Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Eden Cafe

Eden Cafe on Urbanspoon

Despite all the tummy clutching and overeater's remorse that is associated with a session of Sunday Dim Sim, my tummy clutching was from hunger still hanging on strong.

As we were leaving the beautifully refurbished XinTianDi, I was not full - bordering hungry.

May or may not be because A's 2 year old nephew was entertaining me (or was I entertaining him?) with disgustingly cute tactics of passing grapes and various other fruit in and out of his mouth, ears, nostrils (in that sequence) then straight back in and out of his mouth again.

Followed by a sweet gesture of offering it to me, to eat.
Kinda like when he retrieved a piece of watermelon out of the bin, rubbed it on the floor and gave it to his Dad to eat.

I was receiving all sorts of mucus covered fruit offers from left, right and centre.
Needless to say, I felt temporarily full, until I got me some food that hadn't explored the dark tunnels of every facial feature.

Eden's Signature Lime Juice
Finding ourselves at Eden Cafe at the Coventry Square Markets, we could not go past their signature drink. First impressions do count, and I was more than impressed with the quirky jar-turned-cup presentation. Just like sipping your own jug of lemonade, with a lot more lemon.

First sip of this lime juice surprised me with its sharp sour taste, while each consecutive gulp that followed became pleasantly stimulating. The drink's strong acidity is refreshingly tart and zesty, distinctly different to lemonade.

Eden's Eggs Benedict - $15.50 (now $12.50 according to menu)
The menu featured a dish that made the decision to choose a difficult one - an omelette jam packed with ham, onion, mushroom, tomato and cheese, is definitely calling for another visit to Eden.

We went with their Eggs Benedict to take full advantage of their all day breakfast menu available until 3pm. Looking past the pretty presentation, there really isn't much more to admire, much to my disappointment. The saving grace to the dry muffin base was the pierced yolk juices, greedily absorbed in an instant.

Eggs Benedict classic, with a Florentine twist

Hollandaise sauce can easily become too much too fast, but a lack of it can cause serious dry consequences for such a dish. Drizzled on top may just be too little! I loved the vividly black, coarse cracked pepper with the dish but found the 2 poached eggs quite watery and lacking in the looks department.

Not that this should be a significant criteria, but good looking food always whets the appetite, on my journey from Eden to Edo later on that evening.


Balancing a fusion of both Asian and Western cuisine, the menu offers recognisable dishes influenced by both cultures' cooking. Fair prices coupled with nicely presented dishes could make Eden Cafe a hit with locals and market-goers after a strenuous shopping workout.

With an extended 'all day' breakfast menu but open all day, I was sad to see that the "all dishes include coffee/tea/orange juice" offer only lasted until 11:30am, which is a very generous act on their behalf. The cafe is open and airy, its spaciousness extending right through to their large alfresco seating area.

The green and white theme creates a relaxing, pure atmosphere for eating at Eden, where you will be tempted by more than just an apple.

(08) 9275 EDEN (3336)
Mon/Wed: 9am to 6pm
Thurs - Fri: 9am to 10pm
Sat - Sun: 8.30am to 10pm


Chicken Gozleme
And because the Turkish eatery was so conveniently located next door to Eden Cafe, it just seemed to make sense to grab a toasted Chicken and Cheese filled Gozleme as we left Eden to continuously feed the food baby slowly growing in our stomach.

If it doesn't turn out to be a fat, overfed baby, I will!

Gozleme Innards
Around $8 buys a generous portion of grilled gozleme, thin folded pockets with chicken pieces and stringy cheese melted and sealed into the pastry and served with a wedge of lemon on the side if you need it.

Savoury desserts?
Bring. It. On!

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Cimbalino Espresso

Cimbalino (Napoleon St) on Urbanspoon
As we stacked ourselves together and piled into L's BMW, we had no idea where we were going.
No destination, no restraints... so no worries!
It is times like these where you venture into the unknown and (hopefully) find a spanking new delicious place to pig out...OR, leave you wishing you had done some research instead.

The girls wandered through the little street scoping out places to eat, with me dragging myself along wishing we could JUST EAT ALREADY. Who knew there was a criteria to check off just to get some brunch?

Cimbalino Espresso, with its wide open, welcoming doors, finally caught their eyes and we swarmed across the street. After a tenuous assessment of the place, it was their joint agreement that it was cosy enough, dark enough and mysterious enough to be our brunch spot. 

People living life as it's meant to be lived
It was a gloriously sunny day, both 3 months ago when I actually ate here, and just 2 days ago when I ventured back just so I could get menu names, prices and exterior shots like this, for blog's sake.

I wondered for a very brief moment during my 30 minute travel here, whether there is such a thing as over-dedication. And after about 2 seconds, I realised, when you love something this much - no, there really isn't.

Nothing like a good big dosage of wake-me-up cappuccino to start the eating day - we had made big plans to hit up Fremantle to feast even further, but this horribly failed when we wandered around in circles, asking for directions, lost tourist style.

If anybody knows where Theobroma Chocolate Lounge in Fremantle is, please, for the love of food, let me know!

Deliciously good coffees, apparently!
I am not a self proclaimed coffee expert by any means. I am not even a coffee drinker, as my stomach isn't always fond of milk.

But Cimbalino seems to be passionate about (and to) the coffee drinking breed of humans, which seem to have taken over our land. This shines through their barista's ability to produce a mean cuppa, which I overheard went down real good.

Vegetarian Sweetcorn & Ricotta Hotcakes - $16
I think we all came with a mindset on eating something that is a little unconventional.
The option of hotcakes sounded appealing, but unfortunately not for me, since they could not fulfill my request of eliminating the ricotta aspect. Shame. Devastating news.

L ended up ordering this, and was presented (with quite a swift speed!) a stack of three sweet corn and ricotta hotcakes, which resemble small savoury pikelets. Supported by a strong foundation of avocado salsa underneath, these are finished off with a peak of greens instead of the pea tendrils as described.

The dish is accompanied by a single juicy looking roasted truss tomato and a side dish of spicy sweet tomato relish, as is the next dish to arrive at the table.

Sweetcorn & Ricotta Hotcakes - $16.50
What I do know, is J loves her meat. But what I didn't know, is that J seems to love her bacon! Two consecutive meals with her that involve bacon, bacon no.1 here and bacon no. 2 here, and she just might be a pig.

Pretty much identical to its vegetarian counterpart, this dish features TWO hotcakes but substituted with a layer of grilled bacon to make up for lost calories in the dish. So while the tomato and avocado salsa, fresh rocket and side serve of tomato relish remains faithful, the bacon does not.

I think this was a struggle to finish towards the end. And ironically, I don't even think she likes bacon that much.

My precious breakfast to start the day!
What's this growing trend of serving meals on planks of wood these days?

Beats me, but me like!

Huevos Rancheros with Chorizo - $14
So while the rest of my supportive girlfriends groaned at my usual horsing around with my camera and meddling with photos as they dug into their meals, I happily ignored them.
At least after a while, people get over their attempts of trying to get any body parts into the actual photo.

I was looking forward to tasting what this dish had to offer, because I'm realising a growing fondness for chorizo in me. Featuring a farm fresh egg as described, this spreads delicately over a medley of chorizo pieces in a spicy tomato salsa oven baked in a cute mini hotpot.

Egg: the best thing since (and with!) sliced bread
I'd imagine that when mixed through, the topping of feta cheese would add a creamier texture to the dish's entirety. Unfortunately, I gave away my block to J, who has a feta fetish and desperately needed something creamy and salty to cut through her salty bacon and no-signs-of-creaminess-anywhere dish.

I absolutely ADORE egg white and am quite an expert and separating this from the egg yolk. The salsa had a nice heat to it and I completely cleaned out the pot, while leaving a perfectly rounded and untouched orb of egg yolk inside.

What can I say. I am so competent, at the most useless things.

I like dat!
Huevos Rancheros dates back centuries, and is apparently a typical Mexican dish eaten for breakfast. This would be a lovely start to the day, a warm tummy filler and a good hearty feed. Unlike what I expected from the menu, which was a side serve of fresh chilli, the meal came chilli salt dotted with flakes and a mysterious creamy sauce, still unidentified (or forgotten) to this very day.

And instead of being served with the traditional tortillas, 3 slices of ciabatta toast did a good job of soaking up the salsa, eagerly wanting to be soaked up.

Got sweet teeth?
Cimbalino's got an enticing display cabinet loaded with cakes, slices, logs, cupcakes, tarts, you, get, the, idea.

The savoury selection is dominated by the sweets range, predominantly by the big bold colours of a plate of macarons - the thing that seems to be taking over the dessert world.

The Cimbalino opening scene
The store front of this open cafe is big and invites both the breeze and customers in.

Its interior is decked out in red and black with graffiti art scrawled on its walls, fitting with its nifty light fixtures hanging low from the ceilings. Quite a stark contrast to its dine-in area at the back, which is more hidden away and shielded from both sunlight and store lighting.

A gorgeous place to catch some sun is at Cottesloe's neat little cafe strip on Napoleon Street.

Everyone here is pleasurably enjoying soaking up the sunshine, absorbing some UV rays and overdosing on vitamin D while sipping on their dainty coffee cups.

So many seating options, that you can plant your butt just about anywhere.

Among the best cafe scenery I've come across :)
Yes, this is indeed the beautiful set at the back of Cimbalino Espresso.


If suburbs were people, Cottesloe would be your pristine and posh crowd, dressed in stylish designer clothes and always looking perfect. Even the buildings here look like they've been built out of better material! Upmarket for sure.

Cimbalino provides you with an alternative choice from the flurry of cafes present along the street. The cafe's lack of natural sunlight is preserved that way, with dim lighting scattered inside. Pity, as I would love to see the presentation of their dishes more (which is quite pleasing to the eye really!)

Seeming to be a hit with the locals as a regular hang out place, there sits a big newspaper/magazine rack for those fond of spending time with words in cosy corners. Pair that with food that comes out in a flash despite the busy queue scattered everywhere, efficiency is tops. Just not the No EFTPOS facilities bit.

I guess this speediness comes from being unable to accommodate ingredient adjustments. I wish I noticed the option of building your own meal from side orders when I was told they couldn't minus the ricotta from my order. Friendly staff here, while momentarily lackadaisical at times. Acknowledgement took a while the first time, and did not even happen the second time I rolled around with my camera.

But if you need a good grind to get your day going, Cimbalino seems to promise you one (and shout cimba! when they're done grinding your coffee for you).

(08)9385 6177
Open everyday: 7am to 5pm
Brunch menu until 2.30pm
www.cimbalino.com.au: Details about other 3 Cimbalino locations


Thursday, 4 October 2012

Tuck Shop Cafe

The Tuck Shop Cafe on Urbanspoon

If you have not heard your foodie community/neighbour/friend/friend's friend/friend's friend's neighbour/the entire Perth population on Urbanspoon rave on (and on and on) about the words Tuck Shop Cafe,
you probably do not live in Perth.

And if you do live in Perth and have not heard from your friend's friend's neighbour mention Tuck Shop Cafe, I assume the whole food blogging scene isn't your thing.
(In that case humble old me says THANK YOU for being here!)

And just like their Tips jar, the amount of food bloggers that have come out (on Urbanspoon of course) is absolutely overflowing.
They must be doing something right - something perfect - as it seems this place is the bomb-diggedy right now.

Perth people have spoken, so I won't need to.
I will shut up and let the pictures do their thing.

Bruschetta - $17.50
Known for their food as well as their waiting line, my fashionable lateness resulted in not needing to experience the latter :)

Despite the frenzy of activity, our orders were served quick despite a friendly forewarning that our stomachs would need to wait a bit longer. About 3/4 of the way through her dish, J kindly and thoughtfully offered me a taste. What a sweetie.

The bruschetta style dish was absolutely loaded with salty grilled bacon and chunks of goats curd, with the tomato looking juicy, avocado creamy and basil salad fresh.
I think she really enjoyed this. Explains the 3/4 thing.

Merry Christmas on a plate!
Food here proves that simplicity handled wisely goes a long way. Standard ingredients go just so right with others to create a stunning masterpiece that you can't wait to destroy.

With a refreshing everchanging menu, I can't spy your usual eggs benedict dishes here.
Many of the plates feature fresh raw components, whether that be herbs or vegetables. It tricks you into thinking that you are eating healthy - but you sort of are!

I spied their coffee loyalty card pin-up board, experiencing massive growth. I know the point is to prevent cards from getting lost, but your card is likely going to get lost anyway in the abundance of cards up there!
Equally as hard, trying to find a card in a card stack.

Moroccan Meatballs - $17.50
With a grumble tum needing to be suppressed, a salady dish with just a mere piece of bacon just won't cut it. My stomach is a spoilt little brat to be honest, as I slave away my savings to attend to its needs.

I went for the more substantial dish of spiced Moroccan meatballs with a thick layer of hummus on flatbread, tomato and a completely foreign language to me - a za'atar crispy fried egg.

It wasn't a huge discovery to learn of the dried herbs, sesame and spice mix that adorned my sunny-side-up-obstructed-by-bits-of-cloud egg, but gave the egg a good flavour.

Meatball sub anyone?
An avid lover of meat made into balls, I thoroughly enjoyed the lean meatballs, marinated and infused with spice and flavour. Complemented by the vibrancy of red and green on the plate, Christmas is always just a plate of food away!

But also as a loyal Subway 6-inch meatball sub buying customer, I can't help but liken this to an open subway sandwich - the crisp/mush combination of the crisp flatbread and hummus to my toasted Italian Herbs & Cheese bread with extra avocado...

Maybe eating my Subways on a plate with cutlery from now on will make all the difference.


Famous for food, infamous for queues - just like those annoying school canteen trips. It is evident that word has spread about this small, quaint cafe and has kept on spreading with piles tucking in at the Tuck Shop.
Having multiple identities of tuck shop, cafe, pie house, a delicatessen, it has not bitten off more than it can chew. Whereas I nowadays, have definitely ate more than I can pay! 

People are noticeably lovin' the food, which seems wholesome, hearty, delicious and made with love, visible through the intricacy of plating. I love how the portions actually make use of and take up the plate size :D Their style of food is real and rustic. Simply put, their food is charming. Tables with wheels, but you'll need patience with this version of meals on wheels.

The service is actually great, the staff very competent in their roles as waitress and crowd controllers. While it looks like they are balancing the world on their shoulders, they make time to ask how your meal's going and still manage to make you feel like the world is spinning around you. Though you'll find the consistent praising reviews will have all efforts focussed on the food side of things. Naturally.

A bustling lively place, it is full of natural light, angled tables that makes for intimate seating, and pot plants that hang from the ceiling, upside down. I was in much initial fascination as much as I was mesmerised, while simultaneously my instinct slowly moved my dish that was situated directly below the upside down dirt-filled pot plant :)

So they say they have a story to tell with food...and they'll have many eager listeners.
Coincidentally situated on the corner of Money Street, I'm guessing Money St is living up its name from this Tuck Shop.

(08) 9227 1659
Tuesday - Sunday: 7am to 4pm
Tuck Shop Cafe Facebook page


Update: 2 January 2013

L's birthday called for a short brunch session at the Tuck Shop. And as always, I could never bad mouth the service, even if I tried.

L ordered a basic but nonetheless well made breakfast dish of sauteed mushrooms with feta and spinach on toasted multigrain sourdough bread.

I battled a very difficult inner conflict inside myself, and I really should know I shouldn't take up a losing battle.
You know when you just know you shouldn't do something, but you do it anyway?

I did this. This amazingly beautiful dish.

Very ridiculous, knowing that me and this overly creamy and rich dish, was never ever meant to be. I just needed the temporary satisfaction of indulging in it, and ended up driving home on the freeway in acute pain.
Ah, the consequences.

Smoked Cod, Potatoes and Leek Bake with Poached Egg and Buttered Sourdough
 I very well knew this could knock me out, just by looking at it while breathing in its beauty.
W raved continuously about this pot of gold and I thought I'd dig some gold for myself.

If there was ever a time you'd eat garnish, it would be now. That spring onion was heaven, amongst every thick, rich and buttery mouthful. In hindsight, substituting the original cheese toastie for buttered toast was a useless idea, when I have a pot of cream to eat.

Add to the creamy monstrosity a poached egg, and you've got yourself all the components for a artery clogging meal. The girls enjoyed dipping their chips into my sauce, as I went through my buttered sourdough toast, as plain as can be.

I was good, and completely avoided these freshly fried hand cut chips with house aioli.
For $8, it is a big bowl and full of gorgeously unperfect, rugged real potato chips with jagged hand cut edges.

Salt & Pepper shakers
What adds to the charm of this place, are the cute little couples sitting at every desk, waiting to be picked up and sprinkled onto your lunch.

Not that you would need them, but just like the staff at Tuck Shop, they are there when you need them. And they never stop smiling.

Monday, 1 October 2012

The Aviary: Nest Rooftop Bar

The Aviary – Nest Rooftop Bar on Urbanspoon

When agonising over dining options for a mid-week dinner, with no spare cash readily available to be casually flung around, a restaurant with enticing vouchers starts to look attractive.

I will accept all cheapskate remarks thrown this way, because I've taken the word poor to a whole new level for a while too long.
I know deep down, secretly, if you took away any social shaming aspect you feel about using vouchers to buy your meals, the feeling of saving a couple of dollars is a very happy feeling :)

So off we went, chirping with 5 freshly printed vouchers in hand to see just what the guys at The Aviary are breeding in their nest.

Lamb, Coriander, Chilli & Yoghurt Pizza - $16

When it comes to eating out nowadays, I am a bit of a loner.
A loner, in the sense of ordering and only eating my own dishes, if the communal dishes on the table are loaded with fat, oil, cheese, or all 3.
Which, ever since I can't (...well, shouldn't) touch them, seem to be pretty much the ONLY things that people eat.

Having said that, yes, I am indeed implying that I actually have to order a whole pizza (without cheese), for me, myself, and I.
After finishing whole pizzas I think to myself, it was probably better off to have eaten the fat I avoided in the first place...

The one slice I finished for them, could have been a lot more meatier.
But then again...you can't speak very loud for just $10, can you?

Chorizo, Tomato & Roquette Pizza - $16

Despite the few vegetarian options available, the girls had firm decisions to order everything that wasn't. Animal enthusiasts, in every way.

They settled with a chorizo pizza, a firm and cheesy pizza base with sliced chorizo, fresh cherry tomatoes and a handful of raw rocket leaves, which was devoured in an amazingly quick time.

Crinkle Cut Chips with Spiced Aioli - $8

Forget everything I said before about not touching oily food.
I had a lot of this. This was good. This was also taken away from me, to stop me from getting a stomach attack.

I don't remember anything from the spiced aioli to be phenomenal, but the piping hot chips are a dieter's/gall-bladderless person's dream. The crinkles make them deliciously crunchier (or that could be a psychological thing).

A thing like this conveniently placed right in front of me, and all my morals go out the window.
Because everything that you can't eat, seem to taste so much better than they probably are.

Prawn, Coriander & Chilli - $16

This is my pizza for one, to which I was commended for finishing :D
I found this quite light and easy to finish, despite the others being unable to finish 3 pizzas amongst the 4 of them.

Ordered without cheese, the pizza is admittedly a little brittle and dry. The place can't be faulted for this, because making a hot dog taste good without the sausage IS difficult after all.

I'm guessing the kitchen substituted my cheese with basil pesto spread over the base, and coriander was mysteriously replaced with fresh snow pea sprouts. Eating this was like eating a salad, but the feeling of munching rabbit food while devouring a pizza, while healthy, is surprisingly disappointing.


My one regret of my experience with The Aviary is not heading back to try their advertised Pho Pizza, a westernised take on the Vietnamese beef noodle dish with beef and crushed peanuts. The $10 price tag of these pizzas is of value, considering the standards of the place, but I think I'd rather pay a little more, if it meant even better quality :)

I can't judge too much on the food since I've gone ahead and changed their ingredients to suit my needs because I'm selfish like that, but truthfully I would probably be somewhere else where $16 buys me a bigger, tastier pizza. What I managed to sip from a glass of their homemade mulled wine however, was a sweet stomach warmer from standing at higher altitudes with its colder breezes on the rooftop.

And there ARE lifts, in case the flight of seemingly neverending stairs are too confronting. Especially if you've just ran your marathon up the Perth Underground Station's staircase right below The Aviary.

Boasting Perth's largest outdoor rooftop bar (out of, what, 2?), the atmosphere is trendy and lush from what I could see with my poor night vision, with a strict dress code enforced. With requirements like "no fancy dress" and as detailed as "plain non branded t-shirts permitted", I felt a bit self conscious turning up. But upon seeing all the big shady umbrellas and toasty heaters, snagging a seat next to one became top priority.

I wouldn't mind a revisit, at an hour where there is still enough light to make out what's around me and what I'm actually putting in my mouth. And despite the issues floating around about their service levels, The Aviary is flying high with all the socialites in town and on social media.
I couldn't avoid all the little birdies around town tweeting and tooting about its existence.

(08) 9226 0259
Mon - Sat: 11am to midnight
Sun: 11am to 10pm

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