Spanish Flavours, Mt Hawthorn – review

Spanish Flavours
413 Oxford Street, Mt Hawthorn WA
Tel: 08 9444 6183
Open: Tues – Thurs 9:00am – 6:00pm, Friday and Saturday 9:00am – 4:00pm and 7:00pm – 10:00pm, Sunday 9:00am – 4:00pm
Check out their menu at their Facebook Page.

Spanish Flavours on Urbanspoon

In a non-descript, slightly derelict and somewhat depressing end of Oxford Street, lies a humble gastronomic oasis in the form of Spanish Delights.

The Smiling Assassin (TSA) and I popped in for a quick lunch one sunny Saturday afternoon. Entry is via the Spanish deli and small goods section of the business (which I’ll get to), through to the simple, yet pleasant and immaculately kept (I swear the linoleum floor was gleaming) spacious dining area, complete with comfy padded Ikea high-chairs and kids menus (for those with ankle-biters).

Rosa the owner/operator is working the room as we enter, and greets us warmly as she invites us to sit anywhere that takes our fancy.

Not Rosa, obviously!

Laminated menus are on the table which reveal an assortment of lunching options from an a la carte ‘all day menu’ to a traditional tapas menu.  Being greedy by nature, and thus not particularly keen to share my food at the best of times, I (and therefore we) order from the all day menu (Croquetas a la Madrilena $12.50 for yours truly, and Pisto Con Huevos $12.50 for TSA). For those with a hankering for Paella, don’t worry – it’s on the menu, but it must be ordered in advance and is $25pp (I’ll have to come back and put it to the test **watch this space***).

Spanish Flavours is not licensed, but is BYO (hooray!), so we opted for soft drinks (hey, I’m not a total booze-hound – it was lunchtime and I was driving OK?).

Food arrives quickly, and devoured in record time.  My selection of croquetas (ham, egg, spinach and tuna), with a fresh side-salad, are delightfully authentic and surprisingly light once you get through the satisfying crunch of the outside. I have trouble deciding which is my favourite, but for the record, the ham won me over.

TSA looks to enjoy her dish, the pisto is what we might liken to a salsa, and goes well with the fried eggs, but both of us agree that, without knowing what ‘pisto‘ is, the description doesn’t really do the dish justice.

I found the serving on the small size, however perfectly adequate for me, so if you’re a big eater you may need to order additional items to fill your gluttonous void. Unfortunately as we’d gorged ourselves stupid at Koko Black that morning we were unable to try the churros which caught my eye.

As we’re eating, I can’t help but notice Rosa hanging out in the restaurant, chatting to patrons like they’re new best friends, coochy-cooing at their babies, conversing with customers at the deli counter, and engaging in banter with her staff (who I suspect are all relatives as there is a distinct ‘family’ atmosphere to the place).  Rosa seems to have a way of putting everyone at ease, and encouraging a good time to be had within her establishment.

After wiping our plates clean, we congregate in the deli section to drool over the Jamon and chorizo, and admire the impressive array of traditional imported Spanish food-stuffs lining the shelves – all available for purchase. Rosa is back at the small-goods counter and engages us in chat.  She mentions that the restaurant is a new addition to their business (originally the deli) and that Spanish Flavours supply Jamon to a lot of high-profile restaurants in Perth.  Hearing this, I make a mental note to plan a Spanish night sooner, rather than later, as an excuse to return and get my hands on some Jamon!

Soon it is time to depart, and we do so with a smile upon our faces, and the promise to return and try the paella.

Food: 8/10 (good honest food, but serving sizes could be bigger, and the selection of soft drinks is limited)
Service: 10/10 (super friendly and efficient)
Ambience: 7.5/10 (it won’t win any interior design awards but it is comfortable and homely)
Total: 8.5

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After a brief self-imposed hiatus I’m returning to the food-blogging world.  I’m currently writing up a couple of reviews as we speak (one of the Melbourne trip)….. so watch this space.

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Hobart Deli, North Perth – review

Hobart Deli
45 Hobart Street, North Park
Tel: 08 9444 8686
Open: Breakfast and lunch daily

Hobart Deli on Urbanspoon

Finding a park in Perth where the partaking in a decent coffee is a possibility is something which I lament. Often.  But help arrived last week in the form of a link to a website which takes the guesswork out of caffeine-fueled (you, not your child!) play-date pursuits:

Having a need to run an errand in the North Perth area, I consulted the aforementioned website and voila, Little Monkey and I were on our way to Hobart Deli en-route to said errand.

Hobart Deli is ensconced in a suburban pocket of North Perth across the road from a popular leafy fenced park, frequented by many a yummy-mummy mothers group. Nabbing a rock-star street-park out the front of the old neighbourhood deli, which has been converted into a funky local cafe, we bypassed the outside seating (good if you are a canine crazy) and stepped inside.

The small yet bustling interior (with its roaring take away trade) has a curious junk-shop quality about it, complete with various bits and bobs for sale hiding in nooks and crannies (including some lovely coffee-table books and notepads on the shelves).  The counter has the usual assortment of freshly baked goods on offer disguising the open kitchen.

Little Monkey was lucky to nab Hobart Deli’s only high chair (yes that’s right, they only have one!) which indicates they may not be overly child-friendly despite their proximity to the local park.

Service by the dark-haired girl at the counter was a bit brusque, bordering on chilly – no friendly banter or genuine smile to make you feel like a local here (they were so busy maybe they don’t need to bother?).  Coming off the back of a few friendly local cafes I had visited recently, this gruffness really stood out like Charlie Sheen at an AA meeting.

At the counter I ordered the breakfast wrap which, whilst being hot and fresh when it arrived promptly, was overly salty with the bacon not cooked long enough for my liking (a little bit of colour on bacon goes a long way!).  The side of chutney, whilst a nice touch, was a bit watery for my palate and a little dull.  Little Monkey’s Toast with a side of breakfast sausage (bad mummy alert!) was tasty and generous, although it’s hard to go wrong with toast and sausage.

For the record, my Wega extracted Crema coffee was perfectly fine for my unassuming coffee palate.

excuse the spoon, Little Monkey threw it in there before I had a chance to take a snap

Would I return?  Not intentionally.  I can get friendlier service and better breakfast nosh closer to home.  Whilst it doesn’t appear Hobart Deli has anything to worry about based on the bustling trade I witnessed on my visit, it should be careful not to alienate the regulars which will sustain the business over the course of its life in this fickle town.

Food: 6.5/10
Service: 5/10
Ambience: 8/10
Total:  6.5/10

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Koko Black, Claremont – review

Koko Black
23 St Quentin Avenue, Claremont (in the Claremont Quarter)
Tel: 08 9284 2049
Open: Mon – Thurs 8am – 10pm, Fri 8am – 11pm, Sat 9am – 11pm, Sun 10.30am – 10pm

Koko Black on Urbanspoon

Who doesn’t like chocolate right? Bad bad people, I imagine. Gaddafi for instance?  No one in their right mind dislikes chocolate surely.  But other than Gaddafi, everyone likes chocolate right? (OK to be fair, he probably does like chocolate, but only if it is a chocolate covered weapon of mass destruction).

But seriously, I think we’re in agreeance that chocolate is good, if not great.  So what better way to spend a lazy child-free Sunday than to give my pancreas a work-out Koko Black style.

The Smiling Assassin (TSA) and I strutted hungoverly in to the newly opened Koko Black (they have stores in Melbourne and Canberra) on the dot of 10.30am (opening time), the bright lights and all-over shiny newness making our bloodshot eyes squint momentarily.

Koko Black’s interior is impressive to say the least.  Glass display cabinets proudly show off an array of delicately hand-made chocolates, mini-tarts and cakes to entice.  To the right of the counter is a glass see-through zoo enclosure-like kitchen where the ‘chocolate master’ works her magic, and staff flit about happily (well they do work in a chocolate shop after all!) giving the place a pleasant vibe.

We were welcomed warmly by the young man behind the counter who directed us in to the ‘salon’ (cafe to the uninitiated) around the corner where we could choose where to sit.  We sat down on some lovely comfy leather couches in front of a low coffee-table, trying to sit down as elegantly as possible given the rather posh surrounds (we were in Claremont after all dahlings).  The French-style Salon is very smart indeed, with it’s bistro chairs and wood-paneled walls, bringing me back to my time in Paris although the space is a little shinier, newer and spacious than anywhere I ever ate in Paris.

Our super friendly, yet professional, waitress was upon us soon enough and, having no braincells left from the night before, let her make a chocolatey recommendation.  Her suggestion was the “Autumn Spoil for Two” $24.00 (including a drink each of your choice) which is basically a chocolate share platter for two with a beverage to wash it down with, and it was exactly what we needed.

Our St Ali coffees arrived tout de suite.  The coffee was skillfully and artistically made, my cappuccino served with a small bowl of shaved chocolate on the side for sprinkling which took the humble cappuccino to new heights.  I haven’t encountered St Ali coffee in Perth before (they are Melbourne based), and I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that it is my favourite brand (is that even the right word?) of coffee.  Obviously I’m no coffee aficionado though.

Before long the chocolate share plate was upon us and it made me salivate at the mere sight of it.  The feast before us consisted of a rich gooey square of chocolate brownie, some decadent hand made chocolates, chocolate-drizzled crumbly shortbread, rich chocolate mousse and silky smooth chocolate ice-cream.  Each element of that share plate was an absolute delight, never too rich or too sweet, and we had to stop ourselves short of licking the plates clean.

Soon we were lolling back in our comfy chairs in a sugar-coma, sipping our glasses of water, which were kept topped up the whole time, wondering out loud between groans how Perth had ever survived, how we had survived, without Koko Black.  Our chocolate-loving lives were to never be the same again.

Food: 10/10 (best chocolate you’re probably going to find in Perth)
Service: 10/10 (table service yippee, water was kept topped up, were asked how everything was. I found staff to be generally very enthusiastic and well trained)
Ambience: 9/10 (the space is a little too big and can feel a bit empty/sparse)
Total: 9.5/10

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The Bonsai Restaurant and Cafe Lounge, Northbridge – review

The Bonsai Restaurant and Cafe Lounge
30-36 Roe Street, Northbridge
Tel: 08 9227 5756
Open: Dinner Tues – Sun, Lunch Fri – Sun

The Bonsai Restaurant Cafe and Lounge on Urbanspoon

I’m no purist, so I’ll just go ahead and say that I love Japanese fusion food.  It’s the best of both worlds, both simultaneously comforting and exciting. Nine Fine Foods in Bulwer Street originally initiated my deprived palate in this style of cooking and I’ve been hooked ever since.

The Smiling Assassin and I decided on The Bonsai for our regular girly catchup, thinking since we’re both trying to lose weight for upcoming holidays (me so that I can put it back on again on my Melbourne trip) that Japanese might be the healthier option.

The Bonsai, a relatively new restaurant, is situated on Roe Street in what I imagine was previously a warehouse of some description.  The space maintains a lot of the original industrial and warehouse elements which gives it a somewhat ‘New York’ feel (well as ‘New York’ as Perth can get I suppose). The space is cavernous so it does tend to get loud at times, and so isn’t the most intimate of settings.

The fitout is fresh and modern, with plasma televisions mounted to the walls which I was happy to see were turned off (TVs in restaurants = naff).  There’s even a lounge area where you can enjoy coffee and cake if that’s all you are after.  We were lucky enough to be granted a window-seat which gave us the added entertainment of watching the various Northbridge elements roll past in various stages of inebriation.

The service was friendly, efficient and attentive.  We were given menus and water soon after we were seated, our order was taken at the appropriate time, and our wine was mostly kept topped up (they were a bit slow topping up our wine on a couple of occasions but to be fair I wasn’t driving and was plowing my way through the plonk at an alarming rate).

Speaking of wine, the sorry-looking winelist made my eyes bleed (and my liver weep) it is so woefully uninspired.  I can see why they allow BYO most nights of the week (not Friday or Saturday) because it is slim pickings I can tell you.  We chose a bottle of NZ Sauvignon Blanc which is usually a safe bet, and it turned out to be drink-ably inoffensive.

The menu is split in to Izakaya style dishes (Izakaya is like the Japanese version of Tapas), more substantial plates and sides. We opted to try a selection of the smaller dishes and see where that led us.

The food was quick to arrive, coming out in stages as share-plates usually do.  Here’s a rundown of what we gorged ourselves on that night:

Seaweed Salad (this salad was topped with crispy wantons which made the dish)

Creamy Prawn Spring Rolls (insanely good, artery clogging fried delights filled with plump juicy prawn flesh mixed with a cheesy creamy mixture from the gods)

Pan-Fried Mushrooms with Karashi-Su-Miso (perfectly cooked, plump, juice and seasoned well).

Fried Chicken Tosazu (wasn’t as crisp as I’d like and didn’t really taste like much, lacked seasoning)

Tempura Prawn Sushi Roll (was solid, but no better than what I’ve had elsewhere).

Mushroom Miso (left me missing the saltiness of the true miso, which wasn’t available on the menu).

Sides of steamed rice and caramel soy sauce (the soy sauce blew my soy-sauce loving mind).

Tiramisu to share (was a very pretty dish, with lots of coffee flavour, but was a little dry)

More often than not the food hit the mark and even the near-misses were still above-average.   We only made a small dent in what is a large menu, so we are keen to return to assess if the rest of the food stacks up.

With the entertainment voucher the total came to just over $70 (yes total!), including wine -insanely good value for money which means this could potentially become a weeknight haunt (especially with the option of BYO).  So with a few extra pennies to spend in our pockets, we waddled our way over to Ezra Pound to see where the night would take us.

Food: 8.5/10
Service: 9/10
Ambience: 8.5/10
Total:   8.5/10

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Piccos Kitchen

Piccos Kitchen
38 Peninsula Road, Maylands
Tel: 08 9272 4491
Open:  Tues – Fri:7:00 am-9:00 pm, Sat:8:00 am-9:00 pm, Sun:8:00 am-4:00 pm

Piccos Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Ah Maylands.  A melting pot of cultures, backgrounds and lifestyles.  It has to be one of the more interesting Perth suburbs around what with it’s melting pot of cultures coupled with the juxtaposition of new and old, rich and poor and so on.  Since my Maylands days, the suburb is really starting to come to life pushed by the redevelopment of Eighth Avenue/Whatley Crescent precinct, and thus various quality cafes are popping up to widen your choice from Rifos, Leos or bust.  There’s even a Flight Centre (you know you’ve made it when a FC opens up in your area).  But never fear, the gun shop is still there in case you’re wondering (gun shop WTF? Only in Maylands!).

Speaking of cafes, I recently took Little Monkey to the newest cafe to hit Maylands, Piccos Kitchen, situated away from the hubub of Eighth Ave, down off Peninsula Avenue near the Swan River.  It’s a nice area, however the group of unassuming shops where Piccos lives looks a little sad and dated.

The interior of Piccos is decked out in what is becoming the stock-standard funky eclectic style of new Perth cafes.  There’s a mis-mash of furniture, a funky Chesterfield for lounging about on, artwork for sale on the walls, menus on clipboards, fresh baked goods displayed at the counter – you get the idea.

In the corner is a children’s play area complete with a blackboard wall, kids table/chairs, books and crayons to keep the poppets amused while Mum/Dad try and neck some coffee in relative peace.  Piccos also possesses a decent children’s menu.  It’s almost like they’re encouraging you to bring your offspring, where in a lot of cafes the opposite is the case.

I won’t talk too much about the food, as we only sampled a couple of items, but what I did have was quality.  My bacon, egg and brie ‘butty’ consisted of a fresh lightly toasted roll with bacon, fried egg, melted brie and sauce.  It was delicious, however the chewy rind was left on the bacon which was an annoyance.  Little’ Monkey’s toast was on the burned side of dark, but still edible.  I had no complaints about my coffee.  I was surprised to hear that they don’t do fresh juices, so I was left to grab a bottle of juice from the fridge.

The breakfast menu is a pretty interesting read, and I also had a peak at the dinner menu which is written on butcher’s paper hanging on the wall, which I’m told changes daily.  It looked interesting, and it was nice to see that the majority of the dishes fell under $30 dollars per main (the exception being the steak).  I’m told they even do pizzas.

Breakfast Menu

Dinner Menu

I was able to have a quick chat to Adam, the chef and owner, about his business which he tells me is going great guns.  Business is so good in fact, that he has just employed another chef that he will be training to free him up to focus on developing other aspects of the business.  From the sounds of it, Adam and the team have put in much effort to ensure Piccos is a success, and I must say it has all the makings of a great local cafe.

Piccos is a comfortable and friendly neighbourhood cafe, it really has that local feel – welcoming all and alienating none. The menu is interesting and fresh, and I’m keen to return to try and dinner menu.

Piccos is a great addition to the Maylands cafe/dining scene.

Food: 7.5/10
Service: 8/10
Ambience: 7.5/10
Total: 7.5/10

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Melbourne girls trip booked – need eat/drink/shop suggestions!!

To celebrate my impending *cough* 31st birthday, a good friend and I (sans husbands and children booyah!) are going to be jetsetting in to Melbourne in early April to tear up the town.

Our mission?  To gorge ourselves on Melbourne’s culinary and boozy delights, and hit the shops (and our credit cards), hard.

We are there for two full fun-filled days and nights, staying in the CBD, and are in the stages of planning where we should eat, drink and shop. My friend, ‘Little P’ is planning our movements for the Friday, and I am planning for the Saturday, but each of us won’t find out what we are doing/where we are going until the day.

So, here is where I am at:  after hearing much hype about the newly-opened PM24 run by Philippe Mouchel (and overseen by the Press Club Group) I’ve made a booking for dinner.  I’m keen to give the rotisserie a whirl!

Now all I have to do is figure out where we will feast for breakfast (Hardware Societe or The European perhaps?) and lunch (drawing a complete blank!), and where we will imbibe that precious liquid known as wine (Siglo, Von Haus, Madame Brussells maybe?).  I am open to, and in desperate need of suggestions!  Currently I am trawling blogs to come up with a shortlist, but the problem with Melbourne is: there’s just too much dang choice!  And being the procrastinator I am, I fear I may never decide.

Shopping-wise I guess we’ll hit up Chapel Street but I’m in the early stages of sourcing some out of the way shops/boutiques within City and surrounds where I can find something a little different.

So I have 16 days to get my sheeeeet together, I’d better get cracking.  I’ll keep you posted!

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Pata Negra – review

Pata Negra
Tel: 08 9389 5517
26 Stirling Highway, Nedlands
Open: Tues – Sat from 5pm

Pata Negra on Urbanspoon

When a culinary fad hits Perth, it hits Perth hard.  Such is the case with gourmet burger bars, and in an even broader sense, the Spanish style of eating: tapas.

Many a restaurant across Perth are now offering a tapas menu in some form or another, but the veritable Spanish tapas establishments are few and far between.  A small serving of food does not a tapas make (are you listening Perth restaurants?!?!).

So when I had the opportunity to dine at Pata Negra, a restaurant having asserted itself at the forefront of tapas and Spanish-inspired dining in Perth, I was keen to experience something a little more authentic.

The Engineering Man of Mystery (TEMOM) and I arrived for our 8.30pm sitting and were seated immediately.  The restaurant offers two sittings of either 6.00pm/6.30pm and 8.30pm.  Now, ‘sittings’ are a huge bugbear of mine, but my excitement at finally being taken to Pata Negra outweighed my annoyance and I gave in.

The scene before me, on entry to the unassuming restaurant in Nedlands was buzzing in a way I haven’t encountered in a Perth restaurant before. The room seemed filled to bursting with stylish and funky patrons enjoying a raucous Saturday night feast with copious amounts of booze fueling the already spirited vibe.

The interior is stylishly fitted out in a shabby-chic style with an assortment of padded chairs, black slick tables, and leather banquettes along the wall complete with funky cushions.  The large tiled bar near the entrance engages you visually on arrival, and by the time you walk past the semi-open kitchen, and the glass meat-cabinet, you’re pulse rate begins to quicken in anticipation of what is to come.

**I apologise for the pathetic quality of the photos in this review… the people next to me were getting annoyed with my flash going off so I either didn’t take a photo, or had to do it quickly on the sly.  That being said, I really need a new camera – any suggestions?**

Once seated we were offered an aperitif and TEMOM and I both ordered a glass of the Pere Ventura Tresor Brut Rose cava ($16p/glass) from, what I’m told, is a brand new winelist. I’m not a well-known cava drinker, but the rose was fruity yet dry and offered a perfect way to kick-off our night.

The wine list is lengthy and Spanish driven, which is to be expected, and I actually enjoyed being forced to leap out of my comfort zone and try a variety of Spanish wines (by the glass).  The tempranillo was a particular favourite of mine.

As we waited for our drinks we perused the menu in great detail.  At Pata Negra, when it comes to your dining experience, you are in charge of how you’d like your dining experience to play out.  Maybe you’d like to graze through the tapas menu only, maybe you’d like to have a few nibblies and then order a main each, or maybe you’d like to share a few tapas to start and also share some mains?  Either way, regardess of how you like to dine out, there’s a way to make it fit your whim.

TEMOM and I decided just to work our way through as much of the menu as we could until we were full.  And so it began.

In no particular order, the following is what we gorged ourselves on that evening:

Ortiz, sourdough, piquillo pepper salsa ($6.50)

Marron, kingfish fritters ($9.00)

Rendondo Inglesias Serrano 40g ($18.00)

Rotto scallops, white bean puree, sofrito ($15.00)

Wood roasted prawn, russian salad x 2 ($8.00 each)

Wood roasted portobello mushrooms, confit garlic, thyme, manchego ($16.50)

Eggplant, pumpkin, chickpea tagine, sweet green chili yoghurt

Portugese custard tart ($6.50)

Doughnut, px and raisin ice-cream ($9.50)

Every dish was served speedily, coming out in a staggered procession as the tables can only cope with 2-3 dishes at one time.  The food was visually pleasing, with the majority being skillfully executed.  The standout dishes were the ortiz anchovy on sourdough (this was a simple dish but packed full of flavours, each one perfectly complimenting the other) and the tagine (for those meat-eaters out there – this dish was so robust and rich that it didn’t even register that it was a vegetarian dish) which was a substantial dish yet so seductive that we pushed our way through and polished it off).

The lowlights, of which there weren’t many, were the fritters (tasted too much of dill), and the doughnuts (these were frustratingly bland although the substantial side-serve of ice-cream almost won us back over).  All in all, there weren’t many wrong turns, and even the low-lights weren’t of a grand scale.

Service-wise we were seen to by quite a few of the funkily plaid-clad waitstaff.  Usually I prefer it if one waitperson is dedicated to our table or section, but seeing as service was prompt, in this case I can only assume that whatever system they are using, it is working.

In Summary

Pata Negra is all about the food, the wine, and the company.  It is comfortably trendy, but it can be a raucously loud experience, so if you’re on a date or wanting to have a meaningful conversation may I suggest you book a table out in the more chilled-out and pretty courtyard.

The food we had was solid, served in a timely fashion, interesting, robustly flavoured and fresh fresh fresh, although it didn’t quite hit the mind-blowing heights we were anticipating (maybe our expectations were too high?).

Service was efficient but a little cool at times (perhaps as a result of being served by multiple waitstaff ).

Price-wise Pata Negra is at the upper end of the scale, although it won’t see you blowing us much of your weekly pay-packet as David Coomer’s other restaurant, Star Anise, but because of the flexibility of the menu you are somewhat in control of how much you’d like to spend.  All up our night cost just over $200 total for two people including wine and we felt that we received value for money.

Food: 9/10
Service: 8/10
Ambience: 9/10
Total: 8.5/10

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The Farmers Market on Manning

“the best way to spend a Saturday” …… my local markets make a bold statement about what they have to offer come the weekend, so one sunny Saturday in early March I decided to take it upon myself to gauge whether this claim held any weight.

The Engineering Man of Mystery (my husband), Little Monkey and I arrived mid-morning and managed to score a car-park in the busy (but kept in reign by a couple of parking attendants) parking area.

The market is situated within the grounds of Clontarf Aboriginal College off Manning Road, positioned on a delightful shaded grassy plain.  The setting which greeted us upon alighting our vehicle was a happy and inviting one with people from all walks and stages of life ambling about enjoying the sunshine, food, quality produce and buskers.  Over in the corner the yelps of happy children jumping on an inflatable castle indicate much fun being had, dog owners with their hounds stroll merrily by, and families are lying on the grass enjoying some recently purchased freshly baked goods in the shade of the giant pine trees which offer a substantial amount of shade for refuge if the sun gets too much.

The market is bigger than I had anticipated and a great assortment of goods are on offer from various plants, fresh eggs, free-range meats, freshly baked breads and pastries, cheeses, well-priced fresh fruit and vegetables, a stall selling some intriguingly beautiful macaroons, fresh seafood, coffee – the list goes on. I was impressed by the variety and quality before me. And just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, I noticed even Elmars had set up a van selling fresh hot wursts in buns – now you’re talking!

Whilst I wasn’t much in the mood for ‘shopping’ (I was too interested in soaking up the pleasant atmosphere) but I did purchase some cheeses from the ‘The Old Cheddar Cheese Company’ van which were surprisingly good.

As I strolled around munching on my newly-acquired cheese, I notice all around me people wear happy faces, chat to stall-holders, sample produce, strike up a conversation with the people standing next to them, and generally just enjoy themselves.  And, consequently, as a smile spreads across my face I think, well, maybe this really is the best way to spend a Saturday after all?

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Ootong and Lincoln – Review

Ootong and Lincoln
258 South Terrace, Fremantle
Tel: 08 9335 6109
Open: breakfast and lunch daily

Ootong & Lincoln on Urbanspoon

By jingoes I really wanted to like this cafe.

Stepping in on a busy Friday morning, visually it had all the promise of being my kind of cafe.  It really couldn’t be any more ‘Freo-fied’ if it tried, what with the wooden floors, mish-mash of retro furniture (I swear I saw my Nanna’s old laminex kitchen table over in the corner), old tricycles up on the wall for a bit of the kitsch factor, a good kids area with toys and high-chairs, and an area for parking bikes for the environmentally conscious amongst us.

once again my inside shot didn't work, so I have pilfered this shot shhhhhhhh

All good so far, but on closer inspection, the floors were dirty (yes I know I was in Freo, but still!) and many a fly colony had set up shop and were buzzing around also having their breakfast (both of these I would guess were as a result of leaving the doors/windows open).

I overlooked the dirt and took a window seat so, once again, Little Monkey could amuse himself watching the people, dogs and cars going by, giving me some respite.

As per usual, orders are placed at the counter.  I ordered the Full Breakast, with a side of chicken breakfast sausage, but I was informed, after some confusion, that the sausage is no longer available *sob*.  A moment spent in my happy place, where breakfast chicken sausages grow on trees, and I was ready to move on and sit down to wait for my food.

My coffee and OJ arrived quickly.  The coffee was a little too hot and bitter, but drinkable. The freshly squeezed orange juice tickled my gimmick funny-bone, presented in a funky mini-carafe.

Breakfast arrives soon after but, hang on a second here, something is amiss to my keenly trained breakfast eye.  Tomatoes check, potato hash check, eggs check, toast check, beans check…….. holy moly where’s the bacon?!?!

I advise a waitress on the way past of this highest of high breakfast faux-paus, and within minutes a bowl of piping hot bacon is placed on my table so that I am still able to enjoy it along with the rest of my food.

So the food was solidly pleasing, the home-made beans and herby potato hash were the flavourful standout for me, but nothing on my plate really got me excited, in fact I’m having trouble remembering it only a week later…. I guess that says a lot.

It was a case of almost but not quite on this occasion for me (and Little Monkey!) at Ootong and Lincoln.  I can definitely see why this has such a following being such a strong representation of Fremantle culture, coupled with some decent food.  There were elements I enjoyed (friendly staff, child friendly, food was OK), but it fell slightly short in most areas. Having said that, I wouldn’t rule out a repeat visit.

Food: 7.5/10
Service: 7/10
Ambience: 7/10
Overall: 7/10

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