Tuesday, 16 July 2013

hello from perth: brunch, biltong, bubble tea, and more!

Greetings from Perth!

Simon and I arrived a few days ago and have been enjoying a very leisurely time out in the Perth Hills. This is the first time I've visited Western Australia, while it's old hat for Simon, this being his hometown and all. For both of us, it has been a very nice holiday so far.

Winter in Perth is, for the most part, quite mild - perhaps almost like autumn in Melbourne. The temperatures are warm enough that there has been some days where I've happily taken off my coat and carried it around instead. Mind you, it's been rainy today and we're expecting even choppier weather over the next day or two, but it's supposed to clear up after that, so it's all good!

To be honest, we haven't been doing much in terms of sight-seeing... yet. However, we've been spending lots of quality time with Simon's family, who are so warm and welcoming. On our first day his mum cooked us a delicious lasagne, and the food has kept coming - as I type this, I am tucking into a gorgeous slice of lemon meringue pie.

Oh, and this is the view I get when I wake up in the morning. Not bad, eh?

The view from our room.

On Sunday, I had brunch with Simon and his family. We went to a place called Toast (Shop 21, 60 Royal St, East Perth). One of the allures of this place is the waterfront location where you can dine al fresco with lake views. The other is, as their namesake suggests, the different types of bread/toast that they offer.

The place is super busy and those waiting for a spot are given a rubber duck as a token. The colour of the rubber duck denotes your place in the queue, apparently. It was cute - gimmicky, but cute.

Once we had sat down and ordered, our drinks and food took a while to arrive, but they did, eventually.

I had the eggs florentine, which came with potato and parmesan toast. It was decent, if a bit pricey for what it was - you can see that the serving isn't very big, and it's not otherwise particularly fancy or elaborate, either. Still, the eggs had deep orange and runny yolks. The bread was soft in the middle, crispy around the edges, and gratifyingly savoury.

Eggs Florentine at Toast, East Perth. $15.90 or $16.90 - can't remember which.

Simon had the vegetarian full breakfast, which he seemed to enjoy. I procured a piece of his corn fritter, which was soft and fluffy and generous with juicy corn kernels.

I don't think Toast is special enough to warrant the weekend queues, and I wouldn't go out of my way for it. Having said that, we still had a fine time there with family.

Toast on Urbanspoon

We went for a stroll in Kings Park and Botanic Garden afterwards. It was very pleasant.

Kings Park and Botanic Garden.

Then we walked from there to the Perth CBD area.

Simon was eager to grab a refreshing beverage from his favourite bubble tea place, Utopia (71 Barrack St, Perth), a local chain which has been around since 2001. He opted for an apple green tea with grape jelly, whilst I selected a YETO peach tea with apple jelly. (YETO is some probiotic thing, similar to Vitagen or Yakult).

My YETO peach tea from Utopia.

We sipped on our teas as we sat at the tables, intermittently watching a screen that was playing Mandarin, Japanese and Korean pop song videos. I have to say I really like the bubble teas here -  tasty, and very generous with the jellies. The only odd thing is that my bubble tea with 25% sugar is about as sweet as Simon's with 50% sugar, and I could go a little less, but fortunately it was still alright for me. (Yes, you can customize your preference for sugar amounts, as well as ice). When all's said and done, I might even say it's quite possibly now my most favourite bubble tea place, too!

Utopia Barrack Street on Urbanspoon

We also came across The Biltong Shop (21 Plaza Arcade, Perth) when we were wandering about, and decided to get a bag of assorted biltong (cured dried meat, South African style) in different flavours (peri peri, pepper, chilli and fatty). My favourite is the peri peri - it's not the "extra hot" it claims to be, as far as I'm concerned, but it definitely has a sufficiently spicy kick.

The biltong pieces from The Biltong Shop make a convenient snack.

The Biltong Shop also has droewors (dried sausage) and beef jerky, so if we're in the area again sometime, we might try those as well.

The Biltong Shop on Urbanspoon

After a few days of settling down, I decided it was finally time to get off the couch and start doing some cooking with Simon, to give his mum a break. Together, we created this vegan soba noodle salad with roasted vegetables for lunch.

Vegan soba salad.

And we ate it while enjoying this view.

View from the Perth Hills - you can just spy Perth City in the distance.

That's all for now, but I've still got about a week to spend in Perth, so any suggestions or recommendations of things to see, do and eat, are welcome!


  1. Wow what a lovely break you guys are having! I've never been to Perth, but it looks like there are some good noms to have, and lovely scenery!

    1. Yes, to be honest we haven't eaten out much, but it's been a pretty nice time so far!

  2. Isn't it currently truffle season? And you being in WA where a lot of Australian truffles are grown... ;)

    1. Ooh thanks for the tip! Just looked it up. Perhaps I'll get a truffle while I'm here. ;)

  3. Ooooh, we've just been considering a week in Perth (after NZ travel plans fell through) but have decided on a few days in Sydney instead. Your photos could almost have swayed the argument for me though.

    1. This post is just the tip of the iceberg... you ain't seen nothing yet! :p

  4. Beauuuuutiful:) What gorgeous gorgeous views his family has!

    Love the you can customize your bubble tea sugar levels - I would love to have that option!

    1. It is so gorgeous! I think I could get used to that...

  5. Sounds like a relaxing time away! Enjoy!


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