16/11/2004 - 21:00

A touch of Zen in DJ’s food hall

16/11/2004 - 21:00
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Popular Subiaco fishmonger and cafe Zen Sea has opened a second retail outlet; and it’s in a pretty top-notch retail site in Perth – the David Jones food hall.

Popular Subiaco fishmonger and cafe Zen Sea has opened a second retail outlet; and it’s in a pretty top-notch retail site in Perth – the David Jones food hall.

Zen Sea owner Jaime Steven has struck a partnership deal with David Jones and has taken over the fish-case in the food hall. He has transformed it into a Zen Sea outlet that offers similar retail goodies to those enjoyed by customers at his Subiaco store (it’s tucked behind Oriel Café).

While the David Jones site won’t have the cafe component, it will sell the great produce for which Mr Steven has become known.

He launched Zen Sea more than two years ago to encourage people to eat more fish at home. While fish has long been a popular choice for many when eating out, Mr Steven believes a shortage of quality fishmongers, and a lack of knowledge of proper cooking methods for the different types of fish, meant the ‘cook-it-yourself’ option was often overlooked.

The Zen Sea system does most of the preparatory work for consumers, including the provision of little menu cards with the basic steps to follow once the fresh fish makes it to the kitchen.

Zen Sea in David Jones also has a whole range of seafood on offer, not just fish.

• • •

Geoff Hayward promised he’d deliver a pub with a beer garden par excellence, and a stroll past the Brisbane Hotel in Beaufort Street last week indicated to Gusto that the work-in-progress will deliver on the hype.

The walls and water feature structures hint at a beer garden that will end up looking like those at international resorts most of us see only in travel brochures.

Two huge palms are already in the ground and will be joined by other large trees to provide shade for the punters sitting along bench seating, or perhaps mingling around the central water piece – a long, narrow, pond with lighting features.

While The Brisbane Hotel is not yet completed (it’s about three weeks away from opening), Gusto can reveal that there will be noticeable influences from Mr Hayward’s other venues around town in the new venture.

One room will even have a touch of Luxe (the nightclub he owns up the road). It will have that lounge bar feel, with plush carpet and, of course, a DJ component.

Bar One, which he operates with business partner Stephen Scaffidi, will also provide some inspiration for another, separate, area of the pub. Gusto will be able to take pictures to show readers when the venue is completed, in about two to three week’s time. The Brisbane Hotel will open to the public on December 1.

• • •

Organisers of the Braziliano SuperBarista of the Year competition are calling for entrants for the 2005 barista competition.

The competition is based on Italy’s World Barista Championships and aims to identify the State’s best coffee maker through a rigorous competition process.

European Foods Wholesalers (producer of Braziliano Coffee) spokesman John Ferrari says the competition is designed to promote innovation in the coffee industry.

“Last year the contestants created some very different and innovative hot and cold beverages,” he says.

“We are predicting that this year the bar will be raised even higher and we could see the emergence of an entirely new coffee.”

Last year’s winner, Forest Place-base Bocelli Expresso cafe barista Stephen Mescaros, says the competition provides an opportunity for cafes and baristas to increase their exposure.

“It’s great that baristas are being given an opportunity to be the best they possibly can be and that the skill and craft of coffee making is now being recognised on a larger scale,” he says. 

Entrants will be required to develop innovative hot and cold beverages, prepare a written submission, and all finalists will compete in a ‘brew-off’ early next year.  Entry forms can be obtained by contacting European Foods Wholesalers.

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