At the end of 2012, I look back on an amazing year. This year has been one of my happiest years yet – a promotion in my work-life, a stable bout of health and a new addition to our family (our gorgeous puppy, Mia). 2012 has also bought another international adventure (New Zealand) and my three-year anniversary with A. It’s been the first year for a while now that has felt stable – not overly exciting but then not overly turbulent either. I’ve really enjoyed the change.
In my blogging life, I’ve also had lots of great opportunities head my way, including:
- Attending the opening night of The Wine Store Wine Bar in East Fremantle
- The invitation to A Taste of New Zealand event, where I received a complimentary premium economy return ticket to New Zealand. A and I went in November and it was the first time I headed there. It was an amazing journey and there are posts to follow about our trip.
- Attending the opening night of Print Hall within the Perth CBD
- Attending one of the soft openings of Fuku Japanese Restaurant in Mosman Park
- Being invited to the opening night of Hippo Creek’s new Waterford Plaza restaurant
- Attending an intimate menu-tasting lunch at The Beach Club, the newly refurbished beer garden at The Cottesloe Beach Hotel
- Hitting over 55,000 page views on CFJ.com since January 2012
- Having 400+ followers on Facebook and over 700 followers on Twitter
In the last couple of weeks I’ve looked back on the posts of 2012 and created three lists – My Top 5 Dining Experiences, Top 5 Coffees and Top 5 Sweet Dishes of 2012. These are all based on the meals that still have me thinking, talking, and craving.
Top 5 Dining Experiences for 2012
Ha-Lu, Mount Hawthorn
I’ve mentioned in CFJ that Ha-Lu is my favourite restaurant in Perth. I’ve never been disappointed and believe that Ha-Lu’s ambience, food and service is perfectly balanced. Especially for the price tag.
Tom’s Kitchen, Perth CBD
Delectable Duck and Taleggio Croquettes, plus the best risotto I’ve ever had in a restaurant. Tom’s Kitchen is definitely worth a visit if you have yet to go.
Foragers is run by Sophie Zalokar, a qualified chef who has worked with Maggie Beer and grew up in the Barossa Valley, and Chris Zalokar, who grew up in Switzerland and is a builder by trade. They moved to Pemberton and launched Foragers, a multi-dimensional establishment that houses eco-chalets and farm cottages on a beautiful 19 acre property. There is also a ‘field kitchen’, a cooking school, a large kitchen garden and orchard on site, where they grow heirloom vegetables, herbs, and heritage fruit varieties as well as host seasonal dinners and cooking classes. An amazing experience!
Little Willys, Northbridge
The best breakfast I’ve had this year. The Bacon and Egg Bagel still has my tastebuds zing at the thought, plus the coffee and Blueberry and Coconut Bread was to die for!
The $210 ten course degustation dinner at a three hatted restaurant in Sydney was one of the most extravagant and indulgent meals I’ve ever had.
The Classroom, Northbridge
Ambience is the major draw card for The Classroom, as well as their cocktails and food options.
White Salt, Sorrento
One of the best lunches I’ve had this year. Simple, fresh, tasty food in an excellent location.
La Cholita, Northbridge
An excellent venue which offers tasty food, an excellent wine list and has a bustling energy for a reasonable price.
Top 5 Coffees for 2012
Little Willy’s, Northbridge
The best coffee I have had this year. Little Willy’s uses Fiori coffee beans and creates coffee miracles. Amazing.
Ingredient Tree, Wembley
Genovese coffee beans and a talented barista. An excellent match.
Standing Room Only, Perth CBD
A Italian-style coffee bar, where the only focus is well-made coffee. Standing Room Only also offers syphon, V60 pour over, and cold-drip coffees and has one of the world’s most expensive coffee machines (it cost $36,000) and is a custom built Synesso with four heads and retro wooden handles.
The Lounge Room, Guildford
Delicious coffee made with 5 Senses coffee beans. The coffee was strong, creamy and moreish.
Fiori coffee + Bannister Downs Milk + talented baristas = excellent coffee. Plus, the view opposite is an added bonus.
Top 5 Sweet Dishes for 2012
Strawberry Bizcocho @ Chocolateria San Churros, Perth Area
A four-tier dessert made with fresh strawberries, chocolate cake, custard and chocolate sauce. The end result is amazing (and addictive!).
Sticky Date Pudding @ Tom’s Kitchen, Perth CBD
This sticky date pudding was packed with fresh dates, the toffee sauce was thick and rich and there was also a generous amount of ice-cream (a must!).
Littlesweet Baking’s Dark Belgian Chocolate Brownies
Rich, soft and moreish. Also made with all-natural ingredients.
Red Velvet Cupcakes @ Sherbet, Maylands
Delicious cupcakes that were moist and had a perfect icing-to-cake ratio. A great little cupcake for an afternoon treat.
Chocolate Brulée Tart with Popping Candy, Berry Compote and Peanut Butter Ice Cream @ Amphoras Bar, West Perth
So many amazing elements on one dish – a rich chocolate tart, popping candy, creamy peanut butter ice cream and a berry compote for a contrast in flavour. This has been the standout dessert in my memory and I have yet to have another dessert that is comparable in Perth.
There have been so many new favourites that I’ve stumbled upon and I can’t wait to see what 2013 will bring for Perth!
Also, a huge thank you to all my readers! Your support by reading the blog, commenting, emailing and the random chats on Twitter/Facebook are greatly appreciated. I look forward to another year with you and CFJ in 2013!
May it be our best year yet!