It Just Has To Be Delicious

Posts tagged ‘Joondalup’

Scents of Siam, Joondalup

Scents of Siam Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

This restaurant is one of two Thai restaurants in Grand Boulevard/Reid Promenade, Joondalup. They are entirely different in their approach, the other one serving traditional Bangkok fare that you would find in most cafes and hotels in Thailand. Scents of Siam is different – it is a labour of love for its owners. Dan, who manages front of house, is Chinese, and his wife who is the Thai-Chinese brainchild behind the dishes, manages the kitchen. They strive to present a fusion of old and new dishes crossing the boundaries of Thai and Chinese and covering the whole geography of Thailand from north to south.

Generally, I don’t like pan-asian restaurants that try to serve more than one cuisine in order to please everybody, but Scents of Siam doesn’t do this – it brings us a very special insight into the food that the Thai-Chinese communities eat, and if the recipe isn’t perfect then chef doesn’t put it on the menu.

Dan explained the menu to us in detail and he also talked about the journey that he and his wife had travelled to find the location for their cafe. He explained that the dinner menu is still under development – they are new to Joondalup – and very much testing the waters with their unusual range of dishes.

I chose a special drink to start with – a butterfly pea flower iced tea. When presented, it is blue and tastes quite floral:

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Then you add a shot of lime juice, and some theatre happens ! It turns purple and tastes much more fruity:

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For our starters we chose mixed mushroom rice paper rolls. Containing button, enoki, shiitake and oyster mushrooms they were very juicy and tasty. A wonderful start to the meal.20170701_182959

Next was Son in law eggs:

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Wonderfully oozy with a crispy coating and a delicious chilli tamarind sauce, Dan told us the two stories of how they were named. Story 1 tells that a father wanted to know if his daughter loved him more than her husband, so he challenged his son-in-law to a competition where they would cook eggs for her to see which eggs she preferred. He was convinced that his daughter would choose his version, but sadly for him, she chose her husband’s eggs and they became known as son-in-law eggs. Story 2 tells how a lady was cooking at the bottom of her house, which was a house on stilts (built for the monsoon). She accidentally dropped an egg into hot oil but when she scooped it out, she realised that it was very tasty, cooked quickly with a firm white and a soft yolk. She was thinking about what to call this egg recipe when she looked up, and through the gaps in the floorboards she saw her son-in-law walking above, wearing nothing but a sarong, and she rather rudely got the inspiration to call them son-in-law eggs !

We ordered 3 dishes for the main and first up was a delicious chicken penang curry. It usually comes with quail’s eggs, but I am extremely allergic to them, so I asked for them to be omitted. This dish had such a wonderful depth of flavour, that I could eat it again in a heartbeat. Complete with thai holy basil leaves, the brightness of kaffir lime, plenty of good quality chicken, and a rich smooth coconut sauce, it was an absolute pleasure to eat.

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We also ordered roti, wonderfully light and crispy and perfect for dipping in the curry.

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Pad Thai was served with extra chilli in case of need, and was a wonderful mix of noodles, beansprouts, chicken, tofu and prawns, perfectly balanced and absolutely delicious.

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Dan was so happy that we liked the food, and asked if we would like a dessert. We said yes, not knowing exactly what to expect, and we were presented with a lovely thai creme caramel with mango sorbet.

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The creme caramel was sprinkled with nuts and there was a hint of chilli in the caramel. Very yummy and a perfect end to the meal.

The bill was also a pleasant surprise $58 for all this. A wonderful host, lovely food, and very reasonable prices – now I can’t wait to return.

Lemongrass Thai Kitchen – Joondalup

Wow – what a find – this lovely little family run Thai restaurant is in Reid Promenade, Joondalup, a few streets away from the main shopping centre. It was a little hard to find because there is another Thai restaurant in the same row, and although Lemongrass has a sign on the window, the sign above says “The Food Larder”, so it is a little confusing. If you aren’t entirely sure, it’s the one that is just a door away from Paddy Malone’s.

On the night we arrived, most of the tables were reserved for a party, but the owner found us a table inside. There are also pavement tables. All staff are really friendly and the owner is an Australian married to a Thai lady.

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We didn’t want a huge amount of food, we only stopped by for a quick dinner, but the meal that we had was absolutely superb. We started by sharing Thai chicken wings, which were crispy, meaty and very tasty, served with a sweet chilli dip.

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Our main course included som tam (papaya salad) which we chose to have spicy, and it was very authentic with lovely tomatoes and peanuts, a very fresh spicy tangy dish.

We also chose a chicken penang and rice. The owner recommended the penang as a lovely rich curry and it did not disappoint – again very authentic and had our tastebuds popping. We needed another portion of rice to complete the meal, and this arrived very quickly even though the staff were serving a large table simultaneously.

Lemongrass is a neighbourhood gem – judging by the party table, it looks like the locals have already noted how good it is. I will definitely be returning because it delivered on every detail.

Pizza in the Joondalup area

I’m a bit fussy about pizza. There are a lot of bad pizza parlours around, and I know I’m eating a good one when the last slice tastes as good as the first one did. To me, a bad pizza is greasy, too heavy on the dough, has toppings that don’t complement each other, or has ridiculous toppings like chicken tikka. Don’t put chicken tikka on a pizza – if you like chicken tikka, have it in an indian restaurant with salad and yoghurt sauce, or even better, make it yourself. So yes, I could rant about bad pizza all day.

Now what makes a good pizza ? It’s a personal choice, but I prefer the traditional Italian pizzas with a thinner crust. I think that meat on a pizza can be too heavy, so I prefer the simple vegetarian styles, but I do occasionally have a hankering for a Pizza Express Pollo ad Astra, and because they don’t have Pizza Express in Perth, I have to make my own with chicken, red onion, sweet capsicum peppers, garlic, cajun spice, mozzarella and tomato.

My benchmark is a margherita – if a pizza parlour makes a good margherita, then I know that all of their other pizzas will be good too. If I am fed up after 2 slices, then forget it.

So – where to go for pizza in Joondalup ? There are three parlours that I like, I don’t have a favourite out of these three – they are very different atmospheres, so really the choice boils down to what kind of evening I fancy.

The first restaurant is Davini’s in Regents Park Road. This is a family run Italian deli and pizza parlour. They have a few tables inside and some on the pavement outside. The owner is delightful, a really nice man, and the pizzas are delicious, nicely loaded up and good pizza dough. They will also prepare a salad if you ask. The only drawback is that you shouldn’t come here if you are in a hurry. The pizzas are delicious because a lot of love goes into them, and if they are busy you will wait at least 40 minutes for your pizza – even if they are not busy, you will probably wait 25 minutes.

Davini’s pizza

The second pizza parlour is called A Slice of Italy. This is located on Edith Cowan University’s Joondalup campus. You can’t park right outside, you have to park in an adjacent car park, but it is only a short walk to get there. The restaurant has a view of the campus lake, and has tables outside on the decking.

Slice of Italy Cafe Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

Inside looks very ‘uni’, it’s a bit messy with comfy  sofas and cushions that look like a Rubik’s cube, and you can play Connect 4 while you wait. You can also get a ‘Study cup’ of coffee with 5 shots of coffee in it. However, what it lacks in appearance, it makes up for in friendliness and quality. The owner is such a lovely guy, he will even make you a ‘half and half’ pizza if you want to share with somebody, but you don’t want the same toppings.

Half and half pizza – margherita + italian

A Slice of Italy offers local delivery, they are open at weekends, they have a nice selection of soft drinks, and they sell Lavazza coffee. On my last visit the owner even gave us some free palmier biscuits.

Palmier biscuits

The third restaurant that I like is Leapfrogs cafe at Wanneroo Botanical Golf. Of the three, this is one that you can dress up to go to – or you can go casual, it doesn’t matter. It is licensed and has a lovely setting amongst the botanical gardens. All of the pizzas are cooked on the woodfired oven and you choose your own toppings.

Leapfrogs Cafe on Urbanspoon

You generally have to book – they are open Thurs-Sun for pizza, and they also offer quite a varied menu of non-pizza items. They usually have entertainment, which is sometimes good, and sometimes not so great depending on the kind of music that you enjoy. It is very pretty setting with fairy lights and has a resort feel to it. For me, the only drawback is that it is very family-oriented, so a fairly romantic evening can be interrupted with children misbehaving close by. For others, the fact that it is child-friendly is an advantage, so it all depends on your point of view. The most important thing though is the food – and the pizzas are good.

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