Flying off to the sunniest capital city in the world has been always a welcoming and nostalgic feeling for us. Never mind that a cyclone was heading our way! I seem to have a penchant for attracting cyclones and typhoons everywhere I go. Having spent a significant number of years in Perth in the past, the familiar salty breeze and sprawling landscapes are warm reminders that we are home.
Perth was in its usual sleepy state as our family deplaned before sunrise. Auntie Jenny welcomed us at the arrival gate with much joy and elation that matched ours. We were then journeyed to their lovely abode where it would serve as our home base during the trip. I was in awe when we discovered that Uncle Frank keeps a small orchard which bore melons, figs, zucchinis, mulberries and even grapes. The kids were thrilled to bits seeing free-range chickens, duckies, rabbits and even parrots.
After exchanging the usual pleasantries and quick catch-ups, the first order of business was to fill our grumbling bellies with a hearty breakfast to kick-start our day. With the help of a friend, Daphne, who is based in Perth, I have gotten a list of must-eat places. Her recommendations were all pretty good! I only wished we had more time to be able to visit every single one of them.
Gusto Food is a well-regarded, unassuming café located along the picturesque Angelo Street in South Perth (86 Angelo Street, South Perth). According to all the reviews I have read, they simply serve the most amazing breakfast, great coffee and friendly service.
A queue had already formed when we got there at 8:30 AM and it shows how well-received this place is with locals. I really loved the service here. While we were in the queue, the service staff gave out donut treats in case we were all too hungry.
After a half and hour wait, we finally got seated, which wasn’t too bad. We ordered the grilled halloumi cheese with chorizo, beetroot hummus and scrambled eggs. There must have been at least 4-5 eggs in the scramble. This was really yummy especially the beetroot hummus. A highly recommended dish we ordered was the Cinnamon French toast with bacon, berries, banana, honeycomb drizzled with salted caramel. This is a caloric bomb! The sweet and savoury combination was interesting. The kids really enjoyed this dish. Portions here are extremely generous, we were too full finish it all. Food coma!
With our tummies filled, our adventure on wheels awaits. We headed to Britz, the largest vehicle rental service in the country, to collect our campervan for our road trip down South to Margaret River.
This nifty little coach housed us with the basics of home living: A fully functional kitchen, comfortable double beds and portable tables and chairs for us to enjoy our meals outside.
Next official stop on the list: Fremantle Markets.
The Fremantle Markets are a public market located on the corner of South Terrace. Built in 1897, it houses over 150 shops of craftspeople, independent purveyors of organic foods, vegetables and food retailers in the Yard and Market Hall. This place indeed has a lot of history and over the years. There had been many additions, demolitions and restorations done. In 1993, it permanently entered on the Register of Heritage Places. Indeed, it is like an institution and a must-visit for tourists on weekends. With the huge selection of locally-sourced produce, yummy eats, freshly baked breads, native products, naturopathic stores, handcrafted wares and jewellery, live music on Sundays, it is popular with locals, too.
Over the years, Freo has changed very little, except for some of the eateries along the main street. The buskers are still working their magic outside the market entrance with huge crowds gathering to watch. In my memory, Freo markets were a lot more crowded than what it was today but it still retained its charming aura. Familiar scent stores, organic stores, the French crepe store and fresh produce stores are all still around. One thing I really like is that the origin of the vegetables and fruits are being displayed to ensure everyone knows where the source is. It truly has a very strong sense of #supportlocal movement.
One stall in The Yard that caught my attention was Karanaki’s Raw Food Kitchen, stall no Y126a. Here, Chef Kara from Taranaki, NZ hence the name, serves all raw (dehydrated at 41 degrees), gluten, dairy and sugar free yummy stuff like bliss balls, smoothies, cold pressed juices and even takeaway meals. I am no yogi but I certainly do enjoy good quality raw vegan foods. Kids tried kale and raw vegan bliss balls for the first time. Eli, as usual being the more adventurous with food, was first to try the kale and bliss balls. Needless to say, bliss balls being made with cacao, was an instant hit. The bliss balls were not cheap at $3AUD per pop. I would highly recommend you guys who are interested to try, you can make your own version at perhaps a fraction of the price. Daphne, who is based in Perth now, has a fuss-free version and tons of variation to this healthy snack.
Little Creatures, right on the water’s edge in Freo, was my next pit stop. Situated on 40 Mews Rd, this place has expanded so much. 10 years ago, it only had one part of the building, with the food and craft beer brewing at the back. It was born out of love of great beer shard by a few good mates. They were particularly inspired by the pale ale they tested in the north west of the US and decided to start this little brewery. Today, Little Creatures is a well-known craft beer maker with its beers being purveyed even in Singapore. They serve pretty decent food, particularly their pizza. Great place to just chillax in the backyard with a pizza and a beer and enjoy the sunshine while kids hang out at the sand pitch. They have a free sampling of all their beers. Needless to say, the hubs was quick to order his round. It was a bummer, we missed the brewery tour that runs at 1,2, 3pm daily. I have recently heard the founders have sold off the business to Kirin and are now into their next entrepreneurial journey, property development. Wishing these guys all the best and may Kirin continue the legacy and the passion to make great artisan beers.
With our thirst quenched, we headed for a walk along the decks of Fremantle. Kids enjoyed acting silly and chasing the seagulls. The place just felt so serene and quiet and the air was pretty still. This is what the weather guys would say, the calm before the storm. The cyclone was heading our way.
After much fun and a pretty relaxed day, we decided to head home for dinner. Uncle Frank brought back fresh Coffin Bay oysters and WA tiger prawns. The tiger prawns were steamed and enjoyed naked well almost! Coffin Bay oysters are farmed in the pristine remote waters of Coffin Bay in South Australia. The most widely recognised of all Australian oysters, Coffin Bay oysters are of the Pacific series and are often seen on restaurant menus and could be described as the media darling of the mollusc world. The nutrient-rich waters of the region give these oysters an extremely salty, real sea taste and super plump flesh. Enjoyed freshly shucked with Wasabi Lemon Vinaigrette.