Sunday, 22 May 2011

Cantina 663 again!

Living just around the corner, we grab breakfast at Cantina 663 at least once a week, and we scored it 17/20 last year. Just so you know, it's as good now as it was back then.

This morning we were greeted with a new breakfast menu. Try this: roasted mushrooms, pine nuts, raisins & parmesan. It comes with probably the best-tasting bread you will ever taste - grilled with olive oil. The whole thing was amazing & perfectly balanced; it was unbelievably good. Really. Renee had her usual - what is probably Perth's best scrambled eggs.

Actually, don't come. It's hard enough to find a seat on the weekend as is. Forget I said anything.

Mela, Perth

This weekend we joined the magnet hunt on William Street in Northbridge and Perth, where you can collect magnets from 24 boutique stores, galleries and bars in the area in honour of the 2011 WAMI Festival. The hunt started yesterday (21 May 2011) and is continuing all week. We headed down early to grab our magnets, but pretty soon started to get grumpy-hungry, and knew that we needed some brunch food soon! Luckily our favourite Indian restaurant was located in the heart of the magnet-hunting area!

What's that you say? Indian for breakfast? Well actually, yes! Mela offers breakfast and chaat (Indian stall food) on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays between 11:30am - 4:30pm. I've included a picture of the menu here so that you can all get your Google on because if you are anything like us, you have no idea what any of these dishes are!

After having the entire menu explained to us, we picked a number of dishes at random. We chose the mixed chaat (little dough parcels covered in tonnes of delicious sauces), dhai puri (egg-shaped shells filled with chickpea, chutney & yoghurt), channa bathura (light fried bread with chickpea curry) and aloo paratha (bread stuffed with potato curry).

channa bathura 
dhai puri at the front, and mixed chaat at the back
aloo paratha
It was all delicious! Think fresh, light and flavoursome vegetarian curries combined with coriander and yoghurt, soft and fluffy pastry - yum! And the best thing is that you can try several dishes at once and share them round. We spied several dishes which we didn't order today but would come back for!

mango lassi
And of course what is a good Indian meal without a mango lassi? We both had one and can report that they are very very good! Since chaat can be messy, we put Tallulah in a high chair so that she could continuously throw her toys to the ground, but it meant that we could both eat at the same time. Neither of us were willing to let the food sit there uneaten! We left with a couple of chocolate barfi sweets to eat on the rest of our magnet hunt!

The Verdict:
Lassi  4/5
Chaat (the meal!)  4/5
Service  3.5/5
Atmosphere  4/5
Total  15.5/20

Baby T's score:
 3.5/5 (With it being easy to get in and out, Tallulah was quite happy with the experience)

Would we go again: Yes, there are plenty more chaat delights we would come back for!

Mela Indian Sweets & Eats on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 21 May 2011

The Attic, Fremantle

Follow the bicycles and chalk pavement signs and you will find yourself at The Attic Cafe in Fremantle, one of the coolest places we have been to for a long while. Attic has a counter on the ground floor - all of the seating, except for a small table on the street, is on the next level accessed by a narrow flight of stairs. There are old-school seats, couches and tables like my grandparents have, combined with floor lamps and what can best be described as "suitcases and lights hanging from a rope" which created a great dimly lit vintage vibe, much like an Attic. Funny that! A row table lines the edge of the void, where you can view the counter below - this is where we sat since all the other places were taken! We grabbed on tight to Tallulah and made sure she didn't fling any objects over the edge!
avocado, white cheese & lime on toast

shakshouka with mondo chorizo, tomato reduction & black olives

Suitably impressed with the ambience we had a look at the menu. They offer a number of not-your-usual-breakfast items like thyme-roasted mushroom & herbed labne on toast ($12). I liked the look of the green wrap with eggs, spinach & avocado ($12) but they had run out (it was busy!) so I instead ordered avocado, white cheese & lime on toast ($12). The Attic has three different types of shakshouka and Renee chose it with mondo chorizo, tomato reduction & black olives. Both of our dishes were good, real good. My toast came with spinach & mint which brought it to life. Renee thought her spinach was unnecessary and put it on the side. The winner with both dishes was the bread, which might have been a rye sourdough? Whatever it was, it was soft & thick as well as tasty. We also noted on their menu that they also do gluten-free option.

masala chai

soy flat white
The Attic have a few fresh juices available. They also have a pot of masala chai and invite you to have a taste test which we did. It was good and nicely spiced, and I can certainly imagine having a large mug of it on a cold wintry day. We instead had our regulars, the soy flat whites, which could have been slightly more soy-creamy but otherwise was a well-made coffee, and we both went back for seconds! Renee thought hers was perfect!

chocolate & beetroot cake
We couldn't leave without having some cake, and so we grabbed a slice of chocolate & beetroot cake. It was good, but we regretted not getting some cream to accompany it!

The Verdict:
Coffee  4/5
Eggs (the meal!)  3.5/5
Service  3.5/5
Atmosphere  4.5/5
Total  15.5/20

Baby T's score:
 3.5/5 (Tallulah loved to look through the grating to the counter below, especially when her dad was ordering!)

Would we go again: Yes!


The Attic Fremantle on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Piccos Kitchen, Maylands

This Easter we decided to check out Piccos Kitchen, on Peninsular Road in Maylands, nearish to Tranby House. It looked a bit strange being in a group of shops, set above the carpark, but its the inside that counts, right? But we've learnt not to judge a book by its cover! Lots of locals seemed to drop by for takeaway coffees. However we were perhaps the youngest people by maybe by 30 years or so.

Piccos had a good menu with bacon, eggs & Brie butty ($12.50) and roast field mushroom w. rocket, feta & tomato confit ($16.50).Renee started off with her usual soy flat white which she didn't finish as her meal was intense. I felt like a chai tea, which was good.

Food-wise, I chose traditional organic porridge with stewed rhubarb & raw honey ($12.50) - this was ok but a little bit gluggy - it needed more honey to make it palatable. Renee had an Easter moment and decided that the hazelnut pancakes, chocolate sauce and vanilla poached pear ($15). This was a pure chocolate indulgence - the plate had heaps of sauce, and the pancakes were full of the same sauce. It completely overpowered everything and it was impossible to work out what the flavour of the pancakes were - the sauce could have been in a jug instead. The pear was cold; Renee thought it might have been nicer warm. It was one of those meals that sounded good on paper but in reality didn't really work. It was definitely more a dessert than a breakfast dish!

Piccos' is probably a good takeaway coffee place but the food wasn't for us. Overall, we thought that Piccos was your average fare breakfast - there are better places to go for breakfast on 8th Ave for a similar price.
Renee's hazelnut pancakes

My organic porridge with stewed rhubarb and raw honey

The Verdict:
Coffee  2.5/5
Eggs (the meal!)  2.5/5
Service  3.5/5
Atmosphere  3/5
Total  12/20

Baby T's score:
 4/5 (Piccos is nice and spacious with lots of room for Baby T, the staff loved her too! It would be tricky getting a pram to the raised entry from the carpark though)

Would we go again: No. Don't stop riding here, continue onto Claisebrook!

Piccos Kitchen on Urbanspoon