It Just Has To Be Delicious

Archive for May, 2018

Smoothie Bowls

Smoothie bowls are a great breakfast idea and they can be made up in advance. The possibilities are endless, but one of my favourite breakfast smoothies is a combination of frozen blueberries, frozen cherries, almond milk, soy milk and protein powder. I bulked this up a bit by adding some cooked quinoa and then topped it with sliced banana, chia, strawberries, dried apricots, almonds and a few chocolate nibs.

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To get the best smoothie bowls, you need to be a little bit organised at the start of the week. If using quinoa, wash and cook up a small amount and keep it in the fridge in a sealed container. Put some chia seeds in a jar and soak them – they should swell with the water and form a gel like slurry. The smoothie can be made up in advance but will probably need a stir in the morning, then all you need to do is add your toppings.

Frozen berries make a great smoothie base because you don’t have to add ice. You can use blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cherries and some of the mixed berries too. Fresh berries are also good but don’t add the coldness to the smoothie.

You can use whatever milk you like and add yoghurt – thick greek yoghurt has a great protein content – and if you prefer not to add dairy you can use coconut yoghurt. For a bulkier smoothie you can add protein powder, quinoa, oats, psyllium husk and shredded coconut, and you can also soak cashews in water and whizz them up in the blender for a lovely cashew cream. I like to mix my milks so that I get a good fat/carb/protein mix.

Toppings can be fresh or tinned fruits – peaches, pears, apples, banana, strawberries, kiwi, lychees, pineapple.

You can also add nuts – if they are slightly toasted, that’s even better, and you can crush them too. You can also sprinkle desiccated coconut over the top.

Dried fruits make a great topping – sultanas, apricots, dates, figs.

Soaked chia is a nice addition, also agave syrup, maple syrup, honey and even a slight drizzle of nutella. Yum. Every bowl can be different, and they are fun to make.

Goong, East Perth

Goong Korean BBQ Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Goong is in a great location at Majestic Quay on East Perth’s riverside. It’s a Korean BBQ restaurant where the food is cooked at a barbecue which is an integral part of the table.

The staff are great and explain the menu in detail – which consists of set meals for two, BBQ sets for one and various a la carte options. There is also a nice drinks menu which contains wine, spirits, and soft drinks like aloe vera.

We chose the beef set, which usually contains beef short ribs, but on our visit they had been substituted with spicy beef.

Our BBQ was lit, and we were ready to go!

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We were presented with some pickles and dips. The pickles can be eaten as an entree or combined with the BBQ meats. Pickles included onion, kimchi and beansprouts.

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We were also given a small salad and a steamed egg called gyeran-jjim. The salad had a beautiful spice paste dressing and the egg was light and delicate, flavoured with spring onion.

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The waitress served a spicy soup with zucchini and fermented soya bean paste called dwenjang-jjigae. Nice and warming.

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One of my favourite dishes was the Korean glass noodle salad called japchae. Such beautiful flavours in a cold dish with slivers of egg,mushroom and carrot, and a marinade including dark soy, rice wine and sesame.

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The waitress started the BBQ with vegetables, pumpkin, mushroom, white onions and spring onion. Then she added the fattier cuts of beef brisket – chadolbagi – to give a nice flavour to the BBQ as the fat rendered down.

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Then came the traditional bulgogi wafer thin marinaded beef followed by the spicy beef. The beef was beautifully tender, and the waitress showed us how to wrap it in lettuce leaves and add rice, noodles, salad and other accompaniments to make a nice lettuce wrap. We were also given rice, which was great to soak up the meat juices and sauces.

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All in all our beef set was a good meal with lots of variety, and it all felt very healthy too. A Korean BBQ set is a great introduction to Korean cuisine and Goong certainly provides great food. Next time I’d like to try the crunchy chicken wings – we saw another table order them and they looked insanely good.

Click here to find out more about Goong.

Moments Cafe, Joondalup

Moments Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Moments cafe is on Davidson Terrace in Joondalup, an area that is a little hub of eateries outside of the main shopping centre area. Nestled in between an Indian cafe and a Chinese restaurant, not far from Dome and the newly opened Paper Avenue, it has quite a lot of competition. Moments is quite popular and always busy.

The menu is huge and consists of all day breakfast, toasties, sandwiches, gourmet sandwiches, burgers, wraps, cakes, various options in the chilled cabinet and some hot options like noodles and Asian fare in ready to go takeaway containers.

We chose to dine in and our food was cooked fresh. Everything is lovingly prepared and ‘no frills’ style. The drinks menu is equally enormous, and I ordered a chilled soy chai.

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My partner ordered a pot of tea which arrived on quirky spotty crockery. The whole cafe is filled with quirky posters and ornaments and they have a thing about moustaches.

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I fancied a bacon and egg muffin, which was very nice, and they asked if I wanted HP sauce (of course I do – I’m of English heritage), which was a nice touch. This was tasty with good quality ingredients and certainly made a nice light lunch.

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My partner chose a cheese, tomato and chicken toastie. Again simple and nicely made with a good amount of filling and very tasty too.

Moments is a sweet little cafe and certainly worth a visit. Strangely it’s not open on Saturdays, but it is open every other day, and definitely a local favourite.

Click here to find out more about Moments

Wild Swan, Mandoon Estate, Caversham

Mandoon Estate Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Mandoon has a lot going on. The estate is a winery in the heart of the Swan Valley, and they have cellar door tastings, a brewery, an art gallery, a fine dining restaurant, an outdoor area where they sell pizza, craft beer, and hot dogs, and a deli where they sell exceptional sausage rolls. They also have a hotel called The Colony, rooms which look out onto the Swan River, some with balconies and mezzanine bedrooms.

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Having sampled a glass of wine earlier, I decided to start with a cocktail and chose a cosmopolitan. This was nicely made with lovely cranberry tones.

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My partner chose a ginger apple mocktail. He said that it was a lovely blend.

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I chose the marron to start served with watermelon, lime and papaya. It wasn’t a particularly flavoursome dish and I imagine that it had been prepared in advance and refrigerated. I couldn’t really detect the lovely marron and papaya flavours that I expected.

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My partner chose the Geraldton kingfish with young coconut, umibudo, daikon and lime. It was a good blend of flavours, bright clean and tasty.

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The starters arrived fairly quickly, followed by our bread, which I think was a bit of a mistake, but the bread was a very welcome arrival to help mop up some of the leftiver sauces, and was served with whipped butter and a very moreish fennel salt.

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For main I chose the blue fin tuna with cauliflower, green raisin, pinenut and olive. This was delicious, served medium rare, good quality fish with really good accompanying flavours.

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My partner chose the Moojepin mutton with canneloni, borlotti, lettuce and raspberry. Mutton is generally tougher than lamb, and he expected it to be slow roast to make the most of the cut, but it came seared like a steak and was a bit chewier than he would have liked although it was very tasty. All of the accompaniments were rich, hearty and comforting and he enjoyed the dish.

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We also chose side dishes of broccoli, snow peas and beans, and zucchini fries. Both sides were beautifully cooked and we ate them hungrily.

We somehow found room for dessert, but before that I sampled a glass of Mandoon Estate sparkling, which put me in mind of a good prosecco.

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I chose the matcha, lychee, yuzu and caramel, a nice combination of matcha cake with lychee sorbet and dried lychees with blobs of caramel and oblong shaped yuzu cream.

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My partner chose the peach, pistachio, vanilla and sorbet, a beautifully balanced combination of textures and tastes. A vanilla panacotta with blobs of pistachio paste and peach puree.

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All in all, Wild Swan was a good experience – good modern Australian cooking with friendly unobtrusive service, and wines made on the premises. An excellent choice if you want to stay somewhere in the Swan Valley that has everything at your fingertips.

Click here to find out more about Wild Swan

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Whistlers, Middle Swan

Whistler's Chocolate Company Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Whistlers is one of two chocolate factories in the Swan Valley. They offer a nice tasting selection of coconut rough, chocolate jelly snake and chocolate pretzel, and the dark chocolate orange slices are a particular favourite of mine.

On this particular visit we decide to try the cafe and I imagined that there would be a variety of chocolate cake on offer.

The cake selection was not particularly inspiring. I chose a dark hot chocolate to drink and a lemon muffin. My partner chose tea and a brownie.

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The dark hot chocolate was good, served with two marshmallows, but as I got to the bottom of it, the glass was glued up with thick chocolate that hadn’t been mixed in properly. It was a shame because the whole drink could have been so much richer.

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The lemon muffin was nice, but fairly ordinary. Same with the tea and brownie – the brownie was a little dry and not nice and gooey in the middle.

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It wasn’t bad, it was just ‘ordinary’. We had a discussion about how they could make it so much better – they could become known for the best chocolate sponge cake in the Swan Valley, or the best churros or chocolate nutella doughnuts. Maybe the management will twig this and do something differently in future. I did notice a whole table of people having fish and chips – maybe this is a secret weapon that they have, but it didn’t look special, so maybe not.

It’s well worth a visit for the amazing range of chocolates on offer, and the cafe is okay for a quick cuppa.

Click here to find out more about Whistlers.

Jezebelle, Guildford

Jezebelle Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 20180519_105715.jpg

Opposite Alfred’s Kitchen in the heart of Guildford sits Jezebelle, a much acclaimed cafe that is a tapas bar in the evening and one of Perth’s hottest brunch spots at the weekends. I have been wanting to try Jezebelle for a while and popped in for brunch.

Coffee here is smooth and delicious, and they happily serve it with dairy or non-dairy milks.

For my brunch I chose the Spanish Omelette. the waitress helpfully explained that it was chunky style – like a quiche without pastry. It came with some delicious bread and some leaves. The leaves were dressed on top, but I would have liked the dressing to be spread throughout. The omelette was very good, quality ingredients, a little under-seasoned, but generally a very nice breakfast.

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My partner chose the eggs benny with ham, and every layer was nicely placed, the parma ham adding an extra level of seasoning. The eggs were supremely yellow and delicious and he really loved the meal.

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Jezebelle certainly delivered. I loved the bread – it was really tasty, and I would be happy to come back and try the tapas.

Click here for more information on Jezebelle

Garum, Perth

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

Garum is the place that everybody is talking about in Perth. Celebrated Aussie Italian chef Guy Grossi, famous for his cook books, appearances on Masterchef, and fine Melbourne osterias, has opened this Roman restaurant in Perth at the Westin.

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Everything is faithfully Roman, including the wine list where the wines are listed in order of colour. We chose a ‘yellow’ wine to start – a Flametree chardonnay from Denmark, WA. This was a fine chardonnay with pear and melon notes and lovely subtle oak backdrop – the sommelier here knows their chardonnay.

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The menu contained entrees, pasta dishes (which could serve as entrees or light mains) and mains with lamb, veal, fish, steak and an interesting lucanian sausage dish for two.

Bread was served with moretum – a herb ricotta spread with oil. This was a nice change from the usual butter or whipped butter.

For starters I was very tempted by the crudo, but decided to go for octopus, because I don’t usually order octopus. There’s a reason for this – when poorly prepared it can be very chewy and unpleasant, but I suspected that Guy wouldn’t let me down and wow did he deliver. The octopus was served Gaeta style (Gaeta is a coastal city just south of Rome) with crispy sourdough, olives, capers and tomato. Every mouthful was a joy to eat and the octopus was tender, meaty and delicious.

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My partner chose one of the pastas to start – the bucatini with pancetta, tomato and chilli. The pasta was al dente and well made with a rich spicy sauce, not too hot, served with some shreds of parmesan, and described by my partner as ‘a really good bowl of pasta’.

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For the main course I decided to go with the fish of the day – swordfish, served with crab, celery, ginger, spinach and coriander. The fish was beautifully cooked, with a buttery sauce and a charred lemon, and there was plenty of crab and prawn accompanying the mild ginger/celery dressing.

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My partner chose the Arkady lamb with parsley, capers, anchovy and radicchio. The lamb was delicious, nicely seasoned with a fresh herby sauce. The radicchio was quite a strong flavour and another vegetable might have been more enjoyable.

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We also chose a cauliflower salad to go with our meals. This was an absolute gem. Charred and served with raisins and grains, the cauliflower was perfectly cooked complete with its leaves – not mushy, but not hard either, and finished off with blobs of a labne style dressing. i could have eaten this whole plate as my meal.

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We didn’t have room for dessert, so will have to go back to review them. Garum delivered a beautiful meal, great wine, and a very full tummy. It was a bit loud and noisy as the evening went on, the location is Hibernian hall, a wonderful historic Perth venue, but also large and a place where sound carries. The wait staff were helpful and professional, and we had a great evening. Glad to see Guy Grossi bringing his talent to Perth.

Click here to find out more about Garum

Health Freak Cafe, Joondalup

Health Freak Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

If you are on a special diet, or have food allergies, Health Freak provides a range of foods that you can eat – Vegan, Vegetarian, Paleo, Dairy Free, Gluten Free – there’s something for everybody.

With a range of healthy burgers, salads, dessert bowls, juices, smoothies and fries the menu is tempting for the dietary-challenged customer, and it’s nice to read it and think “oh I can eat almost everything here” rather than the regular process of picking just one or maybe two items that fit one’s brief. Options include Pulled pork BBQ jackfruit burger, the ultimate vegan burger, sweet potato fries which can be loaded with jackfruit, keto waffle egg benedict, dairy free ice cream, natural iced teas, acai bowls, caffeine free lattes…the list goes on.

We popped in to the Joondalup branch for a healthy treat and chose a peanut butter slice:

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This was nice but could have been a bit sweeter – agave syrup is a good sweetener. The peanut section was quite thick and crumbly and could have been nicer to eat if it was softened with maybe some vegan cream substitute. The chocolate a biscuit layers were very nice.

We also chose a chocolate brownie square:

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This was a nicer texture than the peanut butter slice and much more chocolatey but had a bit of a bitter aftertaste.

I chose a red apple tea which consisted of rooibos tea with freshly squeezed apple and mint. It was nice, but I didn’t get much of the tea flavour.

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All in all the healthy treats were okay, but they also didn’t blow us away, and it was quite expensive – not surprising really, because healthy does seem to equate to costly.

I will probably try Health Freak again for a main course – stay tuned.

Click here to find out more

Ricotta Pancakes

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I love a pancake, and I am always on the lookout for new pancake recipes. This one creates quite a thick batter and the amounts given are for one big one or two smaller ones. This one has no wheat flour, it is made with coconut flour and ricotta with some psyllium husk to make it light and fluffy. I topped mine with some frozen berries that I heated with a little water, a scoop of coconut yoghurt, honey and a sprinkle of granola.

Recipe – mix all the ingredients up in a jug or bowl:

60g ricotta
1 egg
1 dessertspoon of psyllium husk
1 dessertspoon of coconut flour
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 dessertspoon of shredded coconut (optional)
a little water or soy milk

Heat a little oil in a frying pan (I use vegetable or groundnut oil), then scoop the batter into the pan (it will be too thick to pour). Smooth it out with a spatula and heat on low  to medium heat for approx 5 minutes before flipping over and cooking for another 5 minutes.

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It looks quite thick but the inside is soft and light. Topping options are endless including nutella, strawberries, peaches, nuts, honey, agave syrup, yoghurt, and cream.

 

 

Fibber McGee’s, Leederville

Fibber McGee's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

As an ex UK resident, English born, I sometimes pine for a wonderful Sunday roast. I can cook lovely roasts at home, but sometimes I want to be the guest and have it cooked for me. We tried our local pub last year, but the carvery was dire, pre-cooked, pre-carved meats in metal containers – everything was overcooked and tasteless.

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I had seen Fibber McGee’s on several occasions, being a Leederville regular, but I didn’t realise that it was much more than a quaint Irish pub. Fibbers have their own organic farm, and they provide their own dry aged beef and organic produce for the restaurant.

The restaurant is an old fashioned room with leather seats with the homely feel of somebody’s lounge, but also very typical of an Irish pub that you would find in any town in Eire. The friendly staff are all Irish, and extremely helpful.

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For the Sunday roast we had the choice of beef (medium rare), lamb, or pork, and we chose the classic roast beef. Other options on the menu included chicken and leek pie, Irish breakfast and fish and chips. Fibbers also provide a range of veggie options on a separate menu.

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The beef was beautiful, sitting on top of a heap of stuffing, with a delightfully crispy but slightly stodgy Yorkshire pudding, perfectly cooked veggies and crispy tasty roast potatoes. The vegetables were firm enough to hold together but soft enough to slice easily with a knife, and the cauliflower was perfectly cooked with a lovely coating of cheese sauce. Our only disappointment was that they had run out of horseradish sauce.

We were offered the dessert menu, but refused on the basis that we were about to collapse into a food coma. The four dessert options were ice cream, sticky date pudding, banoffee pie, and chocolate brownie. I may have been tempted if there was a crumble option. We also had a very generous Entertainment book voucher, so got one of the main courses free.

Fibbers have an impressive wine list too – it’s not extensive but every choice is a good one, and when I return I will have a hard time choosing a wine to accompany the meal.

I will return, because that was a great Sunday lunch and I can’t wait to try some of the other menu options.

Click here to find out more about Fibber McGee’s

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