22 July 2014

New burgers and a new look at Jus Burgers, Leederville



Recently I received a lovely email from Jus Burgers and Pinchos owner Justin Bell, inviting me to come to the newly renovated store in Leederville to try their new menu. Seeing as it has been just about forever since I last visited Jus Burgers, I was pretty keen to see what had changed.

Justin and the Jus crew


Arriving on a Sunday for lunch Jeremy and I step in to what looks like a completely different store to meet Justin. Gone are the days of graffitied walls and loud music. Instead, in it's place is a beautiful fit out by the same team behind Cantina 663 and I believe Ace Pizza too. It's clean, modern and simply gorgeous. I really like the combination of exposed brick, timber, white space and just bursts of blackboard and greenery accents throughout.

Justin tells us that at night the space transforms into a warm, intimate venue lit simply by candlelight. I definitely need to come in one night to check it out I think! The vast refurbishment investment has been worth the money in my opinion.

The new look

Hearing about the decision to refresh the Jus brand, stores and burgers on offer was really interesting. While I can appreciate other burger stores offerings, there's something quite special about this locally owned venue. While Justin has five stores under his belt, he still is spends shifts at them all, cooking and chatting with customers. He is one hard working man who puts his heart and soul into his restaurants!

New menu, new salts

Justin walks us through the new menu, pointing out that there's still the old favourites present but now there's a section of diner style burgers, sliders and even some new sides. In order to be a pack leader and showcase a different side to their menu, they're offering a selection of upmarket burgers that have great produce and flavours. Kind of like your Huxtaburger in Melbourne.

And the best part, the new diner style burgers (four different types) all come on Jean Pierre Sancho brioche buns. I was already sold before the food hit our table.

Organic lemonade and still water

It's meals like this that I really love. Literally the only thing we need to choose is a drink each - the food is sent out by our host for the afternoon. It's a blissful way to spend a Sunday!

I go for a still water since I know there's going to be lots of food to eat, and Jeremy opts for the organic lemonade which I quickly steal a sip of. It's tart and lightly sparkled, separating itself from some of your more mainstream lemonades.

Sides

The sides are the first to hit our table, a mouth watering array of delicious goodness. I know they're not new to Jus Burgers but I'm so pleased to see that their famous onion rings with garlic aioli ($6.00) have still been included. For me, they're something I can't get enough of and I think Jus Burger's version are easily one of the best I've ever eaten. Jeremy bites into one and nods his approval quickly - he's definitely in agreement!

Onion rings

Spiced chips

There's now several different chips you can choose from. In this instance we're given the spiced salted chips ($5.00) with a creamy chipotle sauce to dip them in. I really enjoy the texture - soft, fluffy and hot all the way through. There's just enough of a chilli flavour to make you sit up and pay attention.

There's also shakers of spiced salt and farmhouse salt on the table to customise your chips with different flavours. Very cute and a great idea. Next time I'll have my eye on the parmesan and truffle oil fries - mmm-mmm!

Slaw

The slaw ($5.00) is a light and creamy side salad that has a punch from the underlying vinegar flavouring. It's a nice alternative to your standard fried offerings.

Americano

Americano

Instead of choosing one diner style burger to eat, Justin sends out a slider version of each of the four on offer. There's a collective hush between Jeremy and I as we take in what looks like some of the best sliders we've seen. Those brioche buns really do lure you in! So buttery and glossy...

We're handed a nice pile of napkins with a smile and a warning - these can get messy - but that's where the fun lies!

I'm quick to dive into the Americano ($13 for standard burger size) which is char grilled beef, pickles, Kraft cheese, salad, mustard and ketchup. It looks just like a cartoon version of a burger - pretty as a picture! One word is all I really need to say - yum. Soft, pillowy buns with well seasoned, well cooked beef and all the right flavours that make this a household classic. I particularly like that they use Kraft cheese, it's familiar and comforting and just a little melty. This and the next slider are my favourites for sure. 

Pulled pork

Jeremy hands me the pulled pork ($14.50 for a standard burger size) once he reaches the halfway point. It's definitely the sloppiest of the bunch but the aroma wafting from it is enough to make my mouth water. Is there anything in the world better than pulled pork?

Stacked between the charred brioche bun halves is Linley Valley free range pork with chipotle, balsamic onions, slaw and melted cheese. I love the sweetness of those onions and the creaminess of the cheese which is balanced by the tang of the slaw. The marinade on the pork is good enough to be bottled - which Justin tells us is the plan, they're going to sell it in store soon. Great idea!

Diner style sliders

Jeremy's favourite of the sliders is a toss up between the pork and the Shark Bay prawn. It's a crisp prawn patty with chilli relish, Asian slaw, salad, crispy shallots and garlic, and coconut lime dressing. The Asian flavours are really punchy and well balanced which is often problematic. I like the zing of the citrus which is a natural compliment to seafood. So tasty and full of contrasting textures.

Diner style sliders

The final slider is similar to the prawn, known as South East Asian ($14.50 for standard burger size). It's the same burger but with the option to chose your protein (or opt for vegetarian). While normally I'm not a chicken person, it was nice to try this protein given I wouldn't usually order it. By now I'm starting to feel like I just might spontaneously combust with the amount of food we've eaten!

Sweet potato wedges

To finish things off we tackle the new menu item of sweet potato wedges with sour cream and sriracha chilli sauce ($8.00). I adore sweet potato and these wedges are long and finger like, glowing orange and smelling pretty damn good. They're not as crunchy as I had suspected they might be, but the flavour and freshness on the inside is spot on. 

Having the combination of hot sriracha (which we use a lot in our house!) and the cooling sour cream is a nice change to your usual sweet chilli and sour cream combo. I can see these fast becoming a favourite amongst regulars. 

The feast

You can check out the new look venue and new menu at Leederville now, and it will be rolled out at the other Jus Burger stores over the coming weeks. I also discovered when writing this that you can preorder your burgers for pickup online, which is a handy option if you want to beat the queue.

A big thank you to Justin Bell and the team at Leederville Jus Burgers for hosting Jeremy and I for lunch. We definitely waddled out of the restaurant and were full for a loooonnnnggg time after!


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21 July 2014

A night of indulgence at Must Wine Bar, Mount Lawley



I always look forward to a birthday dinner with my boy - whether it's his birthday or mine. We both love to pull out all the stops and make a real occasion of it. This year for mine he treated me to a delicious and utterly filling dinner at the well reputed Must Wine Bar in Mount Lawley.

For so long Must has been sitting on my eating wishlist that it actually surprises me that I haven't been there before! So finding out this was the destination for my birthday dinner, I was so excited that I quickly went online to look at the menu and decide what I'd order.

Bread and butter

The weather had turned from sunshine to rain for the night, and after only eating at breakfast and a small little brownie around lunchtime I was famished! Thankfully we managed to avoid the downpour with some lucky timing and were soon seated in the restaurant where a basket of fresh crusty bread was brought out to the table with cold, creamy butter.

How I love bread! Let me count the ways... but honestly, good bread for me is the ultimate indulgence. Must's serving is generous, with slices of baguette that are crisp on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. The butter is a little hard to spread since it's cool, but it's so so tasty and I love spreading on a bit more than I should because the taste is that enjoyable.

It's a sin that it tastes so good!

Squid ink battered oysters

The menu at Must is a bistro menu with a great range of European influenced dishes that all sound so yummy. On our visit they also have a second menu to choose from - French Bistro Classics. We're spoiled for choice!

Before we pick our entrees and mains we decide to share a half dozen oysters between us ($21). Normally I will always insist on natural oysters but Jeremy's really taken with the others on offer so we decide to get 2 of each of the cooked oysters for some variety.

Rockefellar oysters

Chickpea battered oysters

We start off with the squid ink battered oysters with a side of lime and tobacco mayonnaise. This is Jeremy's favourite of the group and I have to agree. Creamy and succulently fresh on the inside, the black batter is thin and crisp. The mayonnaise is zingy and punches you in the face with some flavour - the perfect combination of flavours.

Next up is the rockefellar which is my least favourite of the three, though still really tasty. Consisting of a grilled oyster topped with spinach, pernod cream and gruyere cheese, it reminds me of a lobster mornay. I like the crust that forms on top from being grilled!

The final oyster is chickpea battered sitting atop of a lime, avocado and tomato salsa that reminds me of guacamole. It's so delicious - crunchy and fresh. I could have eaten quite a few more of these.

Steak tartare

Steak tartare

We decide to share our entrees, with each of us choosing a different one. Jeremy opts for the steak tartare with potato crisps and a slick of horseradish cream on the side ($20). A perfect dish to accompany our glasses of the Matsu El Picaro Tempranillo.

This is one of the best dishes of the night with the tender steak and creamy egg yolk coating the ingredients on the plate. I love the balance of flavours so much - every bite is wonderful!

Escargots

My choice for the entrees is the escargots baked in the shell with garlic, parsley and pernod butter ($20). It's a small serving but I'm actually pleased about this since I want to have mains and desserts too (and maybe cheese if my tummy can fit it!).

The snails are hot and buttery, with a great flavour from the garlic and herbs. They're a little tricky to fish out with the toothpicks provided, but when you manage to get them out boy do they taste good. While they're not the prettiest of food items, I always really enjoy them whenever I order them at French restaurants.

Confit duck

Confit duck

After our entrees are cleared and we enjoy some more wine, our mains are soon served. The moment I see Jeremy's choice of duck leg confit with paris mash, crispy black pig bacon, apple and radish salad and jus ($44) I have an immediate pang of regret. I was going to order the duck and changed my mind! Argh!

It is the dish of the night as far as we're both concerned. Soft, moorish duck with mash that is decadently buttery, whipped to perfection. The bacon on top is like shards of glass, shattering with just the slightest touch - and jam packed with porky goodness.

Salmon escalope

Salmon escalope

My dinner is from the French Classics menu - salmon escalope with cauliflower puree and sorrel cream ($40). It's a rich dish and initially as I start to eat I wonder if I've mischosen since there's a real abundance of cream. But as I continue I start to pick up on all the different delicate flavourings that make this dish what it is.

The salmon is soft and flaky; the cauliflower puree sweet though a little hard to locate initially. I like the addition of sorrel, which is like spinach but with a more distinct sharp taste. It's an enjoyable dish but is a far cry from the amazingness of Jeremy's duck. I have the worst order envy ever!

Creme brulee

I had been planning on ordering cheese before dessert but after our mains are finished we're both feeling quite full. We decide to skip the cheese and go straight to dessert knowing really we don't need either. It's my birthday though - so it's a time to go all out!

For his dessert my boy opts for the vanilla creme brûlée with raspberry sorbet and sesame snap ($16). It's a lovely light little dessert, with a great perfumed vanilla flavouring. The toffee layer on top is thick enough to make a satisfying snap when his spoon clunks on the top carefully.

Apple tarte tatin

My dessert of apple tarte tatin with vanilla and apple ripple ice-cream ($16). The apple is soft and yields to my spoon with complete ease. There's a caramel like flavour to the cooked apple, with crunchy pastry underneath. I really like the tart and creamy ice-cream on the side, it just adds another dimension to the dish.

I can barely get through the dish though - I am that full.

What an absolutely amazing restaurant! I actually hate myself a little that I haven't been earlier because it impressed me so much. I'm already making plans to go back soon - I loved every minute of it. It's no wonder it's such a popular venue in Perth.

Thanks babe - you treated me to an amazing day, and an incredible dinner too! X


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Birthday breakfast at Architects and Heroes, Subiaco



On Friday night last week I finished work at P&N Bank after nearly five years in the marketing department there. What an immensely emotional last few days, with my final including a morning tea (where I was given an iPad mini from everyone there!), a lunch at La Cholita and dinner with my wonderful team at Enrique's. It was there I was also spoiled with a Samantha Wills bracelet and Mor candle as birthday presents - not to mention the best card ever. You can see why I miss my P&N family already!

Waking up the next day I was feeling a little emotional at the thought of not seeing my old colleagues and friends each day, and also a bit nervous at the thought of starting with RAC on the Monday. To top it off, that next day (Saturday) was my birthday! 

Architects and Heroes

In true Jeremy fashion, my boy had arranged a day of spoiling me to the max. While normally he works for St John's on the weekend, he had taken time off just for me. What a lucky girl I am! After a morning of presents and cuddles, (a new Macbook eeeee!) he piled me into the car and drove us over to Subiaco for a yummy birthday breakfast at relative newbie, Architects and Heroes.

Situated on the Rokeby Road strip this cafe is bright and airy, with a fantastic mural on the counter wall by talented Perth artist (and friend of mine) Peche. Seriously, how amazing is it!

Street view

Menu

Looking at the menu it's made of only a few items to order, which I actually prefer - I like having limited options otherwise I end up panicking and not knowing what to get!

We start with a hot drink each. For my boy it's a flat white and for myself, a skinny hot chocolate. His coffee is proclaimed delicious with a smooth blend and strong flavours. My hot chocolate is slightly bitter which I really like, it takes away what can often be a really cloying sweetness.

Flat white

Hot chocolate

For our food orders, we're both quite quick to choose since there's only a few items on offer. My boy chooses the baked eggs with hearty tomato, 4 beans mix, italian olives, feta cheese and spanish chorizo, plus a side of crusty bread ($21). 

Baked eggs

Baked eggs

It looks so good! 

A cheesy, heart warming concoction topped with a 63 degree poached egg that explodes sunny yolk the moment his fork pierces the soft surface. He really enjoys the flavours and combination of textures, using the bread to mop up every last drop. I definitely can see this being a popular menu item, especially in these cold winter months. 

Spiced avocado, cream cheese and salmon

Spiced avocado, cream cheese and salmon

My dish is the spicy avocado with cream cheese and Norwegian smoked salmon on fluffy English muffins ($20). Because I'm greedy I add on a 63 degree poached egg ($2.50).

The dish is quite generous - I was only expecting two muffin halves but instead received three, all topped high with cheese, avocado and salmon. The spiced flavour is mild but enjoyable and I like the flavour combination. Avocado and salmon are both quite oily so I'm glad I add the egg on. And look at that yolk porn...

Spiced avocado, cream cheese and salmon

I enjoyed my first taste of Architects and Heroes, and hopefully I can come back sometime soon to enjoy one of their decadent looking peanut butter cupcakes or even just a simple toasted sandwich. It was a great way to start my birthday day.


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17 July 2014

A Sunday morning at Sayer's Sister, Northbridge



I love going out for breakfast but when winter comes round I often find myself getting a little bit lazy and giving in to the insistent demands of my body to hide away in bed instead of venturing out. But when my best friend Vee asked to catch up for breakfast on Sunday, I jumped at the chance because I love spending time with her and I was also craving hollandaise something bad.

Initially we had thrown around going to Typika, but we ended up settling on Sayers Sister instead which was really exciting to me as I hadn't been back for at least a year I think. Ages ago! And I am definitely of the opinion that Sayers/Sayers Sister serve some of the best hollandaise in Perth.

Strawberry and watermelon juice

Arriving around 9.30am there was already a line out the front to my dismay as I arrived. It's such a popular eating spot but nonetheless I braved the cold and joined the queue. Thankfully since it was just the two of us it was only around a 15 minute wait and then we were inside seated at the high counter table. Talk about bliss being in the warmth of the restaurant surrounded by way too many delicious looking cakes and tarts. It was taking a lot of my willpower (and Vee's) not to lift the domes over the sweets and create some cheeky bite marks on the sides.

Peppermint tea

We order quickly, both of us ravenous and eager to talk at each other in our bid to catch up the last week since we'd seen one another. As we're chatting, our drinks arrive at the table. Vee's ordered a vibrant strawberry and watermelon juice that she declares sweet and delicious. I will be ordering this next time!

While normally I'm a juice fiend, cold weather has me seeking tea instead so I warm my insides up with a pot of loose leaf peppermint tea. Just what the doctor ordered!

Full breakfast

Full breakfast

Full breakfast

Vee's full breakfast is a giant plate of creamy scrambled eggs, potato cake, 3 beans, grilled tomato, field mushroom, italian sausage and bacon. It looks and smells absolutely amazing. 

It's a really big serving which is exactly what you'd want in paying $22 for a dish. I love the look of those fluffy scrambled eggs which have a good sprinkling of cracked pepper over the top. She actually does pretty well, nearly finishing all the items bar the bread. I love that my friends love food like I do!

Pea and ricotta pikelets

Pea and ricotta pikelets

My order of pea and ricotta pikelets ($18 from memory) are stacked with layers of wilted spinach and crispy pancetta slices. There's pea shoots offering some fresh vibrancy and crunch - plus a beautiful poached egg perched precariously on top.

I'm excited to crack in to the dish! And best of all, I've ordered a side of hollandaise to sate that craving I've been having.

Perfectly poached egg

Look at how oozy and glorious my poached egg is! The yolk runs a rich river down the stack of pikelets, coating the other ingredients and binding them all together. The pikelets are lovely and light, with the pea and ricotta flavours working in harmony. I love the big salt hit from the pancetta which is fatty and just full of umami goodness. It is the perfect accompaniment with the more fresh ingredients on the plate.

Ahh Sayers Sister you, like the original Sayers, always delight. I know coming here that my breakfast will be tasty, not overly convoluted and respectful of the produce used. There's not much more you can ask for!


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