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Eat & Drink

La Sosta holds the Ospitalita Italiana award|Home style fare with a smile at Parlapa|Al fresco at Sandrino's|Gino's Cafe & Trattoria|Fremantle's Capri - a local institution|Classic Italian - Roma Cucina|L'Antica in South Fremantle

A food trail with gusto

Two words: ‘Fremantle’ and ‘food’. What’s the first thing that comes to mind? Italian, right? Ever since Italian migrants first spearheaded its fishing industry in the 1880s, Fremantle has been cosying up to the idea of pizza and pasta, garlic prawns and chilli mussels. The main foodie strip is colloquially named after a certain froth-topped Italian coffee. Gelato shops abound.

But there’s Italian and there’s Italian, and when in Freo you want to know you’re getting the real deal.

The new Gusto Italiano Trail identifies some of the city’s most authentic Italian eateries–from relative newcomers to decades–old family run establishments. It lists eight must–do restaurants within strolling distance of each other. Consider a grazing event with a course at several stops. There’s no rush to get from antipasti to primi to secondi–and one must always leave room for dolce.

1. It’s tucked away, but do seek out Parlapa, an unassuming family run café whose gnocci and slow–cooked ragu is legendary among regulars. It’s not open nights, so consider it for lunch on a day trip. Bring an appetite.

2. Roma Cucina is among the longest standing of Freo’s Italian eateries. A stalwart of the West End since the 1950s, the former Roma Restaurant is still run by members of the same family. Simple, rustic Italian is on the menu.

there’s Italian and there’s Italian, and when in Freo you want to know you’re getting the real deal.

3. At Pizza Bella Roma, Mario has been a pizza chef for more than 25 years. That speaks volumes about the consistency at this Cappuccino Strip favourite. Its big menu promises flavoursome, generous servings of every offering imaginable. Pizza is just the beginning.

4. Craving an authentic wood-fired pizza? Sandrino Café and Pizzeria does thin crusted, gooey topped, hand-stretched creations made by proud pizzaiolos. Handmade pasta and other Mediterranean offerings are also on offer.

5. La Sosta has the hat trick: a grand two-level venue with a deep deck overlooking the strip, an impressive wine and cocktail list, and an open plan kitchen producing rave worthy pasta, seafood and meat dishes, plus house made bread. This local favourite gets the big tick from the Italian Council for Italian quality and authenticity, in the form of the Ospitalita Italiana award.

6. Making the best of its Market Street Piazza location, Portorosa spills out into an alfresco area with giant market umbrellas–great for people watching. Wood fired pizza and big serves of whatever Italian fare takes your fancy are all here.

7. Some cafes fall foul of fickle public favour. Not Gino’s. Tailor Gino Saccone started the café in 1983 when he couldn’t find a decent cup of joe in town. Gino’s still holds court on the strip as the go–to coffee haunt to be seen at, run by three generations of the same family. Home style Italian cooking completes the offering.

8. Harking back to simpler times? There’s a strong hint of the 1950s at Capri Restaurant, a visit to which is as much about the charming décor as the genuine Northern Italian food. This long standing establishment is great value, unpretentious and family friendly.

Off the trail
These establishments are south of Freo’s centre, but worthy of inclusion for being stand–out, real–deal Italian nosheries.

Ruocco’s Pizzeria e Ristorante
Always heaving with people, Ruocco’s was the first to do wood fired pizza in WA. Its exhaustive Mediterranean menu shows it hasn’t rested on its laurels. 

L’Antica
One for the true Italy-philes. Not just for the food; the décor and bric a brac here is steeped in cultural references. The coffee is excellent.

Dolce & Salato
Cloistered near a shopping centre, there’s a fresh daily supply of pizza, focaccia and pastries issuing forth from this South Fremantle gem.

Ed
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Bib & Tucker|Propeller|Habitue|Bread in Common|Stable Hands

Fine fare

Converted warehouses. Architectural designs. Ocean views. Salty air. Lofty ceilings with natural light streaming in. Menus dedicated to only the freshest produce, hand-crafted in the early hours of the morning. Always served confidently with a smile. Fremantle is bursting with unique food offerings that could rival any dining experience across the state. Our line–up of unique eateries merge striking design, passionate chefs and seasonal driven cooking, to draw diners to our port city again, and again. Our top fine dining venues showcase the best in seasonal produce on their world-class menus, with the quintessential touch of Fremantle soul that our vibrant city is renowned for.

Fremantle institution: Bread in Common

In the early hours of 3 am each morning, award–winning chef Scott Brannigan and his team begin baking their namesake ahead of a bustling day of bringing to life a menu dedicated to showcasing seasonal and locally sourced produce. Every ingredient and process is carefully considered–from the churning of their own butter, using leftover vegetable skins to make vinegar, to utilising the fresh ingredients plucked from their verge garden. This impressive food philosophy saw the venue making the 2017 AFR Top 100 Restaurants list.

Every ingredient and process is carefully considered–from the churning of their own butter, using leftover vegetable skins to make vinegar, to utilising the fresh ingredients plucked from their verge garden. This impressive food philosophy saw the venue making the 2017 AFR Top 100 Restaurants list.

Native take: Stable Hands

Nestled on Bannister Street this hidden gem is a special mix of light and bright Scandinavian styling and confident menu showcasing indigenous produce. Using native ingredients such as karkalla, seablite, quandong and baby pigface (don’t worry, it’s a fleshy edible Australian native plant) you can rest assured the combination of a meal within their glossy magazine worthy interiors will be an unforgettable experience.

High flyers: Propeller

It has been a big year for Propeller, with the addition of their striking new enclosed dining room, and chef Kurt Sampson’s revamp of his unique Middle-Eastern inspired share menu. The hard work has paid off, with the bustling venue becoming recognised as a top contender on the WA culinary scene, praised by likes of The Australian’s widely respected food critic John Lethlean and food bloggers.

Place of pleasure: Habitué

Enter Habitué as a first-time diner and leave feeling like an old friend, as the warm team behind this establishment specialise in making their guests feel at home. Their outdoor areas lush with greenery are just as inviting as the service, providing the perfect spot to spend a lazy evening enjoying a vino and their wholesome Mediterranean inspired offering from the char-grill, with a side of live music.

Seaside sensation: Bib and Tucker

Perched on Leighton Beach, Bib and Tucker is a spectacular spot to sit by the Indian Ocean and catch a glorious spring sunset. Owned by former Olympian Eamon Sullivan, the swimmer has made a splash on the food scene with this beachside beauty. Headed by chef Scott Bridger, the restaurant dishes out an extensive modern Australian menu with a focus on seasonal produce cooked to perfection.

Night owl: Strange Company

Once an old wetsuit factory, this now architectural award-winning hot-spot has people of all ages flocking to the venue for not only a cocktail or fine wine, but a refined meal too. From their kitchen–running from the moment they open until midnight–comes a menu of understated bar food at its finest. Dishes are simple yet full of flavour with a strong Mediterranean influence. Top tip: Jazz on Sunday afternoons are a must.

That's amore: La Sosta

Every city needs an authentic Italian eatery for diners to get their handmade pasta or classic flavours fix and Fremantle has La Sosta. Just off the main coffee strip, and up a flight of stairs, you’ll be met with mouth-watering wafts of Italy served up in generous dishes made to family recipes. Why not enjoy some spring rays and vast menu on their spacious balcony, which pairs perfectly with an extensive wine and cocktail list–bellissimo.

Ed
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Dolce Vita Gelato|Muffles @ Fremantle Markets|Fish & Chips flavour @ Kailis Fish Market Cafe|Vegan and organic @ Roho Bure|Gelatissimo gelato|Piggy Food Co ice cream sandwich|Stampede Gelato

10 ways to do icecream in Fremantle

Going for ice cream isn’t as simple as it used to be. Here’s how you might try it.

As a sandwich

Take a pair of choc chip or Anzac biscuits, wedge a goodly amount of ice cream between them, smooth off the edges. Voila! On-trend dessert. Just don’t try to eat it one-handed. Sample one at Piggy Food Co or Stampede at the Mantle.

Rolled

Inspired by Thai street vendors, the Rolled Ice-cream stand at the Freo Markets delivers ‘curls’ of ice cream made by pouring liquid ice cream onto a frozen surface, then rolling them into nifty tubes.

Fish and chips gelato? Yes, Kailis has it. (Don’t fret; there’s always a berries and cream chaser).

With waffles

A classic combo: you can smell the fresh waffles (and waffle cones) long before you reach Freo Ice Cream and Waffles in the Piazza. But have you seen the muffle at the Fremantle Markets? It’s a mind-bending mix of waffle, spread and filling, crafted into a show-off knobbly cone. Flavours range from Mango Sticky Rice to Banoffee Pie.

With pastry

Cronuts, donuts, churros – who knew these were ice cream’s new best friends? Bits of sugary pastry are optional extras everywhere from Gelatissimo to San Churro to Rolled Ice-cream. Go all out.

Vegan

Bland and tasteless? Nuh-uh. The coconut-based ice cream at Roho Bure is as yummy as the interior. The changing flavour menu (cheesecake, anyone?) is vegan and organic, with deluxe sauces. There’s also Coco Whip at the Fremantle Markets. It’s made from coconut water and free of dairy, lactose, refined sugar and gluten. Or try sorbet and soy-based iced treats at Tutti Frutti.

As a coffee

Espresso or ice cream – why choose? Gabriel’s Chocolate offers a twin hit with their award-winning coffee and cocoa bean ice cream. At Gelatissimo, the Cappuccino Strip flavour unites ice cream and coffee sensibilities, as does the Freo Delight at Dolce Vita. Or you can go an affogato – ice cream doused in espresso – anywhere from Ginos to La Sosta.

As a savoury snack

We’re not just talking salted caramel. We’re talking Vegemite white chocolate truffles. Or maybe fennel, rosemary and olive oil. Or miso cinnamon. These might be on the menu at Stampede at the Mantle, along with innovative sweeter offerings. Fish and chips gelato? Yes, Kailis has it. (Don’t fret; there’s always a berries and cream chaser).

Make like you’re on holiday. Lick the drips off your grin.

On a stick

La Paleta has made the popsicle cool again. This Freo-based outfit serves Mexican-inspired icy poles in interesting flavours – watermelon and rose; strawberry and hibiscus; cucumber and chili – from their mobile stand at markets and events, and a handful of freezers around town, from Kakulas Sister (Little Sister) and Manna Wholefoods.

Smashed

When you like choosing your own confectionery extras, and get some satisfaction from seeing them smashed heartily into ice cream on a frozen surface and handed back for your delectation, then you want Cold Rock.

The conventional way

You know: cone or cup. There are good reasons why this method prevails. Wander about Fishing Boat Harbour with a Baskin Robbins, or down South Terrace with something from Gelatissimo, Ben and Jerry’s or Dolce Vita. Make like you’re on holiday. Lick the drips off your grin.

Ed
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Chilli and Lemon Prawns (Bottega

A taste of Freo | Chilli and Lemon Prawns

Thanks to Bottega's Chef Jamie Galloway for sharing this delicious recipe for 'Chilli and lemon prawns served on peas and mint mash with goat cheese and crostini' with us.

We were lucky enough to sample this mouth watering dish and will definitely be trying it at home! 

Ingredients prawn marinade

1 lemon, zested
1 finely dices long red chilli
3 garlic cloves finely diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch of salt

Ingredients pea and mint mash

500 grams of green peas
25 leaves of roughly chopped mint
60 grams of butter

Additional ingredients

8 slices of baguette buttered and chargrilled or pan fried (crostini)
8 large prawns
100 grams of goat cheese
Red garnet micro herb for decoration (optional)

Method

  1. Marinate prawns for 1 hour.
  2. Blanch green peas for 2 minutes in salted water then drain: add mint and butter with 2 pinches of salt.
  3. Crush the peas slightly to soften.
  4. Gently fry prawns in the marinade with 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Plating

  1. Place crostini on the plate.
  2. Top with green pea mash.

  3. Place prawns and pan juices on pea mash.

  4. Garnish with goat cheese and red garnet micro herbs.

Buon appetito

Ed
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Plated up - Manuka's roasted beetroot salad

A taste of Freo | Roasted Beetroot Salad

This recipe for roasted beetroot salad is shared by head chef Kenny McHardy from Manuka Woodfired Kitchen on High Street. Kenny hails from New Zealand and everything on the menu is prepared in a woodfired oven and local, seasonal ingredients.  

Roasted beetroot salad with manuka wood smoked yoghurt, baby kale and pomegranate

Equipment for smoking
1 smoke gun

Ingredients
1 kg beetroot - small to medium size, washed thoroughly
500 ml Over the Moon organic yoghurt
1 pomegranate
200 gm baby kale
2 tablespoon olive oil
Seasoning (see below)

Seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt
1 tablespoon raw sugar
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
1/2 teaspoon mustard seed

Method
Preheat oven 220 deg C
Drain yoghurt into colander that's been lined with kitchen towel and place over bowl to catch whey.
Place small beetroot in oven proof pan with tablespoon olive oil, 1 cup water and most of the seasoning. Cover with lid or tin foil and roast in pre-heated oven until you can insert a skewer into flesh.
Leave to cool briefly, then peel off the skin.
Once peeled put back in clean pan with kale and roast together for 6-7 minutes.
Take yoghurt out of colander and place in bowl with teaspoon salt and whisk. At this point you can use it as is or you can add flavour by using the smoke gun for 5 minutes with a flavoured wood such as manuka, jam wood or apple.
Spoon a bed of yoghurt on the plate, then place beetroot and kale evenly on top of yoghurt and build up.
Sprinkle all of the pomegranate on beetroot and drizzle with olive oil, serve immediately.

Ed
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The Local Hotel (Helen's Bar), South Fremantle|Mrs Brown Bar, North Fremantle|Miss Chat's, West End Fremantle|Ball & Chain, Fremantle|Little Creatures Next Door

Good nooks

A cosy snug, a wee dram, a good book. Is there a better way to pass a winter’s afternoon in Freo? Here’s our picks. Nook: The Local HotelBook: Fremantle Football, The Origins 1885-1904. By Dr Norman Ashton(New Edition Bookshop) Colloquially known as Helen’s Bar after a former regular, this cosy snug has night cap written all over it: fire place, Chesterfields, plush sofas. If it’s game day, the contest will be on the front bar’s big screen. More reflective moments can be spent in the cloistered surrounds of the Whiskey Bar, cradling a single malt Yamazaki and–if you really can’t…
Ed
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Image - Flower Hound, Fremantle

The ideal Mother's Day

So Dads, you’ve got it all wrong… what Mums really want for Mother’s Day isn’t just flowers and chocolate. It’s time out… luxurious time out! Here's how to to plan a perfect day for the Mum in your life.

1. Wake up first

Creep out of bed, make sure those kids don’t make a noise and get them out of the house!  Ahhhh a child free sleep in…. amazing. 

Extra points if you leave the latest edition of our favourite mag next to the bed. You can pick one up from Kate & Abel, Compendium or Parkside Newsagency.

When you return it should be with a coffee and something delicious from one of Freo's boutique bakery's like Abhi’s, Wild Bakery, Lawleys or The Mill Bakehouse. A takeaway breakfast from Ootong & Lincoln, Grumpy Sailor, High Street Dispensary, Short Black Sheep or Jac and the Bean rates highly too.  Or organise Deliveroo to drop off breakfast from Ohana Acai Bar or Acai Brothers while you are out. 

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2. Hand over the credit card

Drop her off in Fremantle with the credit card (and no questions about the bank statement please).

If you know what she loves you can pre book something, otherwise talk to her bestie or better still, leave her to decide - just print off this blog post and hand it over with the credit card.  

Swanky lunch options include Bread in Common, Propeller, Il Cibo, Little Lefroy’s, Coast Port Beach, Bib & Tucker, Canvas or The Mantle Harvester.

Try cocktails from Esplanade Hotel Fremantle (bottomless Bellini brunch sounds perfect!), Strange Company, Sweetwater,  Miss Chat's, Mrs Browns, The Local Hotel, Percy Flint, Whisper Wine Bar or Who’s Your Mumma.

Relax with a massage or treatment at Keturah, Flirty Gertie or Djurra (or check beauty and wellbeing listings).

Browse the shops along Market Street and the West End; Kartique, Remedy, Common Ground, Morrison and New Edition Books or Wray Ave and South Freo; Ginger Morris, Pekho, South of the Border, Ivy & Isabel and Corner Store

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3. Around the house

While Mum's out enjoying this leisurely afternoon it’s time for you to get busy.

Look after the kids, clean the house, do the washing, prepare dinner... where to pick up the groceries?

If you head to North Fremantle the kids can play in the Gordon Dedman Park and you can pick up food and drinks from The Black Truffle and Old Bridge Cellars.

In South Fremantle pick up drinks from The Freo Doctor, groceries from Galati & Sons, and flowers from The Flower Hound.  

If you prefer a one stop shop try Gilbert's Fresh Market in Hilton.  

And isn’t there some little job that she's been gently reminding you about for a while?  Hang up that picture,  kill that spider… you know what it is.  

When you’re all done order an UberBLACK to bring her home.

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4. Family dinner

Kill two birds with one stone. Invite your Mum around and tell her to bring a bag of washing for you to do.  Enjoy a leisurely home cooked meal as a family, showering all the Mums in your life with love, affection and phrases about how fabulous they are. Wrap it up by putting the kids to bed, cleaning up dinner dishes and letting her choose the movie. 

Amazing…. best partner / son / Dad EVER. 

Ed
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Chicken Kibbeh (chef Kurt Sampson, Propeller, North Fremantle

A taste of Freo | Chicken Kibbeh (Chef Kurt Sampson)

One of our team has recently tried this dish at Propeller and can verify its deliciousness. After such rave reviews we think it’s definitely worth a try at home. Thanks so much to Propeller for sharing the recipe.
(We think we’ve noticed a typo. Can you pick it?)

Ingredients (makes 20)

Outer layer

1 kg chicken mince
200 g cracked wheat / bulgur wheat
1/2 cup of water
2 tsp allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
good pinch of salt

Stuffing

340g chicken mince
1 finely diced onion
zest of one lemon
80 g chopped pistachios
125 g diced dates
pinch of sumac
chilli flakes to taste
salt and pepper

Directions

Outer layer

  1. Add water to cracked wheat / bulgur wheat and let stand until softened (about 20 minutes).
  2. Add spices, chopped onion, wheat and salt to chicken mince and mix until combined.

Stuffing

  1. Sauté onions in a pan.
  2. Add chicken mince.
  3. Once cooked, add lemon zest, chopped pistachios, diced dates, sumac, chilli flakes, salt, pepper and mix until combined.

Making the kibbeh

  1. Take about 50 g of outer layer mixture and flatten it out in the palm of your hand.
  2. Then take a good heaped teaspoon of stuffing mixture and place it in the centre of the flattened outer layer mixture.
  3. Fold the outer layer mixture around the stuffing mixture (making sure the outer layer completely encases the stuffing).
  4. Shape into a ball.
  5. Repeat until all of the mixtures are used.
  6. These can be cooked two ways; deep fried until golden brown or bake in an oven at 180c for 10–15 minutes until golden brown.
  7. Serve with tahini yoghurt, quick pickled cucumbers and radishes or plain yoghurt, tomato, cucumber and parsley.

Last but not least, serve it up with a nice bottle of Rosé (from one of Freo’s bottle shops of course) to go with it and just before you tuck in take an insta and share it with us #Fremantlestory.

 

Ed
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Sail and Anchor Hotel Fremantle|Federal Hotel Fremantle|National Hotel Fremantle|Newport Hotel Fremantle|Orient Hotel Fremantle

The romance of a Fremantle pub

Get a feel for the Fremantle of yesteryear by visiting the city’s historic pubs housed in colonial heritage buildings dating back to the gold rush years and settle in for a hearty pub meal.

The Federal Hotel, formerly Rosie O’Grady’s, has been refurbished into a modern, stylish gastropub hotel with subtle furnishings reminiscent of its past. Opened in the same year as the Fremantle Town Hall in 1887, it was once touted as one of the most beautiful buildings of the colony–and it’s not difficult to see why.

The menu fuses Asian influences with traditional Australian pub fare; here you’ll find the likes of West Australian scotch fillet alongside sticky five-spice pork belly. The drinks list celebrates Australian classics as well as international favourites, and there are guest tap beers on frequent rotation. The Federal Hotel is charming, quaint and you’ll instantly feel right at home.

Ed
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