Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Eating in Perth. Part I

I've had 4 days in Perth, or "Perff" as it was affectionately known by S-bo and I yesterday in honour of Australia Day, and only 2 to go. I received some great advice from Abstract Gourmet and Beyond Beeton about great places to try and I've also been shadowing Claire's November 08 trip (from Melbourne Gastronome) perhaps a little too closely. From Cottesloe fish & chips to the dingo flour sign and Fremantle markets. However despite that, I haven't actually been doing too much eating out. Kicking back instead at our friend's house enjoying wine, home-cooked meals and good company.

However there are a few highlights so far...

Friday night saw us land and head straight for a pre-wedding get-together at The Vic, a pub conveniently located next to the accomodation of most wedding guests. I really enjoyed kicking back in their beer garden drinking Redback beer, especially with slices of lemon. Unfortunately the pizza we ordered doesn't deserve mention, something tells me it's more a boozy, good-time pub rather than a top place for meals.

"The Vic"

We didn't stay too long as Lovely and the Doctor, our generous accomodation providers, had us booked in early Saturday morning to accompany them on a Swan Valley Wine Tour. Having decided Margaret River was a little far for this trip, we were eager to boat our way up the Swan and be picked up and ferried around the wineries by bus. In the past I've been sceptical of wine tours by bus, fearing that you only get taken to large, commercial wineries with a bunch of uni students or American tourists. However this was a great day out. Joining the boat in downtown Perth, with it's airline-style seating (complete with tray tables) we glided up the river, tasting some not-bad table wine courtesy of a couple of large commercial wineries. It was very pleasant and I was most impressed by the lovely Swan River.

Garbin Estate

Somewhere along the line we were greeted by Abi and we left boat for bus to visit 4 wineries, a brewery, a nougat company and a chocolate factory. Phew. We drank a lot of Chenin Blanc, Verdelho & Viognier from Garbin Estate, Jane Brook Estate, Jarrah Ridge and Edgecombe Brothers.

Edgecombe Brothers

At Jane Brook Estate the champenoise style of wine making was explained and I must confess that I didn't realise the huge difference between champenoise and other sparklings. We then had lunch (included) consisting of cold meats, salad, olives, bread & dips. The platter was beautifully presented with extremely fresh ingredients however we could have managed something a little more substantial with so much wine tasting.

Jarrah Ridge presented the best value wines, with their clean, crisp Chenin Blanc & Classic White selections for only $12 a bottle. Definitely our pick of the day for quality too as we also enjoyed their Reserve Shiraz & Shiraz Viognier.

The rest of the afternoon passed quickly. A super brief stop at Mondo Nougat stimulated our appetite for sweetness and it was on to the Margaret River Chocolate Factory, a branch located in the Swan Valley to capture more of the Perth market than is possible down south. Another whirlwind stop really, but don't forget to check our their sacks of chocolate buttons down the end of the counter for free tastings of their dark, milk and white chocolate.

Chaos at Margaret River Chocolate Factory

And finally the brewery consisting of beer and German Sausage (strangely accompanied by corn chips). Not much on our trip to Little Creatures (more to come...)

Feeling slightly tipsy with very full stomachs we headed back to Cottesloe where the boys enjoyed a dip. Incase we needed more alcohol we strolled up to The Cott for a beer, watching our first WA sunset over the water. The plan was to have Cottesloe fish and chips but we were feeling so unhealthy that we found ourselves ordering grilled snapper and salad from a burger joint who's name I don't remember. Four sleepy bodies then polished off our meal back at home with a bottle of Jarrah Ridge Chenin Blanc & the Australian Open. Zzzz......


Max said...

Hey! Hope you're having a blast in Perth! Sorry I was a bit tardy in replying to your comment, glad you find Matt's site! Yell out if you're still around and I might be able to suggest some must-eat places. Duende, Lamont's Cottesloe, Cantina 663, Il Lido and Amuse are well worth going to off the top of my head...

Ali-K said...

Thanks Max. Hope you enjoyed the rest of your time in Melbourne. I've not had much chance to follow up on people's recommendations so no need to be sorry. I did spend today day trekking around following some of Matt's recommendations and now have very sore feet!

Matt at Abstract Gourmet said...


Hopefully my tips haven't been sending you all over town too much. But the quality is there if you're willing to seek it out :) So well done.

Looks like your Swan Valley trip has been good, good work on making it to Jane Brook, method champenoise is so much nicer than cheapo sparkling.

Good luck with the rest of the trip. Let me know if you get stuck.


Giddy Up said...

"In the past I've been sceptical of wine tours by bus, fearing that you only get taken to large, commercial wineries with a bunch of uni students or American tourists."

It doesnt have anything to do with memories of a certain Grape Grazing festival does it?? :>

Ali-K said...

Oooo, touché Giddy Up. I was refering to a trip I took to NSW's Hunter Valley. Lets just say Grape Grazing, on the other hand, is somewhat fuzzy.

Maria@TheGourmetChallenge said...

Oh I'm so jealous! I've always wanted to go to Western Australia, better never had the chance. Your trip sounds amazing, Makes me want to jump on a plane!