Monday, 27 October 2014

MoG @ Home #2 - Eleven Madison Park (Ministry of Gluttony at Home)

Regular readers of the Ministry may have noticed an almost month-long gap between posts between mid September to mid October. There were several reasons for this absence; moving offices, three birthday parties and a weekend away down south certainly contributed somewhat to a lack of writing time, however the biggest reason for the break was this cookbook.

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Sunday, 26 October 2014

Riesling Rocks! Sunday Lunch - Burnt Ends x Restaurant Amusé, East Perth, Western Australia (Alissa and Don Eat Australia)

Alissa and I are big fans of Riesling. In spite of being a Noble Grape, its far less popular with the average Australian consumer than Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc; a real shame when you consider the quality of Australian Riesling and its flexibility in being able to produce wines that can range from deliciously crisp and dry to an excellent late harvest wine when under the influence of botrytis' noble rot.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Nao, Perth, Western Australia (Alissa and Don Eat Australia)

Recently, I was delighted to discover someone had done a Google search with the keywords being 'ministry of gluttony ramen'.
'We've made it!' I jokingly exclaimed to Alissa, 'our reputation precedes us!'
With this in mind, it was surprising then to discover it had been a long 5 months since our last ramen-related post, especially considering how strongly ramen figured up to that point. It's not like we haven't been eating ramen mind you - I eat a bowl at least once a fortnight thanks to our proximity to Kai in Bull Creek - however, timing and circumstance has prevented us from checking out many of the places we haven't been to, or to try some of our favourites yet again. 5 months is far too long a time, and a recent visit to Nao gave us an opportunity for atonement.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Arimia, Yallingup, Western Australia (Alissa and Don Eat Australia)

One of the peculiarities of Western Australia's public holiday calendar is how sparse the long weekends become in the second half of the year. While the first half of the year averages 1 a month, after WA Day its over three months before the Queen's Birthday long weekend provides some respite from the relentless working week. The Queen's Birthday then is a holiday we all look forward to, independent of whatever feelings we have for the monarchy. This Queen's Birthday weekend was particularly important for Alissa, as it marked the end of her prac for her university studies and a weekend down south celebrating the birthday of our friend Annaliese Hutchison. After heading down with our friend Ben on the Friday night, Alissa and I had some free time on the Saturday morning to explore. After tasting (and purchasing) wine from the cellar door at Flying Fish Cove, Alissa and I decided to stop in for lunch at the cellar door restaurant at the nearby Arimia Estate.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Neighborhood Pizza, Mount Hawthorn, Western Australia (Alissa and Don Eat Australia)

I've always felt that pizza is one of those dishes that is easy to make at a half-decent level, but difficult to do exceptionally well. Perhaps part of the difficulty is that the standards for judging pizza are wildly divergent; is it all about interesting and inventive toppings, or is it about getting the most perfect wood-fired base? Rarely do the two come together in the one pizza, as progressives like Little Caesar's tend to make incredible toppings on largely unremarkable bases, while in their attempts to not mess with the formula, conservative wood fire traditionalists tend to rely on age-old classic combinations rather than dare to try new things.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Darlings Supper Club, Northbridge, Western Australia (Alissa and Don Eat Australia)

Alissa and I are massive fans of Varnish on King. Ostensibly a whiskey and wine bar, the quality of the food that they serve is as impressive as their drinks list, with their Beef Short Ribs and Sweet Potato dishes being some of the most memorable and satisfying dishes we've eaten in the last year. So when we heard that Varnish's owner Andy Freeman had just opened an Asian Fusion venue in the form of Darlings Supper Club, we quickly added it to our list of places to check out. With a Truffle Degustation at 1907 and the final service of Dear Friends taking priority due to their limited nature, our planned dinner at Darlings fell by the wayside. Additionally, with early reviews a bit mixed, we decided to give them a bit of time to settle in before we finally popped in for an impromptu dinner in early September.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Matisse Beach Club, Scarborough, Western Australia (Alissa and Don Eat Australia)

It's been quite a while since Alissa and I headed out to Scarborough. When Alissa lived in North Perth, we used to include walks from City Beach to Scarborough as part of our regular walking route repertoire, however since moving to Bateman our visits have been much more sporadic. So when we received a surprise invite to attend a blogging event at Matisse Beach Club, we were delighted by the chance to return to an area of Perth we probably haven't visited for a year.

Located along the Esplanade in Scarborough's main beach precinct, the first thing one notices about Matisse is the immense scale and ambition of this undertaking;  the Beach Club is a massive venue, and one that bucks the trend of the small bar boom. The intimacy and often 'bespoke' and 'artisanal' nature of the best small bars make a persuasive argument that smaller is better, however Matisse avoids the impersonal pitfalls of larger venues by having one of the most eye-poppingly colourful and boldly futuristic venue designs I've seen in Perth.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Thach's Quan Restaurant (TQR), Nedlands, Western Australia (Alissa and Don Eat Australia)

When Alissa and I want a quiet Saturday night in but are ill-prepared or can't be bothered to cook, deciding on a place for an impromptu dinner out can be a real challenge. We invariably want something a bit more than just the regular local haunts, however having only just decided to eat out, the places that take bookings would be largely booked out already, and wait times at hip places with a strict walk-ins policy will be many times longer than the meal time itself. The last Saturday of August was one such night for us, and all the options didn't gel - I wasn't in the mood for pizza or Indian or Thai, and we'd just popped into Kai for ramen and udon the night before so Japanese was out of the equation. Having watched a Hanoi-oriented episode of Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations earlier in the day, I was craving Vietnamese food but couldn't be bothered facing the crowds in Northbridge or the long drive to our favourite Bun Cha restaurant Little Lang Nuong in Girrawheen. That's when I remembered Thach's Quan Restaurant (also known simply as TQR), a Vietnamese restaurant on Stirling Highway in Nedlands across the road from Pata Negra.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Jamie's Italian, Perth, Western Australia (Alissa and Don Eat Australia)

Jamie's Italy was the first cookbook I ever owned. My mother, ever the rabid fan of all things Jamie, originally bought the book for herself when it came out in 2005. I soon became clear however it was I who really took to actually cooking from it, and she told me that when I left home the book was mine to keep. While my favourite cookbooks these days are more challenging works by people like Heston Blumenthal, David Chang, Daniel Humm and Ben Shewry, I cannot stress how important Jamie's Italy was for me in becoming a better home cook - my ability to improvise a pasta dish out of what is in the fridge or make Carbonara or Trapanese Pesto from memory is indebted to the lessons I learnt cooking from Jamie's Italy.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Silver Sushi, Willetton, Western Australia (Alissa and Don Eat Australia)

Although Alissa and I have been living in the Bateman for almost two years, we have been slow to explore the suburban restaurants of Willetton. Perhaps owing to the close proximity of our regular local favourites Kai and Kitchen Inn combined with the fast food chain-centric nature of the shopping centre precinct but, Alissa and I rarely crossed Karel Ave until recently realising just how close Southlands really is. One of the instigators for this recent branching out was chasing down a lead we were given by a diner we met at Formosa Vegetarian Eating House in Kardinya, who strongly recommended that we try a Japanese restaurant in the Southlands complex called Silver Sushi.