Zucchini and Eggplant Bake

Roasted VegetablesWith some nice eggplant and zucchini in my last vege box,  I was looking for a non-meat dinner option to make one night.  This Layered Eggplant, Zucchini, and Tomato Casserole looked interesting and also would enable me to use panko breadcrumbs from the pantry. I made some changes, mostly based on  what I  had to hand,  and used two medium normal eggplants and two medium sized zucchinis. I swapped two tins of tomatoes for the fresh ones, includes some garlic in when I fried the onion, and used more basil than recommended (probably a good cup worth). Zucchini and Eggplant Bake

The end result wasn’t too bad but could do with some modification – firstly I found the long slices of veges unwieldy when it came ti eating it.  I’d probably cut the veges horizontally rather than length wise ( if that makes sense!).  I think the tomato sauce could have done with more flavoring – perhaps adding a jar of pasta sauce in stead of one of the tins of tomatoes would help here.

Zucchini and Eggplant BakeFinally pre-roasting the veges took a loooooong time (particularly if you are trying to save dishes by only using one tray!) I’m not sure the roasting added *that* much flavour to the dish, so I’d also be tempted to just put it together with raw veges, possibly up the tomato content (2 tins of tomatoes and 1 jar of pasta sauce perhaps?),  and just cook the whole thing in one go.

Restaurant Review: Greenhouse

100 St Georges Tc
Perth, WA 6000

greenhouseperth.com
08 9481 8333

I’ve been wanting to go to Greenhouse for aaages, but it’s smack bang in the city, it’s not open on Sunday for brunch and, for whatever reason, it just never happened – until last night. And it turns out Saturday night at that end of town is a good time to go. Parking becomes free, and there is no problem getting a table if you can get there early-ish (tho there did seem to be a line of people waiting later in the evening).

Greenhouse has a pretty interesting list of cocktails, but I was driving so stayed sober with the earl grey lemon iced tea, which was was refreshing, not too sweet, but a little lacking in earl-y grey-ness (oh well). The food is tapas style, and our table of 6 split into 3 vege diners and 3 meat eaters (I was on the meat side, tho to be fair the vege dishes looked very appetising!). My favorite savory dishes were the pizza (of the day) – cherry tomato and the most delicious pancetta, on a thin but dense pizza crsut, and the rabbit pie, which was a delightful filo (?) parcel, filled with slow cooked rabbit, topped a cinnamonn-y flour, and served with labneh. I would have never though to put such varying tastes together, but it worked beautifully, and was so interesting (I love interesting food). The beef belly was the most disappointing dish – last to the table and not really what we were expecting, as it looked more like slow cooked ribs. The meat was very tender and tasty, but the dish lacked the wow factor of other dishes.

However, the highlight of the meal was probably the dish we almost didn’t order – dessert – the cherry and rhubarb bread pudding. It came with it’s own little jar of creme anglais (or similar). We shared between three, and it was just the right amount of dense wholemeal bread and punchy cherry and rhubarb. To be honest, I’d probably return just for the pudding.

Greenhouse is reasonably expensive for the portion sizes you get, but the quality of the food is excellent and it is pretty different to the usual Perth restaurant experience. I’m not sure I loved it, but I’d definitely recommend trying it at least once.

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Review: Lunch at Little Stove

Little StoveLittle Stove
08 9319 9811
Melville
Shop 97, 103 Harris St Map
Bicton, WA 6157

Little Stove was an unexpected find in the wilds of Bicton suburbia (well, ok,  I found it through Urbanspoon). The cafe is fairly large, airy and quite funky.  It has two huuuge blackboards, filled with a coffee and tea options, and a pretty interesting looking lunch menu (and a breakfast menu too, I understand,  but I didn’t see that). I wanted to *love* Little Stove because of the atmosphere, but unfortunately, the food was missing a certain wow factor and was also on the expensive side.

Little Stove

My green myrtle tea was refreshing (quite lemongrassy) and scored points on the unusual factor – probably the highlight of what I ordered. However, my latte was average, and my roast vegetable quiche was a bit low on roast veges (and while the egg component was creamy, it was quite bland. pastry was not bad.).

The BF enjoyed his lamb burger (apparently the relish was very good),  but the berry milkshake was all milk and not much berry.  If Little Stove was my local cafe,  I may well be back a lot.  However,  given there are better options in closer to me, I probably won’t…

Little Stove Little Stove

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Brunch at the Wild Poppy Cafe

Wild Poppy is a lovely, spacious and eclectic cafe outside the heart of Fremantle. Aside from the lovingly mis-matched crockery and decor (check out my teapot – it was ginormous!!), by far the highlight of the brunch was my chorizo omlette. I’m still not sure whether I was pleased or annoyed that it came with a healthy serving of garlic bread – I picked the omlette in part because I thought it would be carb-light. However, there’s no denying that the garlic bread was totally delicious (and yes I did eat it all). The Wild Poppy menu had a number of unusual breakfast selections, including a black rice pudding that my friend raved about, plus more standard eggs and bacon fare. I didn’t try the coffee, but the earl grey tea was good. Prices were fairly standard for Perth (i.e. not cheap), however the quality of the food is very good and I would happily eat at Wild Poppy again. Very much recommended!

Chorizo Omlette at Wild Poppy Cafe Earl Grey at Wild Poppy Cafe

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Review: V Burger Bar

V burger Bar are a new(ish?)  burger joint towards the bottom of the Vic Park cafe strip on Albany Highway. We tried it out because 1) we were in the market for a fast food lunch in Vic Park and 2) we wanted to try something from the Entertainment Book.  V Burger Bar have a good selection of different burgers – including 2 different vege options,  but ultimately neither of us could go past the Pepperizo with chorizo and grilled capsicum.  I *loooved*  the grilled capsicum in this burger – and the chorizo was a great addition too.  The burger was pretty good – not too greasy and overall it was a very satisfying and messy experience (it’s a big burger).   We couldn’t decide between chips and onion rings, so we got both.  The chips were so-so – they had an interesting crsipy coating but were  a little on the cold side and (to be honest) I’d have had a little more salt on them.   The onion rings, however,  were delish! Unlike Hungry Jacks/Burger King,  these were real onion rings – not something that has  been reconstituted into regular rounds.

At $10-$15 (plus ~$5 for chips and a drink) a V burger is probably twice the price or more of an equivalent Hungry Jacks/MacDonalds meal. However, my V burger left me feeling *full*, rather than with a slight sense of shame and cravings for a further sugar/salt/fat fix. I’m not sure how often we’ll be back  for more burgers,  but I suspect V Burger Bar will make it even less likely that we’ll be visiting HJ/Maccas anytime in the near future – and that’s perfectly ok with me!

Details: V Burger Bar, 12/910 Albany Highway, East Victoria Park, 6101. Phone: (08) 9355 3702

Rating: 7/10

V Burger Bar on Urbanspoon

The Scones are a Lie

Scones my Arse

This is my pumpkin and date scone dough after I had added (approximately) double the self raising flour to the recipe in an attempt to form a workable scone dough. It was at the point I ran out of extra flour.

The recipe in question was from taste.com, who are normally very reliable, though not in this case: http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/23985/pumpkin+and+date+scones

I didn’t even add all the pumpkin and milk I was supposed to, and yet I ended up with batter, not dough. Indeed, if I’d bothered to read the comments I would have found someone who had experienced the exact same problem, and possibly I would  have not added quite so much milk (or perhaps *any* milk, until I had determined whether it was needed). Anyway, I took the advice of Bonnie9683, added a bit more brown sugar and spices, and bunged it in to two loaf tins. Apart from taking much much longer cook than the 15 minutes quoted for the scones, the bread actually turned out very well. Great flavour and I loved the vivid orange of the bread. I’d definitely try this again, just not so much milk this time.

Scones my Arse

Review: Toast

I’m a big fan of breakfast. I’ll happily eat breakfast for most meals and, while this technically does include the bowl of cereal the I might eat for dinner on occasion, what I’m really talking about¬† is some variant of eggs, bacon, and bread.

Enter Toast, a delicious accompaniment to eggs and bacon, and a cafe down by Claisebrook Cove that serves all-day breakfast (plus other stuff). Claisebrook Cove is a quietly buzzing location on a Saturday afternoon (thanks mainly to the many patrons at the Royal).  We were there on a lovely sunny day, although it was *seriously* windy Рa table next door lost their umbrella, whilst we almost lost our table number. Toast has a quaint retro feel, with mis-matched chairs and tables, a handwritten menu (plus specials backboard),  and a trio of tubs filled with herbs nestled amongst the tables outside.

Sunrise Juice Corn cakes and bacon

I chose the cheesy scrambled eggs, with tomatoes and toasted rye bread, and didn’t even miss my usual bacon (I had considered ordering it as a side). The eggs were luscious and creamy, though I was expecting the cheese to be more fully incorporated into the eggs, rather than added after scrambling.¬† Thus to me they were scrambled eggs with melted cheese, rather than cheesy scrambled eggs, though they were still delish.¬† The rye toast was dark and savory and the roma tomatoes well roasted/grilled.¬† My dining companions both chose the corn cakes with bacon (made with real corn-off-the-cob) and came with lashings of bacon. Add in a delicious sunrise juice (grapefruit and cranberry), plus a very drinkable latte, and my breakfast was complete!

Details: Toast,  Shop 21 / 60 Royal St East Perth, 6004 (on the waterfront behind Royal Street) Phone: (08) 9221 0771

Service: It’s a cafe – you order and pay at the counter. However, food came out quickly and staff were friendly.

Food: I can think of one or two other places that do a better breakfast around Perth, but Toast’s breakfast was pretty good. Toast also has a wide array of lunch options, as well as muffins and such, however I think I’ll find it hard to leave the breakfast menu to try anything else.

Price: Breakfast mains were about $15 – not cheap but certainly comparable to other Perth establishments. With a coffee and a juice, my brunch came to just over $25.

Conclusion: I would happily eat breakfast at Toast again. In particular I’d be interested in trying the corn cakes *or*  the french toast *or* the crepes (or perhaps something else). Parking wasn’t as painful as when I went to Bradley’s (which is literally next door to Toast), but I did park a little further afar this time.

Rating: 7.5/10

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