One month of extra special food at Long Chim Perth

I keep forgetting that Long Chim is also a bar – we all know it has epic Thai food, undoubtedly the best in Perth. Last night I was invited to the launch of a special one-month only menu of bar snacks and I was reminded that Long Chim has got to be one of the best bars in Perth – with amazing bar snacks like these, it’s a winner.

On the Long Chim menu for the next month are bar snacks and other dishes by Andy Ricker, an acclaimed chef and mate of Long Chim’s talented chef/owner David Thompson – the reason being that the two pop up events the duo are holding – one bar snacks and one dinner – are completely sold out. No stress, eager drinkers and diners have a month to enjoy what we sampled last night.

Long Chim Bar Snacks

Pictured above from L to R: Grilled salted beef with David’s sriracha sauce, Andy’s famous pok pok wings and deep fried cured pork ribs.

To that, add banging cocktails, many featuring Pok Pok Som drinking vinegar – yes you heard that correct, drinking vinegar, like an adult non-acoholic health drink – and a buzzing vibe and a good night is guaranteed.

You’ve all heard of drinking apple cider vinegar to help with a bunch of health / digestion ailments, well now there are other flavoured drinking vinegars in the Pok Pok Som range – pineapple, ginger, pomegranate, and more.

 

According to the Pok Pok Som website:

Pok Pok Som drinking vinegar is a refreshingly sweet and tart, fruit and vinegar-based beverage handcrafted in Portland, Oregon using quality US-made organic cane vinegar and fresh whole fruits, herbs and spices – no artificial flavouring. Pok Pok Som concentrate is most commonly served with four-parts soda water as a soft drink, at full strength as a mixer in cocktails, or incorporated into dressings and marinades. Pok Pok Som is available in nine signature flavours – Thai Basil, Apple, Honey, Pomegranate, Tamarind, Ginger, Tumeric, Pineapple and Chinese Celery, as well as a rotating selection of seasonal flavours likeCardomom Tangerine, Strawberry Thai Basil, Black Pepper, Blood Orange, and more.

Andy Ricker’s restaurants, including Pok Pok in NYC and Portland, Oregon, are renowned from coast to coast in the US. They have a cult following and have been acknowledged by Michelin and appointed a star, as well as an award by the James Beard Foundation.

Andy fell in love with Thailand and its food on a visit thirty years ago, just as David did. While David settled in Bangkok, Andy became fascinated by the north, and in particular Chiang Mai, where he spends a good part of each year.

Thanks Long Chim Perth for a great night tasting our way through your new bar snacks. As a chilli-weakling, and I mean total chilli lightweight, I only needed to scull water after one dish – the others were so super tasty.

 

 

 

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Cooking classes in Dunsborough – nail your next dinner party

Cooking classes are fun and best of all, you get to eat good food. We can all read recipes, but sometimes it really helps to have someone show you how when it comes to learning kitchen skills. Exciting young south west chef George Cooper is introducing cooking masterclasses to his Food by the Chef private dining experiences this winter.

Learn some of George’s tricks of the trade to make your next dinner party simple, tasty, and stress-free.

Winter cooking classes

Each lesson will provide different tips, tricks and dinner party elements.

Sunday 18 June – Show stopping snacks, making a cheap cut taste good, a simple dessert with flavour
Saturday 1 July – All about bread, salt salt salt, something sweet
Saturday 8 July – How-to guide to tapas, a chocoholic’s dream

Classes are held in George’s commercial kitchen in Dunsborough (6/9 Griffin Drive – off Commonage Road) from 10am for $95 per person including lunch and a take-home recipe book.

Email info@foodbythechef.com to reserve your space and visit www.foodbythechef.com for more information.

Photo: Ines Pandzic

About George and Food by the Chef

George Cooper is making a name for himself in WA’s Margaret River region. Hailing from the UK, 29- year-old George and his wife Kayleigh moved to WA in 2012 and chose to live in the south west largely because of the abundance of fresh produce available in the region.

After stints in high profile local kitchens, George and Kayleigh created Food by the Chef – a private dining experience providing unique and memorable dining in people’s homes and holiday accommodation. Food by the Chef was born from an increasing number of requests from friends and associates for George to cater for their in-home events.

George matches classic ingredients with modern culinary techniques to create delicious and exciting food. He enjoys pushing boundaries and featuring local in-season produce, much of which he grows himself.

George’s background in English Michelin plays a big part in his drive, dedication and passion for what has become the most sought after private dining experience in the Margaret River region.

George has been a guest chef at Margaret River Gourmet Escape, Taste of Perth, and the Truffle Kerfuffle. He has worked in kitchens across England and Australia, in 2007 was named Young Chef of the Year and he even appeared on the first series of English Masterchef the Professionals – the youngest to be nominated.

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And all that jazz…downsouth

Polish your dancing shoes, pack your glad rags and head to Dunsborough, Busselton and Margaret River this June long weekend (2-5 June) for the biggest Jazz by the Bay festival to date.

With more than 40 events across 20 locations and 200+ musicians descending on the Margaret River Region for 4 days, the joint will be jumping. In 2017 there are new venues on board, international and interstate acts, returning favourites, and some of the State’s best jazz, soul and funk talent. .

More than half of the events are free – many just require a meal purchase! Tickets for the Buena Vista Social Club Young Guns, Karen Lane singing workshop, Cathrine Summers at Chandeliers on Abbey, Serge Le Goueff and the Steve McQueens are all available from Sticky Tickets – search for Jazz by the Bay. For other ticketed events see our website or enquire direct with venues.

This year’s highlights include:

  • Buena Vista Social Club Young Guns with Adam Hall and the Velvet Playboys (Piano Box Jazz Bar, Old Broadwater Farm
  • Vintage Hollywood Jazz – Cathrine Summers and her 6-piece ensemble delighting guests with a cheeky up-tempo night of vintage classics at Chandeliers on Abbey. Cathrine will also be performing at Ramada Resort Dunsborough with her trio
  • The Steve McQueens – a neo-vintage soul-funk band from Singapore with a gorgeous sound, Clancy’s Fish Pub Red Room
  • Elle Deslandes, Danny Moss and Harry Mitchell in the gallery with dinner at The Studio Gallery & Bistro.
  • Nadira and Friends (Tas) at Rivendell Winery on Friday, Freddie Grigson and Allira Wilson on Saturday and Jazz Jacks Trio on Sunday!
  • Bonnie Scott’s Jazz Duo at Rustico at Hayshed Hill on Friday and European Jazz Club with the Jessie Gordon Trio at Rustico on Sunday
  • Sassafras Gypsy Jazz at The Goose in Busselton
  • Free live entertainment all day at Lions Park, Dunsborough from 10.15am to 3.45pm on Saturday and Sunday – including some of the Festival’s headline acts, big bands, soul, swing and more!
  • Workshops including singing the blues with Karen Lane (UK), and swing dancing.
  • A Saxophone Journey with Serge Le Goueff – jazz musical theatre where Serge will take the audience on an unforgettable musical trip. (Old Dunsborough Hall)
  • Roving entertainment in Busselton and Dunsborough by The Magnificent 7 Trad Jazz and SSB Quintet
  • Cassandra Charlick Duo performing in Ngilgi Cave (Sun 11am-1pm – free with Cave Tour ticket purchase). Cassandra will also appear at Morries Margaret River with her Trio, and with her Gypsy Jazz Trio at Aravina Estate
  • Decadent Champagne High Tea and Jazz with Charmaine Clements, Danny Moss Jr and Ookii Effendi at Pullman Bunker Bay Resort
  • Jazz from the American Song Book by Mr & Mrs Smith Trio with a Creole-inspired lunch at Clairault Streiker
  • A weekend of jazz at Caves House Hotel – from Friday night to Monday afternoon with the Karen Lane Quartet (UK), the Sets, Cassandra Charlick Trio, WAAPA Jazz Guitar Duo, and the Penny King Quartet
  • Jazz takeover at Provence Estate by the best youth jazz bands in the region including Margaret River SHS Jazz Band, Bunbury Catholic College Jazz Guitar Ensemble, WA Youth Jazz Orchestra, and Geographe Bay Music I – and best of all it’s free!

You can find the full schedule at http://www.jazzbythebay.com.au/view/program

L-R Cathrine Summers, The Steve McQueens, Charmaine Clements, Pete Jeavons

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Ten things to bring on long flights

Living in Australia is great, so great. Except when you want to go to Europe or America or, well, anywhere more than a five-hour flight away, which for me living in Perth, Western Australia, is just about everywhere (except Bali, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney). To make long-haul plane travel more bearable, I have mastered what you need to pack in your carry-on luggage. My main objective it to sleep. My secondary objective is to be distracted and/or entertained so I don’t get too fidgety or claustrophobic.

In order of importance, my Top 10 things to take on the plane with you in your onboard luggage:

 

1. Neck pillow

I was never a fan and thought travellers were just trying to make a statement with their neck pillows dangling off their backpacks, that is until I travelled with one. It raised the comfort level of seat 32A to something far more civilised. Not quite Business Class level (let’s be real, not even close), but with a neck pillow, I slept. Amazingly, I actually fell asleep sitting upright on a plane and slept quite soundly. That was a first and from that moment on, never would I be without my beanbag neck pillow again. Best $20 I ever spent. And when not sleeping, it’s great for balancing the laptop on (see 7 below).

Available from David Jones, $19.95 #notsponsored

2. Noise cancelling headphones

How I love my Bose noise cancelling headphones. They are a game changer, an expensive game changer at about $400 a pair, but worth forking out for if you can afford it. I don’t know how I ever lived without them. With my neck pillow in place and my headphones on and the in-flight entertainment set to the ‘silent’ channel, no wailing toddler or chatty travellers or noisy coughers shall rouse me from my upright slumber. p.s. reckon my next pair will be Beats wireless noise cancelling headphones – Zorba loves his and the case is smaller than the Bose one. Also, the leather around ear pads and top bar on my Bose headphones started to flake after 2.5 years.

 

3. Ear plugs

Who would’ve thought I could have so much love for two little thimble sized pieces of foam? A good option for those who don’t have noise cancelling heaven-sent headphones, but when used in conjunction with the above-mentioned headphones, it increases the levels of comfort and the silence is almost complete.

4. Comfortable eye mask

When you walk out of any long haul flight, try to pick up an unused / left behind vanity kit in Business Class – their eye masks are bigger, better and way more comfortable and effective at blocking out the light than the economy ones. So many times I’ve wanted to shout: seriously, unless we’re flying over a city or there is breathtaking sunset or sunrise, close your blind so we can get some sleep!!

 

5. A wrap or big scarf

I always carry a light woollen scarf or wrap with me – when the aircon is too cold, or the provided blanket isn’t long enough to cover my shoulders and my feet, I use my wrap. Or if I really want to give off the ‘let me sleep vibe’, I use it to cover my head.

This is my all time favourite wrap. I bought it in Barcelona about 5 years ago

6. A good book

I have started and finished a book on one flight before. There’s nothing like getting fully immersed in a gripping story to make time fly. And let’s face it, the sooner we are off the plane, the better, so we want time to fly. I don’t always feel like reading, but it’s great to have the option to, especially if you’ve seen all the movies on the entertainment system (or if they are just rubbish).

Photo from: A Good Day Girl Blog. Such great, great books – highly recommend this Napolitan Series by Elena Ferrante

7. Laptop

Especially good for the long haul trip home – it’s great to download my photos from my memory cards, edit the ones I like, save them into albums, relive those moments of travel joy. All whilst being stabilised on my beanbag neck pillow as I listen to my favourite tunes through my noise-cancelling headphones.

Photo: Apple.com. I love my MacBookPro

8. Lavender essential oil

Not as crazy as it sounds. Lavender is known to help with sleep and a few drops on my neck pillow does wonders – not only do I inhale a lovely scent, it can also mask unpleasant scents around me. We’ve all sat next to stinky toilets and / or people. I never leave home without lavender oil and put a couple of drops on the hotel pillow at night for a guaranteed good night’s sleep.

Photo: doTerra. Ask me if you’d like to know more

9. Toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant

Some airlines provide a mini toothbrush with a teeny tiny tube of abrasive white substance fobbing itself off to be toothpaste – what is that? If you bring your own, you don’t have to worry. That fury teeth feeling after a waking up is horrible. Two mins in the bathroom to clean your teeth and apply deodorant and you’ll feel like a new person. Almost.

 

10. Spare t-shirt, undies, and socks

If your flight is delayed, if you miss your connection, or have a long journey overland once you’re off the plane, changing into fresh clothes will make you feel almost human.

 

Top Tip:

If an airline gives you a pair of socks in your kit, use them. Not only will your tootsies stay warm, but they’ll provide a barrier and help keep your socks clean when you walk around or go to the toilet.

And I always buy a bottle of water once I’m past security to take with me on the plane. It’s annoying to always have to call a steward for a glass or water – some airlines (Emirates) won’t let you take bottled water on, no matter where you purchased the bottle.

What are your favourite things to take with you on a plane?

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Discover the rare Snubfin Dolphins in Broome

If you ever find yourself in Broome in Western Australia, don’t miss the chance to see the “Roebuck Bay locals’, otherwise known as the rare Snubfin Dolphins that inhabit the bay.

I’ve made a short video of my experience, which was nothing short of incredible.

The ‘Roebuck Bay Locals’

Broome is known for its beauty, for Cable Beach, the ancient landscape, the staircase to the moon and for having a laid back vibe, but what many don’t know is that it’s also home to the world’s largest known population of the incredibly rare snubfin dolphin.

Snubfin dolphins live in Roebuck Bay, on the other side of town from Cable Beach, and it’s teeming with marine life. The bay has two more dolphin species namely the bottlenose and humpback, array of fish, manta rays, eagle rays, dugongs, as well as six of the seven different species of turtles worldwide. The bay attracts 100,000 migratory shore birds that feed during the summer to fatten up before migrating to Siberia in winter. Scientists call the bay a “cetacean biologists dream”.

On board a spacious catamaran with accredited tour operator Broome Whale Watching Tours, we head out to Roebuck Bay in search of the snubfin dolphins.

Instantly I’m in awe of the colours of nature – the rusty-red dirt, the green scrub, the huge blue skies and the opaque aqua ocean. The morning already feels magical.

Roebuck Bay, Broome

While I scan the ocean, owner of Broome Whale Watching Tours Cameron Birch explains that snubfin dolphins are designed to live in zero visibility.

“Roebuck Bay is a tidal bay over mud flats and as a result, it makes the water murky and muddy. That’s the perfect environment for snubbies – they are an estuarine dolphin and like shallow coastal areas, they are not an oceanic dolphin at all,” Cameron says.

We see a small pod on our morning cruise and follow them from a distance as to not disturb them.

Unlike bottlenose dolphins that have a nose and are agile and fast, Snubfin dolphins are very slow moving and have round heads with no beak. Snubfins are also able to bend their necks, which they do as part of their hunting strategy.

Snubfin Dolphin

Snubfin Dolphin. Photo: Broome Whale Watching Tours

Jason Fowler, Marine Projects Officer at Environs Kimberley said snubfin dolphins are incredibly intelligent because they are able to hunt in an environment where other dolphins can’t.

“The visibility is zero because of the macro-tidal environment and the mudflats. Snubfins have really well-developed feeding strategies where they spit water out of their mouths, and when it lands on the surface the baitfish panic and often jump straight back toward the snubfin, and the dolphin just picks them up,” Jason said.

“Roebuck Bay is very productive – the mudflat is covered with a fine layer of algae growth, which is the basis of the food chain – millions of prawns and animals living off that and the whole food chain kicks comes in affect, baitfish, other fish, so there’s a lot of food for snubfins. In fact, the mudflats have the highest diversity of marine invertebrates in the world – worms, clams, snails, crabs and the like.”

However ideal Roebuck Bay is, snubfin dolphins are so rare that it’s possible that there are less than 1,000 in the world and they can only be found along the northern Australian coastline in small pods from Broome to Gladstone in Queensland.

Roebuck Bay has a relatively big permanent population of snubfin dolphins, around 140 adults.

Snubfin Dolphin. Photo: Broome Whale Watching Tours

“Besides a few rogue young males that swim all the way up the coast to find a mate, the snubfin dolphins stay in Roebuck Bay – we call them ‘Roebuck Bay Locals’ because they’re always there,” Jason said.

These unique mammals were named as a new species in 2005, the first new species of dolphin on the planet for over 50 years and it was a privilege to be able to see them in their nature habitat. It’s rumoured that the BBC are doing a documentary on the snubfin dolphins.

“Let’s hope that once the word spreads, their habitat is always treated with the sensitivity it deserves so it doesn’t impact the population of snubfins that we’re so lucky to have in Roebuck Bay,” Jason says.

 

Broome Whale Watching Tours operates every day in Roebuck Bay
(08) 91 928 163
admin@broomewhalewatching.com.au
www.broomewhalewatching.com.au

This story first appeared in the Broome Visitor Centre guide, wet season 2016

Snubfin dolphins tour

Ballena, the catamaran owned by Broome Whale Watching Tours

Cameron Birch, Broome Whale Watching Tours

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