Friday, March 23, 2012

Toast - East Perth

Brunch would have to be one of my favourite meals of the day.

I could happily eat “breakfast food” such as cereal for every meal of the day until I die.
I guess brunch falls into that category of more substantial meals and everything from those sweet pancakes, eggs on toast, to muesli, croissants and crepes!
Toast in East Perth covers all of the above and more!

Picture this... Sunday morning, beautiful weather creeping up to a hot 33 degree day down near the water in Claisebrook Cove. Toast is busy as! Every man and their dog are out this morning to soak up the sun and ponder over the huge menu Toast has to offer.
The café has two sections, one inside, grab a couch and paper. The tables outside have shading but you can enjoy the sun and sip on your latte! The staff were friendly and inviting and placed some cute plastic cups, some menu’s and a funny looking jug on our table!
Starting from a variety of around 14 different types of toast to go with your meal, Toast offers gluten free toast, to polenta, potato and parmesan, Turkish bread, wholegrain, white and even bagels and more!
What I love about Toast is that no matter who you are – vego, meat lover, sweet, savoury, simple, big, small – you’ll find a brunch item that suits you!

I could have tried everything on this menu, from simplistic treats like banana and cinnamon sugar on toast to mascarpone, toasted almond and honey on banana bread. If you like vegemite there’s even avocado and vegemite on toast with a poached egg!
I was very tempted to try their Swiss Bircher Muesli…but I have fruit/yogurt/muesli for brekky most mornings so I refrained…
Special options on toast include French toast with ricotta, blueberries and maple syrup, potato, mint and feta pancakes with smoked salmon, poached eggs,sour cream and chives!

The usual eggs -scrambled/fried/poached/Florentine/Benedict/Norwegian/omelette and the extras make an appearance, plus sweet and savoury crepes, croissants, and any breakfast item your imagination can create.

I ordered a latte and the girls ordered a natural banana smoothie with honey and yogurt each for $6.90. These came out very promptly considering how busy it was. The coffee was lovely and the smoothie was very natural and also very yum! It tasted like the smoothies I used to make at home with my milkshake maker, blending a ripe banana with milk, honey and yogurt! Mmm!

Natural Banana Smoothie ($6.90)


After much debate, I settled on the egg white omelette with roasted capsium, cherry tomatoes, spinach pecorino and ricotta cheese. I ordered mushrooms and rocquette on the side with rye bread $19.50 (because apparently a large omelette isn’t enough for one person for brekky…).

Jules ordered the (fig and walnut) fruit toast with spiced ricotta, grated apple and honey $12.90.

Moni ordered the vegetarian big breakfast with stuffed field mushroom, eggs, grilled tomato, corn fritter, toast for $17.90.

Jules and I had our meals brought out to us within a short wait and the waitress proceeded to ask M if “she was waiting on anything?”…which seemed strange considering she was sitting with nothing in front of her and the waitress had just brought us our meals…so unless she came to breakfast to watch us eat…of course she was waiting on her big vegetarian breakfast…

I politely offered to wait to M had to meal before I started, but after around 10 minutes I started to eat my meal and we checked how long M’s meal was away…a few more minutes apparently.

I had nearly finished devouring my omelette when M’s meal was bought out…finally!

I’ve never ordered an egg white omelette before but it was certainly only egg whites as it was a pale white colour with red cherry tomatoes popping out, green spinach and red capsicum. The big leafy rocquette I ordered extra gave the plate a lift and I love the peppery taste of fresh rocquette with my meals. I loved the rye toast which was light and crunchy and went perfectly with my omelette.

Egg-white omelette with rocquette and mushrooms ($19.50)

I tasted Jules’ fruit toast with spiced ricotta, grated apple and honey and it blew my mind! Pow for the sweet honey drizzled over the huge stack of grated apple on ricotta, on the crunchy, sweet fruit toast! It was one of those meals that drew attention from the table next to us, and with a few nods of impressed approval, it certainly lived up to its grand expectations! 

The cinnamon spiced with the smooth, creamy ricotta went so perfectly with the sweet green apple and honey. I would love to try this on toasted banana bread or even as a topping on French toast or pancakes! 

I was almost simultaneously planning my trip home to the grocery store to buy ricotta and apples to make this delicious concoction!
Yum! Yum!

Fruit toast with spiced ricotta, grated apple and honey ($12.90)

I will note here that I patiently waited for J to announce her retirement from eating and that she “couldn’t fit any more in” before I cleaned up any ounce of sweet-honey-drizzled-spiced-ricotta-grated-apple-fruit-toasting-deliciousness that was left on her plate. That brunch never saw what was coming.

I’d completely forgotten that I had just devoured a large omelette with extra sides and a latte just moments before! (Deal with it stomach. Just deal.)

M’s vegetarian breakfast is one I’ve actually had at Toast once before on the first time I visited this café. I precisely remember the mushroom being stuffed with a cashew and parsley pesto, which was nice, but still seemed a little dry. The main moisture came from the roasted tomatoes and the yolk which oozed perfectly out of my poached eggs. The corn fritter was popping with fresh corn kernals and tasted fantastic. A nice dollop of tomatoe or sundried tomatoes chutney would have gone perfectly with this meal.

Below is a photo of M’s vegetarian breakfast from our brunch date just gone…

Vegetarian Big Breakfast ($17.90)

I thought the cool water jug we were given deserved a photo!

Overall, Toast proved to me that breakfast CAN and WILL be apart of every meal of my day!

I love the creativeness and the variety of the dishes available.
You don't even need to like breakfast and you will find something here!
This cafe will probably know me by name by the time I'm finished with it.

My next plan is to get a group of 10 or more people to this cafe and see with my own eyes the wonderful variety of food available here!

Highs: The fruit toast with spiced ricotta and grated apple
Lows: The delay for one of our meals to be served (I doubt this happens often)
Overall: 9/10

Toast on Urbanspoon

Monday, March 19, 2012

Lido Vietnamese Restaurant - Northbridge

Lido restaurant is situated on 416 William Street in Northbridge.

Lido Restaurant Northbridge on Urbanspoon

The first thing I noticed about this restaurant was the flashing “Christmas lights” hanging around the front window…and this was something I then didn’t stop noticing all night.

Lido was packed full of people at 7.30pm on a Saturday night and at around 8pm, there was not a spare seat in the restaurant! We were promptly seated and handed menus and after being offered tap water, the waiter kindly apologised for the glasses being slightly warm due to them just being washed as “they were very busy and needed to reuse glasses”. How cute! I told him not to worry at all, and that it was fine.

I decided I had to try the Vegetarian Rice paper rolls for entrée ($8) (despite not being overly hungry, I was too curious to see what these would be like). We placed our order for the “Stir fried crocodile with vegetable in coconut cream curry” ($30), “Stir fried scallops with honey, chilli and garlic - on a hot plate” ($28.50), “Stir fried vegetables with lemongrass and chilli” ($12.50) and steamed rice.
The vege rice paper rolls came out almost instantly, giving me the impression of about 1000 pre-made rice paper rolls sitting out back in the kitchen just waiting to be ordered and brought out to tables.

Vegetarian Rice paper rolls ($8)

I dipped the rice paper roll into the sweet, nutty sauce and could taste the freshness of the rolls. I love the burst of fresh mint you get in each bite and the crisp lettuce. Although there were small pieces of tofu in each roll, I did not taste any (or many) bean shoots in which I am weirdly fond of or any other vegetables. They were quite plain tasting – even with the sauce. And it would have been nice to see some carrot or other vegetables in the rolls to give them some more flavour. Nonetheless, I munched them down happily.

As I was part way through my first roll (a minute or two after it arriving), I saw a waiter come out of the kitchen, look directly at me munching on my entrée with what looked like our curry entrée and rice… he turned back to the kitchen with a confused look on his face as I watched him talk to another waiter before bringing out the Crocodile Curry and rice yet again. He placed these down on the table as I was still eating my entrée and within minutes the rest of the dishes decided to pile in from the kitchen. I felt this was kind of rude as normally they clear your entrée plates before even thinking about bringing out the main. But a few more munches and I rushed down the last few bites so that there was room on our table for our three mains, drinks and rice.
The Crocodile Curry was a decent size and the coconut flavoured curry was sweet and tasty with a flavour and mild spices I couldn’t put my fingers on!  
The crocodile (which I haven’t tasted before) was like an over-cooked fish in texture – half way between chicken and fish, looking a little like squid. Now apparently, this is not how it is meant to taste – which leads me to believe it was slightly overcooked, giving it a rubbery texture.
Combined with the curry sauce, scattered veges and some rice, it was a very delicious taste.

Stir fried crocodile with vegetable in coconut cream curry ($30)

Stir fried crocodile with vegetable in coconut cream curry ($30)
The stir fried chilli, honey and garlic scallops came out next with the waiter placing a hot-plate down on our table before pouring the scallop mixture from a bowl onto the hot plate causing a huge steam facial and lots of sizzle!
The scallops were cooked to ultimate perfection – medium-rare with a caramelisation on the outside and soft inside. Cutting through, they fell apart beautifully and melted in my mouth! – There is nothing better than a perfectly cooked scallop!

Stir fried scallops with honey, chilli and garlic - on a hot plate” ($28.50)

There was lots of sauce on the plate, almost overpowering the dish as it was very sweet, thick and full of garlic. I didn’t taste much of a chilli kick, but then again, I find I have quite a tolerance for chilli. There was some stir fried capsicum and onion to accompany the scallops. For $28.50 there were about eight scallops on this dish…but then again we are in Perth....
The stir fried vegetables with lemongrass and chill had a flavour I didn’t really expect. When I’ve tried lemongrass and chilli dishes before, the sauce is very thin and has a sweet/sourness of the lemongrass and a chilli kick with the chilli…This dish was less sweet/sour and more of a sweet chilli stirfry sauce. It was however, very nice in flavour.

Stir fried vegetables with lemongrass and chilli ($12.50)

Shortly after we finished our meals, our empty plates were whisked away. At around 8.30pm after being there for an hour, there was a line of 12 people waiting for a seat. This line was pretty much there for our entire meal as we were eyed-down by those waiting to eat at Lido.
Lido is obviously very popular, with an entire restaurant full and a constant line of around 12 people from 7.30pm – this restaurant has an obvious following and fan-base.
Feeling a little guilty for sitting at our table and digesting our food – taking up the opportunity for others to eat – I wanted to wait for a good 5-10 minutes to see if we would be offered any dessert menu. I gave this thought up rather quickly as I was feeling too bad for those waiting.

Our meal came to just over $80 for an entrée and three mains + rice.

Each dish had a unique flavour and with a menu longer than the line out the front of the restaurant, we’ll definitely be back to try some of the other dishes!

Highs: Quick service, tasty food, perfectly cooked scallops
Lows: Mains coming during entrée, flashing lights on restaurant window.
Overall: 7/10
Will I return? Definitely. There’s so much more I want to try!

At all times, in the corner of my eyes was the slightly distracting disco Christmas lights going crazy on the restaurant window-front. This confuses me as to why these are necessary but I drew my attention back to the beautifully smelling food in front of me.

<a href=""><img alt="Lido Restaurant Northbridge on Urbanspoon" src="" style="border:none;width:200px;height:146px" /></a>