The Brisbane Hotel, Highgate

Website: http://www.brisbanehotel.com.au

So I hadn’t caught up with my dearest S.K. for the longest of time, and thought a nice catch up session with some of our beloved beer would be nice. We knew how packed it would be in the arvo, so we decided to meet at about 11.30am (from memory!).

Arriving there, it was as though the place was closed because of the unusual silence around the establishment. We got worried. Until we walked in and saw some people already starting their Sunday sessions with a glass of wine or a nice cold beer (for a cold winter’s day).

We were seated outside due to the lack of space inside (so if you do want a space inside, remember to make a reservation people!). Other than the presence of rather dark clouds, we were quite happy with our table.

Looking over the menu, I was pleasantly surprised at the variety of items offered in it. It wasn’t so much typical pub food (although the usual suspects were still there!)… so… we ended up ordering:

  • Braised Lamb Shank, Roast Winter Vegetables, Mash ($28.50)
  • Scotch Fillet Steak Sandwich, Onion, Aioli, Tomato Kasundi, Fries ($22.50)
  • 2 pints of Beer

What I love about this place, before I go on any further, is the size of the pints! I don’t know the actual amount, but they certainly seem bigger than the usual amount we’d get in a pint. And I love their stylish pint glasses. :)

I had wanted to try their crispy whiting fillets on the menu that day, but alas, they couldn’t change the potato salad to chips. Boo!! But oh wells. I was happy enough with trying their steak sandwich anyway.

So onwards with our food!

The lamb shank came out looking very impressive. I loved the presentation of the dish, and there seemed to be a nice amount of gravy that accompanied the meat. I am not the biggest fan of lamb, but according to S.K., it wasn’t too bad at all :) The mash looked luscious and the winter vegetables were definitely inviting me in for a taste!

The steak sandwich came out looking just as impressive, and with a nice little dish of tomato sauce, I was a happy camper (very much influenced by my dearest “work husband” DAW). I took a bite into the sandwich, and was grinning from ear to ear. :) It was absolutely beautiful! I loved the tomato kasundi, which gave a nice twang to the sandwich, and there was rocket amidst the salad that was being squished in between those turkish breads! Pure delight. The downer for me was the chips. Was expecting a nice beer-battered bunch of chips, but it was just the normal fat chips with some salt sprinkled over. Thank goodness for the tomato sauce *wink*.

After finishing our mains, it was clear that we were about to explode from the sheer generosity of the serving. BUT! As what many would say, “there’s always room for dessert!”. The waiter who had already been serving us with much enthusiasm and patience then came along and asked us if we’d like some. We asked for a recommendation in which he suggested the spanish donuts. Having been to San Churros far too many times, we had second thoughts, but decided to go with his recommendation anyway.

It came out looking a tad different to what we’d expected (okay, so we were just stereotyping the spanish donut!)…. but the chocolate and vanilla bean dipping was just too attractive! We started breaking the donuts bit by bit, and with every bit we had with the chocolate and the vanilla bean, we just went, “wow”…. “mmm”… “omg”. There was this amazing smooth texture to the chocolate, and the vanilla bean anglaise (as it was called) was brilliant! It tasted just like vanilla bean ice cream melted in the right way, to the right temperature. What a delight! Definitely the highlight of our meal.

The service was good with friendly wait staff. Perhaps because there wasn’t very many people at the time. The funny thing was as the crowd started coming in, and the time started to approach about 4pm, we were asked numerous times if we had wanted anymore to drink/eat. Before long, we were just given the bill. Hmm. Not that it’s wrong, but it had been quite a while since I have experienced the polite “we need the table, guys”.

Nevertheless, Brisbane is definitely somewhere I’d go again for a meal, and to have that spanish donuts again! I hope the quality of those donuts (nor the sauces) will not drop.

And bring on the beer!!!

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Rating by: S.T. a.k.a Miss Egg

The Brisbane Hotel
Telephone: (08) 9227 2300
Address: 292 Beaufort Street, Highgate, Western Australia

Brisbane Hotel on Urbanspoon

Grosvenor Hotel, Perth

Website: http://www.thegrosvenorperth.com.au

Sooo… besides Armada along Hay Street, there is also this little nice hotel-turned-pub on the Eastern side, which we visit every once in a while.

This time, it was the Melbourne Cup celebrations! The great secretaries gathered us all together as we had a good meal and some good booze before watching those horses gallop their way towards victory.

I actually love this place in that it has two different sections – the typical pub-like area where you can play some pool, and hang out quite comfortably with mates on a lazy Friday afternoon, and a classier side, where you can host nice business lunches, without feeling as tho’ you’re part of a pub. :) Brilliance!!

With some specials always placed on the counter – don’t be too anxious to get your order and done with… peep over at the counter to check out their specials and you might be in for a treat without really realising!

I tell you all of that because that’s exactly what happened to me – I was all ready to order some traditional fish and chips, when the little specials stand caught my eye, and I ended up ordering the special grilled fish of the day, which turned out to be a healthier and ultimately good choice! :)

Anyway, enough of that. You usually place your order at the counter, grab a number, then if you want, grab a drink at the bar counter, then go sit down at your preferred location (that’s of course unless you’re with a big group for which I do strongly recommend an early booking/reservation!)

Here’s our orders:

  • Lamb Wrap
  • Chicken Wrap
  • Fish of the Day (Grilled Perch with Chips and Salad) (SPECIAL STAND!!)
  • Steak Sandwich
  • Tuscan Grilled Barramundi (served with parmesan herb mash and stir fried asian greens)
  • Veal Schnitzel (SPECIAL STAND!!)

This was quite a big event but due to my rather shy nature (NOT!)… I didn’t manage to get everyone’s dish, altho’ I can tell you lovely people a little more about the other dishes we have tried on the menu.

The wraps were not really well complimented. The chicken wrap received negative feedback from DAW, saying that there wasn’t enough taste – an overall disappointing meal. The lamb wrap on the other hand, consumed by our lovely Miss L. was apparently alright. Nothing too great…

For some strange reason, I did not take a photo of my perch (well I did… only AFTER I finished about 80% of the plate! duh sandra -.-) but I guess this one picture of a fish-dish can give you a rough idea of how the fishes are presented at this establishment. :)

I had a little taste of the Barramundi that Miss Anise had, and it was actually quite pleasant. I wouldn’t say it’s the best fish I’ve tasted, but it was averagely good. Generous serving of greens and mash too (: (: Always a plus for me!

The Grilled Perch I had was quite bland but really nice with the little slice of lemon squeezed over the bulk of the fish fillet. The chips – great compared to Armada’s, and probably the best along Hay Street in proximity of SKM. :) good on them!

Mine came with a nice fresh green salad – good serving too. The Fish dishes were satisfactory! :)

The veal schnitzel was apparently ‘ok’…. but I have to say I did think their mushroom sauce looked rather tasty!! yum yum. It’s a pity it was a senior engineer who ordered this (didn’t dare to ask to try because I was just not close enough to him =X). The steak sandwich was something that was widely raved about in the past because of its great serving and lovely aioli! From how it was presented, it does look the same, but from what DAW was telling me the last time I spoke to him about it, he said the standard’s dropped. I’m quite sure it’d stand up as a good fight against Armada’s fallen steak sandwich standard by now. :)) Worth a try, I’d say!

There’s a good range of drinks, ranging from tap beer, to champagnes… the only thing really lacking in this rather beautiful place to hang out is some cocktails and desserts!! But I guess they generally cater for the lunch-people. But people who have lunch might want to have some desserts to perk their day up too! :) In any case, this is an area they can probably improve on.

The service at Grosvenor is pretty good, with the waitresses patient with the deliberation of our orders at the counter, and serving us with a chirpy nature. They have no qualms or complaints whenever you ask for something extra (e.g. some ketchup), which is something becoming quite a rare sight at pubs/cafes/restaurants these days in my humble opinion. For that I give them my thumbs up! KUDOS++!!

An overall a good place to  just hang out, or even to have a simple business lunch over a glass of good wine, I would definitely be visiting this place in the near future!! :)

Rating: 3.25 out of 5 stars

Rating by: S.T. a.k.a Miss Egg

The Grosvenor Perth
Telephone: (08) 9325 3799
Address: 339 Hay Street, Perth 6000, Western Australia

Grosvenor Hotel on Urbanspoon

Armada Restaurant & Bar, Perth

Armada Sign

Entertainment Book 09/10: Complimentary Main Course whenever another of equal/greater value is purchased (up to $40 value)

Situated about 3 minutes walk of my office building, this place has been a joint for our crazy, proper, farewell, random lunches for a while now, and over the durationof my employment at SKM, I have seen more than 3 changes in management of this place – which really makes me wonder, “what is going on?!” sometimes. That said, it’s not the management we’re eating, so let’s get down to the FOOD.

Being a bar, this place is a great little stop for a drink or two after work (especially you people working near enough to Victoria Avenue). There’s a good range of beer on tap (including Hoegaarden which is hard to come by!), and a good range of cocktails and normal spirit concoctions.

I will be doing this review in two parts:

  1. As an after-work bar
  2. As a lunch-time place to dine

Cool Painting 1After-Work Bar

I have always loved this place for an after-work drink simply because it’s nice and not too rowdy… you can actually sit down, talk and be able to listen to the person right in front of you without having to position your ear next to the person’s mouth to make out what he/she is trying to say. There is a nice courtyard area that allows people to smoke and chill at the same time – great for groups that have both smokers and non-smokers to mingle together!

Snacks are always a must for me, so we ordered:

  • Beer battered Chips
  • Turkish Bread with Dips

And because this review is done based on numerous visits, I shall try to remember the drinks we ordered:

  • Hoegaarden
  • Blue Shanghai (or something like that) – Cocktail
  • Champagne
  • Two other cocktails to which I have no idea what the names were due to my lack of good memory and the time lapse that has passed…

Chips with Tomato Sauce AioliTurkish Bread with Dips

The beer-battered chips were an absolute crowd-pleaser, with the batter covering the fat chips, topped up with a good amount of salt, served piping hot! :) It was deliciouso! The aioli is something quite unique as well – we suspect that it has been done with some form of fish-essence because when you dip your chip into the aioli and have the first bite, you will feel this sense of fishy-ness oozing out from the aioli. Took a while to get used to it but I have to say – the taste just started growing on me and the rest of the gang! We ordered another 2 portions on this occassion we had the chips, so it goes to show the greatness of those chips!! HOWEVER! I regret to say that was some time back……………………….

The turkish bread came out with a measeley two slices, and because the waitress saw us 6 people, she decided to offer us more bread free of charge! So how great was that service? *beams*. She brought out about four more to equal our numbers, and we were all very pleased with that initiative. Thumbs up! It was warm which is always a plus with turkish bread, and the dips were quite tasty – one was the usual EVOO and balsaimic vinegar… and the other was a pesto based dip which turned out to be quite tasty!

HoegaardenChampagne

Blue Shanghai

The Blue Shanghai cocktail was a crowd favourite that turned green after you stirred those two beautiful blue and yellow liquids together.

The one thing I love about Armada’s cocktails is that they’ve got a good quality with them – for some reason, I feel that their bartenders have a way with the shaker, and they are not afraid to be generous with the ingredients going into the cocktails… so for that, a huge huge thumbs up!! woo!

I don’t remember what the other two cocktails were but they were a good size and lovely to drink from my tastebud memory!

 

 

 

Other Cocktail 1Other Cocktail 2

After-Work Bar: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Inside The BarLunch-Time Place to Dine

I have always been a big fan of this place for lunch because of its nice ambience, interesting artwork (as you can see from the numerous photos I have taken). We were all really excited by this lunch because it had been quite a while since we last had lunch here (which was fabulous by the way).

We decided on the following dishes:

  • Pasta of the Day
  • Nasi Goreng
  • Fish & Chips
  • Steak Sandwich

And then some drinks:

  • Lemon Lime & Bitters
  • Coke

Pasta of the DayNasi Goreng

The pasta of the day was chicken & bacon pasta in a creamy tomato sauce topped up with rocket (or aragula as advised by my chef of a friend)… The one you see in the picture is without the bacon. I had a taste, and really it wasn’t up to scratch altho’ I loved the fact that they topped it up with the rocket. The big boo-boo of this dish tho’ – leaving pieces of chicken fat IN the dish! That’s just totally unacceptable. We were all quite disgusted.

The Nasi Goreng (which is literally fried rice in Malay) was always a dish that pleasantly surprised each of us who tasted it before this. N.L ordered this dish, and we were surprised by the serving because it is usually served in a bowl, but this time – a plate. Okay, so what? Well, it just goes to show that there must be some sort of kitchen-based change going on. And the taste just proved us even further that we were probably right. There was this amazing saltiness in the dish that left us drowning ourselves with water after (okay, so that was exaggeration but it was quite salty!). I do give it the kudos for the rather generous serving of ingredients.

Shark & ChipsSteak Sandwich

Funky Portrait 2The Fish & Chips had a shark being battered and fried… and I was actually looking forward to some good ol’ fashioned beer battered chips (think what I had for the after-work drinks)… but this dish came out as a massive disappointment. If not for the fact that I was actually really hungry that afternoon, finishing the plate would have been a task and a half. The chips came out really pathetic, with a lack of seasoning of salt (perhaps it all went to the Nasi Goreng?) and the fish was just hard, and chewy – not the best really.

The steak sandwich was just another disappointment right out of the bag for some reason. Steak Sandwich expert DAW was not impressed with this at all – especially when he held the steak sandwich here in Armada in high regard for a long long time.

The service was quite impecable, but food wise an overall disappointment :(

Lunch Time: 2.25 out of 5 stars

Ratings by: S.T a.k.a Miss Egg

Armada Restaurant and Bar
Telephone: (08) 9238 1888
Address: 417 Hay Street, Perth 6000, Western Australia

Armada Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

The Como, Como

Outside - from the corner

Website: www.comohotel.com.au

Entertainment Voucher 09/10: 25% off (up to a value of $30)

The Como is located along Canning Highway, inside The Como Hotel.  It is quite a prominent building, painted bluish purple on the outside, with a bright purple and lime sign in front – hard to miss.  The Como has a retro feel to it, but casual and cosy, you can almost feel the gentle humming of pleasantries in the atmosphere as soon as you enter.  It was cold that afternoon and I was not in the best of mood as I forgot my jumper and had a slight headache, so when I went in and was greeted with a nice warm heater up the front, I was a happy chappy.  One thing I like about their decor was the cushiony lime coloured sofa seats they had vs the average looking brown ones.  We quickly went and grabbed a table with the lime seats (one must be seated comfortably to enjoy one’s lunch =p). 

Inside restaurant - view 1 Inside restaurant - View 2      

The Como is open for lunch, dinner and casual drinks 7 days a week and is a fully licensed restaurant.  It has quite a comprehensive menu, more selections than the average pub.  (The restaurant’s opening hours and menu can be found on their website if you want to have a look before heading there, very handy!)

We started off with some coffees which was average, my Long Macchiato didn’t taste quite right and I had to add more milk, turning it into a latte.  For lunch, we had:

  • Beef Burger – $17.90
  • Beer Battered Fish & Chips – $21.50
  • Salt & Pepper Squid – $16.50

Coffees Beef Burger Fish & Chips Salt & Pepper Squid

The Beef Burger was a 180g beef pattie sandwiched between a toasted Turkish bun, filled with Swiss cheese, bacon, beetroot relish, lettuce with a tomato and aioli sauce.  It was served with a side of golden fries.  The Beef Burger looked simple but was the tastiest out of the three dishes we ordered that day.  The pattie was juicy (very important part of a burger as a dried up one will totally turn you off) and the beetroot relish mixed well with the aioli/tomato sauce to give it a ‘I want another bite’ feeling.  A plus for me.

I had the Fish & Chips which was served with golden chips, garden salad and tartare sauce.  The fish was a bit of a disappointment as it was overly fried which shrank and dried up the fish fillet.  The chips however made up for it as they were extra crunchy and yummy with the tartare sauce.   

The Salt & Pepper Squid was served with a trio of dipping sauce and was meant to come with a salad but my friend changed it to the golden fries.  It was served in a cocktail glass and the squid pieces were nice bite size and wasn’t chewy.  However, my friend thought it was only average. 

The staff that took our order was pleasant and accomodated our requests with a smile.  All in all, I thought it’s a good place for lunch with a relaxing atmosphere and especially good if you are after some pub food and drinks.  Although  the food that day was not too impressive but I think it was more of our choices rather than the food there.  I would go back to try some other items in their menu if I have a chance!

 

Rating:  3.5 out of 5 stars

Rating by: N.L.

The Como
Telephone
: 08 9367 6666
Address: 241 Canning Highway, Como

Como Hotel on Urbanspoon

Ess Bar, Subiaco

Bar AreaWebsite: http://www.essbar.com.au

Entertainment Book 09/10: 25% off total bill (up to $25 value)

Ess Bar has taken over the old Clancy’s Fish Pub in the Subiaco Village along Hay Street. For those familiar with the fast food joint strip along Hay Street, Subiaco Village is the little complex that’s just right next to Hungry Jack’s and KFC. It’s amazing how many food joints there are that I never knew about!

Hidden in a little corner, you wouldn’t know it existed other than the little board that sits outside the village, shouting out their various special deals. It’s really the only way to know that it exists – well other than word-of-mouth.

From the outside, you wouldn’t think too much of it because they didn’t do much to it but when you walk in, you’ll be greeted with an abundance of space that’s really quite surprising. The decor is excellent – elegant, classy but laid back at the same time, giving it an awesome casual overall feel to the place.

MenusOne should take note of the the Reception area that’s hidden over the corner of the bar, and next to the kitchen. The two times I have been there, I was only served when I approached them at the Reception – a tad strange but I guess that’s how they know if people just want a drink, or to actually sit down and have a meal.

The seating area is not that huge, but it does accomodate for at least 50-60 people, with a function room just adjacent to the main dining area. Coupled with a TV near the booths, it’s difficult to get your butt off the once you’re seated, especially if you’re footy fan on a Saturday/Sunday when a game is on!

Anyhoo, onto the food & drinks. This place serves a good range of alcholic drinks for those boozies like me. From tap beer, to bottled beer, from wine, to cocktails, they seem to have thought of everything! Well, they should really – since they’re a bar. :)

I will be doing two visits into a review, so here were the orders over the two visits for drinks:

  • Krombacher fully imported
  • Pure Blonde
  • Fat Yak Pale Ale
  • Beez Neez
  • Ess Bar Flirtini

KrombacherPure BlondeFat YakEss Bar Flirtini

The size of the pints were good, and so were the midi’s. The Flirtini was apparently good, and I had a sip of it – very special! ;) And with that little cherry down below the glass – why not? :)

Onto the food… the next time I do go back there, I will be trying the tapas that they offer. Quite a range, and after looking at others having a go, I think it’d be worth the shot! Altho’ I do think tapas are generally a tad overpriced here in Perth.

Here were our orders over the two visits:

  • Moroccan Sweet & Sour Bread with Pomegranate Molasses (wow? we thought so too!)
  • Steak Sandwich
  • Fish & Chips
  • Just a Burger

Moroccan Sweet & Sour Bread The sweet and sour bread came out looking really appetising, and with a recommendation for it in the menu (quoted “a must try!”)… we were excited to try this dish.

Taking it at first munch, it was a strange but somewhat delightful feeling in the mouth, giving it that lovely zest (from the pomegranate). I must say it doesn’t taste as good when it’s cold, so when it’s served, attack with full vigour! It was certainly a different sort of bread-dish, and one that people should try if they’re adventurous with their food explorations.

Not a fan of onions? Remember to tell them not to sprinkle them because the taste (and smell) does seep through as you tuck into the dish.

Recommended!

Steak SandwichI had tried the steak sandwich on my first visit with S.K to Ess Bar, and we were quite literally blown away by the standard of the cow in between those bread slices!! They had such tenderness that is quite rare in steak sandwiches these days, and with such lovely sauces they have smeared together with the salad and cow, it was a sheer delight eating it!

The chips that came along were probably as close as it can get to the best chips in town! They are now tied in with Armada (a review tha really is overdue and will come soon!) and Globe Coffee House with having the best chips in Perth (from what we’ve tasted thus far of course).

Crunchy and covered with a nice batter, KUDOS!!!+++ for Ess Bar’s chips!

One thing to note tho’. S.K. and I are not fans of onions (raw onions especially), and when they mentioned onion rings in the menu, we instinctively thought it was those large raw onion rings you would occassionally find in steak sandwiches. But NoOoo. We were fooled by our own carelessness! These onion rings were the nice fried ones you would get at HJs (see picture). So don’t make the same mistake if you’re like us – fans of HJ-type onion rings and not fan of raw.

Fish & Chips

The fish and chips were served with the same awesome chips as the steak sandwich, and a good amount of tartare sauce, that will leave you with some extras after you’re done I believe (unless you’re the sort of person who smothers the sauce you have with abundance :)). The fish itself that day was a tad fishy but for some reason tasted quite nice. The only thing I was put it down on is the dry-ness of the fish. Might have been a bit over-fried, causing the meat inside to dry up a tad.

There was a nice serving of salad too, making this dish a really nice size for a hungry diner.

I didn’t get to really analyse the tartare sauce but this dish is probably a notch down from the steak sandwich in my humble opinion :)

And then there came the burger…

Just a BurgerThe burger was served with a little chinese-teacup worth of aioli, which I will get to later.

The buns used for the burger were nice and crisp, but it was stacked a bit too much inside that it was a bit tough to have a bite of the full burger. Even for a big-mouth like me :)

That said, it’s lovely to see all the greens inside the burger, with the patty inside nice and thick.

The beef patty had a peculiar taste which left me feeling “hmm, let’s have another bite to see what’s really in this” a few times. It wasn’t till the 4-5th bite that I realised there was a good amount of herb being mixed into the patty giving it its really strong aroma. I’m not too big a fan of herbs, so this was not a plus for me.

The aioli on the other hand was just bursting with flavour, and was a good accompaniment to the burger (and chips for that matter). It was an average meal and I wouldn’t be ordering this again.

And you thought I was done. What about DESSERTS!

Dessert Menu

The one dessert that we decided to try is what I’d like to call the main attraction to Ess Bar.

I won’t let you guess what it is because you would realise it’s quite obvious which item really stands out the most as being a unique, strange and yet really entising option.

I, for one, am looking forward to the sister and her family popping by from the USA to come try this awesome dessert!

For $18, it is well worth the money and will put a smile onto any child’s face (including the adults who think they’re still entitled to their ‘childhood fun’ once in a while).

Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory
toasted almond biscuit, chocolate kahlua mousse, brownie ice cream, chocolate mud cake and truck load of treats

Need I say more?

The one thing you will probably need is some proof of the pudding visually.

Willy Wonka 1Willy Wonka's Truck (somewhat untouched)

Truck DefeatedWilly Wonka from the Top

Willy Wonka Up-Close

I think the pictures speak for themselves, but I will explain the little bits.

The house – is the almond biscuit
The truck – well, the literal translation of “truck of treats”
The ice cream – the best I have tasted in a while now!
The mousse and mudcake – ever wondered why they even built a house out of the almond biscuit? :))

And there are two little choc fingers popping out as the chimney. Absolute brilliance I’d say!

Don’t be fulled by the look of it – I know it doesn’t look like much when you see it in the pictures, but the plate was M.A.S.S.I.V.E.

The highlight for us girls that day was definitely the almond biscuit and the brownie ice cream – both so yummy that we wish there would be more!

The truck itself was really hard chocolate, and should only  be eaten by the not-so-faint hearted. Try getting a strong person to break it. I tried forking it down in the middle but I guess I didn’t have the inner strength that D.P seem to have possessed.

The other treats? Just the usual lollies you’d find in a candy store, except that the strawberries and cream jelly was different AND yumm!

I give this beautiful dessert a 4.5 out of 5 (mostly for the creativity and the generosity of the ingredients) on its own!

Cappucino with Choc-Coated MeringueThe three of us ordered some coffee as well (not knowing the sheer size of this dessert), two cappucinos (pictured) and a mocha…

The Caps were served with some sugar and a choc-coated meringue, which unfortunately didn’t melt when you place it in the mouth (boo).

The mocha turned out to be hot choc, much to the slight dismay of D.P. It was served with a couple of marshmallows and we should have known.

Overall, this place serves rather good food, and is a lovely place to just chill out over the weekend on a saturday/sunday afternoon with family or close friends.

The one thing that would be nice to see an improvement in for this establishment would be the service. We found ourselves trying to get the attention of the wait staff for a good 20 minutes just to order our desserts. It was not a lazy attempt from us, but it seemed as tho’ they weren’t too interested in our business, and I for one was getting impatient.

They could really give more attention.

If not for the service, this place would have been one of the better places I have been to for lunch, but it was really quite disappointing to be waiting 20 minutes just to order some desserts, and much less to say, get our order of mocha stuffed up!

Rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars

Rating by: S.T. (a.k.a Miss Egg)

Ess Bar
Telephone:
(08) 9381 5099
Address: 531 Hay Street, Subiaco WA 6008 (In the heart of the Subiaco Village)

Ess Bar on Urbanspoon

Queens, Highgate

Queens SignageWebsite: http://www.thequeens.com.au

Frequently driving past this place, I’ve always wondered why it’s so crowded all the time. Less the fact that it’s a pub and they’ve got quite a decent range of beer, the first thing you feel when you walk into this place is its victorian (or well, colonial) vibe. The sort of vibe you would feel when you see an old building along the street and walk right into it – simply because of how it brings back fond (or maybe not) memories of the days in history classes…

I love the architecture of the building, re-used in a rather magnificent fashion to maximise the internal and external area.

It was a cold night when we went there, and even tho’ I had made the booking that very morning, we weren’t given a seat inside the establishment! Boo hoo.

Never mind that, because at that point in time when we were seated, it was fairly quiet, which was a good thing. I thought to myself, “okay, I’m actually willing to sacrifice the cold with the quiet”.

Starving ladies we were, we quickly glanced through the menu, and realised there were quite a few choices… and they were all described with such professionalism that your mouth would water with each line you read!

Menu 1Beer List!

Guess who dove straight into the drinks list? So like I said, they have a good range of beer, and much less to say cocktails (S.C recommended the vodka infusions). To start off the night, we had the following:

  • 1664 Kronenbourg (Beer)
  • Heineken
  • Redskin Vodka Infusion

 1664 KronenbourgHeinekenRedskin Vodka Infusion

Chunkies (Wedges) - Three dips included sweet chilli, sour cream and aioliTook us a while to decide on the mains, so while waiting, S.C was actually cravin’ for some wedges (which they call “chunkies” right here in Queens), so we had some chunkies ordered with our drinks. I have to say were REALLY GOOD! Good sh1t! :) They were by one of the best tasting wedges I have had here in Perth since I arrived in 2003. So if you are cravin’ some chunkies, why don’t you head down to the Queens, order some beer, and some chunkies. A delightful treat! KUDOS+++!!!

The 1664 Kronenbourg was quite an awesome beer. The first taste felt a tad bitter which I found a bit unattractive, but as I sipped further into the glass, I realised it wasn’t one of those beers where you could taste its goodness in just a small sip – you had to really dive into it! Not the best beer, but it was averagely good.

I tried the redskin vodka infusion for fun, but it didn’t sit too well with my tastebuds. It tasted very similar to a panadol syrup I used to take when I was growing up in Singapore. But it’s a taste that’s quite popular with other people (I know, I’m strange!).

We were finally able to decide on our mains:

  • Piri Piri Chicken Burger (ME!)
    Don’t be fooled. It’s not Nando’s, but the description appears to be so similar that it’s not funny.
  • Vanilla Roasted Pork Belly, pepperberry and macademia stuffing, roast chat potatoes, snow peas, apple glaze (V.A)
    Now, do you understand why I said the mouth would just drool at every line??
  • Venison Osso Bucco
    A rich tomato braise, with some soft spinach palenta (so yes, I copied)

Piri Piri Chicken Burger

The chicken burger, despite its breast meat being really tender, was a tad on the dry side – which is never too appetising. Especially for someone who loves the thigh, drumstick and wing parts of the chicken. The sauce was close to nothing, altho’ there were random spots of spiciness over the course of finishing the burger. Chips were a let-down compared to the awesome chunkies we had before – mainly because they were soggy and NOT salted! A big boo boo there.

Vanilla Roasted Pork Belly

The vanilla roasted pork belly was also a let-down for V.A… the taste was peculiar. I have to agree. Having tasted a bit of the belly, there was a strange flavour oozing out of that pork that didn’t seem too right. The easiest way to actually describe that taste is to compare it with the taste of a sausage. Yes, it’s not exactly a walk in the park when you pay almost-top-dollar for a nice pork belly that tasted like a sunday-bbq sausage.

Venison Osso Bucco

By the time I tried the venison, it was a bit cold, so it did destroy abit of the ‘complete’ taste that it should have had. That said, the dish tasted okay, albeit too rich with the tomato braise. S.C wasn’t too impressed either but among us three, I think she had the best.

Overall, the mains were quite a disappointment despite their beautiful description. Just to finish the night off, I ordered a midi of the Wahoo beer by Gage Roads. Interesting flavour that one!

By the time it came to desserts, we were a tad too afraid to risk anything, so we decided to scoot off and head to a place where we knew served good cakes and tea and coffee (tho’ I haven’t tried the coffee there yet so I can’t say anything).

The service was average, and by the time we were having our mains, the place had become rowdy with people shouting all over, so it was difficult to even get the attention of a waitperson. That said, the waiter who served us for most of the evening was extremely friendly and was willing to even get us the bill as opposed to us going to the counter and waiting for ages to get the bill settled. :) Thumbs up there!

I think I will still come back to Queens, and give it another shot at food, but I will definitely not order those three dishes. Given the great range of beer, I will definitely be back to drink and have some chunkies!

Rating: 2.75 out of 5 stars

Rating by: S.T (a.k.a Miss Egg)

The Queens, Highgate
Telephone: (08) 9328 7267
Address: 520 Beaufort Street, Highgate 6003, Western Australia

Queens Tavern on Urbanspoon

Norfolk Hotel, Fremantle

Website: http://www.norfolkhotel.com.au

Entertainment Card (2009): 25% off the total bill (up to $35 of value)

Norfolk MenuWe intended this to be a ‘surprise’ birthday celebration but it became a nice little gathering for us girls. Having been to this place before, S.K. thought it would be nice if we came here for dinner. No regrets!

Sitting on the corner of South Terrace, pretty close to the Anglican church opposite, Norfolk Hotel gives a rather victorian feel to one when you walk through its gates. A very nice and casual place to dine, you don’t actually see any “please wait to be seated” sign. You just rock up to the bar and you ask for your table (better to place a reservation because it gets pretty packed up!). We were meant to sit at this table where this group of people were, but they didn’t seem too ready to go so we were given the liberty to sit anywhere that didn’t have a ‘reserve’ sign. We chose one just in front of the walls leading out to the road. Nice and big table for our big appetites that night!

Unfortunately I didn’t get any shot of the external bits of norfolk, but trust me, it’s a lovely place!

We sat for a bit before I started itching for a nice cold beer. Here were our orders for drinks:

  • James Squire Amber Ale: ME
  • James Squire Golden Ale: S.K
  • Glass of Pinot Gri: D.P
  • Some Cider (memory lapse… again!): S.C
  • Some other beer =( I know I’m in poor form!: A.C

No pictures for these drinks since it’s not easy to tell the beers apart from each other.

Then we took sometime to decide on our mains. But after a nice deliberation, here were our final orders:

  • Steak Sandwich (who else? But I did share this dish with S.C. that night because I wanted a taste of hers)
  • Fish & Chips (S.C)
  • Angel Hair Pasta (S.K)
  • Smoked Chicken Salad (D.P)
  • Prosciutto Pizza (A.C)

Let’s start with what I had with S.C. first for a change:

Fish & Chips  Steak Sandwich

The fish & chips were a tad dry to me, but the tartare sauce made up for it! Nice and thick with traces of pickled vegetables in the sauce, I was really happy with the way the sauce tasted. It’s quite rare to find a good tastin’ tartare sauce. The fish could definitely be better with its texture.

The steak sandwich is something out of the ordinary steak sandwiches you’d get. This one has bacon! And because of that I have to actually score this one down because the bacon was overwhelming the cow’s taste. There was this strong bacon essence that was nice, but yet a little disappointing because the main thing you really wanted to eat, was really the cow. Hence the name “steak sandwich”? :) I do give it kudos for the free serve of ketchup tho’!! Not many places do that anymore!

Similar to both dishes – the chips. It was one of those chips you’d get at Little Creatures. Freshly cut and fried, served with a good amount of salt, the chips were definitely grade “A” for this chips lover. I was a happy camper.

I would recommend for these two dishes to be shared if people are up for it – you get a good taste of both, and you don’t feel too overwhelmed by a single dish. I don’t think I’d be able to cope with all that fish. The steak sandwich, well, I’m a cow person, so it’s not really fair for me to stick my thumb up and say anything, is it?

Angel Hair Pasta

The angel hair pasta came out lookin’ fresh and definitely an eye-catcher!! Served with nice little cherry tomatoes, the color was just beautiful and I couldn’t get my tastebuds into the dish! S.K. had a try of it, and had a slight look of disappointment, which sent me wondering, “what could possibly go wrong with such a beautiful dish?”…

So I had a try.

I could see what the whole look was about. Although it was nice and fresh, the dish lacked the flavour that would give it the ultimate kudos. It might have been the cheese that made the chef think “oh, maybe I shouldn’t add anymore flavouring to this”…

Would have loved this dish alot more if they had a little bit more taste. But it was definitely fresh so that should be commended!

Smoked Chicken Salad

The smoked chicken salad was something that I was really taken surprise by. With a nice presentation filled with nice shredded chicken (quite a generous serving at that!)… some pears, walnuts, this dish was really quite sublime for a salad. It had everything healthy in it, and to top it off, it tasted really yummo!

KUDOS+++!!

I loved the fact that the smoked chicken was well, really smoked chicken!!! Sometimes, you see it in name but you never really taste the smoked meat. This time, it was done nicely, almost to perfection in my opinion. A pity I didn’t get to try this with the pear, but I would think it tasted fabulous.

This would have been my favourite dish for the night. :)

Prosciutto Pizza

The Prosciutto pizza was something that looked really yummo from the moment it came out of the kitchen and indeed it was quite the yummy dish!!

The prosciutto was given in a rather generous portion to say the least and I was quite surprised at how this dish was not salty at all!! I would usually expect prosciutto to be quite salty, and with that amount of meat there, I thought there was gonna be that element of ‘over-salt’.

None. Absolutely beautiful.

It was quite a huge serving and Auds did such a good job in finishing it up!! With the help of us of course. *winks*

 

Overall, the Norfolk Hotel definitely has some yummy food to boast itself with, and I would go back there again because of its casual atmosphere (yes, you are talking to Miss Casual here).  Have a drink, have a meal, Norfolk will be a nice place to visit regardless if you’re in freo!

PS: James Squire Underground Bar is actually next to it, but it opens at about 10-10.30pm, so something that might be a good idea to do… have dinner at Norfolk, have a chat, then head to the Underground Bar after for some nice cold beer and good night chillin’!

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Rating by: S.T a.k.a Miss Egg

Norfolk Hotel
Telephone: (08) 9335 5405
Address: 47 South Terrace, Fremantle 6160, Western Australia

Norfolk Hotel on Urbanspoon