Port Douglas

Town Profile : Port Douglas

Port Douglas

 

We’ve visited Port Douglas three times and found all occasions to be quite pleasant.

 

The first time was for our birthdays in 2013, when we flew over from Darwin and met up with our friends and family, who flew up from Melbourne to celebrate with us.  It was a week of eating and drinking, late nights and plenty of injury, and it was during the peak tourism season so there were plenty of holiday makers around.  The second time was with the Troopy, as we began our descent down the east coast of Australia.  Tourism was still bustling in October but it just seemed a lot quieter without our mates around.

 

 

The third time was during our seven-month stint in Cairns.  We’d been playing trivia every week at the Red Beret Hotel and the prizes were vouchers for various places in Port Douglas.  After collecting a booty of vouchers, we put aside a day to drive up and use them.  Despite being warm and sunny, March is right in the middle of cyclone season, and one was expected to hit the coast in a day or two – Port Douglas was deserted.

 

We felt like we had the whole town to ourselves and had an amazing, action packed day that included a delicious breakfast at Cafe Fresq, shopping at various gift stores, a mind-blowing sandwich from the Little Larder, a walking tour around town, and a sunset dinner at the Yacht Club.

 

Port Douglas

 

Port Douglas is essentially a tourism town that can be fully experienced in a day or two.  If you can’t afford to stay at one of the lavish resorts and spend the rest of your time drinking cocktails by the pool, Port Douglas has a few budget accommodation options, including a YHA, and is a great place to base yourself while you visit the various attractions in the region.

 

Fast Facts

  • Port Douglas is #3 on Australian Traveller magazine’s list of Australia’s 100 Best Towns. It’s about 1 hour north of Cairns.
  • It is the gateway to two World Heritage listed areas – the Daintree Rainforest and Great Barrier Reef.
  • There have been several films shot in and around Port Douglas – Sniper (1993), Paradise Road (1997), The Thin Red Line (1998), Paradise Found (2003), Fools Gold (2008) and Nim’s Island (2008).
  • Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter, died off the coast of Port Douglas after a stingray shot its barb into his heart. He was filming a new documentary called The Ocean’s Deadliest.

 

History

The traditional owners of the area are the Kuku Yalanji people, and their country stretches from the Mowbray River to the south of Port Douglas to the Annan River just south of Cooktown.

 

Port Douglas was established in 1877 after the discovery of gold in a valley near the Mowbray River.  At its peak, it had a population of 12,000, with 26 legal and registered pubs and even a few opium dens!  The schoolhouse built in 1878 and it is the oldest building in the region and was still operating until the 1960s when it was closed due to lack of population.

 

Scandal hit Port Douglas in 1887 when Ellen Thomson was convicted of murdering her husband. She pleaded innocent but she and her lover were both sent to Brisbane where they were sentenced and hung.  She became the only women to ever be hung in QLD.

 

In 1911, a devastating cyclone hit Port Douglas and once it had past, two people were dead and only seven buildings were left standing.  The impact of the cyclone lingered for several decades, and the population dwindled to abound 100 people in the 1960s.

 

christopher_skaseWho would have thought that the town’s saviour would later be known as Australia’s most wanted fugitive and fraudster.  In 1988, Christopher Skase unveiled his new 5-star Sheraton Mirage Resort, which triggered a massive tourism boom.  Because of this, it’s said that Skase is responsible for reviving Port Douglas and thus creating a successful tourism-based economy.  He is also responsible for the relocation the St Mary’s Church from up on the hill to down near the water’s edge in 1988, because its position was on valuable real estate land!  The non-denominational church was originally built in 1880 but was flattened by that cyclone in 1911.  It was rebuilt and remained in its spot on the hill until Skase’s arrival.

 

These days, the St Mary’s By The Sea is a popular place to get married.  Port Douglas is a thriving tourism town with a population is around 3,200, but this figure can double during the tourist season between May and October.

 

Port Douglas 2015-03-18 053w

 

Places of Interest

There are a few things to do in town, such as browsing shops along the main street, having a drink and a meal at one of the pubs, or lazing on the best beach in town – Four Mile Beach. The sand at Four Mile Beach is so flat and firm, that many years ago planes were often landed on the sand.  There’s also a market on every Sunday in the park opposite the Courthouse Hotel.

 

If you are interested in learning about the town and the area, we recommend going on a K-Star Walking Tour.  Kevin is really knowledgeable about the geography, history and flora in the area and it’s a great introduction to tropical Queensland.  Alternatively, hire some electric bikes; an easy and super fun way to get around town.  Prices start at $20 for 2hrs.

 

Port Douglas

 

As we said earlier, Port Douglas can be explored in a day or two, but it is a great place to station yourself while you explore the surrounding wonders.

 

Cape Tribulation

Located within the Daintree Rainforest, Cape Tribulation is a headland that was named by Captain Cook after his ship was damaged on the Great Barrier Reef.  It was named so because it was where Cook’s troubles began, but despite this, it is a wonderful beach to visit.  On the road to Cape Tribulation are various cafes and ice creameries which certainly don’t hurt to visit.

 

Cape Tribulation

 

Mossman Gorge

Due to efforts to conserve this naturally beautiful place, a regular shuttle bus that runs from the Mossman Gorge Centre is the only way to visit the Gorge.  It has a relatively low fee and does allow multiple trips on the day of purchase if required.  We recommend exploring the walking trail before having a dip in the cool waters.

 

Mossman Gorge

 

Flames of the Forest

This is a very indulgent experience for special occasions only.  Enjoy a gourmet meal in a romantic atmosphere of illuminated trees while being serenaded by a wonderful performer.

 

Flames of the Forest

 

Bloomfield Track & CREB Track

For the off road enthusiasts, check out the two tracks that go through the Daintree.  We only did a small portion of the CREB Track before turning around to follow the Bloomfield Track.  Our brakes weren’t in great shape at the time and we had been told by locals that the Bloomfield Track was the safer option – plus, there were a few bush fires around and we needed to put safety first.

 

CREB Track

 

Food & Drink

There are heaps of places that offer a great feed in Port Douglas.  For a decent coffee, check out Moonshine Bay and while you’re there, browse through all of the colourful things in the shop.  Moonshine Bay uses coffee from Four Mile Roasters, local coffee bean aficionados who have a great little cafe called Origin Espresso.  Located in the backstreets away from the hustle and bustle of the tourist-ridden main street, sip a quality coffee while sitting on hessian sack milk crates and contemplating which baked treat to eat next.  Very Melbourne…

 

 

Many of the good cheap eats in Port Douglas are on Grant Street.  The French toast at Cafe Fresq is delicious, all the food from Menu Thai Restaurant is incredible and for a late night snack after the pub, go to Get Ya Kebabs for a juicy meal.  However, one of our favourite places was an award-winning bakery…

 

Mocka’s Pies

Not only do they have a great selection of pies, including Kangaroo and Crocodile Laksa, but they are absolutely scrumptious.  Mocka’s regularly participate in the Official Great Aussie Pie Competition and their pies win medals every year.

 

Mocka's Pies

 

On The Inlet

This restaurant is a little on the pricey side, so it should probably be put aside for special occasions, but the food is quite good and they have a resident groper called George… and by groper, we mean fish, not pervert.

 

The Little Larder

This place is a popular spot amongst the locals and visitors alike.  They do a wicked breakfast and cup of coffee but the main attraction is the ‘serious sandwiches made by chefs’.  We had lunch here and our lives are ruined because all future sandwiches will never be as good as the sandwiches we had here! Check out our post about this excellent food outlet…

 

Port Douglas

 

Off The Track

There is a wicked food joint on Warner Street, just behind Coles.  They have an awesome selection of gourmet burgers, including beef, pork, chicken and vegetarian, and each burger comes with a little pile of perfectly cooked chips.  They also do breakfast and can brew a very nice Lavazza coffee.

 

Port Douglas

 

Port Douglas Yacht Club

For a more local experience, you must visit the PDYC!  This open air bar and restaurant is a great place to meet friendly locals and watch the sun set over the estuary.  We enjoyed a delicious and well priced dinner that included fresh, crisp chips and a lovely side salad.  Their chicken parma is juicy and thick with all the correct toppings, and they also offer Cargill steak.

 

Port Douglas

 

Information & Accommodation

The Port Douglas Tourist Information Centre is located on the main street at 23 Macrossan Street, or you can visit these websites: http://www.tourismportdouglas.com.au/ or http://www.pddt.com.au/

 

Port O’Call Lodge YHA – 4 green star eco-lodge.  To make a reservation, call 07 4099 5422 or email portdouglas@yha.com.au

 

Cape Tribulation YHA – nestled deep within the Daintree rainforest.  To make a reservation, call 07 4098 0030 or email capetribulation@yha.com.au

 

Port Douglas

 

 

Coober Pedy

Eating Out : John’s Pizza Bar, Coober Pedy SA

Coober Pedy

 

We were absolutely starving and after having a quick browse for what was available in town, there was no question where we were going to have lunch.  John’s Pizza Bar not only looked good and smelt good, but the prices were pretty good too.  It’s a family owned and operated business that is run by the Ikonomopoulos family and has won many awards due to their great quality, affordable food and delicious pizzas.

 

We walked in and discovered that the place was licensed.  Brilliant – let’s have a drink while we wait for our food.  Dave got the steak sandwich and Juz got a mixed yiros. We didn’t have to wait too long for our lunch to arrive.

 

Coober Pedy

 

Both were served with a small side of delicious, crunchy chips, which was totally unexpected. Juz stuffed these into her yiros… just because.

 

Coober Pedy

 

Apart from being the perfect size to satisfy our hunger, both of our meals were absolutely delicious.  All up, our two drinks and two meals was about $30 – which is an awesome deal for lunch and a bevy.

 

http://johnspizzabarandrestaurant.com.au/

 

The Gillen Club

Eating Out : The Gillen Club, Alice Springs NT

 

The Gillen Club

 

We had a friend visit us in Alice Springs so we decided to show her around town and finish the night off with a nice dinner.  After climbing Mount Gillen, visiting the Reptile Centre and watching the sunset on Anzac Hill, we’d built up quite an appetite so we made our way to the Gillen Club for a feed.

 

It was surprisingly busy for a Thursday night and we were lucky enough to order our meals before the line grew to 10 metres long!  While we waited, we helped ourselves to the all you can eat salad bar, which was complete with garden salad, coleslaw, balsamic mushrooms and a weird combination salad of spinach, jalapeños and bread.  We watched a bunch of kids goof around on the jungle gym while their parents mingled at nearby tables.

 

Our buzzer went off earlier than expected and we went to collect our meals.  Juz and Jenny ordered a chicken schnitzel each. Jenny’s Hawaiian schnitzel had pineapple rings under the cheese while Juz’s Mexican schnitzel had Tobasco in the sauce and was topped with a ludicrous amount of jalapeños.  The schnitzels were huge but not too thick, and they tasted great.   Both meals were super filling and served with a small amount of chips, which was perfectly fine considering we could eat as much salad as we liked.  However, by the time we finished our meals, we didn’t have any room left…

 

 

 

Dave went with the $14.90 porterhouse special cooked medium rare and unbelievably, that’s how the steak arrived!  The mushroom sauce was just gravy with mushrooms in it.  For the price, it was a very reasonable and well sized meal that could have been supplemented with more salad but there was no need – Dave was full.

 

We weren’t expecting much from the Gillen Club and we were pleasantly surprised with the value and flavour of the food.  It’s a great kid-friendly restaurant that serves a decent meal in a social atmosphere.  Feeling utterly satisfied, we left the Gillen Club for a nightcap at Epilogue before taking Jenny back to her hostel.

 

Heartbreak Hotel

Eating Out : Heartbreak Hotel, Cape Crawford NT

Heartbreak Hotel

After spending the morning in Caranbirini National Park, we passed through Cape Crawford and realised we were famished!  It turned out that the only thing in Cape Crawford worth going to is the Heartbreak Hotel so we turned in for lunch.

 

The lunchtime menu was mainly a list of burgers and sandwiches ranging in price from around $10 to $18.  Juz went for the Heartbreak Burger while Dave chose a Steak Sanga with the lot – both were $18.

 

While we waited for our food vibrator thingy to tell us when our food was ready, we went into the bar for a beer.  Country music blared out of the jukebox as we played darts and when we realised we couldn’t be bothered adding up the scores, we read all the signs and stickers that were on display around the bar.

 

Our vibrator thingy didn’t even get the opportunity to buzz – one of the friendly staff brought our meals over and we took them outside to eat on the veranda.

 

 

Juz’s Heartbreak Burger was towered high with a massive beef patty, egg, bacon, beetroot, pineapple, caramelised onion and salad, and had a side of well-seasoned hot chips.  The burger hit the spot perfectly, and that juicy patty really set it off.   Dave got the Steak Sandwich and while it was also delicious, he had serious food envy for Juz’s burger.

 

As we ate, we realised we had company – a few Blue-faced Honeyeaters were loitering around our table.  They didn’t hesitate to come quite close to us so we set some bait to see how far they’d go for a crumb.

 

Heartbreak Hotel

 

Fiddler's Green - the big breakfast!

Eating Out : Fiddler’s Green, Darwin NT

Juz had covertly planned a big weekend to celebrate five years together.  It included accommodation in the city, drinking craft beer and dinner at Fiddler’s Green.

 

When we arrived at the Waterfront, it was clear to see that the Irish pub was super busy.  Most of the tables inside and out were occupied but the hospitable host showed us to a table inside at the back.  As we considered the menu, Juz went to the bar for the first round of drinks.

 

She chose the Coopers Sparkling Ale for Dave because she remembered that he liked it a lot when we were at the brewery in Adelaide, while Juz settled for a bottle of mango beer from the Matso’s Brewery in Broome.  These went down a treat while we picked what we wanted.  Dave went with the scotch fillet cooked medium and topped with béarnaise while Juz got the chicken schnitzel special.

 

 

By the time our meals came out, it was time for another round.  Dave went up this time and got Juz a glass of refreshing pinot gris while he got a 500ml stubbie of Hobgoblin from the Wychwood Brewery in England.  This full-bodied ruby ale is rich with toffee and chocolate flavours with some mild bitterness and a gentle fizz.

 

Dave’s scotch fillet looked incredible, especially with the generous serving of béarnaise over the top.  He had asked for a medium steak and got a medium steak, which was immediately impressive.  It had a smoky, flame-grilled flavour, and the delicate béarnaise provided additional moisture and a little tang.  The chips were crisp but needed seasoning, and the salad was fresh and flavoursome with a creamy balsamic dressing.

 

Juz’s chicken schnitzel special was topped with tomato chipotle sauce, mushroom, bacon and cheese, served with a side of chips and salad.  While the tomato sauce tasted a little like BBQ sauce, everything else was thoroughly tasty.  The chicken schnitzel was a good size, cooked fresh, and the mushroom, bacon and cheese went really well together.

 

We were really impressed with the friendly, jolly atmosphere and the casual but proud staff.  When Juz asked the manager about the quality of the steaks, she received a response that was quite a surprise – that he trusted his cooks and the quality of the meat they used.  Dave’s steak proved this to be true.  We were convinced that this place had more to offer than average food and drink.

 

Two days later, we went back for breakfast.  Once again, a friendly host showed us to a table and we quickly chose to share an Irish Breakfast and an Eggs O’Benedict.  In the time it took for Juz to go to the bar for a bottle of water, our breakfast was on the table.

 

The Eggs O’Benedict was the typical muffin slices topped with poached egg, cooked ham and hollandaise sauce.  They nailed everything – freshly toasted muffin with gooey egg, savoury ham and subtly tangy hollandaise – and the microgreen garnish provided the perfect touch of alkalinity to break through everything.

 

 

The Irish Breakfast included bacon, fried egg, Texan toast, baked beans, black pudding, potato pancakes and a cooked tomato.  It looked like a typical big breakfast, except for the black pudding – which just looked like really dark sausage slices.  It tasted good, considering it’s made from blood, and the potato pancakes were just little hash browns flavoured with chives.

 

Despite all the good things about Fiddlers Green, the only disappointment was our coffee – Juz’s soy latte was weak and the milk was badly frothed, and Dave’s macchiato was watery and weak.  Other than that, the service, the décor and the food were all fantastic.

 

 

Fiddler's Green on Urbanspoon

 

 

 

Fremantle street art

City Profile : Fremantle

We hit Fremantle before checking out the Perth CBD for a few reasons.  A – we were staying only 6km away, B – we weren’t ready to brave the innards of the city just yet, and C – we heard there were great places for coffee!

 

 

Sure, Fremantle is home to a plethora of cafés and the Cappuccino Strip, but it also has microbreweries, pubs and restaurants, heaps of shopping and Western Australia’s largest collection of heritage listed buildings.  There is even a bus dressed up like a tram offering ‘tram’ tours (LOL), which is the only reminder of when Fremantle had trams between 1905 and the 1952.

 

Affectionately called ‘Freo’, it was named after Charles Fremantle, a British naval officer who took formal possession of the mouth of the Swan River in the name of His Majesty King George in 1829.  Over 180 years later, the area is now a city with a vibrant, youthful culture with a love of beer, live music and festivals.

 

Araluen Chilli Festival

As soon as Juz heard about the Chilli Festival coming to Fremantle, she was keen on finding her own space coyote.  There was live music and pie making competitions, spicy jams, sauces, preserves, oils, beer and tonnes of food stalls serving up jumbos, paellas, seafood jambalayas and chilli con carne.  You could even get chilli ice cream!  Juz went with a bowl of creole chicken and chilli beef stew before wandering around the festival with swollen lips and a fire burning deep down inside.

 

 

Entry to the festival was $15 for adults and you got a few vouchers on entry, like a free tasting paddle at the Monk Brewery – SCORE!

 

 

PLACES OF INTEREST

Fremantle Markets

Established in 1897, the Fremantle Market Hall is a busy and colourful place to stroll around on a Saturday morning.  There are heaps of stalls displaying all sorts of fantastic stuff like fresh, local produce, nuts, cheese, knick knacks, clothes, free trade stuff, coffee, lollies and souvenirs.  Street performers and buskers are usually out and about on the weekend, and this is where the great John Butler started out before forming his trio in 1998.

 

The E-Sheds down near the harbour had a completely different atmosphere; sterile, quiet, almost forgotten.  We checked out the CY O’Connor statue and purchased a new picnic bag and cutlery case for $4 but that’s about it.

 

 

Round House

This is the oldest permanent building in Western Australia.  It was opened in 1831 and acted as the first prison for colonial and aboriginal prisoners until 1886 when the Convict Establishment (Fremantle Prison) started accept inhabitants other than convicts.  The Round House was then used as a police lock up until about 1900.  Since then, it has been the home for the chief constable and his family, as well as a port storeroom.

 

Every day at 1pm, they shoot a canon, which is also known as the Time Ball, and mariners, locals and tourists can set their watch to the daily blast.

 

Shipwreck Museum

This is a fantastic place to learn about all the shipwrecks that happened along the western coast of Australia and is an archaeological goldmine.  The galleries exhibit original timbers from the infamous Batavia, a 17th century Dutch ship which sank in 1629. Also on show are various kinds of booty that were left behind, including silver coins, pieces of furniture, crockery, glassware and even intact food jars and bottles with the original foodstuffs inside!

 

The Shipwreck Galleries are open daily from 9:30am and entry is by gold coin donation.  There is a great gift shop at the entrance where you can purchase replicas of coins found at the wreck sites.

 

 

Fremantle Prison

The Fremantle Prison was originally known as the Convict Establishment and was built by convicts in the 1850s.  It was used as a prison until 1991 and is now open to visitors.  The best way to experience the Fremantle Prison is with a tour, and there are four to choose from.

 

It truly is a must see, must do attraction when visiting Fremantle.  The site is drenched in history and fascinating stories. Check out our post on the Fremantle Prison.

 

Didgeridoo Breath

If you’re interested in learning the didgeridoo, check this place out.  The atmosphere is super-welcoming, they have a huge selection of instruments and they offer free didge lessons!  Check out our post on Didgeridoo Breath.

 

 

Galati & Sons

Fresh food doesn’t come cheap in Perth so we thought ourselves super lucky to find this place.  Cheap fruit and vegetables, cheese, Italian groceries and spices, as well as cannoli, tarts and pre-made meals.  WIN!

 

FOOD & DRINK

Little Creatures

Fremantle’s #1 tourist destination – check out our post on the Little Creatures Brewery!

 

Cappuccino Strip

If you’re looking for a place to hang out on a Saturday afternoon, the Cappuccino Strip would be the best place.  Pick a café or restaurant and sit outside while you sip on your coffee, enjoy a meal and read the paper.  If you have a hot car, this is the place to cut laps and show off your sick stereo.

 

We sat down at Gino’s and had a coffee while we watched masses of people walk past – youngsters with bare midriffs, couples walking their dog, sight seers, tourists, quirky locals – it is truly a mixed bag in Freo.

 

 

 

Grumpy Sailor

This was the first place we went to for coffee while in the Perth area.  The recommendation demanded that we have coffee and a bagel, so we had to comply.  We entered the relaxed bookshop with the embedded café, approached the counter and advised the bearded barista that we were sent for coffee and bagel.  He recommended the cream cheese and Nutella bagel, with the promise that it will “change our day”.

 

The coffee and bagel were enjoyed outside on the terrace right amongst the chilled out atmosphere.  The coffee was delicious – smooth and creamy without any hint of bitterness.  We can’t say that the bagel changed our day, but it was definitely divine – chewy and moist with a great combination of cream cheese tartness and sweet Nutella. YUM!

 

Blink Espresso Bar

Quite possibly the smallest shop in Fremantle, this was another strong recommendation that we had the opportunity to fulfil.  Forget about going into the place – there isn’t enough room!  All there is between the colourful walls is one energetic man and his tools to make you a fabulous cup of coffee.

 

Monk Brewery

Located towards the end of the Cappuccino Strip, The Monk Brewery is a popular stop to hang out with mates while drinking pints of craft beer.  There was a bit of a line to go in and we found that they use the scents of an outdoor kitchen cooking seafood paella to lure hungry patrons in.

 

 

They have a tasting paddle with eight beers, including a seasonal one, and all their beers are paired with menu items.  We were lucky enough to score a voucher from Juz’s entry to the Chilli Festival and got a free tasting paddle.

 

  • Mild – 3.5% a bright golden lager with mild hops and a crisp clean taste.
  • Kolsch – 4.9% fruity, sweet entry with a slightly hoppy taste and subtle bubbles.
  • Wheat – 6.0% a cloudy beer that’s fruity and yeasty without too many bubbles.
  • Pale – 6.0% a deep golden colour with yeast and smooth, lingering bitterness that comes from 100% Australian hops.
  • Chief – 6.3% voted the best ale at the 2012 Perth Royal Beer Show, this tropical, full flavoured beer was smoky and had plenty of hoppy bitterness.
  • Rauch – 5.3% a deep orange colour with strong smoky characteristics and fruity flavours with toffee.
  • Porter – 4.7% a rich, dark ale full of roasted coffee, chocolate and caramel, with mild bitterness and carbonation.

 

Sail & Anchor Hotel

Opposite the Monk Brewery is a great little microbrewery pub brimming with beer love.  They have their own selection of beers, like Monkey’s Fist Pale Ale, Cat’s Shank Kolsch and Lark’s Foot Golden Ale, but they also make Brass Monkey Stout and have a variety of other local beers on tap.  The walls are covered in beer propaganda and you could spend hours in there looking at them all and having a giggle.

 

 

We went in for their $15 lunch specials and sat down to a steak sandwich and seafood basket. While we were disappointed that the parma wasn’t included in the lunch special that day, we were thoroughly impressed with the tenderness of Dave’s steak and the juicy freshness of Juz’s calamari rings.  Their chips were also great – fluffy and crisp with no icky bits.  The Sail and Anchor also do weekly food specials like Parmagedon Mondays, Hump Day Pizzas and Nice Rump Thursdays.

 

Moondyne Joe’s Bar & Café

Named after the notorious jail-breaking bushranger, this great pub is tucked away at the end of Wray Street and has a traditional, relaxing atmosphere with some old school charm. The Governor’s Bar is the perfect place to chill out with a pint and a meal, or have a lively evening while keeping up with the footy in the sports bar.

 

 

If you’re budget conscious, check out their $12 Steak Night on Tuesdays – a big, juicy scotch fillet steak cooked how you want with your choice of sauce and a side of chips and salad.  We say YES to hot beef injections!

 

Clancy’s Fish Pub

If you want to steer away from the pub scene and find something a little more open and artistic, check out Clancy’s Fish Pub.  Great for after work drinks with mates on the veranda or a day with the kids playing on the lawn out the back, there is something for everyone at Clancy’s.  They have a great selection of beers on tap, including White Rabbit White Ale, and the menu features all the pub classics and then some.

 

 

Information & Accommodation

Fremantle Visitor Centre8 William Street, 08 9431 7878

Woodman Point Holiday Park – 132 Cockburn Road, Munster, 08 9434 1433

 

Fremantle CAT Buses

There are two free bus services that circulate around Fremantle – the Blue and Red CAT buses.  They run every 10-15 minutes and go past major attractions like the train station, Arts Centre, E-Shed Markets, the Cappuccino Strip and the Shipwreck Galleries.

 
 

 
 

Alfred's Kitchen

Eating Out : Alfred’s Kitchen, Guildford WA

There is a special place in every night owl’s heart for a food outlet that is open until the early hours of the morning.  Back at home, ours was a food truck called Haci’s Kebabs on the corner of Bell Street and St George’s Road in Preston.  You could always count on that place to be open on the way home from a pub crawl to fill your belly with a juicy kebab before you pass out at home.

 

 

Perth has a similar outlet, and after driving past a few times and seeing a crowd of people every time, it only made sense to try it out.  Located in historic Guildford, Alfred’s kitchen is a favourite amongst the locals and long distance travellers alike and is rife with its own history.  Established in 1946 by a returning soldier called Frederick Cook, it is Perth’s oldest roadside hamburger joint and is open every night from 5pm.  There are about 40 different burger styles to choose from, like hamburgers, steak burgers, lentil burgers, bacon burgers and hot dogs.  You can even get some lamb curry or beef stroganoff!

 

We stopped through on the way home after a few pints at the Rose and Crown Hotel.  It was only 7:30 but the crowd was huge.  Still, the friendly chick behind the counter was happy to go through the menu with us.  While we waited for our burgers, we got a cup of their legendary Pea & Ham Soup to share which is served from a giant pot on the stove. It was thick, warming and flavoursome, but Juz reckons it could have definitely done with more smoky ham and less potato.  She’s such a food snob…

 

We didn’t have to wait long before they were screaming out our number – “56!!!” – and we approached the bench.  With our dinner we were given a sticker for the Troopy and two postcards that we will probably send home to let Victorians know what their missing out on.

 

 

Juz ordered the Alfred Special with chilli sauce.  Similar to a Club Sandwich, the Alfred Special is a layered toast sandwich with hamburger, bacon, egg and cheese with gherkin spread, tomato, lettuce and BBQ sauce.  The chilli sauce added the perfect amount of bite but the real standout was the tangy gherkin spread, which broke through the richness of the succulent burger, savoury bacon and fried egg.  Juz couldn’t get enough and was sad when there wasn’t any more to put into her mouth.

 

Dave got the monumental CRAM burger, stuffed with hamburger, steak, egg, cheese, bacon, BBQ sauce, lettuce & tomato in a burger bun.  It was really tall and Dave had to open his mouth super wide to get his mouth around the first bite.  The steak was the most prominent part of the burger, and while it could have done with a little more cheese, it had the perfect amount of moistness.  When Dave finished the CRAM, he turned to Juz and said, “That was a good burger…”  This is an important breakthrough because Dave doesn’t usually go for burgers.

 

It was a great experience to sit among the locals and enjoy the delicious product of this famous gem.  It would have been even cooler if we were there at 1am, sitting by the fire that they light to keep their patient patrons warm.   Happy and hamburgered, we went back to the counter to thank them for dinner and their hospitality before walking home.

 

http://www.alfredskitchen.com.au/
Alfred's Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Dave's scotch fillet burger at the Denmark Tavern

Eating Out : Denmark Tavern, Denmark WA

After a morning of wine tasting in Denmark, we were proper ready for lunch and rumours were circulating that the Denmark Tavern was the place to go for a decent meal.  When we rolled up and parked the truck, the exterior didn’t give anything away.  It wasn’t until we got inside that we realised that we were in for a real treat.

 

The decor was loft style with large, spacious dining areas , decked roofs, and large wooden support pillars.  The menu was laid out over three or four blackboards and the range was incredible – fish, lamb, soup, vegetarian dishes, curries, burgers, steaks, salads, pasta, AMAZING!  What caught our eye was the $22.95 two course lunch special.  We ordered, helped ourselves to some cold fruit-infused water and sat down outside in the cool shade.

 

 

For starters, we ordered the lemon myrtle squid with aioli sauce and vegetarian spring rolls with sweet chilli sauce.  The squid was lightly battered and tender, and the creamy aioli was a perfect accompaniment.  The spring rolls were fresh and crisp and served with a very light, sweet and tangy dipping sauce.  Each entre was served with a salad filled with lush, ripe produce – the tomato was the best we have tasted in ages.

 

Within minutes of our entre plates being cleared, the mains arrived.  We were shocked at how fast the food came out considering the quality that was put in front of us!

 

 

Dave’s scotch fillet burger was presented in knife impalement style, with his steak and bacon hanging out of the burger like the tongue of a dog.  The steak was cooked perfectly and was smoky and tender.  The burger also had beetroot, crisp lettuce, a fried egg, BBQ sauce and fresh, chewy bread.

 

Juz’s chicken parmigiana didn’t have ham, but this was forgiven because the chicken fillet was thick and juicy.  While it wasn’t as crispy as expected, it still filled the void and each mouthful was enjoyed wholeheartedly.

 

The chips were delicious, possibly beer battered, and all were eaten very easily, while the salad was topped with a deliciously creamy and tangy dressing, possibly a herb mayonnaise.

 

We were thoroughly impressed with the service, speed and quality of our food.  All the great reviews that we read about this place were absolutely true!  Excellent food in generous quantities at a great price in a welcoming atmosphere.  Well done Denmark Tavern!

 

Tom and Bella with their food - WOWZERS!
Denmark Tavern on Urbanspoon