Category Archives: coffee

African Mesob Cafe Restaurant Review

The African Mesob Cafe Restaurant, run by Simon and Julie Tesholme, is an Ethiopian and African cuisine restaurant which aims to promote African and Ethiopian culture in Perth, and to create a sense of belonging to African people in Perth.

After a lot of jokes by the resident African member about the Wots, we ordered the Ethiopian Banquet (minimum of 8 people, $18 per person).

Before eating these Wots, one of the waitresses came around with a large silver teapot looking thing as well as soap/sanitiser to wash our hands. This is apparently a traditional thing to do before eating Wots.

Washing hands

The Wots were presented in a beautiful and colourful, traditional Ethiopian basket.

Ethiopian Wot

The Wots that we shared consisted of Siga Wot (beef), Doro Wot (chicken), and Yeshimbra Assa Wot (vegetables). It reminded one of my friends of Indian food – except just less spicy!

The little white rolls that you can see in the picture above is called injera. Injera is made from fermented rice flour, and is used as a scoop to pick up food – kind of like a food-version of a fork or spoon.

As our hands got messy from eating with them, it was rather unfortunate to find that it is not traditional to come around to wash our hands again after eating. At least at the African Mesob Restaurant any way!

These Wots are also available as individual dishes, as well as various other African dishes such as Chawama Chicken (African-style Fried Rice), and Peanut Soup.

The African Mesob Restaurant also serves coffee made from African beans. My friends who ordered the coffee were not told what kind of beans they used, except for “African coffee beans”. The verdict on the African Coffee that was served was that it good – it was not strong, but it had a nice flavour to it.

For a different kind of experience, I definitely recommend this restaurant. Plus, it’s nice to know that these African restaurants are run by real Africans!

African Mesob Cafe Restaurant
100 Lake Street
Northbridge WA
(08) 9228 1544
http://www.africanmesob.com.au

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Caffeine fuelled contemplations

The best decision we ever made at out workplace was to upgrade our coffee machine. The new one is a Jura, it is shiny and beautiful and turns out a pretty good single or double shot.

The other day my friend and I worked out that collectively, we had gone through an entire kilo of coffee beans in under 36 hours. This was somewhat disturbing, and yet relieving, because I realised that I was not alone in my caffeine dependence. Lol. Anyway, I figure that if it’s good enough for preterm babies, it’s good enough for me.

Coffee to me is significant on so many different levels – as a social meeting point with friends, as a much needed kickstart to get through the day (with a few more throughout to achieve and maintain steady state), an enjoyable past time of sampling and trying to find the best brew in town; even the type of bean you purchase is a statement in itself (fair-trade vs. organic, single origin vs. blends). It boggles the mind really.

Anyway, I thought I would put it out there for the collective purpose of discovering new and wonderful places – what and where are your favourite cafes? For coffee, for tea, for the view, for a bite, for whatever…

Here are some of mine in no particular order…(ask me for any specific details)

Boucla (Subiaco): nearly everything in this tiny cafe is for sale – so careful not to break anything! The standard coffee is terrific (Fiori coffee is used), for those needing serious energising, try the Greek coffee – it is powerful stuff…they also have great homemade cakes and some interesting sounding teas, which are quite good according to a friend.

 

Epic Espresso (West Perth): These guys are truly retentive about their coffee *approves* For gorgeous latte art look no further…also their Belgium coverture hot chocolate is seriously good.

Wild Fig Café (Waterman): great breakfasts – organic as well, and spectacular views by the ocean (and less pretentious than Cottesloe). They also have a range of gluten free cakes which are delicious.

Riki Blake’s Café (North Perth): this is probably one of my favourite places for dessert on a weekend. There is usually live jazz music, in the form of Henni, the saxophonist. The chocolate raspberry silk tart is so good. Hot chocolate here is great too.
Sayers (Leederville): the locals are on to a good thing here, this place is buzzing. Seriously classy café food beautifully presented (no stale foccacias here) and good coffee. Not open for dinner (yet) unfortunately!

Aubergine Gourmet Foods (Fremantle): great breakfasts and lunches by the sidewalk. Try the corn fritters with aioli and Persian fetta, or the salmon and potato hotcake.

Max Brenner (Sydney, Melbourne): because sukao – dissolving chocolate in hot milk and then sucking it up through a straw is fun, and anything involving fondue is win.

Koko Black (Melbourne): for those who take chocolate seriously…

Honourable mentions

Lemon Espresso (Claremont): tiny and with high traffic. The coffee is good, and the chilli hot chocolate is definitely worth a try.

Café Café (Subiaco): The coffee is decent, but not fantastic; however it’s a great place to hang out in on lazy weekend arvos and watch the world go by.

Moon Café (Perth): when it’s the wee hours and what you really want is some serious comfort food – a burger or a big plate of nachos and a mug of hot chocolate and marshmellows – this dimly lit café with the retro laid back vibe is the way to go.

Milkd (North Perth): a small funky café serving strong coffee, great fruit salads and cute cupcakes.

Berry Farm (Margaret River): okay, I know this isn’t technically a café, but they make great afternoon tea…the scones are massive and served with homemade jam and thick cream, and the homemade berry pie is completely comforting.

So, what are your favourite places?

 

 

A Progressive Lunch

Two weeks ago, one of the Wandering Gourmet members (DG) and I went for a progressive late lunch around Perth. I know, Progressive Lunches are so 70’s or 80’s, but they can be interesting. I guess what was more interesting was that DG had just come from a dental appointment which was a bit of a challenge!

First we headed off to Mooba Cafe which is on the corner of Cambridge Street and Jersey Street in Wembley as I heard that there was good coffee there. Yes, I know what my friend are all thinking – “You…. going….. for…. coffee?!?!?” This surprise is not unfounded seeing that I actually have jokingly threatened to ban coffee in my house and only have tea available. But since DG’s a coffee drinker, I figured why not let him figure out whether or not it really is good coffee or not.

Mooba isn’t an ordinary coffee shop in a shopping centre. It’s an open air coffee shop which poses problems for when it is windy and/or rainy, particularly since part of the place is not fully roofed just yet – this meant that there was a rather large pigeon on the uncovered pergola-like area which flew around. However, I can see that it would be a really nice place to hang out in the summer. Fortunately they had installed those clear plastic screens in an attempt to try and keep the wind out although I suppose it would defeat the purpose if part of the cafe was not covered!”

I ordered the Malabar Chai Tea and he ordered a Mocha with marshmallows…. and lots of hot water (as he still wasn’t feeling fantastic after the dental appointment). I can’t remember what the prices of them were, but I’ll assume the prices were both around the $3-$5 mark. For those who don’t know what Chai Tea is, it is a type of tea from the Malabar coast in India. It is a type of tea which contains cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, petals and other exotic tea ingredients.

When our drinks came out, DG was wondering where his marshmallows were. I suggested that perhaps they had put it inside the coffee to make it more sugary or melted since he was going to probably put his marshmallows in his coffee anyway. I hope I was right and they didn’t try to skimp on the marshmallows! 🙂 He gave the coffee a 6.5 out of 10 as it was not the most fantastic coffee he had ever had, but this might be because of the dental appointment that he had had.

He then asked me how my tea was. I said my Malabar Chai Tea was good – and it had better be good because if someone couldn’t figure out how to make tea from a tea bag we were in big trouble!

Next stop was Mt Lawley as I wanted to rent out some videos at Planet Video as my cousin was sleeping over. Planet Video is an awesome independent video rental shop where you can also buy movies, CD’s, Vinyls, tickets and more. You can find some bands that most people have not heard before in this shop as well, which makes it even more special.

We intended to head to the Leaf Cafe for tea (and possibly afternoon tea as well) but it was fully booked out. What a shame.

So we headed over to Swish n Chips for a late lunch or early dinner. Swish n Chips is a fish and chip shop and a seafood shop in one. They have specials from Monday to Thursday such as Teriyaki Tuesday. I’ve been to Swish n Chips before with a friend using a coupon from the Entertainment Book. Using the voucher, we had 1/2 Fish n Chips and a bowl of Chilli Mussels for $5 each.

This time I had some kind of Seafood Basket thing that was around $11 which had fish, chips, a crab stick, and other seafood goodies in it. DG had a Grilled Seafood Basket thing that was about $13, I think, which had fish, chips, two mussels and other grilled seafood in there.

DG gave his a 7.5 or 8 out of 10 for his order, but once again he said it could get more points if he hadn’t gone to the Dentists. What was amusing (for me at least) was that he was complaining that it took a while to chew his food because of the Dentists. What a workout!

What we both really liked about this place was that unlike most Fish and Chip places which have really greasy Fish and Chips, Swish n Chips’ Fish and Chips are not very greasy. I also like that this place has real salads and does different type of fish preparations such as sweet and sour, teriyaki fish, peri peri seasoned fish. We also thought this place was value for money because if we had bought our Fish and Chips at somewhere like Cicarello’s, it would have been way more expensive.

It is so good it is Craptastic!!!

Ok, most people who know me, know that I have a caffeine addition. Other people have a cocaine addiction, I need my caffeine hit baby!! Yeah I know, I’m real hardcore. 😛 Anyways, a friend of mine sent me a newspaper article on it, so I thought I write about it. It was shown on Oprah as well, so you may have read about this, or maybe you haven’t, there’s this coffee available called Kopi Luwak. For those of you who don’t know what it is, I’ll tell you. 😀

Kopi Luwak is definitely not for the faint-hearted. It is considered a gourmet treat and an experience in itself. The cost of a cup of this coffee “experience”? $50 at a Queensland tea room. Yeah, and you thought the prices at your local cafe was excessive! So what is so special about this coffee?

Well… the way the coffee bean is processed is what makes it so different and so special and it is basically what is generating the hype. Regular coffee beans as you know are picked when they are ripe, processed and then roasted before being grounded up and brewed for that perfect cup of joe. When Kopi Luwak has a few extra steps before it is processed. The first step that occurs, is that is it that a cat like creature called an Asian Palm civet or Luwak (hence the name)comes along and eats the ripe coffee berries. The berries is then digested, though some speculate that it is due to the enzymes in the civet’s stomach that breaks down the bitterness of the coffee, giving it the unique flavor. The berries are then passes through and excreted by the Luwak, the poo (lets call it what it is) is then collected and goes through a cleaning and drying process. The seeds are then roasted. The roasting should kill off the bacteria and other nasties on it. So are you salivating yet?food, coffee, travel, culture, Coffee Berries, berry, berries, coffee, the wandering gourmet + food, travel, culture, coffee, berry, luwak, the wandering gourmet = luwak, poo, kopi, coffee, food, culture, travel, social club, gourmet, the wandering gourmet = coffee, food, travel, luwak, cat, crap, poo, social club, wandering gourmet

Well if you aren’t adventurous enough to try this coffee out, you may want to consider who has tried and enjoyed this unusual brew, H.R.H. the Queen of England, and the lady the with Midas touch, Oprah.