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My quest to eat my way through Perth has taken a turn!
You see, a few years ago, I started running. Well, jogging really. I know a few long legged friends who can brisk walk faster than what I would call running. Nevertheless, I persevered, and, knowing that I would never be fast, I decided to aim for endurance. I went from barely surviving a slow 1km jog to weekly 10km runs around the river near where I live. It was at this time that I started toying with the idea of one day running a half marathon. But I peaked at around 16-17km and was never brave enough to sign myself up for the big event.
(Source – I just love this image because it depicts The Little Mermaid Ariel with legs, essentially a fish out of water, which was exactly how I, a total non-athlete, felt about running when I first started)
Then, the whole foodie thing happened, and I started eating out more than I was training. My fitness declined quickly, and soon I was telling myself that yoga was adequate exercise. Sorry to any yoga buffs out there, but it really isn’t, in my opinion. I agree it’s a great adjunct to weight training and aerobic exercise for stretching, core stability and balance, but it should be combined with other activities. The evidence of that is in how quickly my fitness level plummeted when I was only doing yoga and Zumba as my exercise activities.
Despite that, the little spark in my mind was never fully extinguished. Running a half marathon still remains firmly on my bucket list. And not just any half marathon either. I have my sights set on the annual Disney Princess Half Marathon, where you get cheered on by the Disney princesses and have breakfast with them at the end of the race. Tiaras, tutus and pink sneakers optional.
It was towards the end of last year that I realised I’m really not getting any younger. If I don’t do that half marathon soon (hopefully 2016!) I probably never will. I also realised that I was going to have to be a bit more proactive and serious about training for it. Worried that I wouldn’t be able to do it on my own, I decided to get myself a personal trainer (PT).
I’ve been seeing my PT for 4 weeks now, and she’s had me keeping a food diary all this time. Now, I’m not stupid and also more than a little bit sneaky. I knew she was going to be looking at my food diary to see where I could improve. So, although I haven’t been overindulging, I also haven’t held back whenever I wanted a chocolate for afternoon tea or a rich cheesecake for dessert. My food diary has been true to how I was eating before my PT sessions started.
My last session this past Thursday was crunch time. Apparently:
1) my breakfasts of muesli with milk and a tub of yogurt aren’t the healthiest as they’re sugar laden and won’t keep me full for long. I guess I’d agree with both those comments – I do start to feel hungry at work by around 10-11am.
2) I need to be snacking more healthily. Again, can’t argue when my snacks include naughties like Lindt balls and macarons.
3) my social outings are binges. Fair enough. I do find it hard to order salad when there are tastier things on the menu like pulled pork, onion rings, fried chicken, mmm…
So, I’ve been given a 2 week challenge, during which I’m to try:
1) swapping muesli for a breakfast of 2 boiled eggs with avocado and tomatoes, or mushrooms, or some other vegetable, as protein and good fats will keep me fuller for longer. Easily done as I love all of those foods, and having tried it once on Friday, she’s right! I wasn’t hungry at work that day at 12pm! The hard part is waking up early enough to prepare my breakfast, but luckily it’s summer now so I’m waking up earlier anyway.
2) picking healthier snacks. I was prepared for this one anyway, and in fact, that was the reason I hadn’t held back on the naughty munchies in my first 4 weeks of keeping the food diary despite knowing the raised eyebrows that would surely come my way – so that I had something obvious that I could improve on. Haha, the joke’s on you, Miss PT!
3) picking healthier options when I eat out. Aye, there’s the rub.
So, over at least the next couple of weeks, my food reviews will feature more
boring healthy options. Except for the degustation dinner and high tea that I already have booked in my diary, that is. But they’re in 2 weekends’ time, so technically they’re scheduled for after my 2 week trial. Like a reward for sticking to the trial, really. And I’m sticking to that excuse.
I was thrilled when I saw Typika on STM’s top 100 places to eat list, because it meant I could revisit an old friend whilst working my way through the list. I’d been there several times before I started blogging and had always enjoyed everything I ordered. Good thing I’d already tried most of the richer options on the menu, so ordering healthy wasn’t going to be too much of a struggle on this occasion.
I decided the mushroom and leek ragu ($23.50) on a piece of toast topped with a poached egg, goat feta and snow pea tendrils was positively virtuous.
Just like everything else I’ve ever eaten here, this was delicious. The mushrooms were tender and juicy with the leek adding a slight sweetness, the feta some saltiness, the greens a bit of freshness, the toast some crunch, and the crowning glory, the egg, tied it all together with a touch of creaminess. Perfectly poached, the yolk flowed like a river of gold over the whole dish as I cut into the egg.
Surrounding the meal was a generous swirl of what I thought was probably a capsicum purée. Not only did the contrasting colour add another visually appealing element to the dish, the slight spiciness and tanginess of the purée also brought another level of complexity in flavours.
To go with this dish, I ordered the Punch Love ($8.50), a cold pressed juice combining apple with pineapple, kale, lemon and ginger. This tasted more tart than sweet, but in a good way, with the ginger adding a bit of a kick. 3 of my dining buddies ordered the Strawberry Fields (strawberry, pineapple and apple), which got rave reviews all around. The 5th in our party ordered an iced coffee ($5-6.50, that’s what it says on the menu!). All drinks, like many other things at Typika, were served in jars, a trend that I just can’t get enough of.
Also on order, we had a wagyu beef burger ($23.50), which I’m told was terrific. Although I didn’t taste it myself, H looked like he enjoyed it throughly and the brioche bun gave a very satisfying crunch when he bit into it. I did have 2 bites of the side of chips though, 1 bite each of regular and sweet potato. Both versions were delightfully crispy whilst still being melt-in-the-mouth smooth inside.
K ordered the calamari salad, which seems to be a special not featured on their usual menu online. I liked how the calamari was served on the side to retain its crispiness, but as it turned out, it didn’t really matter as it wasn’t as satisfyingly crispy as the chips. The dipping sauce was very more-ish, tasting something like an Asian style barbecue sauce. The sticky sweetness was a perfect foil for the calamari. The salad was very fresh and had a sweet and sour Vietnamese flavour.
S opted for the green scram and smoked salmon ($23) while D had the bacon and eggs on toast ($17). Both plates looked pretty clean at the end, so I’m sure they were met with approval. I especially liked the small preserve jar that the tomato relish was served in, in keeping with the theme of the place.
I’m trying to stay away from desserts for the next 2 weeks, but when we saw the fruit salad ($12) being brought out to another table, we simply couldn’t resist. Shared between 4 (D had eaten enough), this was a guilt-free pleasure for me, but no doubt had the waitress thinking we were cheap! The Typika version is served oh so appetisingly in a jar (what else?), with pieces of watermelon, honeydew, orange, strawberries and coconut jelly layered with yogurt and topped with a passionfruit foam. And a flower on top.
To finish, I ordered a long macchiato (coffees $3.50-6) instead of my usual cappuccino. PT’s orders. Apparently it’s a healthier option. Less milk and no chocolate powder or something. Anyway, I used to think the coffee at Typika was pretty good, but now, it doesn’t hold a candle to what’s on offer at Sprolo. I’m not sure whether it’s because I ordered a long macch instead of my usual capp, but I found it to have a slightly bitter and sour finish. It wasn’t as smooth or creamy, and the coffee art was nowhere near as impressive. The only way to know for sure is to return to Sprolo and order a long macch there, I think.
The wait staff weren’t the most attentive. Both when we wanted to order mains and when we wanted to order dessert, it took some effort to flag someone down. However, once orders were taken, the drinks and food were brought out quite quickly. We also appreciated that our waitress didn’t bat an eyelid when we ordered the fruit salad to share between 4, and in fact she brought out 5 sets of cutlery for us.
Typika was one of the first places I went to with that warehouse trend of bare brick walls and serving food and drinks in jars. I like the casual feel. I also like how you can see all the cooking and coffee roasting action at the back, where there is an open kitchen and an adjoining roastery.
Pretty standard for Perth.
7am-2.30pm Monday to Thursday
7am-3pm Friday to Sunday
331 Stirling Hwy, Claremont
Tel: 9284 6088
Typika boasts a prime location right across the road from Claremont Quarter (CQ), where there are not only 1200 undercover parking bays, but also what I think is THE best shopping centre in all of Perth, sporting some of my favourite stores like Alannah Hill, Sambag, Marcs, Jigsaw, Seed, French Connection, Uber and Klein, and Lorna Jane. Within CQ, you’ll also find the indulgent and decadent chocolaterie, Koko Black. Outside CQ, there are several other boutiques including another favourite of mine, Leona Edmiston. Parking is free for 3 hours. Honestly, I cannot rave about this place enough! It just needs a Lululemon and a Peter Alexander, and this place would become a shopping paradise to rival anything in the eastern states.
If you’re planning on only grabbing a quick bite, there are also 50 or so 1 hour outdoor parking bays right by Typika. The orange and black building is very distinctive and easily recognisable.
It’s always a pleasure at Typika! I went with 4 friends who’d never dined there before, and one and all gave a nod of approval. Plans have been made not only for a return visit, but with specific dishes in mind to order! I can also recommend the huevos rancheros ($17) and pulled pork quesadillas ($23), which I’ve sampled on previous visits. For more photos of the food, do hop on over to this post by the person who introduced me to the delights of Typika and to the world of blogging!
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