Things you've never dreamed of

February 6th, 2010

Perth 2009: Northbridge

One of the things I noticed about Perth when I got back (aside from Perth women being hot and the men fug) is that everything is so goddamn expensive. Most people blame the mining boom and East Coasters migrating over as the reasons why prices on everything have gone up, and the GFC hasn’t exactly helped things either. The SO tried to buy a pint of Hoegaarden when we were there and it was like 18 fucking dollars! Granted, we were at The Garden in Leederville where there’s always going to be cashed up hipster wankers who are willing to pay that much, but still!

Despite the severely overpriced nightlife, you can always count on Northbridge – Perth’s Chinatown – for reasonably priced feeds. Here are a couple of my favourites:

Dim Sim Cafe
297 William St.
(08) 9328 9388


Previously known as Hoi’s Kitchen, Dim Sim Cafe is home of the infamous Fried Squid, also known as Crack Squid. It’s really just deep fried salt and pepper squid, but there’s just something about the spice combination that makes it really addictive. The crunchy tentacles are tossed with spring onions and green chillies with just a hint of sugar. Please sir may I have some more


Their pork and century egg congee is not too bad either. It’s generous with the pork and century egg as you can see in the picture. To be perfectly honest the other yum cha items are just slightly above average so I can’t really give any other recommendations aside from the chicken pie (the crust is to die for), but the food is cheap and the service surly, as good yum cha places should be.

Saigon Cafe
101 James St.
(08) 9227 1552


Saigon Cafe has always been my favourite place to have Vietnamese food as a poor struggling student. I revisited the restaurant with BusinessClass one night for dinner.

I ordered the combination pho:


The soup is nice and fragrant and they pack it full of beef slices and miscellaneous cow parts.

BusinessClass ordered the duck with dry noodles – check out the amount of duck they give you:


The sauce that came with the duck tastes almost like the nasty sweet and sour sauce you get in shitty Chinese restaurants, but it managed to just taste nicely sweet and went really well with the crispy duck.

Kind of honourable mention:

James St. Kitchen
109 James St.
(08) 9227 1437

I’m really just putting this here for nostalgia’s sake. I revisited James St. Kitchen with Pimento and was pretty disappointed.


I got the salt and chilli fish fillets with fried rice (it’s on the menu as chicken fillets, but you can change it to fish for an extra dollar). This was tiny and the fried rice was pre-prepared – four years ago the serving was twice this size and the fried rice was made to order. The fish was still good, though – it’s served with a heap of fried garlic so make sure you have breath mints on you.


Pimento got the crispy noodles with pork. As you can see, they burnt bits of the noodles. Not impressed guys! It was OK, taste wise.

One item of the menu never fails to disappoint, however:


It’s just strong brewed tea with sugar syrup and slices of lemon, but I reckon they source the same crack that Dim Sim Cafe use for their fried squid to put in this business because it was crazy delicious.

Note that this isn’t the last of the Perth entries, I’ve just been lazy.

January 20th, 2010

Perth 2009: A Very Merry Christmas

This is a long overdue post, and after an emotionally draining weekend it’s good to look through happy photos.

Ever since I told BusinessClass that I was coming over to Perth for Christmas, we’ve been brainstorming themes for our Christmas lunch. BC picked up two cactus-shaped candlesticks from a church sale and suggested a Mexican themed Christmas lunch. As fate would have it, the SO was given a bottle of tequila from a Mexican friend last September. Life has a way of working itself out.


Our Christmas lunch, hosted at our humble rented apartment in Freo. Yes, we used Old Del Paso burrito kits (crumbed chicken & beef) – haters to the left plz. We also had crackers, hummus, fresh cherries, crisps, shortbread and Gran Centenario Anejo tequila. Guys, let me tell you about this tequila. It’s smooth, slightly sweet and burns like a motherfucker going down. BC and I sat away from the candles in case we’d catch on fire by breathing on them.

Christmas dinner was hosted at BC’s, where BC’s mum slaved all day over a hot stove to make the most amazing Christmas dinner I’ve ever had. Before I get to the photos, let’s have a look at BC’s pickle tree.


The story goes something like this: One day, BC walked into a Bed, Bath & Table to find a box full of pickle-shaped Christmas ornaments. The helpful salesperson said that it’s tradition in Germany to hang pickles on the Christmas tree (note: I Googled this and apparently it’s a myth). BC, naturally, bought the whole lot – she now has the dubious distinction of being the only person in the whole of WA to have bought any, let alone multiple, pickle-shaped Christmas ornaments.

This is why I love her so much.


BC’s family is big on Christmas – check out the awesome decorations on the dinner table.


Everyone gets a cracker, a present and personalised reindeer gift tag.


BC’s mum kept insisting that the dinner is just “simple” – it’s not! We had roasted parsnips, broccolini, baked stuffing, Caesar salad and of course succulent roasted turkey. Everything was delicious.


This, however, is my favourite part of the meal – single-portion Bombe Alaska with a macadamia and cherry ice cream filling. This Bombe Alaska kicks arse, takes names and for good measure punches the face of any Christmas desserts in the history of all time.

Then we sat around chatting and drinking tea. Best Christmas ever.

January 10th, 2010

Perth 2009: Getting Down With the Italian

I was going to do another blog post earlier this week, but you know when you’ve been on holiday and your brain takes longer than a 10 year old computer to boot up? Yeah, it’s a bit like that. Plus I’ve come down with a bad case of stomach upset this week where I wasn’t really able to eat very much without being nauseated (I’m not pregnant, I checked). In any case, it wasn’t the best time to be writing entries on food.

Summary: hi, this is a new entry. Sorry it’s a bit late.

So, where were we? Oh yes. After our lunch at Little Creatures we walked around Freo town to see what else is on offer. We went past Dolce Vita on South Terrace, also known to tourists as the “Cappucino Strip” – I’ve never actually heard a local refer to it as that. A gelato sounds good on a hot day, so we went in.


We weren’t disappointed. I got a Snickers gelato, which I think had a vanilla (or caramel? Idk, can’t remember) gelato base and has generous chunks of chocolate and peanuts.


BusinessClass pronounced it as tasting “just like Snickers”, which I’m taking to be a good thing. She got the cappucino gelato – it was amazing, full of coffee flavour and a generous sprinkle of cocoa powder on top.


The gelato selection. The Snickers one is second from the bottom left.

I can’t find the website or the address for Dolce Vita, unfortunately. It’s right opposite Gino’s Trattoria if that helps.

For dinner we were going to go to Ria in Leederville, but Pimento rang us and said that they’re closed. We went to Leederville anyway and decided to walk down Oxford St until we find a place that smells good. That night, the place was Giardini. The smell of the garlic bread will, to borrow a phrase from Pioneer Woman, make your skirt fly up.

We sat down and peruse the menu. Goddamn but the place is expensive. BC and I exchanged looks and contemplated going elsewhere, but the waitperson came back. Too late. Fortunately, while the mains are stupid expensive, the pasta prices are on the reasonable side of expensive. These were our choices:


Garlic bread, of course. The lady told us that they’re small and come in threes, so we ordered two serves. Turns out they came in serves of four slices! They’re good though. Very buttery, garlicky and uh, bready. These are $6.20. I’m going by the prices on their website by the way so don’t get shitty at me if they’re wrong.


The SO ordered the Chicken Penne. From the website: “Penne tossed with chicken pieces, onion, spinach, roasted pumpkin with a hint of garlic & chilli in a cream sauce. Topped with avocado & diced fresh tomato set on Neapolitana sauce”. There ain’t no Neapolitana sauce on that dish but whatevs. Serving was huge and it was delicious. So it should be for $23.50 though, Christ.


Pimento ordered the Linguine alla Giardini – “pasta tossed in olive oil, garlic, prawns, mushroom, capsicum, onion, bacon and a hint of chilli”. I had a bite and it was fresh tasting, but missing a zingy chilli hit. $24.80.


BusinessClass and I ordered the spaghetti marinara. Oh my gahd this was gooooooood. You know how sometimes you order a marinara, and it comes with a pitiful spoonful of frozen marinara mix? This dish wipes the floor with that business. The dish was very generous on fresh and succulent seafood. At the end of the meal I was just picking bits of seafood off and leaving the pasta, but there was so much fish and squid hiding in between the pasta that I ate too much anyway just from picking bits off. If I have a gripe it would be that the sauce is a bit sweet, but it was still $26.90 well spent.

135 Oxford St, Leederville
(08) 9242 2602

January 3rd, 2010

Perth 2009: Westward Bound

I’m back – sporting a tan and a slightly fatter belly.

For Christmas this year my partner and I decided to go on a holiday to Perth. I studied in Perth for 4 years and my bff BusinessClass (who I will refer to often in my Perth entries) still lives there. I haven’t been back for about 5 years so I was pretty excited.


The holiday started with our traditional airport food: Hungry Jack’s. Sure, it was 7 in the morning and starting the day with a slightly suspicious cheeseburger is normally a Bad Idea but these sorts of rules don’t apply when you’re travelling. Also, a $2.50 cheeseburger > $8 cheese and tomato croissant. The burger was fucking delicious.

I was terribly restless throughout the flight – we were on one of the older planes that don’t have individual TVs on the back of seats so I resorted to poking my SO and demanding to be entertained, which earned me the title of Worst Flight Companion Ever. We did a cryptic crossword and solved two clues, then a normal crossword and solved about 6. I heard that cryptic crosswords help prevent Alzheimers, so looking at how we’re going I guess I’ll just need to save up to go to Mexico for barbiturates before it sets in.

I skipped the flight breakfast. My SO got the scrambled eggs, the fool! We landed without incident and my SO managed to get through the 5 hours without strangling me.

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