Restaurant and food reviews from Perth, Australia

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sayers Sister, Northbridge

As you're recovering from the big Christmas feeds and festive drinks, or even if you're just rising up early or late in the morning and your stomach is rumbling, you'll probably crave a good cooked breakfast and maybe catch up with a mate whilst you're at it.

Spawning from the cafe strips and ever-increasingly so in the quiet suburbs are little gems waiting to be found, and already well and truly discovered by the locals.

Sayers Sister is located in the quiet end of Lake Street (i.e. in the suburban area, away from the pubs and clubs) near the small restaurant/cafe corner that also is home to other well-known establishments such as Nine Fine Food and Nahm Thai.  The quiet yet central location means there is plenty of nearby street parking, and a relaxing al fresco area not ruined by bustling traffic.

The breakfast menu at Sayers Sister is a little like its "brother" - start with your simple muesli and eggs n toast breakfasts and build on it with gourmet offerings that aren't shy of a bit of creativity.  Prices start from below $10 for your simple breakfasts (such as toast) or for the substantial breakfasts into the high teens and even twenties but is I guess not unusual for Perth these days.  On top of your breakfast menu is the drinks menu, specialising in many of your favourite coffees and teas, pre-packaged drinks as well as the odd fresh juices.

Like many cafes that offer a good breakfast, Sayers Sister has both indoor and al fresco dining.  Whilst the interior is nicely decked out, almost elegantly, with quaint tables and chair lined up neatly around the walls as well as bar seating in the middle; the al fresco dining is set amongst the quiet end of Lake Street making it quite pleasant - not scenic, but at least without excessive car fumes to ruin your breakfast meal.

Full Breakfast - $22

The full breakfast was Sayers Sister's version of a gluttonous breakfast feed.  Like many breakfasts, it started with eggs (poached, scrambled or fried) served alongside two pieces of very crusty bread.  The bread was toasted so crusty it made a mess around the plate and table with crumbs flying just about everywhere as I cut into it.

Served with the eggs on toast were potato cake, 3 beans, grilled tomato, balsamic mushroom, chorizo sausage and bacon.  Oh, I nearly forgot to mention that the poached eggs I had runny and delicious.

The potato cake was like baked with sliced potato and peas, lightly seasoned and the potato and peas soft - in fact the peas seemed a little dead and colourless.  The potato cake was topped with a mushroom that didn't really have much of a strong balsamic taste.

On  the other side of the plate were some slices of Italian sausage that were quite (chilli) hot sitting on top of a few slices of non-crispy bacon.

Lastly, in a bowl were the three beans swimming in a tomato chutney like sauce and topped with grilled tomatoes.

Overall I found the full breakfast to be filling (without being excessive), well cooked, and to be sufficiently unique to be worth a try.

Potato rosti - $19.50

My first impression of a potato rosti for $19.50 was "that's expensive!".

However, this was no ordinary potato rosti.

The potato rosti was like a baked cake, the roasted potato assembled into a dense but not too heavy cake and lightly seasoned.  The overall taste wasn't far from your normal potato rosti, but less sloppy and damp.  Given the volume of the slice, it was pleasantly filling.

Served with the potato rosti was bramley apple and thyme chutney (which was quite light it didn't overpower anything on the plate), runny-yolk poached eggs, bacon and rocket leaf.

Overall, you could say this was like a full breakfast meal, minus the bread, and supersize the potato rosti.

Cappuccino - $3.80

Sayers Sister uses a Five Senses blend of coffee made of 60% Brazil Ipanema - Tree Dried Natural, and 40% Bali - Begus Sekali - Washed Coffee.  The result is a smooth and decent strength coffee

We liked: Well prepared and thought out food; the breakfasts didn't feel greasy nor excessively salty; nicely decked out interior

We didn't like: High prices for breakfast; I'm going to say it, horrible peas - though I don't generally like peas :)

Other things of note: Vegetarian options available; catering available (on request); ample street parking around; indoor and al fresco dining on an otherwise quiet street; busy times will mean waiting in lines.

Sayers Sister
236 Lake Street
(08) 9227 7506

Trading Hours
Monday to Saturday: Breakfast - 7am to 11:30am; Lunch - 11:30am to 2:30pm (5pm close)
Sunday: Breakfast - 7am to 2pm; Lunch - 11:30am to 3pm (5pm close)

Sayers Sister  on Urbanspoon

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Hobart Deli, North Perth

It's time to go out for breakfast again in the warm and sunny lead up to Christmas.  I'm finding those poached eggs on toast too hard to pass on, and whilst one of my friends says going out for breakfast can make you feel bad because you can make a decent breakfast easily at home, it is a great and happy way to start the day.  Breakfast out is made even better when you find places that do something a little different, a little bit special.

So here we are today at Hobart Deli.

Hobart Deli is located in an otherwise quiet area of North Perth, at the corner of Auckland Street and Hobart Street (of course!).  Its location means there is ample street parking around, as well as a fair amount of al fresco dining overlooking a suburb and park (as opposed to lots of traffic).  Inside there is an open kitchen and tables that can be a bit cramped when they're busy - cozy perhaps.

Foodwise, Hobart Deli has a breakfast menu that runs till noon - breakfasts range from your simpler toast and muesli selections, through to a variety of cooked dishes, eggs on toast and a full breakfast.  Prices start from below $10 for your simple uncooked breakfasts and go upwards of $20 for decent cooked breakfasts.  Of course, there is also coffee and tea as well as a selection of juices to round off your breakfast experience.

Aside from breakfast, there is presumably a lunch menu (though I haven't tried lunch at Hobart Deli yet), a display fridge with items such as quiches and gourmet croissants, and a nice selection of home-made cakes and cookies on the counter top.

Homemade cornbread with smoked salmon - $19.90

This cornbread stack had a base of two thin cornbread slices that looked like pikelets but with added corn.  The cornbread was lightly sweet and further sweetened and textured with the mixed-in corn, thought they did still seem a bit like corn pikelets in taste and texture.

The cornbread was layered with extra corn kernels, light and raw green leafy vegetables, slices of smoked salmon, and topped with a poached egg that was cooked perfectly - egg yolk oozing.  To dress the stack there was a lime and dill cream adding flavour and acidity, but keeping it light.

This was overall a delicious light meal, a combination of sweet and savoury and acidic tastes, but if you're hungry this alone isn't likely going to satisfy you.

The Playground - $24.90

This breakfast had a couple of poached eggs, spinach, roast tomato, mushroom ragu, bratwurst, bacon, potato rosti and butter.

Like the cornbread meal above, the poached eggs were cooked perfectly and runny - they just looked neater in this meal.

All the other elements in the meal helped give this dish a satisfying "full breakfast" feel, but with Hobart Deli's gourmet twist - the tomatoes were roasted, the mushrooms cooked ragu style, and a mildly seasoned potato rosti making the dish filled with great flavours for breakfast.  At $24.90 though, the price might be a little steep for some.

Croissant - $8.90

Being in the display fridge, the croissant was reheated in the oven before being served.  This croissant was filled with hand sliced ham, a nice touch compared to the processed variety, as well as brie cheese - overall making this ham n cheese toast feel and taste special.

The croissant itself was sweet, but a tad dry and crumbly - it was later in the afternoon (after starting to play Ingress on Android and trying to fill up the XM bar, but I digress!) so a combination of it being in the display fridge all day followed by reheating in the oven may have caused this.  If it wasn't for this, I would think this gourmet style croissant was surprisingly delicious for what it was.

Apple Sicilian cake - $6.50

This Apple Sicilian cake came recommended by the waitstaff, and was a great cake that would go well with tea (or just as fine without).

The cake was quite sweet, filled with soft slices of apple and sultanas, and dusted with icing.  The cake was also very moist, and the texture was a little dense from all that moisture and fruit.  Also, on the side was a bit of lightly whipped cream.

Overall, a great cake that was neither heavy nor too light.


We liked: Good variety of gourmet breakfasts; ingredients seem fresh and meals well made; good range of delicious home-made cakes.

We didn't like: A little on the pricier side of breakfast; it can be a little cramped inside; service can seem a little indifferent at times

Other things to note: There is a breakfast menu, lunch menu, as well as cakes and items in the fridge such as quiches and croissants; Ample street parking; good split of inside and al fresco tables

Hobart Deli
45 Hobart Street
(08) 9444 8686

Trading Hours
Breakfast and Lunch - 7 days a week (kitchen closes at 2:30pm)

Hobart Deli on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Swish n Chips, Mount Lawley

For a quick, greasy meal I sometimes don't mind myself a bit of fish n chips - with the "bit" being just enough before I start to feel bloated.  Though I also like a good seafood basket with quality seafood (even though it gets deep fried!).

Swish n Chips, a fish n chip shop that's quite well known in the Mount Lawley area, is located right next to the heart of the Beaufort Street cafe strip, near the corner of Beaufort and Walcott Streets.  Like many fish n chip shops, Swish n Chips specialise in take away but if you want a night out there are quite a few tables available to dine in.  Not fine dining, but simple casual dining.

The menu at Swish n Chips reads like many of those other fish n chip shops starting with the obvious fish n chips, seafood baskets, and other snacks like squid rings, prawn cutlets and scallops; but adds a few other not-so-fish-n-chip-shop-like "gourmet" offerings like teriyaki fish, pizzas and chilli mussels.  To help bridge the gap of "gourmet", the fish n chips are available in a number of preparations including crumbed, peri-peri and lemon-pepper.

However if you'd rather cook your seafood yourself, Swish n Chips has a fresh seafood section where you can buy your own raw seafood.  Suffice to say, Swish n Chips has most of your seafood needs covered.

Grilled Seafood basket - $14.90

The seafood basket had a piece of fish, a prawn, 3 scallops, 3 calamari rings, 2 green lip mussels and a decent portion of chips.  Salt and vinegar was provided at the counter.

The fish and calamari rings were lightly dusted in flour and cooked so they weren't anywhere near as oily as traditional battered and fried seafood.  The fish was firm yet tender, and the calamari was tender but still had a membrane on the inner wall that made the squid hard to chew bites off without stretching the membrane a fair amount first.  Not pleasant, but still edible.

The mussels were a tad on the dry and hard side; whilst the single small prawn that was deep fried through so you could eat the shell was a bit disappointing reminding me of the cheap prawns you get at hotel buffets and seeming a bit overcooked not to mention not cleaned of its gut.

Lastly, seafood wise, the seared scallops were cooked right though to the centre but still tender to eat.  The scallops also had a flavoured film on each side of which I'm not sure whether it was an intended coating or the result of it picking up flavours from the grill-pan.  Either way, it added flavour.

The chips were quite ordinary - perhaps after being taken away and left in the bag for a while on the trip home many were soggy and hardly anything to write home about.

Squid cup - $5.50

This snack sized dish was six of your common squid rings in a cup with a bit of a twist.

The squid rings were heavily crumbed with a decent amount of salt and black pepper seasoning and deep fried.  Crunchy and generously seasoned, the tender calamari was a delicious squid ring treat.  I quite enjoyed these with the full seasoned flavour and crunch.

Tartare sauce

This small tub of tartare sauce is available to add some creamy goodness to your seafood.  It has that creamy slightly acidic taste mixed in with herbs.

We liked: The variety of options available; the fresh seafood section as an option

We didn't like: Some of the seafood used in the seafood basket wasn't so appealing; we didn't think the fish n chips was as good as some of the other gourmet places around

Other things to note:  They have a fresh seafood market section where you can buy raw seafood; dine in or take away; you can call to order in advance.

Swish n Chips
Shop 5/71 Walcott Street
Mount Lawley WA
(08) 9227 8132

Trading Hours
Monday to Friday - Lunch: 11:30am to 2:30pm; Dinner: 4:30pm to 8:20pm
Saturday and Sunday - 11:30am to 8:20pm

Swish 'n' Chips on Urbanspoon