Sunday, 29 June 2014

Noodle Forum, Perth, Western Australia (Alissa and Don Eat Australia)

Though I'm glad I don't have to face the stress of peak hour traffic, there are times I wish I worked in the Perth CBD. With Alissa usually working on Saturdays and many restaurants closed on Sundays, many of the more casual eateries on our Perth CBD wishlist are a real challenge to get to. For this reason, Alissa having a Saturday off from work was an opportunity we just had to make the most of, and we went straight to the top of our list with a long awaited lunch at Noodle Forum.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Formosa Vegetarian Eating House, Kardinya, Western Australia (Alissa and Don Eat Australia)

At the start of June, Alissa and I had the idea that we'd spend the month visiting as many of the vegetarian restaurants in Perth as we could fit in. One thing I'd noticed was that other than places like The Raw Kitchen which have crossed over into the collective consciousness, there is a great dearth of vegetarian restaurant coverage by mainstream food bloggers in Perth, with vegan lifestyle blogs largely being your only hope of finding interesting vegetarian places. I'm definitely not a vegetarian, but as an omnivore in the true sense of the word (ie not a carnivore who is a reluctant vegetable eater) I do feel its important that such restaurants get some coverage by non-vegetarians.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Bollywood Spices, North Perth, Western Australia (Alissa and Don Eat Australia)

Whenever I get back from India, I always feel like I need a serious break from Indian food. Eating a food heavy on the ghee and spices everyday is decadent and delicious, but after a few weeks it becomes all a bit too much. Add to this the impossibility of finding Indian in Australia that can match the delicious seafood (and our all-time favourite naan) at Trishna and the refined quality of the food at Dum Pukht (our all-time favourite biryani) in Mumbai, and getting me to go out for Indian food can be a real challenge. With no dinner reservations on a Saturday night, and all the hip 'no reservation required' casual eateries likely to be packed, Alissa's suggestion that we visit Bollywood Spices seemed sensible. After some final cajoling to push me over the line, we hopped in the car and made the drive to North Perth for our first meal of Indian food since we left Mumbai last year.

Located in North Perth, Bollywood Spices is confusingly one of three Indian restaurants located near the intersection of Charles and Angove Sts, and unfortunately its not the most visible of the three from Charles St, as its the best rated on Urbanspoon. When Alissa lived on Angove, her and her housemates tried quite a few of the different Indian restaurants in the North Perth/Northbridge area, and Alissa and I felt that Bollywood Spices was probably our top pick. The restaurant is fairly small but it is nicely decorated and comfortable. When we arrived there were no other customers dining in. While there were more dine in customers as the even progressed, the kitchen was largely kept busy by a constant stream of take away orders.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Nine Fine Food, Highgate, Western Australia (Alissa and Don Eat Australia)

Alissa had had a stressful week. Having worked in theatre for the last few years, Alissa returned to her studies at the beginning of 2014 to become a secondary teacher. The week preceding had been her first exam week since high school (contemporary performance didn't have exams), so on the evening of her last exam I arranged a little light at the end of the tunnel in the form of a reservation at Nine Fine Food. Being massive fans of Japanese food, Nine had been on our list of places to check out for a long time. Located at the corner of Bulwer and Lake Sts in Highgate and serving impressive food for a decade, its easy to forget about an established gem like Nine with all the 'buzzy' new Japanese restaurant openings in the last few years (Nobu, Sushia and Marumo to name a few), however with its consistently strong ratings in the Good Food Guide the restaurant and chef Muneki Song have certainly earned their stripes amongst Perth's best.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Red Cabbage, South Perth, Western Australia (Alissa and Don Eat Australia)

Being foodies, Alissa and I need little in the way of an excuse to eat good food. It is therefore something of an imperative that when a good excuse does come along that the meal be a particularly special one. Alissa once said that degustation was her favourite 'cuisine', and to that end we've made it a mission to try some of Perth's best degustations whenever there is a special occasion. For Valentine's Day we opted to celebrate a few days earlier at Co-op Dining's Tuesday vegetarian degustation, and for Alissa's birthday we enjoyed a truly memorable meal at Restaurant Amusé. For my birthday, it was a toss up between Clarke's of North Beach and Red Cabbage, with the closer proximity of its South Perth location to our home and chef Scott O'Sullivan's win as The Good Food Guide's Chef of the Year tipping us towards the latter.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

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

I'm nothing if not an avid fan of Anthony Bourdain. I watch his food and travel documentaries religiously, and when in Hong Kong enjoyed being a fanboy as I ate the Michelin-starred dim sum of Tim Ho Wan and the incredible roast goose of Yat Lok - two eateries that featured in Hong Kong episodes of either No Reservations or the Layover. When writing about the inaugural Food Truck Rumble in April, I mentioned Roy Choi whose Korean/Mexican fusion food has made him and his food truck business Kogi stars of LA's culinary scene. With Perth becoming increasingly hip to global trends, I assumed the Korean/Mexican trend would eventually find its way here; little did I realise at the time of writing that it had already arrived just a few months before, and that it was called MIX. After being hipped to its existence by some friends, it didn't take long for Alissa and I to find our way down for a Friday night dinner.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

el Publico, Highgate, Western Australia (Alissa and Don Eat Australia)

After a weekend of celebratory birthday meals that included Red Cabbage, Dosukoi Ramen and Alfred's Kitchen, the actual Monday night of my birthday was, for me, surprisingly loose and unplanned. Our initial thought was to pop in for dinner at Bollywood Spices in North Perth, however feeling like a heavy curry was not really what we were in the mood for but unsure about what we should do instead, we decided to try our luck with a stroll down Beaufort St. Parking near Veggie Mama, the sight of Salsa's at the corner made us crave for some Mexican however wanting to aim for something a bit more special for a birthday meal, we decided the much higher regarded Mexican of the nearby el Publico was just the ticket.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

The Merrywell, Burswood, Western Australia (Alissa and Don Eat Australia)

Having little interest in gambling and a dislike for the stop-start nature of East-West travel along Canning Hwy, Alissa and I rarely find ourselves at Crown Perth. With so many exciting restaurants opening in the massive Complex Formerly Known as Burswood Casino in the last few years, our wishlist of places to try within Crown has only been growing and growing, so a day spent with some friends in nearby Kensington served as a perfect excuse to finally get around to ticking one of those establishments off the list. With no reservation on a Saturday night and our fine dining budget already allocated to other meals, the likes of Nobu, Rockpool and Bistro Guillaume would have to wait, with an early dinner of Dude Food at the Merrywell proving to be just the ticket. Having eaten the Mini Burgers from the Merrywell's Dude Food on Wheels food truck at the inaugural Food Truck Rumble, as well a recent meal at Perth burger institution Alfred's Kitchen, I was interested to see just how good the burgers of their brick and mortar establishment would be.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Varnish on King, Perth, Western Australia (Alissa and Don Eat Australia)

Before I even stepped through the minimally signed front door for the first time, Varnish on King had already impressed me. Being a typically congested Friday night in the Perth CBD, I had opted to use a combination of train and bicycle to get there instead of driving in. Unsure about the attitude Varnish might have towards cyclists parking their bikes out the front (even some casual restaurants in Melbourne can be a bit dickish in this regard), I decided to head a bit further down to the Wellington St end of King. As I was chaining up my bike, a man approached me.
"Hey mate, which way are you going?"
Uncertain of the guy's motives, I gestured vaguely up the street; "That way."
"There's been a lot of bike theft on King St recently. If you want you can chain your bike out the front of my bar and my bouncer can keep an eye on it for you."
The bar was of course Varnish on King. The guy (presumably the owner or manager) could not have known at the time that I was dining there, but the thoughtful and unpretentious attitude started everything off on the right foot, and set the tone for the entire evening.