Perth's Inner City Suburbs

The Meatball Bar

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The Meatball Bar opened up in Leederville earlier in the year and everytime I walk by, the tiny little place is packed. It wasn’t until recently that my bf and I ended up there for an early dinner after a booking stuff up.

The place is tiny, with a massive bar on one side that also allows you to eat at the bar.

Unfortunately when I was there, The Meatball Bar haven’t gotten their bar license yet, so you are able to BYO your alcohol with no corkage fee.

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On the opposite side of the bar, there is exposed brick feature wall with graffiti, “nightly fun” on one side and just red-bricked wall on the other.

There are also high bench seating outside.

The furniture they bought tends to cater for groups of 4 or more, so if you are a pair you might end up sharing a table with another couple.. so heads up… and I hope you don’t mind about that.

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The menu at The Meatball bar is obviously meatballs but fancy ones.

Really fancy ones.

There are flavours like your classic Italian meatballs, butter chicken then there are sexy balls like garlic prawn mussels and lobster cream along with one vegetarian ball, pumpkin ricotta and “specials ball of the day”.

Along with the balls, there are salads and sides like chips, macaroni cheese, nachos and desserts on the menu.

We ordered the 3 meatball feast, which had  3x butter chicken, 3x classic beef and 3x classic pork meatballs, along with Turkish bread, papadams and onion rings. I thought the Turkish bread was a weird addition and really wasn’t needed.

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The meatball themselves were of a generous size and juicy. Although I think the pork meatball didn’t have much flavours or sauce when you bite into it..needed additional sauce on the plate. I have to say the classic beef was delicious, juicy flavoursome balls! (now now don’t have a dirty mind!). The butter chicken texture was almost a little sticky and too mushy for my liking but I did like the fact that it got the essence of a butter chicken dish.

To complement our ball order, we grabbed the macaroni cheese. Bf wasn’t a fan of the mac cheese but I thought it was rather nice with the crumbed bread top being ever so crunchy and adding a nice texture to the dish. I just like the cheesy goodness.

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The Meatball Bar has such lovely, friendly staff, but what let down their service was that they seemed a bit confused where to place people, they just need to fix the layout of the seats so that if flows properly.

It just feels awkward to move around inside. It’s like the furnishings are too big for the space. For example, the seat that we were at, the end of the table stuck out too close to the entrance, one day when there is a whole bunch of people trying to get in someone is going to run into that corner, OH&S much? But I guess they have such a tiny space, and its just unfortunate that it hasn’t been utilized to its full potential.

But in terms of food, it’s a cheap, fast and massive meal to share for two. Worth the money. Just wish they interiors be fixed so that it’s more comfortable to sit indoors. Just check it out at least once.
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Lifestyle

Cut loose with Food Loose Tours – explore Perth’s best eating and drinking scene!

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Have you seen the city lately?

Has it been a while since you’ve explored Northbridge?

Do you not recognise the town when you go in?

Are you new to Perth? or

Do you feel as though there is nothing to do, see, eat and drink in Perth?

Then cut loose with Food Loose tours! It’s run by a foodie enthusiast and fellow food blogger, Justin of The Skinny Perth and his Aunty; Jenny, who will take you on a treasure hunt for the best food and drink venues that Perth has to offer.

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I had a chance to check the International Foods tour a few weeks back and unlike other walking tours, their “foodie adventures” are designed so that you get a little bit of history, a little behind the scene of what goes on at to some of Perth’s best and of course make new friends along the way.

We tried  and stopped 7 different places, an amazing array of international cuisine available in Northbridge and the CBD.

It’s really up to you whether you want to try the food that’s on offer.

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They don’t prepackage anything or provide samples.

The tour’s idea is for you to share the food with a new friends, choose and buy what you want at each stop, with Justin of course providing suggestions and tips beforehand. I really recommend you share and to pace yourself because there is a lot of food to try and you will get full!

Justin also offers an insight into the history of Northbridge and  little sneak peeks into the workings of some of Perth’s best.

It’s all hands on, mouths full, eating, drinking, laughing, chatting and sharing fun!

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Food Loose Tours also offers other tours like, Asian Dinnerand Northbridge Nights, along with International Foods and corporate and private functions. I think it’d be a great exercise in team building, whilst eating tasty treats! The cost of the tour is very reasonable, all tours are $39 and we spent about $15-$20 on wayyy too much food (you might spend less than that depending on what you would like to try.. just bring small notes and coins!). I’m not going to say what food we tried because it might ruin your fun! But let’s just say I probably ate about 3 lunches on the tour and too many desserts for me to recall.

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Definitely worth checking out!

Especially because there is so much to see and do in the city and sometimes you just need a little nudge and hints to get started to explore it all.

SO as the weather warms up, get out there and go on a unique walking tour exploring the culinary delights of Perth with Food Loose Tours and hey you’re in good hands, run by a local food blogger!

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***Disclaimer: I was a guest of Food Loose tours, but like any other posts, all opinions are my own. ***

Perth's Inner City Suburbs

RIA Malay Kitchen

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RIA Malay Kitchen is an icon and the epicentre of Leederville. So when it had the chance to be bigger and better, owner Nick Bond took the opportunity.

Nick Bond of RIA Malay Kitchen

He bought the Mongolian restaurant next door to RIA as the owner and chef was retiring, literally doubling the size of RIA. Redecorated the interiors of RIA – painted a couple of beautiful mural feature walls. They also roped in a new head chef, and spiced up the menu to include new items but maintaining old favourites. To top it off, for all those that have the opportunity to work in Leederville, RIA Malay Kitchen is now open for lunch! And with fantastic special to boot, $25 for 2 courses.

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RIA Malay Kitchen also has a lovely new bar that you can seat and eat at as well and offer an extensive wine list that matches perfectly to their cuisine, just have a chat with the guys and they can talk you through the choices. They also have sparkling water on tap (which I thought was very cool!.. and I believe they don’t charge for it.. correct me if I’m wrong about this! )

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I had a lovely invitation from RIA Malay to check out their revamped space and their exciting new menu and after many attempts to find a night that suited us both we finally found one! To top it off the Yelp Elite event for October was also there so it gave me an opportunity to try a variety of food that RIA Malay Kitchen has to offer.

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I’ve tried their pork tacos as well as the beef tacos from their new menu. The tacos were crunchy hardshell tacos, which weren’t too thick in size and there was plenty of either the pork or beef (depending on which meat you chose) stuffed in the shell. It was then drizzled with chilli mayo. The pork had this lovely marinade and was juicy and tender and probably didn’t need the creamy chilli mayo on top. The beef wasn’t as flavoursome but went well with the mayo sauce.8

The lotus chips are always so delicious and RIA’s was no exception. Crispy and crunchy, it is the perfect delicious appetiser to share.

I love quality seafood and RIA Malay Kitchen uses WA Shark Bay prawns to make their golden crispy prawns. The prawns were nice and plump and rather large in size and of course nice and crunchy. It came with a side of chilli mayo for dipping. I think the mayo sauce wasn’t needed and may have been a but too rich for a fried dish. I felt as though the flavours of the prawns would have come out a lot better if it was with a sweet chilli sauce. BUT I still couldn’t help it.. I had the prawns with the mayo sauce because the mayo sauce is deliciously creamy and I love the taste of it.

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For the mains old RIA Malay Kitchen favourites were ordered.

The char kway teo had that wonderful charcoal smell and came with substantial amount of prawns.

The Malay slow cooked beef was presented in a claypot. It was an absolute delicious curry dish. The sauce definitely needs to be soaked up with rice or bread. The beef was so tender that it just melted in my mouth. YUM. Just writing and thinking about it makes my stomach grumble!

The rendang terlagi-lagi is a dry style braised beef with lemongrass. It’s a popular dish but I still think the curry tramps it.

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The nyonya achard fish was a whole fish deep fried with flavours of tumeric and ginger. There was also supposed to be chilli flavours in there but I found none. I wished they made it a touch more with spice, but thats just me wanting chilli flakes and fresh chillis (hot ones) sprinkled on top.

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Moms Loh Ka is a generous serve of braised caramelised duck. It was sticky, sweet and hints of oyster sauce. The duck was very tender and fell off the bone but Van found the dish a little too sweet for her liking, but I rather loved it.

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The best and most surprising thing about RIA Malay Kitchen is how well they do desserts. Usually in a malaysian restaurant or any chinese/asian resturants I tend not to get dessert simply because I’m not a big fan and also they don’t usually do dessert (they have mango pudding and sago coconut milk drink). So when I saw their dessert menu and everything sounded amazing I had to get the tasting plate. I do not regret a bite of it, although my hips, thighs and butt might have!

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The dessert tasting plate consisted of:
a plate of sago pudding, which was covered in coconut cream and milk, which should be frequently poured over the said pudding otherwise the flavour is blend, which is the point of it. But traditionally in Malaysian they add all kinds of things in it, like sweet corn red bean etc. But I like it with just the sago pudding and coconut (although sweet corn with condense milk never hurts!).

The dessert plate also had the wonderful delicious light pandan brulee. It tasted like the pandan cake except it was mousse-like and something you wouldn’t want to share.

The kuih dadar had that taste and texture that reminded me so much of Indian – Malaysian desserts. Essentially its fried kuih, dulce de leche and pandan ice cream, I liked it.

Then there was the coconut parfait with coconut crumble and es cendol. This also went well with the ice cream that was on the plate and wasn’t too sweet, despite all the coconut!

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RIA Malay Kitchen may have revamped it’s style and may have grown up but the food is still true to its roots but with a but more oomph! The service was attentive and friendly, but they can get busy and loud. If you haven’t checked out their new look or the menu…definitely book for lunch or dinner soon!



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