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

Jamie’s Italian, Perth

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Back in July I caught up with a friend L and we decided to try our luck at Jamie’s Italian in Perth for a Friday lunch. L managed to grab a spot in the line minutes before the opened at 11am and by the time I arrived a few minutes past 11am we were instantly seated. We opted to skip entrees after snacking on the complimentary bread basket to save room for desert, and let me tell you that was a smart move on our part!

Bread Basket

Bread Basket

I ordered the Tagliatelle Bolognese main size ($19) along with a Jamie’s iced tea ($16) and split a side of the Posh Chips ($6.5) with my friend. The chips were a bit of a let down after all the hype I had heard about them as they were nice but nothing special. The pasta however was perfectly done both on cooking and portion sizing, especially for the price.

With mains out of the way we settled in for looking at the desert menu. I had my mind made up before arriving that I would be having the brownie ($9) – however the rest of the desert menu at Jamie’s sure put up a temptatious fight. I had heard mixed reviews about the brownie. My first bite into the brownie was looking like it would be a disappointment as it was quite dry on the outside, however I quickly found that the centre of the brownie was not like that and was instead a rich, decadent, and gooey delicious brownie. The brownie like the pasta did not last very long, and was followed up with a pot of tea ($4.25 for one) as L and I continued to catch up and work off the food coma we had developed over our lunch at Jamie’s.

We left the restaurant about an hour and a half after arriving and in that time it had gone from a near empty restaurant to a packed one with a line forming out the front. The noise level towards the end definitely encouraged us to move on to continue our catch up to a quieter spot. Really loved the food, the service was exceptional, the only downside was the popularity of Jamie’s making it very loud and noisy come peak-lunchtime. Definitely worth the visit but try to catch them in an off-peak time to be able to enjoy the meal peacefully and to be able to give it the justice the food deserves.

Jamie's Italian on Urbanspoon

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

X-Wray Cafe, Fremantle

Hi everyone,

I caught up with a friend from University a few weeks ago and went out for lunch with him. He left selection of the venue up to me so I decided upon X-Wray in Fremantle which I had often walked past but ready many a mixed review on it. The weather during the day was warm and muggy so we opted for a table in the shade on the veranda as there was little different between the inside and outside temperature of the cafe as all of it’s windows were open. Armed with ice cold drinks we waited for our meals which we had selected from their fridge of daily specials rather than their menu.

I had selected the quiche which from memory had goat’s cheese in it and came with a side of their three available salads on the day and a tomato side. I am a lover of broccoli and beans so that part to the salad was alright but the bean salad and the leaf salad which was at the bottom and a little soggy by the time I got to it were not all that great. The quiche was bland and fell apart when I attempted to cut it up. It was ok but nothing great for me personally.

Quiche.

Quiche.

My friend opted for the other item in the fridge which had also caught my eye, the Frittata. He was not overly impressed with the salad. And I believe the frittata was a little disappointing as well.

Fritatta.

Frittata.

Overall the atmosphere of the cafe along with the  fact that I was having a long-overdue catch up with a friend is what made the meal pleasant. The food at X-Wray seemed too bland and too slapped together to really appeal to me. Perhaps the weather had gotten to the kitchen staff out back? Still interested to go back and order something off their menu, perhaps those dishes which looked cooked to order will impress me.

Until next time!

X-Wray on Urbanspoon

Wino 101: Christmas Drinks

Hi everyone,

This post will be short and sweet as I plan to spend Christmas Day with my family and BF’s family but i thought I would share with you what I am planning to drink today. The weather in Perth is getting really hot and today seems to be the ‘official’ start of a heatwave according to the radio as I drove home from work yesterday. I am not a fan of heat or humidity so my plan is to avoid my beloved reds in favour of chilled drinks.

I have chilled 2 Rose’s for today and will hopefully get the chance to compare the two over the course of the day. One is a sweeter one from the Olive Farm Wines to share with mum while I’m with the family and then my other Moondah Brook Dry Rose for when I head over to BF’s family’s Christmas get together.

Olive Farm Rose.

Olive Farm Rose.

Moondah Brook Rose.

Moondah Brook Rose.

Will be sipping on plenty of water throughout the day as I’ll be driving and the heat will definetly take it out of me. Hope everyone else plays it safe if they are on the road tomorrow or out in the sun!

Merry Christmas and Have a safe and happy New Year!

Swan Valley

Hi everyone,

With the overseas family in town over the weekend that just passed and we decided to take them to the Swan Valley so we could all explore it for the first time together. We only had a few hours in the Swan Valley and many of our visitors wanted to see the Woodbridge House so we ended up only going to two wineries and a nougat factory as my family has a long line of nougat lovers, and then ending our Swan Valley dash a quick late lunch at the restaurant by Woodbridge House.

1st Stop: Houghton’s.

Our first stop was at Houghton’s, as it is one of the most well known Swan Valley wineries and therefore one to show the international tourists. The grounds were spectacular and I will have to return in the future for a picnic there.

Wisdom Sparkling.

Wisdom Sparkling.

At Houghton’s they had a tasting flight of three white wines and three red wines for $3. In the flight we tasted:

Wisdom Pemberton Sparkling Pinot Noir Chardonnay

2012 Wisdom Pemberton Sauvignon Blanc

2009 Wisdom Pemberton Wooded Chardonnay

2010 175th Anniversary Limited Edition Red Blend

2010 Wisdom Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon

2007 C.W. Ferguson Cabernet Franc

Red's from tasting flight at Houghton's.

Red’s from tasting flight at Houghton’s.

I didn’t mind the white wines beside’s the Chardonnay, for some reason it did not impress nor appeal to me. The red were quite nice, they showed potential but were still quite young.

I left Houghton’s with a hamper of wines from Moondah Brook as we were not allowed to sample their wines and their Rose looked quite tantalising – we ended up having the Rose with dinner that night and it was a great wine for the summer! A full review of the Rose will be in Sunday’s post.

Moondah Brook Hamper.

Moondah Brook Hamper.

2nd Stop: Mondo Nougat.

We left Houghton’s and headed for Mondo for a quick stop here for some gelato and nougat for the rest of the day as well as a few pieces for them to take back home with them. The Nougat here is gluten and dairy free which is a big plus if you or any one you know who loves nougat has these alleges! Also in the shop was the cute Mini Cooper pictures below, not sure if I could drive something like this as it would continually make me hungry!

Mondo Mini Cooper.

Mondo Mini Cooper.

3rd Stop: Cheese Barrel and Olive Farm Wines

We ended up deciding that the Olive Farm would be our last stop before lunch as we heard it had the Cheese Barrel next door and being greeks anything with ‘olive’ in the titled would gamer our attention! The driveway to the Cheese Barrel and the cellar door for Olive Farm Wines was straight through the middle of the vines and with the blue skies that we had this past weekend it was photo-op worth.

Arriving at Olive Farm Wines and Cheese Barrel - wonderful driveway!

Arriving at Olive Farm Wines and Cheese Barrel – wonderful driveway!

Cheese Barrel Sign.

Cheese Barrel Sign.

Cute and unique seating at the cheese Barrel.

Cute and unique seating at the cheese Barrel.

We didn’t stay too long at the Cheese Barrel but we did grab a few different cheeses of which I have had some and they were interesting, the European cheeses were a lot stronger than the Australian cheeses I have tried in the past. Definitely will be visiting this place again when I head up to the Swan valley as the wine barrel tables were adorable and the view from the elevated location of the cheese barrel over the back of the property made for a relaxing location for a cheesy Sunday lunch.

Sign for Olive Farm Wines.

Sign for Olive Farm Wines.

After checking out the Cheese Barrel we walked over to the cellar door for the Olive Farm Winery and found the counter at the cellar door packed with people doing tastings – a good sign when you know nothing about the winery besides it being the first winery planted in the region.

At the cellar door I sampled:

Olivine Brut

2011 Dry Verdelho

2012 Chenin Blanc

2012 Viognier

2012 Rose (sweetish)

2008 Cabernet Sauvignon

2003 Grenache Shiraz

2007 Shiraz

Liqueur Muscat

Liqueur Verdelho

Stari (fortified)

My favourites from what I tasted was the dry Verdelho, Viognier, Rose, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache Shiraz and all the Liqueurs were delightful also. I ended up leaving with a bottle of the Rose, Viognier and Cabernet Sauvignon and mum also bough a bottle of the Liquer Verdelho and we were recommended to try it over a quality vanilla ice-cream and this is something I am dying to try after hearing of it!

I will be back to try the rest of their wines for sure! And the two guys who were flat out at the counter of the cellar door were a delight to talk to and did a good job of looking after all the people who wanted to try their wines. Also the olives they had for tasting while they got back to you were delicious and well worth a visit just for their home-made marinade!

4th Stop: Woodbridge House and Riverside Restaurant

The portions were more than generous at the Riverside Restaurant. And the flavour combinations were interesting and in the case of the Spinach Salad they were delightful! The sweet balsamic vinaigrette dressing on the salad that accompanied my Frittata was not the right dressing for my liking but other than that I could not fault the food. The service from both the owner and her staff at the restaurant was friendly and they went over and above what was needed to look after us even though we came in right at the end of their lunch service. I highly recommend the staff and food at Riverside!

Sweet Potato Frittata with Smoked Salmon.

Sweet Potato Frittata with Smoked Salmon.

Tasting plate of the day.

Tasting plate of the day.

Spinach Salad.

Spinach Salad.

This was a wonderful introduction to the region and I will be back checking out the wineries over this summer for sure!

Until next time!

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!