Kipfler Potato Salad with Saffron & Kaffir Lime

Saffron Kipfler Potato Salad with Kaffir Lime Zest

This was a really easy salad to make. Well actually, the only reason I ever make salads is because I think they’ll be easy, and quick to throw together, and this was a perfect example.

Sister B was coming over for a look at the new place and a quick bbq (and to once again avail me of my technical expertise in all things internet).

I remembered I had some nice Queensland Kipfler potatoes slowly growing sprouts in the cupboard, and so the choice was simple. Kipfler potatoes are excellent in potato salads, they have a really lovely waxy texture that can stand up to all the other flavours in the salad and still hold its own. Not crumbling into little pieces like your pansy Nadines, or wussy Ruby Lous.

So a bit of a twist to the normal preparation. Sprinkle a few strands of grade A saffron into the pot while the nicely sliced chunks of kipfler potato are boiling away (with a little salt). When they are cooked to your desired level of softness (and nice and yellow coloured from the saffron), drain the water off and stir through a couple of tablespoons of nice whole egg mayonnaise. At this point you can go any direction you like with this. I was lucky enough to have procured a Kaffir Lime (apparently, and not suprisingly, the product of the Kaffir Lime tree, perhaps more famous for it’s leaves than anything else). So to my potatoes and mayonnaise I added, a few handfuls of shredded leek, the zest of a Kaffir lime, some cracked pepper, and handful of baby spinach. The end result was a lovely tangy creamy mixture, that went just nicely with a quickly seared minute steak and some garlic butter mushrooms.

Saffron Kipfler Potato Salad with Kaffir Lime Zest

If you’re looking for a list of ingredients and instructions you won’t find one, but read between the lines and all will be revealed.


Perth Food & Wine Festival

I love food and wine festivals. I love food and wine full stop (.) But even more so when all the nicest elements of both are organised into little booths with tooth picks and tasting glasses provided to sample and sip as I see fit.

This year the food and wine festival was held at the Perth Convention Centre (or Hayshed, as it is not particularly affectionately known). The setup was as per normal. Rows and rows of wine, olive oil, gourmet food, beer, magazines, people chopping things, and other random food based and food related products.

After talking to Ben beforehand and finding out that the Synesso Cyncra was going to be set up at the 5 Senses booth, that was our first point of call. The machine is sweet, a work of art in an industrial stainless steel finish, and a testament to engineers actually listening to what people want.

Synesso Cyncra

I was lucky enough to get to have a play on it, and despite over tamping, the shot came out pretty nice. The Synesso has paddles instead of switches, and when you push the paddle a little way across it starts preinfusion. This means that boiler water at line pressure is used to fill the basket. Once the puck is soaked with water and the first drip of coffee comes out, you push the paddle all the way across to full pressure, and watch perfectly balanced espresso flow out. For a novice like me to be able to pull shots like this, was unreal.

My Tamp
Synesso Cyncra
Naked pour on Cyncra
Dippin the tip in.
My pour
I made a rosetta !

Dragging myself away from the coffee machine, we wanted to get some food and then start tackling the different wineries that had their wares on display. Do you know how hard it was to actually get something substantial to eat at a food and wine fair ? Apart from small pieces of bread, cheese, and the odd cracker, actual food was few and far between. Fortunately an Indian place was serving some tasty curries, so we grabbed some of that, got our tasting glasses filled at the nearest wine stall, and lined our stomachs with vital solids.

The next 3 or 4 hours were pretty solid sampling.

We worked our way from one end of the convention centre to the other trying wines from as many places as we could. Stand out would have to be 3 Drops for their Semillon Sauvignon, and also their olive oil (even though we got told off for double dipping), Salitage‘s Pinot Noir, Charles Melton Nine Popes (always a classic), Bowen’s Cabernet Sauvignon, West Cape Howe Shiraz and West Cape Howe Viognier, and the only other I can remember at this stage was the Capel Vale Sangiovese and Nebbiolo. The Capel Vale was really nice actually and we ended up ordering a mixed case of Viognier, Shiraz Viognier, Nebbiolo, Tempranillo, and Sangiovese… I’m a sucker for a foreign name.

Other highlights for the day were running into Phou, a chef who works at the convention centre, and moonlights at the Pacific International Hotel. He’s originally from Melbourne and has worked all over Australia, and had lots of good things to say about working in the industry, and whether or not its worth it (which it is, as long as you’re willing to put in a lot of work).

We also managed to talk oysters with Jerry Fraser (oyster king of Perth), who gave us a few good tips on where to best ones come from, and how to take them (natural of course, with a little fresh native lime juice).
Jerry Fraser - Oyster King
Oysters - Freshly Shucked

I also picked up my own copy of Spice Magazine from their booth, and had a bit of a chat there.

Spice Mag !

Benny talks to Spice Mag

Then it was back to the 5 Senses booth for a farewall play on the Synesso (and to inadvertently run into the Pseudo Chef herself), before trudging out of the convention centre and merrily heading back home.

All in all a great day filled with lots of tasty morsels and friendly chats with the ever loving food and wine community of Perth (and the greater West Australian region). It’s on for the next coupld of days, so i may just have to go back for more :) I’d encourage anyone else to do the same.

Hippo Creek African Grill

Lions Kill @ Hippo Creek

This is a semi review, mostly rambling, dramatic re-enactment of a visit I took to Hippo Creek Restaurant in Scarborough quite a while ago. It was previously on another blog that has since ceased to exist, and so it now gets rebirthed into a hopefully more appropriate environment.

Hippo Creek is an African themed restaurant on West Coast Hwy in Scarborough, that is run by some South African people. They have some really interesting meat on the menu, like Ostrich, Buffalo, Crocodile and a whole range of other african inspired dishes, and apparently some of the best steak in town. So being a self confessed meat lover and part time carnivore, I had to check it out.

So Dtm, Mabes, Sharon and I headed down there to see what we could see…

Once we got there I happened to find out that there was a 1Kg T-Bone steak on the menu, and that if I finished it all I would get my photo taken and put on the wall. This is the first restaurant I’d been to where they do that kind of thing (which I thought was normally reserved for Texan Steakhouses with an over supply of beef and no space in the freezer). My competitive instincts kick in, as never one to pass up the chance to show how manly I am by eating large quantities of flesh, I thought… why the hell not…

While ordering the 1kg T-bone, you are strongly advised to order it medium rare, or rare… If you want to be eating it that night. I have no idea how long it would take to cook something that size to well done, but it would be just wrong anyway. I chose medium rare.

In the meantime, Dtm and Sharon ordered this crazy dish called the Hunters Assaghai. Which was basically a huge metal stake with five (count em) fist sized chunks of meat stuck to it suspended over a plate of chips with garlic sauce dripping down it. This was definitely shaping up to be my kind of restaurant.

So the steak arrived and took up basically the entire plate, and was about 2-3 inches thick… It was served with chips that were tasty but uninspired, and salad that didn’t exactly rock my world either. Basically this restaurant is all about the meat. If you don’t like meat, then don’t bother going, because you’re really not going to get your moneys worth. My steak was huge… and I tore into it with all the fervency of a malnourished grisly bear who got left behind at hibernation. Unfortunately however… it wasn’t really a challenge worthy of my ability, and i flew through it… and managed to get through a bit of Sharon’s as well… I also made sure I ate all of my chips and the salad, because I didn’t want to miss out on getting my photo taken on a technicality.

The steak was good. On the outside it was perfectly medium rare, although when i got right into the middle it was very much on the rare side. People who order their steak well done might also be best to avoid this place, it’s not exactly designed for people who get squeemish at the first sign of pinkness.

All in all it was a good night, and although feeling massively bloated, we left feeling very satisfied… I left a “There’s nothing finer than being in your diner…” Seinfeld reference on my photo, which hopefully stay there for a while to come :)

I’ve been back a couple of times since, and it has always been a great night. Definitely one to check out. Take a bottle of big red wine (like a Cab Sav, or a spicy Shiraz), and you’ll be set for a carnivorous experience few restaurants in Perth can rival.

****hunters assaghaiLions killperi peri butter waterfallLions Kill**

Hippo Creek
251 West Coast Highway
Scarborough, 6019
Tel: (08) 9245 8004


My Favourite Perth Cafes

Just a quick list of caf�s in Perth that I think do great coffee, and/or have really nice food or atmosphere. The list is short, but mainly because since getting my own espresso machine, I don’t feel the need to go out as often to drink bad coffee, when I can make equally bad coffee at home (or much much better :) ).

So the list…

Core Espresso Under Allendale Square on St Georges Tce, currently owned by the effervescent Corey, a passionate man who knows his coffee. They use their own blend of coffee roasted by 5 Senses. Mainly caters for the business crowd, and as such they are only open Monday to Friday, and it’s all takeaway. Still, they are probably doing the best coffee in Perth at present, and love to chat with coffee geeks of all varieties. Core barista Vanessa recently came third in the WA Barista Competition, and everyone really knows their stuff. Espresso fans, your cause is not lost.

Lemon EspressoSt Quentins Ave, Claremont. Next to a dodgy looking Japanese takeaway shop is a simple green neon sign saying “CAFE”. I think its the last remnants of a previous failed venture, in the location now held by Nolan of Lemon Espresso. Nolan and Tess, manager and barista, came second and fourth respectively in the WA Barista Competition. The place oozes cool, and despite being filled with Claremont socialite wannabe’s, has a great relaxed vibe (in part because of Nolan’s collection of Kiwi dub albums). They too use a custom 5 Senses blend, and Nolan knows exactly how to make it sing. Try the pistachio nougat.

RocketfuelStirling Hwy, Nedlands (near corner of Broadway). Another custom 5 Senses blend (seeing a trend here?). These guys also do takeaway coffee only. The unique thing about Rocketfuel is that they have a funky drive through section. Yes i know, drive throughs are bad in most situations, but when you’re using great coffee, on excellent equipment (3 group LaMarzocco Linea), and you know how to make it well, then the drive through convenience is very worthwhile. These guys were the source of my morning coffee most days when I worked in the area, and I’d happily go back anytime. You pay by the shot, which makes sense really, and their mini pies got me through many a breakfastless morning.

VoyageWest Coast Hwy, Sorrento (down the road from Hillary’s). I’m more of a fan of the food at this place than the coffee. They use all organic produce which is always really fresh and tasty. I have driven the 45 minutes to get there on many occasions just to have the bacon and eggs. They use a Fair trade blend roasted by Toby’s Estate (from East Timor i think), which the first time I went was amazingly good, but hasn’t lived up to its own standards ever since. I’m a bit skeptical of how fresh it would be, considering Toby’s Estate is based in NSW… But depending on who makes it for you, it’s still a really nice cup.

Just Espresso Preston Point Rd, Como. I must admit that this only gets a light mention. I’ve only been here a couple of times, and have my doubts about it from a coffee geek point of view. The place looks really nice, and the wait staff and barista I chatted to were really friendly. The problem starts with the fact that the barista didn’t know when his coffee was roasted, and also couldn’t tell me what was in it, because he doesn’t know. The owner claims to have both fair trade coffee and a Cup of Excellence bean in the blend, amongst 7 types of beans in total… Which all just seems a bit off. Without saying which cup of excellence he’s using, from which year, and in what quantity, or which fair trade bean… then it all seems a bit empty. Having said that though, I ordered an espresso and was pleasantly suprised with how good it was. Not as complex as Core, but definitely very drinkable. Food and atmosphere were also nice.

Soto Espresso Beaufort St, Mt Lawley. I used to think the coffee at Soto was the best in Perth. It’s a hangout for funky Mt Lawley types (who are kind of cross between Leederville types and Subi types), which looks nice, and has a generally friendly vibe. They use Essenza coffee, which is roasted locally by Mena Samios in Mt Lawley. I’ve since moved on to other places where I prefer the coffee, but I still like Soto for a nice breakfast and a reasonable coffee. Coffee is really dependant on who is making it for you. A great barista can bring out a weak coffees best features (or smother its bad features with well textured milk), a poor barista will kill both the milk and the espresso, and tell you they’ve been doing it for years, so they know best. Not that this has happened at Soto, but I’m skeptical of any place that relies too much on reputation.

Other than those listed above, honorable mentions for MilkD in North Perth, Rosso on St Georges Tce, Tank under London Court, and of course the ever hip Cafe 130 in Leederville (where i am still the reigning Connect 4 champion).

Apologies to the majority of the cafe’s in Fremantle, which I never seem to make it to, and to anywhere else that has so far eluded my hawk-like radar.

Thats all I can think of for now… Suggestions are welcome in the comments, but hopefully this gives you an idea of a few nice places to go.