WITH the Easter holidays upon us, the Voice headed to the Perth Hills for a special food review at the Naked Apple Cider House.
Thankfully it wasn’t a nudist venue and I didn’t mentally scar diners with my pasty Anglo-Saxon frame.
There’s three big cideries up in the Hills; the Naked Apple is the most secluded.
It’s tucked away in the woods with timber decking, wrought iron sculptures and leafy arbours creating a bit of a Secret Garden vibe. An acoustic duo strumming in the corner completed the Sunday afternoon idyll.
The compact menu had a mix of mains, share plates and pasta, including dishes like Fremantle Pressed Octopus, Porchetta and Lemon Ricotta Gnocchi.
The range was decent but I would’ve liked more lighter options in between the share plates and the heavier fare like Black Angus Beef.
I eventually settled on the Bang Bang Chicken ($27).
It certainly looked the part with green mango and vermicelli noodles flanking the glistening roasted chicken thigh, but did it taste any good?
At first it was more “pop pop” than “bang bang” with the spicy Korean BBQ sauce not having enough oomph, but when I got to the bottom of the succulent chook, more heat started to radiate through my mouth.
There was a nice flavour to the dish with the mint, coriander and green mango creating an exotic tang, while the toasted peanuts added some crunch.
It was a fresh and vibrant number, but I would have liked more kick from the sauce.
Across the table, my wife was enjoying her buttermilk chicken burger ($22).
“It’s a tasty fillet with the crunchy slaw and sriracha mayo keeping things moist and interesting,” she said.
“The shoestring fries are nice and crisp, but there’s not enough of them. A solid chicken burger.”
The only real letdown was the crunchy Asparagus Salad, ordered by our friend Esther.
I don’t know if it was meant to be a side ($19?) but there wasn’t enough of it, and she was forced to filch some of our kids’ popcorn chicken and fries ($11) and cheeseburger and fries ($12).
They were very good value and our young kids wolfed them down with no complaints.
The Naked Apple Cider House is a great family venue with a large playground near the dining area and pet dogs welcome.
I’m not really a cider fan (I generally find it too sweet) but Naked Apple’s Bedrocker was very palatable and refreshing, as well as being rather potent at 6.2 per cent.
It tasted very organic with no added sugar, flavourings, preservatives or additives in their brews.
I liked it so much I retrieved my “Growler” from the car boot and filled it up at the bar.
The food at the Naked Apple Cider House was pretty solid, but it was outdone by the cider and the venue, which is perfect for a tranquil catch-up in the Hills.
Naked Apple Cider House
1088 Brookton Highway Karragullen
by STEPHEN POLLOCK