Varnish on King, Perth

Varnish on KingWebsite: http://varnishonking.com/

On Monday just past I was at Varnish on King attending the American Whiskey 101 Masterclass as part of the Eat Drink Perth festival. Varnish on King, located on King Street has grown in popularity since its inception and I have heard many good things but have yet to visit. The American Whiskey 101 Masterclass was just perfect for me and my colleagues to drop by!

Having not been there before, it was quite difficult for us to locate the spot! It didn’t helped that we were running slightly late as well. It turned out that the bar is actually located below ground level! I loved the mystery vibe I got walking down the stairs and discovering a whole new scene!

The bar Inside Varnish on King

The American Whiskey 101 Masterclass is an educational session about the world of American Whiskey, from the history of the varieties of whiskey through to production, the grains used, to the current styles available in the market. Don’t worry, it was not all talk, the session included an opportunity to taste four different styles of American Whiskey along with a couple of finger food from the kitchen. The Masterclass was led by Xander who is so knowledgeable he can talked non-stop for an hour!

Whiskey tasting Whiskey tasting

The four whiskeys we tasted were the Canadian Club, Woodford Reserve, Tennesee Whisky Dickel and Bulleit Rye.

Canadian Club Woodford Reserve Dickel Bulleit Rye

As we sampled the four different styles one after the other I did noticed the difference in the taste, in terms of the fruitiness, the lightness, mellowness and softness of the drink. I would hardly have notice it if I had just ordered one to try but when you have four to contrast against one another, it became quite obvious. Actually this was the rare few times that I had drank whiskey by itself and not mixed with Coke (No, no, no..said Xander :p) or on the rocks. A nice experience!

Along with the whiskey tasting we had the Tater Tots and Fried Chicken Wings to nibble on. The Tater Tots came with a chipotle hot sauce and creme fraiche, they were highly addictive! I also loved the Fried Chicken Wings with the popcorn and buttermilk dressing. I wanted more!

Tater Tots Fried Chicken Wings

Overall I thought it was quite a fun experience! My knowledge of whiskey had increased a notch! The Masterclass costs $40 per session with one running tomorrow at 5:30pm and thereafter the first Monday evening of each month. It is great for the whiskey newbies like me! Booking can be made at jamie@varnishonking.com
Varnish on King on Urbanspoon

Willie Wagtail, Perth

Willie WagtailWebsite: http://www.williewagtail.com.au/ Willie Wagtail is located on William Street, right across the 140 Perth building, where Jamie Italian’s restaurant is located. I was here this morning to check out the Coffee Demos that are run by Willie Wagtail every Saturday at 11am and 1pm during the Eat Drink Perth month. Thanking my lucky star, the topic was on Latte Art, a skill I find so fascinating but so hard to master!

As I arrived earlier waiting for the 11am slot, I went around about the cafe, happily snapping away and found myself ordering a light lunch to consume :p The food on the counter looked too appealing and tempting! Since I was at it, I ordered a coffee too! That’s the main reason why I was here anyway in the first place! Checking out the coffee!

Seating is limited inside the cafe but there are a number of tables outside in the laneway and out the back with crates. Simple but effective.

Seating area Seating areaCounterFood counterMenu

My lunch of Spiced Pumpkin Soup with buttered baguette ($7) and Long Mac ($4).

Spiced Pumpkin Soup

The Spiced Pumpking Soup was one of the best soup I’d tasted! I loved it, it was creamy, buttery and flavorsome, I almost ordered another one but saved my stomach for the Good Girl toastie, another favorite which I took home after the demo! I especially loved the toasty baguette that came with it. They complemented the soup wonderfully.

Long Mac

Willie Wagtail served a great cup of coffee too! I have to come back again soon!

Coffee machine

11am came by and we were given a demonstration by the lovely barista, a comprehensive educational session on Latte Art. From how the milk is to be steamed, aired, foamed, split to the angle the cup should be held during the pour, it was so fascinating!

Latte Art demo Latte Art demo

It came then the time for us to try it out ourselves! I have attempted it before and failed miserably, so I was quite happy I got a mini blob/heart/leaf? (photo below on the RHS). Consolation to myself :p

Trialing Latte Art My Latte Art

A competition was held after for the best ‘heart’ coffee! Needless to say I didn’t win :p but I had such a fun time! I was so glad I decided to come to the session.

This coming Saturday will be the last Saturday for the coffee demos at Willie Wagtail! This week’s topic will be on the Mocca Master, filter coffee baby! Mark this down all the coffee lovers out there!

Another positive I wanted to mention about Willie Wagtail is the service! Friendly and cheerful, I was greeted with numerous smiles as soon as I walked into the cafe. I felt so welcomed! Great find!

Willie Wagtail on Urbanspoon

Urban Bowl, Perth

Urban BowlsWebsite: http://urbanbowl.com.au/

Good Morning Vietnam! As part of the Eat Drink Perth festival, Urban Bowl is introducing two traditional Vietnamese breakfasts to us Perthians, with one of the dish served on a sizzling plate!

Urban Bowl is located on Sherwood Court, off St Georges Terrace right next to the Exchange Plaza. Known for its fresh and clean Vietnamese food with a twist, I have been a frequent visitor of past to get my hands on their delicious rice paper rolls and Vietnamese salads. This time round I was keen to check out the two breakfast dishes created by Urban Bowl especially for Eat Drink Perth!

3 2

What are these two dishes you ask? They are the Bo Ne (lemon pepper steak with fried egg) and the Bo Kho (herby beef stew with a 62 degree egg). Both served with a toasty baguette and an iced Vietnamese coffee for $20!

The breakfast dishes!

My sister and I ordered one of the breakfast dishes each so that we can have a taste of both. She preferred a Mocha instead of the Iced Vietnamese coffee as it was quite cold in the morning. Her request was gladly obliged. I was happy with the Iced Vietnamese coffee, bring it on I say :)

A note that Urban Bowl serves a wide range of coffee and tea (Urban Cup) for all the working people out there. I saw quite a number getting their takeaway cuppa that morning!

Mocha and iced Vietnamese coffee

And now for the main dishes…

Bo Kho (herby beef stew with a 62 degree egg) – this was one saucy dish with tender beef chunks and carrot pieces. It was one hand baguette and the other sauce dipping and beef piling. It was great! The 62 degree egg added some gooey goodness to the dish while the lime juice a lovely twang, so squeeze it hard, you won’t regret it! The dish was actually too big for me so I took some home and found that it tasted even better after it had been soaking in the lime juice! Love this!

Bo Kho

Bo Ne (lemon pepper steak with a fried egg) – this was my sister’s dish and she enjoyed it. I just love how it came out on a sizzling plate, it felt so much grander! I had a taste of the steak and found it quite tender. Steak for breakfast, who is up for it?!

Bo Ne

The Iced Vietnamese coffee tp me was not authentic to the traditional Vietnamese sense, there was a big scoop of ice cream in it! But I’m not complaining. It was a great iced coffee, without the ‘Vietnamese’ tag to it.Iced Coffee

Good Morning Vietnam was a great experience overall, the staff were very courteous and friendly as how they normally are the last few times I’d been. I’ve always like to try something different and this breakfast is definitely not what you will get else where!

The Good Morning Vietnam specials are available throughout Eat Drink Perth, Monday to Friday between 7am – 11am. Check it out if you are in the vicinity!
Urban Bowl on Urbanspoon

****Eat Drink Perth Dessert Garden****

The Dessert GardenWebsite: http://visitperthcity.com.au/eatdrinkperth/events/eat-drink-perth-dessert-garden

The Dessert Garden is new to Eat Drink Perth 2015, held every Friday night (except for Good Friday) during the EDP festival next to the Twilight Hawkers Market. It is a special event for the sweet tooth in all of us, featuring chocolatey, cakey and sugary delights, with stalls set up around a pop-up grassed garden, ready to serve.

The pop-up grass area

I was there the first Friday night, excited to check out what desserts I can get my hands on! There were at least 10 new stalls! Time to explore! Our strategy on the night was to find out what the stalls are selling before honing in on the preferred desserts! I wish I have more stomach space but there is only so much I can fit in with dinner! For those which I have not tried, I had taken photo of the stalls so that at least you can get a feel of what to expect!

My first stop was at Chicho Gelato to check out the new Chicho Panino, intrigued after reading the post from one of the EDP bloggers, Laura Moseley. There were three flavors available and we went for the gluten free mango, papaya sorbet with coconut cookie ($8). Loved the sorbet that was sandwiched between two coconut cookies! Great start to the night!

Chicho Gelato Chicho Gelato Chicho Panino
Chicho Gelato on Urbanspoon

Next we headed across to Delicious Bites, a stall selling CocoBites finger food. The main ingredients of CocoBites comprise of coconut millk, freshly grated coconut and the essence of pandan leaves. Delicious Bites was selling a pack consisted of a variety of CocoBites for $12. You can pick and choose what you like to go in the pack including CocoCrepes, CocoSlice, CocoPops, Pandan Custard Slice and CocoTops. We picked one of each of the above except for the CocoSlice. They were really fresh and tasty, you can tell that they have used fresh grated coconut as the taste of the coconut is magnified when it’s fresh. Must try!

Delicious Bites Delicious Bites Delicious Bites

You can also get these Delicious Bites at the Good Grocer in Applecross or order can be placed directly with them. The shop is located in Yangebup.
Delicious Bites on Urbanspoon

Our last stop was at the Eat No Evil dessert island. There were Sugar Hound lamingtons ($6), Chocolate Brownie Banana Split with Peanut Brittle ($10) and Bao Bun Ice Cream Sandwich with Salted Caramel ($10) on the menu. Talk about tough choices! We went for the Choc Brownie banana split! What a great decision, I loved all the elements in this funked up banana split! Brownie, banana, choc sauce, choc savings, shredded fresh coconut, peanut brittle and mint leaves. Wow! I love this! It’s almost like a meal! I was so full by then!

Eat No Evil Eat No Evil - lamingtons Choc brownie, banana split - Eat No Evil
Eat No Evil. on Urbanspoon

The rest of the stalls at the Dessert Garden which I didn’t manage to get to are shown below. I hope to get to them soon!

Braza Churros

The Honeycake

  • Fairy Floss

6b

Maison Saint Honore

  • Marshmallow Oz

Marshmallow Oz

  • Just Creme Brullee

Just Creme Brullee

  • Shak Shuka Moroccan Desserts

Shak Shuka Moroccan Dessert

Cafe Oranje

The Dessert Garden is the place to be for all you die hard sweet tooths! Tell me, how many desserts can you fit in a night?! :)

The Dessert Garden runs on Thursday 2 and Friday 10, 17, 24 April at Forrest Place, Perth 430pm – 9pm. Entry is free!

****Perth’s First Night Noodle Market****

Urban Orchard @NNMWebsite: http://visitperthcity.com.au/eatdrinkperth/events/night-noodle-market

The talk of town this year for the Eat Drink Perth festival was surely the Night Noodle Market (NNM) held at the Perth Cultural Center! Eat Drink Perth 2015 opened with a bang last Wednesday with the Night Noodle Market, a family friendly Asian hawker style market set up over three areas, namely the Central Square, Museum Plaza and the Urban Orchard, housing over 20+ stalls and 3 popup bars. It was so exciting! I ended up going to this event three times over four days!

The most popular stall by far is Hoy Pinoy, Filipino BBQ and street food at its best. It was the most talked about stall even before it arrived in Perth! My first visit on the opening night had to be to this stall!

Hoy Pinoy Hoy Pinoy Hoy Pinoy BBQ Chicken Skewer

When I arrived at the front of the line after a 20mins wait, I could only get my hands on the BBQ Chicken skewers (2 for $10). There was another 20mins wait for their signature BBQ Pork Belly skewers! As I was getting picked up very soon after, I had to forgo the wait. A reason to come back again, which I did on the weekend with my family. After reading various reports of 1 – 1.5 hours wait for the BBQ Pork Belly skewers, we decided to head there early and arrived 10mins before 4pm (the opening time on Saturday). We rushed to the front of the line of Hoy Pinoy very soon after the entrance was opened. Great strategy as we managed to get two of those babies straightaway. Wahoo! The BBQ Pork Belly skewers were marinated with a banana ketchup glaze, caramelised onto the meat. They were so tasty! Well worth the wait!

Third night Hoy Pinoy Happy with my BBQ pork belly skewers

The other stalls we visited at the NNM included:

  • Low Key Chow – we had the Mantou Buns, pork 2 ways with chili coriander slaw and caramel sauce (2 for $12). The Mantou Buns were fillers for us before we headed to the Dessert Garden at Forrest Place (more of this in the next post!). They were great fillers!

Mantou Buns - Low Key ChowLow Key Chow House on Urbanspoon

  • Turban Chopsticks – When I first saw a photo of Turban Chopsticks‘ potato and ricotta koftas they were selling at NNM, I knew I had to get it! They looked so good! On the Sat evening, I managed to meet the owner of Turban Chopsticks, Mei at the stall and found her to be so friendly and knowledgeable with her food! Really hoping that her and her hubby do well at the NNM! The Potato and Ricotta koftas with butter curry ($10) tasted amazing as it looked! I also tried the Sweetcorn + Lupin fritters with caramelized onion tomato chutney ($10) and they were amazing too! So was the Asian Noodle Salad ($10). You can’t go wrong with this stall! A must try!

Potato and ricotta koftas Sweetcorn + lupin fritters Asian Noodle Salad
Turban Chopsticks on Urbanspoon

  • Apple Daily Bar & Eating House – Having been to the restaurant itself at the Print Hall in Brookfield Place and sampled the food they put up at the Gourmet Escape, this was a must visit stall for us! We had the Smoked trout, green papaya salad, herbs, namjim ($12) and the Chicken wings with narm phrik pao caramel sauce with puffed rice ($9). They did not disappoint! Yum!

Smoked trout with papaya salad Chicken wings with narm phrik pao caramel sauce
The Apple Daily Bar & Eating House on Urbanspoon

  • Spanthai – My mum wanted to try the Chicken Pad Thai ($15) and we wanted to get the ginger, lemon & mint iced tea ($5) which was very refreshing. The Pad Thai was on the average side.

Chicken Pad Thai

  • Waffle on a Stick – we finished off with dessert from Waffle on a Stick – we had the caramel and lychee waffle ($10). It wasn’t really a favorite as I thought the waffle was not crispy enough. Looked great and enticing though.

Waffle on a Stick Caramel and lychee waffle on a stick

The “noodles” were not really the star at the Night Noodle Market which some people might find odd but I thought the Night Noodle Market portrayed very well the concept of a night food market with the buzz, hype and vibe of an outdoor festival. Love the energy it is bringing to the City of Perth. Looking forward to more of it in the coming years!

There are only three nights left of the Night Noodle Market, the last night on Sunday 29 March. If you have not been, don’t miss out!

Mobile Food Truck Trial and the Food Truck Rumble!

Earlier this year, the City of Perth announced the trialing of the operation of food trucks in the City of Perth Local Government Area. The news greeted most I know with excitement especially my sister who has now become an avid fan, constantly on the look out for the food truck near her work place in West Perth! She was actually the one who informed me about this, and told me that Langley Park is one of the approved locations for the trial. Beauty, as that is very near my work place. I started my own look out throughout the week!

The nine food truck operators selected from a pool of applicants to participate in the trial include Jumplings, JJ’s Sweet Bliss, Braised Bros, Eat no evil, Soul Provider, Comida do Sul, Smokin BBQ Bus, Guerrilla Foods and Holy Crepes.

So far I have only caught Comida do Sul, the Brazilian food truck at Langley Park. They serve some mean varieties of Hot Dogs and Brazilian sandwiches.

Comida do SulComida do Sul FullSizeRender (3)

I had the O Mutante sandwich ($12) for lunch that day – salted Picanha rump steak, pineapple chilli jam, farofa, lemon mayo, tomato salsa, garlic kale in a toasted roll. It was so delicious! I was the envy of my colleagues! They are now on the look out for the food trucks as well!

O Mutante SandwichO Mutante Sandwich

I’m looking forward to try their Egg Prato one day, new on the menu!

There is a website https://www.facebook.com/Perthfoodtrucks which is meant to be the hub to find out information on the locations and time of where the food trucks are operating. However I found the page is normally not updated regularly making it a bit hard to figure out where the food trucks are. You will just have to be on the look out like me!

There are 15 approved locations including:

  • Mounts Bay Road
  • Bill Garden Reserve
  • Havelock Street
  • John Oldham Park, Narrows Interchange
  • Wellington Square
  • Mardelup Park
  • Bronte Street
  • Queens Gardens (two locations)
  • Langley Park (two locations)
  • Point Fraser
  • Heirisson Island
  • Russell Square
  • James Street Car Park (Friday and Saturday only, 10pm – 2am)

The trial will run from the 1st of February 2015 to the 31st of May 2015 where a report will be submitted to the Council evaluating its success and the possibility of future food truck operations in the city. Let’s show our support if you want them to stay permanently! Prior to this trial, food trucks were not permitted to operate within the City of Perth unless they were part of an event.

On that front, please don’t forget to check out the Food Truck Rumble on Sunday 12 April at the Perth Cultural Centre as part of Eat Drink Perth 2015. My review from last year’s visit here. This year will be even bigger and better with thirty of the best mobile food vendors brought to the heart of the city for us to enjoy the food truck phenomenon in a single location! There will be street food, pop-up bars and a break dancing competition! Hope to see you there! :)

Narration: Miss L
Comida do Sul on Urbanspoon

Aliment, Leederville

AlimentI accidentally stumbled upon Aliment as I was heading towards Hylin for brunch one Saturday morning. As usual, Hylin was very busy and there was a long queue for table. My BFF actually managed to to get a table for us when she arrived but as my friend and I were late, she had to give it up as she brought her toddler and baby along with her and they were a bit unsettled and wanted a walk. My bad! I suggested for us to head over to Aliment which caught my attention just prior and seemed spacious enough to accommodate the kids. Turned out I was right!

Aliment is located just a few doors from Hylin and has both an indoor seating and a big alfresco seating area. We sat outside initially but due to the high winds, we moved inside not long after. Didn’t want the kids to get cold! The staff was very accommodating. Thanks!

Aliment

I ordered a freshly squeezed Orange Juice ($5.50) to start and later on a Long Macchiato ($4) to finish the meal. The OJ was very refreshing. Loved it!

OJ Long Mac

Our attention turned to the menu, there were a few interesting items on there – it took us awhile to decide what we wanted! Aliment has “Specials for the day” on top of their normal menu, there were the Banana split pancakes, the Zucchini & Pumpkin fritters and Pulled pork & potato rosti! So many choices but only one stomach each! We ended up having the following:

  • Silverside hash ($15) – My order and I liked it! It was a hearty dish, crunchy hash brown (yum!), thin slices of silverside topped with runny poached eggs and a creamy bearnaise sauce. My type of dish. There were a few pieces of kale scattered on the dish to balance out all the creaminess and meat! They tried!

Silverside hash Silverside hash

  • Corn fritters ($18) – rockets, tomatoes, bacon and poached eggs. This was my BFF’s order and she liked it as well. The components in the dish looked like they were char-grilled.

Corn fritters Corn fritters

  • Pulled pork & potato rosti ($19) – this was from the “Specials for the day” and we ordered this for our friend as she was running late. She requested for something meaty as she loved her meat and this was right up her alley, house pulled pork, grilled bacon, kale, potato rosti with bearnaise sauce & poached eggs. I had a taste of the pulled pork and it was amazing! Very flavorsome! I almost wished I ordered this instead! I helped her finished nearly a quarter of it :p

Pulled pork & potato rosti 5a

All in all, this was a great find on Railway Parade, the food were hearty and delicious, and the staff was very attentive and accommodating. Great place for family with kids as well. Just a note that food could take awhile to come so this is not a place for a quick in and out breakfast/brunch/lunch.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Aliment on Urbanspoon