So, Perth was totally awesome. I went there for Melbourne Cup Weekend with Schatzi and her hubby M. They used to live there for several years, so it was great being shown around!
Most of our stay was spent down in Fremantle. We stayed with their friend F, who lives in a supercool apartment in a stylishly revamped industrial building in Freo.
Early on the Saturday morning we walked around the corner to Gino's, a Fremantle institution for over twenty years. F's mates were all there - they meet every week and call themselves the Saturday Morning Losers' Club. We were honorary members that week... :)
I had the Prosciutto Eggs: poached eggs with prosciutto, spinach, roast capsicum, semi-dried tomato and shaved parmesan. They weren't particularly special, but were decent enough.
M however struck gold with the Bircher muesli, smothered in juicy fruit and drizzled with honey. Even I, who as a rule never orders muesli, was impressed!
Schatzi and I went wandering around Fremantle, poking our noses into the Freo Market and various shops. My favourite was Kakulas Sisters (29-31 Market Street), sister foodie store to Kakulas Brothers in Northbridge. According to Sami's Kitchen, the story goes that the sisters in the family were not allowed to work in the Kakulas Brothers store, so they set up their own store instead.
I fell in love with these cute tea towels, wish I'd bought one. They're made by Fatty DeMonsey and can be bought online.
Lots of the produce in the store is laid out in great big self-serve sacks. some of the varieties of flour on offer were plain, self-raising, rye, stoneground wholemeal and atta!
On the Sunday morning we went for a swim at Cottesloe Beach. It was bloody cold, but we swam around the Cott Beach Pylon, the heritage-listed last remaining element of what was to be a shark proof enclosure in the late 1920s.
Scenes from an Aussie beach.
After our swim we went into town and snacked on sushi at Jaws Kaiten Sushi in the Hay Street Mall. Jaws was the first sushi train cafe in Perth.
Jaws has special significance for Schatzi and M, because years ago they had platters of their sushi at their wedding brunch. :)
We spent the afternoon checking out the Northbridge Festival and then at sunset it was back to Cottesloe for fish and chips on the beach.
The fish and chips were from Cott's Takeaway. With my food I had an icky Vanilla Malt Supa Shake which really did get thicker the more it was shaken. It tasted a bit like sweetened condensed milk, and gave me a headache.
Love watching the sun set into the Indian Ocean!
F's apartment is just a short stroll from the Little Creatures Brewery, so we checked it out during the day and at night.
The "cellar door" bar and restaurant is open from morning until midnight seven days a week. It's much more cosy and chilled out the beer hall they've set up in Fitzroy - but then again, almost all of Perth is more cosy and chilled out than Melbourne!
After our fish and chips, Schatzi, M and I went to Little Creatures with B for a tasty dessert of sticky date pud and beer.
One morning M and I wanted to explore a museum. Instead of the swanky new Maritime Museum, we went to the smaller Maritime Museum Shipwreck Galleries. I highly recommend this gorgeous maritime archeology museum, dedicated to the many ships wrecked on the Western Australian coast (some as early as the 17th century).
I was most impressed with the reconstructed section of the Dutch East India Company ship Batavia, and was charmed by the older man and woman dressed as pirates taking young schoolchildren on piratey tours of the museum ("Arrr, which of ye can tell me what this is?" "A CANNON!" "That's right. And who fired the cannon?" "PIRATES!!"). So cute!! :)
On the Sunday, Monday and Tuesday we went to Moore & Moore, my favourite Perth discovery.
Moore & Moore
46 Henry Street, Fremantle (map)
(08) 9335 3519
Open daily 8am-4pm
The cafe and the Moores Building Contemporary Art Gallery are both housed in the stunning heritage-listed Moores Building (whose website rather hilariously promises that it is a "Hidden Gem", "Rare and Unusual", "Something Wild", "Something Different", "Very Freo" and "a little bit of Culture").
The cafe was hip and the young staff were all very friendly. On Sunday mornings turntables are set up from 10am to 1pm and patrons are invited to "bring down your favourite record and be treated to a free coffee whilst listening to your tune mixed into the morning's music". Anyone know anywhere here in Melbourne that has such an offer?
Rather than being handed a table number, we were handed a table letter - C for cat. :)
But of course it wasn't just the look and feel of the place that I loved. The coffee was excellent and we had some really great food there: poached eggs with (awesome) creamy nutmeg spinach, served on toasted Turkish bread and topped with a rocket and parmesan salad ($13.50), Jess' toasted hazelnut muesli with yoghurt and strawberries ($9) and - quite possibly my favourite - a heavenly lightly toasted lemon curd muffin ($3.50).
Well worth a look if you're in Freo!
On Melbourne Cup Day I caught up with Igg, a dear friend from my wine-making days, and had lunch at the rather chic 44 King Street - home of hundreds of wines and lots of fancy (and expensive!) foodstuffs.
44 King Street
44 King Street, Perth (map)
(08) 9321 4476
I had a bloody good open fillet steak, bacon and egg sandwich with beetroot horseradish cream ($22.90), and nibbled afterwards on a tangy passionfruit cupcake.
I loved this dingo logo in North Fremantle. The sign on the Dingo Flour Mill was painted in 1940 and then a few decades later was touched up by a young sign-writer by the name of Alan Bond!
On our last day we walked through Kings Park, including walking along the Treetop Walk. Cameras are permitted, but wedding photos are strictly forbidden on the walkway!
I am crazy in love with Kangaroo Paw!
Alas I didn't have the chance to check out any of the restaurants my kind readers had recommended for me (I'm especially sorry I didn't get to try Namh Thai, Ben)... but I had a fantastic time nonetheless!