Perth, we asked you to nominate your absolute favourite locally owned restaurants and cafes. We broke these into local areas- North, South, East, West and Central. Each area will have five winners, with one crowned ‘Area Winner’ in a special blog with a special prize!
The Perth Happenings team set out to try your shortlist and we have found you, based on your nominations your-
Local Foodie Bucketlist Winners – NORTH (in no particular order)-
Little Donkey Corner (Tuart Hill) – Reviewed by Cassie
One to put on your bucket list is Little Donkey Corner in Tuart Hill. You may have already heard about these guys from their Insta-famous fairy floss French toast (and YES it tastes just as good as it looks!). Light and bright with a cute little kitchen, all dishes are made super-fresh by the team at Little Donkey Corner, with lovely owner Emilie’s bubbly personality setting a great, friendly atmosphere.
With a range of fresh juices available every day, we tried the Rosé juice and a house specialty – French Orangina imported straight from Emilie’s home country. The juice was sweetly refreshing, with the Orangina (sparkling orange juice) a real highlight to try. Little Donkey Corner features an extensive all-day brunch menu with heaps of vegan options, making it tricky to pick which dishes when all sound so damn good!
We ended going for the avo & succotash smash, the truffle scrambled eggs and we couldn’t go past the famous fairy floss French toast. The avo smash was a classic, topped with tomato, corn, beans and a perfectly poached egg served on a rustic slice of toast. I liked that it was a little different to the usual smashed avo’s and is definitely one to put on the list to try. The truffle scrambled eggs were next-level, topped with pickled onions and chipotle oil.
Little Donkey Corner stocks a local, handmade chilli sauce made by one of their regular customers, and this added to the truffle eggs made for the perfect match! The fairy floss French toast was just as epic as it sounds, topped with a pink cloud of sweetness. Surprisingly, the French toast wasn’t the usual too-sweet batter and made for a great balance with the sweet toppings.
The menu at Little Donkey Corner is really well-priced for what you get, and the atmosphere
is fantastic, with lots of friends and families with young children.
Check out their Facebook here.
The Sandbar (Scarborough) – Reviewed by Cassie
The Sandbar Scarborough lies right on the main strip on Scarborough foreshore, boasting beautiful beach views from their outdoors alfresco area. With a strong focus on the local community, The Sandbar has a strict ‘no booking’ policy, aiming to seat everyone and believe customers who are there wanting a table will always get one!
The restaurant name was actually chosen by a Perth local during a competition to rebrand the space – and hence The Sandbar was born! They have a huge wine and cocktail list, with heaps of funky drinks to choose from like the ‘Love Potion’ and the “Choc Peanut Butter Cup”.
The Sandbar is open all day for brekkie, lunch and dinner and specialise in simple food done well. We were lucky enough to try their famous chilli mussels, the fish of the day and the grilled haloumi and pumpkin salad. The chilli mussels serving was HUGE and came with toasted Turkish bread to dip in the delicious, rich sauce. Not too spicy, these mussels were a great way to start the meal and are only $14 after 12pm every Friday (a steal!).
The fish of the day was Esperance Nannygai which came with braised chorizo, octopus and chickpeas. A super-hearty dish, you could tell the fish was fresh and the tomato-based sauce with the added chorizo and octopus were a great addition to the meal. My personal favourite for the day was the grilled haloumi and pumpkin salad – This. Was. Amazing! The haloumi was crispy and salty alongside the crispy shallots, balancing out with the sweet pumpkin and juicy pomegranate.
Perfect for any day and time of the week, The Sandbar really stood out to me with a great value for the type of dining you get (especially with the chilli mussel special going on right now!). Owned by Perth local Ben and his friendly team, The Sandbar is a must along the Scarbs foreshore.
Check out their Facebook here.
Paper Avenue (Joondalup) – Reviewed by Cassie
Paper Avenue Café is located in Joondalup (right near the library) and is ALWAYS jam- packed on the weekends, a testament to how epic the café is! Paper avenue has indoor and outdoor seating and boasts an all-day menu with heaps of brekkie and brunch faves.
They have a huge range of wellness and specialty drinks, kombucha’s and cold-pressed juices. We tried the strawberry swoon latte which is a gorgeous millennial-pink colour, and the apple matcha latte which comes out a vibrant green, making a perfect photo to make your friends jealous! These aren’t your ‘regular’ lattes but are fantastic for someone looking for something a little different that tastes amazing.
For food, we tried the savoury pancakes, the pumpkin rosti, the Nutella brownie and two donuts filled with Nutella and lemon meringue. The serves of the dishes are pretty huge so you definitely get value for your money at Paper Avenue! The pancakes were cooked to perfection – light, fluffy and not too sweet – and were topped with thick-cut bacon, banana and maple syrup (one of my favourite combos).
The pumpkin rosti came alongside a huge slab of haloumi and perfectly poached eggs – for me, haloumi can do no wrong, so this dish was a major YES. The Nutella brownie was the highlight of the meal, it wasn’t so chocolatey that is made you feel sick but still packed a punch that left us wanting more! The donuts were a great addition to the meal and are also great for on-the go takeaway bites.
The staff at Paper Avenue were super lovely, and they also cater for your little ones with a mini-menu for tiny stomachs. A great local café, Paper Avenue is the perfect place for weekly catchups with friends or a place to get some work done while sipping on a hot Turkish delight (yes, you read that correct!).
Find them on Facebook here.
The Little Bay (Watermans Bay) – Reviewed by Pieta
If you live northern suburbs, and have an Instagram account, you would certainly have heard of Little h or The Little Bay. Both are owned by the same local couple and when I met Elizabeth, one of the owners, it was incredibly obvious why The Little Bay is doing so well. Not only is the venue gorgeous, with neutral tones with pops of greenery throughout, the menu also is well thought out and you can see the passion that Elizabeth has for hospitality and her business. Additionally there is that uninterrupted view of the spectacular Watermans Bay – how could you go wrong.
Our meals were chosen by the chef, and can I say how very thankful I am that they were! I am relatively adventurous when it comes to food but when presented with that menu I certainly couldn’t have decided. We had breakfast gnocchi, triple pancake stack, Turkish eggs and burrata cheese.
Every single dish was exceptional. Visually I don’t think you can go past the pancake stack. That praline basket was so delicious but my favourite part was the passionfruit curd. In fact, everything about this was not only insta worthy, but without fault.
I have never had burrata cheese before and had no idea what to expect. I was told that burrata is an Italian cow milk cheese which is made from mozzarella and cream. The outer shell is solid mozzarella, and the inside contains stracciatella and cream, which was a very unique texture I must say. The cheese combined with the warm apple and almonds was unexpectedly delicious.
I have recently found out that the breakfast gnocchi has a serious following, and that does not surprise me! I am a sucker for anything with mushroom and eggs, and this did not disappoint.
Our final dish was one that we both declared our favourite. The turkish eggs are a seemingly simple dish. Poached eggs on top of flavoured greek yoghurt with ciabatta. However, that is not just yoghurt. It has garlic, dill, aleppo pepper and chilli and combined with perfect eggs, this hands down is one of the best dishes I have had on the Bucketlist search.
I certainly could write more about The Little Bay, but the take home message is location is fantastic, food was exceptional and service was a-grade.
Find them on Facebook here.
D’s Authentic Japanese (Connolly) – Reviewed by Pieta
D’s Authentic Japanese is in one of the most unassuming places in the northern suburbs. Tucked away in a small local shopping centre, in a stand alone brown brick building. If you weren’t aware that this was a new restaurant, you may drive past this venue (as I unfortunately often have).
I have heard nothing but amazing things about D’s Authentic so I had very high expectations, however as someone who does not eat Japanese regularly, I did not know what to expect. When we walked in to find a beautiful fit out, a Japanese garden view out the main window and no tables available due to the popularity, we were blown away. The inside truly is not reflected by the exterior.
With this visit we chose our own menu items as I was a little apprehensive that I would end up with raw food in front of me. This truly shows how much I need to experiment and try new things, as by the end of the night I was convinced that I will return to have sashimi again!
Our entrees and mains had chicken karrage and chicken katsu. These were very flavourful with great texture in the coating. The main stand out dishes however were those we did not expect. It needs to be noted here that the customer service at D’s is without fault. Friendly, professional and incredibly knowledgeable. With that in mind, I asked our waiter how it was possible to eat raw fish without getting sick as I was incredibly hesitant. Without missing a beat he explained in detail why and how it was safe without making me feel silly. This is the only reason I tried sashimi and can I say, I am a huge fan. It was certainly different but you could taste how fresh this fish was and I’m happy to say- I was completely fine!
The final menu item that blew us away was the bluejay baked cheesecake. I am a baked cheesecake fan and will order it whenever I can so I had some very high expectations. Although the serving size was on the smaller side, the plating was gorgeous and the cheesecake itself was one of the best I have ever had.
All the food tasted delicious, you could taste the freshness and we will certainly be going back.
Find them on Facebook here.
There we have your Local Foodie Bucketlist – North winners.
Have you been to these venues before? Do you have a favourite yourself? Who do you think will be the overall winner?