Cuisine: Modern European
Location: Perth CBD, The Esplanade
Another day comes by with no idea how it will turnout. Despite taking lunch to work, I was pleasantly surprised to be meeting some clients and finding out they were taking us out to lunch. I’ve heard a few of the guys rave about Balthazar so after consideration of a few places, we were successful in obtaining a table at short notice.
After walking in we were greeted by the friendly wait staff and given the choice of a few drinks at the bar or going straight to our table. We opted for the latter after passing a huge collection of wines that formed it’s own wall rising to the ceiling. The place has a nice comfortable feel to it and being one of Perth’s fine dining and well known restaurants, I was a little surprised. After ordering drinks and mains, out came our meals. I was surprised that the waitperson who brought out our meals who was different to the waitperson who took our orders, knew who ordered what and placed each of our meals in front of the person who ordered it without hesitation or without asking for who ordered what. This was a nice touch and added to the excellent and attentive service we experienced through the course of our meal. When we initially arrived, it was a bit quiet but after time flew by without noticing it, the place was packed and the sound of conversation filled the room to the backdrop of pleasant music playing from the 30’s I think or some era around that time. The service never wavered despite a full house.
I ordered the lamb loin with mint pepper served upon rabbit Bolognese and borlotti beans. The meal was garnished with a cheese tuile housing some herbs. The tender but firmish lamb had a slightly sweetish flavour of red wine and a subtle mint pepper mix on top. The rabbit Bolognese was delicious. I really enjoyed this with the beans. The cheese tuile added a very contrasting flavour and actually didn’t match with the flavours of the meal. Unfortunately for $39, there wasn’t a huge amount on the plate so this was supplemented with a side order of two vegetable dishes. The first was green beans and squash with salsa verde and the second was roast potato cooked in duck fat. The beans and squash were quite crunchy and needed more cooking in my opinion. This is a bit poor from a fine dining establishment but it was cooked enough that it wasn’t raw. I suppose other people might like the vegetables in the state they were presented. However, the salsa verde was tasty. The potatoes done in duck fat was not that great as the potatoes were quite dry. One had sea salt and that was far better but nothing great.
Before our meal, warm bread was brought out with butter, however, my take is it’s a filler but I ate a slice anyway which was delicious. The bread was soft and tasty and after my mains I had another slice. The servings of the mains were not that large and after the meal, I was feeling a bit hungry already. Prices are actually not as high as I thought so for the quality of food, is quite reasonable but then the serving size is rather on the small side and I went into lunch not feeling all that hungry.
Verdict: Well I’m glad I got the opportunity to be taken out and to also finally eat at Balthazar. My mains were delicious and I enjoyed the different flavours of the pork loin, rabbit Bolognese and borlotti beans plus the delicious bread. The servings need to be beefed up as they are more on the small side. The sides of vegetables were passable but not that great. The friendly and attentive service in the comfortable surroundings make the dining experience worthwhile and a place you would feel like coming back.
Price: Moderately Expensive
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