It Just Has To Be Delicious

Archive for January, 2018

Tropico, North Beach

Tropico Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tropico is a casual cafe on Flora Terrace, just a street back from the main coastal road. We didn’t book and were pleasantly surprised to be seated straight away for brunch. The wait staff are really nice, and very efficient. It’s quite large and airy inside, and they offer table service.

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I chose a soy iced coffee to drink, which was nice but with an edge of bitterness. It wasn’t my favourite type of coffee, as I prefer a mellower blend, but it was certainly very drinkable. I am not sure which blend was on rotation on the day – but then again I have been a little spoiled with Five Senses at home.

For my brunch I chose the Paleo plate – a delicious combination of avocado, spiced nuts and seeds, and spinach topped with two beautifully poached eggs. It was tasty from the first mouthful until the last and surprisingly filling.

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One of my companions chose the cornbread with chorizo ragu, poached eggs and chilli jam. He thoroughly enjoyed it – a well thought out plate – and a very satisfying meal.

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My other companion chose the brioche toasty, consisting of fried egg, leg ham, bechamel and cheese on a toasted brioche. A dish where all of the ingredients complemented each other perfectly, and he polished it off in record time.

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At the end of the meal, we felt very happy. We didn’t have to wait ages for our food, the staff were great and the quality was excellent. I am looking forward to going back soon.

Galangal, Mount Hawthorn

Galangal Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I had heard nice things about Galangal, and after visiting some other establishments in Mount Hawthorn, decided to give it a try. Mount Hawthorn is a nice area with lots of good eateries, and some bars, but without the hustle and bustle of Leederville and Mount Lawley. There are plenty of side streets to park, and even some spaces right outside Galangal.

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It’s a big restaurant with a large bar area, and it was pleasing to see that it was at least 75% full on a Saturday evening.

We chose a semillon sauvignon blanc from the wine list which was nice and crisp without being too acidic. Many of the wines available were WA options.

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The menu has a great variety of Thai food but it does not try to be all things to all men. It has all of the regular options available in a menu that is not hugely extensive, but has enough variety to make for a well balanced meal.

We dithered over starters and considered having the fish cakes, spring rolls or the golden wraps (chicken and corn parcels), but after seeing the portion sizes of some main courses going past, we decided to skip starters and concentrate on a variety of mains.

We chose classic green chicken curry. This was very authentic with holy basil and eggplant, and was enjoyable from the first mouthful to the last.

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We also chose the fried barramundi fillet with garlic, chilli and tamarind hot sauce. The amount of barramundi was outstanding, it was fresh and tasty, but the sauce was much sweeter than I expected and tasted more like sweet chilli sauce than tamarind. I didn’t really get the sour tamarind hit.

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We also had pad thai with prawns which was very good and fairly authentic. I would have liked more prawns though – 4 prawns seemed a bit mean for a $22 pad thai.

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All in all I enjoyed the meal and the dishes that we ordered left us very full – the amount could easily have fed three of us. I will return to Galangal – it is a nice glam atmosphere, the staff are lovely, and the food is very tasty and authentic. Besides, I need to try the pork belly dish !

The Milk Barrel, Hillarys

There’s nothing like a great ice cream, and with so many parlours to choose from, it can be difficult to find a parlour that provides the right balance.

Many establishments are geared up towards children offering an array of sauces, sprinkles and chocolate bar additions, and although nice occasionally, I generally find them quite sickly.

Gusto in Leederville is a great parlour – the guy who owns it took the trouble to go to Italy and learn the true artisan craft of gelato making. Thus far it has been my favourite. When I saw that Milk Barrel had won awards at the Perth Royal Show, I thought it was worth a try and was very pleasantly surprised – the gelato is certainly as good a standard as Gusto.

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I chose the Tiramisu gelato, which was beautiful. With sponge pieces, gooey chocolate and a not too sweet creamy coffee gelato backdrop, it was really well constructed and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

One of our group chose the pavlova special, which tasted just like a pavlova with raspberry, passionfruit and chunks of meringue.

The lemon and lime bitters sorbet tasted exactly like lemon and lime bitters, wonderful and refreshing.

The cookies and cream was again not too sweet, but tasty and creamily delicious.

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It’s great to see a good quality gelato bar in the northern suburbs, I look forward to going back to try the other flavours.

Click here for more information on the Milk Barrel

Portside Grill, Hillarys

The Portside Grill at Hillarys is a busy, casual restaurant that provides great value for money. Offering several specials each week, we decided to go for the steak special night where you can get a rump steak, chips and slaw for just $14.

The range of beers, ciders and wine is quite extensive and it is nice to see Custard and Co cider on tap.

The menu consists of all of the grill type favourites – steak, ribs, burgers, wings, salads, and fish as well as a range of share boards which offer a nice selection for those who can’t decide.

I chose the barramundi, not expecting it to be amazing, as I didn’t think it would be their speciality, however I was pleasantly surprised to be presented with a beautifully cooked portion of fish, some tasty seasoned chips, and a wonderful salad with great additions like sun dried tomatoes and olives.

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One of our group chose the steak special, and found it to be really good quality and great value for money with great chips and a very tasty slaw.

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We also ordered ribs which were beautifully cooked and fell off the bone. Portside certainly know how to cook ribs and we could see that the membrane had been carefully removed. The sauce was rich and tasty. Much much better than ribs I have tried at Lone Star and Spur.

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Portside is popular, busy and noisy and has a selection of regular tables, high tables and barrels that you can sit around. It was a shame on our visit that all of the regular tables were taken, I find that high tables for eating food can be uncomfortable. However, it was a surprisingly good meal and we all enjoyed it very much.

Click here for more information on Portside Grill

Mia Cucina, Hillarys

Mia Cucina Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We stopped by Mia Cucina for a Sunday brunch with family. It’s an Italian restaurant on the North side of Hillarys marina with great window views across the boat harbour.

The waitress was friendly and provided table water promptly. The brunch menu is not huge, and includes favourites like eggs benny, breakfast croissant, pancakes, as well as a full brekkie (Eggs with benefits) where you get given eggs (your choice of style) on toast and then you choose your other items from a table of sides e.g. bacon, sausage, mushrooms, hash browns, beans.

The coffee was very good, I had a soy cappuccino. The beans are prepared by local Perth roasters Karvan, and I was quite impressed with the house blend.

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I chose Eggs Benny with ham which came with spinach, cress and hollandaise. The portions were quite variable – mine had a few slices of ham whereas others in the group had much more ham than me. The eggs were cooked well, nice and gooey in the middle and the ham was okay but not particularly tasty. It was shaved ham, and I think that a nice slice of thick premium leg ham (as stated in the menu!) would have added more to the dish. The bread was disappointing – everybody on the table found it hard to get through the sourdough bread, and most of us ended up leaving a considerable amount of it. I would have preferred a good old English muffin.

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One companion chose the Eggs with benefits, and enjoyed the meal but was disappointed to note that there were no beans on the buffet table. Hmm Mia Cucina should really provide the items as stated in the menu ! My companion had to ask for another portion of butter, as the amount provided was not sufficient for the large slices of bread. The items on the plate were good and tasty and the eggs cooked well.

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Another member of our party ordered the ‘breakfast schetta’, a bruschetta with tomatoes, onion, basil, bacon and poached egg. It was nice, but again the bread proved to be a problem, hard to carve through, and difficult to get to the soft middle part.

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All in all, we enjoyed the meal, but I think that Mia Cucina should reconsider their bread choices. It seems that sourdough was the only option and it would be nice to have a choice. The menu clearly states that items on the breakfast dishes cannot be changed, so it seems that they organise breakfast to be easier for the kitchen rather than suited to the diner. It is definitely one of the better eateries at Hillarys, but I also feel that with a bit more care they could do so much better.

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Union Kitchen, Mindarie

Union Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Union Kitchen is located at Mindarie Marina next to the Boat pub, and is on the site of the old Waterfront cafe.

We visited on Christmas Eve for tea and cake and loved the muffins, so we decided to return for breakfast.

I chose the vanilla coconut chia trifle which was a very pleasant surprise. Each spoonful revealed more yumminess from the top layer of granola and yoghurt, through the berry compote and down to the depths of the soft chia. It was accompanied with a fresh fruit salad and ticked all of the healthy boxes for me.

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I also ordered a detox green juice with apple, cucumber, lemon and kiwi. It was very refreshing and tasty.

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One companion ordered the poached eggs on granary with a side of bacon. Simple but delicious and prepared with care.

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My other companions ordered the blueberry buttermilk pancakes which arrived with lots of squirty cream and a blueberry and banana compote. The pancakes also had blueberies in the batter, and started off quite promising, but as each mouthful was consumed they became a little sickly and we ended up with two unfinished plates. It would have been better to contrast the pancakes with something less sweet, or to just reduce the overall amount of sugar. Maybe a lemon yoghurt instead of cream would have helped.

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Tea was well presented with nice pots and all of the usual paraphernalia, and a little complimentary biscuit:

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So what was the verdict on Union Kitchen ? It’s a great cafe in a wonderful location, the pancakes were good, but too sweet, and everything else was satisfactory. Definitely worth a visit.

Ria Malay Kitchen, Leederville

Ria Malay Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I haven’t been to Ria for quite a few years and I think it is bigger than before. It looks like they have expanded into the shop next door. I love Malaysian food, and thought that it would be nice for my parents to try something different, so we booked a table for four.

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The restaurant is at the heart of the Leederville strip close to the car park and has tables inside and outside. The waitresses were very welcoming and showed us to our table, providing tap water for the group without being prompted. The menu is fairly typical Malaysian, some of the dishes have a bit of a twist to them, but all of the favourite curries are there.

I would have liked to order some veggie sides, and we did end up ordering kailan, but it had crispy pork in it which made the dish quite expensive. It would have been nice to see some sides on the menu that were purely veggie and reasonably priced.

To start we chose chicken satay and ribs.

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The satay was delicious with a really yummy peanut sauce and some very authentic rice cubes. The ribs were nice but not amazing, I think they could have been seasoned a bit better, but they were very tender and well cooked and accompanied by a sweet soy dipping sauce.

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For mains we chose our favourite beef rendang. The beef was really tender and well cooked, but it could have taken a bit more spice and was more bland than the rendangs that I am used to eating in Malaysia and cooking at home.

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We also had fish and prawns with coconut and lemongrass. I couldn’t fault this dish – it was delicious, with perfectly cooked fish, some beans and a lovely mild sauce that hit the right notes of sweet, sour and mildly spicy.

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The kailan was beautiful, cooked with chillies in ketjap manis, it had a real depth of flavour, and included crispy pork, which was nice but not necessary.

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The rice was good, fluffy and well cooked.

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I thought that Ria was a really nice experience and I will revisit this restaurant. There is a good range of beers and wine on the menu and the wait staff are all very friendly and helpful. I am not sure it is as fully authentic as they claim because I think that they hold back on the spice and sweeten some dishes up to suit the Australian palate. That said, it was a very pleasant meal and I left with a nicely full tummy and a smile on my face.

Tom’s Italian, North Beach

Tom's Italian Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The views at Tom’s are spectacular. Situated on the site of the old Soda Sunlounge, it’s worth the walk up the stairs to enter this restaurant, which has tables inside and an outside deck. Having said that, the windows could do with a clean.

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The waitresses were really pleasant and brought us the menus and table water. My companions were keen to have a pizza, and they chose the Hawaiian (ugh, not something that I would choose) and the capricciosa. As you probably know I am not a fan of non-traditional Italian pizzas, and the idea of pineapple on a pizza fills me with horror, but my companions thoroughly enjoyed it.

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The capricciosa was more to my liking with tomato, pancetta, mushrooms, artichokes and olives, and again this was an enjoyable pizza.

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I chose to have fish and picked the barramundi with smoky eggplant, tomatoes, marscapone and cabbage. It was really enjoyable, the fish was very fresh with a lovely crispy skin, and the vegetables were cooked perfectly.

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We were too full to have dessert and left with smiles and full tummies. My only disappointment was that they didn’t have orange juice to make a mimosa – no restaurant should really run out of orange juice, but that aside, it was a really nice meal. Personally I think that the pizzas are better at Pappagallo, but I would definitely return to Tom’s for that wonderful fish and the amazing view.

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