Category Archives: perth

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

Cooking Team Challenge

The Cooking Team Challenge is on the Sunday, 15th of July.

Just a kind reminder to all participants to check their emails as I have emailed you a list of instructions of what to do, as well as the names of your team members and their phone numbers.

I would strongly suggest that if you have not heard from your team members by this Tuesday the 10th of July, to contact all of your other team mates to ensure that everyone has read the email and will do what will need to be done.

Um, please remember that you should spend more than $2 per person so no one dies from food poisoning just because you decided to be cheap and get items that are on clearance for like 10 cents. 🙂

What is good chocolate?

Ever since I saw a dessert battle involving chocolate and pears on Iron Chef about 2 or 3 weeks ago, I have been wondering what good chocolate is. The chocolate used on that episode was Valrhona (pronounced “Vah – roh – na”). If Iron Chef featured that chocolate then it must be good!

I googled to see what the fuss is all about. One site pointed me to a shop in Subiaco that carries this brand of chocolate. The shop is a gourmet food store called ‘Simon Johnson – Purveyors of Fine Food’.

Simon Johnson carries a wide range of Valrhona chocolate for both eating and cooking and also carries a variety of other brands of chocolate as well, and since I’m narrow minded and only interested in Valrhona I didnt remember the rest 😩 .

I bought these to try:

  1. Gran Couva, $11.55, 75g block, (64% Cacao, Single Estate from Trinidad, 2006 Vintage)
  2. Ampamakia, $11.55, 75g block, (64% Cacao, Single Estate from Madagascar, 2006 Vintage)
  3. Palmira Fino Criollo, $11.55, 75g block, (64% Cacao. Single Estate from Venezuela, 2006 Vintage)
  4. Tanariva, $9.95, 75g block, (33% Cacao, Madagascar)
  5. Jivara Lait, $9.95, 75g block, (40% Cacao)
  6. Cao Grande Organic, $11.00, 100g block, (39% Cacao)

valrhona chocolates
So far I’ve only tried the Cao Grande Organic, and right now, it is the best chocolate I have ever eaten. I don’t really know how to describe how good it is because I have never eaten good chocolate. I guess I won’t be eating any of these in a hurry because they cost about $10 per block. As I am typing this I’m wondering ‘why did I spend 60 dollars on chocolate?’. I guess I’m paying for the experience to see what good chocolate is really about. More to come on how the other chocolates stack up in the near future (when I could afford to eat them!).

More information @ The Nibble (http://www.thenibble.com/reviews/main/chocolate/house-tour.asp)

Review: Star Anise

Hello all…this is my first post, so please be kind ^^
I’d been wanting to try this place for a while, ever since I heard some of my colleagues raving about it. So after a particularly painful day at work left me in need of some serious calorie therapy, I checked it out with one of my dinner buddies.

The atmosphere at Star Anise is subdued and refined. The clientele consists of regulars, many in suits. Music plays in the background, ambient but never overpowering.

After perusing the menu we opted to go straight for the mains to ensure we had room for dessert. ^^ The mod-oz menu is concise but complex in flavour, with about five or six entrĂ©e options and a similar number of mains, which vary according to seasonal produce. There were no vegetarian options provided, however one seafood option was available. Although we didn’t indulge that night, the wine menu is extensive, with something to suit nearly everyone’s palate.

I chose the Angus beef fillet with berlotti beans, peas and truffle infusion. This was cooked medium rare and succulent all the way through. Although it was very good, with a price tag of nearly $50, I was a little disappointed it wasn’t wagyu (but this isn’t a fault in any way, just me being difficult
) My friend chose the dorper rack of lamb with harissa spiced pumpkin. This was tender and perfectly pink in the middle, with the sweetness of caramelised pumpkin providing contrast to the savoury lamb.

Desserts are the clear winner here. The cheese menu is well-rounded, with a range of soft and firm cheeses from Italy, France and Spain. We opted for the passionfruit soufflĂ© with passionfruit marscapone parfait and the dulce de leche wafers, with valrhona and white chocolate mousse. The soufflĂ© was absolutely glorious – warm fluffy soufflĂ© perched atop cold creamy parfait, separated by a layer of sweet gingery biscuit.

Served alongside a small banana thickshake, the dulce de leche wafers comprised valrhona and white chocolate mousse sandwiched between paper thin wafers. It was thankfully light, after the richness of the soufflĂ©, but difficult to eat neatly! The only thing I could find fault with is that the thickshake was quite artificially flavoured. There were some other intriguing sounding desserts, including the ‘three things from a mandarin’.

Service is the aspect that can make or break a fine dining experience. Here, it was pleasant, attentive and informed, without being intrusive. Although it was a busy evening, we never felt ignored, or rushed to finish our meal.

This would be a good choice of venue both for impressing business clients, or sharing a relaxed evening with friends. I think it’s definitely worth a return visit.

Star Anise (fully licenced)

225 Onslow Rd
Shenton Park 6008 WA

Phone: (08) 9381 9811
Tue-Sat 6.30pm-midnight

June and July Events

Hi all,
Just to let you know that the next meet up is scheduled on the 23rd of June which is a dinner at the African Mesob in Northbridge. I am still awaiting  for the menus, so at this present stage I am unsure what the price will be like. But I’ve heard it’s good – and it definitely will be a different experience with African food and all.

Next month, we are thinking about having a Cooking Team Challenge.  Basically this is an event to get to know each other better in terms of team work and cooking styles. Or perhaps for those who don’t cook, this would be a great opportunity to learn how to cook. A maximum spend amount per person will be set, so it is highly important to budget your team’s total expenditure. For those who are thinking about just rocking up for the food, we will charge a ‘penalty’ which will be used for club purposes. Please register your interest via either the Contact Us page or via email.

Also a new update – in addition to having a Wandering Gourmet MySpace and Friendster page, we are now on Facebook. Just look up “Wandering Gourmet” and you will ind us on Facebook.

Cheers,

Angie

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.

Ohnamiya Japanese Takeaway Food Review

Ohnamiya Japanese Restarurant
34 Kearns Crescent, Applecross
(08) 9364 3332

Last night a few friends and I went to Ohnamiya in Applecross for dinner. I was quite surprised that it was not full, because the past few times I had been there, there was always a queue and you would always have to wait for about 20 minutes if you came in at 7pm+. Mind you, the last time I had been to Ohnamiya was about a year or two ago during my uni days. But still.

The best thing about this place is that hot Japanese green tea and nice and cold water is available for free – although I’m sure it’s calculated into the price of the meal, but hey, it’s “free”! Free is good! The only problem was that the Green Tea tasted quite diluted. I am not sure whether the restaurant was skimping on the amount of green tea leaves they put into the teapot or whether my friend did not wait for it to boil the leaves properly which was why the green tea tasted quite diluted.

I ordered a Teriyaki Fish Sushi Box ($13.20), which was ok – nothing special. I did not even receive wasabi or an extra dish of soya sauce even though I was having sushi! I’ve never had the Teriyaki Fish or the Sushi Box at Ohnamiya but the food tasted worse than usual. Or maybe it was just my dish as my friends said their dishes were alright.

My friends ordered things which included some sort of crumbed seafood box/plate. A girl friend ordered one of these crumbed seafood plates and some sort of egg, chicken and mayo teriyaki rice box and she had some kind of trouble with the order because she wanted the chicken separated from the egg or the egg to be separate from the rice… or something. Well it was something that was not that hard to do. But maybe they pre-make the chicken-egg portion of the meal which is why they could not carry out her request.

I would rate this food experience a 3 out of 5 – for no to little service and really average food. Extra points for free drinks.