Monthly Review: March

Hi everyone,

This past month has been quite a hectic one and I have not had the chance to get out to wine and dine all that often. I did however still manage to come across some new favourite places and drinks over the course of the month. Hope everyone has had a good Easter and is welcoming the cooler conditions in the Southern Hemisphere, or the hopefully warming conditions in the Northern Hemisphere.

1. Favourite drink of the month?

I went to the Trustee Bar in Perth with my friend C earlier this month and we tried out some of their cocktails as well as their tasting plate. I really enjoyed their Cider Slider, pictured below. A full write up of the cocktails we tried and thr Trustee can be found in this post.

Cider Slider ($16).

Cider Slider ($16).

2. What has been the best value wine of the month?

Lab, 2010 ($10 at Liquorland). The full review of this wine can be found in this post.

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3. What has been added to my to-try wine list?

Talkavino perked my interest in trying Saperavi and Arneis varietals from their home regions in comparison to the Australian wines that I tried, especially as the Australian Saperavi from King River Estate was a favourite of mine on the night.

Sapaveri.

Saperavi.

4. What restaurants do I want to return to?

I went to Bad Apples Bar in Applecross last week for another Wine Century Challenge meet. While I was there I had a chance to try some items off their menu as well as the chance to eye off many other dishes that they offer. I was very impressed with what I tried and saw and will be back for sure. Full review will be up next week along with the wines sampled for the Wine Century Challenge.

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5. What was my favourite meal this month?

I haven’t eaten out all that often this month – I did however have lunch (finally) at the Pickled Fig in South Fremantle, the blog post for this meal is still in the works however this summery gnocchi dish was delicious and quite filling. I cannot wait to head back and try more items off their menu!

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Going Gnocchi with Mount Barker free range chicken

6. Upcoming events for next month?

Inaugural Food and Wine Event at Bad Apples Bar including Oakridge wines – April 8th.

Yelp’s Garden Party – April 13th (RSVP required).

Fine Food Western Australia (food and wine industry trade show event) – April 14th-16th.

Northbridge O-Day – April 21st.

The last Twilight Hawkers Market will occur on April 26th so If you have been wanting to go one Friday and have not done so – you have one month left!

7. Favourite wine packaging?

I know this may be cheating but does Sangria in a Teapot count? This is how I was presented with my Sangria that I ordered at Bobeche Bar in Perth. While it was a little lacking on the ‘punch’ that I like to have in a Sangria I cannot fault them on the presentation.

Sangria Teapot.

Sangria Teapot.

8. Best service?

Bad Apples wins for the best service hands down as their service was friendly and attentive even while the place had a line outside the door on a Wednesday night.

9. Restaurant I am most keen to try next month?

I am planning to visit Jamie Oliver’s new restaurant in the Perth CBD, Jamie’s in the next month or two. I will just need to arrange a booking as I am not the most patient person who can wait 2+ hours for a meal, which was the estimated wait time when Jamie’s had it’s soft opening just in time for the Easter long weekend. The menu for Jamie’s can be found here.

10. Wine Century Challenge.

Total: 44 varietals.

Favourite = Alicante Bouschet and Touriga Nacional

Until next time!

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George Street Bistro, East Fremantle

Hi everyone,

I finally got around to returning to George Street Bistro after my previous dining experience with them as part of my Wine Essential Course. BF and I returned last month on a cold Saturday and were greeted by friendly staff and a menu filled with warm and hearty dishes.

Steak.

Seared Sirloin Steak.

BF had the Seared Sirloin Steak which came with salad and chips. He seemed most impressed as it did not take him long to polish off the food on the plate. He’s also a little picky with how he likes his steaks to be cooked and this one came out to his satisfaction.

Pie.

Bistro Homemade Pie.

I had the Bistro’s Homemade Pie, which on that day was chicken in a tomato based sauce. It was a combination that I had never had before in a pie however it was one which I enjoyed. And the salad that came with it (there was also a choice for chips or mash) was fresh and delicious. With the turn of the weather I opted to have some tea as I had seen they had an extensive tea menu, in the end I opted for goof old English Breakfast. This was a very nicely brewed pot of tea.

Tea.

Tea for one.

I was impressed yet again with the food, the atmosphere and the staff. We were a little cold being seated by the open door on this cold day but this was something unavoidable when you turn up in the middle of lunch and along with everyone else wanting to sit inside.

Until next time!

George Street Bistro on Urbanspoon

Wine(s) of the Week: University (week 10)

Hi everyone,

When I sat down to write this blog and I wrote the title it came as quite a shock to myself that I have just finished my 10th week of graduate studies. It feels like so much has happened and yet it feels like little to no time has passed. I am sorry that this blog has had to go on the back burner for many weeks and some posts have felt a little rushed. I am slowly getting into the swings of the course and trying to stay on top of the readings, assignments and placement requirements.

Matso's Ginger beer.

Matso’s Ginger beer.

I have had a few cheeky drinks this week while doing my readings as it helped pass the time reading chapter upon chapter and a never ended stream of journal articles. I bought myself my annual 6-pack of ginger beer from Matsos (located and brewed in Broome, Western Australia) and for anyone from Western Australia if not Australia this is such a smooth and creamy ginger beer like no other, if only it was not priced so exorbitantly I would be able to buy it on a more regular basis ($28 for a 6-pack and $95 for a carton at Liquorland). I have also over the past month or so been buying different ciders for dad to try as he has been curious to try and find one which he really likes, currently his all-time favourite is Bulmers. This week I brought him home a 4-pack of Monteith’s Cider from New Zealand, which he found this cider to be very smooth he also found it to not be as ‘gritty’ as Bulmers and missing the final ‘punch’ that comes from this texture in the cider. I am quite a fan of Monteith’s for it’s smoothness and easy-drinking palate.

Monteith's Apple Cider.

Monteith’s Apple Cider.

This weekend I also caught up with some friends for a long overdue catch up for drinks and nibbles. We ended up at Bobeche in the city as I had heard of their teapot cocktails and was very keen to try them. This bar was located right next door to the Trustee, which I visited last week and reviewed here. Beboche had an intimate atmosphere and focused more on spirits and unique cocktails to highlight the spirits.

Jamsheed 2010 'Le Blonk Plonk'.

Jamsheed 2010 ‘Le Blonk Plonk’.

BF and I arrived early so he settled in with a pint of Millers Genuine Draft ($10.5) while I had a glass of Jamsheed 2010 ‘Le Blanc Plonk’, Victoria ($9 a glass). This wine is a blend of Riesling and Gewürtztraminer, and it became quite aromatic and I began to note a palate to the wine as it warmed up. It was a nice crisp wine and impressed me much more than last time I tried Gewürtztraminer. I was impressed with their use of different wine glasses depending upon what wine you ordered, even if they used a chemistry beaker to measure your wine.

Sangria Teapot.

Sangria Teapot.

When the rest of our group arrived we moved on to the cocktails, I shared a teapost of the Sangria with a friend which was fruity and well blended however there was little alcohol in the cocktail, most of it was ice, lemonade and fruit. The cocktails were all well blended and contained interesting combinations, however for the price you paid their size was tiny compared to the size of the cocktails next door at the Trustee. Below is a list of wine and cocktails that people in the group ordered, I heard only postive comments from the group with regards to both their food and wine, except for the portion sizes which was our only complaint.

NV, The Lane ‘Lois’, Blanc de Bland ($10 a glass)

Fraise Sauvage – Beefeater Gin, fresh lemon, house made strawberry cordial, sparkling wine ($19).

Saint Croix Fix – Cruzan Estate Dark 2YO rum, pineapple syrup, fresh lemon ($19).

Cameron’s Kick – Monkey Shoulder whiskey, Jameson’s Irish whiskey, orgeat syrup, fresh lemon ($19).

I personally was more impressed by the range and prices of the Trustee next door, however it was nice to see another new bar in Perth.

Until next time!

Bobeche on Urbanspoon

Farewell Lunch at Little Creatures, Fremantle

Hi everyone,

I was at Little Creatures a few weekends ago when the Chilli Festival was running to farewell a friend from university who was heading back home. After succeeding in finally finding a parking spot (The Chilli Festival sure seemed to be a hit with the traffic chaos and the lack of parking spots available in Fremantle and unfortunately the time I spent looking for parking was what I was hoping to use to check the festival out) we all settled in for our last meal all together.

Chorizo Pizza.

Chorizo, sweet corn and feta pizza ($22).

The chorizo pizza is a staple of mine and one I have ordered many times before at Little Creatures. This pizza did not dissapoint and had a nice balance between the spicy chorizo and the sauce, base and other toppings.

Lamb Pizza.

Harissa spiced lamb, melanzane, and feta pizza ($23).

I was interested in this pizza until we did a quick google to find out that melanzane was in fact eggplant. Those however who liked eggplant polished this pizza off very quickly. I did have a little bit of the lamb and it was nicely cooked and well seasoned.

Pumpkin Pizza.

Roast pumpkin, almond dukkah, and sage oil pizza ($19).

This pizza was surprising as it had a hint of sweetness about it. There was something missing personally with this pizza – one more topping (perhaps some protein or cheese) would have finished it off perfectly. Still an interesting and flavour-filled pizza that I would happily reorder again.

Chilli beef nachos, with guacamole ($23).

Chilli beef nachos, with guacamole ($23).

The nachos were personally for me one of the best that I have had when dining at Little Creatures, often I have been left underwhelmed by their nachos. The frites with aioli below is also a staple that must be ordered whenever you go to Little Creatures as they do not disappoint, we even ordered extra aioli and we discovered that it went very well with the crust from the pizzas.

Frites ($9.50).

Frites with aioli ($9.50).

The last dish ordered was the waffles with berry compote, syrup and ice-cream ($14). I unfortunately did not get a photo of the waffle. While we were all a little upset that the apple and rhubarb had been replaced by berries however once the dish had arrived and we’d all had a piece we took those words back – even with the berries the waffles at Little Creatures is to die for!

There was also some of the famous ‘Pipsqueek’ apple cider ($9.80 for a pint). While I had a glass of the 2011 Bellarmine Riesling from Pemberton ($9).

Bellarmine Riesling ($9).

Bellarmine Riesling ($9).

Another meal at Little Creatures that I was impressed with, my other review of their food can be found here. The complete drinks and food menu for Little Creatures can be found here.

Until next time!

Little Creatures Brewery on Urbanspoon

Maharaja Indian Restaurant, Nedlands

Hi everyone,

Last month BF and I finally got around to using a voucher I had purchased to dine at Maharaja Indian Restaurant on Stirling Highway in Nedlands. The voucher entitled us to an entree, main and desert each of our choosing along with a bottle of wine. The restaurant was quite overwhelming in regards to the decor when we first entered. We did not stop looking around at all the gold and grandness of the furnishings for the first few minutes until the wine arrived and we decided to move onto selecting our dishes off the menu.

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While the voucher said we were entitled to a ~$20 bottle of Margaret River red or white, instead we were presented with a bottle of Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc. I did not complain when they brought out the wine as this is a wine I have been meaning to try for far to long. The wine was delightfully refreshing and crisp. I was really amazed at how my palate has shifted with regards to Sauvignon Blancs and how long I had put off trying some of the more well known names at work. While we sipped away at the wine we looked over the menu and selected an entree each from what we were allowed as well as a main each off the menu.

Entree

I ordered an entree of mix samosas while BF ordered the onion bhaji. The samosas were a little more spicy than I had anticipated but were still nice, there was enough filling to pastry. The onion bhaji’s were something I had never tried before but something I ended up enjoying. BF and I were still trying to get through these filling entrees when our mains came out.

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Meat and Vegetarian Samosas ($8.90)

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Onion Bhaji ($8.90)

Mains

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As part of the meal voucher we were provided with a selection of condiments along with a large serving of Poppadoms between the entrees and mains.

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Beef Vindaloo ($24.90)

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Chicken Tikka Masala ($24.95)

While BF enjoyed my chicken dish I wasn’t a big fan and I think it came down to the coriander, I do not think it is a spice I enjoy at all and it is a shame as I did not realise this until after trying the dish. BF’s meal was delicious and not too overly spicy for either of us. The portions were generous and more than either one of us could finished on our own.

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Naan ($4.95)

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Rice ($6)

With the mains we had a serving of rice and naan to accompany it. The rice was cooked perfectly however the naan was only average, I feel that I have had better naan in different Indian restaurants across Perth.

We were entitled to desert as well with the voucher however by the end of the mains we felt absolutely stuffed and the dishes looked like they had barely been touched so we decided to pass on that portion of the voucher. I would happily return for the food as I think the portions are more than generous for the prices and for what BF and I had to share could have easily been stretched across one or two extra people. Service was attentive and not overbearing.

Until next time!

 Maharaja Indian Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Wine(s) of the Week: University (week 9)

Hi everyone,

 This week BF and I shared the bottle of wine we picked up at The Gourmet Escape last year. We had enjoyed the range avaialble for tasting at the Devils Lair stall, however it was the Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc blend that stood out for us and we ended up taking a bottle of the 2011 vintage home with us. On the nose the Sauvignon Blanc showed lychee notes while the Chenin Blanc brought out sherbet notes. The Sauvignon Blanc brought a tropical element to the wine’s palate while the Chenin Blanc brought some sweetness and rounded out the palate. It was a blend which BF and I would be happy to try again.

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I also caught up with girlfriend C for cocktails and nibbles before we caught up with some other friends to see The Importance of being Earnest at the theatre. We ended up at the Trustee sharing a Charcuterie Plate ($32.50) while having a few cocktails.

Tasting plate and cocktails from The Trustee.

Tasting plate and cocktails from The Trustee.

For the cocktails, I started with a Berry Cobbler (vodka, house white, gomme, apple juice, white peach puree, berries, and soda water – $15) and followed with a Cider Slider (Contreau, pomme de vert, St Germaine, orange juice, Monteith’s cider – $16). C had a Trustee Sunrise (sake, vodka, honey water, lemon juice, elderflower – $18) which she enjoyed so much she ended up having a second one. We thoroughly enjoyed the cocktails and the tasting plate was delicious! A full list of the wines and cocktails available at the Trustee can be found here.

Berry Cobbler ($15).

Berry Cobbler ($15).

Cider Slider ($16).

Cider Slider ($16).

Trustee Sunrise ($18).

Trustee Sunrise ($18).

BF and I went out to Fremantle for lunch yesterday and I ended up suggesting The Picked Fig at South Beach after having eyed it off for too long. To go with our lunches BF had a Pear Cider from Little Creatures while I had a ‘Fruit Fetish’ Juice consisting of orange, pineapple and passionfruit. The cider impressed BF, however while it did grow on me I was still not overly impressed with it, I had hoped for more fruit flavour in the cider.

Little Creature's Pear Cider.

Little Creature’s Pear Cider.

'Fruit Frenzy' Juice.

‘Fruit Fetish’ Juice.

I do apologise for not having posted and blog posts this week. I have a backlog of restaurant reviews to write up and will hopefully get some out this coming week. I hope everyone has had a fantastic week and weekend.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Until next time!

The Trustee Bar and Bistro on Urbanspoon

Wine(s) of the Week: University (week 8)

Hi everyone,

I caught up with some friends to farewell one who is leaving back to Norway. We went to a regular haunt of ours – Little Creatures in Fremantle for a meal. With my meal I decided to have a glass of the Bellarmine 2011 Riesling from Pemberton. It was an ok Riesling for me, with its zesty, fresh, vibrant and a clean mineral finish on the palate however I would have loved to see more stone fruits on the nose and palate as I love and cannot resist a Riesling with apple flavours.

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The other wine I tried this past week was a new red wine at work from Portugal called ‘Lab’. I was also drawn to this wine as it had two new grape varietals for me (Castelão and Touriga Nacional) in it along with Shiraz and Tempranillo (Tinta Roriz). At only $10 a bottle I was prepared to give it a go, and even if it wasn’t that great I would be two grapes closer to my 100 needed for the Wine Century Challenge.

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I was actually pleasantly surprised with the wine. I used my Vinturi to really open up the wine and besides it being a a little more sharp than smooth at the start before mellowing out towards the back of the palate. This wine is punching well above it’s price bracket and one that I would happily recommend!

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My last ‘drink’ for the week was some tea from T2. I was given a gorgeous tea cup by a friend as a graduation gift and figured it was only fitting to whip out the fancy teas again to test out the cup. I have retried the English Breakfast which I tried many weeks ago and still love as a hearty tea to start my morning.

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T2 English Breakfast.

I also decided to give Earl Grey tea another go after having been turned off it when I over brewed it a few too many times while backpacking Europe. I  must say it was much better than I remembered and quite a relaxing cup of tea over the weekend.

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Until next time!