I think the best things in life are good company, good food all accompanied by great laughs. So when an iconic Perth pub, The Brisbane Hotel invited me to check out their winter menu along with joining in the Lazy Susan’s Comedy Den (which is upstairs from the pub) for some laughs on a Tuesday night I jumped at the chance.
The Brisbane Hotel has always provided me with a venue to catch up with my friends over some drinks and I’ve had my share of dinners there too. I’ve always loved their leafy terrace area, its especially good in the warmer months. The inside provides you with a more secluded dining area and an area to play pool – a pub isn’t complete without the pool table.
The food menu at the Brisbane is somewhat of a reinvention of the classic pub. The chefs at the Brisbane uses fresh local ingredients and the Head Chef, Anthony Schell and his team achieve a mix of familiar pub food delivered with modern interpretations and comfortable Australia classic dishes. It’s a fun menu with huge servings and a lot of choices from sharing plates to pizzas to steaks, there is definitely something for everyone.
Their wines, beers, spirits and cocktail range is pretty extensive for a pub. In fact their wine list was so massive that I didn’t know what red wine to chose so had a mini-tasting of a few bottles that the staff recommended. The Brisbane Hotel also source local well known wineries from the Great Southern Region (including Frankland) to make their own house red and white wines. It is so good that the winery themselves packaged a bottle and sent it to wine expert James Halliday for tasting, who subsequently gave it 93pts. Not bad at all.
The boy on the other hand, had a pint of cider before wanting his whiskey on the rocks. Surprisingly enough the Brisbane has a very nice, neat whiskey selection. They offer the boy’s favourite Nikka Distillary, Yoichi, along with The Glenlivet, Berlour and the likes. Unfortunately he didn’t get to try them all. He decided to try the Aberlour A’bunadh – a single batch, single malt whiskey from Speyside. It hits the nose like Christmas cake and punches the taste buds quickly before opening up to flavours of spices, cloves, cinnamon, burnt orange and black cherries. In other words you really have to give it time for the alcohol to evaporate a little, ice or a splash of cold water is recommended for the sweetness of the Aberlour to come into fruition.
As for the food?
We had 4 different share plates to start off with.
The infamous Brisbane Hotel’s in-house made sausage roll with puffy pastry that made a mess when you bite into it and well seasoned mince goodness on the inside. It takes you back to your childhood days. Good sausage rolls are one of my many food weaknesses.
The chicken liver parfait with fig and pear chutney and toasted baguettes were surprisingly done well by the Brisbane. I don’t usually go for parfait at pubs, because well.. you know it’s not well made, but this was pretty good. Silky, smooth parfait that doesn’t have too much of that liver smell (if you know what I mean), and the lovely sweetness of the fig and pear chutney really rounded out the flavours. This was of course spread over toasted crunchy baguette.
The tacos are a little modern twist to the traditional pub menu but the guys at The Brisbane Hotel does them pretty well. They offer a beef cheek tortilla with guacamole and salsa rosa. Fold it into a parcel and take a bite into it otherwise you might lose the whole dish. The beef cheeks are tender and you can’t go wrong with creamy guacamole balanced by the acidity of the salsa.
The mushroom and mozzarella arancini balls with tomato sugo were crispy on the outside and cheesy, mushroom goodness on the inside. There were massive sized balls too.. (no dirty thoughts please!.. this is about food peoples). It comes in a 6 so a good sharing plate with mates.
For the mains, or something a little more substantial there is an array of choices at The Brisbane Hotel – from their infamous gourmet pizzas to seafood and steaks.
At the dinner the boy and I were glad to have seen Nat from imasticate blog, who raved about the steak and was very much against the pastas at the Brisbane. She said they were a little chewy and floury.
The boy of course went for the steak and I must say I was lucky enough to try a piece and damn it was good. It was nice and pink – cooked to perfection – tender and juicy. It came with a side of bearnaise sauce, fries and salad. I had massive food envy.
Granted the confit duck leg with in-house made mushroom tortelloni and porcini brodo wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t as good as the steak. The duck meat was a little dry, but it was crispy on the outside. The stuffing in the tortelloni is the same as the arancini so it was pretty good, the only let down was the skin of the tortelloni was a little thick, thin it down and it would have been fine. The jus it came in was nice and light which I was glad about, it offset the richness of the mushroom tortelloni.
I was happy with my choice, but next time, I am getting the steak!
After the mains we were well and truly stuffed. The food coma was starting to hit. BUT we made the steep ascend into the Lazy Susan’s Comedy Den. How aptly it is named… lazy susan.. I was feeling a little lazy after the wine and all the food.
The Lazy Susan’s Comedy Den is located on a side door near the pool table. The comedy lounge offers $5 shows on Tuesday nights, starting at 8:30pm (tickets at the door), which was what we went to see. It’s called Shapiro Tuesday – a night of experimentation and comedy chaos, where first time comedians bust their cherries and regulars try out their new material to either success or silence.
I have to applaud at all those that get up there, because man it would be nerve wrecking. Some of the people on the night were pretty funny and others were.. well.. first timers and you know it… but man they did a good job!
And for $5 a pop and a nice dinner beforehand, it’s a great weeknight out. And if you are gutsy and want to try your hand at being a stand-up comedian, you can contact the guys at the Lazy Susan’s Comedy Den on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Apart from Tuesday nights, the Lazy Susan Comedy does shows on Friday and Saturday nights too.
Friday nights (doors open 8pm, tickets $25) are their Stand Up Comedy nights with Perth’s best comedian along with frequent interstate acts.
Saturday nights – THE BIG HOO-HAA (doors open 8pm, tickets $25) – It’s in its 12th year and it’s a improvised comedy show were two teams of fearless comedians battle in a competition of wit and humour.
For more information about Lazy Susan’s Comedy Den check it out here.
Personally, I think it’s a great idea for a night out. Have a bite to eat the Brisbane Hotel and then catch a show upstairs at the Lazy Susan’s Comedy Den! Why wouldn’t you do it?
It’s especially great for this chilly weather to have some laughs and enjoy it with good food and great company.
When I heard that the patisserie king, Adriano Zumbo was coming to Perth and COOKING at Print Hall Bar and Dining Room, I made sure I got a couple of tickets for me and the boy as soon as it went on sale. I was EXCITED. Ridiculously so. I mean, there was a 2 course dinner by Print Hall Kitchen and the third course; a dessert degustation made by Adriano Zumbo… how can you possibly say no?? Once in a lifetime experience right? It’s not everyday Zumbo creates a dessert degustation for you!
The beautiful Print Hall Dining Room was filled with excited diners.
We started off the night with a glass of red for me and whiskey on the rocks for the boy… sorry but I was too excited to note down what we chose but trust me you can’t go wrong with the extensive list of wines and spirits offered at the Print Hall.
While we waited for everyone to arrive and be attended to the seats we flicked through the Zumbo recipe book. It was filled with the most magical, interesting desserts and something that the boy really wanted to have a go at making (and something I’ll be more than happy to try!).
The dinner was on a school night and started at 7pm and the waiters staggered the time that each of the table got their course, so it went until midnight. It also meant that a few diners left early and missed out on a couple of the dessert courses. Pity really. Upside though is that it allowed time to digest the food!
The canapes started off our night. They were bite sized goodness, consisting of a leg of bbq quail with sesame seed, thin crispy rice crackers with fetta and garlic “dip” and grain seed with ceviche. It was a simple palate stimulating way to start the night.
Entree was very creative potato and stinging nettle with fermented bean curd, goats curd and fat hen. The plate was such a vibrate green and looked rather refreshing. The stinging nettle provided that green colour along with a flavour that packs a punch. It had a distinctive peppery flavour but with the tangy, saltiness of the goats curd and fermented bean curd it provided a nice balance in flavour. The fried flakes of crispy skin chicken provided a crunchy element. It’s definitely something you don’t get to try everyday or everywhere.
The roast lamb en tournee was the main course of the evening. It was served with kohl rabi, beans, spring onion and covered with tandoori sauce. The lamb was cooked to perfection – tender and pink and the tandoori sauce was reduced to delicious slightly sticky goodness. A good dose of iron and delicious to boot.
After the first two courses were finished, Adriano Zumbo came out from the kitchen to talk a bit about the dessert degustation and what’s in store for the evening. He was a rather shy, which was surprising. I might have squealed like a little fangirl.. just a little bit when he did come out from the kitchen!
Alright.. I won’t keep you from the suspense any longer.. the Adriano Zumbo dessert degustation started with..
A caramel, hazelnut, strawberry, peanut butter and french fries paired with Yalumba Antique Tawney, Museum Reserve. The dessert was an inspiration and a modification of what most of us did as kids… dipping french fries into our ice creams at McDonalds. Except with this there was creative epicness. The saltiness of the fries complimented the crunchiness of the nuts and the sweetness of the caramel popcorn and of course the vanilla bean ice cream and the chocolate mousse – it took you back to your childhood days. The tawney was a lovely rich tawny colour with aromas of dried fruits and of course brandy. It had a nutty, caramel, chocolatey flavour and paired nicely with the dessert. It was a pity I forgot to take a photo of the tawny until only a little sip of it was left.
I wasn’t really a big fan of the second course at all, but I liked parts of it. I really liked the tapioca balls with coconut and black rice was creamy bubble goodness with a slight chewy texture. But I guess the liquorice and blackcurrant are somethings I’ve never liked and the components of the slabs of those flavours really didn’t do it for me. The Hojicha tea, which I love drinking as the green tea has a slight smokey flavour, in a dessert, I’m not so sure.
This would have to be one of my favourites of the night. The Rice wine, yuzu, vanilla cake was moist, spongy and the sauce that it came with was sticky goodness and that paired with fresh berries to give it that slight acidity to cut through the sweetness. It was also paired with a 2014 Yalumba FSW8B Botrytis Viognier lovely golden colour with aromas of honey and stone fruits. I might have drunk the wine a little too quickly because I didn’t snap it at all. HAH, but hey who wants to see that when it’s all about Adriano Zumbo’s dessert right?
The last course of the epic Zumbo dessert degustation was for the chocolate fans. With dark chocolate brownie style cake with mandarin, olive oil and bergamot. I love the dark chocolate which was married perfectly with the mandarin drops. A great way to end the dessert.
It was a lovely night, but it was long. But we went home full. What was even more excellent was that Adriano Zumbo came out and took photos with us and chatted to us for a bit despite it being so late. It was also amazing that he signed our book! YAY! such a down to earth, shy chef.
Definitely happy days. Definitely cannot wait to try out his place in Melbourne when I go this July. He is such a creative chef that really knows what dessert flavours go together and isn’t afraid to try things and think outside a box and make it work.
A great experience and worth the $150 price tag (which is how much you pay for degustation at Print Hall anyway). And hey, how many times can you say that Adriano Zumbo COOKED DESSERT FOR ME?? I can now say that ^_^
One of the things that the city lacks.. well.. in terms of food anyway.. is a cafe that serves good coffee along with yummy snacks and sandwiches and one that isn’t part of a big chain of mediocrity.
Max + Sons Coffee is a family owned cafe and .. I guess you can say.. a spin-off to Mo Espresso. The sons are the ones running Max and Sons, hence the name. The little cafe is located in the revamped and awesome looking 140 William Street precinct. With neighbours like Brotzeit, Bam Bam Boo, Jaime’s Italian and Koko Black it’s definitely the precinct to be seen at.
The little space is architecturally designed which uses the space to its maximum capacity while giving it a sleek, minimalist, spacious feel. White walls also help with that. I love the open windows that overlooks the arcade area and beyond. The colourful seats parked outside would be perfect in the warmer weather. A lovely space indeed.
They are very passionate about their coffee with their beans coming from 5 senses. It is totally made with love. The guys there really know their coffee beans and how to extract the caramel coloured goodness to provide that perfect nutty flavoured deliciousness that we all need in the morning, or afternoon.
Max + Sons also offer filtered coffee. They went through the whole filtering process with me and omg.. who would have thought there was a whole lot of science behind it all. It takes me back to my chemistry lab days at uni. Condensation, evaporation, getting that temperature right. It’s such an art and Max + Sons can explain it all if you are interested.
A cafe is never complete with snacks. Max and Sons offer a range of slices, protein balls, cakes and are one of the few cafes in Perth that stocks TOP DUP donuts and if you think Krispy kremes were the best in the world than clearly you don’t know what awesome donuts are. These are especially made and the flavours change week by week with amazing fillings like honey choc custard topped with chunks of house made honeycomb, peanut butter and jam, Anzac biccie, Strawberry and Cream, blood plum chantilly and so much more. The dough part of the donut is also deliciously fluffy, light with just enough bite to make it donutty.. if you know what I mean.
Apart from their range of snacks, for those looking for something with a little bit of substance, they offer a range of sandwiches made with love.
There is the Carletta – La Morena with stuffed jalapeno, peppers, bacon, avocado, with sesame slaw and comes toasted. It is really more than just a sandwich but a filling and worthy quick lunch, especially for those that love a little bit of a kick. If it isn’t enough just let the staff now they might offer a little dab of death sauce.
The Texas Forever is with low and slow pork, smoked ham, swiss cheese, mustard and pickles, it’s the traditional elements of a sandwich but with epicness thrown it.
For those lovers of slow cooked things.. The Chimi Riggins is probably the one you are after. With low and slow pulled pork, potato salad and chimicurri sauce it will satisfy your hunger and it tastes darn good.
Max + Sons is a cosy cafe to chill out, grab a coffee, catch up on some work and grab a bite to eat while allowing you to watch the world go by. It’s also nice to see friendly, enthusiastic staff that are really passionate about quality roasted coffee beans and love making the liquid caramel goodness and are more than happy to share their knowledge. Along with ensuring quality cafe food is served to the masses in a space that will feel like home in no time at all.
Disclaimer: I was a guest at the media launch of max and sons but like always all thoughts and photos are my own.