EAT | CHIMEK (Fremantle, WA)

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. 

  Korean Dak Gang Jeong chicken wings with chips for a very reasonable $10 

Korean Dak Gang Jeong chicken wings with chips for a very reasonable $10 

 Matcha cheesecake 

Matcha cheesecake 

Click to add a blog post for Chimek on Zomato

DO | TASTE OF PERTH

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. 

 Lalla Rookh's incredible stall fit out by Perth design maverick Cale Mason stole the show 

Lalla Rookh's incredible stall fit out by Perth design maverick Cale Mason stole the show 

 Chef Joel Valvasori at Lalla Rookh

Chef Joel Valvasori at Lalla Rookh

 Lalla Rookh - Tortello mushroon and ricotta with chestnut butter ($8)

Lalla Rookh - Tortello mushroon and ricotta with chestnut butter ($8)

 Lalla Rookh - Roasted porchetta with apples and sauerkraut $28

Lalla Rookh - Roasted porchetta with apples and sauerkraut $28

 Lalla Rookh - Pannacotta Vera with toasted cocoa and walnut crumble ($10)

Lalla Rookh - Pannacotta Vera with toasted cocoa and walnut crumble ($10)

 Greenhouse - Parfait ( kangaroo liver), sourdough, sandalwood nut and quondong jam  ($18)

Greenhouse - Parfait (kangaroo liver), sourdough, sandalwood nut and quondong jam  ($18)

  Greenhouse - Black Valley Beef Cheek with malbec braised beef cheek, bush tomato chutney, and saltbush leaves ($10)

Greenhouse - Black Valley Beef Cheek with malbec braised beef cheek, bush tomato chutney, and saltbush leaves ($10)

 

 el PUBLICO - cuttlefish tostada

el PUBLICO - cuttlefish tostada

Taste of Perth
 Bib & Tucker's suckling pig  

Bib & Tucker's suckling pig  

  Bib & Tucker -  Pulled pork and fennel brioche burger ($10) 

Bib & Tucker -  Pulled pork and fennel brioche burger ($10) 

   
  
 
  
    
  
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   Bib & Tucker's signature dish -  Charcoal Roasted Fremantle Octopus, with Kipfler potatoes, ajo blanco, witlof, roasted almonds and crunchy grapes ($22)

Bib & Tucker's signature dish -  Charcoal Roasted Fremantle Octopus, with Kipfler potatoes, ajo blanco, witlof, roasted almonds and crunchy grapes ($22)

Lalla Rookh Bar & Eating House on Urbanspoon
el PÚBLICO on Urbanspoon
Bib & Tucker on Urbanspoon

DISCOVERING NORTHBRIDGE - Two Feet and a Heart Beat tour

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.

Northbridge Brewing Company
Northbridge Piazza

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. 

Nick's Lane Amok Island
Nick's Lane Form

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.

Lot Twenty on Urbanspoon

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. 

Dominion League on Urbanspoon

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. 

(WO)MAN v MEATBALL - eating competition at Lalla Rookh

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. 

image.jpg

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.  

OZHARVEST - Where does your food come from?

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.

OzHarvest cooking class Eat Drink Perth

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. 

OzHarvest cooking class Eat Drink Perth
OzHarvest

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.

OzHarvest cooking class
Ozharvest cooking class

🍩🍩 | PEANUT BUTTER & JELLY CRONUTS

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.  

Sugar & Nice cronuts peanut butter jelly
Sugar & Nice on Urbanspoon

OLD LAUNDRY - a new spot for breakfast

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. 

 Saturday mornings call for caffeine 

Saturday mornings call for caffeine 

  Smashed avocado, Persian feta and poached eggs bruscetta $16

Smashed avocado, Persian feta and poached eggs bruscetta $16

  Moroccan oven baked eggs, deconstructed chicken sausages and tomato sugo $17

Moroccan oven baked eggs, deconstructed chicken sausages and tomato sugo $17

Old Laundry Bar & Eatery on Urbanspoon

A CONVERSATION WITH - The Bao Bar

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.

The Bao Bar Small Batch Whipper Snapper

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.   

The Bao Bar Small Batch Whipper Snapper

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. 

The Bao Bar Small Batch Whipper Snapper

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.