A lovely Tuesday

The electrician came this morning and fixed the bedroom ceiling light, hooked up the bathroom exhaust fan and fixed the light in the spa room. While Jac was doing the homeowner/tradesperson liaison thing I sat in the study and marked essays. He was here for about an hour, and in the end all we had to pay was $30 (the work came to $130 but of course $100 was covered by the competition we won). Once he had left, we opened the spare bedroom door to let the cats out. The poor things were hiding under the bed. They don’t like tradespeople, especially if they are typical blue-collared blokes with gruff voices who clomp around in big heavy boots. I think the noise made by the electrician crawling in the roof to run cables would’ve definitely scared them. When the power to the house was switched off, the light in the spare bedroom would’ve gone out, and I can just imagine Pixel and Billy Lee looking at each other thinking “The world is ending!” Poor babies. They tiptoed tentatively out of the room looking really tense and ready to bolt at the first sign of danger, but became relaxed again once they realised whoever/whatever had been making the strange noises (and probably bad smells, to them) was no longer there.

I put away my marking and we both got ready to go out. We walked to the train station to catch the train to the city to go shopping. Jac wanted to buy a shirt, and I still wanted to look for boots (yes, still bloody boots). But our first task was to have some lunch.

I told Jac it was her choice where we ate since she’s the one having the week off (meaning, I wanted her to choose something she really felt like, as I wanted her to have all the treats this week. Yes, I’m soppy like that). She was very sure she didn’t feel like franchise junk food (i.e. McDonald’s, Hungry Jack’s, KFC) and she knew she didn’t feel like asian food. We proceeded to walk around for half an hour, reading menus and peeping into restaurants while she ummed and ahhed. We checked out Italian, pubs, cafes, coffee lounges, pancakes, walked the malls and ended up in Northbridge. She almost decided to go for a Poor Boy at Vulture’s (in which case I would’ve had a Crispy cajun chicken burger with potato wedges and garlic mayo), but she was still unsure. Just as my stomach began to eat itself and I was really getting secretly grumpy we remembered there is a Hog’s Breath Cafe on Lake Street. Jac has eaten at Hog’s Breath Cafe before, but I hadn’t. She decided she was in the mood for steak, and so the decision was made at last, thank goodness! I am so glad we had lunch there, because it was GREAT!

Here’s the street frontage shot (yeah yeah I should’ve stepped over more to the right of the light pole and taken the photo. I’m a food pornographer, not a building pornographer), and the blurry interior shot. It’s one of those “decorated by all sorts of crap and must be a nightmare to dust” restaurants. For those of you who are not familiar with Hog’s Breath cafe, their specialty is their Prime Rib. From their website: “We slow cook our Prime Rib for up to 18hours, then finish with high temperature searing on the char grill to seal in the flavour for your enjoyment”.

Hog's Breath Cafe, Northbridge, street frontage shot  Hog's Breath Cafe, interior shot

I liked the napkins, which featured a fluoro pink wild boar. I laughed at a poster they had on the bar wall. It was a bikini-clad female body with a hog head on it, and the caption was “Hog’s head is better than no head at all”. We had a drink right away and toasted our Tuesday together – she with a VB (AU$4.70) and me with a Diet Coke ($3.30, bottled, not postmix).

Hog's Breath Cafe Napkin

Jac’s choice was the Rib and Steak Combo, AU$27.95. The menu description: “Combine our famous Hog’s Breath Prime Rib and half a rack of sticky ribs smothered with Hickory Smoked BBQ sauce to give you the best of both worlds.” The combo came with salad and rice (which you can’t see as it’s buried under the ribs). The sauces in the wee dishes are hickory smoked BBQ sauce (which is also what the ribs were marinated/basted in) and diane sauce (an extra which Jac asked for). According to Jac, her steak was cooked to a perfect medium (i.e. too red for me to eat!) and the ribs were really really tender (I tried the ribs – they were unbelievably tender; although you don’t use the word ‘soft’ to describe meat, they were really soft!).

Hog's Breath Rib and Steak Combo

My choice was the Hawaiian Hickory Chicken Burger, AU$13.50. Menu description: “Not one but two grilled chicken breasts, basted with Hickory Smoked sauce, cheese, beetroot, tomato, pineapple and onion rings”. All burgers come with salad garnish and famous Hog Tail fries. I had my burger minus beetroot, but with grilled bacon. This is how the burger arrived at the table:

Hawaiian Hickory Chicken Burger

The Hog Tail fries were really good. I was skeptical when I realised I would be getting curly fries, because in my experience curly fries have always been more soft than crispy, but these fries had a really crispy and savoury coating – they really crunched under my teeth when I bit into them and even the last couple of fries were still crispy when cold. They were also just the right thickness so they weren’t too floury. They were just perfect. I love pineapple in burgers, so it was a no-brainer that I would choose this burger as soon as I saw it on the menu.

Hog Tail Fries   Bun lid with tomato, pineapple and red onion rings

I was a good girl and ate all the salad garnish so I had some greens with my meal. I was really impressed with the pile of really juicy bacon (the bacon was worth the extra $1.95) they gave me. The grilled chicken breasts were a little dry, but that didn’t matter because there was so much yummy hickory BBQ sauce. All of this sat on a square of semi-melted cheese on the bun bottom

Salad garnish  Grilled bacon and chicken breast

My assembled burger. It made a big mouthful! The hickory sauce was sooooooo good, but it got everywhere. We’re talking severe sauce leakage issues! I got it all over the camera when I was taking the photos, and then I got it all over my hands and face as I ate. Jac was so tempted by the burger she had a bite too. She said she might have it the next time we find ourselves at a Hog’s Breath Cafe (there are five in Perth). I can confidently say this is so far Number One Burger for the year. Yes, it was THAT GOOD. The Number One Burger for last year was the Irish Stovey Burger at Midland Military Markets, which sadly is nowhere to be found now.

Hawaiian Hickory Chicken Burger

We were too full to contemplate dessert, which was a shame, as they sounded yummy. The bill came to $53.15. Well worth it, I thought. If you’re into steaks and burgers and fries in a relaxed restaurant setting, definitely give Hog’s Breath a go.

After lunch, we went shopping. Jac got herself a very nice purple shirt and I got myself a pair of Hush Puppies boots from Myer. I think the toe of my boots is nicer than the toe of the Colorado boots Jac bought (the Hush Puppies toe is rounder, the Colorado more angular), but I still think she got the nicer boots overall. Still, my new boots are pretty nice and will look spiffy with the suit on Friday night. The Hush Puppies site doesn’t have a picture of the boots and I am too lazy to take a photo of them – they are called “Sidney”.

We also bought some black socks for me and new knickers for Jac at Target (I’m sure Jac would be say “I can’t believe you told everyone I bought knickers!” Heh). By this time Jac felt like having something sweet. Not necessarily actual dessert, but definitely something sweet like ice cream, maybe in a milkshake. We headed over to Baskin Robbins. She ordered a Butterscotch Royale Triple Shake, AU$6.80. The shake was made using Old Fashioned Butter Pecan ice cream, with a layer of thick gooey butterscotch at the bottom, and topped with fresh cream and caramel topping. I tasted a finger-dipping’s worth of cream and caramel topping – it was sooooooooo sweet! I can’t believe how sweet it was. It could have been half as sweet and still have been sweet enough. I can’t believe people can eat stuff that is so sickly sweet! (Okay okay enough already about the sweetness!)

Butterscotch Royale Triple Shake

Jac got through most of the shake, but in the end she was defeated by the sheer richness and sweetness of it. She enjoyed it though, which was the important thing.

Butterscotch Royale Triple Shake from the top  The thick butterscotch layer

We decided it was time to head home. At the train station I had a sudden and unexpected (but perhaps not all that surprising!) hankering for a savoury, salty deep-fried snack, and so I bought myself three chicken wing dings (each AU$1.20) from the bakery. But then the train came, and as we were keen to get home we boarded it. I had to be content with just inhaling the smell of deep-fried battered chickeny goodness from the paper bag all the way home.

Three chicken wing dings

It was lovely to spend the day shopping with Jac. Now at least I can feel like we spent some quality time together on her week off. Tomorrow, it’s back to the grind for me. I can’t believe how long I’ve been writing this post. It’s time for some dinner (hah!) and then muffin baking!

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