Summery weekends are the perfect time to be outdoors and made even better when there’s tasty and fresh food to enjoy. This was definitely what I was hoping for when I joined other Perth bloggers at The Court in Northbridge for a Saturday lunch. I have to admit it’s been a couple of years since I’d eaten here so I wasn’t sure what to expect – but I was eager to see what our day would hold.
Arriving at 12.30pm after a breakfast earlier in the day with my girls and then a mass of shopping in the city, the day was already feeling warm. I meet other bloggers in the back area under a big leafy tree, where Perth Munchkin has kindly saved me a seat next to her so we can catch up. We’re joined by the dynamic duo behind Ministry of Gluttony, the always sweet Nicole from David Gardiner PR and the lovely Suan Lee – a nice little group to lunch with. A longer table next to us is filled with lifestyle, fashion and food bloggers who are all just as happy chattering away.
The Court is a place that will always hold a bit of a soft spot in my heart. Two of my friends DJ there on a Saturday night and have for years, and it tends to be a place I end up when I want a fuss free night where I can drink and dance the night away. It’s also the ideal location if you’ve attended a dress party – it’s a no judgement zone!
The team at The Court are all really friendly and good fun, offering not only a lovely setting in the sun but great company. In order to preview their new 2015 summer menu they’ve pulled together some share plates for us to enjoy, before we all order a main dish.
Plates of food piled high are laid out buffet style and being a group of bloggers we all snap away furiously with our cameras before finally digging in. Dishes included:
- Chicken and brown rice salad with cranberries, sun-dried tomato, coriander and nuts ($22.00)
- Calamari on a bed of fresh salad greens with sweet chilli sauce ($15.00)
- Onion bhaji with coriander yoghurt ($11.00)
- Smoked salmon and avocado salad with spinach, cucumber, capers and sesame seed vinaigrette ($23.50)
- Mini beef burger sliders (3 for $18.00)
- Mini pulled pork sliders (3 for $18.00)
- Home-made sausage rolls with burger sauce and tomato ketchup ($15.00)
Because I’d been out for breakfast I didn’t want to ruin my ability to eat a main dish by going too crazy on the starters. Instead I took a few bits and pieces of dishes that I thought were particularly alluring. I really enjoyed the crisp calamari which was well seasoned and flavoursome. The smoked salmon and avocado salad was fresh and vibrant – the vinaigrette particularly tasty. I didn’t get to try one but all accounts around the table were that the pulled pork sliders were absolute winners. No wonder they all disappeared so quickly!
When it came to ordering our mains, Perth Munchkin and I agree to each pick something different so we can share. While I’m quite attracted to the sound of the grilled salmon fillet with salad ($31.00), I end up choosing something a little different than what I would normally order – the grilled chicken quinoa salad ($22.50).
I’m not the biggest chicken fan (especially chicken breast) so this was perhaps an ambitious choice but nonetheless I was excited to try it. The salad came out with broccoli, snow peas, spinach, spring onion and crumbled feta. I love how fresh it looked and tasted!
I worried the chicken would be dry but it was actually quite tender, with a nice flavour to the meat. I adore feta and this one was plentiful – creamy and just slightly salty. Perfect for the plethora of greens assembled on my plate. And anything with spring onions gets my tick of approval!
Perth Munchkin chooses the pulled pork fettuccine ($22.00) which is made of a slow roasted pork, mushroom and tomato. It’s gigantic! Definitely a man size dish that we all can’t help but stare at in shock. It’s not often we get to see such generous servings dining out and about in Perth so it’s great to see that such sizes are not something of days long gone.
The taste is really enjoyable – rich and meaty, with the pasta cooked al dente. I’m such a huge fan of mushrooms and this new concept of ‘blend ability’ – using mushrooms more in dishes with meat. They have such a lovely earthy flavour, perfect for accompanying protein.
After our plates are cleared from our main dishes we move up from our long tables and over to the outdoor bar for a cocktail class. With a little gentle persuasion from the club’s manager, our bartender is suddenly shirtless which has lots of the bloggers more than excited. It’s a hilarious reaction but he handles it well, taking us through the steps of making two of their signature cocktails – the Lollytini and the Cookies and Cream.
Once he’s walked us through them, we’re given a cocktail of our choice. I opt for the first, with Perth Munchkin choosing the latter so we can try both. All in the name of blogging research right?!
The Lollytini is sweet and playful – I love the clever rim of hundreds and thousands to compliment the colour of the cocktail. The cookies and cream is definitely creamy, with a nice hazelnut kick to the flavour. I’m not one who tends to enjoy creamy cocktails, but it’s got an enjoyable taste to it that I can see the appeal.
Since it’s such a sunny day we decide to retreat back to our table to escape getting sunburnt. The leafy tree above offers patchy shade and I could have easily seen myself relaxing out there for hours. But since it’s that crazy time of year the time comes soon enough that I need to continue with my Christmas shopping so I call it a day. To my surprise the generosity of The Court’s team hasn’t finished yet, with a small mini bottle of Moet given to us all as an early Christmas present. It’s such a sweet touch! And I’ll definitely be using it to make some cocktails as part of my Christmas celebrations.
A big thank you to the team at The Court, and also David Gardiner PR for the invitation to such a lovely and enjoyable day out. It was such a fun day filled with food, friends and great drinks too. Just the right thing to end out 2014 and welcome in a new menu for a new year.