Friday, 26 March 2010

Sayers, Leederville

Ross' breakfast

Renée's breakfast

Flat white and iced mocha

A while ago I claimed that Cantina 663 had the best iced mocha in town. This verdict was challenged by those who claimed that it was Sayers in Leederville that had this city's best iced coffee. The gauntlet had been thrown down. We never back out of a challenge, and so the iced drink challenge is on - allez cuisine!

Sayers was busy - even on the Friday morning that we went. Located on Carr Place to the right of the Leederville Hotel, the café has taken up the entire passageway to the side of the building, as well as the footpath in front of the shop next door. We chose a table in the passageway (and when I say "chose", I actually mean we picked the only vacant one!) and set about the difficult task of choosing one of the many delectable-sounding items from the menu. And Sayers makes it hard, with tasty-sounding items like wagyu beef baked egg, oven roasted tomato, spring onion & cheddar open omelette, lemon scented rocket ($19) and spicy Italian sausage, scrambled egg, wilted spinach, toasted extra virgin olive oil ciabatta ($19). Eventually we chose, with Renée having the claypot of Sayers coriander & cumin beans, babganoush, poached egg & toasted rosemary oiled Turkish bread ($14.50) and the Turkish bread crostini, herb & feta crusted field mushroom, crushed potato cake bacon, poached egg & spicy red pepper relish ($19.50) for me, and we sat back and enjoyed the comfortable surrounds of the café.

The food, when it came out, was phenomenal! Mine hit the spot, with the relish perfectly complementing the mushroom and potato cake; the poached egg oozed over the delicious Turkish break. Bacon is always a funny item and the best places often fail at cooking it, but not Sayers. Renée loved her hotpot, and claimed that it the dish had the best beans she had ever tasted in Perth! And the bread that came with the meal was a delicacy in itself. Both dishes were exquisitely presented. We made a resolution there and then to come back and try every dish on the menu!

And now for what you have been waiting for - the drink challenge! And with that, despite the anticipation and suspense, it was not much of a challenge with the iced mocha looking and tasting pretty similar to what you would get anywhere else in Perth. No contest. We also had a flat white and can report that it was quite delicious, proving that Sayers can live up to its reputation of having one of the best coffees in Perth. Interestingly, Renée spied the delivery of the juices, definitely looking like they were freshly squeezed by their supplier, and no doubt would have been quite delicious. Compare this to a tapas bar I was at last night where the supermarket-bought Berri juices were brought in by one of the staff!

The Verdict

Coffee 4/5 (point off for the iced mocha not being European enough for me!)
The Eggs (the meal!) 5/5
Service 4.5/5
Atmosphere 4.5/5

Overall 18/20

Would we go again?
again and again until we die


Sayers on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Coode Street Cafe, Mount Lawley

Our drinks! (yes... a new iphone app which I am enjoying!)

Ross' meal (haha ok not really as he failed to take a pic so I found a random bean pic!)

My AMAZING grilled peaches with ricotta and fig toast

We thought we'd give you a double whammy this weekend! This morning we headed over to back streets of Mount Lawley to Coode Street Cafe and boy was it PACKED! We luckily nabbed a super seat outside in the shade! The staff at Coode Street Cafe are really friendly and Ross and I agreed the suburbs would be alot more appealing if on every corner there was a cafe like this!

The menu has an extensive range of cold drinks from fresh juices, smoothies, fruit frappes and milkshakes! We decided to forgo our regular coffees and opt for a cold beverage. Ross ordered The Energizer ($7) which was beetroot, carrot and ginger which was quite tangy! I ordered a coffee milkshake ($5.50) which was okay but I like my cold drinks really really cold and this wasn't cold enough!

The menu is really appealing with lots of great dishes which I want to go back and try like Muesli Trifle ($10) which is toasted muesli, mixed berries and yogurt, smoked salmon bagel with scrambled eggs ($18) and porridge with fruit and cinnamon sugar ($10) which would be amazing in winter! I chose grilled peaches with ricotta on fig and fennel toast ($11.50) and I actually could not fault looked like a masterpiece and tasted SO good and is now one of my favourite brekky meals- super fresh and delicious. Ross ordered the gourmet baked beans with mushrooms, capsicum and tomato ($11) which failed to float his boat. I think compared to mine any dish would have looked average! He's main complaint was that he couldn't find the mushrooms in the beans and the bread resembled Tip Top...shame!

Overall Coode Street Cafe is a great place. The atmosphere is a mix of neighbours, bike riders, families, mother's groups, young couples, groups of girlfriends so really anyone will love it!

The Verdict

Coffee 3/5 (well, juices!)
The Eggs (the meal!) 3.5/5 (I gave it a 4 but Ross gave it a 3 so a happy medium!)
Service 4/5
Atmosphere 3.5/5

Overall 14/20

Would we go again?
Yes for the Grilled Peaches!


Coode St Cafe on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Source Foods, Highgate

Fair-Trade Organic Coffees

Rénee's breakfast

Ross' breakfast

This morning we had only an hour to spare. Source Foods, on the corner of Beaufort Street and Brisbane Street, is one of the few places midway between our house and Renée's shop, so it was my suggestion that we go there for our breakfast fix.

Source is an eco-café. If its organic, vegan, fair trade, gluten free or generally sustainable food that you're after, Source are sure to have an option for you. Their menu comes with a legend - "O = at least 70% organic," "V = vegetarian," etc. Which is all very well if the food is up to scratch. They offer a range of wraps and rolls, and their breakfast menu is simple with beans and toast ($9.50), eggs on toast with hollandaise and spinach ($16), and Renée's choice of eggs on toast ($9.50) with a side of beans ($3). Mine was the most interesting looking item on the menu - mushroom crostini which is spinach and sautéd mushrooms on toast with hommus ($14). Mushrooms and hommus - interesting..

Actually it went well together. The hommus gave some nice flavour to the mushrooms which were otherwise done simply with little adornment. The meal looked good on the plate, and tasted good too. The only criticism from my part was that the liquid in the dish made the toast a little soggy - but only a little. Renée's eggs (poached of course!) were done nicely, and were rich in colour. But the letdown of the meal were the beans, which had a Mexican flavour! And that is probably the crux of Source's problems, that their critical choice of ingredients means that their dishes are sometimes done a little too simple, with very-little use of herbs and spices that can bring a dish to life. This also means that their ingredients sometimes double up, and Renée noticed that nachos were also available on the menu. Breakfast beans and Mexican beans are two different things!

The coffees (fair-trade organic Tiger Mountain) were ok, but only once at least two teaspoons of sugar were added. We don't really understand why the ethically-sound qualities of the coffee produces more bitter but otherwise drinkable flat whites, and if anyone knows the answer we'd love to know!

We sat outside for our breakfast. This end of Beaufort Street does not have as much people-watching action, so we were left with the noise from the car traffic to contend with. Our decision to sit outside was based on the inside being fairly warm. The warmth would have come from the kitchen, and i'm not sure why Source haven't installed some screens to try and contain the heat in the kitchen. Some more open windows would have improved the air flow no doubt. The simple furniture did not add to the general ambiance of Source.

Altogether, Source Foods was a bit of a disappointment, particularly as their ethos and focus on quality has the potential to produce a far better breakfast experience.

We were excited to see that Source Foods has a new neighbour - the Beaufort Street Steakhouse. I love their cow motif!

The Verdict

Coffee 2.5/5 (they score points on ethical grounds)
The Eggs (the meal!) 2.5/5
Service 4/5
Atmosphere 2/5

Overall 11/20

Would we go again?
Maybe for some takeaway eco-rolls


Source Foods on Urbanspoon

Friday, 12 March 2010

Moore & Moore, Fremantle

Back Courtyard

Delicious Coffee!

Ross' Creamed Spinach & Poached Eggs (haha and lotsa roquette!)

Roquette Bruschetta with chorizo, caramelized onion and tomato

Today we were both super lucky to have this scorching Friday off from work, so we decided to drive to Fremantle to visit a favourite haunt of ours, Moore & Moore Café in the Moores Building. We love the laid-back vibe of Fremantle and try and spend as much time as possible here! One day we will make the move to this lovable portside town- this will make Ross very happy as he is a Freo boy at heart! But for now we will just dine at their yummy restaurants and drink at their fun bars and pubs.

The people who run Moore & Moore are super cool, they are all so friendly and goodlooking! Set in the Moores Bulding which is a beautiful heritage building which houses a contemporary art gallery on Henry Street in the heart of Fremantle. You order at the counter and are given one of their strange table numbers made out of old bike parts and french counting cards! Today we ordered the following: Ross went for the creamed spinach with poached eggs, roquette and Parmesan ($16) and I ordered roquette bruschetta with chorizo, feta, caramelized onion and tomato with a balsamic dressing ($14.90) and we both ordered flat whites. The menu has a number of classic dishes which have been improved with fresh, local produce like Moore&Moore Little Pot ($16.50-which is a dipping pot filled with tomato, onion, egg, chorizo with bread) and French Toast with strawberries and banana and honey mascarpone ($16.50)

We chose a spot on a communal table in the large shady courtyard which is immediately relaxing and cool. We usually come on the weekend when its filled with lazy locals but today it was filled with uni students and quite busy. Ross and I would have LOVED to go to Notre Dame, not only is it beautiful but its in the hub of Freo and you could go for coffee and lunch at the million of Freo cafes-jealous! (we both went to Curtin and its pretty much in the middle of nowhere!)

Our coffees came out quickly and were pretty great, smooth and creamy! Before we had taken a sip out came our meals which looked fresh and very appealing! I can report my dish was fantastic- and the perfect mix of tang and freshness! The chorizo was a highlight! My only criticism is that the smear of extra balsamic was probably not needed as it was already generously dressed. Ross didn't speak to me until his plate was clean so that means it was really delicious! I tasted some of his nutmeg creamed spinach and it was good. We stayed for a little while reading the paper and hanging out- it's the type of place you can do this and not feel rushed-which is nice.

Overall, Moore & Moore is great and we'll be back for sure! We love the service, the fresh quality meals and the delicious coffee. Thanks Moore & Moore!

The Verdict

Coffee 4/5
The Eggs (the meal!) 4/5
Service 4/5
Atmosphere 4/5

Overall 16/20

Would we go again?
YES!!! We heart you Freo!

Moore & Moore on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Il Circolo, North Perth

Renée's breakfast - eggs & bacon al circolo

Ross' breakfast - asparagi alla Fiorentina

Coffees & Orange Juice!

Today we visited our favourite street in North Perth and treated ourselves to one of the newer cafés in Perth - Il Circolo. Sitting opposite the Rosemount Hotel its immediate competitors include Milkd and The Pantry Door.

Not that the competition worries Il Circolo - with its Florentine cuisine and quirky old-school wooden school seats and tables Il Circolo will always provide people with a reason to check it out. We arrived just before the end of breakfast at 11:30am, and as all the tables were taken we sat on the low cushioned bench next to the front window. The low table presented a slightly interesting eating challenge, but we managed fine!

The blackboard menu contained items like funghi alla funghetta (think lots of mushrooms - $12). I had the asparagi alla Fiorentina ($12.50) and Renée chose the bacon & eggs al circolo ($12). The lunch menu looked interesting too, with tortelli being one of the dishes on offer - we will have to come back for that! The food was straight forward, but delicious. The asparagus was cooked well, and the borlotti beans on Renée's plate were flavoursome. The crusty toast was cut thinly enough so that it was easy to eat (many a time I have had to cut through 5cm thick crusts, which just gets very tiring!) In fact the toast itself, served on a wooden board, is a rewarding meal in itself. The only disappointment were the poached eggs (which we both had), which although rich in colour, were small and hard.

We both had flat whites that were good, and though they probably wouldn't win any awards they still manage to beat the coffees served in most cafés. Renée also had an orange juice which was tasty, but out of a Goulburn Valley bottle.

Il Circolo also offers some tasty looking cakes. We finished off with a lemon and rosemary slice ($6) which was moist and delicious and the highlight of our meal - yum!

But the most irritating thing about Il Circolo (meaning "the culture" in Italian) is its name - its completely forgettable, and would be mispronounced by 95% of Perthites including Renée who struggles with the name EVERY time calling it "ill circle-o" (it should be said "ill cheer-kolo")! And when said correctly, you kind of sound like a bit of a tosser.

If you can forget about the name (easily!), then Il Circolo is definitely well worth visiting. In fact it has received a rave review from a native Florentine - well I think it's good; I can't read Italian all that well!

The Verdict

Coffee 3/5
The Eggs (the meal!) 3/5
Service 4/5
Atmosphere 3.5/5

Overall 13.5/20

Would we go again?
Yep but perhaps for cake or the tortelli!

Website: could not find one!

Il Circolo on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Dim Sim Café, Northbridge

BBQ Pork Buns

Sticky Rice

Prawn & Chive Dumplings

Rice Flour Rolls & Steamed Greens with Oyster Sauce

Egg Custard Tarts

I grew up eating dim sum (or yum cha which means 'drinking tea' and is used to describe the whole dining experience) which I guess for a white girl living in the burbs was pretty 'crazy'. My Uncle Jim used to travel to Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore all the time and thought he would culture his super-white niece and nephew by frequently taking us out for sushi (in the 80's kids didn't like seaweed!), Asian noodles and, of course, dim sum. He use to take my family out on a Sunday at 11:30am and my brother and I used to LOVE going, because seriously, what's not to like - lazy Susans, chopsticks and steam baskets - it was novel and totally fun! My brother and I were suckers for the pineapple custard buns and the pork dumplings with the little red blob on top (yeah, we were like 7 years old so we didn't actually know the proper names!)

Ross and I are of course big fans of dim sum! We are always trying different places, so this morning we decided to try out Dim Sim Café (next to Icey-Ice) on William Street in Northbridge. Dim Sim Café is owned by the people who ran Hoi's Kitchen which used to be a renowned dim sum institution until it closed in 2006. I am pleased to report Dim Sim Café is just as amazing!!!

We were a bit early this morning as I had to open the shop so it was quiet and really easy to get a table. Usually at around 11:30am there is a massive crowd out the front waiting for tables! We started with some Chinese tea which was delicious (note: I love their rectangular tea cute!). We picked the following dishes: BBQ pork buns, sticky rice, steamed prawn & chive dumplings, steamed greens with oyster sauce, rice flour rolls with pork, and egg custard tarts...phew sounds like a lot but its not!

Everything was so fresh and the highlight was the pork which is usually a fluoro-red colour but Dim Sim Café uses a deep rich brown mixture and was quite amazing. My favourite all-time dumpling is the prawn and chive and I am pleased to say it was magnificent!

The service was really professional and since there was only a few tables of people they were really attentive. The decor was simple but really that kind of thing isn't really important as dim sum is a tradition for families to get together and eat and share each other company which I think is really nice :)

Overall we'll definitely go back to Dim Sim Café perhaps with my brother and mum and to try out the squid tentacles- yum!

P.S: I was away in Sydney last week so sorry there was no post! Going out for brekky by your lonesome is just not as fun!

The Verdict

Chinese Tea 4/5
The Eggs (the meal!) 4/5
Service 4/5
Atmosphere 3/5

Overall 15/20

Would we go again?
We'll be back with our families in tow!

Dim Sim Café, 297 William Street, Northbridge WA 6003

T: (08) 9328 9388

Dim Sim cafe on Urbanspoon