You are the sunshine of my life, that’s why I’ll always be around
You are the apple of my eye, forever you’ll stay in my heart
~ Stevie Wonder, US singer and songwriter
The sight and smell of fresh vegetables, fruits, meat and seafood never fail to conjure beautiful images for my cooking pot. And on beautiful summer day, wandering around fresh food markets can be immensely therapeutic.
Located 20 kilometres south west of Perth and with just 30,000 residents, the port city of Fremantle is more widely known as the gateway for cargo ships into Western Australia’s commerce than its quaint cafes, restaurants, eclectic shops and fresh food markets.
Mysaucepan and I are in Perth to visit my sister and her family. Living in the beautiful coastal suburb of City Beach by the Indian Ocean, her home is a mere 13 kilometres north of Fremantle.
‘Freo’, as it is affectionately known among ‘sandgropers‘ (an Aussie vernacular for people from Western Australia), is a popular destination to spend a day frolicking in the sun.
You are the sunshine of my life ~ by Stevie Wonder
It’s a glorious summer day in Western Australia so click on the video above and join my sis, Ray, Milly, Mysaucepan and I as we wander the streets of this little city.
F r e m a n t l e
During World War II, Fremantle was the home of the largest base for Allied submarines in the Southern Hemisphere. There were up to 125 US, 31 British and 11 Dutch submarines operating out of Fremantle but tensions between transient American and non-American soldiers often led to alcohol-fuelled violence.
On 11 April 1944, an infamous brawl between US and New Zealand servicemen occurred at the National Hotel which resulted in the stab-wound deaths of two Maori soldiers.
Built in 1897, the markets house over 150 shops for craftspeople, fashion designers and merchants in the historic Hall.
Gourmet foods such as cured meats, breads, jams, chocolate and olive oil are showcased alongside artisan soaps, candles, homeware, opals, jewellery, leather goods and more.
The Yard on the other hand is a big space packed to the brim with fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables.
Valencia oranges, mandarin, pink ladies, pineapples and bananas are displayed in all their glory before hoards of shoppers pick and choose to their hearts’ content.
Fresh bananas from tropical Queensland are a plenty.
And so are sweet and juicy Packham pears.
I’ve been to these Freo markets on a few previous occasions.
On each visit, the Dosukoi ramen shop is always packed to the brim with ramen lovers, slurping up what appears to be delicious noodles in piping hot broth.
It’s a simple 9-item menu displayed on the wall and all you need is to choose the number for your ramen.
The No. 1 Japanese original comes with curly noodles slices of pork belly, crisp nori and finely julienne leek.
The noodles is firm and the pork broth has good depth of flavour without being overpowering.
Little Creatures Fremantle Brewery
The story of Little Creatures was born out of love for a great beer shared by a few good mates.
It was a hop driven pale ale they tasted in the US which captured their hearts and gave rise to this boutique brewery that began on the water’s edge here in Fremantle.
There is no wonder the al fresco dining area by the water is packed with the weekend lunch crowd on a beautiful day.
Tables set in the sun has panoramic views of the port of Fremantle as backdrop.
The Great Hall, as the huge dining area is called, is also packed with diners and the pizzas appear to be the standout favourite.
There are at least four pizza chefs kneading and twirling their dough to keep up with fast and furious orders during this busy lunch hour.
The menu is short but hit the mark with enticing woodfired pizza toppings ~ chorizo, prosciutto, italian pork & fennel, harissa spiced lamb, Fremantle sardines and garlic chilli prawns.
Meanwhile, a skillful chef is churning out pan after pan of black mussels in chilli and tomato sauce while juggling a few more mains baking in the oven beneath the burners.
The Little Creatures Pale Ale is an enticing dark golden amber in a pint glass.
It has citrusy aromas with bold flavours of caramel and gentle bitterness on the palate.
Little Creatures’s most popular snack is its frites, presumably a noteworthy sidekick when downing one of their pale ales.
Golden brown and crisp on the outside, these fries are addictive with a lemon aioli dip.
Marinated octopus is chilled and sliced into bite-sized chunks.
Its slightly chewy texture is why we eat this eight-legged creature but it is tangy vinaigrette that makes this Mediterranean number so special.
Presentation-wise, our chilli tomato mussels could have done a lot better than being piled in a tiny stainless steel bowl.
Two slices of toasted sourdough are tickets to the tomato sauce at the bottom of the bowl. It seems to be one of the most popular though difficult to go wrong with this dish.
Five slices of paper-thin prosciutto is laid on bubbling mozzarella and lemon thyme.
The crust is thin, crisp and with its simplicity, this pizza is right on the money with taste and flavour.
Sliced mushrooms, olives and mozzarella topped with chopped continental parsley combine for a Mediterranean flavour.
Olive trees huddle the front terrace of this micro brewery. It is a beautiful afternoon as we wander off after our lunch to soak up more of the sights of this coastal city.
So dear readers, which is your favourite fresh food market to wander about and where would you have lunch?
Corner of South Terrace & Henderson street
Fremantle, Western Australia
Tel: +61 8 9335 2515
The Yard Friday 8am – 8pm, Saturday & Sunday 8am – 6pm
The Hall Friday 9am – 8pm, Saturday & Sunday 9am – 6pm
View special holding trading hours here.
(Inside Fremantle Markets)
Tel: +61 412 855 663
Opening hours: Friday Breakfast, lunch and dinner, Saturday & Sunday Breakfast and lunch. Closed Monday – Thursday.
Little Creatures Fremantle Brewery
40 Mews road
Fremantle, Western Australia
Tel: +61 8 6215 1000
Great Hall: Monday – Friday 10am till late, Saturday 9am till late, Sunday 9am till 11pm.
Brew House: Monday – Sunday 10am – 9pm.
I do love ‘Freo’ and WA – haven’t spent much time there but what I have has been well worth it. Beer & Pizza on a hot WA day what could be better:)
I never knew about sandgropers and I had no idea Fremantle only had 30,000 residents. I always learn something here. I’ve never been out west but I’m eager to go. All that wonderful food is calling me.
My friend has recently moved to WA so seems like I have two reasons to visit now – her, and your blog post! 😛
That pizza looks like it is chock-a-block full of fresh ingredients
Choc Chip Uru
I’ve always wanted to visit Perth! Everything looks so lovely!
And the ramen! mmm~
So happy to hear you had a enjoyable visit to my lovely hometown. You are very lucky the food at Little Creatures was good, I have found it to be barely edible at times but then I am limited to the gluten free options.
It is just amazing! This place is surely worth a visit and I am already feeling hungry looking at the delectable food. I am sure no one would get bored at this place as there are so many sites to explore.