Cuisine: American – Southern/Soul
Location: Northbridge, Newcastle St
It’s been pretty busy at the office and since a lot of places shut over the Xmas period, choice becomes limited. But it’s time to venture out into the sunshine and get out and about amongst Perth’s restaurants so to begin 2014, I ventured to The Old Crow for lunch. The Old Crow has been open for a handful of months and I was excited to try some American fare with a twist. I had seen some interesting dishes on their website but the menu keeps changing which is good but bad when you miss out on something interesting.
The Old Crow is just a stone’s throw away from Tuck Shop Cafe and appears like it’s situated in an old house. They’ve added a kind of breezy structure to the front porch to create a semi indoor / outdoor area where you can grab a coffee or just pull up a seat and order. Of course there’s seating inside the house too, but the sun-filled enclosure outside under the whizzing of the fans is a great option.
I had a quick look at the menu in the morning (forget emails, must get your priorities straight!) and I had sussed out what I’d be targeting, including dessert. I walked in after 1pm and grabbed a table for 1 and took a seat. I was brought a bottle of cold water and the menu to look at and fortunately the menu hadn’t changed so I chose the jerk pork belly strips with peach coleslaw for $22. Sounds interesting and something different from the mainstream menu’s of Perth. It’s great to see the food scene evolving but you still seem to find a lot of the same dishes on menu’s in the CBD. How about some variety and creativity? Well, after seeing the dish presented in front of me, it hardly looked pedestrian.
The presentation looked really interesting with several layers and so colourful. The pork belly is ultra tender with the knife easily gliding into the super soft meat. The flavours are balanced with just enough seasoning of the pork, combined with the slight sourness of the yoghurt, and slightly sweet peach coleslaw which sits atop. The peach coleslaw is something I’ve never seen and proves to be very effective. The great thing is it’s not sickeningly sweet or anything like that but soft, with enough peach flavour to keep you interested with just a subtle level of sweetness. The dish also offers a range of textures. The super soft belly paired with soft yoghurt and peach coleslaw is contrasted with the crispness of the red cabbage and chives, and the crunch of fried shallots (I think). It’s a really intriguing, tasty and deceptively filling meal, though, that didn’t stop me in indulging in some dessert.
Next, I swiftly caught the waitstaff’s attention and asked for the menu and immediately ordered the chocolate cream pie, port jelly, peanut butter ice cream for $14. After a short wait, a decent sized bowl of yumminess is presented. The pie is filled with a soft thick mixture sitting above the port jelly which is encased by a thin but crispy chocolate biscuit like pastry, topped off with a scoop of peanut butter ice cream. After a few spoons you realise this is going to be a bit of a mission. The chocolate goes down well but is a bit gooey and a bit rich. It’s got a dark rich flavour to the chocolate but is not too rich nor sickening. The port jelly certainly helps to take the edge off and provide some moistness. I like the thin biscuit crumb encasing the pie every so slightly with the bowl providing the support to the dish. It could have easily been far thicker and you would have just been eating lots of biscuit. Instead, there’s just enough to hold things together (not really, the bowl does the job) and provide some crunch. I really liked the peanut butter ice cream which is not too intense yet not so subtle that you are searching with each spoonful for the flavour of peanut butter. The ice cream certainly compliments the dessert by making the thicker chocolate mixture more digestible with each spoonful. A pretty good dessert but it is a little too intense. Maybe a smaller portion with some more peanut butter ice cream and another element would work well.
Opened for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and they serve wines, beer, cocktails, juices, iced teas, as well as tea and coffee.
The Old Crow Food Review Summary
Verdict: The menu of The Old Crow is kind of like a tapas menu with vegetarian options and separate meals, but still holds it’s own unique identity. It offers something very different to the typical Perth eatery and the jerked pork belly was one such example. A well thought out and executed dish, the melt in your mouth pork belly combines with elements of sweet and sour as well as playing with textures in the smooth yoghurt and peach coleslaw, crispness of red cabbage and chives, and crunch of fried shallots. Plenty of colour to keep your eyes interested, the meal is tasty and yet deceptively filling. The chocolate pie and peanut butter ice cream was a pretty solid dessert but didn’t wow to the same extent as the mains. Still, a well balanced dessert which was enjoyable. The relaxed and breezy setting in the semi outdoor area is certainly inviting for an easy Friday lunch or hop indoors to the old converted house for a more intimate setting.
The Old Crow Restaurant Details
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