Monday, December 22, 2014

Perth Lodging, Food, and Activities Review

Swan Bell Tower
The Perth area has some of the best places to eat and things to do. We thoroughly enjoyed our time spent in this wonderful city. For information about this rating system, see Sydney Reviews.

Where we stayed…
Four Carrots
Bailey’s Motel, 150 Bennett Street, 6004 Perth, +61 8 9220 9555 is in a great location for 
Double room with kitchen and bath
walking to several sites or for driving around Perth. The location is in a neighborhood that serves young professionals, so there are some wonderful restaurants within walking distance, as well as a grocery store. The room was large with an alcove type kitchen and eating area. The bathroom was okay, but neither heated nor cooled. WiFi was free and in the room IF you had a reservation through However, my WiFi was cut off at exactly the same time it had first been activated on the day before we checked out; I found that very frustrating. There was a charge to have it re-activated for another six hours.
Two Carrots
Ibis Budget Perth Airport Hotel, 317-319 Great Eastern Hwy, 6104 Perth, +61 8 9478 2158 is very close to the airport. Because it is on a highway, it is difficult to get into and out of the parking lot. The room and bathroom were smaller than tiny; Dave had to come out of the bathroom to get dressed and still didn’t have much room. The desk folks are very nice and try to be helpful. There are hairdryers available at the desk, if they are not all checked out. You are not going to want to stay here longer than one night; we chose this hotel because we had a 5:00AM departure time for our flight.
Queen room with bath

How we traveled…

Four Carrots
We rented a Hyundai 120 with GPS from Europcar and it was great. I could actually see over the hood and the GPS didn’t quit half-way through our trip. The young lady who checked us in was very helpful and even gave us a detailed street map book (about 400 pages) to use. When we dropped the car off at around 4:30AM, the key box was large enough to accommodate the GPS, which ended our worries about what to do with it.

What we ate…
Four and one-half Carrots
Grilled shrimp and Seafood chowder
Joe’s Fish Shack, 42 Mews Road, Fremantle 6160, +61 8 9336 7161 is fish restaurant in Fremantle in which we ate 'something light'. Dave had a gallon of fish chowder that he has not stopped extoling the virtues of and I had a skewer of very tasty shrimp with about a pound of coleslaw on the side. The shrimp were actually tender and moist despite the fact that they were cooked on a barbecue grill.

Aquarium Seafood Chinese Restaurant 202 Great Eastern Highway, Ascot (Perth) 6104, +61 8 9478 1868; I had the almond and cashew seafood and Dave had seafood chow mien
Chow mien, Almond/cashew seafood, Fruit appetizer 
with crispy noodles. Both were loaded with fresh, tender shrimp, scallops, calamari, muscles, and fish sautéed in a light sauce with lots of vegetables. The dishes were amazing and the service was very good. The waiters were available at a glance from either of us, willing to refill glasses, take plates, and bring anything we required. The restaurant is well decorated with thought given to the way the décor and menu design complement each other. My only complaint was that I couldn’t read the menu in the low light, particularly because it is on silver paper with colored print.

Four Carrots

We had dinner at Royal Siam Thai Restaurant, 33/82, Royal Street, East Perth 6004, +61
Pad Thai, Green curry
8 9218 8838, which smelled a bit like armpits when we first walked in but served surprisingly good food. The Pad Thai was lovely, although not as good as Sea Siam’s (Keller, Texas). Dave liked his green curry; it had a bit of a sweet taste. Luckily he did tell them to make it light on the spice; it made my eyes water when I tasted it.

At the Viet Royal, 81 Royal Street, East Perth 6004, +61 8 9211 2388 Dave had a version of sweet/sour chicken that he said was very nicely prepared. I had a beef dish that sounded
Top L to R: Sweet/sour chicken, Fried dumplings
Bottom L to R: Beef and chili, Roki bread
tasty but mild; was I wrong! It had beef, mint leaves, basil, young corn, and bamboo shoots in a sauce that was blazing with red pepper flakes. There was also some roki bread ~ looks like crepes that have been pan fried. Once my eyeballs quit sweating I decided that the food was all really good. Service was friendly and efficient.

Cicerello’s, 44 Mews Road, Fremantle 6160, +61 8 9335 1911 is an old-time fish market
Top of Bottom: Fish tanks, Yellow snapper
turned restaurant. The noise level is deafening because of the wooden floors, ceilings and walls and the metal tables and chairs. There were also about a bazillion people eating, although the line in which we stood to order our meal moved really quickly, on this particular Saturday at lunch. I suspect that it is always crowded. We both had fish and chips, but mine was barramundi and Dave’s was yellow snapper. The fish and the fries were crispy and hot, needing no additional seasoning. We did stop, before we left, to look in the enormous fish tanks that divide the main seating area from the food lines. There were a number of saltwater fish these well maintained tanks; there are also critters, including an octopus with the reputation of oozing its way into other tanks for a midnight snack of small fish.

Café Bellavista Restaurant & Pizzeria, Bailey’s Motel, 150 Bennett Street, East Perth
Top L to R: Eggs Benedict, Pancakes
Bottom L to R: Ziti and tortellini
6004, +61 8 9220 9560 is associated with the hotel and serves meals all day. The breakfast was substantial and very tasty. Dave had a stack of pancakes with fresh fruit and chocolate. I had eggs Benedict that was delightful; eggs cooked to my specifications on a lovely piece of toasted panni with prosciutto. Dinner was also exceptional. The tortellini was made in-house, the ziti was cooked perfectly and the sauces were adapted to our dietary requirements. The waiters and waitresses were attentive and very fast. Our orders were taken at our table, but we went to the bar to pay.

Antico Caffe, 3/81 Royal Street, East Perth 6004, +61 8 9221 8222 is another great Italian
Wine, chicken, pear
restaurant within three blocks of Bailey’s Motel. Dave and I shared garlic bread and chicken breasts stuffed with shrimp in a mushroom sauce. For dessert we had a poached pear ~ poached in wine and cinnamon. It was oh so good! The waiter was from Naples and had been in Australia seven years; he's starting his own restaurant in January with an all Italian staff. One of the waitresses and I had a conversation in Italian ~ she said something, I said something and perhaps we communicated. In any case it was good fun.

Three Carrots
Coffee Café, 99 Adelaide Terrace, Perth 6004, +61 8 9225 1234 has really good pastry and coffee. Dave had a nice piece of zucchini bread, but I indulged in a lemon bar that was
Top: Zuccini bread
Bottom: Lemon bar
yummy. There is a nice patio area with seating along the street, allowing you a view of the downtown area. Service is a bit slow and you must go to the counter to order.

In the Whiteman Park Village Café, Beechboro Road or Lord Street entrances, Whiteman, +61 8 9209 6000, we shared a pulled pork sandwich for lunch that was pretty good. This
Pulled pork
little eatery is near Caversham Wildlife Park and has ‘real food’ rather than just fast food; it also has wine and beer. It’s a good family place with seating outdoors.

What we did…

See Hopping to Perth for descriptions of these activities:
Four and one-half Carrots
Caversham Wildlife Park - visitors are able to get close to the animals as well as interact with the game keepers
Four Carrots
Western Australian Museum Shipwreck Galleries - wrecks of ships are displayed, along with an actual ship that has been restored

Western Australian Museum - exhibits include Aboriginal art and history; there are also traveling exhibits that are presented from time to time

Perth Mint - original place where precious metals are still appraised and changed into money

King's Park and Botanic Gardens, DNA tower, Firefighter’s Memorial - lovely park area that includes memorials, visitor's center and specialized plant growing areas

Aviation Heritage Museum - restored aircraft, along with information about men's and women's air corp and flying medical personnel are displayed
Three and one-half Carrots
Maritime Museum - sailing, fishing and military vessels are on display, including model boats and history of these fleets

Fremantle Market and E-Sheds - weekend shopping destinations with offerings from the sublime to the ridiculous 

©2013 NearNormal Design and Production Studio - All rights including copyright of photographs and designs, as well as intellectual rights are reserved.