INDIANA Tea House has had its fair share of celebrity visitors in recent weeks, with several talented Australians and international visitors dropping in for a bite to eat.
Rock stars silverchair, actress Claire Danes and musician boyfriend Ben Lee, as well as the band Massive Attack have all been spotted at the Cottesloe icon.
And according to Indiana Tea House floor manager Aiden Langford, the list doesn’t stop there.
“Sergio Garcia, the golfer, was in here. Luc Longley comes in all the time for our curries. Merrick, the comedian from Merrick and Rosso, was here with silverchair,” he says.
“I’ve just had a note passed in front of me, apparently Malcolm Fraser was in here a week ago.”
Mr Langford says the most famous person to visit the Cottesloe restaurant would be pop princess Kylie Minogue.
“Kylie Minogue was here when she last toured, I think that was a year or so ago now. She came in with her bodyguards and had a coffee. I think she signed something for one of the floor staff,” he says.
And the team at Indiana’s are becoming adept at picking out celebrities on the beach below.
“Apparently Heath Ledger and Naomi Watts were spotted just outside of here on the beach,” Mr Langford says.
It seems all the guests were gracious during their visits. In fact the team at Indiana’s was lucky enough to get concert tickets.
“Silverchair had just flown in and their manager had booked a table for them. We had some overwhelmed staff but it was all very respectable,” Mr Langford says.
“Massive Attack were really really polite and possibly the nicest celebrities we’ve had in here. They came in for lunch and dinner and then came in the next day for lunch. I think they liked the view of the beach. They were staying at The Duxton and I assume they were getting a taxi out here each time.
“They gave all the staff here tickets to their show.”
As for the regular hustle and bustle, trade is going well for the Cottesloe restaurant.
“We are doing well at the moment. The tourism trade dropped off a bit from the war but we’ve picked up a bit now,” Mr Langford says.
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Burswood’s two main restaurant attractions, Genting Palace and Victoria Station, will open after a six-week renovation next Monday. According to resort restaurant manager Stanley Yeap, the decision was made to bring the two restaurants in line with the rest of the resort.
“What happened when we completed that $96 million project [refurbishment] was that the restaurants didn’t match,” he says.
“They also haven’t had a major renovation in 14 years.”
But don’t expect drastic changes.
“We didn’t want to completely change them. We have made it lighter and brighter,” Mr Yeap says. “In the front part of the dining area [at Genting Palace] we are trimming the trees so you can have a full view of the city skyline.
The $2.2 million fit-out also includes a new entrance for Victoria Station that includes a healthy dose of jarrah.
Was Murray Kimber’s restaurant Chutney Mary’s always just a stepping stone to putting a tavern on the Hay Street and Rokeby Road corner block? According to what we’ve heard the answer appears to be yes.
“I’ve never intended it to be a restaurant,” Gusto overheard Mr Kimber telling his lawyer, in a not-so-private moment at a Town Planning Appeal Tribunal case.
This exchange took place during discussions concerning the possibility of leasing the space above Mr Kimber’s proposed tavern for up to two restaurants.
Mr Kimber was at the Town Planning Appeal Tribunal hearing in the hope of overturning a decision by the City of Subiaco to deny development approval for three stores located on the corner of Rokeby Road and Hay Street.
Mr Kimber’s lawyer told the hearing that, while an application for a tavern liquor licence had been lodged, it may not necessarily be his client’s intention to put one there. He could change his mind and decide to keep it running as a restaurant, for instance.
The City of Subiaco has refused development approval based on insufficient supply of car parking bays. However, Mr Kimber’s lawyer told the hearing that if the site has approval for restaurant use then it meets the City of Subiaco’s planning requirements for a tavern. No outcome has been decided from the Town Planning Appeal Tribunal.
After a year at the helm of West Perth-based Picnick’s Restaurant, head chef Bryce Madgwick is headed for Queensland, specifically Port Douglas, where he and his soon-to-be bride hope to start a family. That leaves Picnick’s owner Nick Skinner with the task of filling the shoes of the former Mead’s sous chef – a task he acknowledges will be tough.
“Bryce leaves in three weeks so I have interviewed a few people already and will interview a couple more. I should have a decision soon,” Mr Skinner says.
“Bryce is a talented chef and we wish him and his new bride all the best in Port Douglas.”
The Margaret River Chocolate Company knows chocolate better than the Easter bunny, and by the sounds of its Easter egg hunts, which began a couple of weekends ago, it knows how to hop to a good time.
In the lead up to Easter the local chocolate company has stashed redeemable egg tokens at its Swan Valley and Margaret River sites.
The tokens are worth a chocolate bunny or egg and double as a ticket into the Easter weekend draw. There are two $500 Easter gift hampers on offer plus 10 $100 hampers as runner-up prizes.
According to Margaret River Chocolate Company owner Martin Black the company is churning out the chocolate by the tonnes.
“We are going through barrel loads. We will go through five tonnes of chocolate over the Easter period,” Mr Black says.
The Easter hunts commenced on the weekend of March 29 and continue this weekend. The festivities conclude on Easter weekend April 18 to 21.
Sophie Zalokor will host a ‘Kitchen Confidence’ seminar at the Fremantle Arts Centre on May 19. According to the organisers this seminar is designed for those who want a ‘clean sweep’ of the kitchen. From effective equipment to pantry essentials to simple recipes, this course will cover it all. It takes place from midday to 4pm and the cost is $60.
Infused vodka has been a big hit in UK bars and the concept has found it’s way to the bar at Box Deli. At a recent function (held at Box) I was treated to a vanilla berry capriossca which, according to my drinks expert Brad Channer – who was working at the Box that evening – the cocktail contained three different types of vodka, including the Box’s very own Vanilla Vodka. Interested in this flavoured vodka, I had a quick chat to Box Deli restaurant and bar manager Nicole McPheat, who says the team has produced several infused vodkas.
“We’ve made a cherry ripe one, a snakes one [using the rattlesnake lollies] and a musk stick. They don’t end up sickly sweet, which is why vanilla appealed to us,” she says.
“It has a warmth to the flavour. We put eight big beans in the bottle and leave it for a week.”
According to Nicole the cocktails are growing in popularity, particularly from men, for whom cocktails are not typically the drink of choice.
“I would say 20 per cent of our drinks are cocktails, which is really high,” Nicole says.
The Box is also recruiting for a new front of house manager, due to Nicole’s pregnancy. She plans to “retire” to a business admin marketing role.
“I want to forge ahead and get into that corporate market,” she says.
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