This venue is now closed.
Glossy Boston cream doughnuts, matcha choux puffs and pillowy chocolate eclairs. Oh Chu Bakery you can truly do no wrong! Inspired after travels through bread-obsessed Tokyo, saw owners Ryan and Seren Chu (self-taught bakers no less!) open up this little corner of pastry heaven opposite Hyde Park. Don't forget to try the open sandwich with avocado, sriracha, whipped feta, and toasted seeds. Grab baked delights and soak up the sun across the road.
In the middle of the Fremantle Markets sits Chimek, home to chicken, beer and matcha dreams. My Instagram feed has been a frenzy of charcoal burgers fit for Halloween and some darn fine lookin' chicken wings. Whilst we didn't have room for black burgers or butter beer float, the Korean Dak Gang Jeong wings and Matcha cheesecake did the trick.
Sundays usually means a hangover and yum cha always does the trick. Had to have a little chuckle at the restaurant title. I'll just stick with Treasure House. Pretty good eating and nice to get outta the mayhem of Northbridge.
I'm diggin' the influx of great cafes popping up in the 'burbs. Hylin is one of those places you'll just keep coming back to. Loved the chilli poached eggs with healthy dose of halloumi. Welcome to West Leederville!
Okay Perth, a little rain never hurt anyone right? Rug up, take your brolly and wear your elastic waisted pants as wonders await at Taste of Perth. The restaurants and producers have geared up for a big weekend of fun and whilst the sunshine might be waning, there's no reason to hide indoors!
Sometimes sequels don't live up to expectations but this wasn't anything like Dirty Dancing 2. I ate my way through the second instalment and had just as much fun as last time! I think the best way to tackle a foodie event is with a partner in crime who truly enjoys eating as much as you do, so it made perfect sense to head in with the other half of The Food Alternative.
Ai-Ling (aka Blue Apocalypse) and I created our own eleven course degustation menu and washed it all down with a shot of soju, a cocktail and a spicy turmeric tonic. I walked away with a full belly plus a New Norcia loaf and Hampshire on Eighth roast for tomorrow night's dinner. My only regret is not having enough room for Bib & Tucker, Print Hall and Next Door No. 4, at least there is always Sunday. Taste of Perth, you rock.
el PUBLICO has been awarded Best Dish of Taste of Perth two years in a row! BAM. In the words of Max Brearley 'some folk just have that golden touch'. And those folks are el Publico and Mary Street Bakery's Paul Aron and Michael Forde, great guys who just know how to do things right.
El Publico's original Head Chef, Sam Ward made such a memorable imprint on our tastebuds (and our hearts, we love you Sam!) and is a seriously tough act to follow. After carving out his skills in Mexico City, Baja and Oaxaca, Tommy Payne landed in Perth to head up the busy Beaufort Street kitchen. Receiving Best Dish for his twice cooked lamb ribs served with sticky sesame, cucumber and lime in his first year at the helm is pretty darn impressive.
I like to think that Mary Street Bakery pioneered the way for Perth's recent obsession with doughnuts. These bad boys are stuffed with peanut butter, jam and crunch and you'll be finding them as you scroll through your Instagram for days.
By night, Mary Street Bakery transforms into Mary's, the older unruly sister who plays hip hop records whilst snacking on fried chicken skin, slayin' soju well into the night. Chefs Simon Gruger and Nick Malanzac clearly have a bromance going on and know how to sling a great Asian infused menu. My dining comrade Ai-Ling watched the boys doing their thing on the food stage and when quizzed on the topic of current Perth food trends, they replied with 'white guys doing Asian food'.
Taking out Best Dish Runner Up with Mary's aged rump tartare is such an awesome feat!
Pack more punch into your day by booking into the workshops or cookery school and catching a session or two with some of Perth's most revered chefs in the theatre. You can pretty much sample your way down the aisles, filling up your belly as you go. Brave the weather and do your tastebuds a favour, head over to Taste’s Instagram for regular updates.
a throwback to 2014
As the second Taste of Perth looms, I thought it a little trip down memory lane was in order. Here is a flashback of some of my favourites part of the inaugural event last year.
Oh how I love lazy Sundays! Waking up to your body's natural circadian rhythm, dappled sunlight streaming through curtains gently rouse you from the deepest slumber. Its a hell of a lot nicer than jolting up in the dark to the ruckus of an alarm clock. As Winter creeps in, the mornings grow crisp and it's so tempting to hit the snooze button. Sometimes just knowing that a mood-lifting, soul-warming cup of joe is in reach makes mornings so much brighter.
Tucked away in West Leederville, a suburb fast becoming home to many gorgeous local haunts, is one of my favourite spots for a caffeine fix and lazy breakfast. Piccolo's Corner is only three years young and has earned its stripes as one of Perth's best breakfast joints. A cheerful little place that continues to serve wholesome dishes using vibrant, fresh local produce. Located on a quiet residential street, clad in vintage and verge rescued finds, a quaint corner home-come-cafe hugged by a lush green garden. Great coffee, food and service and definitely worth springing out of bed for on a chilly autumn Sunday.
Back in 2007 over a few brews at the local pub, two friends hatched a plan to bring guided walking tours to Perth. Seasoned travellers will always say the best way to unearth gems and stories, hidden deep within a city, is to book a walking tour with a local guide. Roll on eight years later, Two Feet and a Heartbeat have been helping tourists and locals alike unearth the history, culture and hotspots of Perth.
Having discovered abandoned warehouses in Berlin, the best cheese in Amsterdam and Prague’s hidden art exhibitions thanks to wonderful tour guides, I thought it was time to hit the pavement with Two Feet and join their small bar tour through Northbridge.
Our first stop was the Northbridge Brewing Company an oasis for beer lovers overlooking the Northbridge Piazza. Although the Autumn weather has made evenings a little fresh, the Piazza was brimming with beanbags, many huddling up with homemade popcorn to watch the Ultimate Frisbee Film Fest. The curators of Northbridge Piazza are known for their quirky programming, injecting vibrancy and life into what used to be the shadier part of town.
We detoured through China Town and Nick’s Lane where our wonderful guide Casey shared Northbridge’s dark history of gambling and brothels. The once grim and deserted alleyways are now laced with splashes of colour thanks to Form’s incredible public art campaign. We stopped at the entrance of Sneaky Tony’s and The Standard learning about Perth’s evolving small bar scene. Whilst we were all hoping to sneak in for a cheeky rum or two with Tony, it was lovely to take in the incredible artworks and work up a thirst for our next stop.
It was then on to Lot Twenty where we tucked into sharing boards and cocktails on the deck. Whilst the cocktails were top notch (and brimming with sweet foam), the social aspect of the tour was surprisingly my favourite part. We met the most amazing bunch of women who all live on the same street with over 20 kids between them. Crabbe Place sounds like the kinda place I’d want to raise a brood, where children safely play in forts on the street and neighbours become good friends. We could have stayed and chatted for hours but it was on to our final destination.
Past the Alex Hotel and Joe’s Juice Bar, Casey led the way towards Francis Street sharing the history of the Old Swan Barracks, from army drill hall to bustling backpackers hostel. The last stop was Dominion League where we enjoyed a welcomed (and mammoth) feast. Some kicked on with cocktails, whilst I ended the evening snacking on that delicious smoked chicken accompanied by Averna on ice and wonderful conversation with new friends.
The team at Two Feet and a Heartbeat sure know their stuff and play such an important role in shaping Perth’s cultural landscape. The Small Bar Tour is a great way to eat and drink your way through Northbridge with a bonus historical lesson on the side.
Damn girl! Judging by the way she can handle a burger, you'd think Nicole Lau had the blood of competitive eating champions coursing through her veins. Whilst her mama didn't take out the crown for Miss Eatin' Apple Pie in 1962, Nicole has certainly been raised as a hell of a good eater.
The infamous Man v Meatball eating competition is on at Lalla Rookh tomorrow night! I've got money ridin' on this meatball scoffing babe and we had a quick chat before the big day.
Super pumped you are entering Man v Meatball! Is this your first tangle with competitive eating?
I've entered two competitive eating competitions already, nachos, hot dogs and hands free pizza eating. On a side note did you know that triangular nacho chips are mighty hard to digest? Although I'm yet to take out the title, I can see the meatball glory from here!
What is your greatest dining achievement?
My greatest achievement would probably be staying at the all you can eat sushi train for 2 hours without stopping.
If you had a soundtrack to eat meatballs to what would your top 5 songs be?
Too legit to quit – MC Hammer
Not Many - Dcribe
In da Club - 50 Cent
Notorious B.I.G. - Notorious B.I.G.
My closing track would have to be "Bye bye bye - Nsync". I know it ain't ghetto but I feel it's pretty poetic, na mean?
What will you be doing this week in preparation for Man v Meatball?
I work at Old Faithful so I'm going to make sure I consume as much meat as humanly possible on my breaks to prep for this mofo of a competition.
Will you actually eat on Thursday before the comp?
Of course! If you're not eating, you ain't living. I'll probably start the day with a big breakfast somewhere.
You've obviously eaten at Lalla Rookh before, any hot tips for what the audience should be ordering?
Anything and everything, you can't go wrong with a single item on that menu. Chef’s Bone marrow is seriously legit.
What would your idea of a nightmare food eating competition be?
Anchovies … ewwww. Ain't nobody got time fo dat!
And a little word to your competitors …
Chiggedy check yo'self before you wreck yourself.
You can cheer on Nicole as she takes on her fierce competitors at Lalla Rookh's Man v Meatball competition tomorrow, Thurs 23 April. Entries open at 5pm and comp starts at 5.30pm.
It’s hard to think there’s moonshine brewing in the heart of East Perth. Tucked away on Kensington Street is Perth’s first urban distillery, Whipper Snapper Distillery, where owners and Alasdair Malloch, Jimmy McKeown and Tom Cooper are crafting premium moonshine and whiskey using 100% Australian ingredients. From humble digs in Scarborough, using an old moonshine recipe handed to him by his neighbour and old war veteran Vic, Alasdair has come along way from brewing in the backyard.
Late last month the team at Whipper Snapper joined forces with some of Perth’s coolest local artisan producers. ‘Small Batched’ is a whiskey and food festival designed to celebrate and showcase unique techniques and recipes that show that whiskey ain’t just for drinkin’.
FERVOR is the brainchild of Paul and Bree Iskov, foraging siblings from Busselton who curate exclusive pop up dining experiences using locally sourced bush tucker. Their next Eat Drink Perth adventure is in collaboration with Custard & Co Cider at Perth City Farm. A magical night of foraged food and matching cider and one not to be missed.
Food Truck Rumble is run by a one-woman powerhouse Ai-Ling Truong. Born from a dream to celebrate Perth’s amazing food truck offering, Rumble is a cluster fk of truckers at the Perth Cultural Centre completed by the raddest breakdancing competition. It was lovely to see Ai-Ling enjoy a little respite before the madness of Rumble tucking into Fervor’s milk ice-cream drizzled in white chocolate crazy uncle caramel.
Poach Pear is the creation of Adam and Marissa Bielawski whose love and passion shines through with each bite. If you haven’t tried Poach Pear pate or terrine, you’ve been missing out. Look out for their gorgeous produce at local providores and corner shops. Just a sage word of advice on their velvety pate ... one is never enough! You’ll find yourself tiptoeing to the fridge at all hours, spoon in hand, carefully screwing off the lid for just 'one more' taste until you’ve scraped the bottom dry. You'll need the extra to share with friends, trust me .... I’ve been there.
I loved Poach Pear's awesomely refreshing little ode to Whipper Snapper; mulloway cured in Crazy Uncle moonshine with a cucumber apple salad.
Little Miss Poach Pear, Priya, even got into the Small Batched spirit with the cutest little food stall I’ve ever seen. Scrumptious adult brownies served with crazy uncle anglaise with all funds raised to support the Kids in Combodia.
The Little Cheese Shop is located in Bayswater run by two local cheese lovers. Cheese and whiskey might seem like a curious match but the pair designed the perfect tasting board for the day.
Eat No Evil hail from Freo and are all about stripped back sexy food. Its cool to see a menu focused on allergy friendly and gluten free. Their chicken wings were tender yet crispy and bursting with flavour.
Beersine is where Gerrard Mitchell's love of beer and food collided. Mitch as he is known to friends, has been producing all kinds of legends such as pale ale cheese, hop olive oil and hop honey for a few years now. His cheese have secured a bit of a cult following and no cheese board is complete without it.
Having worked with some of the biggest names in the chocolate world, Sue Lewis left London for sunnier shores to set up her own little sweet shop right here in Perth. Sue Lewis worked her magic with the Whipper Snapper goods and created awesome boozey chocolate truffles. Packing just the right punch, these sweet treats were the only way to end an awesome afternoon at Small Batched.
We care about what goes onto our plate. At breakfast with furrowed brows, we ponder whether our bacon was ethically raised, or if our poached eggs were the product of carefree chickens running through meadows. It’s easy to get swept up in words such as local, free range, organic and seasonal. But for some, wondering ‘where our food comes from’ means something quite different.
Two million Australians struggle to access meals each year and sadly over half of those are children. In 2004 the enigmatic Ronni Kahn had a vision, call it a yearning to contribute to society. Inspired by New York’s successful food-rescue organisation CityHarvest, Ronni was determined that the model would work in Australia and thus OzHarvest was born. OzHarvest’s mission is to combat both food waste and food security, collecting quality surplus food and delivering to charities to nourish vulnerable men, women and children throughout Australia.
Since 2004, OzHarvest has delivered more than 32 million meals to those in need, diverting a whopping 10,000 tonnes of food from landfill. Rescuing excess food from the likes of supermarkets, hotels, restaurants, catering companies and farmers and with the help of volunteers in kitchens all over Australia turn what could have been waste into meals for those less fortunate.
In November last year, OzHarvest expanded into Western Australia and now our local community can support this amazing cause. You might have recently spied OzHarvest’s tell-tale yellow vans on the streets of Perth. As part of the Eat Drink Perth program, I was invited to attend Food for Thought, a cooking class with a whole lot of heart and soul. Welcomed by local food pioneer and OzHarvest’s WA Ambassador, Ian Parmenter, we were able to meet the incredibly inspiring Ronni and hear her amazing journey.
Under the trees of the Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre, we split into groups to create recipes using rescued food. We were in charge of beef kofta and apple couscous whilst others cooked delights such as bread and butter pudding, corn fritters amongst other hearty dishes with the help of volunteer chefs. I’ve always found group cooking plenty of fun, it makes such an awesome team building exercise, especially knowing the meals would soon be on the road in the OzHarvest vans.
As night fell, delicious aromas filled the air and Ronni shared a beautifully humbling sentiment with us all. She certainly has a way with words and it was so moving to hear her passion and feel a part of the OzHarvest family. I couldn’t help but think ‘Now my heart bleeds yellow too’. There is something magical knowing that by giving up just a few hours of our time, we were able to create 500 meals for St Bart’s in East Perth and St Patrick’s in Fremantle. It certainly brings a deeper meaning to knowing where your food comes from.
Sometimes it's just the simple things in life. Bread, wine, carpaccio and pasta. Il Lido you always do it so well.
Now tell me, if this gorgeous mess was staring you in the face wouldn't you want to buy two? The very thought of having to share even a morsel of my Peanut butter and jelly cronut was making me sad. Marnee is the vivacious babe behind Sugar & Nice and she is my go to for anything baked, sweet and delicious in this town.
I am loving the vibe of North Perth, its brewing with new spots to feed the hungry souls of the neighbourhood. Old Laundry is its latest offering brought to you the wonderful team behind Five Bar and Lot Twenty.
The dumpling obsession is universal. From Polish pierogi, to gyoza in Japan and Italy’s love for ravioli, people the world over enjoy a good dumpling. So it was only a matter of time that some bright spark in Perth would dedicate a food stall to the humble gua-bao.
Literally translated to cut bread, gua-bao is a Taiwanese snack food usually comprised of braised meat and condiments sandwiched between fluffy, sweet white bread. Coincidentally, ‘bao’ rhymes with wow and it’s a steamed parcel of carbs, pork and magic that has everyone talking.
So what does it take to reach Level 99 Bao Master? I caught up with The Bao Bar’s Aaron Chew after steaming endless serves of bao at Whipper Snapper’s Small Batched whiskey and food fest, to find out how he went from making a killer packet of Mee Goreng at age 10 to running his own pop up.
You must have heard my cry for help, I've been longing for a specialty bao pop up. What drove you to open The Bao Bar?
The Chinese food in Perth is predominantly Cantonese style cuisine with some influences from Malaysia and Singapore cuisine. This is what we have all grown up with and it really has not evolved over the years.
The Bao Bar was created to show the people of Perth the diversity that exists within Chinese culture, using food as the medium to share those stories. I want people to know that Chinese food is much more than just Dim Sum or your typical No. 34 Sweet and Sour Chicken.
The heart and soul of true Chinese cuisine lays within its street food. It’s those daily staples in Chinese populated countries such as Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong, that really shine. Bao (more specifically gua-bao) is the perfect vessel to showcase Chinese style street food. Its already proven to be a popular concept abroad in America and all over in the eastern states. Its about time Perth got their bao on!
So who is behind The Bao Bar?
The Bao Bar is run by yours truly, Aaron Chew , Level 99 Bao Master (with a few amazing partners). I’ve also been lucky enough to rope in a bunch of friends who take time out to help me in exchange for delicious bao and good times.
Is this your first foray into the food world?
Well my parents used to own a little Chinese takeaway joint Bentley "Chew's Chinese Takeaway" (10 points to anyone who actually can remember it or ever went there). I spent my childhood years running around the place. Around the age of 10, I got acquainted with the kitchen experimenting with noodle soup, rice dishes, pasta and roast meats. I could also make a mean packet of the infamous Mee Goreng! But yes, The Bao Bar is my first flirtation with the real deal.
What has inspired your menu offerings?
The menu is inspired by a plethora moments; from recipes which I have grown up with, to things which I have eaten throughout my life, and those discovered on my travels around the world. I wanted to take well known flavours in Chinese cuisine and give it a modern twist by serving it in a gua-bao. I’ve placed important on trying not to stray too far away from traditional flavours and always finding a way to relate it back to its original roots. If I fail to do that it defeats the whole purpose of what it is I'm trying to achieve.
Obviously, you have been taste testing bao all over the world. Can you name any that have just rocked your world?
Hands down, Grandma's.
And so, my last question, the mum test! I know firsthand how critical Asian mums can be of honing your craft. What has your mum thought of your baos?
My mum is (and possibly forever will be) against the idea of opening up a pop up bao shop instead of being an accountant, doctor, engineer or lawyer. She on occasion has come in and eaten some of my baos and at times can be full of criticism, "why didn't you do this instead?", "why does it look so ugly?", "why you serve so much … are you trying to lose money?", it goes on and on. But lately she hasn't really said anything negative. I’ll make bao and she would eat it, look at me and then walk away. I’m just going to take that as the best compliment! In my books, her response of silence is pretty much the equivalent of being awarded a Michelin Star.