Heading to Barbados in the near future? If so, make sure you pop into KFC for some corn nuggets!
(via Brand Eating)
This “potato holder” is a rather clever piece of advertising, and is available free with value meals at McDonald’s Japan until the end of May. Not sure about strapping them to your bike or the back of a bus seat, though…
They do suggest a few alternative uses, although I’d recommend washing it out before your phone or glasses go near it. As the translated campaign page says, “please use at your own risk”!
One of the worst breakfasts I’ve ever had was at the site of No 4 Blake Street in North Perth, back when it was just called “Blake’s”, I think. I had a really horrible omelette, and Renay can’t recall what she had, but remembers that she didn’t like it either. North Perth is close to where we live, so we were pleased to hear that the restaurant had been relaunched and was meeting with some positive reviews (although I noted a few comments that breakfast was on the expensive side depending what you ordered). So could lightning strike in the same place twice at breakfast-time?
We arrived just before 8am and were surprised to find only one other person there, so seating on the rather comfortable chairs in the nice new decor wasn’t a problem. The breakfast (brunch) menu isn’t huge but includes the standard fare and a few interesting items such as “Keggery” (smoked cod, curried rice, soft egg, fresh herbs & toast - $19), “Chakchouka” (baked eggs, sweet onion, roast peppers & tomato – $18) and “Bangers and beans” (house beans, pork & fennel sausage & potato cake – $19). You can view the full brunch menu here and sophisticated dinner menu here - they also offer High Tea on Saturday afternoons.
The coffee was above average, so off to a good start.
There was no “full” breakfast on offer, so I decided to get some scrambled eggs on toast ($11) with a few sides (bacon, sausage and potato cake – $4 each), naturally expecting each to be a bigger serve than you’d get with a “set” breakfast. So when my $23 breakfast arrived, I was hit by two things – the liquid seeping out of my egg, and that I just paid $4 for one small sausage. To make matters worse, the scrambled eggs were so salty that they were inedible. I can’t begin to describe how unpleasant this was – even the bread tasted of nothing but salt. The “slab” of bacon was quite tasteless – go to West End Deli if you want to see how this is done properly. The potato cake was surprisingly delicious, but again at $4 I would have expected more than one. Compared to the quality of the full breakfasts at Sayers Sister or Gordon Street Garage (for no more money) – well, there is no comparison.
Renay ordered the “Breakfast Bruschetta” (avocado, tomato & mixed milk feta – $16), and she found the large amount of coriander mixed through the avocado way too overpowering. This was nowhere near as good as the similar dish at The Subiaco Hotel, which is simple and clean in comparison.
The waiter heard me saying that my eggs were disgusting, and it looked like the staff were expecting me to complain when we prepared to leave. I’m not one to make a fuss, however, so we just paid and left. Based on some of the other reviews online, dinner must be a very different experience because in our experience the food was over-salted, over-priced and over-rated. We definitely won’t be going back.
It’s no secret that Sayers in Leederville and Sayers Sister in Northbridge are two of the best places in Perth for breakfast. The ever-changing menus are always full of unique items that are reasonably priced and generous in size…and the coffee is excellent too. The early breakfast crowds at Sayers Sister seem to have dropped off a little lately, maybe they’re all going to Gordon Street Garage..? Anyway, today we decided to see what was on offer at lunch.
I went for the Ploughman’s Lunch ($22) with ham, brie, vintage cheddar, pickled vegetables and some dense but very tasty bread. This was a very nice combination of quality items, and a solid serving for lunch.
Renay had the gnocchi with chorizo, rocket, tomatoes, pesto & parmesan ($25) which she really enjoyed.
Speaking of breakfast, here’s what the full breakfast looks like – sourdough toast, beautiful scrambled eggs, bacon, chorizo, a pot of chilli beans and at the back some meat & potato hash and a mushroom with a dollop of pesto. If you haven’t been to Sayers or Sayers Sister, it’s really time you did.
I’ve been very keen to eat at The Merrywell at Crown Perth since it opened, and regular readers will know that the kind of food served there – “dude food” as they call it – is right up my street. We’ve waited so long to go there as Renay and I are not big fans of crowds, and today (Monday) on a day off together we decided to give it a go. (It’s for this reason that we are yet to venture towards Jamie’s Italian, but that is moving close to the top of the agenda…)
Arriving at around 1pm, I’d say the restaurant was only around one third full so there were plenty of tables to choose from inside and out. The first thing that you notice is the size of the place, and I can imagine it being very loud and intimidating when full to the brim. We were told that there was a new menu, and I had studied the menus for the Perth and Melbourne restaurants so was interested to see what was new. The main change seems to be that lunchtime is now just for burgers & the sharing plates, and dinner kicks in at 5pm for meals like the chicken parma, fried chicken & red velvet waffles, jerk chicken, ribs etc. I was also pleased to see that a burger I had liked the look of on the Melbourne menu was now on the Perth one…
So down to business. There was no way we were going to miss out on the “share plate” goodies described in numerous reviews, and there seemed to be a few new items to choose from. I don’t recall seeing the cuban-style grilled ham & cheese pops with mustard dip ($16), charred lamb kebabs ($19) or sweet & sour crackling turkey leg ($21) on the old menu.
The mac & cheese bites with “house made HP dip” ($15) seems to be an obligatory starter, and I can see why. Crunchy, cheesy and served at a sensible temperature that doesn’t remove your mouth lining – yum. I didn’t think the “HP dip” tasted of much, certainly nothing like HP other than the colour but it wasn’t at all offensive.
The “lollipop” buffalo wings with blue cheese dip ($21) were really nice, and remarkably easy to eat with no finger bowl (or bib) required. I’d have liked the wings spicier, but that would probably apply to any sauce likely to have been served. No complaints.
Renay fancied a cocktail, and ordered a Mohito which was huge and uniquely presented. So now she knows what it’s like to drink booze from a jar while everyone else is at work.
Onto the main course, and I ordered the Memphis BBQ burger, with pulled pork, coleslaw and smoked gouda ($25 with fries). I was expecting this to be purely pulled pork, and was surprised to discover it was actually a beef burger but it was so good I didn’t mind. I wondered why she asked me if I wanted a second patty when I ordered it…
There wasn’t a great amount of pork which was a shame, and I was surprised by the firmness of the smoked gouda but it really worked. The beef patty was perfectly cooked, juicy and delicious. The coleslaw was really good, and the dressing just sharp enough – heaven.
Renay had the Chicken, bacon & avocado club ($25 with onion rings), which was fresh, light and delicious with a nice hint of lime in the aioli.
Mmm chilli cheese fries ($15, and also now available in a currywurst variety). The chilli was so-so, and the dish as a whole should have been an indulgent treat but there wasn’t enough cheese sauce to make it anything special. Should have ordered the potatoes with bacon aioli…
The onion rings deserve a special mention as they are simply the best either of us have ever had – and they’re one of my very favourite things. So light and tasty, and not remotely greasy. Exceptional.
Unfortunately we were too full to sample the tempting desserts-in-a-jar (I really liked the sound of the new Key Lime Cheesecake or Cupcakes in a Jar). We were both impressed with how light and non-greasy all of the food was, as this is the kind of food that can stay with you for days. This isn’t a cheap place to eat, although it’s not aimed at the “fast food” end of the market or families (not sure if there’s a kids menu) so I don’t think it matters, especially when the food is that good. The Merrywell would be a great place to go for a special occasion when you’re ready to tuck in and loosen your belt or with a group so that you can sample some of the share plates. Fantastic food, great setting and very much recommended.
I’m not sure why, but I imagined that special menu items from McDonald’s China would be delicate and interesting – not so, it seems. Here we have the sausage double beef burger with, well, exactly that plus a bit of mustard and a bun to soak up the grease. Imagine if there was cheese as well. Ugh.
Google Translate doesn’do much with the McDonald’s China site, which is a shame because there’s all sorts of weird things to looks at. The burgers look a little wonky & dishevelled compared to their pristine Macca’s equivalents – still nowhere near what they ACTUALLY look like I’m sure, but the difference is interesting.
Down to business. The Smoky Texan is a big Angus burger with bacon, cheese, salad and “smoky Texan sauce”. The problem with all of these special barbecue sauces is that in isolation they all taste pretty much the same – this could easily have been the same sauce as in the KFC Black Edition burger. There was nothing wrong with this burger, but I found it all a bit pointless and certainly not innovative.
The best bit of the burger was the bun, which is common to all three. Soft but firm with real substance and flavour and a topping of sesame seeds, chilli flakes and chives.
The New York Classic includes beef, cheese, lettuce, pickles, onions and mustard mayo. I couldn’t find any pickles in mine, which was probably for the best as I found the mustard mayo rather sour for my taste…kinda how I imagine half a Big Mac tastes after it’s been left out in the sun. This burger also got soggy very quickly. I had high hopes for this one and was rather disappointed.
The Macca’s website introduces the California Chicken Burger as “the star of the show” and I would have to agree. I’m not a huge fan of chicken burgers (especially from McDonald’s) but I thought the firm bun matched rally nicely with the simple combination of chicken fillet, lettuce and “sweet chilli ‘n’ lime sauce”. I’m still not sure whether it’s different enough to warrant being part of this promotion, but it was definitely the best of the three.
Wow. Despite coming in an uninspiring “Chicken McBites” box, the Chilli Cheese Pops are AWESOME. A little tough on the outside perhaps, but oozing with cheese and a surprising amount of jalapeno. You could actually class these as having a “kick” without being laughed at. Seriously, go and pick up $20 worth of these and a bottle of your favourite sweet chilli sauce – dinner sorted.
At four for $2 they make me wonder why I paid $10 for three stuffed jalapenos at the Chilli Festival. Mr Macca’s, PLEASE keep these on the menu.
Lastly we have the rather attractive Banana Split shake. Yum. Why can’t something like this always be on the menu? Where’s the mint shake for St Patrick’s Day? Unlike some banana shakes it didn’t taste TOO much of fake banana, and the chocolate syrup / chewy chocolate fudge pieces on the top worked well.
So there you have it – hands down winners were the chilli cheese pops and banana split shake, closely followed by the California Chicken burger. Let me know what you think in the comments.