I've been exploring the local cafes here in Perth, and I've been quite pleased at how many truly excellent coffee places there are. We're very lucky to be staying directly across the street from Zekka, and it's my favorite, but I've been working in West Perth for the last week or so and have been visiting "Pony Express O" out there. It's tucked away in an old stable off a tiny laneway, not easy to find, but it rewards the effort.
I'd already tried and liked Epic in West Perth, but some of my co-workers recommended "Pony" so I checked it out. One of the features of this place is their "Slayer" machine, the smallest of the "Big 3" espresso machine manufacturers (La Marzocco, Synesso, and Slayer). I'm not usually impressed by cafe equipment, but it was fun checking out the hardware.
Pressure gauge and mirror
One of the fun features of the Slayer is that there's a mirror strip under the group heads that lets you see the bottom of the group head (and portafilter) without having to bend over. If you're using a bottomless portafilter, this lets you easily see the shot being pulled. An obvious innovation once you think of it, and really nice. The shots pulled here were even without blonding or streaking.
The Cafe itself is well lit with lots of brick and wood inside, and a nice seating area outside decorated with coffee sacks. The beans are from Crema. I've had double espresso and long black here and heartily recommend both. The baristas are friendly and happy to chat, and the place has a minimum of bored hipsters.
I love Perth, but it has been hard finding good Japanese food here. Gumshara Ramen in Sydney has set the ramen bar very high, so imagine my surprise when I read about a great authentic ramen place here in Perth - that makes ramen from scratch, both their noodles and their chashu! After reading about Nao Ramen I immediately decided to seek them out - but then I was pulled up short. Wait, wasn't there a place called "Nao" just a few doors down from where we were staying?
Why yes, yes there was. We had been staying just a few steps from the best most authentic ramen in Perth, and I hadn't even bothered to poke my nose in. In my defence they're mostly open for lunch. Monday through Thursday from 11:30 am till 6pm, Sundays from noon till 5pm, but they are open late on Friday night and I had noticed the queues outside but had foolishly assumed they were people queueing for the backpacker's hostel next door. Enough breast beating, we immediately decided to have our …
We arrived at Narita airport last night around 8pm. Because of the late arrival we decided to stay at the airport Radisson, pick up our wifi router and train tickets the next day and be on our way.Today we go up, swam in a heated pool and are indulging in the breakfast buffet. Life is great, except for one little thing.It's snowing.I thought the idea was "follow warm weather around the world." Whose idea was it to come to Japan in February?