The Precinct: Vic Park

I referred to my latest venture to The Precinct: Vic Park as ‘the last supper’. Don’t assume I am no longer wining and dining due to becoming calorie conscience and taking up meal replacement shakes (let’s be frank, a shake isn’t a shake if ice-cream is absent). It’s something far more sinister going by the name of a BUDGET!

Only six tiny letters which already is causing havoc and placing strain on maintaining my social life and sugar levels. I have however, come to the realisation that holidays cost money and if I’m to be able to afford wining and dining in South and North America then I need to make some serious changes to my ‘foodie’ spending patterns. In order to honour this budget I am set to employ a ‘less is best’ attitude and sample Perth’s cheap eateries rather than venturing to the alluring and pricey gastronomic havens E.g. Amuse, Halo, Balthazaar.

This newly acquired and well honed skill of scoping out quality cheap eats may pay dividends in the US when attempting to locate quality cheap Texan bbq ribs, roadside burgers, southern soul food and the odd can of string cheese.

As I mentioned previously this therefore was my ‘last supper’ of moderately priced food and I was hoping that it would be a positive experience leaving me semi-happy to commence the budget venture. The suggestion of The Precinct provided by my fellow diner fit the bill for our mid-week dinner date.

The Precinct 

834 Albany Highway, East Victoria Park

(08) 9355 2880

http://theprecinctvicpark.com.au

Opening Hours

Mon-Fri 7:30am – midnight

Sat 8:00am – midnight

Sun8:00am – 10pm

Bookings available, walk-ins welcome

Settling back with a glass of the featured Howard Park Cab Sav at a rather expensive $13 p/glass it was hard to ignore the trendy and warehouse vibe that had been created. Exposed brick, dim lighting and wine lining the walls certainly made this bar/restaurant somewhere you would be keen to venture to for Friday night nibbles and drinks before a quick trek into the closely located CBD. Sound boards on the roof assist in keeping the noise to a minimum, a great move in a minimalistic and exposed environment.

It is easy to see why this relatively new restaurant has become a favourite in the otherwise underutilised Albany Hwy cafe strip. Although business seemed favourable I believe they could increase business 10 fold by simply changing their door. My favourite past time of people watching came to the forefront that evening with potential customers struggling to work the complex bi fold sliding doors. Pushing from the end marked with an arrow may seem logical but waitstaff were often scurrying to the door to operate the complex entry system. I’m not sure if this was their way of ensuring customers were greeted by front of house but if so its an effective ploy.

Table service was efficient and prompt. It was nice to finally see some great service in Perth with the wait staff cleaning our table, taking drink and food orders without having to be hunted down. Although it wasn’t particularly busy, it seemed like the kind of establishment that would run smoothly even on a hectic night.

We ordered almost immediately preventing any cannibalistic tendencies that may have reared its ugly head had we become too hungry. The menu is available online for breakfast, lunch and dinner including a substantial wine list. Although all items looked appetising, it was a small menu with a larger range of share plates/tapas than mains. In order to cover all bases we ordered 1 main and 2 tapas dishes for consumption which was enough for 3 people. The main was the gnocchi, pulled pork, almonds & silver beet ($23) while the two tapas dishes included the ever loved hand cut chips ($9.5) and walnut, rocket, white bean dip, tortilla crisps (gf/v) ($9).

Much like the interior the food presentation was clean yet appetising. The white bean dip was enjoyable and a great starter to the meal being light and fresh on the palate. A drizzle of olive oil or slightly more seasoning would have been preferable with the main ingredients of rocket and white bean needing some ‘oooomph’ in the flavour department.

White bean dip and tortilla chips

The age-old debate of soggy v crispy chips cropped up yet again with the much anticipated arrival of the hand cut chips. I am firmly in the ‘soggy/soft’ chip camp stemming from my youth of visiting country Chicken Treat specialising in day old soggy chips. The hand cut chips were right up my alley being slightly soft but not to the point that those on the crispy bandwagon would be disgusted. Seasoned well and at a sizeable proportion, I was happy with choosing this item off the menu. It was served with a side of chilli sauce but much to my surprise this wasn’t used by any of us, indicating the quality of the chips individually.

Hand cut chips

The last main was equally enjoyable. The almond and silver beet sauce lining the plate was topped with perfectly cooked pulled pork creating an interesting take on a ‘gnocchi’ meal. The almond and silver beet sauce was delicious and was mopped up with the pork and gnocchi stopping short of actually licking the plate clean, disappointingly frowned upon in public areas.

Pulled pork and gnocchi

Based on the design, food and wine list,I enjoyed my last supper at The Precinct and I have no hesitations in saying that I will be back after cessation of my ‘budget period’.

Positives: Cool decor, relaxed atmosphere, good service and ideal location.

Negatives: Complex door, limited main choice and some more seasoning for the dip required.

Overall: 3.5/5 

Next post is my 1st ‘cheap eat Perth’ post with Source Foods:Highgate being in the spotlight with their Friday night organic burgers.

Love The Fat Cow x

The Precinct on Urbanspoon

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The George: Perth CBD

Some weekends are dedicated to catching up with friends and family which inevitably means travelling from one cafe to the next. This weekend was no exception and left me visiting a variety of Perth pastures (restaurant’s/cafe’s) with some leaving me slightly underwhelmed.

The Indi Bar located at

3 Hastings Street Scarborough Western Australia 6019
ph: +61 8 9341 112
fx: +61 8 9341 1899

Kicked off the weekend on Friday night with local talent Carus Thompson getting the crowds in. I hadn’t seen or been to the Indi Bar before, and from the initial observation I felt as though I should have parked closer to the door or in a more well-lit area. As the main attraction was not playing in the front bar when we arrived, we took it upon ourselves to get into the bar/bistro theme munching on some turkish bread with homemade dips ($9) , wedges ($9) and chunky chips ($8). I know this isn’t a gourmet choice, but when in a pub it seems like the natural thing to do. I washed this down with a nice glass of Cab Sav Pepperjack which is great in any situation. The turkish bread and dips did not impress with the dip tasting like Philadelphia cream cheese. As for the wedges and chips….. well they were moreish, as indicated by the empty bowls with only remnants of the fried joys remaining. From observation the bar looked like it fulfilled its role of good standard pub food specialising in steak, burgers and chips. So if you’re in need for some pub grub and don’t mind dated decor then The Indi Bar will provide you with what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for something a little more gourmet then somewhere like The Brisbane might be a better option.

Rating 2.5/5

The local talent

All the action from The Indi Bar

The Windsor Hotel was my next stop on the weekends eating adventure.

112 Mill Point Rd, South Perth

windsorhotel.com.au

This is my local stomping ground and have eaten and drunk a few to many wines here on many occasion. Being there on a warm Sunday afternoon under the shade cloth’s in the beer garden got me in a good mood straight away. This was quickly taken back however when after observing the menu I came to realise that my usual salt and pepper squid with Nam Jim salad had been removed from the menu. This dish was my clear favourite and forced me to deviate from tradition onto the wood fired pizza list. Service was adequate with attentive wait staff taking our food and drink orders straight away. It was however disappointing to see that the wait staff could not advise us if the barramundi listed on the menu had been caught locally. With the waiter returning to the table to inform us that it was local produce, half the table opted for a plate of traditional battered fish and chips ($29) while I ordered The Triple P  wood fired pizza (Red curry chicken, satay sauce, pineapple, coriander, spring onion, capsicum and sweet chilli topped with mozzarella ($23). Meals were quick to be delivered to the table however due to the pizza oven being in a different kitchen, the rest of the table was made to wait  while my pizza came out separatley…..some peoples manners are better than mine. Reviews of the barrumundi were all positive with the batter being light and the fish remaining moist. The pizza was enjoyable and had the wood fired crunch to the thin base however did appear quite oily on top when placed in front of us.

The final verdict – Good atmosphere and ambience in the beer garden when warm. Adequate service but limited knowledge of the menu. Good pub food at adequate prices. Rating 3.5/5

Slightly full from the Windsor I was craving something sweet to top off my day. What better way to end a busy weekend with a High Tea full of bite sized delights and fine china. I had been fortunate enough to be invited to The George by a friend to help celebrate her birthday.

The George

216 St Georges Tce, Perth

http://www.thegeorgeperth.com.au/

I never knew The George specialised in High Tea, after seeing it mainly as a place that the rat race flocked to on Friday afternoon to drown their sorrows about the stressful week they just had and what was installed for the next. But as I entered the doors (after finding a park at the overpriced Atrium car park) the room was packed with young and old women grazing on scones and pastries, with the odd male sitting there formulating an exit strategy. Due to our large numbers we were in the function room which was good as we were able to mingle with ease between the two tables. There was a good selection of teas available however due to being a coffee addict I ordered a long black. Should I have been traditional, Chai tea would have been the tea of choice. Sipping on champagne tied us over until the tea and coffee came out with scones, jam and cream to accompany it. The scones were light a fluffy and the jam was clearly homemade with the cream having a nice taste of vanilla to it. It was unfortunate however that after this course it was a long time till the tiered cake stand presented itself with the remainder of the food. By this stage another round of coffee and tea would have been nice but must not be included in the price of $37 p/p. The wait staff ensured that each party member was told about each individual item on the stand, which I was impressed by. It did seem strange however to be tucking into rare beef and smoked chicken sandwiches after starting on sweet scones. The highlight of the assorted cakes was the small lemon tarts topped with passionfruit, although the chocolate pistachio cake was also another clear favourite. Ialso  commend the chef for catering for my gluten intolerant friend, who was served an individual assortment of cakes and pastries which was equally as appetising.

Lemon Tart

A few tasty treats

Although the food was enjoyable, the odd presentation and lack of refills with the tea and coffee left me a little underwhelmed considering the price. I did not walk out the door feeling like The George was Perth’s best high tea restaurant, which was a shame as it seems to have the potential to do so.

Rating 3.5/5

So there it is my friends. 3 restaurants later and 3 kg’s heavier The Fat Cow has had a busy weekend. Leave me a post should you recommend any places to review.

Love The Fat Cow