Clarke’s of North Beach, North Beach

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

MenuI’d been wanting to go to Clarke’s of North Beach for my birthday the last couple of years but had never been able to get a weekend booking in time. This year I decided to organise a dinner there for a uni friend’s birthday. We got a table easily as it was a week night. Yes!

The restaurant interior looked lovely and provided us with the warmth as soon as we entered (Perth has really chilly nights!).  One cannot fail to notice all the awards hanging on the wall. Chef and owner Stephen Clarke is the winner of multiple awards in the industry including being named the ‘Good Food Guide’ Chef of the Year 2012 for Perth. I was really looking forward to the dinner!

EntranceLovely ambience inside the restaurant!

AChampagne to start with – I was the only one drinking that night!

My glass of champagne

We went with the Degustation Menu – 6 courses for $100pp. We also ordered an extra dish each for an additional $20.

  • Amuse Boche – warm soup with a mini glass straw – very cute!

Amuse Bouche - soup

  • Linley Valley pork belly, apple textures, crackle dust - this dish was amazing!! I love the “melt in the mouth” pork belly – more please! My favorite dish of the night!

Linley Valley pork belly

  • Confit Huon salmon, seared Esperance scallop, celery sorbet, fennel & yuzu – the scallop in this dish was a winner. It was also my first tasting of a celery sorbet, refreshing and very unique!

Salmon, scallop, celery sorbet

  • Honey roasted duck breast, confit leg, foie gras espuma – this was an additional dish ordered which I didn’t try but it looked great and was beautifully presented.

Honey roasted duck breast, confit leg, foie gras espuma

  • Queensland spanner crab, brioche, coconut, lime bonito salt (additional dish) – this was art on a plate and my 2nd favorite dish with the crunchy on the outside but fluffy on the inside brioche and the Asian fusion flavor of the crab meat.

Queensland, brioche, coconut

  • Prime fillet steak, braised beef cheek, onion puree & buttered carrots - it was a nice piece of steak, juicy and tender. Love the sides of buttered vegetables.

Fillet steak, beef cheek and vegetables

  • Chocolate & caramel with popping candy – delicious first part of dessert, the highlight being the popping candy. A party in the mouth!

Choc & caramel with popping candy

  •  Lemon meringue with steamed lemon and vanilla pudding - the last course to finish off the night, and another art on a plate. Yummy pudding!

Lemon meringue and lemon & vanilla pudding

Couldn’t finish the night without a cup of coffee – my Cappuccino :)

Cappuccino

Service at Clarke’s was excellent too, attentive but not too overbearing. Dinner here was as excellent as I expected. I will definitely be back again!

Rating:  4.5 out of 5 stars

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Soda SunLounge, North Beach

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

The sisters and I decided to go somewhere a little out of the ordinary for us (living in the city and east) one weekend for breakfast, and we ended up having such a good catch up session, we stayed till the place was preparing for lunch! =X

This place is sitting above a little shopping centre along North Beach Road, and I actually got lost trying to find the place because there are so many sections to the car park! If you park on the upper level, and you enter through the door where it is next to the gym… then you gotta walk all the way down towards the end. If you are parked somewhere else, well, just follow the signs? :)

The inside of this place is really quite nice. With interesting paintings filling the area, and nice comfortable lounge sofas, and wooden benches around. I sat inside because there wasn’t any seats outside (where you really would wanna be especially in summer because it overlooks the beach and ocean!).

As I waited, the sisters came through, and as we chatted a little bit, we were served some water and menus… and before we knew it, “BAM!” A table outside became free and we quickly grabbed our stuff and went outside! Whee. The morning was already looking good.

As the sisters deliberated on the menu, I decided to take the chance to snap a photo of the outside… and it’s lovely that I manage to have snaps of a place where there is a significant number of people because, really, everytime I try to, I fail!

The menu didn’t boast variety, but I do give it kudos for its interesting choices that we’re being offered.

Besides coffee and the usual juices we’d get, there is one thing that I have been looking for and could only find it in one other place…

VIRGIN MARY!!!

For you cocktail drinkers, you would know that this is just the Bloody Mary without the Vodka. I don’t really agree with the naming convention of this drink, but oh-I-love-it-so.

So yes, it sounds terrible, but I really do love this drink. Being introduced to this by my beloved sister when I was in USA, I always jump for joy whenever I see this being available at any place here in Australia (which, may I add, is not very common at all – not in the places I have been to at least).

Anyway, here are some snippets of the menu:

For the first time in history, I actually managed to take decent shots of the menu! Whee. :)

So, here were our orders:

  • French Toast
  • Grilled Toast with Spinach, Belchamel & Gruyere
  • Croissant, Prosciutto, Gruyere, Rocket
  • OJ
  • Virgin Mary
  • Cappuccino (after)
  • Iced Coffee (after)

Yes, so I guess anyone would now be able to understand why we were able to sit there for ages.

While we were waiting for our order, the cutleries were served on one plate, with a little dish of sea salt.

D.P was really amused by the size and shape of the salt spoon, and I was quite too because it really was, one of the smallest spoons I have ever seen! So cute. :)

Anyway, the OJ and the VM came around not too long later, and I was feeling all excited because Soda Sunlounge actually bothered to finish the VM off with a celery stick! Just like how it was served in America. :) Ah, the memories.

Took a little sip of the VM, and bam!!! I was hit with this feeling of nostalgia, and a grin was automatically formed on my face, whilst the sisters looked on with disgust over the fact that I could feel all excited over a tomato juice being severed with all kinds of sauces, pepper and a celery stick.

Needless to say. I loved my VM. ;)

The orange juice was said to be fresh too. So far so good!

The Croissant was quite obviously a variation to the typical ham and cheese croissant that we’d find elsewhere, replacing the ham with prosciutto, and the typical (I have no idea what kind!) cheese with Gruyere, and with the nice addition of my favourite rocket leaves!

This picture looks like it’s a vegetarian dish because of the generous serving of rocket, but there was quite a good amount of prosciutto underneath too. :)

Loved the change of taste, and with the rocket in this dish, I don’t need to feel that guilty about having my meat without the vege!

An overall tasty dish, the only thing I thought could be a tad better was the Croissant. there was a flakiness that was missing.

The Grilled Toast with Spinach was quite simply served the way it was, without any side garnishing or the like. A tad disappointing but then again that was how my croissant was served too! It had a nice generous serve of spinach, and from S.K. the cheese was rather overpowering and the whole dish became a tad heavy towards the end. Tasty though!

The French Toast was the highlight of the morning, having the best presentation and filling the plate up with style and sweetness. D.P said the whole thing was a bit too sweet, and she would rather have fresh fruits with the toast than the dried ones that were served.

The after brekkie coffees (as I would like to call them) were quite average… in fact S.K’s one was a tad on the disappointing side. Can’t remember what was the exact reason for this but I do remember her saying it’s nice but not quite there.

Overall, this place is lovely to just catch up with good ol’ friends or family, and have a simple breakfast and enjoy the breathtaking view of the ocean and the sometimes illustrious skies of WA. Wouldn’t be the cheapest option around, but I think we are paying a little bit for the view as well :)

Rating: 3.25 out of 5 stars

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

Soda Sunlounge
Telephone: (08) 9203 7788
Address: Upstairs, 1 North Beach Road, North Beach, Western Australia, 6020

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