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SouperChef Anna Travels | Australia – Perth Perfect 

by Souperchef Anna on June 3, 2015

A New Journey Beckons

Hello friends!

There’s something about June that makes my heart skip an extra beat; it is the month we started The Soup Spoon, a humble hole-in-a-wall at Raffles City with big dreams and aspirations, wanting to transform lives and improve eating habits one bowl at a time. This year, especially, opens up exciting new possibilities for us—partnerships, collaborations and the new brand reveal for The Soup Spoon (read more about The World In One Kitchen). I am pleased to also welcome you to my personal blog.

This is 10 years in the making and I am souper stoked to be able to share with you my journey as a soupreneur, my struggles as a working mum, my travels, my soup inspirations and my love for good whole foods with the random recipes and ideas. As I shared on my Instagram, this was no easy feat for me, and I truly come to respect bloggers who seems to be able to write concisely and in an engaging manner. I struggle a little as I try to seek perfection and in the midst get confused of what I really want to write about. Thank God for good friends and also feedback from fellow Instagrammers  @elebix and @noodleoodles who gave me some pointers. I hope I don’t disappoint.

I love to travel and through my travels, I am inspired by the people I meet, foods I have eaten and the wonderful ingredients I buy, adapting and innovating them to make my version that is fuss-free, healthy, and nutritious with possibly an Asian twist.

I have a wonderful husband, Andrew, who takes beautiful pictures and two lovely kids, Isabella, 7 and Elijah 4. During the early years, it was just Andrew and myself travelling, so things were a lot simpler; backpacking, mountain climbing and staying in hostels. With the arrival of the kiddos, we were determined that we will not change our lifestyle but tweak it to include kids. We have travelled in a caravan in New Zealand when Elijah was 6 months old, hiking with Isabella in Grand Canyon when she was 10 months old. We want to instil this sense of adventure in our kids and show them the world.

 

Anna_Andrew_Perth

1990’s: Sunset at Kakadu National Park on an adventure tour. (Sorry I can’t reveal the year!)


Yosemite National Park

2007: Yosemite National Park. My first trip to the US. Isabella was 10 months old


campervan NZ with kids

2011. Our first campervan holiday in NZ. Elijah at 6 months old and Isabella at 3.5 years old. We love using these baby carriers. Highly recommended as it allows us to actually do long walks on trails where prams are not the best mode of transportation

 

Over the years with the birthing of 2 kids, I started having weight issues. Loving to eat and tasting new foods is what I am. Essentially, I was fit and fat. I exercised regularly and even completed marathons, yet always on the rotund side of things. Long working hours, eating at irregular times, and the usual suspects led to a really unhealthy me.

A year back, I made a decision to do something about my unhealthy lifestyle. I went on a 28day soup diet, 2 meals a day with any soups at The Soup Spoon, and I lost 4 kg. This taught me to be disciplined and I started reading more on how to eat clean, whole foods. I did a second round in January and lost another 4 kg. I am now happy with my weight. Why is the pic below so much smaller? LOL, creating the illusion I am not that big!

 

Souperchef Anna soupcleanse

2013 before souperdiet, Dec 2014 afer 1st round of souperdiet, Feb 2015, after 2nd round of souperdiet

 

My food philosophy has always been about no preservatives and cooked from scratch. I recently found that this is known as eating clean! It is a constant struggle and debate what constitutes clean eating but for me, it is a journey. A self-discovery of eating well and caring for my body by feeding it with simple yet, nutritious food and food made from scratch. I don’t count calories any more as I believe if I eat well, my body will take care of itself.

 

Vegan chia seed pudding with fruits

Vegan Chia seed pudding with fruits


Mexican Chicken Tortilla soup from The Soup Spoon

Souper Inspiration: Mexican Chicken Tortilla Soup with avo mash

 

In this blog, I hope to share with you my travels with kids, my inspirations, ideas, recipes and tips that are fuss-free, kid-friendly, healthy and most importantly—yummy. We can make a positive change in our lives and the lives of our children to instil good eating habits from young. They are gifts from God and the best is yet to be!

 

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Please e-mail me at souperchefanna@thesoupspoon.com if you have any queries or just to say hi. I love to hear from you if you have any feedback on how my blog can be better, or any soups or recipes you would love to see on our menu at The Soup Spoon.

You can find me on Instagram and Pinterest with the handle @souperchefanna.

Thank you for visiting and thank you for your soupport of The Soup Spoon over the years.

 

In love and gratitude,

Souperchef Anna's signature

SouperChef Anna

Perth Perfect: Day 1

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.

 

Uncle frank's backyard

Uncle Frank’s backyard

 

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.

 

Gusto Food, Perth

Gusto Food


Gusto Food Perth

This place is really popular


Gusto Food, Perth

While waiting for the food, Elijah took a peep at the queue

 

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!

 

Gusto Food Perth

Grilled halloumi cheese with chorizo, beetroot hummus and scrambled eggs.


Gusto Food Perth

The caloric laden Cinnamon French Toast with bacon, berries, grilled bananas, honeycomb and drizzled with salted caramel.

 

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.

 

Britz campervan, Perth

Our home for the next few days


Britz Campervan, Perth

Pretty spacious, I must say!

 

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.

 

Britz Campervan, Perth

The first thing I checked out: The all-important stove!


Britz Campervan, Perth

It was pretty well-equipped for this tiny space!


Britz campervan, Perth

Everything comes in a set of 4. This is something that all campervans or caravans have: A locking mechanism that when pushed in, it locks the cupboards and drawers to prevent a flurry of flying cutleries and wares!


Britz Campervan Perth

I definitely need a more well-organised kitchen with less clutter like this one at home


Britz Campervan, Perth

The kids will be seated at the back here. See the cushions and the planks? Once it is laid across, it actually becomes a bed! When not in use, we can actually lay a table across. Hard to imagine but definitely space saving!

 

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.

 

Fremantle Markets, Perth

Freo Markets as it is lovingly known

 

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.

 

Fremantle Markets, Perth

In the Market Hall


Michele's Crepe Suzette, Markets, Perth

Michele’s Crepe Suzette has been here as long as I can remember. Prices have increased quite a fair bit, too.


The Honeycake, Fremantle Markets, Perth

The HoneyCake is a delicious combination of light flavoured layers and smooth milky caramel filling topped with ground walnuts. She is really popular as free samples are given for tasting.


Fremantle Markets

Local produce in The Yard. Just awesome.


Fremantle Markets

Fresh mushrooms for the pickings


Fremantle Markets

Seasonal produce. Plums, nectarines and pears are at their peak in March.


Fremantle Markets

Asparagus and zucchinis. They have to label where the produce comes from.

 

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.

 

Fremantle Markets

Kale chips


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Black Forest Bliss balls. Bliss balls essentially like chocolate truffles, but just raw and vegan and plain healthier! These babies were made with cacao, cacao nibs, dates, cranberries and rolled in coconut.

 

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.

 

Little Creatures Brewery

Premises of Little Creatures Brewery


Little Creatures Brewery, Fremantle

At the Brewhouse, free tastings are conducted


Little Creatures Brewery, Fremantle

All this for free!


Little Creatures Brewery, Fremantle

Tasting notes for the sample platter. I looove to read these notes. Make me feel like a pro…

 

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.

 

Fremantle, WA

Edge of the waters in Freo


Fremantle, WA

James Bond? Nah? Most likely some Superhero or Nick Jr character!

 

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.

 

Coffinbay oysters

Freshly shucked Coffinbay oysters enjoyed with wasabi lemon vinaigrette


WA tiger prawns

Steamed WA tiger prawns. Super fresh!

Perth Perfect: Day 2

You can call our first day at Perth a rather eventful one, but the rain was pretty intense come nighttime. (the cyclone has officially reached Perth). We, at least I could hear the lashings of rain and howling winds as we slept in the campervan. Thankfully, the sky cleared up the next morning.

For breakfast, we had something quick and fuss free: Sliced figs from the garden with strawberries , Greek yoghurt with a drizzle of honey.

 

Figs and yoghurt

Figs from the garden for breakfast

 

We met Jin, a Uni friend, and her husband for lunch at a recommended place by @brendon_fernandez. This time around, it was a tapas place in Leederville called Pinchos, 749 Newcastle St. The waitress was lovely and recommended her favourites on the menu. The food came out at a nice pace and presented beautifully. The food itself was sooooo tasty and came in huge portions for tapas. We over-ordered because we thought that it would really be served in small plates. It was a relatively good value considering we ordered sooo much. The only gripe ? It has a tiny open kitchen and it got smoky at one point during our lunch. Our clothes reeked of smoke long after.

 

Pinchos, Perth

Pinchos with a lively vibe


Pinchos, Perth

Slow-cooked beef cheeks with cauliflower puree and mojo verde sauce


Pinchos Perth

Fish and squid with ajo blanco and zucchini salad. The squid was really well cooked, and I absolutely loved the ajo blanco. So nutty yet creamy!


Pinchos Perth

Gazpacho salad: A soup-inspired salad with tomatoes, capsicum, crispy bread, basil, onions and arugula.


Pinchos Perth

Pan arabe (flatbread, saffron labne, olives, beets, grapes and dukkah)


Pinchos, Perth

A selection of chistorra (grilled basque pork sausage) with jammon serrano (shaved spanish ham) served with fennel salad.


Pinchos Perth

Isabella’s favourite: Albondigas meatballs with tomato, candied eggplant, yoghurt and pinenuts.


Pinchos Perth

Chicharrones: Fried pork belly with cumin and lemon. Very crispy and lean, yet still quite juicy. Smoke ham and chicken croquettas, Eli’s fav of the day. Served with aioli saice.


Pinchos Perth

Patata bravas: Paprika potatoes with tomato and aioli. Well-executed but doesn’t really wow. Gazpacho: A cold tomato soup served in a cocktail glass, full of flavour and tang.

 

Jin recommended that we head to Perth for our caffeine fix. LaVeen was highly recommended and we got there in a nick of time just before they were closed for the Sunday. The staff was kind enough to make us two lattes but to go which we were so grateful.

La Veen Coffee and Kitchen is located in the Perth CBD, on 90 King St, housed in a historic building with lovely interiors. Along this street is home to luxury brands with the likes of Prada, LV and Chanel which I never knew Perth had them (at least not in the 90s when I was a student)

 

La Veen, Perth

La Veen located in a historical building, in CBD Perth


La Veen, Perth

Nice interiors


La Veen, Perth

Look at the number of hoppers they have! Serious business indeed.


La Veen, Perth

La Veen cuppa of yumminess

 

Absolutely stuffed from lunch, we were happy to take a a stroll in the city with my coffee on hand. The kids were amazed by the numerous wall arts or graffiti if some may want to call them, they kept on spotting as we walked about, so we took a couple of photos of them with these fantastic backdrops. Actually, we had a hard time explaining to the kids! We had to tell them that actually this is not really right if the artist is not given permission to do so and that would be vandalism, and we need to teach kids to respect others. This was so because I have a 4 year old, that has drawn on walls at home, on his bedsheets and just everything he can get his hands own. We really did not want to give him any ideas! Little did we know there were part of something even bigger.

 

Dolus, underground street artist, Perth

Fashionistas wannabe? Nah, just really cute posers!

 

The street art that you see here is by the infamous underground Perth street artist going by the moniker Dolus. What started as graffiti when he was in school, is now a passion. He got into trouble with the law and he actually stopped. But, his love rekindled after a friend asked him to help for some stencilling work. Now he is back on the streets, living a life filled with adrenalin, stencilling his work with a message, making a social comment and to get people smiling. In a warped way, he wants to leave treasures for those who walk on the streets, a reason to look around instead of into our screens. Not easy to live a double life and be on the lookout for the police every time you are out creating your art pieces. Recently, he was commissioned to do an exhibition and I heard it was wildly successful. To read more of the elusive Dolus please, check out more of his works here.

 

Stencil art by Dolus, Perth

Stencil art by Dolus. It looks like Pied Piper to me. What do you guys think?

 

For dinner, we had Roasted Snapper with Duo-Colour Kumara, sweet potato with fresh thyme, chopped kalamata olives and white wine finished with a squeeze of lemon from the backyard. Everyone enjoyed this dish tremendously with a good bottle of wine.

 

Roasted snapper with duo kumara

Roasted snapper with duo kumara

 

These are the moments I truly live for: Spending time with my family, eating good food and a overall just having a good time.

Perth Perfect: Day 3

by Souperchef Anna on

 

It was a beautiful sunny morning as we embarked on our third day at Perth. No rain in sight! Phew! A quick healthy breakfast before heading down south this morning consisted of granola with Greek yoghurt, Kelsey plums, strawberries, precose pears, figs and white nectarines and topping it all with a drizzle of wild honey. Really needed this after the heavy lunch yesterday.

 

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Granola with greek yoghurt , fresh fruits and honey

 

We did a pitstop to let kids play on the beach. Our initial plan was to go to the Dolphin Discovery Centre at Busselton but it seemed that the dolphins would not be coming in at all for the day.

 

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The beach babes at play.

 

It was almost lunch time and we headed to The Goose at Busselton.(Geographe BayRd, next to the Jetty).  It had a pretty beach bar and kitchen directly on the beachfront, with exceptional views of Busselton Jetty, Geographe Bay and Cape Naturaliste. I  loved the deck outside! It was windy and pretty chilly but the warm rays of sunshine made up for it all. A fuss free casual restaurant; you simply order at the counter and food gets served to you.

 

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The blue timber strips mimic those of the one on the Jetty.

 

We ordered 3 portions to share: French-style mussels, double cream, white wine, fresh thyme served with grilled sour dough and saffron aioli. Food wise, it was a little salty to my liking. The mussels were executed well, but the sauce was a little too rich for me, but it was still pretty good. The kids, on the other hand, had the classic fish & chips which had a nice, crispy batter. Huge portions here so do not over order! Can be a little pricey but the view is well worth it.

 

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A big plate of French style blue mussels cooked in white wine, fresh thyme and saffron aioli. I think perhaps they could skip the double cream as it was just way too creamy. The mussels were really nicely done, not at all overcooked.


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Battered WA mackerel, chips and slaw. Kids loved the crispy batter yet not oily.


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As a soup enthusiast, of course this is a must order! I would think this is a made to order seafood chowder. Pretty heavy in my opinion and a tad salty perhaps due to the smoked salmon. Good premium ingredients used hence the hefty price tag of $34.5 AUD. A little expensive as the portion was not really huge. But great to have tons of bread to have with this. The wilted spinach and the lemony taste made the difference for me.

 

Extending 1.8km over the protected waters of Geographe Bay, the heritage listed Jetty is the longest timber piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere. I have read at the Interpretive Center that construction of the jetty began in 1865, but was only fully completed after 90 years with all its extensions. It was created to actually service ship vessels in the Port but once the port closed in 1973, the jetty was slowly left to its ruins and was battered really badly when it suffered the crippling effects of Cyclone Alby in 1978. The Busselton community through fundraising activities, managed to rebuild it to what it is today!  Besides just a heritage monument, the Jetty is an amazing testament of the spirit and dedication of the community.

Having visited Busselton Jetty umpteenth times, we actually never took the infamous train before being budget conscious Uni students and working adults previously. This would the kids first and our first as well. The weather was lovely, so why not?

 

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Just lovely the blue hues here!


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The short choo choo ride! Once we reach the other side, we only had perhaps 10 minutes before boarding the train back in the other direction. That is our train master in the background.

 

After the train ride, kids decided they were going to do levitation. We must have taken like a 100 pics of them jumping. No one was in a hurry and this is why we always love to travel free and easy, so we can take take our own time and not rush. If we needed to take longer at a certain place, we just stayed on. This freedom and flexibility is fiercely cherished and we do so hope our kids will grow up remembering these fun holidays we had.

 

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Levitation 101


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Mama, Look i can fly!


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Hippety hop! Isabella is pretty good at this!

 

Our first winery for the trip: Cape Mentelle. It is one of the founding wineries in the Margaret River region and is currently under LVMH group of wineries. Bought a few bottles of wine. We would have loved to attend the degustation tour but unfortunately the tour guide called in sick. We stayed back for another ½ hour hanging out in the lawns, kids being silly and playing on the swings.

 

Cape Mentelle

Our loot comprising of 2012 Walcliffe Sauvignon Blanc, Blanc semillon with lime undertones. Shiraz 2012, full bodied and peppery with a hint of plums. I am no wine connosseur, and friends who know me know I don’t really drink, probably due to intoxication during my hey days. But i do love bubblies and dessert wines. The last bottle, my favourite, a sweet dessert wine from 2011, made from Shiraz. Almost tasted like brandy!


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The highly recommended wine pairing with food degustation, but was a bummer the lady conducting it call in sick for the next few days!

 

In the summer months, Cape Mentelle operates movies under the star at the sprawling lawns with wine and bar foods like pizza. Would have loved the kids to be able to experience it . Unfortunately with the looming cyclone and the expected downpour, the event was cancelled!

 

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Movies night was unfortunately cancelled

We checked in at Riverview Tourist Park, our home for the next 2 nights.

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Complimentary wifi very essential! It was slow when everyone got on the bandwidth in the evening but hey it is free, but they did not promise it will be at lightning speed.


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The front office, very typical of tourist parks. Usually, it is also a small supplies store, you can do tour bookings etc.

 

I must say that the campervan was pretty well equipped. It started pretty dramatic though, as the electricity was all discharged and we had no lights so it was a mad rush to cook dinner for 2 hungry kids! I made a mixed salad with heirloom cherry tomatoes, goat’s cheese and figs from Uncle Frank’s garden. Freshly squeezed lime and a dash of evo. Yums!

 

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We eat well! All this beautiful and fresh produce that can be pretty expensive in Singapore. This would have costed us a bomb to buy heirloom tomatoes on the vine at Jason’s Marketplace. Mesculun mix, heirloom tomatoes, figs, with goats cheese.

 

The kids were craving for pasta so I whipped up something quick: Fresh linguine tossed with mushrooms, lean bacon, heirloom cherry tomatoes and finished with a little cream and a dash of white wine and freshly chopped parsley. For a quick campervan-friendly pasta, click here for the full recipe.

Saving grace was hubs actually brought along a torch light for the trip! We would be in complete darkness while we were having dinner if not for the torch light! The kids thought it was really funny and kept giggling throughout dinner and everyone took turns to hold the huge torch. Thank God as we were attempting to set up the bedding, the lights came on. The skies were so clear and as the night fell and as we looked up, we could see the twinkling stars  which we don’t normally see in our city of lights in Singapore. It was indeed a good memory not just for me, but for the kids, as well.

Perth Perfect: Day 5

We were getting the tail end of the cyclone and the weather has turned slightly chilly in the morning. For breakfast, we made my chunky version of shakshuka with chopped tomatoes, French beans, mushrooms, free-range eggs, basil and goat’s cheese. We did not any cumin, and my kids were not absolutely big fans of this spice, hence my kids friendly version sans cumin. I added my dukkah recipe instead. Kids had a blast helping me crack the eggs and put the ingredients together. We had fresh wholemeal bread with the dish and every bit was mopped up clean!

 

Margaret River

Ingredients for shakshuka

 

Isabella helping to make breakfast at Margaret River

Isabella trying to be a good assistant cook. But she accidentally dropped an egg and made mama a little cross . I must remind myself that she is a kid and just wanted to be helpful.


Margaret River, making of shakshuka

Took a shot of how the tomatoes have cooked down to glorious goodness


Shakshuka, Margaret River

Kiddos trying their skill at helping mama be food models. Eli definitely is a lot more cooperative when it comes to asking him to pose with some of the food. LOL.


Shakshuka, Margaret River

My favourite hand model! Andrew captured this shot nicely. It was unintentional that Isabella happened to be dressed in her ballet whites.

 

Before leaving the tourist park, kiddos insisted we took some silly family shots together with different emotions.

 

Family shot in tourist park in Margaret River

Isabella can do the one eye wink really well and Eli is trying hard to mimic.


Family pic at Riverview Tourist Park, Margaret River

And now finally a decent family photo. Tons of others either had one of us not looking, looking in the wrong direction or with our already tiny eyes shut! With the age of digital photography, we can now all choose our shots and see it immediately which the kids loved to do after every shot! And they love to hold the remote control and take turns at it.

 

Onwards to our next pitstop in search for caffeine. We stumbled across Temper Temper (2 Rosa Brook Road, Margaret River), a café that has a really nice field outside, free tastings of handcrafted chocolates made on the premise, friendly barista and just generally a great chillax place with lots of food magazines and cushions. The kiddos even brought their own snakes and ladders. No iPads, no iPhones.

 

Temper Temper at Margaret River

Temper Temper at Margaret River


Temper Temper at Margaret River

Loving the cosy interiors with cushions on seats made from crates.


Temper Temper at Margaret River

Isn’t this a great chillax place? I can see myself relaxing here over a cuppa and browsing my favourite magazines.


Temper Temper at Margaret River

Chocolate vanilla cupcakes with little dragonfly caught the kids attention.


Temper Temper at Margaret River

Elijah looking at one of the children’s books they have. He can’t read yet, so browsing at pics is absolute a favourite of his. Later, papa actually sat and read to both the kids while I happily had my cuppa. Bliss! Thank you Lord for these moments.


Temper Temper at Margaret River

A specialty here. You ask for a hot chocolate and you get served a glass of steamed milk with froth and a little bowl with handmade chocolate chips. KIds would have fun either eating them on its own, and the proper way adding the chocolate to the steamed milk and let it all melt to make awesome hot chocolate.


Temper Temper at Margaret River

My little hand model! How they have grown. Less chubby and stubby now.


Temper Temper at Margaret River

My much needed caffeine fix, very decent quality coffee


Temper Temper at Margaret River

Brother and sister enjoying a game of snakes and laddders. An absolute favourite they will pack when we go on hoildays.

 

This is what holidays are about. Running in the fields, playing frisbee and enjoying each other’s company.

 

Temper Temper at Margaret River

Look mama, I caught it!

 

The morning started out pretty relaxing indeed. With not much agenda for the day, we took our time to drive to the next pitstop, the Bootleg Brewery, where they brew beers on premise, the first brewery in Margaret River. Andrew enjoyed a beer while the kids had fun in the sand pitch.

 

Bootleg Brewery, Margaret River

Interesting name. Bootleg brewery.. A legal illegal brewery! LOL


Bootleg Brewery, Margaret River

This place is made for families. Huge outdoor seating, a playground for the kids and a huge field for the kids to run around and enjoy themselves and parents never losing sight of their kids.

 

We headed to Eagle Bay Brewing Co in Dunsborough (236 Eagle Bay Rd, Naturaliste) for lunch. This pitstop was on my recommended list and we are so glad we went although it was pretty far up in the coast and not exactly along the way for us. This place serves really good honest comfort food I reckon, and sprawling lawns for the kids to run around. This place started off as a winery and now it brews beer too. I think this is becoming a common sight in Margaret River, with crafted beers brewed alongside the harvesting of grapes. There are many independent breweries too situated in this beautiful precinct. Contrary to what people would conjure up images of breweries with huge steel vats in an industrial estate. A lovely disruption indeed to be able to enjoy handcrafted beers with a scenery to boot.

 

Eagle Bay Brewing Co, Margaret River

We are here! Finally! Souper duper late lunch


Eagle Bay Brewing Co, Margaret River

Has a shop front where one can purchase six pack beers and other local produce like artisan chocolates like Bahen & Co, cookbooks of the region and just some souvenirs like t-shirts, too.

 

Kudos to the Executive Chef Rupert Brown with the seasonal menu and an organic vegetable and herb garden on site. Reminds me of Thomas Keller’s garden in the Napa Valley albeit a much smaller scale.

 

Eagle Bay Brewing Co, Margaret River

Eli wanted to take a photo with the tomato on the vine.

 

The wood fired pizza was good. Loved the combination of Piri Piri chicken with goat’s cheese, pumpkin, pepitas and sliced green chilli. There was a nice heat to the dish. Perhaps the pumpkin could be a little more roasted. Huge serving that would feed 2.

 

Eagle Bay Brewing Co, Margaret River

Piri piri chicken pizza, so yummy! Loved the thinly sliced green chillies that was from their garden. It gave that little bit of heat that made this pizza stood out!

 

According to the staff, it was the first day of the launch for the autumn menu. I had the vegetarian lentil and sesame fritters, spiced pickled eggplant and a carrot and coriander raita. The eggplants were so yummy.

 

Eagle Bay Brewing Co, Margaret River

Vegetarian lentil sesame fritters. I cant get enough of the spicy pickled eggplant!

 

Coffee and cake followed. Rhubarb and sour cream crumble cake with mascarpone and rhurbarb sauce.

 

Eagle Bay Brewing Co, Margaret River

Rhubarb cake was delicious. Our first cake dessert on this holiday. Servings are always so huge, and by the time I was done, there was just no room for dessert.

 

The place was pretty crowded with lots of young families with kids. Isabella and Elijah started playing with one of the girls and we enjoyed a cuppa with the daddy who was visiting from London. This are truly moments I cherish, meeting complete strangers and striking up conversations, exchanging travel stories. Awesome!

 

Eagle Bay Brewing Co, Margaret River

The crowd was mainly young families .


Eagle Bay Brewing Co, Margaret River

Hello, my name is Elijah, can we play together? Eli is definitely a lot more social and would always be nudged by her older sister to get things done.


Eagle Bay Brewing Co, Margaret River

A quick shot of the kids together before saying goodbye.

 

The kids refused to go. What was supposed to be a 1.5 hour lunch turned into a leisurely 3.5 hour lunch and afternoon tea. It did not matter as we were not in a hurry. We did have plans to visit the lighthouse, an ice cream place and a wood fire bakery, but all could wait. My travel philosophy may not be agreed upon but to me, there was just no point rushing from one point to another in the aim of snapping a few photos and posting Been there, Done that.

The days were getting shorter too, so we headed back into town to look for a tourist park to rest for the night. We stayed in Big4 Peppermint Park Eco Village. This place is expensive! Sorry I can’t remember how much it was now, but from my lousy memory, expensive, almost double of what we paid! I suppose the reason why the rates here are so much more expensive than our previous tourist park perhaps is the locale right the beach and has swimming pool facilities. We were truly stuffed and kids were really tired. So all we did was had a salad with whatever leftover ingredients in the fridge, a beautiful baby beets, figs, heirloom cherry tomatoes, dressed with evoo, lemon juice, dill and mint with goat’s cheese. Amazing colours and flavours! This dish  inspired us to create the B.F.F. Stew, one of the Aussie Souper Inspirations for the month of June. Kids had beef ravioli with tomato basil sauce. It was getting really dark so no picture of this dish was taken.

 

Beautiful beet salad with figs, heirloom tomatoes mint and goats cheese

Beautiful beet salad with figs, heirloom tomatoes mint and goats cheese

 

As we lay in bed that evening, I can’t help but feel a tinge of sadness, that it was gonna be our last night out in the South. We would be heading back to Perth the next day.

Perth Perfect: Day 6

by Souperchef Anna on

 

I am no tiger mum, but the kids were given some holiday work to be completed so here they were spending some time doing some Maths problems. Eli recently had been requesting us to give him additions and subtractions so it was fun seeing him using his toes when the sums get more than 10.

 

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Kids were all ready to help for breakfast. I recently came across Jamie Oliver’s one-cup ingredients pancake so decided to give it a try as all we have are mugs and no measuring jug or scales. Check out my adapted pancake version here.

Pretty stoked that his recipe for the one-cup ingredients worked out really well. The pancakes were nice and fluffy. Added precose pears, strawberries which were getting a little too ripe and Fuji apples inside the batter. This makes the batter sweet without having to add too much sugar. Topped with Margaret River pot set yoghurt, granola, figs and grapes and a drizzle of honey. Kids would want Nutella with these, too. This is a great base for savoury pancakes which I will try in the future. It also goes really well with my Aussie-inspired brekkie with poached eggs recipe.

 

Pancakes for breakfast

Having a buffet at breakfast, Isabella adding whatever she wanted to go with her pancakes


Pancakes for breakfast

Trying to steal the plums or helping me place a piece of mint on top of the pancakes? All I can say, I have a future food stylist and chef in the brood!


Pancakes for breakfast

Eli giving the thumbs up with his pancakes with yoghurt and nutella! Too busy focusing on his breakfast to look at the camera.


Kids enjoying pancakes for breakfast

One of my favourite pictures for the trip. Our breakfast cooked on wheels, and enjoying our breakfast in the open air! We got threatened with raindrops a couple of times before this, but it will never deter us from having our brekkie outside. The kids just wore their raincoats! To them this is what fun is about.

 

We actually have a pretty tight schedule as we needed to get back to Perth by 5pm in the evening. But as usual, our social ways get the better of us. While we we packing up, kids met a German family with 2 girls. So it was endless giggly fun playing catching and running . Another hour went by exchanging travel tips and what camera we used, travelling with kids, best places to eat in Singapore, places to visit in Germany. It was their last day here and they were flying back to Germany the next day. The mummy asked me how to make tom yum soup and ingredients needed. Loved to share this snippets of information of our Asian culture and foods.

 

Kids in caravan park

Priceless pics of kids meeting friends from all over the world! This will never happen if we only stay in hotels when we go on holidays. For sure, we get all the modern comfort, but to me, seeing the kids have fun and entertain themselves, brings a smile in my heart. Aren’t these kids beautiful, the little one especially. These little girls can’t speak a word of English and neither can my kids speak German, but they still managed to have fun. Truly, play is the international language for kids.


Families in caravan park

And finally, it was really time to say goodbye and checkout. Loved this pic. We stayed past the checkout time! Amazing that they even impose a 10am checkout time for tourist parks and all we had to do was drive off!

 

On the way back to Perth, we stopped to get some woodfired bread from Yallingup Wood Fired Bakery (7 McLachlan Rd, Quindalup).

 

Yallingup Woodfired Bakery, Margaret River

Feels like a scene out of a cowboy movie.


Yallingup Woodfired Bakery, Margaret River.

Give us our daily bread, stoneground, biodynamic please!

 

It was pity they were not baking the breads at the time we were there. The baker informed us that they usually bake the bread in the afternoon, as they needed to fire up the oven with the wood blocks and that takes a pretty long time. He was kind enough to give us a history of the place while showing us around. They specialise in handcrafted traditional bread made from locally biodynamic grown grain stoneground to the finest flour. The bread is then gently mixed, can carefully fermented over many hours.

TIP: Best time to be there: 5pm, that is when the freshly baked breads come out of the oven, and the place is bread heaven with scents of fresh bread permeating the air with slightly burnt notes.

 

Woodfire oven, Yallingup Woodfired Bakery

Baker checking the oven. The oven is built from volcanic stones and are heated by the flickering flames of a woodfire.


Woodfire oven, Yallingup Woodfire Bakery

Once the oven is ready, the loaves will be placed on the hot stone and baked till they are well done.


Yallingup Woodfired Bakery, Margaret River

Rustic or rusty?


Yallingup Woodfired Bakery

Bread pans used here in the rustic environment


Yallingup Woodfired Bakery, Margaret River

When no one is around, you can still get breads. This is the wonderful trust system, just leave the money into the container and collect your own change and choose the bread of your choice. We grabbed the fruit loaf, so fill of figs, raisins and apricots.

 

Simmo’s icecreamery (161 Commonage Rd, Quindalup) was a sweet treat for the kids! It was really just further down the road from the bakery. It was not crowded at all, as we were there on weekday late morning.

 

Simmos Icecreamery

This place is huge, huge playground facilities, mini golf, a maze and huge carpark with plenty of lots. I could not imagine coming here on weekends in summer!


SImmo's Icecreamery

Interesting signs they put up around the place. Isabella enjoying her chocolate ice cream! My ice cream princess! Eli on the other hand, is the opposite. He does not particularly like ice cream, only the cone would be what he wants.

 

Lunch was by the beach. We have beach babies, our kids love to pick seashells, and play with sand. While they were enjoying themselves, I prepared lunch, a salmon and quinoa chowder inspired by the seafood chowder we had at The Goose Beach and Bar Kitchen. I wanted to make a healthier version for the kids and also use the leftover ingredients in the pantry. Yes, we over packed for the road trip!

 

Dunsborough Beach

The waterproof camera was a gift to Isabella when she was 3 years old with the addition of baby brother Elijah into the family. Why such an expensive gift? It was advice given to us by friends to ensure that Isabella did not feel left out with a new member. We told her, she would now need to take pics of Elijah. It is waterproof and we have encased it in a rubber protection. Drop proofness mighty important! 4 years on, the camera is still intact and working! Good gift idea!


Dunsborough Beach

Isabella found an empty fresh pasta box from the previous night’s dinner and asked me whether she can have it. She had used it as an impromptu carrier to be filled with seashells in all sorts of sizes. This has been a holiday tradition for us. Since she was 10 months old, we collected stones, pretty unique ones gathered from our hiking trips to Grand Canyon to sea shells from the Santa Monica beach, Lake Tekapo in NZ and shells from our Taiwan trip are there to decorate the shelves at home. We now have the plain Ikea glass vases full of shells and stones and all to remind her of the places she has been. She came and told me “Mama, look at all these pretty shells”. They were old shaped ones all awashed with sand still. That innocence, we certainly hope to enjoy it a little longer before she becomes too worldy and practical like us.

 

Dunsborough Beach

Calling once, calling twice, lunch is ready!

 

A one pot meal made with fresh Tasmanian salmon with tri-colour quinoa, kumara (sweet potato), sweetcorn, fennel and dill. I crisped the salmon skin as I did not want to throw away the omega 3 goodness. With leftover avocados and heirloom tomatoes, I made a quick salsa to complement the chowder.

 

Slicing of fennel

Showing off my red beet stained nails and perhaps lousy knife cutting skills!


Perth-3024

Ok, the chowder looks way too thick now, but trust me it was rib sticking good!


Perth-3065

I have seen Chinese restaurants selling it on their menu, so I decided to try it out, and I must say it was yummy.


Salmon quinoa chowder

Lunch is served! The salmon quinoa chowder is ready.


Dunsborough Beach, Britz campervan

Our mobile kitchen was perfect.

 

Slmon quinoa chowder, food styling

Salmon and quinoa chowder with an avo tomato salsa and crisp salmon skin. No wastage! Everything can be eaten. Some freshly ground black pepper would be a mighty companion.

 

This is the first time the kids had quinoa and they absolutely adore it. I was quite worried at first as they may not like it. There was no way on any occasion at home, I could have gotten Elijah to take fennel.

TIP: Soups and chowders are great way to feed kids veggies without them knowing.

 

Isabella enjoying her chowder, Dunsborough Beach

Isabella finished a whole bowl and asked for seconds. To any mums, this is the best compliment for our cooking, wont you agree with me?

 

Perth traffic has definitely gotten heavier in my opinion. There were significantly a lot more cars now, probably with the population boom due the increase in mining activities and Australia’s migration policies.

We got back just in time for our small bar walking tour conducted by Ryan, the operator of  Two Feet and a Heartbeat. Now, most of you would probably be thinking “Seriously? Does Perth even have a night scene? Aren’t they all just the traditional pubs with men in long beards having a drink?” LOL. My exact sentiments. I was pleasantly surprised.There has been a quiet revolution taking place all over Perth with all these inconspicuous small bars opening their doors on laneways and alleys. It is hopeful that with the emergence of these small bars, that people will drink more sensibly, cater to a wider crowd who just wants to hangout after work, have a good time with friends, and not necessarily in the rowdy environment of pubs and the traditional sports tavern. It is to also created with the aim of bringing people back into the city out of office hours to make Perth a more livelier place to work and live in.

This tour was more like a history tour through the Perth district, learning Perth’s transformation from a port with warehouses to what it is today, with a new nightlife and cultural scene catering to a much more well heeled and sophisticated crowd. I have learnt more about Perth than I ever did over the 5 years I stayed as student in the 90s. The 3 hour walking tour saw us visiting small bars and restaurants in the least conspicuous, somewhat secretive locales that not many know. You can read more about my experience here.

Ryan was a great host, introducing us to the small bar operators, some entrepreneurs themselves, sharing their stories, what they do.   We strolled through back alleys painted with street art. Little did we know, these were all commissioned by FORM to bring art to the people and make the back alleys of Perth the talk of town.

 

Small Bar tour, Perth, Two Feet and a Heartbeat

Street art commissioned by FORM


Street art, Two feet and a heartbeat, Perth, Small bar tour

Encounter of the 3rd kind?

 

Thank you Ryan for being such a gracious and knowledgable host. Our tour exceeded 3 hours as we shared our entrepreneurial journeys, exchange notes and just life in general over some drinks at Choo Choo’s.

 

Perth-3438

 

It was time to say goodbye and to go home to the kids. The tour took approximately 3 hours. It was indeed a memorable experience to be able to explore Perth via the various nooks and crannies and shed a different light on a city I thought I knew pretty well.

Perth Perfect: Day 7

by Souperchef Anna on

 

We met up with Ann, my bestie from Singapore. She would use to come and help me out on the weekends when we just started the business. We have this special bond and I am really humbled and thankful for her friendship. We may not see each other that often these days due to our busy schedules and kids, but it was a good opportunity to catch up as she was heading to Perth with the family, too.

 

Anna, Ann and kids, Perth, Sayers Sister

Anna, Ann and the boys

 

We wished we could visit all the places that my friend Daphne recommended, but we just had limited time. On the list was Bib and Tucker situated in North Fremantle (18 Leighton Beach Blvd). The reviews were pretty mixed for this place but what a gorgeous view the café/restaurant has. That was enough for us as we wanted a place to hangout and let the kids play.

 

Bib & Tucker, Perth

Bib & Tucker entrance


Bib & Tucker, Perth

Clear Blue skies, deep blue waters and white sandy beach! Almost picture perfect! This is the view from Bib & Tucker!

 

When we sat down, this wait staff  brought us some drawing stuff with crayons for the kids. Eli and Isabella started fighting and making a scene as usual over who gets what colour. The wait staff was really cool about it brought us more for the kids to share. He seems to really understand kids as he has a little girl of his own quickly puts us parents more at ease. I must admit I do agree with the reviews thus far in terms of service. It can be difficult to get their attention, seems a little aloof at times and almost distant to the extent. He was probably the only bright spot and kudos for that!

 

Perth, Bib & Tucker

Pretty crowded place. We saw cyclists and runners coming in for breakfast or just to grab a cuppa. Pretty nice interiors. This place serves breakfast, lunch and has dinner service too.


Cuppa, Bib & Tucker, Perth

A cuppa before ordering our food


Breakfast pizza at Bib & Tucker

For sharing: Breakfast pizza with charred bacon, 2 eggs, mushrooms, fresh spinach and buffalo mozarella. KIds loved this.


Bib & Tucker, Perth

Smashed avo on corn bread with feta, quinoa, rocket, cherry tomatoes and a side of poached egg. Really filling. The corn bread dense and flavourful.


Breakfast, bib & tucker, perth

Pancake stack with bananas for the kids

It was great day out and we even had a stroll by the beach too. How could the kids resist?

North Fremantle beach, Bib and Tucker

All smiles!

 

The subject of kids, catching up on what has been going in our lives, work, our dreams and aspirations of coming back to retire in the future filled our conversations that morning. It had been awesome day for the kids to play together. We loved this so much that we decided that do it again the next day! And to end the great meal with funny faces!

 

Bib and Tucker, Perth

I think we were meant to do scary, or was it angry faces? LOL. We were all just doing our own things.

 

We headed back to Perth to explore the city to see the lunch crowd, new notable concepts, consumer behaviours. It was what all business owners would do, an incurable disease! Everytime we visited a new place, this is something we absolutely loved to do, benchmarking spending habits, looking at productivity of businesses, designs of stores and their layouts, trends and seeing how we can improve what we do in Singapore. I get really inspired too when you see how some dishes are executed and sets me thinking how I can innovate for my next Souper Inspiration.

 

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We went back to check out Brookfield Place to see the crowd at lunch time


The Print Hall, Perth

On the first floor of the Print Hall is The Print Hall bar & dining room. Apparently, there is a dress code and can’t enter wearing flip flops. Most of the clientele visiting are probably office people for lunch meetings. The original timber and terrazzo detailing has been restored here creating a sophisticated dining experience.


The Apple Daily, Perth

Part of the multi floor concepts in The Print Hall situated with the Brookfield Place mixed development. This place used to be the newspaper house, hence the names THe Print Hall and The Apple Daily


Print Hall, Perth

Bob’s Bar named after Bob Hawke, Australia’s 3rd longest serving Prime Minister, this rooftop bar provides a great view of the talling buildings, a place to relax and lounge around. The only gripe i had was the smoke from the kitchen being released into the environment. I would say it is nice place in the evening but not really during the hot summer days.


The Print Hall, Perth

The newspaper lined staircase speaks of the history of this place

Perth Perfect: Day 8

Our flight was at 2 am the next morning, so we actually have a full day in Perth. Squeezing in as much as we could, we ticked off another must-go breakfast place in the city. It was Sayers Sister in Northbridge (236 Lake St) this time. Highly recommended. Being foodies that we are, we met Ann again for brunch. We were really late when we got there as the GPS was totally unreliable, making us park so far away, right in Northbridge itself and we had to walk for 15 minutes to get to the café. Be prepared to wait for a table especially on weekends as there is always a queue. It was well worth the wait for a table.  By then, we were souper douper hungry and ordered lots this time. The food was amazing.

 

Sayers Sister, Northbridge

The relaxed environment we loved with cool vibes. Beautiful day to sit outside and watch the cars go by.


The Sayers Sister, Northbridge

The quirky interiors, the purposefully mismatched furniture, all done with artsy flair! uber cool indeed!


Sayers Sister, Northbridge

Waffles with glazed apricots, cacao crumble and the yummilicious blood orange sorbet. Highly reccomended!


Sayers Sister, Northbridge

Pulled pork and melted brie sandwich, pear and ginger chutney, pickled red cabbage and apple slaw. The slaw was really good, beyond amazing.

 

It was the first time I had cauliflower rice and I absolutely fell in love it. Loving it so much that I decided to actually put it on our menu but mixed in with quinoa.

 

Sayers Sister, Northbridge

Seared barramundi, a date cashew apricot and cauliflower cous cous, pine nuts, green beans and a salsa verde. Just loved the texture and the fruity taste. The cooked down fruit chutney was savoury yet tart. This was actually from the lunch menu. And it is my favourite.


Sayers Sister, Northbridge

How can anyone resist a Pimms and Lemonade with fresh fruits?

 

We had coffees while the kiddos sipped on their juices. Conversations were intense as we try to catch up with all the happenings around us. Isn’t it interesting that although we stayed in the small city we have to do our catching up in Perth. Such are the idiosyncrasies in life.

Uncle Frank, an avid recreational fisherman, invited us for a fun afternoon at Woodman Jetty. Activity: to catch scallops. His friend is a pretty good diver and would go on fishing trips in Exmouth. In Perth, the world is indeed your oyster, or abalone. With a permit, you are allowed to catch seafood in a sustainable manner. There are size requirements and you are not allowed to break this law. They even have peeps from the Fishery Department on patrol at the jetties and at places they know are popular with amateurs. I heard that they would check your catch of the day with measuring tapes!

 

Woodman jetty, scallops, Perth

Woodman Jetty where we had fun in the afternoon awaiting our haul of scallops


Woodman Jetty, scallop diving, Perth

The MAN in the diving suit. Pretty cold waters i can assure you.


Mussels, Perth

Black mussels growing on the beams that support the jetty. They thrive with the salty waters bringing food to them while they grow attached with their beard to the structure of the jetty. Isabella and Elijah were just having so much fun.


Scallops, fishing, diving, Perth

The catch of the day! Scallops, my very first time seeing fresh scallops!


Woodman Jetty, scallop, Perth

A perfect scallop shell. This is the first time I have held a raw scallop. I never knew they really looked like seashell. Most importantly, I always thought they were white shells, and not so rough looking. This experience is indeed precious.


Woodman Jetty, scallops, Perth

Freshly shucked, I enjoyed raw freshly caught scallop for the first time. We had the privilege to experience freshly shucked scallops. Nothing needed when they are this fresh. The flesh is really sweet coupled with the briny seawater, I was in gastronomic heaven.

 

For a half an hour dive, we went home with 60 scallops. Not shabby at all!

What is an Aussie holiday without some Aussie barbie? If it was one thing we loved it is family barbecues. This was what we had, a night filled with laughters around the barbie, with good friends and family, fresh produce, fresh meats and seafood. Find out more of my ideas and tips on barbecues here.

 

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Figs wrapped with ham and a drizzle of honey


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a simple watermelon, feta and mint salad


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Broccolini, corn, salmon and figs on the barbie


Aussie Barbie

Whole fish, beef steaks and pork cutlets on the grill


Aussie Barbie, Barbeque

Sausages, lamb chops and miso coated eggplant


Scallops, Perth

The scallops from Woodman Jetty

 

What a great way to end our Perth holiday! Thank you for your hospitality, for the wonderful time, the inspirations, the campervan adventures and the beautiful people we have met. May our paths cross again!

What Should Be in Your Kid’s Travel Bag

by Souperchef Anna on

 

I’ve come across fashion magazines and blogs wherein they lay out the contents of a certain celebrity’s purse and describe each item in detail. That being said, this inspired me to do a ‘What’s in Your Bag?’ kind of post – kiddie edition!

Children can be fidgety and restless during flights, especially for long-haul ones. Keep them entertained by stuffing in these exciting objects in their own carry-on luggage or bag:

 

Isabella, Changi Airport, Trunkies, Travel

The only pic I had with their trunkies and carry on luggage. Isabella and Elijah always would bring their own carry on luggage filled with their clothes, toys, books etc

 

Chewy candies

Nothing like a sweet treat to soothe a crying toddler. Aside from providing a quick sugar fix, it helps the ears ‘pop’ during takeoff and landing and lessens ear ache. What I really love about the Immigration checkpoints in Singapore Changi Airport, are the little sweets they have! Eli would take at least 2 most of the time.

Books and/or magazines

It’s never to late to introduce the beauty of the written word. Bring your child to the bookstore and let him/her pick out a book of his liking to be read during the trip. This would also be a great bonding session when you start discussing about their thoughts on the storyline and its characters.

Board Games and/or toys

Recently, my kids at 7 and 4 have taken a liking for snakes and ladders. So we would have it packed into a ziplock bag as the dice can get lost really easily. Tic-tac-toe is something they adore. This is good, old-fashioned fun. Cuddly soft toys for hugging. My kiddos have been bringing Peppa Pig and George for their trips and they love to role play with them.

Mess-proof Art Materials

Some kids are better off busy with their hands. Put their creativity to good use by packing in coloured pens and these printable activity sheets from Jetstar for a hours of endless educational fun.

Tablet with Headphones

This particular one is not really my favourite. When all else fails, whip out the tablet and plug them in to the virtual world. Make sure that you load it up with their favourite movies or shows that are enough to last them until the end of the flight!

 

For budget fares and complete flight schedules, head over to www.jetstar.com

** We are stoked to partner Jetstar for our #TssTakeMeToPerth campaign where they have kindly offered 3 pairs of tickets to Perth and also travel vouchers on Jetstar. This as such is a sponsored post. Nonetheless, the opinions reflected here are my own.

The Crucial Checklist: 6 Things You’ll Need Before You Travel

by Souperchef Anna on

 

Travelling has and will always be one of the constant things in my life. These days, with budget carriers, our dreams to see the world, fulfilling our wanderlust desires have become very real. We can now all be inspired, renewed with new sights, sounds and flavours,  all—without burning a hole in our pocket. Like any wise and seasoned traveller, we travel budget whenever we can. At times, I even find browsing for flights at Jetstar quite therapeutical at times, as it inspires me to decide on my next destination.

Prepping for a trip is another story. Whenever I fly alone or with the family, I always make sure that I got the basic and important things covered for a stress-free travel experience. I do, however, procrastinate at times and it would be a mad rush at the end, a week before flying off, and I have not done my to-do list!

Below is a fool-proof guide I use that would remind myself and perhaps you would find it useful!

 

Kids aleep in car, Travel, child seat

Something really important when travelling with kids. Ensure you know the law requirements for kids safety in the car, booster seat or child seats its own straps .

 

Get to know your destination

New sights, tastes and experiences can start before you’ve even left home. We introduce the destination to the kids by watching movies related to the country, showing them maps or planning activities with them. Research is key. Now with travel blogs and tourism boards putting lots of helpful information out, it does make planning a lot easier.

Pack snacks

As you may know, I make my own healthy snacks. It’s always recommened to bring food for your child in your carry-on baggage to save costs. If you’re crunched for time, there is always light food available for purchase on flights. Jetstar, for example, has an option where passengers can pre-purchase meals at their manage booking section on their website.

Secure travel visas

Do check whether there is visa requirement. For our Perth trip, we almost forgot and that would have been disastrous! Always make sure to contact the embassy or consulate of your destination for requirements and processing timelines.

Don’t pass on the passport

For international travel, everybody needs a passport. Ensure that your passpost’s expiration date has at least 6 months left before your planned departure. This has happened to hubs. He was denied going on the plane with his sister when he was 16 as he has a passport that was just shy of 6 months. Airlines are pretty strict on this requirement.

 Travel insurance

I am a firm believer of buying travel insurance! On my trip to Germany last year, my baggage did not arrive with me as it was stuck in Istanbul where we did the transit. Thank God for insurance, as I was covered and they paid me a rate that would allow me to buy some clothes and toiletries until the luggage arrived. There could be other emergencies, though. So do tailor your family’s insurance to include coverage for emergencies. Jetstar offers travel insurance with AIG. Simple, fast and convenient! Perfect for travelling with the family.

Foreign currency 

For more bang on your buck, it’s often better to arrange currency exchange before you travel. Be aware that different rates may mean you’ll spend more with some companies. I loved the Indian money changers. They definitely have the best rate, much better than what the banks would offer!

 

Campervan, kids, perth

Kids having fun while being buckled up in Perth. Safety first for the family.

 

**We are stoked to partner Jetstar for our #TssTakeMeToPerth campaign where they have kindly offered 3 pairs of tickets to Perth and also travel vouchers on Jetstar. This as such is a sponsored post. Nonetheless, the opinions reflected here are my own.

Perth Perfect: Walking to a Different Beat at Perth

by Souperchef Anna on

 

When we knew we were going to Perth for the March school holidays, we decided to put together a campaign and the souper inspirations to be from Perth. We were looking for interesting partners to work with. We chanced upon Two Feet and a Heatbeat and spoke to Ryan, the entreprenuer, the brains and the legs literally behind the brand. He suggested we do a small bar walking tour.

I know what you guys are thinking, “Perth, really? Is there even a night scene?” I had the exact same sentiments! But we decided to give it a try!

On the 6th day of our Perth trip, we were hosted by Ryan from Two Feet and a Heartbeat for our small bar walking tour. This tour was more like a history tour through the Perth district, learning Perth’s transformation from a port with warehouses to what it is today, with a new nightlife and cultural scene catering to a much more well heeled and sophisticated crowd. I have learnt more about Perth than I ever did over the 5 years I stayed as student in the 90s. The three-hour walking tour saw us visiting small bars and restaurants in the least conspicuous, somewhat secretive locales that not many know.

Ryan was a great host, introducing us to the bar operators, some entrepreneurs themselves, sharing their stories, what they do. Particularly, Canton Bar, the first bar we visited, we met Mike and Steve, the owners. Great guys! Mike worked the front of house as the resident bar tender and Steve took care of the food coming out of the kitchen. He was the resident bouncer too. The food served was pretty good, small bites, Asian tapas, I would call them! The lotus root chips were doused in five spice powder. We heard of how the place was the first Chinese restaurant in Perth, its hey days as a gambling den for high ranking officials, lawyers and judges who work in the Courts just further down the road. Now, these are stories one would never get to know if you just go in for a drink.

 

Small Bar Tour, Two Feet and a Hearbeat

Enter the Canton Bar, previously the first Chinese restaurant in Perth! A striking red door in a striking red building


Canton Bar, Small Bar Tour, Two feet and a Heartbeat

The opulent interiors that makes Canton Bar a great place for drinks and light dinner. You would not have imagined the stories that we hear about this place. The who’s who used to be diners here.

 

What I did not expect was the copious pieces of talent seen during our walk. We strolled through back alleys painted with street art. Little did we know, these were all commissioned by a group called FORM as part of their Public Exhibition. It was a great way to bring art to the people and make the back alleys of Perth the talk of town.

 

Two feet and a heartbeat small bar tour

Four feet and two heartbeats, we soldier on!


Two feet and a Heart beat small bar tour

Street art commissioned by FORM


Small Bar Tour, Two Feet and a Heartbeat, Perth

Various street art commisioned by FORM. Mind blowing!


Small Bar tour, street art, Two feet and a heartbeat

This was all found in what looked like a car park. Street art commisioned by FORM


Small Bar Tour, Two Feet and a Heartbeat.

Street art


Small Bar Tour, Two Feet and a Heartbeat

Striking colours used in these street arts.


Small Bar Tour, Two feet and a Heartbeat

Yes, another street art

 

The next few street arts are found in Wolf Lane. According to Ryan, these was part of an effort to activate less used spaces and creating opportunities for food and beverage spaces, making the Perth nightlife scene more exciting. These back alleys were used to collect sewage from the buildings. With modern toilets, these back alley spaces become redundant. Hence the initiative to beautify them and create a 2nd life for them.

 

Small Bar tour, Two feet and a Heartbeat

Street art, Wolf Lane


Small Bar tour, Two Feet and a Heartbeat

Street art commissioned by FORM along Wolf Lane

 

We visited whisky bars, tapas bars and I must say they were all doing pretty brisk business. A particular whisky bar, Helvetica, we visited has this huge wall on its side that can be opened up. According to Ryan, these old buildings used to be warehouses and they have this huge hoist that could lift bags of wool or wheat up to the second floor for storage before they were transported for export. Helvetica was one of the original stalwarts of the growing small bar scene in Perth. A fine selection of whiskies are available. You can buy a bottle and have it kept under lock and key for your next visit. This is probably quite common in Asia but certainly not usual in the city of Perth.

 

Small Bar Tour, Two Feet and a Heartbeat

Outside Helvetica, Ryan giving me a little history lesson


Small bar tour, Helvetica, Two feet and a Heartbeat

Brisk business even on a weekday evening at Helvetica

 

The Flour Factory was another place we visited where you could still the original beams original doors and original walls. This is an inner city public house across 3 floors of a historic 100 year old flour mill, hence the moniker The Flour Factory. It fuses together a New York Style deli with a spanish bodega style cocktail bar. There is a rooftop bar, seems really popular these days, call The Sherry, part lounge, part outdoor terrace, great chillax place. It boasts itself as an open air retreat with a lush green garden. There was an event when we were there, so we did not manage to go up to take a look.

 

Small Bar Tour, Two Feet and a Heartbeat

Entrance to The Flour Factory


The Flour Factory, Two Feet and a Heartbeat, small bar tour

Original beams, walls can be seen


Small Bar Tour, Two feet and a heartbeat

The original red door is still intact with the original walls. So casual isn’ it. One of the guys who worked there, wore slippers, red pants and a matching red beard. Loved that everything is so casual here.

The restaurant scene has gotten a lot more interesting these days with tapas bars, Spanish restaurants, a Greenhouse that recycles everything it uses, places that reminds me of Brooklyn in New York. We went in to this place call the Old Faithful, essentially a ribs, smoke and bbq place with that cool vibe.

Small Bar tour, Two feet and a heartbeat

Old Faithful Smokehouse


two feet and a heartbeat, small bar tour, Old Faithful, Perth

On the menu today, a house of platter with a total of 1kg meat and sides !

 

A new development known as Brookfield Place, located in the heart of the Perth CBD is a mixed development with offices, cool bars and restaurants in restored historical buildings.  We visited this small bar called Choo Choo’s where there is no menu. The knowledgeable and friendly bar tenders would be happy to make a drink for you based on what you like and how you are feeling for the evening. Pretty cool isn’t it? The crowd consisted of white collar executives having a drink to unwind before heading home.

 

Small Bar Tour, Two feet and a Heartbeat

Brookfield Place


Small Bar tour, two feet and a heartbeat

Brookfield Place housing plenty of cool bars and bistros


Perth small bar tour, Two Feet and a Heartbeat

Print Hall, Perth’s first multi level dining and bar, opened in 2012. The venue pays homage to its heritage lined history. It used to be the old Newspaper House.


Small Bar Tour, Two Feet and a Heartbeat

Our last stop for the evening, Choo Choo’s


Two feet and a Heartbeat, Small Bar tour

A final pic with Ryan before we call it a night!

 

It was time to say goodbye and to go home to the kids. The tour took approximately 3 hours. It was indeed a memorable experience to be able to explore Perth via the various nooks and crannies and shed a different light on a city I thought I knew pretty well.

Who are the good folks at Two Feet and a Heartbeat?

Established in 2008, the Two Feet and a Heartbeat tour services offer a “walk a little, eat a little and drink a little” theme. I love this tagline of theirs. The three-hour walking tour costs $50 AUD which is a pretty good deal as it comes with some food or drinks.

During the time between venues, you will be guided through sections of the city to discover other venues, thriving street art and intriguing spaces while developing an understanding of what has transformed a city centre. Do check them out!

For bookings and tour information, please visit: https://www.twofeet.com.au/

 

**We were hosted for free by Ryan during the small bar tour in Perth. Ryan has also kindly sponsored 3 sets of complimentary small bar tours to the winners of our #TSSTAkeMeToPerth campaign. All opinions expressed here are my own and I am in no way influenced by any 3rd party.