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Dessert/Drinks

Meet Fresh, Northbridge

Website: http://meetfresh.net

I first encountered Meet Fresh in Sydney’s Chinatown. My BFF took me there as it was one of her favorite dessert eatery. I remembered lining up for ages just to get a table and eating in a hurry so others can take over our table. It was immensely popular! So it was great news when she told me recently that they have opened a franchise in Perth, in Northbridge where James St Kitchen restaurant used to be. I really like the herbal jelly dessert they sell!

The theme Meet Fresh is selling and differentiating themselves in is the authenticity of the dessert. All the desserts are freshly made, cooked and served. The herbal jelly, the taro balls, tofu pudding etc. You can read all about the two Taiwanese masters, Mr and Mrs Fu and their concept on their webpage (link above).

The place had been packed the few times I’d visited but I have not encountered any long queues yet. I think I had been timing my visits right! hehe

Inside Meet Fresh The happy Mr and Mrs Fu

My favorite order, the Signature Herbal Jelly with herbal ice, taro balls and cream.

herbal

This is very refreshing on a hot summer night! I like the taste of the herbal jelly and how it is not sickly sweet but has a twinge of bitterness to it. I also love how the Taro balls are soft and chewy, unlike some other places where the balls are quite hard and floury. This is the only place where I would order taro balls.

Takeaway order: Signature Herbal Jelly (again!) and Tofu Pudding

Signature herbal jelly Tofu pudding

The Tofu Pudding was a recommendation by my colleague but it was not to my liking, I’m still comparing them to the ones I used to get at the night market in Malaysia as a kid. Nothing beats that. RM0.50 for a bowl of nice piping hot tofu pudding! Those were the days!

Meet Fresh also sells a variety of bubble tea, wintermelon tea and crushed ice dessert. I haven’t gotten past the Herbal Jelly dessert though to try the others. I am too addicted!

A good place to try something different if you haven’t been! I know what I’ll be back for :p

Rating:  4 out of 5 stars

Rating by: N.L.

Meet Fresh
Telephone: 0430 928 585
Address: Unit 7a, 109 James Street, Northbridge
Meet Fresh on Urbanspoon

Cotta Cafe, Crown (& Richie Ren’s concert)

As part of another Chinese New Year celebration, my sister and I went to the Richie Ren’s concert held at the Crown Theatre last week. Richie Ren is a popular singer/actor in Taiwan and I had been his fan for more than 10 years…imagine my excitement when I found out he was coming to Perth. No singer ever comes to Perth! (as we have a much smaller Asian community compared to Melbourne and Sydney). I couldn’t believe he was coming!

We had dinner at Modo Mio – hehe very un-Chinese like, not that we are following any theme :p (Photos of the dinner here [click]). As we didn’t book, they only gave us 1.5 hours at the table. We decided to head elsewhere for dessert, and came upon Cotta Cafe.

Cotta Cafe is situated inside the casino itself. It has a very bright and trendy decor, and a cabinet full of goodies. I forgot to take photos! But trust me, they look awesome! We ordered a Peppermint Tea and Long Mac for drinks and had the following for desserts:

  • Tiramisu ($7.50) – the price is steep for such a small piece but hey, it’s the Crown. I like the chocolate decoration piece and the golden balls. Taste is ok, I don’t think you can compare it with the ones you get at an Italian restaurant.

Tiramisu

  • Red Velvet Chocolate Whoopie Pie ($5.50) – I was so full from dinner but I just had to get this. I had never seen a dessert so attractive! Simple concept but looked awesome. It tasted great too! 

Red Velvet Chocolate Whoopie Pie

If you possess a Crown Club member card, you get 10% discount at Cotta. Nice!

Rating:  3.75 out of 5 stars

Rating by: N.L.

Cotta Cafe
Telephone: 9362 7551
Address: Crown Perth, Great Eastern Highway
Cotta Cafe on Urbanspoon

Crown had made an effort with CNY this year…check out the pretty lantern lighted tree in the lobby!

CNY tree

And here is Richie Ren …isn’t he a cutie!  A smile that melts heart 🙂

Richie Ren on screen

Superstar Waffles, Northbridge

Superstar WafflesSuperstar Waffles is located in a small arcade on William Street, near to the Horseshoe Bridge end and almost opposite to the WA State Theatre. It is an unassuming place, and had it not been such a popular venue for dessert, one would not know that this place exists.

I’d been here a couple of times and had always wanted to try their drinks, especially the Iced Matcha Green Tea Latte and the Ice Taro Latte. They look so good! This time I managed to order the Iced Matcha Green Tea Latte. It tasted as nice as it looked! Milky and creamy green tea, with a slight bitter taste to it and not too sweet. It was gone with a few big sips! My next target will be the Iced Taro Latte!

3

The other drinks we had were the Iced Tea and Long Mac. The Iced Tea was mixed with apple juice and added a sourish flavor to the tea. Very nice and special! Also refreshing on this hot summer night!

Iced TeaLong Mac

Now on to the main star item of this place – the Waffles! We had:

  • S’mores ($9.50) – homemade marshmallow fluff sandwiched between fresh waffles, topped with Nutella + biscuit crunch, served with fresh cream & a shot of mini marshmallows

I’m not a marshmallow fan so this was my least favorite of the waffles.

S'mores waffles

  • Peanut Butter Mousse ($9.50) – homemade peanut butter mousse, topped with Oreo cookie crumble and crushed peanuts, served with a shot of maple syrup, fresh cream & Oreo cookie. We ordered vanilla ice cream as well for an extra $1

This is one of my favorite as I love all things peanut! The mousse was smooth and creamy! Melt in the mouth stuff! I would order this again and again!

Peanut Butter Mousse

  • Banoffee ($9.50) – fresh cut banana pieces sitting on a bed of homemade warm toffee, topped with biscuit crumble, served with a shot of maple syrup & cream. Once again vanilla ice cream topping for an extra $1.

I was recently introduced to the Banoffee pie (I know – I’m a late starter!) and had been in love with it ever since. This tasted almost the same except without the crunchy base. The best way to eat this is to mix all the topping together, the cream, syrup, mashed banana and ice cream. It may look disgusting but absolutely delicious! I would order this again.

Banoffee

One must forget all the hard work one has put in the gym for a plate of these waffles to enjoy it completely, and remember never ever tell your trainer that you have been indulging here. But I bet you they come here secretly too! 😛

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Rating by: N.L.

Superstar Waffles
Telephone: 0433 102 608
Address: 8/189 William Street, Northbridge
Superstar Waffles on Urbanspoon

Sugar and Spice Patisserie, Joondalup

Sugar & SpiceWebsite: http://www.sugarspice.com.au/

Sugar and Spice Patisserie is located on Lakeside Drive in Joondalup. Joondalup is approximately 27km north of Perth – not a place I frequent often, I think I’d only been to Joondalup twice in my life. Why did I travel all the way this time round to this cafe? Knowing the sweet tooth I am, my friends wanted me to try what they think is one of the best patisserie in the north region. I happily obliged. I found out later that they were the winner of the Australia’s Best Bakery in 2010. Off to a good start.

Sugar & Spice has a smallish indoor but a huge alfresco seating.

Indoor areaAlfrescoI was blown away with the desserts on offer there. There are so many varieties of cakes, tarts, macarons, pies, cupcakes etc. You name it! I didn’t know what to choose and where to begin! I wish I didn’t had lunch beforehand. Oh yeah, before I forget, there are also a selection of savory items.

Savory foodLarge selection of sweets

Macarons6

We made a large selection to start with but narrowed it down to the following after alot of umm and ahh, and with the help of the staff’s recommendation:

  • Long Mac and Iced Chocolate
  • Quiche Lorraine
  • Cheese Stick
  • Apple Pie
  • Orgasm

Long MacIced Chocolate

The Iced Chocolate is one of the best my friend had – lots of chocolate sauce, topped with chunks of chocolate pieces. Long Mac was great – bitter like how I like it.

Quiche Lorraine

Cheese Stick

I had a taste of the Quiche and it was good with creamy filling and crusty pastry. The Cheese Stick though was not crunchy enough for my liking, slightly doughy and did not have enough cheese taste to it. I like them strong.

Apple pieThe Apple Pie comes with short crust base filled with a mix of fresh apples and sultanas. Check out the big chunks of apple pieces! I’m normally not a big fan of Apple Pie but I had a few mouthful of this!OrgasmThe Orgasm is one of their more popular selection (as told by the staff). I chose this over the Death by Chocolate cake, Whoopie Pie, Banofee Pie and Strawberry Tart. Sigh, it was a hard choice! The Orgasm is white chocolate custard baked in a shortcrust case. It’s another version of the creme brulee, with a soft texture and not too sickly sweet. I like!

It was worth the trip to Sugar & Spice to try the dessert. I must say the staff are very friendly and helpful, taking time to explain each of the dessert to us. I wish I live nearer so I can visit this cafe more often!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Rating by: N.L.

Sugar and Spice Patisserie
Telephone: 08 9301 2209
Address: 189 Lakeside Drive, Joondalup
Sugar and Spice Patisserie on Urbanspoon

Koko Black, Claremont

Website: www.kokoblack.com

Koko Black is the newly opened chocolatier located in the glamorous Claremont Quarter on St Quentin Avenue in Claremont.  My first taste of Koko Black was in Chadstone in Melbourne when a friend had asked me to buy some chocolates back for them.  It was a good enough reason for me to try their chocolates out (I was a diehard loyal fan of Max Brenner before that, well I’m still is!).  I remembered their range of dark chocolates were fantastic, so I was quite excited that they are opening a store here in Perth.  There are not that many good chocolatiers around, and one less ever since Leonidas closed down on St Georges Terrace so it was welcoming news – another place for me to buy my dose of chocolates.  Yay!

We made our way there one Saturday morning to try their high tea.  As it was the weekend before Easter, the place was chock-a-block with people buying easter eggs!  The shop was full of colourful and lovely easter eggs!  Loved the atmosphere in the air.  On the other side of the shop, Kim Linssen, the Head Chocolatier was stationed, busy making chocolate tarts for the cafe.  A very lively place indeed!

 

The shop is adjoined to the cafe which is brightly lit and spacious – there is an indoor and outdoor seating area with comfortable sofas!  Great!

 

The menu (or parts of it):

 

Our order:

  • Traditional Iced Chocolate ($7.75)
  • Queen of Hearts Platter – sharing for two ($18.50 pp)

 

I’d been wanting to try the Queen of Hearts (Koko Black’s interpretation of the revered high tea as they nicely put it) ever since I saw the blog writeups about it at the media event.  It came with a choice of either tea, coffee or hot/iced chocolate.  We both ordered the Belgian Hot Chocolate Mocha as recommended by my friend to be yummo.  And truly it was really, really good!  I loved it.  It was thick and flavoursome.  A truly gorgeous drink!!  I want more!  The Traditional Iced Chocolate looked beautiful too (I didn’t get to try it but I know it must be good just from the outlook.  I have an excuse now to go back! :)).

 The Queen of Hearts platter consists of an array of savoury (Sandwiches, Leek&Ricotta Tart, Pancetta&Cherry Tart) and sweet (Lemon Tart, Brulee Tart, PannacottaChocolate BrownieLamington) items.  My first thought when I saw the platter was how small it was!  I don’t know about most people but I tend to eat quite a bit especially during the day!  My friend had the exact same thoughts especially as the platter cost $37 in total.  The savoury items were a bit disappointing and insufficient in amount, however the platter was saved by the sweet items especially the Lemon Tart, Brulee Tart and the Pannacotta.  These three items were my favourite.  The tarts were really yummy!

Overall, Koko Black is a great place for dessert – they have the most decadent beverages and I’d heard their individual desserts are marvellous too.  Some items may be overpriced but still worth a try! (This is the sweet tooth in me talking).  I can’t wait to go back to try the other desserts on the menu especially the Chocolate Tart!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Rating by: N.L.

Koko Black
Telephone: 08 9284 2049
Address: 23 St Quentin Avenue, Claremont

Trading Hours

Monday to Thursday: 9am – 10pm

Friday to Saturday: 9am – 11pm

Sunday: 1030am – 10pm

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Jean Pierre Sancho, Perth

Website: www.jpsancho.com.au

Jean Pierre Sancho is the first French boulangerie patisserie in Perth, located at the entrance of Shafto Lane on Hay Street.  I heard alot about it since its first opening but unfortunately have had no opportunity to visit the joint up till now just coz it’s so far away from my office.  However, recently we decided to make our way across the city to dine there having ran out of places to go to for lunch.

To me, the history behind the evolvement of Jean Pierre Sancho is quite special, having started as a modest bakery south of France in 1904 and passed on over three generations to become the Jean Pierre Sancho of today.  It is a legacy within the family! And everyone in Perth now can be part of that legacy, or at least have a taste of the legacy!  

The place itself is very modern looking, with chic decors bordered with glass walls and an alfresco dining area, perfect setting for lunch this fine sunny afternoon.   

   

For lunch, we ordered from their special ‘Formulas’ which consisted of:

  • Handmade Croissant and Fair Trade Organic Coffee – $6.50
  • Standard Sandwiches (choice of 6) with a standard drink – $10

and also not being able to resist the fine looking cakes at the counter, a Fraisier and Lemon Tart.

     

My friends had the Baguettes with Drinks and thought they were beautiful and were a good price.  I had the Croissant with the Long Mac – coffee was great, however the croissant was not as fresh as some I have tasted elsewhere.  (I went on a French Food Safari tour recently in Sydney organised by Gourmet Safaris and Maeve O’Meara, who was leading the tour brought us to this gorgeous French bistro patisserie Baroque and they make the most amazing croissant.  Maybe my tastebud had been spoilt with the freshness I tasted there).

I ordered a small lunch just so I could fit in a cake – they were all so pretty sitting on the counter, screaming to be ‘picked’.  It didn’t disappoint, loved the creamy texture and smooth finish.  I must go back to try the others soon!  My friend who took away the Lemon Tart loved it as well.  It had certainly live up to its patisserie reputation!

Loved the service in this place, they were friendly and very efficient, and all spoke in a frenchy accent, even the non-French working there.  Awesome!  A place that you must try at least once (PS: I’m very biased towards patisserie, they are all in the must-try category :))

Rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars

Rating by: N.L.  

Jean Pierre Sancho
Telephone: 08 9226 2434
Address: 878 Hay Street, Perth
Jean Pierre Sancho on Urbanspoon

Cafe at the Hyatt, East Perth

Website: www.caferestaurant.com.au

Entertainment Card 09/10: 25% off (up to a value of $45)

The Cafe at the Hyatt is a featured restaurant of the Perth Hyatt Regency Hotel in East Perth and had recently been refurbished to bring a fresh look and vibe to the hotel.  This review is of the awesome high tea buffet it offers from 3 – 5pm every Saturdays and Sundays.  I have yet though to try their other buffets.

As mentioned previously, I have had a growing fetish for high tea in the last couple of years and had been sussing out different places to determine the best spot – these included the Leaf Tea Merchant, the Duxton Grill, the Peninsula Tea Gardens (click here for the review) and the Salt on the Beach (review to come).  The high tea at the Cafe is by far the best I have tried!  You will know why after finish reading this entry!

This is the first time I’d been to the Cafe since its refurbishment.  Coming here brings a tinge of nostalgia, of somewhat carefree uni days and of the busy times working in the restaurant(s) here in the hotel.  I did occassionally helped out at the Cafe, although it was my least favourite place to work in (but that’s a different story altogether and I diverge..).  One thing I did remember is that they did not have the high tea buffet back then, otherwise I would have gone ga-ga if I had to work there.  Ah..the memories!

Anyhoos, back to the main topic of the high tea,  it’s an all-you-can-eat affair with both savouries and sweets displayed on a large spread for you to pick and choose from (pics to follow!).  Seating starts in the Cafe itself and spill over to the Conservatory.  The afternoon includes live entertainment as well in the form of a pianist tinkling his way on the keys!  Love the elegant ambience and stylish setting of this place!

I was here in 2008 for mine and an ex-colleague’s birthday and loved it, so I was quite eager to come back here again for my best friend’s birthday celebration (she had been wanting to try this for ages – I hope!).  We had a blast.  The deal included a glass of champagne each, limitless food, coffee and tea for a price of $45 (discounted to $40 after the Entertainment card).

And here come some pictures to show you what I mean!

Our bubblies…

…followed by serving of a variety of perfectly cut sandwiches including egg and spinach, smoked salmon, chicken and many more which we handpicked to share…

 

..followed by the HIGHLIGHT – four table stations spread with glorious food, all bite-sized: curry puffs, savoury tarts, meatballs, quiches, waffles, jam and scones, jellies and tiramisu in shot glasses, cupcakes, pastries, cheesecakes, meringues, eclairs, fruits, ice-cream, chocolates and my most favourite, their famous sticky date pudding!  You name it, they’ve got it.  I felt like a young school kid being let loose in a candy store!

        

Wish I took more close-up photos but on this occasion, I was trying to be a subtle blogger.  But I was quite disappointed when I got home and found that I forgot to take a picture of my favourite sticky date pudding….would you believe it?  The sticky date pudding is a must try..it’s absolutely fantastic!  My plate was loaded full of this goodie that day!

What I like about the high tea at the Cafe is the flexibility to pick and choose what you want to eat – great for those who love to try different things and also for the picky ones who only like certain things.  I love the fact that I can keep on eating the stuff that I like, over and over again!  One must try this at least once and it is perfect for any celebrations!

Rating: 4.75 out of 5 stars

Rating by: N.L.

Cafe / Conservatory at the Hyatt
Telephone
: 08 9225 1257
Address: Hyatt Regency Perth, 99 Adelaide Terrace, Perth 6000

Cafe at the Hyatt on Urbanspoon

Margaret River Chocolate Factory, Swan Valley

SignWebsite: www.chocolatefactory.com.au

Entertainment Card 09/10: Complimentary one coffee and hand-madFront of the factorye truffle when another is purchased 

The Margaret River Chocolate Factory is located along the West Swan Road amongst the numerous wineries and vineyards in Swan Valley.  It’s the second of its kind, with the first chocolate factory located down south in Margaret River.  An iconic place of WA, it attracts many visitors & tourists throughout the year.

The chocolate factory as the name suggests is a place where you can try and purchase high quality chocolates made fresh daily.  One can view their chocolate making process through a glass panel on the side of the building which I thought was awesome! It sells all things chocolate, including chocolate bars, fudge, chocolate coated products and hand-made truffles.  (check out their websites for more information on their products).  Visitors can also stop for a light lunch, coffees, cakes or ice cream in the adjoining cafe, the Chocolate Cafe.

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Oriel Cafe, Subiaco

Entrance***Restaurant is permanently closed…replaced by Subidoo***Sign

Oriel Cafe is situated right in the centre of Subiaco, near the corner of Rokeby Road and Hay Street.  It is an upmarket cafe that I frequented alot during my uni days for their shoestring fries with aioli sauce (I still have fond memories of them!) and also because they were one of the rare cafe that opened 24 hours.  However, since the changeover to new management, they are only open till 2am on weekends.

I have only been back once since the new management and this is my second time.  The outside area has been refurbished and looks much nicer than before.  The inside area is still exactly the same as before except that they have toned down the music alot.

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Utopia, Perth

UtopiaUtopia is a great place to get the popular Asian drink, Bubbletea (BBT).  BBT originated from Taiwan and is a tea based drink containing traditionally gelatinous tapioca pearl “Sago”.  However, BBT has evolved into a whole new level in recent times – there are over 50 different flavours with or without milk, it comes hot or cold, and you could add extras such as flavoured jelly, flavoured pudding, aloe vera, etc.  For those familiar with Utopia, you would know what I’m talking about if I wanted something like “Summer Love” or “Horlicks”.

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