So we get to Western Australia, and settle into our room at the Rendezvous Observation City at Scarborough Beach, a highrise in the middle of the suburbs on the northern beaches of Perth. After ogling the view from our 22nd floor room, we set out to discover the food.
The first thing we notice on wandering out, is that there isn’t actually much choice. Subway, a sandwich shop, a fish and chip shop, and a range of places housed within the hotel complex including Jimmy Dean’s Diner…
So we head to what looks safe and familiar to a couple of eastern blow-ins, Zanders. (In the picture above, to the left, it is the curved maroon building..)
So we head in, and get seated at one of the outdoor seats to catch our first Indian Ocean sunset. Our first look at the menu leaves us puzzled and impressed by the range. The entire breakfast to dinner menu is printed on a single place mat sheet. But what leaves us puzzled is the prices. The price range of mains started at $25 for a pasta dish and went up to $38.50 for the Surf and Turf..now these seem fairly reasonable, but then the entrees started at $15 and ranged to $32 for a tasting plate for two. In hindsight, this was fairly reasonable as it seems that the food prices out West are significantly higher than in the Eastern states. This was borne out by a chat with a local who explained that since most things were imported, either from the East or overseas you pay for the freight, this means that local producers can and do bump up their prices too. Hence the expense. To give it some context: I pay $2.40 for a take away coffee in the Sydney CBD, in Perth the same take away coffee is $3.80
Back to Zanders! So we settle in for our first dinner of our two week holiday. Da Boyfriend goes for the Slow Roast Beef served with roast potatoes, shallots and a mustard sauce.
Da Boyfriend hoes in, but finds the meat, though tender, excessively fatty for his taste and not worth the $29 cost. The potatoes and the sauce, however are delicious.
I decide on seafood, and rather than the fish of the day, go for the seafood linguine.
This is probably one of the best marinara’s I’ve ever had. Each piece of seafood in the dish was gorgeously fresh, and the serve was incredibly generous, 3 scallops, 3 prawns, 4 or 5 mussels, calamari and pieces of fish made this one yummy treasure hunt. The sauce added the right amount of flavour and wasn’t overpowering at all…just delicious!
So after a little tummy break, it was on to dessert. I’ve become a big fan of tasting plates because I’m greedy. No two ways about it. So of course we had to have the dessert tasting plate!
From top left we had the poached pear, chocolate truffles, chocolate mousse two ways, and a strawberry semifreddo. In the middle is a dollop of sweetened cream with some mango! Mmm yum!
The poached pear was definitely our favourite, and the truffles were rich and thick, the mousse however was disappointingly heavy and thick, rather than being light and airy. The strawberry semifreddo was nice, but I’m not a fan of anything strawberry flavoured. Real unadulterated strawberries or nothing.
We also had breakfast there twice. I went for the poached eggs on toast with mushrooms and tomato and each time it was lovely. The eggs perfectly done. The coffee wasn’t great, and I’ll declare now that in general the coffee isn’t great across Perth. Though I didn’t sample widely across the city…
The one dark spot on an otherwise satisfying experience was the terrible service. Unlike Sydney, where we seem to have a large pool of professional hospitality staff, most places in Perth, at least over the summer months seem to rely on European backpackers for waitstaff. Nothing wrong with this, except on a number of occasions from casual cafes to fine dining, we found staff who couldn’t speak English. I mean really, not understand English. Not a word. Not good in a restaurant of any type I would’ve thought? Otherwise, Zanders has a captive market of holiday makers staying across the road at the hotel.
1 Scarborough Beach Road
08 9245 2001