Social media: The time cruncher

Everybody’s pet peeve is the same. I can almost guarantee you.

While one person might think their’s to be traffic jams, another person finds people who take more than the designated 12 items through the express checkout simply unbearable, or still another feels ridiculously slow internet upload speed is the worse thing they can bare. All these frustrations have one thing in common.

Time.

None of us like to have our time wasted. And almost anything that really annoys us has to do with this.

I’d say this has a lot to do with being largely impatient people, living in an instantaneous world. But it also has to do with the intrinsic value placed on our time.

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When I started working full time I valued my time far more highly than I had before, because I suddenly had much less of it. Most of the hours from Monday to Friday had been written off for work and so now I found myself with precious few hours each night and on weekends that were mine to decide what to do with.

These hours are quickly filled however, with other commitments, simple necessities such as cleaning and organising meals, exercise and training, and the remainder dedicated to catch ups with friends and some time for myself to read and relax.

Whenever something unexpected comes up, I can be fully aware of it cutting into my quickly disappearing free time. Making the most of my time is the main reason I switched from driving to work every day, and consequently wasting almost 10 hours a week in traffic, to catching public transport and fitting in an hour of reading or listening to a podcast on the way to work and then another hour on the way home. My commute is now often the highlight of my day.

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Several days ago I made a list of all the things I spend my time on, in an effort to find places where I can declutter my life and spend more time on the things I really care about.

I was slightly disappointed to find there was really hardly any wiggle room to cut anything at all, deeming it all too important.

Although, one small but significant user of my time could be amended and that was social media.

I wrote down the use of social media platforms on my list as it’s something I use every day so I know full well they must take up a fair amount of my time. I’m also the type of person who will recheck my newsfeeds within several minutes of closing the application for no good reason at all.

I’ve had intentions about changing this for a while now. While I still want a social media presence, I would like to shake the hold it’s got over me where I fear missing out on something significant if I haven’t read my newsfeed all the way back to the point I finished last time.

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It’s funny how protective of our time we can be and how easily frustrated we get with things that demand our time and really give us nothing in return, such as waiting in queues or having to refill out an application, when we willing chose to engage with the thing that’s crunching away at huge portions of every day and leaving nothing of lasting benefit in our lives. More often than not it actually makes us lose any bit of contentment and joy we do have about our own lives, because of what we see in our feeds of what other people have. It’s something that would not have bothered us at all if we hadn’t decided to mindlessly scroll down the newsfeed for 15 minutes before heading to work.

So if you’re like me and feel like there’s never enough time to do the things you enjoy. Can I encourage you not to waste the time when you get it just checking how everybody else is spending there’s and whether yours measures up.

Disclaimer: If I’m being completely honest I was scrolling through my social media while writing this post. It probably meant I spent twice as long writing this.

 

Let’s put travel in perspective

Scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed – like any typical Friday (or Monday or Tuesday or any day for that matter) – I came across an article titled Why Not Quitting Your Job to Travel is a Waste of Your Life.

Wow!

Now I don’t know if your first thoughts upon reading that were at all like mine, but I was fairly taken aback.

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First, let me put it out in the open that yes, I am a full time worker who has evidently not quit their job to travel. But, anyone who knows me knows that I love travelling. In fact, I have done more than many people’s fair share of travelling for my age. I owned a passport before the age of 4, have spent extended periods of time abroad, flown on multiple solo trips from 16 to countries where I didn’t speak the language and I have loved and treasured those experiences.

I truly believe that travel is far more than a money-can-buy-experience and teaches us many things… BUT, and I want people to understand this, travel is not the be all and end all and there is absolutely nothing wrong with having not been anywhere, nor having little desire to venture beyond one’s own shores.

Back in my grandparent’s days very few people could afford the luxury of holiday adventures. The concept of backpacking through Europe in your 20s, family holidays to Disneyland, snow adventures in Japan or exotic South American treks are relatively recent and have gained momentum fast.

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People who have travelled little, or not at all, often receive a bizarre look as if they are from somewhere completely foreign (‘scuse the pun). There is nothing wrong with these people and I think we have a very valuable lesson we can learn from them – the importance of finding contentment wherever you find yourself and for however long you may be there.

When having seen as many places as possible on Earth as you can is highly regarded among our friends. It’s almost as if travel has become a bit of a competition, who’s been to the most remote place?  Who’s been to the most countries, airports included/excluded? Who’s climbed all 669 steps of the Eiffel tower? (For the record I have done that and never again!)

So, why do I have such a problem with the title of this article?

It’s simply this. The implication that those who have not travelled are wasting their life is quite frankly nonsense. Ask them what they’ve been doing with all the time they’ve had while you’ve been away and you’ll likely discover something pretty extraordinary. Maybe they’re creative and they’ve spent time writing a book or making music, maybe they’ve hung out with their friends and built fantastic relationships… or maybe they have followed ‘convention’ and ‘stereotypes’ *gasp* *scream* (the horror!) and got themselves a job. A job they’ve worked hard to get, a job they rock up to every day, some days joyfully others a little reluctantly but either way they’ve committed, they’ve pushed through the long days, the busy schedules, the mundane tasks, the irritable co-workers to bring home a wage for their family, or for their saving plan, or to work their way to their goal position.

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Quitting a job to roam our beautiful earth can take courage, but more often the real courage is overlooked, of the people who choose to stay and find contentment in their lot.

By no means do I mean to kill your dream of seeing wild elephants in Africa or make you feel selfish for your wonderful adventures. For those of us who have travel consider yourself blessed, treasure your memories and continue to plan your next trip if that excites you and you are able, but may we consider there is far more important things than how many places we can tick off our bucket list.

For the record I do hope to continue to post travel articles to all the exciting places I visit because it’s something I love to do!

 

 

Roaming Perth’s north (or north of Perth)

In my head I come up with really good plans.

I mean, I have great ideas, they’re executed exactly how they should be and everyone involved has a really good time. Unfortunately, that’s only in my head.

Last week I had decided to organise a bit of a weekend adventure for John and I, to do something we wouldn’t normally do. I thought a road trip to go swimming in Serpentine falls would be lots of fun, but then I heard a billion leeches live in those waters and I thought ‘hm, maybe we’ll revisit that idea the day I need to lose a bit of blood’.

Instead I researched Yanchep National Park and discovered they have caves you can explore, koalas, hiking tracks, tearooms and a bunch of different things that I thought could be really cool to discover.

So, I told John to pack his camera and some walking shoes and that we were headed on an adventure. We left mid-afternoon, which ideally would have been a bit earlier but I had other things i had to get done that morning.

By the time we arrived we were about half an hour too late for the final cave tour for the day, which was a real bummer. I thought that would be the highlight of the trek up that way and was now a bit annoyed that the ‘adventure’ I had talked up lacked much venturing.

Despite my poor planning skills (to check when the cave tours actually operated) there was still some cool things for us to see like the super cute snoozing koalas and plenty of kangaroos around the park.

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A lady at the visitors centre showed us a collapsed cave system on the map that we could still visit on our own, so we drove through the park roads to have a look.

We arrived at the entrance to a cave, which was closed for a private function, but we had a quick little peek through the corridor and saw it beautifully lit up with fairy lights – apparently people can host their wedding receptions inside one of the caves.

Nearby we found a track and eventually stumbled upon the collapsed cave system, which was huge walls of limestone surrounded by shrub and trees.

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On the way back to the car we heard lots of rustling in the bushes and out bounded a whole mob of kangaroos (sir Google tells me that’s what a group of roos are called).

It was pretty cool to be out in the bush just us and the wildlife. There are also huge numbers of black cockatoos at this park and they made quite the racket our whole visit.

20160305_162830_resizedAfter leaving the park we headed for Two Rocks. I’ve seen countless pictures of it but have never seen the famous King Neptune statue from the old Atlantis theme park in person, and since we were already so north we thought we might as well.

As luck would have it today it was closed, but of course it would be open tomorrow. Still, I didn’t even know it was something people could still visit but it did appear visitors can walk the stairs to the base of the statue at certain times.

I wasn’t exactly sure of how to get there either but once we came into Two Rocks there’s no missing it, it looms overhead quite impressively, if not a little creepily in John’s books.

20160305_165536_resized_1With the gate closed for another day we bid our farewell to King Neptune and headed back to Yanchep for a quick dip in the ocean, eagerly devoured fish and chips for tea and headed back to the ‘burbs.

It’s only half an hour from home but Yanchep felt almost like a country getaway for the day and offered some great hidden attractions for Perthians to explore.

That does raise a question though; is Yanchep in Perth’s north or north of Perth?

Perth’s most quirky iced drinks

Summer is well and truly upon us and with the unrelenting heat bearing down you’ll want to find a place to cool off. Treat your tastebuds and refresh yourself from the inside out with a cool drink or icey treat from one of Perth’s many delectable eateries.

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Walking around the City of Perth I soon discovered just how many wonderful places there are to sample and enjoy.

There are old favourites cafes, cute and quirky nooks and streets of hidden gems.

While the good old-fashioned ice coffees and spearmint milkshakes are readily available when it comes to cool summer treats for 2016 it’s all about the simple cold brew coffees as well as more eccentric flavour varieties.

Max + Sons

Max and Sons

Situated in Perth City’s freshest dining precinct Globe Lane, or 140 William Street, Max + Sons is bright little café and the perfect place in this thriving hub to grab a coffee on the go or stay for a chat.

If you’re craving that coffee kick but the stinking hot temperatures have you desperate for an alternative to the toasty beverage then swap your regular cup of joe for a revitalising cold brew.

This cold coffee option is rising in popularity all around the city and Max + Sons provide a great take away or dine in option for $5.

Because cold brew involves steeping coffee grounds in cold water and leaving it to infuse for long periods of time there is some bitterness associated with the flavour of cold brew.

Max + Sons’ cold brew wasn’t overpowering in terms of coffee strength and although there was a little bitter aftertaste it was a mostly smooth and refreshing.

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For the tea drinker Max + Sons have their home made iced Yerba Maté tea for $.4.50.

A caffeine free, Brazilian medicinal tea with lovely subtle flavours, the Yerba Maté is easy to drink with light flavours that provide a nice hydrating alternative to water.

In addition, the café sells small glass bottles of their house made juices for $8.

Juices vary each day but there are normally a handful of flavours to choose from including a green juice, summer fruits, watermelon, orange/apple/turmeric and beetroot/apple/ginger.

Location: Shop 23, 140 William Street Perth

Open: Monday-Friday 6.30am-4pm and Saturday 9am-4pm

Website

Willie Wagtail

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There were several things that stood out to be about this sweet little place.

The first was the location. I had never before noticed this café sitting opposite Jamie’s Italian on William Street.

With only small signage facing the street, the café sits tucked away with its entrance a little corridor that leads to a courtyard of tables and chairs.

The second thing was the friendliness of the staff who all clearly held such a delightful passion for the job.

They eagerly explained the differences between cold brew and cold drip coffee and gave advice on the best ways to make both.

Thirdly Willie Wagtail’s cold coffee menu is as extensive as your own imagination. By that I mean if you can think something up the staff here are prepared, and excited, to make it happen for you.

On their written menu are iced long blacks, iced chais, iced chocolates and iced teas.

Enticed by the varied menu I sampled a few of their exotic delights including the Ethiopia di Bello, a milk chocolate, strawberry and plum cold drip.

This iced coffee was silky smooth, full of flavour and reminiscent of a liquor. Perfect for those who like striking flavours, it had a much more refined taste than that of a cold brew.

Next was their iced long black of the dark chocolate and date variety. The coffee was quite strong and would be perfect for someone seeking a cool sharp coffee hit.

I also sampled their much lighter cold brew mixed with sparkling water on ice, colourfully named the Willie Tingle.

All cold drips, brews and iced long blacks are $4 for a small or $4.50 for a larger size.

There’s even an assortment of cold drip devices on display to view and purchase to make your own concoctions at home.

Location: 131 William Street

Open: Monday-Friday 6.30am-4pm

Website

Moana Coffee

Moana

One of my favourite places to dine, Moana Coffee served up the goods in the iced delights department on a sweltering day.

Tucked away above Hay Street mall, this charming little café is a hidden gem inside the renovated Moana Chambers building.

For the tea drinker Moana has a green sweet treat in the form of iced matcha for $5.50.

The best thing about this milky drink is while it tastes deliciously sweet there is no added sugar. It’s simply the delightful taste of the infused tea.

Their homemade iced orange pekoe tea is a wonderful bargain on a hot day at $2.50.

My personal favourite was the iced London fog ($4.50). Essentially a cold version of a white Earl Grey tea, this drink has beautiful fruity and floral aromatic flavours.

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Moana’s cold brew comes served in cute little 200ml glass bottles for $5.50 each.

There is a great selection of flavours to choose from including, Sparkling Lime and Ginger, Almond Milk and Maple and Classic Sparkling Orange.

There is also a larger 500ml bottle of cold brew concentrate available.

I sampled the Sparkling Lime and Ginger and found the addition of the sparkling flavour to give the coffee more of a hydrating feel.

The ginger flavour is what hits you on the first sip, followed by the kick of the coffee in the aftertaste.

It’s handy to know that if you bring the bottle back on your next visit you’ll get a 50 cent discount off your next cold brew.

Location: Upstairs in the Moana Chambers building at 618 Hay Street

Open: Monday-Friday 7am-4pm, Saturday 10am-3pm and Sunday 11am-4pm

Website

Little Angel

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For a truly unique iced dessert experience head to Little Angel at the bottom of the Exchange Tower in Perth’s CBD.

The only place in Perth to serve liquid nitrogen affogatos, known as their Nitro Affogatto, Little Angel provides an experience for all the senses.

It takes about five minutes to prepare the dessert and I would highly recommend watching it being made.

It’s exciting to watch as the barista dons gloves and glasses and carefully pours the liquid nitrogen with the gas pouring out everywhere. It looks more like a cool science experiment than food.

As recommended by the staff, and confirmed by my experience, the best way to eat the dessert is to first sample the gelato and then add the coffee to taste.

The pandan and coconut gelato was extremely smooth as a result of the liquid nitrogen and the 5 Senses Coffee was the perfect accompaniment.

It is worth trying each bit separately and then together as it brings out many flavours.

Coming in at $8 each, the price will seem steep if you are only after a coffee, but very reasonable for a coffee and an ice cream.

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Currently on their menu, Little Angel have the popular pandan and coconut flavour, along with hot buttered popcorn, and their new cookies and cream flavour.

Location: Ground Floor Exchange Tower, 2 The Esplanade

Open: Monday-Thursday 6.30am-3.30pm and Friday 6.30am-3pm

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Babooshka Bar

Babooshka

If there were ever a place in Perth for an elaborate drink, this would be it.

Babooshka Bar rose to fame on the Perth food scene for serving one of the most ostentatious milkshakes (or rather ‘freakshakes’) this city’s ever seen.

A triple-donut, chocolate-coated bacon shake is their signature masterpiece for $20.

For those of us less daring, but still eager for something more than the old vanilla milkshake, they serve up a unique range of gourmet shakes.

Starting at $10 each is the Fruitloop and Marshmallow milkshake and their Golden Gaytime shake and for $15 you can replace a meal with their Pancake, Milo and Maple Syrup shake.

In preparation for sampling the pancake shake I passed on lunch, a move that proved to be wise.

It takes five to ten minutes to make each milkshake, as the place is popular, with several people ordering the donut and bacon delight during my visit.

As a drink and meal all rolled into one I wasn’t sure how to begin on the pancake shake, even the boss admitted that “no-one really knows” how to tackle it.

All I can say is be sure to grab some cutlery and plenty of serviettes, as this is one messy drink.

The ice cream, maple syrup and milo makes for a great combination, and hidden under the pancakes is a stack of whipped cream to top off the milkshake.

The first sip brings with it all the maple syrup drizzled through the straw, giving you a quick sugar hit.

After enjoying this huge treat, clear your schedule because you’re going to want to submerge into the food coma that follows.

Location: Arcade 189, 7/189 William Street

Open: Monday-Friday 7am-3pm and Saturday-Sunday 9am-2pm

Website

Notable Mentions

I am yet to make it to every great iced drink place in the City of Perth, so here are some that I think are still worth a visit.

Henry Saw

From peanut butter smoothies to orange infused cold drips, this little café by Perth’s museum has it all in a charming setting.

Location: 117 Grand Lane, Perth

Open: Monday-Friday 7am-3pm and Saturday 8am-2pm

La Veen Coffee and Kitchen

La Veen recently announced an exciting new addition to their menu, their own coffee granita.

This drink will be sure to keep you cool all summer long.

Location: 90 King Street, Perth

Open: Monday-Wednesday 7am-3pm, Thursday-Friday 7am-4pm, Saturday 8am-4pm and Sunday 9am-3pm

Utopia Bubble Tea

For the widest selection of iced tea flavours anywhere, you can’t go past Utopia Bubble Tea.

With sweet fruity teas, traditional milk based flavours and a range of toppings and jellies to suck up that thick straw there’s plenty for all tastebuds.

Location: 109 James Street, Northbridge

Open: Sunday-Thursday 11.30am-11pm, Friday 11.30am-1am and Saturday 11.30am-2am

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That theme park feeling

Day two in Brisbane was Movie World day!

We were blessed to be able to borrow a car from a friend of Dani. Otherwise what is a 40 minute car ride would have taken two and a half hours by public transport, and a five hour round trip is pretty much the whole day.20150902_104138 (1)The car, however, was manual so John had to drive since I don’t even have a manual licence. This was one of those occassions where getting a manual licence ‘just in case’ definitely paid off.

John hadn’t driven a manual in four years since his driving test but he did fabulously. Didn’t stall a single time the whole way there and I managed to contribute by being navigator.

I’d been to Movie World once before when I was ten with my family and the main thing I remember was that I loved the Scooby Doo ride the best so I couldn’t wait to try it again and see if it was at all how I remembered it. For John, this was his first theme park and first time going on a ride ever. I was hoping he’d enjoy it and not get sick otherwise that could make for an awkward day.20150902_105821When we arrived a sign said there were three rides not operating that day; bumper cars, the Green Lantern roller coaster and the Scooby Doo ride. Nooooo. We were pretty devastated at that.

They were closed for maintenance during the off peak season. So despite it being sad that we couldn’t ride them the advantage was probably greater, as we were able to ride all the rides in the park without wasting lots of time in long queues as you would during peak season.20150902_154134I was planning to ease John into roller coasters with the Scooby Doo ride because I imagined that’s as tame as it gets at Movie World.

Instead we opted to start with the Wild West water ride.

We got soaked! We came off it dripping and laughing so hard it was awesome.
The best bit was definitely the start of the ride where you’re suddenly dropped down a slope backwards unwittingly.

We came back at the end of the day and rode this ride again and agreed it was our favourite.

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At lunchtime there were plenty of places to choose from for food. We both opted for nachos from this little wild west-looking pub.

When the meals came we soon realised we would have been better off sharing one, they were huge! Piled high with salsa, meat and sour cream, even the bowls they were in were a plain edible tortilla. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit I almost finished the entire thing, bowl and all, because it was so delicious. 20150902_125322We had planned to try out the roller coasters in the afternoon, but needless to say we thought it safe to let lunch digest a little first, so we watched a high-speed car show instead.

After that we hit up everything that we could. Since there were large roller coasters to be tackeled I suggested we start off on the kiddies roller coaster to ease into it.

For John’s first roller coaster it was pretty speedy and could definitely give you bit of whiplash, though I was soon to discover it was nothing like the force of Arkham Asylum or Superman.20150902_165832Despite intial fears we both rode every ride, and although we might not have braved some of those coasters again in a hurry we had a great time.

Brisbane is for brunch, bagels and long bus rides

There was only one way to start our first day in Brisbane, and that was with a good brunch.

After making the hour long trek by bus, from where John and I were staying with my close friend Dani at Nazarene Theological College, we arrived in Brisbane’s beautiful CBD.

Immediately we started on the hunt for a good brunch spot, having begun the search on Instagram during the bus ride but failing to turn up anything within close walking distance.

We stumbled upon Toby’s Estate and I enjoyed smashed avo, feta and lemon on a very healthy but delicious slice of rye sourdough (I didn’t even know that was a thing, but consider me a fan).20150901_11444820150901_113133After our bellies were prepared for the day ahead we took a stroll through Brisbane’s botanic gardens.

These are lovely, peaceful gardens right in the middle of the city and the perfect place to have a picnic, take a nap or enjoy a little walk.

We had fun exploring around the trees with the giant roots. You could walk in between all the branches right to the centre of the tree and through little gaps, it felt a bit like a jungle.20150901_12280920150901_12240320150901_123314

We headed back towards the centre of Brisbane and King George Square. Here sits Brisbane City Hall, an impressive looking building with a tall clock tower.20150901_143614Dani knew of a tour that ran inside City Hall, so we went in to take a look and found they operate small group tours of the clock tower every 15 minutes, and best of all they’re free!

We got there with about three minutes to go until the next tour and somehow nabbed the last three tickets – talk about providence.

For a free activity to do in Brisbane you can’t go past this. They take you up the clock tower in the original hand-operated elevator and you have a few minutes to enjoy the view of the city at the top. On the way down you stop inside the clock face while the bells chime above you.20150901_13293720150901_13265320150901_13202620150901_132124 (1)After all that exploring it was definitely time to refuel and Dani took us to the perfect places to do just that.

At the Noosa Chocolate factory, Dani picked up, what she laid claim to be, ‘the world’s best rocky road’ for sampling later. The verdict by all three of us was that she was, in fact, correct! The Rocky Road doesn’t contain any nuts but is filled with large marshmallow and real jelly layers. So yum!

I also picked up a couple of things for us to try after lunch including, freeze-dried strawberries, blueberries and mango white chocolate. The freeze-dried strawberries were John’s favourite. I enjoyed them also. The strawberry on the inside made your mouth tingle and fizz.20150901_134816The next pit stop was The Bagel Boys for our lunch. I’d actually never had a bagel before so I was excited to try one. I ordered the beet and feta on a rye bagel (yes, rye again).

It wasn’t until a long walk later, when we arrived at a nice shady spot in Southbank, that we actually ate our bagels. 20150901_150108After lunch Dani had to leave us to make her class that afternoon. John and I decided we would try and brave the bus system back ourselves so we could spend more time exploring in Brisbane, we weren’t quite done yet.

It was our search for toilets that led us to accidentally find Brisbane’s museum. We took a little look around at the dinosaur bones and the terrifying, preserved giant squid.

Our final activity for the day was a ride on the Brisbane wheel. The wheel gave great views of the city as a whole and was a lot of fun.20150901_160625 20150901_160549 (1)

When we came off we stumbled upon a very cool looking, friendly lizard. He followed me to the drinking fountain, and I will admit I did freak out when he came right up close.20150901_161734When it was time to go home, thankfully we found our way back out of the city on the bus ok.

It was crazy to reflect on everything we had done that day and think about how normally that would have just been one work day. But I am definitely grateful that I have a job that means I can enjoy things like this.20150901_144201

Little Creatures’ comfort food

Last weekend I ventured down the long road to Fremantle to take out my newest American friend for dinner. I did a bit of research into places to eat in Freo on a Saturday night, only to discover that most of the places I have been keen on trying are only open for breakfast and lunch, so it looks like I’ll need to venture there more frequently during the daylight hours.

We ended up at Little Creatures Brewery right on the waters edge. This place is large and impressive. I’ve only been here once before a long time ago and had fond memories of the steak sandwich.We found our own seat inside among the ginormous beer kegs and a waitress soon brought us menus. A quick glance down the menu and I realised I was starving, having been on a long ride that day and forgetting to snack between lunch and dinner (that is so unlike me). I was craving carbs so I ordered a woodfired pizza.I had the cured beef, rocket and bocconcini pizza and I devoured the entire thing.The perfect size for one (one hungry little person that is), this woodfired pizza was delicious but possibly on the touch too salty side.  I loved the addition of rosemary and sea salt to the base of the thin pizza. However, with the addition of the cured beef and cheese there was quite a lot of salt going on. Thankfully I needed it that day after my exercise so it was all too easy to put away.

Allison ordered the salmon, which was an impressive chunk of fish. Unfortunately it wasn’t cooked all the way through (probably due to the piece being so thick). She still enjoyed the dish and the fries looked beautifully homemade (some with the skin still on).The payment service at the table was easy and convenient and they kindly let us split bill.

After dinner we enjoyed a pleasant walk along the Cappuccino strip before heading home.

Butter me up, I love brunch

I’m a firm believer that weekends are for brunching, and although it sometimes takes a bite sized piece out of my pay check each week I have no regrets about catch up dates that involve muesli or eggs in one of Perth’s many delightful breakfast spots.

The weekend just gone was spent like many. Saturday morning Lauren and I fitted in a triathlon training swim, a nice slow 1.2km for me that morning as I felt I may have pushed myself right to the edge with exercise during the week.

Then we headed out for that all important post-workout refuel to one of my favourite places in Joondalup Health Freak Cafe (there is one also located in Scarborough).

I love going to a place where I know that I can’t go wrong with anything on the menu because all the meals are packed full of goodness.

On this occasion I opted to try something new and ordered the paleo zucchini bread topped with an avocado and tomato salsa and a poached egg and surrounded by a capsicum sauce. The zucchini bread was quite plain on its own but under the salsa and egg it was delicious and so lovely and moist. I could still happily eat the bread on its own though as I love hearty snacks and don’t mind things lacking in sweetness now that my tastebuds have adjusted to a less sugar filled diet.

I also couldn’t go past my favourite Cookies and Cream smoothie despite the $10 price tag. It’s so great drinking something that tastes amazing and sweet but is so good for you. The smoothie includes a banana, dates, almonds, coconut, chia, cacao nibs and coconut milk. Yum!

On Sunday morning I enjoyed another delicious catch up with a lovely friend at Joondalup’s Gipsy Boy Boutique. This was the third time I’ve been here and the third great experience.

Not only does this place do awesome breakfast but they also offer a great range of designer clothes for sale that are all amazing. Twice I have succumbed to the quality and beauty of their garments and walked away with something, but this time I put on a strong face and walked out with just a satisfied belly.

Yesterday I enjoyed their avocado and vegemite on toast with house beans on the side (I love beans and definitely recommend these).I’ve never had the avocado and vegemite combination before but it was a winner, the saltiness is a great addition to the avo. I also love the rye bread this place does, nice small but thick slices that are perfect for the toppings.

It may be only Monday but i’m already looking forward to new brunches this weekend!

It’s a revolution

A review of Perth’s Restaurant Revolution entry La Linea

We are well and truly living in a food revolution and it’s fiercely competitive. Meals are more elaborate than ever, desserts far more decadent, and restaurant owners are realising that their customers care just as much about their dining environment as what is on their plate.

Reality TV shows such as Masterchef and My Kitchen Rules have fed our desire to see people take food to new heights and from this Tuesday Channel 7’s Restaurant Revolution will hit our screens.

The show sees teams from five of Australia’s capital cities competing to turn their restaurant vision into a reality.

Perth’s entry into the competition is Spanish restaurant La Linea in Leederville run by WA sisters Carmen and Nicole.DSCF2838 (1)The restaurant, which opened this week, has been temporarily set up inside a number of large shipping containers. While it’s unusual appearance certainly makes a statement on Oxford Street the inside of the restaurant is lovely and quaint.

La Linea is on the small side for a restaurant and has a cosy and intimate feel. The back wall, on first glance, appears to be brick, but amusingly is just a wallpaper — well played.DSCF2867The decor follows the mantra ‘less is more’ with fake candle light fixtures and a floral wall near the entrance, there’s just enough to create a nice space without going over board.

The largest part of the restaurant has been built using stacked shipping containers, which create a high ceiling and provide a great feeling of space for a small place.DSCF2847La Linea has a tapas style menu and customers may find they need to ask a few questions of their waiter to decipher it.

To start we ordered the Pan con Tumacas (crispy bread, tomato, garlic, olive oil and sea salt) and the Croquetas de Jamon con Queso (jamon and cheese croquettes).DSCF2859The bread was a nice light starter, slightly salty and very well seasoned. The waiter recommended adding the Boquerones (marinated white anchovies) as the saltiness would complete the bread. We didn’t add the anchovies and I feel they may have made the whole meal far too salty.DSCF2862Cheese lovers would scoff down the croquettes, which quickly sold out on the night and have been a popular menu item all week.

The specialty drink on the menu, the House made Horchata, was the perfect accompanying drink to wash down the appetisers. The Horchata is a traditional Spanish almond cinnamon drink made on the premise. A very time consuming drink to make due to the sifting of the almonds and rice, but well worth the effort from the team at La Linea as this definitely took the cake as my most enjoyable part of the night. Gentle on the palette but with a wonderful zing of cinnamon after every sip.DSCF2856From the Carnes (meats) menu the Paella Valenciana (paella with chicken, Baldivis rabbit, saffron, mojo picon) both looked and tasted amazing with its deep orange colour and mildly spicy flavours

We also ordered the Cordero Asado (six hour roasted lamb shoulder, jus, paprika, peppers). The shoulder was an impressively large piece of meat which fell beautifully off the bone. The jus was the perfect accompaniment and balance of flavours.DSCF2870 DSCF2883With such reasonably large meat dishes we were feeling quite full, so to finish we shared the Flan de Nata con Frutas (vanilla flan with berries).

For those who like something to finish but without the sickly sweet end of a meal hangover this flan is perfect. Topped with two very sweet pieces of toffeed honeycomb, the flan refreshed the palette with a hint of sugar without the overload I have come to expect from most restaurant desserts.DSCF2888La Linea is open Wednesday to Sunday for lunch (12-4pm) and Wednesday to Saturday for dinner (6-11pm) at 103 Oxford Street Leederville.

Restaurant Revolution airs on Channel 7 Tuesday July 28.

Pappa’s rich in flavour

Thursday night was a bit of an adventure. John and I had tickets to the theatre and I was going to pick him up from work beforehand to go out for dinner.

When i got to my car after work I noticed the back tyre looked a little flat. Sure enough, I had a completely flat tyre so I wasn’t going anywhere in a hurry because I don’t actually remember how to change a car tyre, despite this having happened to me multiple times.

After having placed a call to the RAC, and feeling quite deflated at the thought of waiting up to 40 minutes before someone arrived, I decided to ask a group of guys standing outside on a smoke break. Thankfully, a kind older gentleman volunteered his services, along with another man, and soon we were well on our way to having a working car again.20150723_171259

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I don’t know what I should be doing with this.

After that little adventure for the night John and I made it into Northbridge, picked up our tickets, and found ourselves seated inside one of the most charming restaurants the suburb has to offer — Pappa Rich.

John had been here on one occasion before, but this was my first time. I quickly realised that this place was extremely popular — the queue rope barriers outside was a bit of a giveaway. Thankfully there was no queue when we arrived, as we only had a little while before the show started as a result of my car incident.

Pappa Rich has a charming European interior with wood panelling, lamp posts and a sweet green, black and white colour scheme. It is a Malaysian restaurant and features a range of curries, rice and noodle dishes, and more bubble tea and roti variations than I knew existed.20150723_182459Ordering here is almost something of a novelty. Each table has a list of paper to write down your order on and when you’re ready you simply press the doorbell like device on your table and a waiter will come and collect it.

I love this idea for two reasons:

1. When I’m dining out I will so often order something but ask for it to be without cheese or with soy milk or to have something on the side. Why? because I’m lactose intolerant and I suppose just fussy. This way I can make sure the kitchen receives my order correctly without being an unnecessary annoyance to the waiter.

2.  I can take as long as I want to decide what to eat without feeling like I’m constantly sending the waiter away because I haven’t looked at the menu yet or can’t make up my mind.20150723_181549For drinks I ordered a coconut ice drink which looked beautiful simply because of how white it was. It came with bits of coconut flesh and topped with a mint leaf. It was delicious and so refreshing.

John had a mango drink that came with lychees and watermelon balls. It also looked amazing but i found it slightly too sweet.20150723_182922

For dinner I ordered the roti telur with chicken curry while John also ordered the roti telur but with beef rendang. Roti telur is basically roti bread folded over a cooked egg. I had never eaten roti this way and it was delicious, The egg added a wonderful flavour but still kept the roti nice and simple for lapping up the curry.20150723_183551The meals were served with two accompanying sauces. The red sauce (I don’t know what it actually was) was far too hot for either of us and after one taste, and a desperate attempt to soothe my tastebuds with some coconut ice I decided to give that one a miss the rest of the night.

John’s beef had more heat than my chicken curry, which was lovely and mild. We both really enjoyed our meals and although they look small, as it’s only meat and roti (two large pieces), we were very full. IMG_20150723_183643If you’ve never been to Pappa Rich and enjoy Asian cuisine then I would highly recommend a visit to this place. The atmosphere is charming, there’s plenty of options on the menu and the food is flavoursome.

Pappa Rich

101 James Street, Northbridge

Open 10.30am- 9-30.pm Sunday to Thursday and until 10.30pm Friday and Saturday.