Gusto Bites

After some extensive and expensive renovations, Fremantle icon the Sail and Anchor Hotel is back in business. Julie-anne Sprague takes a look at what we can expect.

AT last, the renovations at the Sail and Anchor are complete. After spending about $100 million on many months of rolling refurbishments (from the micro brewery to the kitchen), the Fremantle stalwart will open for complete service tomorrow. Executive chef Blair Cooper has designed a menu that will get you a fine dining meal in the upstairs section of the Sail and Anchor for less than $30. How has he managed to create a contemporary menu consisting of duck, prawn, salmon and kangaroo for a reasonable price? He says it’s a combination of experience in purchasing products and the use of seasonal produce.

“I’m not buying anything that’s going to cost me a ridiculous amount of money. I’m choosing things like mulberries, asparagus, spring peas, and snake beans at the moment because they are in season,” he says.

With a knack for choosing produce and a wealth of experience (he’s worked at King St, Post Office and was the food and beverage manager at His Majesty’s Theatre), Blair has constructed a menu to suit this fabulous establishment.

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Cantarella Brothers, producers of Vittoria Coffee, aren’t too pleased with Oriel Cafe’s decision to switch to Espresso di Manfredi Coffee (produced through Piazza d’Oro from the Douwe Egberts brand) earlier this year. Gusto understands that Cantarella Brothers is pursuing legal action. The word from Oriel is simply confirmation of legal correspondence but management declined to offer further information. Vittoria also declined to make any comment. In other coffee news, local producer Voodoo Coffee is gaining a bigger portion of the highly competitive market. Star Bistro gave Coffex the flick and chose Voodoo Coffee because of the customer-driven focus. Owned and operated by Gregory Leech and Sasha Petrovic, this company produces a sweeter blend of coffee developed specifically for the Australian market. While they can’t offer huge incentives dished out by the multi-million dollar coffee companies, they say they make an excellent product. The likes of Star Anise, Short Black, and Margaret River’s Valley Cafe certainly think so, having all switched to Voodoo.

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There’s a new addition to King Street. Strawberries and Kream is a new venture jointly owned by sisters Samantha and Katrina Dyson (hence the S & K name). And how are the girls going to compete with the likes of Mezzonine, Cino to Go, and 44 King St? Samantha says their coffee (from Grinders in Melbourne) and their great range of tea leaves (which includes peppermint and camomile – something she says was very hard to get in tea leaf form) plus the use of health-based food products at reasonable prices will see them do a healthy turnover.

“These days we are all aware of our health so we are incorporating things into our menu,” Samantha says.

Katrina has worked at e’cucina and Cino to Go, and both girls have worked in various restaurants in Sydney. Samantha is also an interior designer, so you should really step into the cafe and check out the great look.

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Funtastico’s Albasio La Pegna has got Mulitplex’s restaurant site at the Old Swan Brewery.

Gusto understands it was offered to many big names of the business, including Altos’ Stephen Scaffidi and Aristos, both of whom declined the offer.

Albasio tells us the site will be open before March 1 next year and will be an Italian seafood bar.

He’s interviewed three chefs thus far, two of whom are from Perth.

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A special range of lunches and cruises have been put together for the Old Swan Brewery.

An express lunch has been organised for the corporate sector and can be arranged through Oceanic Cruises. A ferry departs Barrack St Jetty at 12.30pm and takes you straight to the brewery for lunch in the cafe.

They promise to feed you have you back on the ferry at 1.45pm, which should see you back at the Barrack St just before 2pm. Cost for the lunch is $25.

Starting this Monday is the Aussie Barbecue Beer Tasting Cruise. Departing from Barrack St Jetty the Boat Torque cruise travels upstream for sensational views of the Perth skyline.

It’s then back to the brewery for a guided tour, beer tasting and an afternoon Aussie barbecue.

The cruise is from 2pm-4.45pm and costs $39.

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It’s full steam ahead for Burswood. Renovations have been completed for the next stage of the resort’s $96 million makeover. Opening early December is the Sports Bar, Casino Cafe, Grand Ballroom and the 800-capacity nightclub. Burswood Fine Wines also opens in December and is a dedicated wine store located in the hotel lobby. The store will be managed by Michelle Pateman and will primarily feature the best of WA’s wine. And while there are new openings there are also goodbyes. The sommeliers’ selection will conclude the highly regarded 2001 Signature Series wine dinners at Windows Restaurant on Wednesday December 5. The evening will showcase the best of the series including Piano Gully’s Cabernet Sauvignon, Xanadu Noble Semillon and Chestnut Groves Verdelho.

Luminati has a new chef and new tunes. The recently renovated Icon Cafe is now a very stylish restaurant, which incorporates some great musical talents. Livio Barilaro is joining the kitchen team, catering for tapas through to sit down dining. Gordon Inglis has been put in charge of the entertainment and stylistic component to the restaurant and has put together a great line up. On Wednesday’s, JAYE plays familiar favourites from Dionne Warwick, Dusty Springfield and Annie Lennox. Thursdays is Blues and Fridays is Latin Jazz and Saturdays are Mowtown/Supremes/ Broadway nights.

Howard Park’s Margaret River Winery will be hosting Winestate Magazines judges for its South Western Australia Tasting. Between 200 and 300 wines will be expertly judged from the Great Southern, Pemberton, and Margaret River regions on December 5 and 6. The judging will be completed early on the Thursday evening and the wines will be then presented to the public for a night of extensive tastings!

And if you’re heading down to Margaret River be sure to drop in to the Clairault Winery, which has recently launched its Friday night twighlight evenings. The casual tapas-style dining and tasting of Clairult’s latest releases has become one of the must-do events for Fridays and makes a great way to start the weekend. Starting at 5pm this is a popular night so be sure to book with the winery.

Oceanus presents a limited edition of John Lennon prints this weekend. The limited edition showcases 25 pieces reflecting the life of the famous Beatle who died 21 years ago this December.

Peel Estate Winery is putting on a jazz concert on Sunday December 2. For $12 you can pull up a picnic rug or deckchair, drink a glass of Peel Estate Wine and listen to the Corner House Jazz Band, WA San Francisco Jazz Band, and jazz pianist John Gill. So pack the hamper and enjoy the day.

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