Cuisine: Modern Australian
Location: Perth CBD, Exchange Plaza
On my travels through the city I had noticed this restaurant near the Exchange Plaza and walked closer to take a sticky beak – The Butterworth Bar & Kitchen. Once I got back to my desk I did a search to see what this restaurant offered and noted this down on my growing list of places to visit. Several months later, one of those 50% off the food bill offers hit my inbox courtesy of Dimmi so I decided to book and give Butterworth a try. Good thing I did as we were pleasantly surprised.
The restaurant takes the location of the former XO Bar & Lounge at the Exchange Plaza in the Perth CBD. Walking in, it has a lovely warm intimate atmosphere created by the wood and glass interior, the bar in the centre and the staircase to the restrooms. From the moment we entered through the course of our meal, the various wait staff were efficient and friendly, yet carried a professional approach about them and yet are not so uptight that that they can’t make a quick witted joke or have a laugh.
We were seated at our table hidden down the side next to the stair case overlooking the street. One can admire the nice modern smart interior, lights dimmed, creating a soft evening ambience. We were presented with our menus and also offered bread rolls which we accepted and also asked for some more butter. The rolls were nice and warm, slightly crunchy on the outside, nice and soft on the inside, tasty with lots of butter. They were enjoyed with our entrees of oysters. The oysters can be enjoyed au naturale or with a topping or just mix and match which is the best of both worlds. Most of the menu is designed for sharing, apart from the mains, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a dish all to yourself.
Entree: Freshly shucked oysters au naturale and another lot with mango and mirin dressing $3.50 each
Entree: Chipotle Ribs, Coriander $16
While I really enjoy seafood, I’m not a huge fan of oysters but I don’t mind them. On this occasion I decided to give them a miss and went with the chipotle ribs with a garnish of coriander scattered about, softening the dark brown overtones of the chipotle mix. While ribs don’t carry much flesh, there was ample flesh on these and the sticky sauce was delicious and packed a bite. The ribs were really tender but that chipotle sauce, whew, it left my lips zinging! So yum.
Once the wait staff had cleared our plates, no longer had they disappeared, they arrived with our mains in tow. Talk about efficient service! It would have been good though if they gave us 5-10 minutes for the food to settle though.
Main: Ocean Trout, Soft Egg, Puffed Rice, Curry Leaf $26
I had a small taste of the ocean trout which was really moist, oily, and delicious. The waiter later told us that they had been cooked in a sou vide which is why the ocean trout was so moist as the juices get retained and the fish had soaked up the dash of olive oil. I think ocean trout, like salmon, is an oily fish and quite rich and dense. While the plate is huge and the portion small, the nature of the ocean trout is you can’t eat a huge chunk like a large piece of snapper that you get at the fish and chip store for example. First time I’ve eaten anything sou vide, the taste and moistness is noticeable.
Main: Lamb Rump, Gnocchi, Peas, Cured Lamb Belly $42
I decided on the lamb rump with gnocchi for my mains. I always get drawn to gnocchi and I find it comes in different variations from restaurant to restaurant. For my dish there was plenty of tender, slightly pink pieces of delicious lamb rump. The knife just cut through like butter. While tasty on it’s own, the jus, packing an intense meaty flavour, just lifted the rump to another level. It was so enjoyable and there was plenty of jus which I was so glad. Nothing worse than getting a dish with a delicious jus only to see it gone in an instant. The jus had also seeped into the greens which made them really tasty and the soft small parcels of gnocchi provided a different texture and a little richness. The cured lamp belly gets a bit lost in all the other elements. Hidden underneath everything, one could easily mistake this for skin which I did till I wrote this blog and saw the menu description! Maybe the waitstaff need to remind us what we ordered and all the different elements on the plate are highlighted so they are not forgotten. This was an outstanding dish, I just lapped it up.
Side: Duck Fat Potatoes, Confit Garlic $9
What was a little disappointing is while the mains were brought out barely a short moment after our plates were cleared from our entrees, the side of roast potatoes in duck fat seemed to have been forgotten. I did manage to catch the waitstaff who relayed a bit of a rush on the potatoes, but we were nearly finished with our meals when they were brought out. Once the crispy coated potatoes had cooled though, they were delicious. Well worth the wait. A nice crisp outer, encasing soft fluffy potato made for the perfect roasted potato. It was at this point that I wish they left the dish which had butter and salt for the buns still on our table. The potatoes on the inside could have done with a little salt to bring out the flavour. Instead, I tried to use them to mop up any of that delicious jus. Those potatoes also provide a lot of body and were starting to take up valuable space in my stomach reserved for dessert!
Dessert: Summer Pudding, Champaign Jube, Berries $16
Dessert: Spearmint Parfait, Strawberry, Yogurt Cloud $16
I thought the summer pudding wouldn’t be all that great but after seeing it on the plate and having a small taste, the summer pudding was actually quite delightful. The pudding was soft and had the distinct taste of eating a mouthful of berries.
I chose the spearmint parfait with strawberries on each “corner” and yoghurt cloud. I didn’t want anything too sweet and heavy. The yoghurt cloud looked a lot and tasted quite similar to cream. It was light and airy yet just carried that hint of sourness to give that distinct yoghurt signature. I keep seeing this time and again and wonder how they do this to yoghurt. I always think of yoghurt as thick and creamy like the Greek yoghurt tubs you get at the supermarket. The spearmint parfait on the bottom looked like play-dough but it was actually the parfait moulded cleverly into a base holding up the dessert. It tasted delicious, was very tasty with a lovely spearmint flavour. The strawberries were lovely and I really liked the fresh mint leaves in the odd mouthful. The dessert, however, is hard to finish. But it’s so tasty one must push oneself to the extreme as to leave any aside would be an utter waste and disappointment. A bit too full and satisfied. So delicious! What a meal.
Butterworth Bar & Kitchen Food Review Summary
Verdict: After tasting a variety of what chef, Nick French, has to offer, I was impressed. The meals aren’t too extravagant, yet while the meals are kept relatively simple, they’re clean, are smartly paired with the appropriate elements on the plate, and the dish packs flavour. It’s this deception which hides the cleverness of the creations served in front of you, looking unassuming but waiting to surprise. The entree of chipotle ribs served up plenty of tender ribs covered in a sticky sauce that carried a bite leaving my lips zinging but with a flavour leaving you wanting more. The perfectly cooked lamb rump in that fantastic jus carrying an intense meaty flavour was just superb. There was plenty of jus to be enjoyed and it seeped into the greens adding so much flavour to every bite. The gnocchi presented a nice contrast to the meaty jus, and the cured lamb belly slipped totally under the radar, hidden underneath the rump, gnocchi and greens but tasty too. The dish is quite intense so the duck roasted potatoes were a welcome addition. I loved the crisp outer, encasing the soft fluffy potatoes. A big thumbs up. I really liked the creativity of the dessert, the firm but soft spearmint flavoured parfait providing a lovely refreshing feel to a night of dining. The light airy yoghurt cloud could easily be mistaken for cream, but the slight hint of sourness helps to balance the dish with the mint leaves providing a more noticeable flavour. The slightly sweet and tart strawberries help to balance all the other elements together and it’s such a lovely dessert but so filling.
Price: Moderately Expensive (obviously far cheaper when there is 50% off)
Recommendation: Highly Recommend
Butterworth Bar & Kitchen Restaurant Details
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