Three Places for Eating in Perth; Aida, Phi Yen, and A Little Moorish Cafe

A Little Moorish Cafe Phi Yen Aida

I’ve been neglectful of Perth things of late, too self absorbed and obsessed with making it on the world stage. I’m finding now when I walk down Perth’s main street, strangers will shout out “Hey Spicey! Where’s all ya foreign mates ya farkin’ wanker?”. So here we go, a collection of not so famous places I’ve enjoyed.

A Little Moorish Cafe
Robert and Manas took us along here and it’s a good thing they did. Otherwise impossible to have stumbled upon in the recently carved out East Perth, we found their selection of Moorish tapas and grilled food joyous and the subtle combination of spices showed great care. Came out to about $20 a head for food. I brought along a middling Tasmanian Merlot but if the dinner had been wrapped in lager on a hot night it would have been heaven.

10 Eastbrook Tce, East Perth 9225-7880 – in front of the “lake”(it may be closed for a short while for renovations so ring to check)

Phi Yen Vietnamese Restaurant
This is where I’ll usually head off for some pho if I feel like a walk for lunch from work. It makes the best noodle soups I’ve had in Perth and its duck soup is great. Stopped in here with Robbie and Vero on our way to see Nick Cave. The menu is an interesting split of Vietnamese entrees and Chinese restaurant mains. The broken rice with egg and pate was my fave and new love. BYO and wasn’t much more than $10 a head I think. Can’t go wrong really.

213 Bulwer St, Northbridge 9227-1032 –just off William Street

Aida Egyptian Cafe
Aida is one of the few places where you can still get Middle Eastern coffee after the sad demise quite a few years back of the “long and skinny” with its rugs of Arabian Nights and kangaroos. They have meal specials for $10 each. Last time I had a tasty fuolmedanos – egyptian beans cooked with garlic and lime served with pita bread. They also apparently have belly dancing on Saturday nights and if you tell them your name is Georgeff, you’ll get a free Bulgarian lesson from the manageress. The place is filled with gorgeous hookahs and you can have one for the evening with various mixes. I might just get hepped up on coffee and apple smoke one evening and imagine I’m on a giant mushroom then. Doskoro!

283 William St, Northbridge 9328-7677 – corner of Aberdeen.

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  1. Anonymous’s avatar

    Cheers for the Perth updates – not been to any of these yet – will endeavour to head out soon – went to borsollino(sp?) on Hampden Rd the other night and had a spectacular meal – recommended!

  2. David’s avatar

    Before leaving Perth I used to go to Aida every week with my mate and have coffee’s and tea’s there. They’re incrediable!

    Belly dancing on Saturday night is awesome too.

  3. Mona’s avatar

    From a random blog peruser, thanks for sharing the culture!

  4. Moira’s avatar

    Is ‘Farkin’ Spice’ your pop star name?

  5. Robert’s avatar

    Aida was interesting, and although the belly dancing was fun, the music was insanely loud, which killed the experience for me.

    But I did enjoy sitting out the front smoking apple tobacco on the hookah. Especially when every second bloke walking past on the way to a night out with the boys at the Deen paused to shout, “They’re pulling coooones!”

  6. Anthony’s avatar

    Hey anonymous

    By odd coincidence I’ve just come back from Borsalino. Went for a meal with my Dad and yes it was great.Had the 5 course set menu. Nothing cutting edge but simple dishes done excellently. Really enjoyed it. By further odd coincidence it turned out had been renting the building from my grandmother’s brother for the past 20 years.

    I’m convinced, I must see the belly dancers…

    No worries. You’re welcome

    Based on karaoke it’s Farkin’ Himagain

    …and wear ear plugs. Didja givem a maaaaaaate and a wink?

  7. deborah’s avatar

    “Hey Spicey! Where’s all ya foreign mates ya farkin’ wanker?” – hehehe snort hehehehe.

    Ummm. I like what you’ve done here. Perth sounds like a nice place to eat. In Sydney, you sometimes feel like you are on a set of some american tv show. I bet they even give you chilled water for free over there.

  8. tokyo goat’s avatar

    hate belly dance shows, especially in Japan. Because I am not really a local and stand out a bit I am always chosen by the dancer as the one from the crowd to get up there and dance. What is the partner in that kind of dance supposed to do I ask? It’s not dirty dancing so one can’t take that route (pronounced as in “out”). There are really only 2 choices. Be a clown and do a over-exaggerated polka or shuffle on your feet from side to side with a big fake smile on your face whilst you perform a gypsy-esque, frontal cross-over, wavy arm motion. Everyone really needs to have a plan of what they will do before you go to places like this. What would you do?

  9. Anthony’s avatar

    It’s kind of a little limited but the good thing is, there are limits to pretension in Perth, because it’s well Perth. It does though have enough people to get a few good interesting places. 98% of cafes here are painfully dull in their conception though.

    Water is free but only available two days a week during summer.

    The key to belly dancers is to appear to be mesmerised, but still maintain eye contact. The eyes are the bass, the hips the guitar, and the feet the drums. They will eventually come closer until you can feel the air molecules vibrating from their sleek naked gyrating belly. To master, you must first submit.

    Hello! Men’s Health! Job!

  10. Robert’s avatar

    I’ve just remembered that I’ve been to Phi Yen before, too. I can’t remember what I ordered (something with chilli), but I do remember that it was very fresh and very delicious.

  11. FXH’s avatar

    I love broken rice but every time I try to cook it at home I can’t seem to get it right. Every other rice I can cook with the aplomb of a Chinese / Vietnamese / Thai / Indian/ Italian /Moroccan master chef .

    Any secrets?

  12. Anthony’s avatar

    Yes it’s nice stuff there, it’s a shame most people end up at the railway line end of northbridge, there are some really good one’s back up William street

    I’m going to have to plead complete ignorance as I’ve never made it myself. I put it in the things to try list. Until then, if you can state the problem, some kind commeters might come past.

  13. Yorkshire Soul’s avatar

    I think I’m visiting ‘down under’ this winter, we’ll be staying in Perth, further recommendations please!

  14. Anthony’s avatar

    Your winter? SPF30+ suntan lotion.

    and I’d suggest we catch up when you get here.

    I’m off down to the nice winery area this weekend so there will be further reports about WA.

    Actually I’m off in 30 minutes so cheerio all until I get back.

  15. AnthonyJ’s avatar

    One of the more enjoyable menu interpretations of fuolmedanos I’ve had was “Foul beans of Sudan”.

  16. thekua’s avatar

    I’ve heard Perth has got a really good food scene. I’ll have to go there one day and try those places out. Looks good!

  17. Manas’s avatar

    Unbelievably, I’ve actually been to all three of these restaurants!

    I love Phi Yen, it’s a favourite of mine. I agree about the noodle soups, but also think that their vegetable curries (on the dinner, not lunch menu) are delicious.

    Aida…was strange. Top marks for the atmosphere, including the hookah and music, but the food could have been better. I’m sure mine was just pasta with beans on top.

    Thanks for a great night out at Moorish Cafe. Truly delicious (I mean the food).

    Exams over now – so more where that came from!!

  18. Anonymous’s avatar

    Hey spicey, (been a while since I said hi… whoops!)
    Keep doing the Perth food reviews please please please. I’ve just moved here from Sydney and I need all the help I can get going out to eat here… had some not-so-good experiences, particularly in the search for Thai food, which is so ever-present in Sydney. I miss you, tuk tuk Balmain. So far we’ve got a nice Vietnamese — Viet Nosh in Nedlands — and that’s about it.
    Kate (formerly of a blog called petulant & childish)

  19. Anthony’s avatar

    Anthony J
    I read that first as “the Foul beans of Satan”

    It has its places.

    Oi! I’m supposed to be digging out hidden gems. Can’t have you and Rob going been there, been there, been there.

    Well done on finishing the exams.

    Welcome to Perth. We’ll get you some places to go. Is that Vietnoh in Hampden. You should give the pricier TQR a look.
    Actually your training blog spawned this monster.

  20. Anonymous’s avatar

    Your grandmothers brother, that wouldnt by coincidence be your grandfather would it?
    Perth is a small place.

  21. Anonymous’s avatar

    …a very small, and spicey place…

  22. Anthony’s avatar

    I can see why someone might want to anonymously hang shit on my 87 year old grandmother and her deceased husband, but what have you got against apostrophes?

  23. Anonymous’s avatar

    Hell boy, thum thars fightin words. Gloves off then, Ill wup u granny and any apostrophies u can bring along.
    Anon and on.

  24. Anthony’s avatar

    I *do* know where you live.

  25. Anonymous’s avatar

    And I know where your mother lives…

  26. Kate’s avatar

    Thanks Anthony, Perth has been welcoming so far in general, if rather more damp than I was expecting.
    I’ve been to TQR as well as this is in my general ‘hood. Good to know of new places, of course. Perth really needs a comprehensive good guide ala the Age and SHM editions…
    And good on you for keeping up your training blog. Mine got the ‘flu and died!

  27. Reid’s avatar

    Hi Anthony,

    Sounds like a pretty good selection there if you ask me. I love pho. I didn’t really care for it much until recently. The complexity of the flavors is unbelieveable if done well.

    BTW…haven’t heard any rumblings from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds in years. The last disc I bought was ‘Your Funeral, My Trial’. How was the show?

  28. Anthony’s avatar

    yeah I know but isn’t there someone else you could try and date?

    It’s been crazy of late, can’t complain though. You’re right, Perth doesn’t have a comprehensive guide but Scoop magazine isn’t a bad place to pick up some more chichi hints.
    I trust the exercise has continued in spite of blog death?

    Puppies!? Are you trying to pick up chicks? Next thing it’ll be babies in strollers ; )
    Pho is pretty good actually.
    Nick was very good and has grown so much in power over the years that he needs to drummers and two keyboardists to match his awesome powers of performance.

  29. Reid’s avatar


    Are puppies chick magnets? Or do they cause eggs to hatch? =P

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