Sunday, December 5, 2010

Coco's Riverside Bar & Restaurant - South Perth

It was Sister 50's birthday and what better way to celebrate her day than to  'push the boat out' in style at one of Perth premier restaurants with the Sisters and a couple of special guests.  Coco's is located on the banks of the Swan River,  South Perth Esplanade,  overlooking the Perth city skyline. It has been open for business for over 18 years, with Ian Love at its helm.

Stepping  into the foyer of the lively restaurant, we were immediately greeted by a genial young man. We were lead to our table  and seated next to an expansive window  looking out to the river and the city beyond, with its sparkling lights . Within minutes we were approached by  our lovely waitress, Hannah, who was most attentive throughout the night.

Happy Birthday Coco's style

The menu  was extensive and a testament to Western Australia's finest produce and wineries,  however was disappointingly bereft of vegetarian meals, which left Sister 40 perplexed. When this was mentioned to  the staff the situation was remedied by an unimaginative  inclusion of pasta with vegetables or a vegetable stack. All sisters agreed this was a major oversight  by Coco's and was indeed not in keeping with  21st Century patrons.  This glitch was  soon forgotten when the desserts were delivered to the sisters and their guests. With squeals of delight as each delicious morsel was sampled and enraptured over, the vegetarian debacle became nothing more
 than a dim, distant memory.

Inside the limousine

To top off the night the Birthday Sister was treated to  a limousine ride through Kings Park.  Champagne flutes clinked, while   80's music played and city lights twinkled as we wound through the streets of Perth.   Special thanks to our congenial Chauffeur, Joe and his offsider from 'Elaborate Limos,'  who made our hour long journey, a night to remember.

the teen:
Chicken Pasta With Creamy Sauce $28 
Chicken pasta
Home made Chocolate Ice cream  $7  
Lemon Squash $3.70
 Food: 9/10
The pasta was really creamy without being claggy. The seasoning with fresh herbs complemented it. I loved it. The ice cream was quite nice, a bit richer than I first thought it would be, nevertheless nothing out of the ordinary.
Service: Happy, friendly service made me feel welcome and appreciated. The staff attended to my special request of chicken pasta rather than risotto very happily and I was impressed.       
Homemade chocolate ice cream to share
Atmosphere/Decor: An elegant venue with stunning view across the water to the city. The restaurant was quite loud and there was little room to push my chair out when I needed to stand.
Highs: The pasta was delicious. 
Lows: Rushing to eat so that we were on time for our limo ride. I would have loved to have stayed longer.  
Comments: A lovely experience with the Sisters and special guests.

the 20 something:
 Dhufish $46.50  
Homemade Chocolate Icecream $7
Cosmopolitan $16
Food:  9/10
The Dhufish was cooked to perfection and as it is one of my favourite types of fish, it was a great treat! The small, roasted potatoes with garlic butter that accompanied the fish were absolutely superb! I don't make a habit of hiding the fact that I like potatoes cooked any which way, these were particularly good!
My cosmopolitan was also yummy,  a little heavy on the vodka...maybe that was why I had such a great time?
The chocolate ice-cream that I shared with sister teen was also yummy. A great meal all round.
Service: Our waitress Hannah was fantastic! Very helpful and friendly.
Atmosphere: Lovely views of the river! Also I must say the toilets are very cute.
Highs: Being with the sisters and guests! Was a great fun night out.

Lows: Thinking I was too full to get a dessert and instead sharing ice-cream with sister teen. I definately regretted that when everyone's 
 Carnarvon king prawn salad
 desserts came! Next time.... dessert first!
Comments: a lovely night out! We all had a great time :)

the 30 something: 
Steamed Carnarvon King Prawns $29
Mango & Mint Mousse $17.50
Vasse Felix $10.80
Food: 9/10
The steamed prawn salad with chilli and spiced mango chutney was delicious. The mousse was delicate, not too sweet, clean and just plain, yummy. The wine, Vasse Felix would have to be my absolute favourite, so I was most thrilled to see it on the wine list.

Mango & mint mousse
Service: Hannah our delightful waitress was very helpful.
Atmosphere/Decor: A comfortable, beautiful view to  Perth.  
 Highs: Surprising Sister 50 and being with everyone

Lows: Having to rush to get the limo at the end of the meal....worth it though.

Comments:.Value for money; the whole package, I was happy to pay the bill.
It was wonderful to dress up and treat ourselves.
the 40 something:
Vegetable pasta
Vegetable Pasta $18.50
Peanut, Camamel & Chocolate Gateau with Caramel Sauce $17.50
Sandalford Verdello $9
Cappuccino $4.70

  Main = 7/10 Dessert  =  10/10
The vegetable pasta looked fantastic. The vegetables were crisp and cooked to perfection. Disappointingly the cream sauce was watery and quite tasteless. The dessert was absolute bliss. It was a taste sensation that melted in your mouth. Whoever created that dessert in particular, should be winning gold plate awards.

Peanut, caramel & chocolate gateau
Service: The staff were very attentive. From the minute we walked in the maitr'd greeted us with a warm welcome keen to help and no problem too big or small.
Atmosphere/Decor: Mood lighting, mirrors and lots of happy faces.
Highs: Killer dessert!
 Lows: No vegetarian meals on the menu.
Comments: Fine dining prices. Generous glasses of wine and a lovely birthday touch with sparklers. Coco's is definitely worth a second visit to try out more of the desserts.

 Coco's dessert chef is Iron Chef!

Guest Brother 20 tucked into a tasty veal cutlet.
the 50 something:
Prawn Pasta $29
Passionfruit Marshmallow Parfait 17.50

Passionfruit marshmallow parfait
Penfolds Chardony $8.50
Overall Rating: 8.5/10
Open: Mon - Sat 9am - Late Sunday 8am - Late
Licensed: Yes
Coco's Riverside Bar on Urbanspoon

Friday, November 19, 2010

VANS - Cottesloe & Polka Dot Vintage Market

On a searing, 36 degree afternoon, the sisters found themselves hurtling towards  Claremont Showgrounds in an attempt  to combine retro shopping with present moment eating. Rather like the method actors of Hollywood, the sisters donned garb of yesteryear, to immerse themselves in their quest.

   Polka Dot Vintage Market, held in conjunction with WA's largest Craft, Antique & Collectors fair was a feast for the eyes. It was huge! There was everything from 50's bombshell dresses to 90's grunge. Over 300 stalls selling quality vintage & retro clothing, retro home wares, collectables, vintage jewellery, kitchenalia, old fabrics & buttons, antiques, craft and much more!

 We left our run quite late to visit the markets, and with only an hour to take in the colour and  atmosphere, the sisters were power shopping, 1950's style.
Flicking  endlessly through racks of swirling, psychedelic polyester maxi dresses, mission brown jumpsuits and voluminous bell bottoms, we began to wonder if we had indeed entered the 'Tardus' from Doctor Who.  We spied  a scattering of friendly stallholders with beehive hairdos, 'Sunday Best' bonnets and kitten heel shoes, only too willing to pose for a photo or offer us some assistance.

A friendly stallholder 

Vintage wares upstairs

Bargains galore... take your pick!
    Sister 30 was the only one to secure a treasure on the day. With so many items to look at and little time, we decided that the next Vintage Market was a must and to be pencilled into our diary.

So many hats and only so many days

Kitchenalia & Collectables

Next  Polka Dot Vintage Market - Friday 15th April to Sunday 17th April 2011, Claremont Showgrounds 


Parched and ravenous  from our shopping spree, we  found ourselves at VANS Sidewalk Cafe,  Cottesloe. On entering the cool sanctuary we headed for a place to sit.  VANS is a bustling cafe with an interesting mix of old and new. A selection of Starburst vintage wall clocks festoon the  walls and a treasure trove of blue glass ornaments give a retro feel to the cafe.  

Continuing with our days theme, we felt like we  should be ordering Devils on Horseback and sipping Long Island Iced Teas,  however the extensive menu that  the affable waiter presented us looked perfect and set to satisfy us hungry sisters. 

the teen:
Toasted Turkish Sandwich $15
Chocolate Milkshake $5.50
Toasted chicken turkish sandwich
 Food: 7/10
Service: Good service with drinks, very friendly wait staff.  I enjoyed the friendly banter of our main waiter  however it took ages for me to get my food.
Atmosphere/Decor: Loved the music, decor and friendly happy vibe.
Highs: The milkshake was good value and delicious.
Lows: Waiting and waiting for food.
Price: Good
Comments: I would definitely go back for a second visit.
the 20 something
Home made Gnocchi $26.00
Chocolate Milkshake $5.50
Gnocchi with beans and creamy sauce
 Food: 9/10
Service: The service was good and we were lucky enough to have the hottest waiter. He made each one of us feel special and genuinely tried to help us with our menu selection even, to the point of taking the time to double check our various questions with the chef.
Decor: Funky clocks and blackboard menu.
Highs:.Creamy, chocolate milkshake and the hot waiter.
Lows:  Lots to choose from so couldn't make up my mind.
Price: Reasonable
Comments: The  gnocchi came with a  delicious and wholesome sauce. A most varied  and delectable menu made my decision for a return visit.

the 30 something:
Sardine Bruschetta $15.00
Salmon Gravlax $24
Salmon Gravlax
Soy Latte $5.50
Food: 7/10
Service: The waiter was French and good looking :) He was eager to please and more than happy to ask the chef for information regarding my menu choices.
Atmosphere/Decor: I really enjoyed the decor, it was fresh, modern, clean and comfortable.
Highs: The menu and being with the girls.
Lows: Coffee was a little cold.
Price: Value for money.
Comments:.I had two small mains, Salmon Salad and the Sardine Bruschetta. It was well presented.  I really enjoyed  all the strong tastes together. Due to this I made sure that I took a  little of everything on my fork to get an even taste of all the beautiful food...yummy

the 40 something:
Zucchini Fritters $12
Zucchini fritters with mint hassard & yogurt sauce
Latte $4
Food: 8/10
Service: Excellent service all wait staff were most attentive.  We had several waiters either refilling our glasses of water or diligently explaining the  menu.  

Atmosphere/Decor: Light, bright interesting decor. Loved the retro clocks and blue glass collection.
Highs: Definitely the 'charm-the-pants-off ' attentive waiter.
 Lows: Not being well enough to enjoy my food
Price: Very reasonable
Comments: Well worth a second visit. I am keen to try VANS for breakfast.

the 50 something:
Lamb Burger $23
Cappuccino $4
Lamb & olive burger with chips
Food:  7.5/10 - 8/10
Service: Service by all staff was excellent.
Atmosphere/Decor: Liked the combination of old and new. It was not too overdone rather simple and classic. The music gave an excellent vibe to the place (although they did tend to forget to change it.)
 Highs: My corner, cushiony seat, it gave me a  180 degree view of the restaurant and was most comfortable. The outside seating from my vantage point looked inviting for our next stopover.
Lows: Cold coffee
Price: Very reasonable
Comments: The lamb burger with Mediterranean vegetables was quite artistic and well presented. It was a delectable combination although the bread could have been a little thinner. I was lucky enough to sample  Sister 30's Sardine  meal and was ecstatic to finally discover a non hydroponic salad. Claps for VANS!

Sardine Bruschetta with quality salad garnish
Overall Rating: 8/10
Open : 7 days, 7.00am - 10.00pm (Fri & Sat till 11.00pm)
Parking: One hour parking out the front. Longer stay parking bays near train station.
Vans Sidewalk Cafe on Urbanspoon

Friday, November 5, 2010

DOME - Canningvale

Just like Dorothy, with a click of her ruby heels after a long day in  Oz, the sisters began to chant, "There is no place like Dome, there is no place like Dome" Hence, on a late Friday afternoon, after a hard working week, the sisters found themselves seated in a snug booth at Dome, Canningvale. Dome franchise has been around for over 20 years in WA and can be found in country WA,  Tasmania, Queensland and has now gone International! They boast a diverse menu  and the world's finest coffee. 
Infamous Fluffy Koala - no cream
This particular Dome in Canningvale is also licenced.
The Dome is a  regular haunt of the sisters due to Sister Teen and 20's love for the much celebrated 'Fluffy Koala.' In their words it's...'Much more than a milkshake... rather like a thickshake filled with chocolate and caramel.' If you are more the adventurous type there are a diverse range of Espresskis, fruity iced drinks, teas  and coffees. The menu covers the breadth of breakfast, lunch, dinner and in-betweens.

The Dome is a rather large, noisy establishment due to its wooden floorboards and constant traffic of customers.
An endless flow of regulars, brandishing their loyalty cards, (okay, so I have one also) competitively eye off the choice seating arrangements comprising a collection of comfy, bottomless, old English  armchairs,  1950's style booths or bentwood wooden chairs.

A bowl of wedges to share!
We selected our favourites from the menu and  tucked into a few new dishes. After eating our fill and chatting endlessly,  planning our next sojourn excitedly,   we stepped out into the night and back onto our yellow brick road.
"There's no place like...." 

the teen:
Bacon on Toast $8.95
Wedges $6.95
Fluffy Koala - no cream $5.20
Bacon on toast
Food: 8/10
Service: Fast service with irregular food delivery. We sisters had to eat at different times. Nevertheless, we saw it as a positive; while one sister was telling us all the latest news the others could eat without interruption!
Atmosphere/Decor: Large area for happy chilled, vibe for daytime and mood lighting for nighttime, romantic trysts!
Highs: Fluffy Koala mmmmmmm...
Lows: Toast was cold
Price: Very reasonable $20
Comments: Wide range in menu, all day breakfast.

the 20 something: 
Calamari and chips $14.95
Fluffy Koala-no cream $5.20 
Calamari and chips- Seafood the staple diet for sister 20
Food: 8/10
Service: Fast, prompt and food looks nice
Atmosphere/Decor: Classic Dome!! Nice large room, relaxing chairs, good magazines, particularly when waiting.
Highs:.Fluffy Koala- yum,  I haven't had one in a while.
Lows: My food came before everyone else's so I was pretty much finished when they were all starting.
Price: Reasonable
Comments: Classic dish  and tasty and enjoyable meal, after all I am the seafood expert! Lol.

the 30 something:
Potato and Leek Soup $13 
Potato and Leek soup
Food: 3/10
Service: Coffee supersonic fast!
Atmosphere/Decor: Loud, uncomfortable booth.
Highs:Two butters for my bread roll and being with the sisters made me happy! 
Lows: I was extremely disappointed with the soup. It  was bland and had little taste. I had to smother it in pepper to add flavour.
Price: Very good
Comments:.The service was very fast considering the number of people lining up constantly to order. High praise for those quick, nimble chefs in the kitchen, toiling away.

the 40 something:
Egg Hollandaise $14.95
Cappuccino $3.90
Eggs Hollandaise
Food: 8/10
Service: Coffee came within minutes with a sprinkling of chocolate.
Atmosphere/Decor: I love the wooden floorboards, however they do make for loud noise. Many seats to choose from inside and out, - especially enjoyable to sit outside on sunny days.
Highs: Hollandaise sauce was absolutely scrumptious. Creamy and cheesy! Magnifique!
Lows: I asked for my egg to be  well done. The chef must have misunderstood me and fried it. It was acceptable, conversely it would have been much improved if it were poached.
Price: Value for money
Comments: Good friends and a cosy booth = another enjoyable night. 

The 50 something:
Farmhouse Beef Pie $14.95
Cappuccino $3.90
Farmhouse Beef Pie
Food: 7/10
Service: Extremely fast
Atmosphere/Decor: An excellent  location for people of all walks of life to enjoy time together in their own space.
Highs: The Farmhouse pie was hearty and appetising. The coffee  was delightful.
Lows: My pet hate -  poor quality salad cut into odd shapes.
Price: Good
Comments: The sisters' drinks and food all arrived at different times.

Dome  love...
Overall Rating: 7/10
Open: Every day - 7am - 10pm
Parking: Plenty nearby and for rainy days there is a back entrance.
Licenced: Yes
WiFi: Yes
Dome - Canningvale on Urbanspoon