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Turning traditional, Julie-anne Sprague contemplates sushi and the role it will play at Zin n Zen in Murray Street.

MURRAY Street’s Zin n Zen will be including sushi, sashimi and complete package meals in the coming weeks. Director Ronald Lee says, while the focus has been on traditional Japanese and Thai cooking, customers have been asking for the long-time favourite dish … sushi. His chef, Alex Lee, also will be creating packaged sets similar to those offered at the popular Matsuri Restaurant as part of a new menu. The sets will be priced at about $12 and, along with the mains, include condiments such as soup and noodles. If you haven’t been inside what used to be Frostbites, be sure to pop your head in. It is a very classy and contemporary restaurant with an upstairs function room with bar.

Patrons are sure to be impressed by the fountain. It’s a long line of plates that hangs from the ceiling with water flowing along it, culminating in an impressive water display when it reaches the floor. Eye catching to say the least.

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What’s the status of CUB developments of the City Hotel? Brian Hopley from Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group is conducting some research before the hotel’s transformation into a Belgian theme pub. He’s been in Belgium for the past two weeks and will head back to Perth in a fortnight. To experience all those beers and pubs takes a lot of time. We’ll look forward to the tasting tips from the boys. And what else has been happening at ALH? We can tell you they’ve got their eyes firmly fixed on the Culture Garden (the former Babylon Hotel) but will most likely not enter into a lease until some of the extraordinary conditions imposed on the licence are removed. It’s understood the group is looking to transform the infamous night venue into a food-orientated tavern similar to the Queens Hotel in Mount Lawley. Special conditions, including restricted trading hours and litter collection, were imposed by the director of liquor licensing in 1998 and 1999 after complaints were lodged by local residents. The matter is before the Town of Victoria Park and a decision about the terms of the licence will be made later this month.

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Just what did happen to the boys who bought The Silver Dollar Restaurant about 12 months ago? Well it seems the colour red trickled through the system in August last year with owners, Michael Burokas and Chris Lyons filing for bankruptcy on August 15 2001. The recent sale of the restaurant to Chris Thomas may have been the sale Mr Lyons desperately needed, coming out of bankruptcy on February 20 this year.

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Palandri head and sous chef Tanya Wood has left the restaurant after nearly a year at the helm of the kitchen. It’s thought she will join Vasse Felix, however nobody there could confirm whether any new kitchen staff had been appointed.

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Frasers international travelling chef Jason Meakin gets his uniform from a store in Perth with an important point of differentiation to other cooking supply outlets. The store manufactures tailor-made uniforms on the premises and has produced uniforms for a number of top chefs from some of Western Australia’s leading hotels.

The team at Cut it Out, with measuring tape in hand, know most of the town’s chefs intimately – waist size, leg size, and how healthy an appetite they have. And it doesn’t matter how big an appetite might be because the ability to produce custom-made chef uniforms means our culinary creatures can look the part. Jillian at Cut it Out says that, while the largest standard size is a chest fitting of 132cm, they can and have gone bigger.

“We could go to about 150cm. We’ve certainly made some larger uniforms before,” she says.

And while they tailor make uniforms, Cut it Out also stocks a range of professional cooking products and utensils. The most popular of them is the mezzaluna (that long, big, round knife with woodend handles on either end) and mortar and pestles.

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Star Anise began opening for lunch this week and chef/owner David Coomer says it’s an attempt to fill the hole in the Shenton Park lunch sector.

“Getting decent food around here is hard,” he says. “We are going to do things like a good Caesar salad, using fresh produce.”

The lunch menu is modelled on the restaurant’s popular entree menu and will suit diners wanting quality lunches priced between $12-$18. And while the restaurant has begun opening at 10am, David says he won’t become the sweet tooth cafe operator. “We don’t want to lose too much of what we do. We will have a couple of cakes and serve coffee but it’s really about drawing a lunch crowd,” he says.

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While you may prefer to enjoy a leisurely pace when drinking a fine bottle of wine, the team at Killerby prefer the speed that can be set by a BMW M3R racing car. The Margaret River wine producer is organising a Targa Tasmania tour to complement its team’s entry in the Targa Tasmania Rally.

While the Killerby team will be tackling the hairpins and s-bends with zest and speed in its BMW (one of only 15 in the world), the tour takes more of a spectator’s role. The tour will include gourmet food and wine in VIP marquees and trips to local wineries and tourist sites.

If you decide to join the tour you’ll also get an invite to the welcome party and gala finishing party. If a car race wine tour in Tassie sounds like your bag of fun, set aside $1950 and call Killerby Vineyards to book your place. The tour commences on April 15.

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Luminati has launched a new menu, which includes mussels and clams baked with garlic, butter and chilli, carpaccio (thin slices of raw beef fillet topped with olive oil, lemon and flakes of parmesan cheese), fire prawn linguini, chilli crusted tuna and, of course, creme brulee. The restaurant is located at 110 Aberdeen Street in Northbridge.

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The Sandcastle Cafe has secured a liquor licence and is busy sourcing organic liquor suppliers. The owners are looking to acquire a steady supply of organic beers from UK producer Wychwood Brewery. They are putting together a wine list and are chatting to the likes of local operators Serventy, Settlers Ridge, and The Natural Wine Company.

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It’s been a year since Black Tom’s officially strutted into Hay Street Subiaco and Warren Mead and the team will be celebrating Moulin Rouge style. The first birthday bash takes place the day before Anzac Day. It’s a good time to show off the new function rooms upstairs. Extensive work has been done, particularly to the balcony, and the area can now accommodate 400 people in a cocktail format. Entry on April 24 is free and a comple-mentary cocktail and canapes will be available.

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