Pizza by the meter @ Sartori Restaurant

I went to Sartori to celebrate my friend A’s birthday earlier this year. It was to be a delicious and very filling night!

The range of pizza options is more than enough to satisfy everyone and you can order a few different options of pizza toppings if you do order the pizza by the meter so it is near impossible to not please the entire crowd. I do not know what toppings I ended up trying as I think we ordered almost every one across the numerous meters of pizza that the group ordered. Even stuffed to the brim with all the pizza I found some room to split a desert with a fellow diner and it was not a mistake!

The atmosphere of the restaurant was inviting and while crowded made for a great night out with friends both new and old. And the tables are well set up for the long slabs of pizza, with plenty of room for plates and drinks with the pizzas occupying the elevated center spot on the table.

Overall I highly recommend this place and with it’s central location it makes for a great meal out in London whether as the highlight of the night or as a pre-show meal.
Sartori on Urbanspoon

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Public Holiday Lazy Lunch @ Pickled Fig, South Fremantle

A few months ago we had a long weekend in Perth and I ended up having a lazy lunch with a friend at the Pickled Fig in South Fremantle that weekend. When I arrived at the Picked Fig I ordered a cocktail, the Earl’s Punch  (earl grey tea, brandy, lemon juice). While sipping away at the cocktail I selected the conchiglioni for my main (pasta shells stuffed with chicken, pumpkin and brie with a smoked ham and fennel broth). The friend I was having lunch with ordered the burger for their main (grilled beef pattie topped with bacon, swiss cheese, rocket and roasted capsicum served with a side of wedges and aioli). The burger got a big thumbs up from my friend. I too enjoyed my dish but found it did not completely fill me up. Due to being still peckish after finishing the conchiglioni I ended up helping my friend out with their wedges as they found the burger to be quite filling.

After nibbling on a few wedges from the burger I decided to look over the desert menu. After a quick look at the menu I saw a dish that intrigued me – ooey gooey (served with coconut parfait and tea-scented cherries). I really enjoyed this dish, the different flavours worked very well together! To go with my desert I noticed a drink on their menu called Red espresso. I asked the waitress what it was and she explained it as a rooibos based caffine-free drink, flavoured with cinnamon and honey. I was sold and ordered myself a latte. I really enjoyed the red espresso and found out that I could purchase red espresso to brew at home at a shop in South Fremantle called The Little Concept.

Overall it was another delicious meal at The Pickled Fig. Christine who was our waitress on this day was also fantastic at dealing with us as well as all the other customers on this busy weekend. I will be back for sure!

The Pickled Fig Cafe on Urbanspoon

Birthday Lunch @ Taste and Graze, Mandurah

This past year has been a very hectic one with little time to stop and breathe. So when my birthday rolled around a few months ago I decided I wanted to go somewhere quiet and intimate for a meal with the family. Mandurah was a convenient location for people that weekend which led to me selecting Taste and Graze.

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I was one of the first to arrive and ordered a cocktail for while I waited. This cocktail consisted of pineapple juice, cointreau, vanilla galliano and from memory a dash of grenadine. It was a nice cocktail and I  enjoyed it.

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Food:

I only managed to snap a few pictures of the meals as many of us ended up ordering the same dish as well as it being hard to get a shot of everyone’s meals. The salmon was ordered by quite a few at the table, including myself. Overall I could not fault the salmon, what I was disappointed by was the small size of the dish and it’s lack of ability to fill me up. I felt that this dish needed more vegetables or a side to go with it and this comment was echoed by many others at the table. If we had known the portion sizes would be like this we could have ordered more, however the prices of the dishes did make us not feel that we had received the most satisfying meal that day. The burger on the other hand was a standout and those who ordered the burger felt well fed by the end of the meal.

Due to many of us still feeling quite hungry by the end of the mains we opted to get some deserts to share. We ordered a few plates of the sticky date pudding and lemon meringue pie. The deserts were nice but after the mains they again did not impress me greatly. I was also dissapointed when I asked about how many cups of tea the $6 tea made I was told in a rude tone from the waiter that it made only one, I passed on this and overall it left a sour taste in my mouth.

 

The atmosphere of the restaurant was nice overall. The waitstaff were a little short with some customers in the restaurant at the time when I scanned around the room. Overall I am not in a rush to return to Taste and Graze for while they had some nice dishes, their serving sizes and staff do not do enough to tempt me away from the numerous small cafes in Fremantle that I still want to try.

Taste & Graze Cafe & Restaurant on Urbanspoon

First Vegan Meal – Heavenly Plate, Melville

Hi everyone,

I went out to dinner to a restaurant, which my vegan friend had selected. She chose heavenly plate and while I knew it was vegan I was a little caught out by seeing chicken and other meats on the menu. I started the meal by ordering a cup of tea (pictured below), they had quite a selection of teas and I ended up selecting the White Orchard tea. My review of the tea can be found in this blog post. My other friends ordered a smoothie and another tea, both of  which were nice and had the weather been a little warmer I would have definitely gone with a smoothie.

White Orchard.

White Orchard Tea.

Entrees

We ordered 2 entrees to share. 1 from their specials menu and the other off the main menu. Both were very nice. The second pictured entree was the favourite however of the group.

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Bags of Treasure.

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Entree off the ‘Special Menu’.

Mains

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Triple C with Salad.

The Triple C with Salad was my selection off the menu described as ‘Marinated Chicken with coke and deep fried in flour‘ making me order it out of sheer curiosity as to what deep fried chicken which had been marinated in coke tasted like. I have to say I ended up quite liking this dish and found that the coke could not be tasted in the batter.

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Satay

My friend M ordered the Satay which is a favourite of hers. She devoured it quickly and enjoyed it as it is her usual order when she comes here.

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Lasagne.

Lastly, my other friend L ordered the Lasagne off the ‘Specials Menu’ of the night. We were all quite amused at the inclusion of corn chips on her plate, however L still enjoyed the lasagne, especially as it used soy cheese which she was allowed to eat.

Deserts

I had been forewarned about the deserts at Heavenly Plate and made sure to leave plenty of room for it. From eyeing off the desert cabinet while we had our meal I was not to be disappointed.

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Apple Cake.

M ordered the last slice of the Apple Cake which she had raved about for the entire meal. I managed to get a bite and would have to agree with her on it being very delicious. I will be having a slice of this in the future!

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Passionfruit Cheesecake with Apple Sorbet.

This was the desert I ordered. The flavours in the cheesecake and the sorbet worked extremely well together and I would highly recommend this desert!

My friend L ordered the Tiramisu, however I was not quick enough to get a picture before she started. L polished off the tiramisu and gave it a big thumbs up.

Until next time!

Heavenly Plate Cafe on Urbanspoon

February Favourites

Hi everyone,

1. Favourite wine of the month?

Sorrenberg, 2010, Gamay, Victoria, Australia. Review of the wine can be found here. This is the bottle of wine which was suggested for our meal at Perth Print Hall by the Sommelier. A luscious wine filled with cherries on the nose and palate, I am still keeping an eye out for a bottle of this wine as it was delightful! I am still on the hunt for a bottle or two of the 2010 vintage so do share if you find some please!

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King River, 2011, Saperavi, King Valley, Australia (RRP $55) – 14.4%

For such a plain looking label this wine really impressed me with it’s bouquet. I could have quite happily spent the entire night with this wine watching how the nose of the wine evolved as it aired out. This wine was  limited release which I had the chance to try at the second meet for the Wine Century Challenge. I ended up purchasing a bottle as there was limited supply left from this inaugural vintage.

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

Massena, 2010, Tannat, Barossa Valley, Australia (RRP $28) – 14.5%

This is a wine I tried when I met up with some fellow wine lovers and bloggers for a Wine Century Challenge Meet. This is the wine that on the night I felt was the best vallue for money when we were discussing all the wines at the end. This wine I felt had a nice body and mouth feel of a much more expensive wine. This wine would be perfect once we’re into some cooler weather with a nice roast.

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

a younger vintage of the Arneis by First Drop. I had the chance to try the 2010 vintage at the Wine Century Meet. I was impressed with the wine’s structure however I felt that the wine’s age had brought it down. I would love to see how a younger vintage of this wine performs and if it meets the expectations I now have for it since trying the 2010 vintage.

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4. What restaurants do I want to return to?

BF and I went to George Street Bistro during the past month (I haven’t had the chance to upload the post as of yet). The meal was hearty and filling for that one weekend this past month were we received a welcomed cold snap in Perth along with some welcomed rain. BF had a Seared Sirloin Steak while I had the ‘Pie of the Day’ which was Chicken in a tomato based sauce.

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5. What was my favourite meal this month?

Desert at Perth Print Hall, it was to die for!

Bittersweet Chocolate Fondant ($16).

Bittersweet Chocolate Fondant ($16).

Lemon 'Spilled' ($16).

Lemon ‘Spilled’ ($16).

6. Upcoming events for next month?

Eat Drink Perth

7. Favourite wine packaging?

Claymore, 2011, ‘Joshua Tree’ Riesling, Clare Valley, Australia.

Simple packaging which drew BF in to select it and overall it was a delicious Riesling. Review of the wine can be found here.

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8. Best service?

Perth Print Hall – review can be found here. The service was professional, quick and reflected the developments in Perth’s fine dining restaurants.

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

Bad Apples Wine Bar in Applecross is a place I have been trying to get to for the past month or so to check out their wine selection.

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10. Wine Century Challenge.

Total: 35 varietals.

Favourite = Arneis (white) and Saperavi (red).

Until next time!

Melba, Melbourne

Hi Everyone,

My last night in Melbourne this month was spent having dinner at Melba Restaurant located in the Langham Hotel. The restaurant was buffet styled, however the food on offer ranged from seafood, to pasta prepared to order, roast station, Indian station, made to order sashimi station to a wide selection of cheeses, salads and cold meats. This link will take you to a sample menu for what could be offered for dinner in the buffet at Melba.

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Their selection of cheese’s reminded me of the cheese platter I had at Quarter on Hay in Perth. I thoroughly enjoyed myself with a sample of a small selection of these for a starter while I eyed off the different buffet stations and planned my dinner.

Selection of cheeses.

Selection of cheeses.

I started at the Roast Station where I had a selection of pork, beef, chicken, lamb, vegetables and a selection of sauces to accompany. The meat was cooked well and the selection available led me to grab a small piece of everything I could so I could try as much of what they had as my stomach would take.

Roasted meats station.

Roasted meats station.

There was a sashimi section where you could select from a range of fresh raw fish to have sushi made for you on the spot. I tend to avoid raw fish and so was a little disappointed I could not try any of the tantalising sushi, which I had seen at other tables in the restaurant.

Seafood.

Seafood.

While I was sampling from the roast station others dining with me had headed off to the Indian station for tandoori chicken, saffron rice and naan cooked to order.

After finishing our first plateful we discovered the pasta station where you saw your pasta being cooked in front of you with ingredients of your choice. I wish I had filmed the guy as he casually created a delicious masterpiece for me all the while conversing with me.

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After we had our fill of pasta we intended to get another plate of food however we wandered past the desert station and didn’t manage to make it any further. The variety of deserts available for selection made for a very tough decision, especially when a chocolate fountain was included – I was in desert heaven!

Deserts galore!

Deserts galore!

Selection of deserts from Melba plus cupcakes from Little Cupcakes.

Selection of deserts from Melba plus cupcakes from Little Cupcakes.

For those who love their seafood then this restaurant is one to check out while you’re in Melbourne. There was also a selection of prawns, oysters, crabs, you name it included in the buffet. I’m not a big fan of shellfish and seafood in general so I passed on this selection however the presentation looked fantastic!

Last was the cocktails that we had over the night. While their wine menu had many interesting options I had a quick flick through the cocktail list and saw an Apple Crumbletini and was instantly sold. We also ordered their Strawberries and Cream cocktail and their Passionfruit Mojito. All three cocktails were delicious and a good way to end our time in Melbourne.

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Apple Crumbetini and Strawberries & Cream

Passionfruit Mojito.

Passionfruit Mojito.

Thoroughly enjoyed the meal and will have to return next time I am in Melbourne so that I can attempt to make it to every single station in the restaurant as well as getting the chance to try a few more of their cocktails which looked very tantalising on the menu. Service was also fantastic and the view over the Yarra River and Melbourne at the sun was setting made for a perfect and relaxing end to a quite hectic trip to Melbourne.

Until next time!

Melba Brasserie on Urbanspoon

Wino 101: Christmas Lunch/Dinner Wines (Australian Summer Edition).

Hi everyone,

While the northern hemisphere is rugging up for a cold winter in Australia we will be getting our barbecues and bathers out in expectation of a hot and sunny Christmas Day. This post will hopefully be a good guide for you, whether you are supplying a lunch or dinner at your place of even just bringing a bottle of wine to wherever you end up on the festive occasion. I have broken the wine’s down into different categories of food that is often served in Australia on Christmas Day, along with some personal favourites.

Appetisers:

A nice glass of bubbly is a good way to start off your Christmas Day of feasting.

BBQ:

Consider lighter to medium bodied red wine or an acidic and aromatic white wine or dry Rose will pair across the range of foods you can barbecue. When pairing wine with barbecue you want to keep the wine simple and uncomplicated to match the simple flavouring and styling of food that you would barbecue.

Seafood:

When it comes to seafood you want to pair it with a light wine which has a nice degree of acidity behind it so that you really get the best flavours out of pairing it with the seafood. Look for a citrusy Sauvignon Blanc, a fruity and crisp Pinot Grigio/Gris or a dry Rose.

Roast Lamb/Beef:

Lamb and Beef being  darker and more dense meats will need a wine with more structure and depth in it so that both the wine and the food will compliment each other rather than one overpowering the other. You will also need to take the sauce(s) you will be using into account as their richness will also impact upon which wine is your best option.

For the meat: a red wine like a Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon that has seen some age in the bottle as well as having had the chance to breath either in a decanter or by opening the bottle before serving. Also if it is a very hot day think about popping your bottle of red into the fridge for about 15 minutes before serving so that thee wine will be at it’s optimum serving temperature while you eat your meal (15-20C). The wine will also develop over the course of the meal as it warms and you will see it’s aroma’s and taste evolve along with your meal.

Roast Chicken:

A roast chicken being a lighter meat allows you to pair a white or red wine with it, depending upon what seasoning and sauces you. For a roast with a light lemon seasoning look for a Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Grigio/Gris, Chenin Blanc or continue with the bubbles.

Roast Pork:

Less tannic reds are preferred when pairing with roast pork as it is a lighter meat than Beef and Lamb and due to that needs to be paired with a more softer wine that still has enough body to pair with the meat. Look for a red blend that contains Merlot or Viognier to soften the wine.

Cheese/Fruit:

Soft cheese = eg. Camembert and Brie

Consider white or sparkling wines, so as to not overpower the softer textures and flavours of the wine, however if you are daring a full bodied dry red is said to also pair nicely due to it’s contrasting texture and flavour.

Hard cheese = eg. Cheddar and Parmesan.

Consider red wines for a stronger tasting cheese otherwise if the cheese is milder in flavour and medium-to-hard texture you can then look into pairing it with a fortified, sparkling or a full bodied white wine.

Eye cheese = ed. Edam, Gouda, Havarti and Swiss-styled cheese.

Consider a full bodied white wine, medium bodied red wine or a sweeter desert or fortified wine to play best with the softer textures of the wine and the stronger flavours found in some of these cheeses.

Blue cheese = eg. Gorgonzola and Danish Blue.

generally sweeter and fortified wines do better with blue cheese, however if it is a mild blue cheese you can possibly pair it with a softer red wine. Look for a wine which is aromatic but sweet to give you the best contrast with the blue cheese.

Fruit: consider aromatic and/or sweeter wines.

Desert:

Fortified, sweet still and sweet sparkling wines would go amazing with desert.

Until next time!