Before I delve into our story, I must give all credit and all my thanks to my companions of the day - without them, it would have been infinitely less fun and I'd probably just be visiting a whole load of restaurants and talking to myself.
"Make sure you get your beauty sleep!" chimed Sarah.
Yes, of course...beauty sleep, a "show biz" term that gets thrown around one too many times the night before an important occasion. It's more having enough energy than looking beautiful and that's exactly what I needed to get through a day of filming. All hope of which faded away as 5AM bleached through my bedroom window; where had the night and all the beauty sleep that I was promised gone?
Either way, it was indeed showtime - time to go from Beach, to the 'Burbs and to Brookfield Place!
BIB & TUCKER - LEIGHTON BEACH
Despite the lack of sleep, I was immediately refreshed upon arriving at Leighton Beach; the surroundings were their usual crystal blue and breathtaking. As there’s no magic pill to rid nerves, I took comfort in the desolateness that was brought on by such an early hour. Give it another hour or so and I was certain that it would be a whole new different story; sure enough, we weren’t the only ones who found this cool morning to be incredibly enticing.
I soon realised how fluid filming was; this was so different to anything that I had done before – plays, speeches and monologues were all about delivering perfectly in that crucial moment. I had spoken to Max endlessly before shooting about keeping the day as authentic as possible and I’m proud to say that we achieved that. Filming gave me the flexibility to quite literally knock things over and accidentally drop a chip into my water glass. All bloopers aside, I got to speak candidly and really lose myself in the moment; eventually forgetting completely that the camera was rolling.
I’m quite certain that my fascination with egg yolks and pure adoration for my surroundings was well captured by Sarah. I was genuinely fascinated to see a Russian-esque breakfast before me; since moving back from Moscow I have really missed the abundance of cured fish. One of my eggs was overcooked but thankfully, the other was camera perfect. Rich dug into the Huevos Divorcados that I enjoyed during my last visit to Bib & Tucker – the lucky guy got perfect eggs too! I loved the creamy sauce that pooled below my ocean trout, which was well received along with crunchy batons of crouton perfection. It was well aligned with my two previous visits to Bib & Tucker, minus the glances from other patrons who must have thought our repetition during each take was entertaining and possibly potentially quite irritating.
PICCOLO'S CORNER - WEST LEEDERVILLE
I expected Piccolo’s to be bustling with it’s usual crowd and my day instantly brightened upon discovering that their outdoor courtyard seating had once again reopened. I like to slip into this suburban West Leederville café for low key and home style breakfasts; it’s one of those places where I order the same thing every time and I never get disappointed.
I appreciate this place so much because it’s a family business that went against the grain and opened up shop in an unsuspecting neighbourhood – they won me over with their comfortable surroundings and homemade everything. This resonates so much with my own family story and how my grandparents started out in the food industry too. Also, polenta cake is amazing; I can’t believe I’ve never tired anything like it before. It was everything a cake should have been; moist, soft, sweet and served with a dollop of cream.
A few of the locals sat down to have a chat with me and Rich in between takes; I was quizzed on my restaurant recommendations and Rich told his amazing story about coming over to Perth as Western Australia’s Tastemaster. He’s literally travelled all around WA and ate everything in sight for 6 months – if that’s not a dream job, I don’t know what is! It felt just like any other morning at Piccolo’s, I was extremely happy to be where I was right then and there.
THE TRUSTEE - PERTH CBD
Our final leg of the grand tour was the part that I was most nervous and sceptical about. Originally, I had my heart set on showing off Lalla Rookh to the world; it was such a deserving restaurant and I wanted everyone who saw the film to experience such a pleasurable place in the same way that I did. However, due to some unforeseeable circumstances, we had to pick a venue at the last minute and it just so happened to be a restaurant that I had never been to before.
I voiced my discomfort to Max a few days before filming when we decided that The Trustee Bar & Bistro would be our final destination. Despite my love for eating out in Perth, in recent years, new places had popped up left, right and centre – my restaurant wishlist thus got longer and longer. I am genuinely proud of how much our culinary scene has grown and thus, I was open to the idea of trying Trustee for the first time. As we sat down, I forewarned Sarah – excuse my disappointed expression if the food doesn’t impress; my opinion is something that I just could not compromise on.
As Rich and I settled around the table, we were served champagne and table whilst our wine was set to the side of the table for decanting.
Our entrée was a platter of beautiful Esperence scallops that were served in the shell and topped with chorizo and olive tapenade. Even with the oils from the chorizo and earthiness of the olive, the scallop remained fresh and extremely clean in the mouth – it’s the ideal light entrée leading up to our dinosaur sized main course.
The arrival of the Chateaubriand was literally a jaw dropping moment; fit for two? I would have happily devoured all of that goodness on my own! I couldn’t resist dipping one of those fat chips into the saucer of Bearnaise, which was wonderfully creamy with a well balanced kick of acidity. Naturally, the beef stole the show and I tried ever so hard to contain myself; this was some of the best beef I’ve ever had – cooked and seasoned to utter perfection.
As always, put quirky cuts and offal on a plate and I’ll hold you to the highest esteem. Whilst there wasn’t any offal on the plate, I reserved my harshest judgement for the bone marrow. It is one of my favourite foods on the entire planet and is definitely the bread and butter for any true glutton. I enjoy marrow when it’s smeared across crisp shards of bread as the crunchiness is exactly what is required to compliment the marrow’s rich and fatty texture. The only downfall was that today, my marrow stood alone and was crying out for contrast from the tender beef and fluffy fat chips.
However, the day’s true underdog was the lovely bottle of Fraser Gallop Estate’s Cabernet Sauvignon. Regular readers will know that I’m not a wine drinker and it’s something that I’m trying very hard to develop an appreciation for. Not today. Today the smooth but vivacious red left me truly baffled as it slipped down my throat with ease and left me feeling nothing but utter satisfaction. It was the perfect wine to pair with the perfect chateaubriand – it was a lunch to remember and conveniently so, all caught on camera!
I can't not end this post without professing more of my thank you's.
Sarah did a wonderful job of keeping me focused and inspired; it was a sincere pleasure to be lead by her and I’d do it all again in a heartbeat! Max has been a thorough correspondent before filming and an even better bag carrier on the day – I feel eternally grateful for their support, friendship and encouragement throughout this entire process. I also really appreciated Scott’s patience and care that he took throughout the day; think of how tiring “wax on, wax off” is and apply it to “mic on, mic off” – Rich and I definitely kept him busy all day! And of course, I couldn’t go without thanking Rich for his enthusiasm and wonderful company. The staff at each location deserve a big bravo for their hospitality and commitment to helping us get our ideal footage, we received nothing but kindness and support on the day. Lastly, thank you to the team at Tourism WA for whom which none of this would have happened - thank you for bringing us all together and allowing me to tell #MyPerth story.