What: Official Launch Party for Public House Kitchen & Bar
Where: Shop 2, 263 Adelaide Terrace, Perth WA 6000
When: Opening to the public on Tuesday 19 Nov 2013
Perth is a changing with all kinds of activity transforming the city. Since I’ve been working in the CBD, there have been numerous apartment complexes built, new buildings popping up like the BHP Tower, transformations of tired areas (think the area surrounding the BHP Tower), lane ways transforming into vibrant areas with eateries like Wolf Lane, new bars offering Perthgoers more choice after work and on Friday nights, and a plethora of new restaurants opening up left right and centre. And now a new entrant joins the pack, the Public House Kitchen & Bar.
As far as I’m aware, Perth has not been introduced to many restaurants offering South American or Latin American cuisine. That’s all set to the change with The Publican Group opening up this restaurant come bar in the east end of town. For those not familiar with the other venues The Publican Group runs in Perth (also around Australia), think The George – the transformation of London House, The Aviary – Perth’s rooftop bar and restaurant, and Wolf Lane – a popular bar situated in the transformed lane ways of Perth. The restaurant and bar offers a range of cocktails, cuisine, and culture influenced by Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Ecuador and Columbia. The food is made for sharing and to be enjoyed in the company of family, friends, and colleagues. While I don’t drink, for those that do, there are a range of wines, South American imported beers, cocktails of a Latin American variety, and pitchers to share. You can see more about their drink offerings here. To kick things off, they had a launch party and talking to the staff, it’s expected to open to the public on Tuesday 19 November 2013, but check their twitter and facebook sites for more details.
From my few experiences of Latin American cuisine, depending on the region, the food centres around corn, meat, and seafood. So think salsas, big huge thick barbecued steaks (asada), cerviche. At tonight’s launch party, there were canapés served so I got a chance to sample some of the fare you can expect when the restaurant and bar opens. Of course, you can only get so much from the canapés so I’m interested to see what Executive Chef Telina Menzies and Head Chef Sean Trautvetter are able to produce at a restaurant sitting. I’m salivating at the dishes on the menu.
At one end of the venue, they had a little stall set up with 3 chefs preparing a few seafood canapés.
The first item was cerviche which had a bit of acidity and was so fresh and tasty.
There were also fresh oysters done South American style, a bit creamy with the specific elements added to the oysters. There was the freshness of the sea., softness of the oyster, crunch of another element. Also had fresh oyster with some chilli sauce that wasn’t hot. It had the chilli flavour without the heat, freshness like tomato, and the squeeze of lime provided a lovely acidity kick.
Chatting to one of the chefs, Peruvian cuisine is influenced by the slaves from various regions as diverse as Africa, Spain, and Japan. This has formed a melting pot of culture and cuisine. Some of these dishes represented these flavours I believe. There was another dish which I didn’t catch the name of but it had a concoction of fish and olive oil, presenting really refreshing flavours. A similar dish within a shooter glass contained cubes of fish, roe, Spanish onions, coriander, potato, and lemonaise. It had lovely flavours and a nice creamy sauce to knock back in the shot glass after the sold contents were consumed.
There were more canapés floating about on trays carried by the many waitstaff. I did manage to try some of these items but always seemed to miss out on a lot of others. It was pretty crowded and there were plenty of people to help celebrate the launch. They also got in my way of trying the delicious food on offer!
There were some chips going about but they were not the potato variety. I didn’t catch what they were (I think yuca) but they were similar to potato, the chips being crunchy and a lovely light golden yellow, but a little chewy. They were tasty with the smooth smoked paprika mayo with just the hint of bite.
They also had sweet breads popcorn style with chipotle aioli.. These were little morsels of crumbed lamb brains, crumbed and fried which were delicious. Don’t be put off by certain unloved meat entrails as it’s all in the presentation and combination with other ingredients to create delicious flavours. The lamb brains and other discarded elements used as sweet breads are no exception.
I also grabbed some empanadas on a platter smeared with chimmi churri. They are like a samosa, crispy yummy pastry encasing a nice soft potato filling. Unfortunately I couldn’t get enough of the chimmi churri off the plate to taste it. Chimmi churri is an acidic parsley sauce that is generally poured over the top of barbecued meat. It’s comparable to a mint sauce, or tomato sauce, a South American condiment enjoyed with meat and it has such a unique flavour and is so yum.
I did sample some Latin American cuisine in London and it’s delicious (see Casa Malevo as an example). The flavours of the canapés I sampled tonight have lovely fresh flavours, aren’t intense, yet still present well. The theme of the night certainly centred around seafood from a food point of view, but the freshness of produce in whatever I ate was evident.
I had a chat with the chefs and asked what the signature dishes of the restaurant were in their opinion. The top choice was the cerviche and they also have a 1kg Whole Black Angus rump cap for sharing. Now if you’re thinking 1kg of meat is excessive or wow, that’s just the meal for me, it’s meant for sharing. The meat is slow cooked and breaks apart I’m told. As is common with South American cuisine, the food comprises smoking implements with wood chips, firing up the barbecue or asada, and yes, meat features heavily on the menu.
Ok, that was the food, how about this venue? On the corner of Adelaide Terrace and Victoria Avenue lies the restaurant. There is also a sizeable outside area with wooden decking, raised benches and tables for enjoying the lovely approaching summer weather and the breeze. It has a very relaxed and laid back setting, while internally, dark brooding wooden floors line the restaurant. At night there is sufficient lighting to create a warm inviting yet intimate and alluring atmosphere to socialise with friends or for grabbing after work drinks. To the far end are plenty of smartly laid out tables for the restaurant portion of the venue. The remaining portion of the venue creates a spacious open bar area with live music provided via the singer and musician at the party. From a service point of view, there were ample staff on hand to serve drinks behind the bar and plenty of floor staff to serve food and drinks to the large gathering. They were efficient and unobtrusive while still presenting a cheerful friendly demeanour.
I can certainly see this becoming a popular spot with the office crowd, particularly, as no venue like this exists down the east side of Perth. Also, presenting South American cuisine will be something novel that hopefully will catch on like Mexican cuisine has. Can’t wait till they open, as after a peak at the menu I’m certainly salivating! Best of luck to the proprietors and staff at the Public House Kitchen & Bar. I’m sure it will be successful and Perth goers will be all the better for this unique offering.
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