Head & Heart | March 2016

I know, I know. It’s been a while. I always say this, that I’m sorry (because I am), and you are always kind and forgiving (because you are).

But I’m here now, and we should probably catch up. Are you ready?

 

Head & Heart

What I’ve been grateful for:

  • Opportunity. Although I swore a million times that I’d never go back, I’m currently studying. There are files and textbooks and highlighters and post-it flags piled at my feet (and like any good student, I’m writing this while I procrastinate), and I’m oddly happy about it. My Day Job encouraged me to take the leap – I’m studying a graduate certificate in policy and governance at the Queensland University of Technology – and are really supportive about it all. #auspol #nerd
  • Opportunity 2: I’m off to Sydney for the first time! I’m heading over to check out the MAD conferenceat the freakin’ Opera House, no less! The biggest names in food (Kylie Kwong, David Chang, Massimo Boturra, Rene Redzepi) are talking Tomorrow’s Meal, and I can’t even believe that I’m going to be in that theatre, with so many incredible people. So out of my depth. So excited.
  • My girl gang. Last month, I gathered a bunch of ladies that I truly admire for a whole bunch of different reasons, and told them how incredible they were. Some run small businesses, some are creatives, others educators. They are all fierce, giving, kind and generous, and I wanted them to know each other and connect. It was magical and terrifying and I loved it.

img_5448

 

What I’ve been thinking about:

  • This piece – making friends on Twitter. It sums up my experience – mostly positive, highly educational, and the home of my tribe. I’ve met such wonderful people (mostly women) who I couldn’t live without, and I get to indulge in the things I love the most –  politics, comics and feminism – that would probably have my Facebook crew unfriending me in droves.
  • Youtube. I’m so behind on this whole thing, but I’m into now with gusto. With its plethora of cat and fail videos, there’s also so much to learn. And no, I’m not just talking about make up tutorials (though I love those too), there are so many incredibly smart women talking about really clever things. Karlie Kloss is talking to female entrepreneurs, Estee Lalonde is talking periods and sex, Rosianna Halse Rojas is chatting Shine Theory. It’s something I wish I had growing up, and even at almost 30, it’s still interesting and insightful.

img_5445

What I’m excited for:

  • Uh, SYDNEY. Bakeries! Wanderings! Adventures! Sephora! I plan on coming home with a very large box of panna cotta lamingtons from Flour and Stone, I’m going to find Black Star Pastry if it kills me, and I’ve already planned a dinner at Billy Kwong with my folks. Mum wants to spend some time wandering around The Rocks, probably catching the Manly Ferry. Other suggestions? Hit me up, I want to hear them pleaseandthankyou
  • If you, like me, make unholy squealing noises when you see cute fluffy things, then please meet Hicks the bunny. He belongs to my friends Marc and Lou, and I’m obsessed with his thumping paws and fluffy white tail. He’s also a sassy, sulking drama queen. I love/hate him.

img_5335

What I’ve been doing:

  • Winning the 4th Annual Office Bake-Off, nbd. It’s funny, everyone in my office is competitive for us, while Alex and I just like baking. This year, I submitted feta and herb biscuits, and a panna cotta tart with lemon curd and freeze-dried raspberry. I was pretty proud of that tart, it was a smushing of recipes and a lot of finger-crossing while hoping for the best. TRIUMPH.
  • Getting behind the Safe Schools program. It kills me that our government can be so cruel to speak about our kids in such a disgusting way, and it’s killing kids to not have access to such a vital program (LGBTQIA youth are six times likely to attempt suicide, and transgender people are 76% more likely. This. Is Not. Okay.). Write to your local Members of Parliament and demand that they support funding to Safe Schools. These kids deserve better.

img_5361

What I’ve been reading:

  • The shiny and new Broadsheet Perth. Edited by my friend and all round best guy Max Veehuyzen, it’s a website dedicated to the best in Perth. Now I know you think these are a dime a dozen, but Broadsheet does it better with content written by people who know and love what they do, and photography by the best in the business. There’s no washed-up, ex reality tv wannabes here, just quality writing.
  • This post about chocolate brownies, just in case you didn’t get enough chocolate over the weekend.
  • And this about throwing together a dinner party in under an hour. It’s a pretty excellent reminder to keep things simple, more than anything.
  • I attended the Perth Writer’s Festival last month and picked up a stack of books that I’m trying (and failing) to work through. I learned so much from seeing these women speak, and I can’t recommend their books enough!

img_5261

What I’ve been spending money on:

  • One of these La Lune prints from Chi Borello. I’m obsessed with everything she does, I can’t even tell you. I picked it up from La Luna, a rad homeware store in Inglewood, which I can no longer venture into unsupervised.
  • This phone case from Sportsgirl – easily the best $15 I’ve spent this month, because I never developed past being a 13 year old girl. This is why.
  • Breakfast at Satchmo Cafe in North Perth. There’s something I really love about Jewish cooking – the ritual of it, the intrinsic link between food and family, the tradition, and it goes without saying that I was excited when this beautiful café opened near home. It’s a place with energy, with a vibe. On weekends, there’s a band playing in the carpark, other days there’s 1950’s jazz wafting from the speakers. I twisted Rob’s arm into picking the brisket bagel, while I devoured the blueberry blintz, and they offer all kinds of different bagels and biscuits.

img_5342

 

Tell me about your month! What’s news?

 

Head & Heart | February

So, we’re back to Head & Heart. Check out what everyone else is up to over at Helarious, and join in!

 

What I’ve been grateful for:

Support. Last week was one of those weeks. It was manic busy, incredibly stressful, and just hard. Find your tribe. They make your world better.

 The person who’s responsible for this. It’s my new standard for mind blowing adorable.

The person who sent me this, because this is pretty much going to happen, and he doesn’t find that weird about me.

Grown up

 

What I’ve been thinking about:

Doughnuts. Because, always doughnuts. What would be your dream flavour?

Love this post (and all of her work) by Elise from I Fucking Love Science to celebrate the really cool discoveries by women in science that you probably didn’t know anything about. Fuck yeah!

IMG_3815

What I’m excited for:

RAIN. Please, please, please, please, please, rain.

Stationery. I was given some gorgeous stuff by Kelsie from K Gets Organised, and I’m pretty sure she’s unleashed my inner monster. I need pads! books! pens!

The new Avengers movie. I’m a massive nut for Marvel, and I’m pretty sure 100 of these views are from me alone. 7 weeks to go!

The Good Food Month Night Noodle Market. Photos from the events over East flood my Instagram when it’s on, and my jealousy knows no bounds. I’m pretty keen to see what the guys from Lucky Chan’s can do in the lead up to their opening, as well as stuffing my face with Low Key Chow House’s mantou buns (which is the best thing on their menu). It runs from 18-29 March, from 5pm on weekdays and 4pm on weekends, in the Perth Cultural Centre (around the Library and Art Gallery). The event is free, and dishes cost less than $14. Woooo!

IMG_3594

New Openings:

  • Max + Sons
    The gorgeous, light-filled coffee shop that is just what 140 William needed! They serve 5 Senses coffee (using a gorgeous Synesso machine) and doughnuts by my dough-bros at Top Dup.
  •  Asado
    I attended their launch recently, and was impressed by their beautiful space, the quality of their meat (I tend to walk into barbecue joints with slightly low expectations, because it’s hard to get right) and the lovely attitude of their staff. I haven’t had a chance to get back, but I assure you, it’s on the cards.
  • The Old Laundry
    A new haunt on Angove Street. I haven’t gotten there yet, but I’ve heard lovely things from multiple sources.
  •  Sauma
    A pretty gorgeous Indian restaurant on the corner of William and Francis Streets (next to Lot 20), Sauma is a welcome addition to one of my favorite strips. I hear the servings are veeeery generous, so take a group to get a good taste of the menu.
  • The Modern Eatery
    Some seriously fancy looking Japanese has come to Freo. Check out Miss Eats a Lot for her review.

IMG_3708

What I’ve been doing:

The recent long weekend saw me down south (I’m sticking to my promise of more time out), which was amazing as always. Vasse Felix. Morries Anytime. UGH, FANTASTIC. From here on in, I’m putting miso butter on everything.

IMG_3714

I finally won my office bake-off. I’ve been competing against Alex from Little Red’s Cupcakes for 3 years, and at long last, I am triumphant. My savoury dish kinda sucked, but panna cotta lamingtons saved the day! You can get the recipe here, and it’s bloody fantastic. It’s not hard at all, you just have to be organised.

My new day job has a more political skew, and has introduced me to my new addiction: Parliamentary Question Time. It’s like your favourite reality TV soap opera. I love it. There’s yelling and petty name calling and it’s amazing.

I’m only 1 million years too late, but The West Wing. I love you, CJ. And Rob Lowe.

IMG_3819

 What I’ve been reading:

The Obsession issue of Lucky Peach. This piece on making gnocchi is a beautiful read.

I’ve got my hands on copies of Bad Feminist and Trigger Warning. I’m going to build a pillow fort and hide for a couple of days while I devour them.

This post from my friend Michelle at Foodie Cravings.

 IMG_3730

 

What I’ve been spending money on:

Of course, I came home from my weekend down south laden with goodies from Providore, the Margaret River Chocolate Factory, Bahen and Co and Olio Bello.

Flowers from Debra Hayes Floral.

IMG_3801

I swear, I start nesting in the lead up to winter. I’m all about homewares right now. Blankets! Pillows! Vases! A Cup of Chic is responsible for most of my current lust list.

More Cards Against Humanity (I bought booster packs), because I love this game. From Planet Books, if you’re looking.

 

Tell me about your month. What’s news?

What I Love – Michael Munroe Edition

A couple of years ago, I stumbled across a news article on my morning commute to work. Something about a new coffee shop opening in the Perth CBD, with a super fancy machine? My regular café was closed and I was desperate for coffee, so the finer details were a little lost on me.

One foot inside Standing Room Only, and I realised I wasn’t in Kansas any more. These guys take their Third Wave coffee very seriously.

Syphons, cold drips, pour-overs and filters all become very easy to understand because Michael and his team take the time to make things very, very simple. Nothing is too much trouble for these guys – trust me, I rocked up prior to their lunch rush with 6 food bloggers, their cameras and a million questions during Eat Drink Blog last year, and not a eyelid was batted. The girls came away with a heart full of caffeine-induced palpitations and a brain full of knowledge.

And if all of these things still isn’t your jam – they’re not going to scoff at you should you order a latte with 2 sugars – they’re all about the love.

Putting it as simply as I know how – I’d get behind anything Michael puts his name to. It’s all good.

What I Love with Michael Munroe

 

Who are you/what do you do?
I am Michael Munroe and I am the Head of Coffee for Addison & Steele Specialty Coffee (North Perth) and Standing Room Only (CBD).
sF6P278i

Image: Michael Munroe Twitter

Why Perth?
While most may look to Melbourne in search for delicious coffee (and they maybe somewhat right) what I love about Perth is that it is up and coming. There is so much potential for this city and it’s hospitality industry. It is truly exciting to be part of that.
Addison & Steele

Addison & Steele

Where did your love of coffee come from? 
Throughout my last couple years of school I worked a Sunday job at my parents café (now ex-café). Here I got a taste of cafe work and began to be exposed to making coffee. It got pretty exciting and I found myself searching the city for delicious coffee to experience and interesting people to learn from. After school I moved to Melbourne and scored a job with Sensory Lab and was exposed to a whole new world of coffee I had never seen. I tasted my first incredible coffee (Syphon with Panama Don Pachi Geisha) and fell in love at that moment. If I could wake up everyday and make something that tasted this delicious, then life was going to pretty sweet…. pun intended.
 
20140622-120516-43516640.jpg
You just placed 3rd in the Australian Brewers Championship (high five!) –  How do you feel about Perth’s growing coffee scene? 
During this competition I spent a solid week working with and learning from the incredible team at Small Batch Coffee Company. They exposed me to what they were doing and how they were thinking (coffee wise) in Melbourne. What I loved was how involved the public were interested and involved.
Right now Perth has some great baristas, managers and coffee institutions and I feel they are all somewhat taken for granted. We are producing some great coffee in some beautiful cafes, and as soon as we get the involvement with more of the public and they accept they don’t need to go all the way to Melbourne for good coffee we are going to have a thriving scene just like Melbourne. (I would like to note that this is a generalisation and I want to send shout outs to all our awesome customers at both shops who continue to support our business and ideas!)
I also believe that as soon as mainstream media decides to support its own city and all that it has to offer rather than focusing on dramatised pricing figures and other related negatives, the growth of our industry will be unstoppable!
Overall Perth is showing great potential to become the next coffee destination, I am excited for more people to get involved with our industry resulting in a flourishing caffeinated scene!
Your dream food day?
A day in Mexico. Eating delicious, raw food, drinking tequila and taking siestas. Couldn’t ask for a better day.
What’s the best thing you ate recently?
Probably the Beef Short Rib or Duck Bao I had at Melbourne’s new restaurant ‘Supernormal’. It was delicious, and Heston Blumenthal who was sitting next to us seemed happy with it!
 
Where do you love to go to eat?
El Publico I believe is doing some of the best Mexican food in Australia right now and I never turn down an outing there. The food is delicious, the tequila list is stella and service is top notch. Oh and it’s a 2 minute walk from me. Winning.
Where do you love to hang out?
You’ll find me slinging shots at Addison & Steele most days of the week, we also do a lot of staff training and public tastings so I am there a lot. And I love it. Coffee, beautiful fit out, great staff and customers – the ultimate hangout.
 
What’s your favourite thing right now?
My VST Refractometer. It’s a coffee nerds most useful tool. Basically it reads a sample of my brewed coffee and helps me work how much I am extracting from the coffee. I can then adjust my recipe to make sure and I am not over or under extracting and instead hitting the desired sweet spot.
What inspires you?
The idea of being the best I can be. Obviously there are people and events in the coffee industry (and outside of it) that inspire me but in the end this is all channeled to being the best I can be. This is applied both in career and personal life.
What are you looking forward to in 2014? 
I the beginning of the year I declared this was going to be a huge year. Already at nearly the halfway point it has been hectic and so much has happened. Some of the things I am looking forward to now include roasting our own coffee at Addison & Steele (happening soon!), competitions in November and new hospitality institutes opening!
Want to know more? Check out this post from Juji Chews and these beautiful photos from DineWhitMe and Wildest of Dreams.
 Addison and Steele also debuted a new menu last week well worth checking out!

What I Love – We Love Perth Edition

I’m not interested in famous people. Well, not mostly. I’m not so stupid as to turn away Hugh Jackman if he wanted to plait my hair, eat cookie dough and talk about feelings. But aside from just about every woman’s dream night in, I’d turn down coffee with a Kardashian for dinner with this woman any day of the week.

When I first started toying with the idea of blogging, I started to scout for ideas and inspiration. I tossed about ideas of a Perth-centric blog about the happenings and general goings on about town – and that’s when I found We Love Perth. I gave up my blog concept very quickly, because We Love Perth pretty much nails it.

About a year ago, I met Claire at  a dinner. Cue some serious fangirling, because ohmygod, she knows who I am. I mean, how does one person do all of this stuff? Who wouldn’t want to pick the brains of someone like Claire?

Well, today you do. You’re welcome. 

What I Love with Claire Trolio

 

Who are you/what do you do?

I run a clothing and gift store in Northbridge with my sister Isabelle, called Ruck Rover General Store. I also own and edit a website, We Love Perth, where we spread the word about the best things that Perth has to offer.

20140516-205536.jpg

Why Perth?

I love our beautiful, sunny days and stunning landscape. I love that you can hop in a car and drive and drive and drive, and see such diverse things. I love Perth because I can fill my days with things like going to the footy, eating ice cream, reading outside, seeing the ocean regularly. And Perth is filled with friendly, talented people who are a pleasure to know.

What would be your dream food day?
I would say I’d begin with dim sum, but that replaces both breakfast and lunch, and my dream food day should have as many meals as possible! So… French toast for breakfast – eggy and salty. I’d eat it sitting on my back porch.
At lunchtime I’d head out. If this is the ultimate then somewhere overlooking the beach or the bush with pork belly or a crab pasta on the menu.
Ice cream for afternoon tea, of course.
For dinner, I’d like to go somewhere a bit fancy, where I get to put on a frock and enjoy good company and good wine too. Ideally, I’d like some Moreton Bay bugs on the menu for entree and something with marrow for my main.
After dinner I’d like to teleport to France for some of the best soft cheese, please.
20140516-205559.jpg

Image: Ruck Rover Instagram

What’s the best thing you ate recently?

Ooh, I just had a long weekend in Singapore and my friends took us out to Grand Shanghai Restaurant. We had a sticky pork and water chestnut dish that was really amazing.

What ingredient can’t you get enough of?

Cheese.

Image: Ruck Rover Instagram

Image: Ruck Rover Instagram

Where do you love to go to eat?

My favourite restaurant in Perth is probably Tsunami – a Japanese restaurant in Mosman Park. I also really love Taylor’s Art & Coffee House in the Swan Valley for lunch. Must never lets me down – whether having a fancy dinner in the bistro or enjoying bar snacks in the wine bar, it’s hard to beat the food that’s served there. The Flying Taco for mid-week takeaway, Hawker’s Cuisine for after work dinners (they’ve now moved even closer to my shop!) and Mrs S for the best cakes ever. And I’m quite partial to a sausage roll from Tas’s Bakery in Dunsborough… but who isn’t?

Where do you love to hang out?

I love heading out of town, even just for day trips. I do spend a lot of time in Northbridge – shopping, eating, drinking, catching a show or seeing a band, it’s got it all.

What’s your favourite thing right now?

My friend gave me a new quilt cover and it’s AMAZING. I also have a new blanket. Life is good.

What inspires you?
Cut flowers in the house. A good cup of tea. Overgrown gardens. And business meetings with my sister (by which I mean, chatting to my sister, with snacks. Do not underestimate the power of snacks to inspire.)
What are you looking forward to in 2014?

This year I decided to schedule more downtime. I’ve finally come to the realisation that just because I love my job and I always have lots of work to do, doesn’t mean I should work everyday! I know, I know, other people have known this for years. Anyway, at the beginning of the year I decided to spend more time reading books, doing crosswords, watching television and generally just hanging out doing not much at all. I’m also planning a little trip up to Broome which is getting me quite excited.

Foodsters. Like scenesters, but with food.

trend/trend/

Noun:

A general direction in which something is developing or changing.
1. Style or vogue.
2. To emerge as a popular trend; be currently popular.

Food, it turns out, is not immune to a good band wagon.

Liquid Nitrogen. Slow food. Raw food. Organic. Southern Comfort. Seasonal.
Perth has also seen its fair share of trends. The influx of tapas bars. Then the gourmet burger places (I live within a 5 minute drive of no less than seven). Right now, if you’ve got a good eye, Mexican places are creeping into the ‘burbs.

I get highly irrational food cravings. Ones that make pregnant women seem relatively sane. The idea worms its way into my brain, and takes hold. There it will remain, unrelenting (think Bart Simpson with a pot on his head yelling “I am so great”, unrelenting) until I relinquish control to the voice in my head; commanding me to eat until breathing becomes uncomfortable and I require elasticated pants.

I got one of these cravings. For burritos. And it needed to be more than that Old El Paso, imitation Mex (what’s the Mexican equivalent of Fasian?).

Being one of those nights when no one was home, and half my kitchen was taken up with another baking venture, there was no chance I was cooking. So, I recruited my friend Wheezy for a mid-week catch up, and convinced her to meet me at The Flying Taco in North Perth.

The menu isn’t complicated. Choose from a style (taco/burrito/quesadilla), chose a meat (or non-meat if so inclined) throw in a salsa, and you got yourself a tasty, tasty feed..

Fillings are marinated in imported spices, and combined with a bean and rice mix. It’s all smushy, delicious goodness.

They hand make their own tortilla corn chips, served with sour cream (which, by the way, is the best sour cream ever).

All can be washed down with a variety of refreshments, including home-made iced hibiscus tea. The Flying Taco is also BYO, and within stumbling distance from The Rosemount Hotel, if you feel that a brewski is in order.

As Wheezey and I inhaled our burritos, we looked at our own. And the at each others.
“How is it?” I asked.
“Pretty damn good”, came the reply.
“Um… Want to try some of mine?”, I offered.
So, like kids in the playground at recess, we swapped. Giving them back was much harder than you would have thought.

One pollo burrito later, the raging craving was quieted.
For now.