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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Bites: Friday Brunchin' @ Cecchi's, Inglewood.

The Italian brunch scene never stretched far beyond decadent pastries.  Or at least that was what part of Italy taught me.  But in Australia, its a very different scenario.  Cecchi’s has long been on my list of places to visit, but given the short time I have in Perth each break I never quite had the chance to go there.  Its ok, last in best dressed? LOL or so I hope.
 Cecchi’s has now got a fully established breakfast/brunch menu and I would say that there are no excuses for any short falls in the food.  So how did it go?  Some of the stuff we ordered that day:

Pork Sausages & Belly, with Apple, Sauerkraut and Fried Egg.

I reckon the picture of this dish got you as surprised as we were when it hit the table ahaha.  We expected something like a sausage and pork belly combination,  not diced pork belly bits and piece of sausages.  Flavour wise though, it was decent.  You got the seasoned sausages, and slightly lardy belly balanced by the sharper flavoured sauerkraut.  And of course the runny yolk to mix the two!

Fried Chicken, Potato Hash, Red Pepper Jam, and Fried Egg.

Originally meant to come with steak, YH could not help but ask for a change to Fried Chicken.  The result was an American style diner meal.  I reckon the serving size of the fried chicken unlike the tiny pork belly & sausage earlier, could easily be a dinner meal!  Before we dug in, my friends sort of wondered whether the people in town were frying chicken because it was the “in-thing” or because they really excelled at frying chicken.  While he did not think it sucked, YH reckoned that you would have to be pretty spectacular to make fried chicken for breakfast.  The crispiness of the chicken was plausible but more flavoured would have done the frying more justice.  Vil who ordered a similar dish with truffled scrambled eggs felt the same way too.  

Mushroom Trifoliate, Ricotta & Goat Cheese Mousse, Onsen Egg and Toast

After a heavy breakfast, I decided to go with something a little lighter and meat free.  I chose the mixed shroom dish!  Cooked-well I must say but I might have to question seasoning.  I reckon a little more garlic and butter would make the shrooms more juicy.  It was much needed too because the cheese mousse was not as airy as I had expect it to be even after breaking the yolk and mixing it.  Was it terrible? Definitely no, in fact it was quite nice! But could be better.

Cecchi’s has been quite heavily publicised and I reckon the food they serve was OK.  Not great, not bad, but average.  In saying that, a mix of enjoyable sitting and good plating kept the morning interesting.  Now that I think back of that breakfast, the show stopper on the breakfast table that morning was the fact that we were automatically served GF Toast?  Ok, I am only assuming its GF toast because it was literally hard as rock haha.  It might just be 10 day-old bread.   Will I return to Cecchi’s?  That’s for the future to tell :P!

Cecchi's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Bites: A New Brunch Opening @ Nic and Kolo, Applecross

Nic & Kolo is a new establishment in the Applecross Cafe strip.  It opened its door to the public 2 weeks ago and a quick tag from fellow foodie Nini @ Ninifoodielicious means my next brunch venue was sorted.  Coming in, the service was a tad slow as they were clearly understaffed.  But hey, all new cafes have this issue right?  We eventually sat ourselves down and instantly, the interior was admirable.  The layout was very clean and at the entrance was a very blingy counter.

Mocha for Bel & Tea for me:

My tea was right from the shopping aisles so no dramas on my side.  Bel enjoyed her coffee which dispel any concerns for the curious diners.  

The menu came a little later and had the usual suspects.  A few savoury choices and sweet one to seal the meal.  Bel ordered the Shrooms, with Horseradish Créme, and Eggs on Toast.

A simple people-pleaser kind of dish.  The thing about simple is that every element has to be executed spot on which leaves it very exposed to errors.  But no dramas here.  Bel was pleased with the tender shrooms!  Her only comment?  It is very hard to eat when everything is stacked on the toast. Definitely a first world problem haha.

As I had something savoury earlier on at home, I decided to go for Nic & Kolo’s buttermilk pancake.  The Buttermilk Pancake with Slab Bacon, and Caramel Créme.  

For me, the dish looked damn good.  The thick slabs of bacon were smokey and meaty in each bite without an overbearing saltiness.  The caramel had a beautiful nuttiness to it which help bring the pancake breakfast together.   But where the pancake was meant to be a pancake, was where I felt let down the most.  When someone offers me pancakes it immediately springs to mind; light, fluffy, evenly browned and with the use of buttermilk a lovely aroma when it hits the table.  While I definitely did get a whiff of buttery fragrant, it fell short on the rest of my preferences.  My pancake was cooked unevenly so one side was cooked well while the thicker half was undercooked, wet.  One the outside, the pancake had more browning that I would have liked.  More crisp than a nice fluffy top.  Then again, all the Instagram post are showing the same!?  Intentional? I wonder.

The thing about new openings are that they can be bit of a curved ball.  You can never quite predict the outcome of a meal.   But with new cafes, it was something I expected anyways.  Over all, the food here had a clear and concise concept with the qualities to reach the level it wants to be at.  Perhaps a few more weeks of fine tuning at site before Nic & Kolo reaches that mark but it is looking very promising.  I guess Cioccolato Espresso has finally got a challenger on the Applecross Cafe strip.

Nic and Kolo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Bites: Morning Tea @ Little Matcha Girl, South Perth.

The cakes are fine, the cafe modern and its flavour of choice is mainly green tea.  The Little Matcha Girl in Como has been on my list of places to go and I am finally here.  Despite being here for ages, Little Matcha Girl's popularity is still sky high with most seats filled at 11am.  So beware and note that the sitting is a little sparse for groups bigger than 4. But if you can make do, you will be greatly rewarded.  I am normally not a sweet tooth but coming to Little Matcha Girl, I wanted to eat everything.  From the cheesecake to the Opera Gateaus and even the Strawberry Shortcake.  So after going around the display counter, the table eventually looked like this:
Thankfully the desserts at Little Matcha Girl were less sweet than the conventional pastries one would find in Perth.  The unsweetened Match latte help tone the sugar down too.

Cheesecake Souffle
Light, airy, and fluffy but at the same time a little eggy with a nice hint of cheese to finish.  A really simple but satisfying bite.  No surprise this went down the quickest.

Matcha Opera Gateau

The well defined layers, consistent across the slices were signs of care and attention to detail.  Each layer you get a bit of decadent chocolate and grassy matcha.  The flavours were a little dirty first but the undertones of the matcha were clear and enjoyable.  This is a cake that two can share nibbling small bits each time. We definitely overkilled the table by ordering so many Matcha Opera Gateau.

Yuzu Tart
Just as we got ourselves a nice sit, the table next to us told me that the Yuzu Tart is a must at Little Matcha Girl.  My parents talked told me not to talk to strangers but I did, and there was no regret.  The fluffy creamy inside were every bit decadent. I reckon this was my favourite dessert that day.  The cream was not as cloying or rich as I had expected thanks to the acidity of the Yuzu and crunch from the biscuit base!

Mocha Gateau
I am not the biggest fan of this cake as it did not feel complete and felt somewhat one dimensional.  I reckon the cake was way too dry.  Or perhaps I just dislike coffee :P!  Regardless, it could have been a little more well executed as I needed more moisture.

Also not featured on the list was the Profiterole Log and the Strawberry Short Cake.  Both of which were equally interesting though the latter was seriously good.  It was fair to say that the hike up Preston Street to our lunch spot Nasi Lemak Korner was more difficult than anticipated after this out of control binge on the delights that Little Matcha Girl had placed in front of us.  The prices here are a little dear, but the attention to detail and quality matcha offerings in both dessert and drink form makes Little Matcha Girl a place worth revisiting in the South Perth Precinct.

Little Matcha Girl Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato