Tag Archives: carrot

Treat 55: The Local

My local pub is literally 2 minutes down the road. I have lived in the same suburb for 23 years and not once have I stepped foot in the Odin Tavern. In the last month I have been there three times. My dad has been there 5 weeks in a row. So what has the Odin Tav done right to gain our local patronage. It’s all about value for money. For $15 on Sundays you get 2 courses – either soup or dessert to accompany your roast main. It’s truly bang for your buck. Last night I saw the comedian Danny Bhoy complain about an $8 glass of juice. It’s no secret Perth prices are obscene. The Odin Tav restores your faith in the concept of the Local. Pubs in Perth are serving pub food at ridiculous fancy restaurant prices. I don’t think paying over $40 for a main is true to the definition of the Local. However, this seems to be the reality at most local pubs. The Odin Tav is making fun of these restaurants with their $15 Sunday roast deal. Let’s talk food. The soup changes per week and so far I’ve experienced chicken and corn and another time was tomato and pancetta. Both times you will be pleasantly surprised to find real ingredients in the soup and not the canned variety. My mum found the soup salty but my mum has one of the healthiest palates on the planet. This is the woman who uses herbs and spices for flavour instead of salt. My house is not a salt and pepper house, it’s a parsley, cumin, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil house. Our spice rack takes up most of the bench space in the kitchen. So whenever I say anything is salty, it probably isn’t. The hero of the meal is the roast beef. Odin Tavern gives you a generous serving. I normally can’t finish the beef. My brother uses the bread from the soup course to make his own beef sandwich. If you wanted some carbs you can get a roast roll and chips for $7.50. It truly is a bargain. The surprise package is the generous serve of steamed vegetables. Your plate is colourful thanks to broccoli, carrot, potato, green beans, pumpkin and squash. For some reason they are very generous with the squash. I think I had ten pieces of squash last time. It’s quite a random vegetable/fruit depending on your definition to have with a pub meal. Wikipedia says squash botanically is a fruit but in the culinary world it is considered a vegetable. The steamed vegetables are probably the main reason why the parents like to come back here. Oh and the friendly price. The dessert is usually your stock standard chocolate mousse. Look there is a reason this meal is $15 – it’s not fine restaurant quality but it is fantastic comfort food. Wednesday is $14 steak night where you can choose from a T-Bone or Porterhouse including chips, salad and a choice of sauces. You can’t go wrong. I had my steak medium rare and I couldn’t fault them. It was on the rarer side but that’s how I like it. I am so happy that I finally met my Local. Odin Tav I am sure I will be seeing you more and more to make up for lost time.

THE FOOD JOURNEY

Sunday Roast

Generous and delicious!

THE DESTINATION
Odin Tavern on Urbanspoon

Treat 46: The day a carnivore became a herbivore

I am a meat eater. Give me a hunk of steak, a slab of ribs, a pot roast, a chicken schnitzel…I could go on but I won’t. However, growing up my mum always made sure there was two days per week when we ate seafood or a vegetarian meal. The older I get the more I embrace vegetables. For two days a week I’m like the shark in Finding Nemo – animals are friends not foes and I attempt to be vegetarian except technically not because I’ll still eat seafood. So really I’m nothing like the shark but more like forgetful Dory. Though my cousins have nicknamed me Nemo. Did you know there’s a Finding Nemo 2 coming out in 2014? Sorry for the major sidetrack -I’ll get back on topic now. On this beautiful hot Saturday my sister and I braved the crowds at the Beaufort Street Festival. Though there was countless food stalls, there were no comfortable places to eat. Instead I saw Veggie Mama open doing a roaring trade and luckily a table of two was free. I have wanted to try this place for awhile because my friend Fran raves about it. She works across the road and this is a handy and healthy lunch option. Not only is it vegetarian and vegan friendly, Veggie Mama also embraces the gluten free and has well displayed signs indicating what you are getting. My sister got the mushroom and walnut pattie with salad. For $13 it’s great value and as you can see from the photo – it’s a vegetable rainbow. The patty had an earthy taste with the walnut providing a nice crunch. The array of salad transformed a boring patty into an exciting and filling lunch. Now someone needs to get taste testers from Sumo Salad to try the Veggie Mama salads. You won’t find the preservativey taste of Sumo Salad in the Veggie Mama salads. Instead you will taste fresh vegetables lightly dressed. I chose the burger option with a chickpea and quinoa patty. The only disappointing element of this dish was the bread. Next time I will get the patty by itself. I was surprised that white bread was used when the place prides itself on healthy options. It wasn’t even tasty white bread. The relish was also a miss – it tasted more like ketchup than a relish. Instead of the token chips that it’s rival across the road, Hungry Jacks would supply with the burger you receive a rainbow salad. I was a happy camper diving into the array of broccoli, carrot and beetroot coleslaw and rice pilaf. The banana yoghurt smoothie was also a hit and helped cool us down on this hot day. Sorry I couldn’t give you a review of the Beaufort Street Festival food but the cool air and bright vegetarian options at Veggie Mamas won my stomach on the day. I will definitely go back there for the tasty vegetarian and gluten free friendly options.

THE FOOD JOURNEY

Note to self - get the burger without the bread.

Note to self – get the burger without the bread.

It's like a rainbow!

It’s like a rainbow!

THE DESTINATION
Veggie Mama on Urbanspoon

Treat 41: I’ve got the munchies

It was a weird weather day and I was feeling the effects. The cloudy sky was making me grumpy and it was 4pm and I was still without lunch. How hard is it to find a place open for lunch at 4pm on Sunday? As I found in Mt Lawley in my hangry (hungry + angry) mood it was very difficult. Before relegating to Grill’d (which is spreading like hives with new outlets in the city and Scarborough) my brother and dad stumbled further down the arcade to find Mr Munchies Sushi. This was a great option for my gluten free sister. Now Mr Munchies Sushi is fairly new and well hidden from the Beaufort strip. It’s easily to get trapped at Grill’d or Gelare and if you don’t take those couple extra steps you might not even know it’s there. I was happy to have a break from burgers and meet Mr Munchies. Here you can customise your sushi in four easy steps. First choose your meal, a sushi roll or salad. Then choose your base from beef, chicken, pork, salmon, tuna and other delights like octopus and eel. You can also add a stuffing like cucumber, carrot, lettuce and cheesecake (whatever that is). But wait there’s more. There’s also toppings like sesame seeds, garlic chips and fried shallots to choose from and don’t forget the array of sauces including wasabi aioli, sweet teriyaki and mayonnaise. Mr Munchies is like the Subway for sushi. If this is too confusing for you then you will be happy to know that Mr Munchies also has a set menu. Today we chose two sushi rolls from the set menu. The crunchy spider roll had deep fried soft shell crab, lettuce and cucumber. This was a tasty number and the crab serving was quite generous. The seafood roll also was generous in its portions including salmon, steamed prawn, cucumber and topped with fresh tuna flakes. Don’t you hate when the star of a dish you order ends up only being a supporting act when the plate is in front of you. You won’t feel like that at Mr Munchies. Plus you get to see them make the sushi right in front of your eyes. My brother again went off the beaten track taking the customised option with a pork katsu base and who knows what else he put in there. I didn’t try to find out. For my sister the customised option is fantastic because the sushi is made to order you can pick and choose. The problem with many fast food sushi outlets is that it’s all premade and once you rule out all the teriyaki and katsu options there isn’t much to play with besides vegetarian. It’s the sauce that’s usually the gluten carrier. She got grilled salmon with carrot and avocado and the smile on her face says it all. She was a happy chappy. I changed my tune too once I had food in my stomach. My dad who isn’t the biggest sushi fan enjoyed being the only diners at this restaurant. His main problem with sushi is that there is not enough sauce for him. He was happy with the extra step in adding sauce to your sushi. That didn’t stop him from pouring soy sauce over his sushi pieces. Mr Munchies is still quite new so it’s a hidden gem for the sushi-lovers out there. If you get the munchies at 4pm on a Sunday then meet Mr Munchies for your sushi fix.

THE FOOD JOURNEY

The spider roll (no actual spiders are in this sushi)

Suzy’s special salmon sushi

The star of this sushi is the seafood!

Pork katsu sushi with the weird and wondeful extras that only my brother would choose.

THE DESTINATION
Mr. Munchies Sushi on Urbanspoon

Treat 39: Living it up

I miss Ja Rule. Who? Remember back in the early noughties Ja Rule had hits such as Always on Time, Living it Up, Mesmerize, Thug Lovin and was famous for his feud with 50 Cent. Now he’s in jail for tax evasion and I miss hearing him on the airwaves. I couldn’t think of a better title for this treat than Ja Rule’s song Living it Up because that’s what my share buddy Rochelle and I were doing on a random Monday night. Andaluz in Howard Street in the city do free wine tastings and tonight’s offering was Champagne Perrier Jouet. Tonight I would be drinking champagne that cost more than my outfit. The highlight was the Perrier Jouet Belle Epoque, which Andaluz normally sells for $400 a bottle. To quote Andaluz’s function manager, the bubbles just melt on your tongue and there’s a honey after taste. I got down to a quarter and did the math; there was about $40 of champagne in my glass. I savoured every drop. After this exciting hour we decided to get dinner at one of the new restaurants on St Georges Terrace. There’s a new restaurant opening left, right and centre on this strip. After glowing reviews in both the West Weekend and STM we decided to venture to Print Hall and continue living the life of high rollers. I learnt the food reviewer’s lesson and asked for filtered water instead of falling into the sparkling or stilled trap. Ok so we were living like high rollers on a budget. The Print Hall menu is set out very clearly and the options aren’t overwhelming but I was still overwhelmed. This chronic indecisiveness reminds me of a crystal reading I had done in Mykonos where I was recommend charoite, this pretty purple stone. How the crystal lady knew purple was my favourite colour I do not know. Actually I think I was wearing it at the time. Apparently charoite can be used to overcome compulsions like indecisiveness but I have yet to test this theory. Anyway back to the dining experience at Print Hall and I was deciding between the smoked ocean trout or the white rocks veal. I asked for the trout while my friends Kristen and Rochelle chose the veal. I had immediate regret. However lucky for me the waitress misheard and thought I had asked for the veal. So it was an unexpected win. The chef recommended the veal be cooked medium well but I didn’t listen and asked for medium. I don’t know why I like blood but I do. The beautifully designed dish was a feast for the eyes and the stomach. One of the favourite components of the dish was the sweetbreads. We had no idea what it was till our plates were polished off and we could ask the waitress. The answer was a gland from the calf stomach. It was delicious but thankfully I didn’t know what it was before because I might have not tried it. The corned cheeked just melted in your mouth and the salty capers helped the richness of this dish. After the mains I couldn’t help myself I had to have dessert. Except we decided not to be greedy guts and share one of the desserts. The winner was bitter sweet chocolate fondant with hazelnuts and vanilla ice cream. I forgot that at work that day I made a pledge with my colleagues to give up chocolate for the week. The good news is this pledge died after day two and we have been sharing a box of Favourites today. So I didn’t have to feel bad after all. The fondant was nice and gooey in the centre and the vanilla bean ice cream was a perfect partner to this rich dish. I can’t wait to go back to try the Mille feuille of spiced quince. Imagine layers of pastry with custard and quince. I absolutely adore quince especially on a cheese board as evident on a trip to Margaret River earlier this year (see Treat 17: Road Trip). I am a big fan of Print Hall and am excited to see St Georges Terrace become a hot spot not just for working hard but playing hard.

THE FOOD JOURNEY

What is sweetbread? Eat then ask.

Do yourself a favour…get the bittersweet chocolate fondant. It’s such a bittersweet feeling when you finish…you want more but your body is saying no.

THE DESTINATION
Print Hall Dining on Urbanspoon

Quick Treat: Mama I love you

Thanks to my friend Neha for the introduction to Mama Tran. She works nearby in the Woodside building so this is a two minute walk for lunch and thankfully has great vegetarian options for her. This was a perfect option for my fragile post-wisdom teeth surgery state. Okay I know I have dragged this out, I promise this is the last time I mention it. Neha recommended I get a soup to avoid the crunchy vegetables so I ordered the Pho Ga – rice noodle soup with chicken. It was quite a simple dish with generous amounts of chicken and rice noodles. Besides the Spanish onion and mint leaves there was not much else to this soup besides broth. I’m so used to my mum’s chicken soup, which is colourful in the array of vegetables she puts in there. I was missing those in this soup. Mind you my mum doesn’t cook Vietnamese so it’s comparing apples to oranges. That Pho Ga did fill me up but I did have a big case of food envy as I saw the colourful bowl of Neha’s. She ordered the Bun cha Gio, which included shreds of carrot, cucumber, lettuce and bean sprouts with rice vermicelli. I can’t wait to take my sister here because this place is gluten free friendly. For a cheap and healthy meal that will cater for vegetarians and gluten free then say hello to Mama Tran.

THE FOOD JOURNEY

I have a confession…I was so hungry that I forgot to take a photo so this was taken about one third into the meal.

THE DESTINATION
Mama Tran on Urbanspoon

Treat 29: Voyaging into the unknown

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!

THE DESTINATION
Voyage Kitchen on Urbanspoon