Restaurant Review: Bradley’s Restaurant

June is rapidly nearing and so my dining partner (MDP)  and I decided it would be good to take our Entertainment Book Gold Card out for at least one more spin before it becomes obsolete**

We picked Bradley’s because it was close-ish and  the writeup in the book sounded promising (a 2007 Gold Plate, plus ‘Excellence in Health‘!). We didn’t phone for a reservation until about 4pm, at which point we could only get a table early or late (we chose 8.15 pm) and only outside. It seemed promising that the restaurant was so busy, though it’s getting a bit chilly to be dining outside and we were a bit apprehensive about that. Dining outside wasn’t too bad though – the night was calm and we had a brazier right near us.  Unexpectedly, the biggest difficulty we faced in getting there was parking – street parking near the restaurant was minimal and all taken.  We ended up getting a spot in a local City of Perth parking lot for the princely sum of $5 for 2 hours. In future I’d probably allow a bit more extra time to search out other options. The location is very nice, though. Claisebrook Cove is actually very pretty and quite serene, and we were on a table closest to the water.  The table was annoyingly wobbly, however – I think from the lay of the land rather than table deformity.  We made do, but it was annoying.

Chef Pierce Bradley is from Ireland and his wife is English,  and there was a big English feel to the menu. (Both our mains included bacon 🙂 MDP wasn’t too fussed with the starters,  but I couldn’t go past the black pudding (which I love, but haven’t had since getting back to Perth) and potato salad and it was very good. MDP was after steak and picked the fillet of beef wrapped in pate, bacon & puff pastry, stilton croquette potatoes, and vegetables.  The beef was a fine slab of meat, cooked as requested, and very good.   I  had trouble deciding between the rabbit and the liver, and ended up with the liver because the rabbit was not available. I’d not had liver before so overall I was pleased to be ‘forced’ to choose it, however. It was served with bacon, bubble and squeak, and onion rings  and was very satisfying (and did lead to quite a bit of England reminiscing over the meal 🙂

This wasn’t supposed to be a big night for us, so dessert ended up being chocolate brownie connoisseur ice cream in front of the telly.  However, overall I really enjoyed the food we had at Bradley’s and the vibe of East Perth.

Details: Bradley’s Restaurant, 22/60 Royal Street, East Perth, WA 6004 Tel: (08) 92217404 (on the waterfront behind Royal Street)

Service: Service was fine, except for a long long wait for our order to be taken.  It was about 25 minutes from when we were seated until someone took our order – and that was only after I started waving furiously at staff.  (We had managed to get our bottle of wine in this time,  but nobody asked about food!). Also,  I was only told the rabbit was not available at the point I ordered it (so I went with the liver).

Food: Black pudding was excellent. And I think both our mains were very good. There were a couple of thing we might have ordered off the dessert menu too,  but we were both full, and I was tired, and our parking was about to run out…

Mark-up: We chose a Batista 2005 Merlot from Majimup and it was very nice. We paid $40 for a bottle that looks to retail for $20, a 100% mark up.

The discount: The Entertainment Book Deal was 25% off the bill to a maximum of $40. Our meals and wine came to $132,  $99 with the discount.  MDP tipped ~15% (American guilt), which I though was mebbe a little generous for the service we got (but I’m an Australian miser).  Our Entertainment Book Gold Card came back with the appropriate number blacked out. Bradley’s are in the 2009/2010 book and I’d probably be happy to go back and get another discount there, though probably equally happy to try somewhere else.

**We managed to snaffle a copy for the 2009/2010 Book from the local primary school yesterday when we went to vote in the Daylight Savings Referendum.  It’s a weight off my mind  🙂

Rating: 7.5/10

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Lamington: Closure

I blogged some time ago about the sponge I made to make lamingtons, and then failed to mention the result:

lamingtons!!

The lamingstons were made for my birthday afternoon tea.  They went very quickly.

From Stephanie Alexander, The Cook’s Companion:

Cut day-old genoese sponge into 5 cm cubes and refrigerate.  Mix 1 part cocoa with 8 parts icing sugar, 1 part boiling water and 1 part melted butter to make icing and prepare a tray of dessicated coconut.  Impale a square of sponge on a fork and dip in icing, then in coconut.  Allow to dry on a wire rack before storing in airtight tins.

(Or eat immediately  🙂

Adventures in Slowcooking: Spiced Red Cabbage

I got a slow cooker for my birthday and I’ve been enjoying using it for the past month or two*.  It was also (of course)  an excellent excuse to get another cookbook, and I picked up Ulitmate Slowcooker by Sara Lewis a couple of weeks ago. And the first thing I made from the book was spicy red cabbage, on Friday:

Spicy Red Cabbage

Ingredients:

1 tbsp oil
1 large onion
450 mL hot vegetable or chicken stock (chicken for me)
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp thick set honey
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp fennel seeds, roughly crushed (I used cumin and I didn’t crush)
1/2 tsp crushed dried chilies
625g red cabbage, cored and thinly sliced (this was abotu 1/4 of a cabbage for me)
2  dessert apples, cored and diced
50 g raisins (I used sultanas)

Heat the oil in the large frying pan, add the onion and fry, stirring, for 5 minutes until lightly browned.  Stir in the stock, vinegar, honey, tomato puree, fennel ( cumin seeds) and crushed dried chillies and then pour into the slow cooker.  Add the shredded cabbage, apples and raisins.  Season well with salt and pepper (didn’t add),  mix together, then cover with the lid and cook on high for 2.5-3.5 hours until the cabbage is tender.

(I misread this and it was on low for ~3 hours,  and then high for 1.5 hours.  It seemed to be ok  🙂

I serve the cabbage with a pork loin roast (with crackling!) and crispy roast potatoes.  The cabbage is quite sweet – from the honey and sultanas – but also quite hot,  thanks to the chillies. It was a great foil to the pork, and the potatoes were great for soaking up the juices. It doesn’t smell as fanastic as my other favourite red cabbage recipe (from Nigella Lawson’s Feast – the wine and oranges make the one smell like mulled wine), but I’ll definitely be making it again.

*We had this barbecue chicken a few weeks ago and it was very good!