Lepak Kopitiam, Bateman

As soon as you arrive at this place you see a large yellow sign located at the front of the cafe with the restaurants name. It is described as Malaysian hawker food opened every day 8am to 8pm except Tuesday's.

It was pretty crowded for a Sunday night but we were greeted straight away and allocated a seat, just in front of the self service area, where the cutlery and condiments were located. It felt very crammed and it was inevitable that you could hear all the conversations of those surrounding us.

We ordered the Nasi Lamak as I figured it was a safe dish that could not go wrong. All the dishes were priced between $10 to $15. We were told that roti canai was only available from 8am to 11am but we could order the sweet roti's, big mistake! Don't be fooled roti means flat bread, I understand that but it was definitely an overstatement. All the roti's were literally just white bread that had been toasted and accompanied with the addition as stated on the menu. i.e. roti with condensed milk or butter and sugar etc. The only roti which I thought would be soft and fluffy flat bread which then they referred to paratha was there roti cani
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Trinco Star, Willetton

This is a local restaurant hidden away in Willetton just off High Road which sells Indian and Sri Lankan cuisine. Don't make a judgement on the vicinity as the food is one of the most authentic Sri Lankan places that you will find in Perth other than meals that you can order from private home businesses. The prices are reasonable as well.

Depending on your threshold for spicy food you should ask for the level that you require. Some meals may be more spicy than others in which I found the Kothu Rotti (Sri Lankan dish made from a Sri Lankan roti called Godhamba roti and vegetables, egg, and/or meat, and spices) extremely spicy and I almost couldn't eat it! I'm not sure whether this has changed now but if you like it very spicy then order this dish as you wont be disappointed.

 Sri Lankan Rolls & Medu Vada

The above were light and crispy and made fresh. They were all sold out by the time we finished our meal around lunch time so if you want want one you need to get in quick. The rolls were spicy and contained mutton and some potatoes. The Medu Vada which is made mainly from Urad Dal (split black lentils) had the right level of ingredients and was a great snack for later on.

We ordered 20 String Hoppers with the Coconut Sambol, Chicken Curry and Kiri Hodi between the two of us and it was too much which they sell between 10am to 1.30pm. I suggest about perhaps 6-8 String Hoppers per person depending on your appetite. You have to pre-order these about a day or a few hours before as they make them from scratch which is time consuming. Apparently, you can have these for breakfast but we had it for brunch and it was so tasty and filling. I would definitely recommend this if you're not sure what to order. Otherwise, there is a vast range of curries you can order with rice or naan bread which is what I would normally order for lunch or dinner.

The noodles were so light and fluffy which you mix with the curry and sauces. The Coconut Sambol worked well with the flavours and the chicken curry had the right mix of spices. I used the Kiri Hodi (meaning milk gravy which is made from milk and spices) to reduce the spiciness and it actually worked!

String Hoppers (made with red rice flour) 

 Coconut Sambol

 Chicken Curry

Kiri Hodi

The meal put together


For dessert I had Falooda which contains rose syrup, basil seeds and vanilla ice-cream. It's my favourite drink and the best I've had in Perth so far. At any age I'm sure you will appreciate this drink and it was a great way to end a fulfilling meal. I wanted to sleep after this meal but it was worth it.

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Duende, Leederville

I have been here on two occasions in the morning and afternoon and I have really enjoyed it both times. Its a really nice casual place to catch up with friends but the decor could probably be updated and it can be a bit cramped if you have a large group. They don't take bookings and open from 7.30am. Its a tapas restaurant and ranges from $14 to $28, or $4 for nibbles.

The menu contained some ingredients that I needed further clarification on but the waitress wasn't too friendly during her explanations, almost talking down upon us which I thought was rude.

Firstly, I started out with strawberry juice and I initially thought that they used fresh pressed juice as stated on the website, but then I later saw it was just purchased in bulk without any labels just like an ordinary drink from the grocery stores. It was still pleasant, but a bit sweet.

For starters we had the Prawn and Chorizo Paella Balls. This came with a creamy dipping sauce on the bottom which complimented the fried texture well. It was tasty and not too salty. I would try this one again.

For my main I had the eggs Benedict and the Hollandaise sauce was light and not too overpowering which was nice with the sprinkle of chives. The prosciutto was generous and worked well with the whole dish. The poached eggs on the other hand was overcooked! So was everyone else's and this included my friend's dish containing one sole poached egg, which I thought was strange that they couldn't get right. The sour dough bread on the bottom was rock hard and I couldn't bite through the crust, so I didn't eat most of the bread. Overall, the flavours were nice. I also tried a bit of my friends vegetarian mushrooms and spinach on sour dough bread. The mushrooms had a char grilled flavour and were excellent. However, the bread was hard in this instance as well.

For dessert we had the Doughnut Balls with Condensed Milk Ice-cream, the restaurants speciality dessert. The ice-cream scoop was so tiny and was enough only for one mouthful. It was creamy not too sweet which I really enjoyed, but I wanted more and I'm not a huge eater. The doughnut balls were light and fluffy on the inside and coated in sugar on the outside approximately 10cm in diameter. This is a must try if you come here and like dessert.

On my previous occasion when I came here in the afternoon I tried the Rabbit Tagine. The meat fell away from the bone and was very filling. Its was also the largest meal on the menu and came with rice. However, the meat contained a lot of fat and I couldn't consume all of it. It came to the table piping hot from the oven.

The chips and chorizo was also very nice and are good for a small starter dish if you are planning on ordering more later on.

You can order wine and cocktails from here too that aren't too bad. Its a great place to relax and socialise with friends.

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Tak Chee House, Northbridge

After looking for an authentic Malaysian restaurant in Perth to try out we stumbled across Tak Chee House and decided to give it a go. It is located among other Asian restaurants in Perth and can be easy to miss but boy was it busy for a Sunday night. It looked like a simple cafe but it was clean, the waitresses were friendly and it was affordable. However, this place is cash only.

We ordered Teh Tarik for our drinks, one hot and the other cold. The cold one was much better than the hot one. The hot one wasn't frothy and it also was a bit lumpy as it wasn't mixed well. The cold one didn't seem to have this problem.

 Chicken Satay

The satay was cooked well. It was a bit thicker than normal but then again it makes up for the quantity as you get four per serve. You also get two slices of cucumber which I thought was a bit scarce but better than none I suppose. It was came with a peanut sauce which was light and smooth and you could taste the peanuts.

 Beef  Curry with Roti Canai

The beef curry gravy was much thicker than the chicken curry below as the bases were different. Both contained potatoes and one piece of Roti Canai, but we ordered an extra one each. The beef curry had a nice mix of spices and it was a little bit spicy but not too much. The Roti was light and crispy and had a touch of sweetness to it. The Roti was much nicer than the other ones that I have tried compared to Indian restaurants based in Perth but the technique used to make them is different.

Chicken Curry with Roti Canai

The chicken curry was lighter than the beef curry and I found both servings to be substantial. The chicken curry had a stronger coconut flavour to it and it was authentic.

Ais Kacang

For dessert we shared the Ais Kacang and we were pretty full by then so it was more than enough. They give you seperate serving bowls and spoons for each person as well. It is flavoured with rose syrup and contained grass jelly, red bean, raisins and some corn. It was really refreshing and a good way to end the night.

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Mamak (Goulburn St) Chinatown, Haymarket, Sydney

Food glorious food - is how I would describe this place. Located towards the back of China Town in Sydney this little gem is a must try for all locals and tourists.

You need to get there on time as there will be a queue to get it. The wait is worth it, with affordable prices you can select many different dishes to try. The quality and quantity is great too. I did not find any of the dishes spicy at all thus, allowing for the natural flavours of the dish to shine through. However, some others may think otherwise!

 Kari Ayam

The chicken curry was nice and just enough for a few to share. It was cooked well and also came with potatoes.

 Roti Canai

I can't remember ever trying a Roti made this well. It was light and fluffy and simply melted in your mouth. The Dhal complimented the Roti well. I recommend having this as a starter or even with the curries but then you would need one per preson. The puffiness is created after it's cooked where they hit the two sides together with the palms of their hands twice on each side, which aerates it.

 Kari Ikan

Most of us thought that the fish curry was nicer than the chicken, but that view opposed by my partner who is a meat lover. It had a creamier texture due to the coconut cream and contained Okra, eggplant and tomatoes which complimented the dish well.

 Chicken Satay

I really liked the satay but they didn't have the rice cubes that traditionally come with it. The sauce was nice but much lighter than what I am used to and it contained less peanuts to what I prefer. There was a good serve for the four of us getting 2.5 satay's each.

 Teh Tarik

I don't believe that you can go to a Malaysian restaurant without trying the Teh Tarik. It was light and you could tell it was made the traditional way, stretched or pulled which creates the froth and helps to cool it down. I really liked the glass as well, its was like using a stein glass.

 Mee Goreng

On the other-hand, Mee Goreng was just average. It wasn't spicy at all for me and after trying the Roti and curries, it became the least favourite dish of the day because the others were just too good! But it was still a great dish. The lime was a nice touch to compliment the flavours.

Roti Tisu

Just as I was craving for more Roti, dessert arrived and it made a spectacular entrance standing proud and tall on the plate. It was with a small scoop of vanilla ice-cream with wasn't enough for the four of us to share. However, the Roti was enough after ordering so many dishes so we could fit it in just nicely but I reckon I could have devoured the whole thing. We broke each triangle almost 90 degrees to the base and we were able to have one side each as it is wrapped around into a cone shape. It contained a nice buttery flavour from ghee and and sugar crystals glistening from the surface area. It as light, crispy and sweet. What more could you have asked for to end a perfect night out at an authentic Malaysian restaurant?

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Ace Pizza, Highgate

Ace pizza has a retro feel with neon green lights inside the restaurant and brightly coloured decor to match. The waiters and waitresses try to act funky and had shirts with letters of the name of the restaurant. The restaurant contained mainly couples and families. It's open seven days per week 5:30PM till late. It is crucial for you to make a prior booking before dining in this restaurant. The owner of this restaurant Alex Cucciova also is a co-owner of Cantina 663 and El Publico.

We called up and had not made a booking earlier however, the waiter said that they could accommodate for us. When we arrived however, we were told by the same waiter that we could sit on the couch situated near the front door on a cold winters night as the bar was fully occupied and had limited seating. It was late and we were hungry so we decided to dine in. Despite this, there were empty tables which had already been reserved earlier that were vacant for the entire time that we were placed on the couch which were never offered to us until we had finished our main meal.

As we waited for our meal, other customers who had not made a booking were offered the same option as us, to either sit on the couch or at the bar. Some declined and left the restaurant, it appeared to be a regular occurrence.

It was dark and uncomfortable to sit on the couch to have dinner. It was also cold with the door having to be closed manually every time a new customer came and didn't shut the door after them. This was annoying as there was a regular flow of customers.

There was a limited range of pizza's available and they only make one change as stipulated on the menu, no anchovies. So I guess it's too bad if you have certain allergies or intolerance's if you come here. The two pizza's that we ordered were the Lincon Lady and Godfather. I felt that these wood fired pizza's were a bit plain and that the toppings were minimal. The pizza's were very salty probably due to certain ingredients i.e. anchovies and olives, I could only consume it with drinks. The pizza's were edible though and were okay if you wanted to have a ordinary night out with some pricey pizza's.

The base of the pizza was thin and somewhat unsupported by the base, so we had to use cutlery to eat the pizza. As we didn't have proper tables to sit at, the toppings were falling off the pizza as we held them with our hands.

A jar of chili was offered to us as an addition to the pizza which we could help ourselves to but we decided against this.

Lincon Lady $20 (Front) - Hot salami, black olive, anchovy, mozzarella & san marzano tomato
Godfather $22 (Back) - San daniele proscuitto, san marzano tomoto & mozzarella

Tiramisu Donut $5

When we finally were offered a table we had finished out pizza's so I ordered dessert, a Tiramisu Donut. I felt very bloated by then but I couldn't resist not ordering dessert. The donut was very sweet and contained a liquid interior which didn't contain a strong Tiramisu flavours. I was only able to eat half of it.

This was an average night out and I was somewhat displeased overall as I know that the majority of restaurants would treat patrons as though they were important to the business. This experience made us feel like the restaurant treated us like they were doing us a favour by allowing us to to dine in and suffer the consequences of not making a prior booking. I just hope that improvements will be made to the service in the future. I would however, give it another go.

Menu: http://www.acepizza.com.au/menu/ACE_FOODMENU_WEB.jpg

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Echye's Restaurant, Victoria Park

Echye Restaurant is a family run restaurant in Victoria Park that provides Eritrean cuisine with the help of African spices. The service was welcoming and as we entered the restaurant we could feel the tribal atmosphere through the decor which was simple yet sufficient. There was also small tables and arm chairs which assisted the sharing of meals which is known in this type of cuisine however, we opted for the normal setting.

The waiter was very cheerful when taking our orders and when we had asked for further explanation of the dishes.

We ordered the Zhigni (top left)- $20: Most popular meat dish - tender lamb with berbere, onion, garlic & Tesmi

Tibsi (Keyh) (bottom left) - $22: Succulent lamb strips pan-fried fresh with berbere, spices, onion &
Tomato comes with Enjera – a yeast-risen flatbread with a unique, slightly spongy texture made of sorghum, wheat flour & rice (on the right) and salad in the centre ($5 as a side dish).

The Zhigni was much more tender than the Tibsi although both were delicious. The Zhigni was more spicy than the other and contained a thicker gravy compared to the Tibsi. I really liked how the Zhigni  was served in a clay pot which retained the heat well.

The Enjera was light and fluffy and was very filling. It complimented the meat dishes well and we only got through half per person and could not finish the rest. It has a slightly sour taste and spongy texture. If you have not tried this before then you should give it a go as it is not comparable to any other type of bread I have tried.

We received a complimentary salad as a side dish containing lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onion, chilies served with dressing. This was due to the delay in another dish we had ordered; the Azifa - (side dish $5) black lentils served with fresh tomato, onion, green chillies with dressing. Although we said not to worry about it due to the delay the gave it to us free of charge as they wanted us to try it. It was quite tasty but the onion was prominent.

Last but not least we tried the Habesha coffee which is black coffee. The preparation was most unusual but pleasant, there was an lady roasting the coffee beans near the front entrance of the restaurant and the aroma of the coffee beans filled the room during our meal. It was a little smokey but bearable and the door was open which was necessary. She did this for about an hour. When it was time to serve the coffee it was freshly poured and given to us in a small cup. It was concentrated and was nice after a substantial meal.


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