17 June 2010


Having satisfied their public holiday coffee needs, the Bloggers turned their minds to their stomachs. They needed burgers. Stat.

Helpfully, Grill’d was well and truly open on this public holiday. When we walked past Grill’d on the way to find a coffee, we were particularly charmed by the number of people getting their 11.00am burger fix. They must have had worse nights than we did, as we were able to hold back until 11.45.

By the time we got to the burger joint, we had already closely studied the menu and selected our beasts as follows:

1. Booto went for the chicken and brie burger. Her selection resulted from her last Grill’d experience, which occurred during a visit to Grill’d in Prahran while heavily pregnant and desperate to fill up on contraband soft cheese. Today Booto’s dreams could be realised.

2. The Brains opted for the mustard and pickle number, which, on reflection, sounds like the type of thing a pregnant woman might crave. However, the Brains’ fondness for pickles has been a lifelong trait, which was the only reason for her selection.

3. The Deliberator went with the Cheeseburger. His reasons were obvious. It was a burger. With cheese. You’d be mad not to really.

4. The Sponge mixed it up a little and selected the steak sambo.

To avoid argument, we each ordered our own side of chips and made sure we had a representative of each dipping sauce on the table – herbed mayo, tomato relish and sweet chilli mayo.

The ordering process is simple and efficient, but it still managed to perplex the Deliberator who didn’t realise he had to decide on what type of bun he wanted (Panini or traditional), and then couldn’t land on a drink because Grill’d stocks Pepsi products which are reasonably unfamiliar to him. (For those who are interested, he ended up with Panini and a Pepsi Max). The Pepsi thing must have also struck the Sponge unawares, as he brought a red creaming soda back to the table. Being in a hamburger joint made him sentimental for sugary drinks and spiders.

The burgers arrived quickly, which was a blessing because with no alcohol to sustain our conversation, we had well and truly run out of things to say to each other. The burgers looked fabulous and fresh and we couldn’t wait to get into them, but disaster struck before we had the chance.

You see, Grill’d has a variety of extra sauces for those who feel they need them, and as each of us tends to add tomato sauce to everything we eat, we took advantage of this offer. The tomato sauce comes in these cute, plastic, tomato-shaped dispensers with the sauce itself arriving through the ‘stem’ of the tomato. The leaves of the tomato surrounding the stem act as a lid. The Deliberator, notoriously neat with his food (any sandwich the Deliberator makes only has right angles), carefully held the leaves/lid, opened his burger and neatly covered his pattie with the correct amount of t-sauce. The Brains, oblivious to the Deliberator’s delicate handling of the dispenser, grabbed it off him, opened her burger and managed to dump the lid (ie, the leaves) of the sauce dispenser onto her burger, followed quickly by three quarters of the contents of the dispenser. The Deliberator refused to give up his ration of napkins to help the Brains with this untenable situation (he’s trying to teach the Brains how to use napkins sparingly) and proceeded to mocked her incessantly.

Later, the Sponge, by this time thoroughly involved the steak sambo, went to add some t-sauce to his plate so he could dip his chips into it. Whether he had not seen the Brains’ screw up, or whether he’d seen it and completely forgotten about it, he managed to do exactly the same thing and tip the lid plus contents of the plastic tomato all over his plate. It was tomato sauce mayhem at our table, and Stinky wasn’t even there.

So how were the burgers? Delicious, we really liked them. The bread is fresh, the meat is tender and, in the case of the burgers, surprisingly lean, the other ingredients are clearly good quality and super fresh and the sauces are excellent. The Brains very much liked her mustard (particularly mixed with t-sauce) and the herbed mayo on the other burgers is thick and creamy with plenty of flavour. The chips are also delicious – they are crisp and golden and come in giant serves, absolutely covered in salt and herbs. The herbs on the chips are a bit much with the herb mayo dipping sauce and the herb mayo in the burgers, but if you substitute the dipping sauce with the sweet chilli mayo, the herbiness seems to even itself out.

In summary:

Service: Exactly what you would expect from a casual burger joint. The burgers come out in quick time too, which was no doubt a product of the sweat-shop style kitchen which appeared to simultaneously employ every teenager in the area.

Food: Great burgers that don’t make you feel too disgusting. Tasty chips. Good sized serves of everything.

Highlight: The high quality meat.

Lowlight: The crap tomato sauce dispenser. And the fact that they charge 70 cents for chip dipping sauce – surely that can be wrapped up in the price of the chips?

Rating: 4 herbed mayos out of 5

Will we be back: Yep, particularly as it’s the only burger joint on Beaufort.

Details: Grill’d is located next to the Astor Arcade, where Cinos used to be. They have an excellent website - www.grilld.com.au – which includes a copy of the menu. You can BYO booze and they’ll even give you wine glasses for next to nothing. A burger and chips will come in at around $17 per person.

Grill'd on Urbanspoon

09 June 2010

ExoMod Coffee House

It was the morning after the night before. The Bloggers had spent their Sunday night of a public holiday drinking red wine and watching 320 episodes of Family Guy in a row. Other than BOOTO and Stinky, who had the sense to turn in early, we woke up to a Monday feeling groggy, scattered and generally worse than we would have if we actually had to go to work. The only thing that would help our situation was burgers. And coffee.

The coffee proved more difficult than the burgers. Inexplicably, Perth coffee shops tend to shut down on a public holiday, when they are needed the most. The section of Beaufort Street north of Walcott was a ghost town. Even Cantina was closed for renovations. We walked into Globe Coffee House, which was jam packed with people looking bewildered and out of place – wondering why they were being punished for wanting breakfast on a public holiday by being forced to dine in an over-priced and underwhelming old-people’s establishment. We weren’t interested in staying around to queue for average coffee. To our horror, we almost ended up in Dome, but just in time we noticed ExoMod was open. ExoMod is always open. Booto recounted the time she was on Beaufort Street before 6.00am and it was open. The Brains and The Deliberator once needed a Christmas Day coffee and found that it was open. And these are good things.

Ordering is kind of tough work at ExoMod. It’s a busy place, especially on a public holiday when every other café in Perth is closed, and there’s no table service so someone had to line up. So, while the Sponge sat in the line, the rest of the Bloggers spent some time rearranging the furniture to their liking and soaked in the kind of weird florescent lit, bright red and white atmosphere. The lighting combined with the just-a-little-too-loud music didn’t make for the most relaxed coffee experience, but the place is nice and clean, and you do get a good people-watching viewpoint.

Our coffees took a while, but not too long to be a problem. They were fine, good in fact. Absolutely nothing to complain about. So we have to end our review here as there’s nothing left to say.

In summary:

Service: It was fine. Once, on an early morning coffee run with Stinky, a girl behind the counter gushed that Stinky was a "fairy from heaven" while mimicking someone shooting a bow and arrow. This was music to BOOTO’s ears (but which neither Stinky’s father nor the Deliberator were pleased to hear about).

Food: We didn’t have any, but the coffee is decent (not amazing) and nicely presented.

Highlight: Hmmmmm.

Lowlight: Ummmmmm

Rating: 3.5 wireless internet connections out of 5.

Will we be back: Probably – but only before 6.00am or on Christmas Day.

Details: ExoMod seems to be open all the time. Coffees were the usual price for Perth.

ExoMod Coffee House on Urbanspoon

01 June 2010

Must Winebar

It was BOOTO’s 35th birthday and so it was decided that a visit to Must was indeed a must (like you’ve never heard that one before).

After a quick pre dinner drink at the Queens (wherein Stinks’ newest playmate Jimmy T was welcomed to the world of babies in prams in pubs), it was a mere hop, skip and a jump to Must.

As previously noted, none of the Bloggers are strangers to Must, (although it must be said BOOTO had never actually made it past the cocktail bar) however on this particular night, a quorum was finally established.

The night commenced with the Deliberator informing the group that two things were non negotiable:

(1) the charcuterie platter was to be ordered; and

(2) he, and he alone, would order the wine and he may or may not consult the price before placing any of the said orders.

The Sponge’s credit card quivered. The Brains and BOOTO giggled like schoolgirls.

As the Sommelier approached, the Deliberator suggested both he and the Sponge partake of a cocktail to calm those wallet nerves whilst the Brains and BOOTO confirmed a chardy was definitely on the cards and left the ordering in the very capable hands of the Deliberator assisted of course by the sommelier (unless you’re a wine buff, you’ll need assistance in navigating the extensive range on offer at Must).

It was at this point that the Sponge wondered out loud what grape was used in Chablis, only to be answered in a rather dignified, posh, unDeliberator style voice that the Chablis was an appellation famous for its chardonnay, so the Chablis would be made from chardonnay grapes. Scoffs all round before the Deliberator called on the sommelier to back up his claim. And before we could stop him, the sommelier did indeed confirm that for the second time in 7 years, the Deliberator had got one over the rest of us. To say he handled the moment with grace and humility would be just plain lies. He managed to drop 'appellation' into the conversation a further 21 times during the course of the night.

But back to the food.

Underneath a dimly lit interior (suitably so for a certain birthday girl struggling with the idea of going up a survey group), the following entrees were ordered:

(1) A dozen freshly shucked natural oysters – you can never go wrong with these.

(2) Must Charcuterie plate – the Deliberator was correct – this is a non negotiable for all you carnivores out there.

(3) Chicken Liver Parfait, Grenache Jelly, Melba Toast – unbelievable – a definite stand out.


(1) Brains: chicken and prawn ravioli with a creamy sauce - a super-fabulous serving of perfect pasta chock full of fresh ingredients and a heart-stopping sauce.

(2) Deliberator: Mt Barker chicken and prawn sausage - the chicken and prawn combination again - while not all that common, this version of surf and turf is a new favourite.

(3) Sponge: rump steak – a little overcooked (for a rare steak), however the potato pie that accompanied it was awesome.

(4) BOOTO: pan fried gnocchi with lamb, caramelised onion, Sicilian green olive and shaved parmesan – so good it made you want to lick the plate.

(5) Chips for the table.


(1) BOOTO: apple tart – not bad, but any negative aspects could be down to the fact that she had eaten so much that by this stage of the night all she really wanted to do was roll over and die.

(2) Brains: saffron and vanilla crème brulee, orange and tequila sorbet and citrus tuile – certainly one of the best brulees she’s ever eaten, more brulees should contain saffron. More of every food should cotain saffron.

(3) Sponge: ice cream sundae thingy, nothing earth shattering here.

And so it was that after WAY too much meat and perhaps just a little over indulgence on the wine side of things (because in our opinion, there’s no such thing as too much of a good thing when it comes to wine), the Bloggers waddled through the dim interior of Must onto the bright lights of our beloved Beaufort Street. A little older yes (in Booto’s case) and all the more satisfied to know that Must is indeed a must dine venue in Perth.

In summary:

Service: Great sommelier, even if he did back up the Deliberator – the mileage on this one if going to last. And last. And last. Query the bling on one of the waitresses though – was there some sort of ho-down we didn’t know of that demanded sequined appliqué?

Food: Tick. Tick. Tick.

Highlight: Hard to cut one from the herd, but the charcuterie plate is non negotiable

Lowlight: The Deliberator being correct on the appellation point, and the weird dreams experienced from all that meat.

Rating: 4.5 appellations out of 5.

Will we be back: Some of us already have.

Details: You can find Must Winebar at 519 Beaufort Street, Highgate. It’s open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner, however one would recommend booking for dinner. You can call them on 9328 8255. We had a real slap up meal and the Deliberator kept to his promise to not consult the price before ordering the wine, so it did come to princely sum of $150.00 per head, but hey it’s not every day you jump up a survey group huh?

Must Winebar on Urbanspoon