The goal with Salty Popcorn and Sydney Table (now Spooning Australia) was always to expand and keep on expanding – the key to a successful and happy life and career is to do something you love as your job and this has always been my goal with these websites, they are my hobby, although pretty much a second full time job and when they make enough money I will run them as my full time career, here’s striving and longing for this anyways. Four years ago a lovely lady, named AMY MCPHERSON, ran a little foodie blog known as SYDNEY TABLE. This lady was moving to Coffs Harbour and it was a tad difficult to run a food website from Coffs when it is about Sydney – so she offered it to me. I accepted and my love of food has been blogged ever since. When I chose to leave the Orble network and come over to my own site it was always going to be a big risk and take quite a long time to establish – I did it three times with my other blogs so will do it again. I decided then and there the site should not be bordered in by a state, as I reviewed many a restaurant on the site when I was in SA or NT so the name SPOONING AUSTRALIA was formed and here is the site. I was speaking to Amy, who is back in Sydney now, ironically, and she has come onboard as the first SPOONER, a foodie journalist on the SPOONING AUSTRALIA website. And where Salty went from the one writer, myself, to now ten Salty Kernels, writing and reviewing as much as possible Spooning commences its expansion with its second writer, or Spooner – welcome Amy.
Amy has many years of writing experience and abundant more on gorging on delicacies all over the place – you can check out here travel website here: www.footprintsandmemories.com
I am up to page 5 and I am already overwhelmed. It is all foreign language to me; besides the obvious selections of Shiraz, the Chardonnays and the Rieslings, there are also the curious lots of Pinot Gris, Pinot Meunier, the Grenache and the Appassimento. The list goes on, and on and on, for a total of 103 pages.
I wouldn’t call this a ‘wine list’. It is more of a wine book, with chapters dedicated to the style of grapes and their various blends.
I am at Print Hall with Michelle, a representative of Tourism Western Australia to talk about all the wonderful attractions this state has to offer, and let’s just say, it already had me, at ‘the Wine List’.
The establishment opened mid to late 2012 within the old West Australian press building. The name, Print Hall, occupied the area where the printing press ran up and down the levels of the building, where ink met paper of the state’s favourite newspaper. There are 4 venues within this compound, other than the fine dining restaurant, Small Print – the bakery offers house baked bread, pastries and coffee; Apple Daily Bar & Eating House – serving Asian Fusion dining for the casual crowd and Bob’s Bar, the funky rooftop bar, named after ex-Prime Minister Bob Hawke.
With the knowledge that I have to work immediately after lunch, I settle on a non-alcoholic beverage (and immediately regretted it) and for my meal, I choose the Albany Free Range Pork (seared fillet, belly, boudin noir, cavolo nero and grapes). The smile on the waiters face suggested it is a good choice; he takes the wine menu away before I could stuff it in my bag and returns with two silver handbag hooks for us.
“For your handbags madams” purred the waiter.
Small gestures as such always impress me more than any grand flourish displays, and at this moment, I immediately decided that I shall like the food.
And I do. I know our meeting is about what I can write about Perth and Western Australia, but I am too busy to talk, and savored the well cubed and flavored pork bit by bit. Grilled grapes are a good touch, as I never would have thought to put grapes into cooking, where the subtle sweetness from the grape perfectly complimented the rest of the dish (note to self, add grapes to pork).
Declining dessert after lunch, I take the opportunity to ask the Director of Beverage, Daniel Wegener, about the wines. Every single wine on the menu, he says, has been sourced to show off some of the best wine talents in the region, to promote the excellent boutique wines available around Perth such as Picardy, Forest Hill, Frankland Estate, Si Vintners and Bella Ridge, before expanding to the rest of Australia then lastly to the rest of the world.
What is more exciting for those who indulge in wine and think they know their stuff around wine, there are some unusual selections such as Bests ‘Old Vine’ Pinot Meunier 1988 from Grampians, Victoria; Frank Cornllissen Munjabel 5 of Etna, Sicily; Massandra Collection ‘Ayu-Dag’ Cahors Seperavi 1939 from Crimea, and Domaine St-Croix 1909 Rivesaltes of Languedoc-Roussillon.
When I enquire what he would have recommended me for my pork dish, I am told that I would have enjoyed a glass of the 2010 Ballot Millot ‘les Narvaux’. Excellent wine, he adds.
Another note to self: remember for next time.
I love the concept of having different tiers of dining for different needs and purposes. Come to the bakery for breakfast, have a sociable lunch at the Apple Daily and impress someone with a sophisticated meal at the Dining Room, even if it’s just for the 103 pages of wine on offer. (If only I could afford to buy one off each page for my awesome friend and Spooning editor Jason). 🙂
I award this superb establishment 5 out of 5 Spoons.
Check out their website: www.printhall.com.au