Sometimes there is a place that you want to try but it is so far away from home. You really want to try it but you start to think “Will it be worth the drive?” “Should I take the risk?” I guess sometimes it is worth the risk and definitely worth the effort if it is for good food. Yes, Leopard Lodge was worth the drive.
Leopard Lodge is located in Carabooda, 15 minutes north of Joondalup (took us 35 minutes from Innaloo area on a Saturday evening!) On our way there, it was dark and we were worried at one point that we were lost. When we saw the Leopard Lodge Entree Gate with its banner on the top, we know that we have arrived at the right place. I first found out about the Leopard Lodge from one of my friends and recently, I saw a car with The Leopard Lodge logo surrounded by leopard prints passing by in the city and I thought YES! I have to give this place a try no matter how far it was from home.
One step into the restaurant and The Leopard Lodge is a reminiscent of an opulent African Game Lodge, with its fusion of stone walls and rich wood interior. Look slightly above you when you enter and you will be welcomed by The Leopard Lodge’s mascot, the leopard. I felt like I was transported to Africa with the typical African Lodge atmosphere, subtle lighting, soft calico curtains and the unusual African artefacts on the wall. The ambience and interior just speaks for itself.
To start off, we shared the Garlic Bread ($7.50). The bread at Leopard Lodge is freshly baked on the premises and is infused with Leopard Lodge’s own garlic and butter. The bread was very soft with a nice crunch from the crust on the outside. There were also subtle and delicate flavours of garlic and butter which complements the soft bread.
Garlic Bread ($7.50)
For mains, I had the Spare Ribs ($38) which consists of a succulent rack of pork ribs char grilled to perfection, basted in tangy homemade BBQ sauce. It was so delicious. You really have no choice but to get down and dirty and use your hands, sink your teeth in and lick the rib clean. When eating ribs, the key is to put your demure side away, eat like a dude and you will get the most out of your ribs. You also get two choices to choose from the Steak Side Dish Menu and I chose the Roast Vegetables and Baked Potato with Sour Cream.
Spare Ribs ($38)
As mum wasn’t keen on having a large meal, she decided to opt for a lighter dish which was the Vegetarian Special ($20). The Vegetarian Special for the night was a Zucchini Spaghetti with roasted cherry tomatoes, feta and a hint of chilli. Leopard Lodge is not all about meat and they do have vegetarian options and fish dishes for you to choose from if you don’t feel like having meat. I tried the Zucchini Spaghetti and thought that it was very light and delicate in flavour with a subtle hint of spicy.
Zucchini Spaghetti with roasted cherry tomatoes, feta and a hint of chilli
At Leopard Lodge, you get to customize your own steak – choose your cut, how you would liked it cook, two side dishes and free homemade sauce. Dad had the 500g T-Bone with Herb and Garlic Sauce ($38) with Roast Vegetables and Beer Battered Chips and Monkey Gland sauce. (Don’t worry, no monkeys were sacrificed in the making of the Monkey Gland sauce!). The T-Bone steak was cooked perfectly to medium – tender and juicy, executed well. The Monkey Gland sauce also complements the steak well. Dad loved it. Oh and if you have a huge appetite, I challenge you to order the 1kg “Elephant Rump”. If you finish it, you get to receive the coveted Leopard Lodge’s Certificate of Achievement and a photo on the wall of fame!
After our satisfying mains, it was time for dessert. While waiting for our desserts to arrive, we had a little chat with Mark, the owner of Leopard Lodge who told us a little about proposing to have a few luxury Africa tents at The Leopard Lodge where guests can spend the evening after having a meal at the restaurant. For dessert, we shared a Lemon Meringue Pie ($10). The Lemon Meringue Pie is one of Leopard Lodge’s most popular dessert, made the South African way with condensed milk and real lemons, topped with real meringue. One bite and it was foodie heaven. The meringue was so fluffy together with the tangy-ness of the lemon pie. It was a winner.
Lemon Meringue Pie ($10)
We also shared the Voortrekker Pudding ($10) which is a caramel infused Malva Pudding (similar to sticky date), served warm and accompanied with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The Voortrekker Pudding was lovely. It was soft and smooth in texture. Yes, it definitely made a sweet ending to a scrumptious feast at Leopard Lodge!
Voortrekker Pudding ($10)
We really enjoyed our dining experience at the Leopard Lodge with good food, atmosphere and warm and friendly service. If you are there early in the evening while the sun is still up, keep a look out for the decorative elephant at the entrance welcoming you to The Leopard Lodge. Bookings are highly recommended, especially during the weekends just to be safe and to avoid disappointments. I highly recommend The Leopard Lodge and I am already thinking about my next visit! At The Leopard Lodge, everyone enters as strangers and leave as friends. It’s a true hidden gem.
Mel’s Rating : mmmm (excellent)