Summer Wrap: Drinks (Part 1)

Summer Wrap is a series of my highlights and favourites from summer. A collection of eating,drinking and dining that captures the sunny warm weather of a Perth summer to a ‘T’. This two part post was the inspiration for this series as I have recently been looking back over this past summer and all the things I have enjoyed doing in and around Perth to do with drinking and dining. This post will be split over two entries as it was getting a little long. This post will be on wine and other drinks with follow-up entry coving my go-to summer drink – cider!

With summer winding down in Australia I have been looking over the past few months for my favourite drinks, places to eat and things to cook during the season. With the warmer weather I found myself gravitating towards and embracing white wine a lot more this summer than I have in the past. I also found the hot summer weather was perfect for drinking a few ciders with friends on the weekend.

Wine

With the warmer weather a dry white wine was my go to. I found myself seeking out dryer white wines, often a Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon blend or a Riesling. Castelli had a stall at UnWined WA last year and is where I ended up falling in love with their Riesling. If you are looking for a nice riesling and want it to be local I have yet to try a Great Southern reisling that I did not like!

Castelli Whites.

Castelli Whites.

I have also been enjoying a few bottles of bubbly with friends this past summer. Bubbles is a drink that is acceptable at all hours of the day from straight up or in a Mimosa for brunch right through to toasting and celebrating at the end of the night. I am loving Prosecco and Australian bubbles. A local favourite I tried at the start of summer last year was Sitella’s sparkling chenin blanc, this is a great bubbly with a twist! Highly recommend checking this wine out at their cellar door if you are visiting the Swan Valley or keeping an eye out for it on wine lists around Perth.

Sitella Sparkling Chenin Blanc

Sitella Sparkling Chenin Blanc

Lastly for those red wine drinkers who cannot give up their beloved red even in the heat of summer. I have found that chilling my red wines, especially lighter reds such as Pinot Noirs to be very enjoyable. Another option is to swap out your glass of red for a glass of Rose. I tried a lovely 2013 dry Rose called Cajones Muy Grande (a Grenache and Mourvedre blend) from Bakkheia Wines in the Geographe Wine region at a wine showcase last year, it was my favourite wine I tried that night.

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Cocktails

When I was dining out with friends this past summer I found myself often gravitating towards a cocktail with my meal. When ever I am dining out at a beachfront location I always find myself in the mood for a cocktail. At Salt on the Beach just behind the dunes at Port Beach in North Fremantle I stumbled across a delicious and simplistic lychee cocktail. At The Pickled Fig off South Beach in South Fremantle I tried their Earl’s Punch cocktail and enjoyed its refreshing flavour. Lastly if you are in the CBD looking for a cocktail and meal combo you cannot go past Jamie’s Italian and its whole package. I have tried quite a few of the cocktails at Jamie’s and have yet to have a bad thing to say about any of them on their flavour and they are well priced!

Keep an eye out for the second instalment of this post up later this week!

 

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Summer Wrap: Brunch @ The Pickled Fig, South Fremantle

Summer Wrap is a series of my highlights and favourites from summer. A collection of eating,drinking and dining that captures the sunny warm weather of a Perth summer to a T. For those still wanting to dine somewhere that embraces the outdoors and the beach in Fremantle than Pickled Fig is the place to do so! I recently was at the Pickled Fig to have brunch with my gran.

On my last morning in Perth I organised to have brunch with my Gran. We had arranged to pick somewhere in Fremantle but would decide that morning when we knew what we felt like having. That morning my gran asked if we could go to The Pickled Fig as she had wanted to see what it was like. I quickly agreed to go as I have been to the picked fig many times but only once for their breakfast menu and wanted to try it out again.

We arrived around 9:30am on a Friday morning and found the place to be about half full. We were quickly met, seated and present with menus to look at. There was only one or two staff on the floor that morning and they seemed to be quite busy with the place half full, as it took a little while for them to return to take our orders, we were not bothered by this as we had plenty to talk about.

We were seated in the tables on the opposite side of the restaurant to the windows with the long bench and the funky patterned chairs. The booth seating was nice and comfy, though the fabric on the chairs showed signs of significant use either through the fabric being worn or torn and needing to be replaced.

I ordered a Fruit Fetish Juice consisting of orange, passionfruit, pineapple ($8.50), a Red Espresso Latte ($4.50) and the Eggs Benedict with ham ($16) for my breakfast. The juice arrived first and was nice and refreshing, and it made the wait for my food pass quickly. The Latte arrived just before my meal and was the perfect drinking temperature by the time my eggs came out of the kitchen. The eggs were deceptive in that the meal did not look very big and I was worried if it would fill me up as I had a busy day of last minute errands before I got on the plane that night. I need not have worried, as in the end it was just the right sized portion.

Towards the end of our meal the restaurant was getting a little stuffy from the warm weather that day. The staff however was already on to this as they opened up the bi-fold windows to get a breeze going through the dining area and made it a very enjoyable place to be.

Again I enjoyed the food at The Pickled Fig, as did my Gran. I will certainly be returning to The Pickled Fig when I am back in Perth.

The Pickled Fig Cafe on Urbanspoon

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

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

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!

Monthly Review: November

Hi everyone,

So this is hopefully going to be a monthly segment that highlights some of the standouts for the month. Let me know if there are any questions you would like me to include in future monthly blog posts.

1. Favourite wine of the month?

Albariño from my wine essential course.

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

Peel Estate has some wonderfully aged reds (Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz) think 2005-2006 for $30-$35. Excellent value for money and my review of their wines will be up on Monday in a weeks time with my review of the winery and my tour of it.

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

Turkey Flat Barossa Valley Rose 2012.

4. What restaurants do I want to return to?

Al Dente – I would like to see what their service is like.

5. What was my favourite meal this month?

It is a toss up between my tandoori chicken pizza from Blend Cafe and the lamb from Capel Vale that I had at Gourmet Escape.

6. Upcoming events for next month?

Summer of Riesling is happening today at Matilda Bay (3-7pm).

George Street Festival (East Fremantle 1-7pm)

Christmas (look out for a food and wine pairing post for Christmas Day this Tuesday).

New Years (Look out for a posts on Champagne and Sparkling wines over the next few weeks).

7. Favourite wine packaging?

The Abstainer, Capital Wines.

The Abstainer, part of the Ministry Series.

The Abstainer, part of the Ministry Series.

Back label for The Abstainer.

Back label for The Abstainer.

8. Best service?

Capel Vale and Darbar both had excellent service who were attentive but did not hover over the table.

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

Dinner at the Pickled Fig in South Fremantle is something I have been wanting to try after having had brunch there a few months ago and enjoying it.

10. Wine Century Challenge.

Total = 23 varietals.

Favourite = Albariño

Meetings with the Perth wine bloggers will begin in December so here’s hoping that number will rise quickly and that I will have new favourites to share with you all soon!

Until next time!