-compulsory but the brunch is a must. I will state now my favourite brunch place in Perth is… drumroll please… Sayers in Leederville. Why? Because whatever you order you can’t make at home. Plus they give you poached eggs with everything and if there’s one thing I love about brunch the most it’s poached eggs. So in Sydney there was many occasions for brunch. First stop Bills in Darlinghurst owned by celebrity chef Bill Granger who I admit I don’t know much about but my friend Kirsty has his book and she says it has a good baking section. The menu at Bills has an all-day breakfast so already he’s a winner in my eyes BUT here comes the scary part. They don’t do poached eggs – I repeat – they don’t do poached eggs. So after walking from the city down Liverpool Street to Darlingurst (when the Bills on Crown Street in Surry Hills would have been closer and less hilly) I came to the realisation that I had to have my eggs scrambled. I overcome my worst fear and had my eggs scrambled and enjoyed what was a simple and very filling breakfast. Another brunch experience is a family favourite introduced to me by my cousins and friends for having the best pancakes ever – and the winner is Pancakes on the Rocks. I have been to 2 of the franchises – Darling Harbour and Northmead and either one you go to once you order the Banarama you are onto a winner. On a personal note I like to make mine healthier by ordering strawberries and a scoop of chocolate ice cream for the antioxidants. I tried being super healthy once and getting the pancakes with the walnuts and bananas but that was too walnutty – it had maybe half a kilo of them. Where next on this brunching tour of Sydney – well here’s an unorthodox twist – is 10am too early for macarons and amazing looking desserts? Absolutely not, plus if you don’t get in early you miss out (like my friend Kirsty who rocked up at 3pm to see a lonely loaf of bread – sorry Kirst is it too soon?) Who am I talking about? Adriano Zumbo’s patisserie in Balmain of course. I took my cousins there after arriving at 7am in Sydney and we went straight there. We bought a selection of pizzas, pasteries and macarons and enjoyed them at the park nearby on what was a sunny day. The pizza blew our socks off – the pumpkin and pesto flavour was insane and unexpected. Here I was thinking it was all dessert we’d be eating and it was the savoury that walked away as prize favourite. The pasteries were also sensational and the random macaron flavours can impress or distress. Flavours like wasabi and black sesame may have one scratching their heads, a recent flavour rice pudding had me puzzled but one bite and the texture of rice took me back to childhood and my mum’s riz-bhaleeb (Lebanese rice pudding). A special mention to the coffee creme brulee and raspberry shortbread flavours. On this most recent Sydney trip my friends and I went back to the Balmain store and enjoyed the wonderful offerings again of Zumbo to a busy Sydney line where people were spending in the $100s. Here’s a hot tip! Zumbo’s macarons are cheaper and tastier than the Lindt macarons – so do yourself a favour embrace the randomness of Zumbo and don’t fall for the trap of the Swiss Chocolatiers (don’t tell them I said that because I really love Lindt chocolate). Now I want to get back to my favourite brunch topic – poached eggs! On the windy, cloudy and stormy Sunday where the Melbourne Storm weren’t playing but Manly and Warriors were for the NRL Grand Final (sorry Sydney-siders I still struggle to use the word footy for rugby league) we headed to Bondi for a swim. As if! We went to Bondi for Sunday brunch because it sounded like a good idea at the time. Even Bondi agreed with the wind blowing us towards the restaurants and away from the breach. My friends and I went to Nikos on the main strip where I have been with my cousins previously and had a scrumptious breakfast. The team of us (all three) ordered the exact same thing – flat white, poached eggs with spinach, mushroom, hash brown and tomato as sides. The table next to us had this impressive mocha with melted chocolate and I had drink envy while I sipped my flat white. The poached eggs were overcooked for my liking, I usually like mine runny but I won’t fault the place because they had them spot on the last time I was there. There’s a How I Met your Mother episode when Marshall goes on bromance brunch dates – I can relate brunch is such a relaxing and fun thing to do with friends and I will continue to make pretend exercise date with friends so I can brunch. I also will make a shout out to Kirsty’s brunch day when she had a few of us girls over to a feast of bircher muesli, eggs benedict and home-made pastries (she even made the puff pastry) with evidence in the photos attached. I contributed by supplying the flowers on the table (well that’s my dad’s contribution – thanks dad!) What have I proven in this treat – I love brunch but that was no secret anyway. So really you haven’t learnt anything except that macarons are a breakfast group and exercise is not compulsory to indulge in brunch activities.
THE FOOD JOURNEY
Perfectly acceptable brunch food.
Do yourself a favour and try the vegetarian pizza..you can thank me later.
This has dairy in it….just like what you’d pour in cereal…same same but different.
Bananarama….you can never go wrong.
Devil’s delight….is delightful without the devil.
Black Forest pancakes….yes it really exists.
Home-made pastries…inspired by the French brunch.
Poached eggs….Bill Granger seriously how can you not have poached eggs on your menu?
Home-made bircher muesli