Brotzeit German Bier Bar & Restaurant, Perth

I had swung by my friends house for a catch-up when his housemates told me they’d booked a table at Brotzeit. I was invited along, but told they weren’t sure if there would be additional space for me due to the restaurant’s popularity. I had already read some local foodie reviews and seen photos of the food, and having been brought up on my Mums Polish home cooking I couldn’t be more excited.

Located in the trendy new 140 William Street Perth, the first thing you notice when you walk towards the restaurant is its striking atmosphere. Brotzeit fits into its surroundings in it’s very own unique way. Striking an interesting balance between modern inner city outdoor dining with its large open dining area and the coloured glass hanging from the 140 ceiling, and traditional rustic German ambience established with the use of wood in the architecture and furniture, along with the gorgeous smell of rich German food wafting past.

Whilst I expected the restaurant to be fully booked on a Saturday night I arrived to find this was not the case. This actually made me quite happy, as I often find service quality and food to be just that little better when staff aren’t completely run off their feet. We were reseated to a larger table to accommodate the addition of guests, but this is where my initial fanaticism made room for an evening of swinging highs and lows.

I’m not sure whether this is due to the restaurant being new, or simply down to the staff, but I personally felt a lack of attentiveness in the customer service. After being seated and struggling to pass around 3 menus -between several guests- until we requested more, we found we had to struggle to flag down a waitress when we wanted to order or ask any questions from then on. It was clear their menu knowledge was lacking when one of the boys at the table ordered the Bier Tasting Paddle. We asked 3 separate waitresses to name and explain the beers, and all scrambled to find their notes and/or struggled to find an answer. There also appeared to be a few struggles behind the scene, as we were made aware half our drink order was not processed. At the end of the evening, I was left confused when after a long time a waitress asked if the table had finished, removed two plates and never came back for the rest. We then had to approach another waitress at the end of the night for the bill.

The food itself was manly man’s dream. Generous portions of hearty food and wafting smells that would make anyone drool. Traditional combinations of meats, carbs and fats held up the menu, which was more than enough to satisfy a majority of the crowd. When the food arrived, the boys eyes lite up, jaws dropped and food started being shovelled in. You just knew the menu had been created by a real German executive chef.

Our table ordered a range of dishes including appetizers, salads, sausages, mains courses, side dishes and desserts.

The Brotzeitplatte mit Ripperl / Brotzeit® Platter with Ribs was a show stopping event as it was placed on the table, and even the look of the Kalbsrahmgulasch / Veal Goulash with Spätzle -which if you’ve cooked before you’ll know is hard to make pretty- made the boys want to dive straight in. In addition to this, some of the other dishes sprawled across the table included a Würstelplatte / Sausage Platter, Gartensalat / Garden Salad, Rotkraut / Orange-Cranberry Red Cabbage, Sauerkraut / Braised white German cabbage, and even an Apfelstrudel / Apple Strudel, just for good measure. The only thing that could have added to this German spectacular was a traditional stein of beer, and it’s a real shame the Executive Chef’s, Eyke Czirr, application to sell the traditional one-litre stein was knocked back.

But for all pleasure at the table, we quickly learnt a few of our guests were about to have quite the opposite experience. With a couple guests having dietary requirements, we were shocked when we were told we would not be able to make any changes to any of the menu items, including not being able to add chicken or meat -which was already on the menu in other items- to any of the salads, or change any of the main sides. I personally find the old saying ‘what you see is what you get’ to be completely unacceptable in most modern dining scenarios – with the exception of set menus and degustation’s. This ridged inflexibility left one of our guests having to settle with an appetizer, the Schupfnudeln / Warm Spinach Salad with Bavarian Potato Dumpling. Upon tucking into his extremely small and dissatisfying meal, whilst watching the rest of the table dive into theirs, this less than appealing situation lead our guest needing to excuse himself so he could leave the restaurant and go on the hunt for something more suitable elsewhere.

I sat on this review for an entire week before publishing it, hoping the time would clarify my opinion of this restaurant and help me decipher between all the highs and lows. In the end the conclusion I’ve come to is that the location and cuisine type means Brotzeit German Bier Bar & Restaurant definitely has a place within the Perth market, however their service and inflexible dining leaves a lot to be desired. With more and more Perth diners becoming self-confessed foodies, and more and more restaurants for those foodies to pick from I’ll be interested to see the future of Brotzeit, because as it stands, I can see the novelty and appeal, but I personally don’t see myself going back anytime soon.

Brotzeit German Bier Bar & Restaurant on Urbanspoon

The Naked Fig, Swanbourne

Every time I talk food with my friends there seems to be this major divide between those with somewhat more alternative diets such as vegetarians, vegans, gluten free fans and paleo lovers versus those with more traditional tastes such as carnivores and meat-carb only devouties. But no matter your eating style the one thing we all share in common is that we all deserve and enjoy being spoiled when we go out. So why can’t we all just get along? And why can’t restaurants appeal to all of us equally? Well I’ve found a place everyone can get equally spoiled no matter what their foodie preference.

This year I’ve been to the Naked Fig on three separate occasions – a degustation, a cooking class and a blogger dinner – and I can honestly say I’ve felt beyond spoiled on every occasion… and so have the people I’ve brought along to these events.

potato gnocchi, roast beets, swiss chard, candied walnuts

potato gnocchi, roast beets, swiss chard, candied walnuts

Located on the stunning Swanbourne beach, The Naked Fig makes the most of it’s surroundings. A large outdoor dining area and open indoor dining area looking out of the wall of glass windows/doors means you are always in for a spectacular view no matter where you choose to sit. Gorgeous sparkling sunlit water and glowing beaches give way to romantic sunsets and a lovely interior design that truly comes alive in the evening. And the staff continue to bring out the best of The Naked Figs wonderful atmosphere with their consistently polite, friendly and attentive service.

baked leek nicoise, black olives, rosemary, poached egg, confit tomatoes

baked leek nicoise, black olives, rosemary, poached egg, confit tomatoes

The Naked Figs menu is seasonal, and provides plenty of vegetarian items and vegan options. You won’t need to beg, plead, miss out or be judged here, because the dishes you’ll be choosing from are guaranteed to make even the most devout carnivore question their meaty loyalty. But don’t worry meat eaters, I guarantee you have not been overlooked. From tender lamb to melt in the mouth beef, pork and juicy poultry and seafood, there is going to be something on the menu that makes your heart skip a beat or two, and makes any of your veggie guests question their moral compass. It doesn’t matter if you’re vegan or a carnivore, a health freak or the indulgent type, there is going to be something spectacular for you… so much so you’re likely to find yourself wondering whether the dish was somehow created just for you and your taste-buds.

lamb cutlets, cumin pumpkin, roast chickpeas

lamb cutlets, cumin pumpkin, roast chickpeas

And for all those veggie, vegan and gluten free lovers out there surrounded by die-hard steak fans, or all of you carnivores who have found themselves partnered with a vegetarian, vegan or gluten free eater, I’ve found a great way to satisfy and impress both parties. On Tuesdays the Naked Fig does “Vego Tuesday”, where half the menu is devoted to vegetarians, vegans and gluten free-ers, whilst the other half is dedicated to carnivores, so much so it actually says ‘herbivores’ and ‘carnivores’ on the menu.

cheese board

cheese board

The dessert portion of the menu never fails to deliver either with a selection of sweet treats and savoury cheeses to satisfy anyone, and give you the perfect excuse to stay a while longer. And don’t worry beverage buffs, you’re covered too, with the drinks menu offering everything from perfectly matching wines to beers, cocktails and creamy (grass fed) butter coffee which really packs a rich punch. On a side note, after giving the butter coffee a try, I can really see it becoming a bit of a next big thing around town, so keep an eye out for it.

creamy (grass fed) butter coffee

creamy (grass fed) butter coffee

Simply put, as far as restaurants go in Perth the Naked Fig is definitely in my select top handful. Whether you’re trying to treat your partner, spoil your mum, or give your bride a wedding to remember, I recommend giving the Naked Fig a try. Just be aware the chances are you’ll end up being devotedly hooked like me and smiling widely every time the place is mentioned… but there’s nothing wrong with that.

The Naked Fig Cafe on Urbanspoon

Hylin, West Leederville

For anyone who doesn’t follow my blog, my office moved from Leederville to West Leederville at the beginning of 2014. Since then, two new cafes have opened up within 250m of my office, with yet another due to open in the coming weeks. The most recent addition (to what’s now become consumers choice) Hylin, opened on the 1st October, and very quickly became my cafe of choice.

hylin art

The first thing you notice when you come into the cafe is it’s wonderful atmosphere. A combination of happy customers, lively staff and smart architecture really brings the place alive, and makes it feel like you’ve escaped from the city -if only for a while. With a lot of natural sunlight, and an unpretentious unique twist in it’s design, it’ isn’t a surprise to discover the owner Josh started off as an architect before bringing Hylin to us lucky folk of West Leederville. In my experience, you’ll often find him behind the register, which is a wonderful thing. He takes pride in his cafe, smiling and happily chatting with each customer. The staff reflect this genuinely friendly attitude, high quality customer service.

Hylin Coffee

Being a long black drinker, there’s no where to hide when it comes to my coffee. Hylins coffee beans come from Micrology Coffee Roasters in Fremantle, with 250g bags available for purchase as the counter. The barista’s tailor their bean of choice to your coffee of choice, delivering the perfect flavour profile every time. Best of all, the pricing is very kind too, starting at $3.00 for a single espresso.

Hylin Micrology

The food is currently an assortment of glass box eats, with nutella and banana slice bagels a favourite of mine to see every morning, as well as a couple tasty breakfast options. Some of these tasty treats are supplied by The Holy Bagel Company, whilst the chefs dish out the rest. In addition to this, it’s been said a breakfast menu should be made available shortly.

Hylins Holy Bagel

Hylin is to me exactly what the area needed… an unpretentious, modern cafe, with great coffee at a good price, a nice atmosphere, wonderful hospitality and some enjoyable eats. I think I’m in love.

Hylin Menu 2

Hylin on Urbanspoon

Six Senses Thai Restaurant, Subiaco

I know I’ve been extremely quiet lately due to my final couple months of university (finally it’s less than a month away), however this restaurant experience(s) stirred something inside me so much so I just had to stay up late to review it.

To celebrate my last day as a Public Relations intern in Subiaco, I was treated to lunch at a place of my choice. With my old go-to restaurant now closed I wanted to pick somewhere that would have a nice atmosphere, a wide variety of good food and still remain well priced. After being named dropped by one of the girls, I decided to take a chance on Six Senses Thai Restaurant. It seemed to have something for everyone, from satay and pad thai to curry and stir frys, this BYO restaurant sounded like the perfect place. Little did I know what I was about to experience.

My first impression of Six Senses was that it was a sexier version of my favourite Thai restaurant in Victoria Park, and just like that restaurant it was very busy. We walked in and were greeted immediately. Even though they were full, the staff offered us to squeeze ourselves onto one of the two small tables outside. With the weather being so nice that afternoon it was exactly what I was hoping for, so we gladly accepted. After quickly propping up one of the legs of the table  which was a making the table wobble, we quickly skimmed through the menu already knowing what we were keen to order.
Stir-fried pumpkin
I picked the vegetarian Stir Fried Pumpkin [$17.50] (stir-fried pumpkin, snow peas, capsicum, mushroom, tofu, egg and coriander with Six Senses special sauce), whilst the girls picked their own Satay Stir Fry combinations [$17.50] (one with chicken and rice and the other with beef and rice).
Satay Chicken
As the dishes were ready they came out one at a time (though within a minute of each other), we tucked in immediately, and my golly-gosh it was better than I expected. To roughly quote our discussion whilst devouring out lunches, the satay was so good it was only second to one other satay the girls had enjoyed oversea, which to me says a lot. Each dish was cooked perfectly. The ingredients tasted fresh, packing lots of flavour and textures. Simply put, each of our meals were delicious!
Satay Beef
Having had such a good experience on the Thursday afternoon, when my friend and I were going to see a performance at the Subiaco Arts Centre I suggested we caught up over dinner first at Six Senses. Even though we had arrived quite early in the evening the restaurant was booked out. However, yet again, after being greeted immediately, we were offered to squeeze ourselves onto one of the little tables outside, and once again I happily accepted.
Assorted Stir Fried Vegetables
Just as I had a couple days earlier, I came in knowing what I was after, the Assorted Stir Fried Vegetables with Oyster Sauce [$17.50]. My friend looked through the menu, but it wasn’t long before she came across the Pad Thai King Prawns [$29.50] (stir-fried thin rice noodles in Six Senses special pad thai sauce served with char grilled king prawns). The food came out reasonably quickly, but as previously, each dish came out one at a time though still within a minute of each other. My friends eyes lite up when she saw her dish placed on the table, and I’m not surprised. It looked amazing. I told her to tuck in, and not long after my dish arrived in all its glory (which I think can be hard to accomplish with just vegetables) and I got to join in.
Pad Thai King Prawns
Just as my lunch a couple days earlier each of our dishes tasted fresh, packing lots of flavour and textures. Simply put, each of our meals once again were delicious! This made me beyond happy, as two of my favourite qualities – quality and consistence – seemed to truly thrive here.

With great food, a nice atmosphere, friendly service and good pricing I can’t help but love this (clearly not so hidden) gem in Subiaco. It’s definitely on my list of favourite go-to restaurants, and I’ve already highly recommended it to the few friends and family members I’ve seen and spoken to in the few hours since my second visit.

Thank you Melissa for recommending Six Senses to me on my last day.

Six Senses Thai Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Wagamama, Subiaco

Wagamama, Subiaco opened it’s doors on March 1, 2006. More than 8 years later it’s sad to see the place close down the weekend just gone (mid September 2014). Interning in Subiaco, I was lucky to grab one final meal at Wagamama when I was invited to a casual work lunch on a Friday afternoon.

otsunaaji portobello salad and duck gyozasWagamama - Carrot, Apple and Ginger JuiceIt was just after lunch when we arrived to the quiet restaurant. We were immediately greeted, seated and each given a menu. We were promptly served water, and the polite and friendly waitress and asked if we would like any additional beverages. I grabbed a new, fresh carrot, apple and ginger juice [$4.90/$6.50] whilst my colleagues enjoyed a glass of wine each.

The specials menu was very reasonably prices, offering a lot of bang-for-your-buck for anyone on a budget but still after some quality, filling food. Sticking with the new items on the menu I couldn’t help but order the  [$17.20], which the girls decided to stick to the tried and proven classics like duck gyozas (5) for starters,  [$20.60] and  [$20.40].otsunaaji portobello salad

The drinks came out promptly with the duck gyozas [$9.90]. We chatted away whilst enjoying our beverages and nibbling on the crispy, juicy and tasty gyozas until the food followed soon after. The moment the gorgeous plates were placed in front of us the conversation slowly faded as we tucked into our delicious meals. The flavours of the salad was fresh, lively, and a lot more filling than I expected. My colleagues dishes didn’t disappoint either. Packed full of flavour and leaving everyone in a mini food coma of delight.teriyaki raisu chicken

Wagamama has a large, open atmosphere, with plenty of various tables in different sections of the restaurant to choose from. With it being so quiet, it was interesting to think back to just how big and lively the place was when it first opened, and customers were spilling onto the streets.thai style stir-fried noodles

The closing of Wagamama really makes me feel like it’s the end of an era. Coming in for (what I didn’t realise at the time would be) my final meal here, I didn’t expect to have such a great experience. Looking back now makes me question the reason for this restaurant closing. With it being so quiet it may have simply been that the spark in the relationship between the restaurant and Perth simply faded over time, with the trendy folks of this town constantly chasing the latest, hottest tends. It really is a shame to see this place close, but final great experience of Wagamama will definitely leave me with fond memories.

Wagamama on Urbanspoon

The Office On Harrogate, West Leederville

Hipster paradise by day, trendy bar by night (Wed-Sun), when my office moved to West Leederville at the beginning of the year, my offices café was yet to be built and good coffee in the immediate area was limited to a few key cafes… one of those being The Office on Harrogate. Having now frequented The Office for meetings, coffee with my boss and dine-in lunches with colleagues over the past several months I feel as though I’m now truly able to gauge The Office.

The Office On Harrogate Quiche and Salad

Atmosphere: With somewhat limited competition in the immediate area, The Office on Harrogate seizes the opportunity to monopolise it’s hipster charm. The Office on Harrogate is a modern hipsters paradise with freshly squeezed juices served in mason jars, burgers served on wooden boards and a young energetic workforce behind the counter. It is small and trendy, with a range of indoors and outdoor seating options. In winter, the staff place heaters outside if required, so you can enjoy outdoor seating without getting uncomfortable. Due to it’s capacity The Office is not overly suitable for large groups over 10 or so, however I’m sure the friendly staff there would be more than happy to try any arrange something if asked.Salad Bpwl from The Office On Harrogate

Service: In my experience, the staff are always fresh and lively. They’re polite, charming and are great to have a quick chat with whilst ordering. On the rare occasion that I’ve not been first at the counter (usually due to a busy peak around morning tea/coffee time), the staff have always managed to serve the line of caffeine deprived office workers very efficiently and with a fun smile.The Office On Harrogate Burger

Food/Cost: Much like the staff the food at The Office is always fresh and lively. The specials board is always full with a great variety of lunch options from salads and quiches to wraps and burgers and the counter is always full of little snacks and treats to enjoy alongside a coffee. Whilst I’ve personally enjoyed the salads and quiches myself, whilst my colleagues have enjoyed the burgers, I most recently I jumped onto a $15 chili mussel lunch special and was beyond delighted. The sauce was thick with chili and garlic and the bread was thick, making it perfect was soaking up the last of the sauce. I couldn’t stop smiling (like a kid with a bowl of candy in front of her, according to my colleague) as I enjoyed each mussel, splashing the sauce all over myself, my face and the table. I liked my fingers clean and polished off every drop of scrumptious sauce with the bread. Needless to say I spent the better part of the following hour bragging about how great my lunch was. Whilst I was ravaging my chilli mussels a colleague was tucking into a Chicken Burger from the board with a Redbull for $20. The burger  had lashings of cranberry sauce and was generous on the brie cheese, which was the same burger experience he’d had with a beef burger just a couple weeks earlier. My colleague was smiling at his burger and I could help but feel like I’d won a mini lottery with my Friday afternoon lunch.

As for the coffee, I still continue to walk down to The Office regularly for my usual tasty medium take-away long black ($4.50) and a smile, even though my office has a café located under the building.20140725_133754

Summary: The Office knows it’s surrounds and makes the most of it’s location, selecting it’s food and setting it’s pricing for the office workers of the immediate area. It’s a trendy place that definitely follows the principle of quality first, whilst still being somewhere you can get a great feed at a great price, especially if you play your cards right. If you want to enjoy what The Office has to offer but are a little strapped on cash the best time to visit The Office would be on either a Wednesday night for $10 Lamb Shanks or Thursday night for $10 Chili Mussels. That way you can see what The Office has to offer at only the cost of a lunch wrap.

The Office on Harrogate on Urbanspoon

Nourishing Notes:
The Office On Harrogate makes it simple to satisfy everyone. It has plenty of full-flavour, satisfying, health conscious options (that I simply love) as well as plenty of the usual subjects, but with the Office’s flavoursome gourmet twist (which my carnivorous male colleague always adores).

– The Grizzly Bear

The Witch’s Cauldron, Subiaco

IMG_20140516_191706Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of eating at the Witch’s Cauldron. I still remember the first time I tasted their Garlic prawns with garlic and chilli ($26.80 entrée). They were so plump, juicy and full of flavour I remember using the bread to soak up every last bit of butter in the dish, and I’ve been ordering it since. On this occasion, I was attending a work dinner on a Friday night.

Service:
Upon entering, friendly staff members were waiting to take me to my seat and the pleasant service continued throughout the evening with prompt waitresses to take orders, food coming out reasonably quickly and wine and water being topped up regularly.

Food: The food hasn’t changed much in 40 years, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. It’s always been consistent whilst I’ve been going there, and according to my work colleagues – who have in fact been eating at the Witch’s Cauldron since it opened- it’s been constantly good since they’ve been visiting too.

IMG_20140516_195638On the table to share we had  garlic bread $5.80, fresh bread with butter or virgin olive oil & balsamic vinegar ($4.80), and for mains a garden salad with mixed greens, avocado, snow peas, asparagus, nuts & vinaigrette ($14.50).

I ordered the garlic prawns with garlic and chilli ($26.80) as an entree and the chicken filled with mushroom duxelle, on risotto & a port jus for mains ($32.90). The garlic prawns were just how I remembered them, juicy, buttery, and so tasty that I used handfuls of bread from the table to soak up every last bit of sauce left in the dish. The mains followed suit with the juiciest, most tender chicken breast I’d had in a long time.

IMAG2893My colleagues ordered a variety of dishes including black angus steaks ($44.00-$46.60), duck breast with marmalade glaze & bok choy served with pilaf rice ($42.10) and gnocchi with beef, basil & Persian feta ($30.00). I would say it’s safe to assume everyone enjoyed their dishes as much as I did as silence fell upon our normally chatty group as we tucked into our mains.

IMG_20140516_204124The portions at the Witch’s Cauldron are medium, with quality definitely valued over quantity here. After a fabulous meal I couldn’t help but polish my meal off with an affogato, whilst others at the table had a variety of coffees.  I don’t know if the affogato is even on the menu as I ordered it off the top of my head, but it came out looking gorgeous. It was served in a martini glass with an extra shot of coffee on the side, and tasted sensational, as a good coffee should.

Price: With entrees ranging from $3.60 for an oyster, $17.70 for soup of the day and going up to $46.60 for the Black Angus peppered fillet (250g) and $48.80 for garlic prawns with steamed rice mains. The Witch’s Cauldron is not the kind of place you go to gorge yourself on large quantities of cheap pasta or pizza. In my opinion, you get what you pay for here, quality food at a price that suits.

Atmosphere: The Witch’s Cauldron has many section of the restaurant that can be enjoyed. From booths to large tables, the restaurant has a front, back and upstairs area that can be enjoyed depending on the occasion. The restaurant is clean, and the atmosphere –though differing in various parts of the restaurant- seems to have a slight classic, nostalgic feeling about it. The best way to explain it would be to say it’s nice, but not so nice that it could be seen as luxurious.

Summary: Everyone I know seems to have nostalgic memories of the Witch’s Cauldron and I’m not surprised. Every time I’ve gone I’ve had nothing but good service, good food and a good time. I’d go as far as to say that in my opinion, the Witch’s Cauldron may be the most consistently good restaurant in Perth. The Witch’s is nice, without being luxurious. The food is good and the prices are reasonable, meaning that just about anyone can have the pleasure of coming by to enjoy the Witch’s offerings. I’d highly recommend it if you’re looking to take your parents out for a nice family dinner or if you’re looking for a place last minute place to entertain business clients.

The Witch's Cauldron on Urbanspoon