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The origin of Ribollita soup

This weekend in Perth it’s going to be a stormy one! This weather calls for a delicious and fulfilling soup, such as the authentic Ribollita soup, available at our on-site restaurant Mediterrani.
Ribollita is one of the most famous dishes in Tuscany. Originally this was a dish made from whatever vegetables were on hand and stale bread. This has evolved to become a feast of seasonal vegetables, wild herbs, delicious bread and a healthy dose of extra virgin olive oil.
It is believed the origins of ribollita, meaning simply ‘reboiled,’ date back to the Middle Ages. Hungry and poor Tuscan peasants who served at banquets would pocket the leftover crusts and crumbs of bread on the tables. They would wipe the plates clean of the leftover meat to allow the bread to soak up the flavour-filled juices.
This bread will be put aside to later add to their cannellini beans (soaked overnight in water); along with home grown vegetables, herbs and anything edible they could find in their gardens!
Come and enjoy Mediterrani’s Ribollita soup, a healthy dose of beans and vegetables accompanied by fresh sourdough. Available Lunch and Dinner, book by visiting www.mediterrani.com.au

Ribollita Soup

A gang people beside poolside

What a difference a year makes – written by Rob Broadfield

When we last visited the restaurant, 150 East, at Assured Ascot Quays apartment hotel, it was, well, deeply ordinary. Not good.

About eight months ago, owner Sally Kelly decided to bite the bullet and bring in a big gun to improve the restaurant. It is now called Mediterrani, it has had a makeover and the guy in charge is none other than Jason Jujnovich.

Many of you would remember Jujnovic from his award-winning restaurant Divido in Mt Hawthorn.

He sold Divido a couple of years ago with a view to a “tree change” but was snapped up as a chef consultant by Ascot Quays.

He has bought a massive wood-fired, electric-assist and coal-fired rotisserie and pizza oven for the kitchen and dramatically improved the menu.

We dropped in for a bite the other day and his spit-roasted pork loin with fennel seed, garlic, rosemary rub and blitva (a super-garlicky mash) with loads of crackle and a nicely acidic apple slaw was the bee’s knees. We’re fans. Check it out.

Original article was written in the West Australian Newspaper 09/02/2017 https://thewest.com.au/lifestyle/rob-broadfield/the-bar-service-was-woeful-food-news-with-rob-broadfield-ng-b88377316z

A gang people beside poolside

Mediterranean Cuisine and Culture

To celebrate the launch of our new in house restaurant, Mediterrani Pizza Bar Grill, we thought we would look into difference Mediterranean cultures and cuisines! View our new Mediterranean menu here.

Spain

There is no doubt that food and drink are a very important element of Spanish culture, which is why Spanish bars and restaurants are always buzzing. A typical restaurant will have an array of tapas style dishes on offer. Tapas refers to small savoury meals which are intended to be shared with a group of people – these meals range from cured meats, marinated vegetables and other delicious appetizers. Some must-try favourites are the Spanish omelette and Spanish rice croquettes. Be prepared for lots of traditional Mediterranean flavours – lots of garlic, olive oil, fish, seafood and free range pork. Rice in the form of Paella is also very popular in Spain; sometimes it is referred to as“Arroz del día” or “rice of the day.”

They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day however this doesn’t seem to be the case for Spaniards. Breakfast in Spain is usually very light and features coffee, hot chocolate or freshly squeezed fruit juice. This is accompanied by a pastry dish such as a croissant or toast with jam. Another very common breakfast dish you will see in bars and restaurants is Spanish Churros, which are their tasty version of donuts, served with melted dipping chocolate and fruit such as bananas and strawberries.

Breakfast might be light, but lunch is the biggest and most important meal in Spain. Lunch consists of several courses, starting with a soup or salad, followed by the main meal with meat or fish, and then a small dessert. This is followed by coffee or shots of traditional Spanish liquor afterward. The whole meal is accompanied by fresh bread, wine and water. Lunch time and the famous “siesta” (nap) occur between 2 pm and 4 pm so make sure you plan around this time. A large number of shops close around this period so also keep that in mind if you are travelling in Spain and intend do go shopping.

Due to the midday break workers often don’t get home till 8 pm and that means that they eat dinner pretty late- about 9:30 pm to 10 pm. Dinner is similar to lunch but lighter. Because breakfast is sweet and lunch features a dessert, dinner is just a savoury meal.

Spain offers a truly diverse range of food which caters to all sorts of different palates, so you a bound to find something you love!

Greece

Greek culinary traditions date back thousands of years, and over time they have absorbed a number of diverse and delicious influences. Greek dishes embrace fresh local ingredients, with seafood specialities being particularly popular among the residents of the Greek islands. Much like other Mediterranean cuisines, Greek food is known for its heavy use of olive oil, lean meats, vegetables herbs and grains.

Similar to Spanish tapas, mezze is popular in Greece. These small meals can serve as an entrée or make up an entire meal. Mezze combines delicious ingredients such as eggplant, tomato, pita bread, potato, feta cheese, lemon, orka, filo pastry and honey. Filo pastry is a favourite for making traditional Greek spanakopita with feta and spinach. Desserts are also made with filo pastry including baklava which features sheets of filo pastry drenched in honey and filled with nuts.

Breakfast time in Greece is similar to its Mediterranean neighbours – quick and light! Sweet breakfasts are common and include fresh fruit, Greek yoghurt, local traditional marmalades, spanakopita and other pastries. Greeks love their traditional unfiltered coffee served without milk! Greeks start work early, especially during summer to beat the heat.

Greeks also prefer to eat their biggest meal during lunch time. Grilled meats, with traditional Greek salad or a vegetable casserole, sometimes sandwiches, are also on the menu. Mezze is also eaten before lunch. Lunch is never rushed in Greece, since most workers go home at 2pm to have lunch and then resume work later.

Dinner is lighter than lunch and it is often eaten quite late when the working day is over. Dinner depends on the region, for example residents of small Greek islands consume a lot of fish and seafood for dinner, while those living in the cities and mainland areas often have pasta and grain dishes for dinner, followed by a small dessert.

Croatia

Croatia is another European nation which strongly embraces family and food. Croatia’s location on the Adriatic coast means that it offers a unique blend of cuisines. The food in Croatia is distinctly Mediterranean with Greek influence – particularly with the use of filo pastry. Inland cities are also influenced by Hungarian cuisine.

Like all European countries coffee is a must, so the day usually begins with a cup of steaming hot coffee. Eggs are eaten during breakfast, accompanied by some savoury pastry. Again Croats aren’t that big on breakfast as it’s usually one of the smaller meals during the day. Fresh fruit juice is popular during breakfast time. Salami and cheese are sometimes eaten during breakfast as well.

Lunch time, called ručak can feature a wide variety of foods. It often starts with a bowl of soup. Soup is light as generally consists of mainly vegetables in a broth. Sometimes noodles are added to soup. This is followed by roasted meat, regional vegetables; potato salad is also a favourite. Lamb is usually prepared on a spit roast and eaten on special occasions. In coastal regions such as Split seafood is fresh and makes a perfect lunchtime meal. Seafood is usually grilled. Pita made from filo pastry and filled with cheese, spinach, potato or meat is a popular snack during any time of the day.

Dinner is a similar affair to lunch however smaller in size. Sliced meats, marinated vegetables, bread and cheese varieties make for a nice Croatian dinner treat. Dinner will end with a small dessert, palačinke (Croatian version of crepes) are delicious and served with jam or melted chocolate and fruit.

Hopefully learning a bit more about what different cultures like to eat has made you hungry for some delicious Mediterranean fare! Can you spot the Spanish, Greek and Croatian influences in our new menu?

Happy eating! AH xx

Money Saving Tips for Your Next Holiday

Dreaming of your next holiday? Well you can still enjoy luxury without it costing you a fortune, which is why we have a few simple tips to help you make the most of your money while travelling.

Fly off-peak

High demand means higher prices. So to avoid paying the premium ticket price it’s better to travel when it’s not peak season if you can. Christmas time is a favourite time to go travelling so unless you are visiting family; it is budget wise not to travel during the holiday season. Also try to avoid school holidays, especially if you don’t have school-aged children. Did you know the day of the week also makes a difference? It is as simple leaving on a Wednesday instead of a Saturday. It’s only a small change, but it can mean savings.

Book direct and save

Do your research on various online travel agents, if something seems way too cheap than consider that there could be additional costs involved later on. Read the terms and conditions to know exactly what is included in the price. Is breakfast included, does your room have a King size bed, what about free Wifi? Does it have riverside views or does it face the courtyard and remember that prices shown are per person. While it might seem like the cheaper option, always check with the hotel you are interested in as you will find you will always get the best deal by booking direct.

Weight it down

Budget Airlines such as Jet Star and AirAsia are an excellent way to save money, especially if it’s only a shorter flight. However, much like the hotel bundles, make sure exactly what you are getting. No-frills carriers often have strict regulations in regards to carry-on luggage and any extra weight will cost you! Often cheap tickets only include cabin luggage so keep that in mind! Remember that meals are often not included in the price either so exchange some money to buy your food and drinks. If you are taking a long haul flight it is probably better to take a full service carrier as you will need more luggage.

Local MasterChef

Embrace the culture and eat like the locals, as it is often cheaper and just as tasty! From $1 noodles in Hong Kong to hidden French bistros, the food is fresh and made from local produce.

However, if local cuisine isn’t your thing, consider having lunch while you are shopping. Some cities have massive shopping malls, which have food courts that offer cuisines from all over the globe – plus you will probably be starving after a few hours of shopping so it comes in handy. Also remember to have a big breakfast at the hotel buffet and consider shopping in local supermarkets for lunch.

Currency Wars

Taking money out overseas can cost a lot in charges. Using a debit card instead of a credit card will be cheaper, however, be aware that most banks will charge you an international withdrawal fee on top of the usual commission fees. To avoid getting overcharged with bank fees, try to exchange larger sums of money at once, so that you are charged less frequently. Just be careful to store your money carefully in your hotel room safe and avoid carrying large sums of cash with you!

Also be aware of fluctuating exchange rates and check out Travelex’s Happy Hour for discounted commission fees on currency exchange.

Be ‘appy!

It’s the 21st century which means there’s a mobile application for almost anything, so why not make the most of it. Make your phone your money saving buddy and download city maps, travel guides, translators and others tips and tricks. A few of the favourite apps are Happy Hour Finder, Foursquare, and Scootmob, but make sure you check out the app store to see what else you can find as well. You can also check out websites like Groupon and LivingSocial to monitor deals around the city you are traveling too. The great thing about sites like this it that they also give you an idea of what there is to do nearby.

Now… that leaves you with more money to spend on shopping & exploring, enjoy! AH xx

Planning the Perfect Honeymoon

Planning for the happiest day of your life can be quite stressful, so when it comes to planning for your honeymoon, plan to relax!

Destination Unknown

So many beautiful holiday destinations, so little time! Have no fear we have created a list of some honeymoon favourites to get your romance on!

  • Paris, France – The City of Love. If luxe hotels, extravagant shopping strips, historical art and museums are in your list of preferences than Paris is your ultimate honeymoon destination. Oh, and don’t forget that kiss under the Eiffel Tower.
  • Hawaii – Blue water, white sand, and blue skies… it sounds like paradise doesn’t it? Hawaii is the ultimate relaxation destination.
  • Santorini, Greece – Soak up the Mediterranean sun in the beautiful Greek island of Santorini. Explore the delicious cuisine the island has to offer and check out its rich history.
  • Venice, Italy – Another fantastic destination for your honeymoon. Step on board a traditional gondola and peacefully cruise the beautiful canals of this historic city, which admiring the view of St. Marks Cathedral. Don’t forget to make the most of all the delicious dining options Venice has to offer.

 

Money Honey

Now that you have chosen your destination, time to tackle the old money dilemma. Stick to your budget and get your money’s worth from your dream holiday. Do your homework when it comes to booking your hotel and don’t be so quick to jump on huge discounts. Maybe your country of choice is going through political unrest, or maybe the hotel is undergoing massive reservations. What about the seasons in your destination? Will there be sunny skies or is it wet season and thunderstorms galore? Think about the reason behind a huge discount!

Trip Advisor is a great source of information when it comes to checking out the nitty gritty details about your future trip. Also, think about hotel and flight packages and remember to read carefully when it comes to inclusions. Does the price include buffet breakfast every day, what about free WiFi? How about the flight? Is it a budget airline or full-service carrier? Do you have to pay extra for carry-on baggage and in-flight meals? These are all important factors to consider before making that booking.

Honeymoon Treats

When you make your booking, let the hotel know it’s your honeymoon! Most hotels offer special treats for the newlyweds so why not get the most out of it! Many hotels and resorts offer fantastic honeymoon packages with added extras such as champagne on arrival, breakfast in bed, romantic dinners on the beach and even complimentary massages. It is your honeymoon after all, so it should be more special than any other holiday you have ever had!

Rush, Rush, Rush

Movies have thought us to get straight on the plane after the wedding, but in real life, this might not be the best idea. Give yourself a couple of days to catch your breath from all the planning associated with your wedding, especially if you had a few drinks to celebrate the occasion. Giving yourself time between the trip and the big day means you can also pack more carefully so you don’t forget anything important!

Healthy & Happy

It depends on where you decide to travel, but be aware that some countries will expose you to certain health risks. South East Asia and Africa are both high risk regions so make sure you get vaccinated before you head out on a wild African Safari or explore the ancient Buddhist temples of Thailand. Remember that some vaccinations are given in stages which means that can take time to become active, that’s why you should begin the immunization process about six months before the trip.

Reserve Your Spot

If you want to try something that’s hot right now, or very high in demand, you may want to consider making your booking or buying tickets a few weeks or even a month before your honeymoon. For example, if you want to visit a highly sought after restaurant in Venice for a romantic dinner, make your booking a week before, or if you want to see a show in Paris, buy your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.

Consider Transportation

Chances are you will want to explore during your trip, so it’s important to consider how you will get around. Some tourist destinations, such as Singapore, have a great system of organized tour buses. Ask your hotel concierge about the different tour options available. Tours are usually fully inclusive of a meal and transportation to and from your hotel. Consider Uber if it’s available in your country of choice – it may be cheaper than a cab and the driver comes to you.

Happy honeymoon travels! AH xx

The Origin of Santa Claus

We are quickly coming up to Christmas, and what better way to kick off the festive season than to tell a good origin story!

There are many origin stories of Santa, which seem to vary country to country. The name Santa Claus comes from the Dutch words “Sinter Klaas”, which is what they call St. Nicholas.

St Nicholas was known for his kindness and generosity – he often went out at night and took presents to the needy. His notoriety can be traced to many legends – one being “The Three Daughters”.

There were three unmarried girls who came from a respectable family, but they could not get married because their father had lost all his money and could not provide dowries for the girls. Hearing of their imminent fate of being sold off once they reached the age to marry, Nicholas secretly delivered a bag of gold to the eldest daughter. This good fortune meant she was able to go and become happily married. When the next daughter came of age, Nicholas also delivered gold to her.

According to the legend, Nicholas threw the bag through the window and it landed in the daughter’s stocking, which she had hung by the fire. Another version claims that Nicholas dropped the bag of gold down the chimney.

By the time the youngest daughter was old enough for marriage, the father was determined to discover his daughters’ benefactor. He thought that she might be given a bag of gold too, so he decided to keep watch. Nicholas arrived and was seized, and his generosity was made known to all.

Similar stories of his generosity spread, and anyone who received an unexpected gift thanked St. Nicholas.

 

How to Recover From Jet Lag

Travelling is an exciting time, you explore new places, try new foods, experience different cultures and make lifetime memories. But how can you make getting to your destination a little more comfortable? Flying has its ups and downs, so we have made a list of things you can do to avoid the dreaded jet lag.

1. Have enough sleep before you leave

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not as easy as it sounds when you are excited for your holiday or worrying about packing everything, especially when you are packing for more than one. All these factors can make it tough to get a good night’s sleep, and the best thing you could you do is attempt to switch off and forget about everything for a couple of hours. Trust us; your body will thank you later. Try reading a book or watching a movie until you dose off.

2. Drink Warm Water

It might not be the most refreshing beverage you can think of on a long flight, but it has its benefits. The tip comes from ancient Indian philosophy, the same one that created yoga and meditation and can help with the headaches associated with jet lag. Plus keeping hydrated in general will help deter the symptoms related to jet lag.

3. Eat Small Meal Frequently

Your body runs better on good food, so eating small healthy meals frequently will help your body battle jet lag. Avoid ordering foods with a lot of fat, sugar or anything fried on the plane. Stock up on fruit and veggies before your flight.

4. Get Up & Walk

It might be a struggle if you have a window seat, but a stroll up and down the plane during a long flight will make you feel better. During long haul flights, your muscles will start to feel cramped so a walk will do you wonders.

5. Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine

Rest is so important when it comes to tackling jet lag & caffeine won’t help with relaxing, it will mess with your body clock and keep you up most the flight. Excessive alcohol will have a similar effect, and when you combine it with jet lag haze it can get pretty nasty!

6. Nap During The Flight

Take short naps during your trip, especially when you are traveling during the night. Napping will not only make it feel as if the flight is shorter, but it will also make you feel more refreshed when you land. Win!

7. Expose Your Self to Daylight

It might sound a little strange, but when you arrive at your new destination try to get some sun, this will help you wake up from a state of drowsiness. I will also be good for you to soak up some vitamin D after hours of being confined to an airplane.

8. Don’t Sleep at the Wrong Time

No matter how tired you are, you need to try and stay awake in your new time zone during the daylight hours. Once the sun goes down, you can call it a day but try not to wake up too early so you can recover properly. Let your body adjust to your new time zone.

Now that you have jet lag covered, there is only one thing left to do… enjoy your trip!

Safe Travels!

AH xx

The Fiery Cuisine of Perth

You don’t have to travel far to try some of the best spicy food in the world. Perth, Western Australia’s cosmopolitan hot spot, is filled with excellent eateries for heat-loving foodies. A recent blog post on Expedia, ‘The Spicy Food Bucket List’, shared some of the world’s spiciest destinations, including the Night Noodle Markets that come to Perth each year. The travel experts included Assured Waterside Apartments as one of the top places to stay to experience the spice. ‘Just a few minutes’ walk will bring you to Mends Street jetty,’ they write, ‘where you can catch a ferry into the heart of the city where the markets are held’

With plenty of brilliant sunshine, beautiful Kings Park just across the water and amazing local restaurants, we are truly located on a slice of paradise.

From Indian to Thai, Perth is a melting pot for unforgettable food all year around. While Southeast Asia, India, and Central America may be known for bringing the world their own magnificent takes on spicy cooking, in a city like Perth, you can get a little bit of everything. Perth is a true fusion of different cultures and their cooking styles, flavours and culinary influences. You can enjoy some of the best spicy food in the world right along the Swan River.

How about trying the delicately spicy flavours of Nepalese cuisine? Just a short walk from Assured Waterside Apartments you can enjoy Summit Nepalese Restaurant & Café. Around the corner is the elegant Thai Orchard, well known for their traditional Thai curries. You also have plenty of Indian options nearby, serving up authentic cuisine made with plenty of herbs and fiery spices. You’ll have no shortage of spicy food options when you stay at Assured Waterside Apartments.

Guest don’t just come for our stellar world cuisine of course! Perth has so much to offer. You can plan your days around enjoying the beaches, strolling through Kings Park and Botanic Garden, mountain biking, or visiting the local wineries, and then finish with a fiery meal and return to the comfort of our spacious accommodation.

Assured Waterside Apartments are a true home away from home. Enjoy fully-equipped kitchens, modern décor, cosy bedrooms, and gorgeous bathrooms, all finished with our balconies overlooking the courtyard where you can luxuriate in the warm air while you enjoy a glass of vino. Perfect for families, or just those who love to feel at home while they travel, we’re here to make sure your stay in our vibrant city is as amazing as can be.

Stay spicy! AH xx