Dinner @ Nicholson’s Bar and Grill

I met up with my friend Miss J at Nicholson’s bar and grill for dinner one night while on prac to catch up on what had been going on in our lives and with our studies. After chatting for a while and looking over the menu we went up to the bar to order our drinks and meals.

I ordered the Gnocchi with a twist ($24) and found the portion size to be surprisingly deceptive! I ended up not getting through the gnocchi and saving some for lunch the following day so I could have room for desert. I really enjoyed this summery taste on gnocchi. To follow up on the gnocchi I settled on a slice of the Mars bar cake and a hot chocolate to finish up the meal. The cake was delicious, a nice rich chocolate cake slice with Mars Bars melted between the cake and icing.

I had not been to Nicholson’s for a few years but really liked the atmosphere at Nicholson’s and it was a good location to catch up for a few hours and enjoy a nice meal. I will have to return for sure as there were many delicious pub meals on the menu to try. Just a reminder to bring cash otherwise there is an ATM on site.

Nicholson's Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

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Lunch @ Tabella, Fremantle

A few months ago I went to Tabella in Fremantle with a friend as I was intrigued by their menu and curious to try a restaurant in Fremantle that I had not been to before.

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I chose to have a Arneis as it was a nice warm day so a wine with the description of ‘Nashi pear and pithy fruit with lime zest and minerals’ sounded perfect – and it was quite a delicious drop. I have heard many good things about the wine list at Tabella and this wine did not disappoint me.

Mains:

For our mains I ordered the salad which had roast pumpkin, beetroot, pine nuts, goats cheese and chicken. I really enjoyed this dish and would happily return for another serving. The gnocchi with slow cooked beef ragu’ was also an exceptional dish. I could not stop myself from stealing the gnocchi and beef from their plate as it was delightful and for such simple flavours so well executed! Both dishes were an absolute hit at Tabella.

Desert:

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Torta di Mele. ($11)

After we had finished our mains I decided to look over the desert menu and spied an apple crumble which is a weakness of mine. I was a little disappointed by this dish however after the exceptional standards of the mains. The crumble was overpowered by an orange liqueur flavour and was not enjoyable.

Overall I enjoyed my meal at Tabella. The service was friendly and I have since returned and enjoyed another meal with them. I will have to keep myself free for one of their Pasta and Wine nights that they hold every Tuesday, check out their Facebook page for more information.
Tabella on Urbanspoon

Perth Wine Century Challenge – Fifth Meet

Hi everyone,

To see what wines we have tried so far you can check out my blog posts on the first (unofficial meet) along with our second,  third and fourth meets (official meets). Back in July I caught up with some fellow Perth wine lovers and bloggers for the third official Wine Century Challenge Meet. This meet was held at the Trustee in Perth. The wines that we tasted this night seemed to have a trend of the nose and palate of the wine being very contradictory and polarised many of us at the tasting. Notes for the wines are under the categories of eye (E), nose (N) and palate (P) as usual for these tastings. For this tasting due to the low lighting at the Trustee I did not record eye notes for the wines.

WHITES

2011 Domaine Tselepos Classic, Moschofilero, Mantinia, Greece, 12%. (RRP $30)

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N: mineral, crisp stone fruits, herbs, and aromatic.

P: fuzzy, acidic, dry, and mineral.

2011 Arnaldo Caprai, Grechetto, Umbria, Italy, 13.5%. (RRP $33)

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N: oaky.

P: smooth, possible hint of oiliness, and a warming alcohol mouth feel.

2010 Abbazia di Novacella, Kerner, Alto Adige, Italy, 13.5%. (RRP $43)

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N: peach, nectarine, fruity, slight fruit sweetness, with a hint of lemon/citrus.

P: acidic, smooth, mineral with a slight residual sweetness,.

This one received a double tick on the night. I really liked this one.

2011 Filip Castelcerino, Garganega, Soave, Italy, 12.5%. (RRP$35)

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N: possibly oranges, mint, fresh summery notes.

P: dry, slightly fizzy, and mouth water inducing.

This one caused a lot of confusion on the night spurring comments such as “a lot going on” and “hard to understand”.  May have to revisit this one on a quieter night when I can give it my undivided attention.

At this point in the night we had some shared entree dishes brought out. I was not overly wrapped with the polenta, I believe it is an acquired taste and after I had tried the pork nothing would compare with it. I would like to  note that I am not a big fan of pork so for me to have gone back for seconds on the pork dish is a testament to how delicious it truly was! As we continued to nibble on the entrees we continued with the wine tastings so the following few wines were tasted with food.

2009 Marramiero, Pecorino, Abruzzo, Italy, 13%. (RRP $34)

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N: candied stone fruits, and honey.

P: fizzy, zesty, with a honey sweetened finish.

This was the other white wine of the night to receive a double tick. I would happily have more of this wine.

2011 Feudi di San Gregorio, Greco di Tufo, Campania, Italy, 13%. (RRP $43)

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N: apple, lemon, melon and pear.

P: fresh, acidic, smooth with a slight fizz.

REDS

2010 Planeta, Nerello Mascalese, Sicily, Italy, 13.5%. (RRP $50)

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N: pepper, spice, sour cherry, earthy and had a sense of warmth about it.

P: spicy with a slight woodenness about it.

this wine reminded me of a Pinot Noir in many ways. I would suggest it to anyone who loves those and is looking for a different wine grape to try without being too adventurous.

2009 Argiolas Costera, Cannonau (Grenache), Sardegna, Italy, 14%. (RRP $40)

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N: rich berries, hint of chocolate, earthy, warm with a possible hint of aniseed.

P: noticeable oak, dry tannins with a slight grippy texture.

2007 Tormaresca Masseria Maime, Negroamaro, Puglia, Italy, 14%. (RRP $45)

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N: cherry, blackcurrant, oak, and earthy.

P: very dry tannins, heavy mouth feel, acidic, and some berry flavours on the palate.

2006 Gaia Estate, Agiorgitiko, Nemea, Greece, 14% (RRP $73).

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N: blackcurrant, spice, oak, leather, cherry and an earthiness about it.

P: smooth mouth feel with a dry finish.

2008 Kir Yianni Diaporos, Xinomavro (87%) & Syrah (13%), Naoussa, Greece, 14.5%. (RRP $75)

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N: spice, earthy, and a sense of ‘oldness’ or age on the nose.

P: very dry.

This wine was believed by some in the group to either be corked or on it’s way out. Over all it was a dud wine regardless, however we should have the chance to retry it again at a later wine tasting so I hope it was just this bottle rather than the wine itself.

2009 Olivi, Pugnitello, Tuscany, Italy. (RRP $75)

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N: spice and old leather.

P: spicy and dry.

2008 San Marzano Primitivo di Manduria (Zinfandel), Puglia, Italy, 14.5%. (RRP $53)

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This wine was unanimously viewed as corked by the group. Again hoping we will have the chance to retry this wine at a later date.

To end the night we all ordered a dish each and finished off the remaining wines with our meals. I ordered the gnocchi which was very filling and up there with one of the best gnocchi dishes I have had in Perth.

Gnocchi.

Gnocchi.

A big thanks to the Trustee for allowing us to host this Perth Wine Century Meet at their Bistro.

The Trustee Bar and Bistro on Urbanspoon

Wine(s) Of the Week: Yet Another Collective Blog Post (during prac)

Woody Nook 2011, Late Harvest Semillon, Margaret River, Western Australia.

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I raided my wine collection while on prac and discovered this bottle towards the back of my collection. I figured it needed to be opened sooner than later from the date and it was a wine, which was getting old and dull. It’s a shame as when I purchased this wine at the cellar door a summer ago it was a really nice wine from memory. Hints of the usual late harvest semillon flavours but it was really past it’s drinking age.

Chandon 2008, Barrel Selection Shiraz, Yarra Valley, Victoria.

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This was a bottle that was brought back from my trip in the Yarra Valley as a gift. While I was down south it was opened and this wine was as good as I remembered it being when I sampled it back in January in the Yarra Valley. Lots of blackcurrant, plums and toasty spicy oak flavours. A beautiful wine!

Clairault, 2009 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River, Western Australia

While I was down south for a weekend I went to Clairault winery to have lunch at their café. To go with lunch we opted to share a bottle of the 2009 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine had lots of luscious berries, with a hint of oak and chocolate on the palate and was a balanced and very easy to drink wine.

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Lunch at the Clairault Café.

We shared the Gourmet Platter and a serving of bread between the three of us and two of us also opting to have the soup as well (pumpkin with a sliver of brie), see the picture above. The food was all well presented, delicious and made for a wonderfully relaxing afternoon of catching up. I will be back for sure in the summer when I can borrow a picnic blanket from them and buy a hamper to eat out in their garden.

Clairault Estate on Urbanspoon

Plantagenet 2010 Hazard Hill Shiraz, Mount Barker, Western Australia.

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I had to make a rushed decision on a bottle of wine for the group while dining at Junction Grill at Crown Casino. I noticed Plantagenet’s Hazard Hill 2010 Shiraz on the wine list and decided to play it safe with a winery I trusted. The wine has luscious fleshy fruit and a hint of cherries on the palate and had a very soft, warm finish. I was very impressed and look forward to trying more wines from Plantagenet.

Dinner at Junction Grill

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We ended up dining at Junction Grill for dinner over the weekend to celebrate a friends birthday as the Merrywell had a 3 hour waitlist and we were not prepared to wait around for dinner for that long. We ended up wandering past Junction Grill and saw a short and quickly moving line and decided to have dinner there.

For dinner I had the gnocchi from their menu. It was alright, nothing spectacular with regards to the gnocchi and the spinach had a funky taste, which resulted in most of it ended up on the side of my plate. Those also dining with me mainly ordered the pizzas or the steak sandwiches and those were all raved about so I would recommend sticking to those if you choose to dine here.

Junction Grill on Urbanspoon

Cherry Bomb cocktail at South Street Ale House.

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Above is the Cherry Bomb cocktail I had at the South Street Ale House. The cocktail included VOK Parfait Amour Liquer, VOK Cherry Brandy Liquer and Lemonade. It was quite a nice cocktail but a little on the sweeter side of things.

Cocktails at Midnight Fox  

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At the end of prac I went out with BF to celebrate. I decided to finally check out the new small bar in Melville called Midnight Fox which is run by the owners of Blend Cafe which is located next door.

Lady Peaches ($12)

Bottom Cocktail in the image above. The cocktail contained peach liqueur, bubbles and a sugar cube. This was a great cocktail to start the celebration with, not overly sweet and a easy cocktail to sit back, relax and sip on.

Apple and Eve Cocktail ($17)

Top cocktail in the image above. The cocktail contained absolut vodka, cointreau, fresh apple and lime, finished with cinnamon sugar and baron von moustache spiced apple bitters.​ I went to the bar and asked to be surprised, however I’m not a big fan of gin based cocktails and this is what they chose for me. I really enjoyed this cocktail also.

Dinner at Midnight Fox/Blend Cafe

Pumpkachicken pizza ($20) consists of tomato base, mozzarella, free range chicken, pumpkin, pepperoni and onion.​​ I decided to give this pizza a try as I love having pumpkin on a pizza. BF got our traditional Little India pizza ($19.5) consisting of tomato base, mozzarella, tandoori chicken, red onion, and chilli, finished with a cucumber and mint raita. I did like the pumpkin on the pizza however it was significantly bland in comparison to the Little India and could not really compete with it.

Overall BF and I thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the Midnight Fox and we will be back for sure to enjoy the pizzas from Blend along with some well made cocktails in a intimate and cosy location.

Blend Cafe on Urbanspoon
Midnight Fox on Urbanspoon

Curious Peach Cocktail Jug ($35 for a 1/2L jug)

The cocktail contained appleton Rum, peach liqueur, earl grey tea and lemon juice. It was a really nice refreshing cocktail to have on a warm Sunday afternoon when BF and I caught up with some good friends. The flavours in the cocktail were well balanced and nicely done. Overall I’m still loving the cocktails at the Merrywell!

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Lunch at the Merrywell

For my main I had the Grilled Tuna Salad ($24), consisting of garden vegetables, roasted capsicum aioli and devil egg from the share plate menu. I really enjoyed this dish as a non-shared plate as it was a good sized meal for lunch to allow me room for desert also. The flavours of the aioli and vegetables was well done also and the tuna was nicely cooked. For desert we ordered the Key Lime Cheesecake and the Chocolate brownie (both $9). both were very nice however the brownie is a very rich dish and I ordered and finished this one off, feeling very full by the end of it.

Overall it was a very nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon and the crowds were not as bad as I have seen at dinner time. We managed to grab a table outside to enjoy the nice weather and it was very pleasant.

The Merrywell on Urbanspoon

Hazlenut Milkshake at San Churro

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I went out for a churro and milkshake fix at the end of my prac. I had my usual white chocolate dipping sauce with my churros and as we were having a warm summers day I chose to try their hazelnut milkshake which was delicious! This is a the perfect place to visit in Perth if you are in need of a chocolate fix!

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Chocolateria San Churro Fremantle on Urbanspoon

Cocktail at the Lounge Bar at Crown Casino

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Lastly is a cocktail (~$19) that I had at the Lobby Lounge at the Crown Casino when I went there to celebrate a friends birthday. I cannot remember what was in it exactly but it was a similar cocktail to the Lady Peach from Midnight fox with a sparkling wine base, sugar and then a liqueur (from memory this cocktail used chambord). I quite enjoyed the cocktail as well as the lobby lounge.

Lunch at Pickled Fig, South Fremantle

Hi everyone,

I finally made it to the Pickled Fig in South Fremantle a month or so ago for a spur of the moment lunch with BF. It was a nice warm day and we were lucky to get a table between two rushes, it seems that this restaurant gets very busy on the weekends from the two times I have been here. Decor is unusual but offers a great talking point and if you manage to get an outside table it is very refreshing when a sea breeze comes though as the restaurant is located just behinds the dunes at South Beach.

Little Creature's Pear Cider.

Little Creature’s Pear Cider ($5.6)

BF ordered the Little Creatures pear cider and he was nice enough to share some of it with me. Overall I was disappointed in the fruit flavour of the cider and felt it was lacking. Below is the fruit juice which I ordered and it contained orange, pineapple and passionfruit. There was some confusion with my drink order and I had to chase it up a few times before it was finally deliver to me when I was over halfway through my meal. The juice was nice and I would happily order it again. I reviewed both of these drinks in this weekly drink post.

'Fruit Frenzy' Juice.

‘Fruit Frenzy’ Juice ($8.5).

Below is a side of wedges which BF ordered to go with his steak sandwich. I ended up eating more of these than he did as the sandwich was more filling than he had anticipated. The wedges were not that great and the dipping sauce was runny. Would not order these again.

Wedges with sweet chilli sauce and sour cream.

Wedges with sweet chilli sauce and sour cream ($8.5).

BF order the sandwich below and almost did not want to share even a mouthful with me. Both of us agreed it  was delicious and he polished it off, feeling very content at the end. Highly recommend this sandwich.

Sandwitch

Steak Sandwich ($22)

I opted for the gnocchi and chose to add chicken to it for an extra cost. I loved the summer veggies in this dish and it was fresh and filling. Would happily recommend and reorder this dish again.

Gnocchi.

Going Gnocchi ($22) with chicken added ($8)

Overall the main meals were delicious. The larger food serves, juices and coffees here seem to be a winner from looking at what people around us were having. I would love to return again to try more off their menu, especially their shares and deserts menu. Hoping that the wedges were a one-off dud but it may take a few more visits before I choose to reorder them again.

Until next time!

The Pickled Fig Cafe on Urbanspoon

Oliver’s on James, Northbridge

Hi everyone,

Back in January BF and I went to dinner at Oliver’s on James before seeing The Motherf**ker with the Hat at the State Theatre. We were seated by the open glass windows which looked out on to the sidewalk below, giving us access to a nice breeze while we ate our dinner. I decided to have a Champagne Bellini while BF had a beer while we looked over the menu.

Champagne Bellini.

Champagne Bellini.

For our entree I had been eyeing off the baked brie so we decided to split the brie along with a plate of baked bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The brie was quite rich and filling however the breads were a good choice to accompany the brie as it needed something else. The bread was a hit between BF and I, however when you’re presented with freshly cooked bread it’s really hard to not impress us.

Baked Brie.

Baked Brie.

Fresh bread, olive oil and vinegar.

Fresh baked bread, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

For our mains BF had a meaty pizza, that he could not wait to dig into. He was happy with the pizza and it turned out to be very filling. I opted for the gnocchi off the menu which also cape with a complimentary side salad. The gnocchi was well cooked and I was impressed with the flavours accompanying it, the side salad unfortunately was mostly ignored as I was too busy savouring the main dish.

Pizza.

Pizza.

Gnocchi.

Gnocchi.

Side salad.

Side salad.

I had hoped to grab a quite bite of desert however we were contently filled after the mains and instead opted to stroll slowly back to the theatre and perhaps have a drink there before seeing the show. The atmosphere of the restaurant was rather nice and we were both impressed with our meals. We would happily return again.

Until next time!

Oliver's on James Street on Urbanspoon

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!