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Equateur - 29 May 2014

Cuisine: French, European
Location: Subiaco

As a food blogger I occasionally receive requests from restaurants to come and try their restaurants. I usually have a look at the restaurant and see if it’s worthwhile visiting and pop it on an ever growing list of restaurants I’d like to visit. One such restaurant, Equateur, is a restaurant that caught my interest and I decided to catch a train to Subiaco to check it out for lunch. Equateur has been open only 3 months, has not advertised, but books out regularly each night. The restaurant serves cuisine from Reunion Island, an island close to Mauritius and Madagascar.

It’s a small restaurant that seats 20 or so people but books out quickly so ring ahead to make a booking on a night. I went for lunch which is quieter (good for me as I got a booking easily) and was able to enjoy my meal and chat to Mickael who runs the restaurant. I haven’t eaten much creole food which has a mix of French, Indian, Chinese and African flavours. It’s this mix which created a completely new taste experience that I haven’t enjoyed elsewhere. I love trying new things and if you’re a bit fed up with the usual restaurant scene, then trying creole food and enjoying excellent friendly service is refreshing and enlivening.

The restaurant is run by Mickael and a chef. How Mickael manages to greet customers, take them to their table, take their orders, serve their food, and repeat that many times over for all the other patrons while still keeping a smile and friendly charm is beyond me. That’s what struck me when I entered the restaurant decorated with things made by the family, the warm and welcoming greeting and friendly service I received. From my recent trip to New Zealand and the east coast of Australia, I was once again reminded of the gulf in service clearly lacking in Perth. However, this was not the case here. Once I was taken to a table and presented with the menu, which changes each month, I had a chance to see what dishes are on offer. They have a set menu of $39 for 2 courses or $50 for 3 which is excellent value. They also have a plat de jour for $23.50 for lunch.

Equateur - Menu

Equateur – Menu (Changes each month)

I decided on the 3 course and chose the following dishes:

  • Creole vegetable salsa and snapper nems served with a red cabbage salad and sesame seeds
  • Beef bourguigon with anise flavour served with a potato mousseline
  • Chocolate fondant with orange sauce, vanilla ice cream

Amuse Bouche of Pea Soup

Equateur - Amuse Bouche of Pea Soup

Equateur – Amuse Bouche of Pea Soup

The meal started off with an amuse bouche of a thickish pea soup with creole flavoured onions. The pea soup has some spices as it wasn’t a straight pea soup. It was quite thick and also contained alfalfa sprouts. The onions had taken on plenty of creole flavour and added another dimension to this small little offering. I liked it. A lovely winter warmer.

 

Creole Vegetable Salsa

Equateur - Creole Vegetable Salsa

Equateur – Creole Vegetable Salsa

For entree I thought I’d choose something that has a strong creole flavour and went with the creole vegetable salsa. I was presented with three very crunchy spring onion rolls packed with a delicious filling oozing creole flavours. This may have been a vegetarian dominated dish but it was extremely tasty. The sauce to the side had that tomato flavoured creole hit with a touch of sourness and the red cabbage salad with sesame seeds was quite something. Who knew the humble vegetable could be turned into something so tasty? This is a very well balanced dish that has each element playing it’s part in creating a delicious dish that is quite filling.

 

Beef Bourguignon

Equateur - Beef Bourguignon

Equateur – Beef Bourguignon

I don’t think I’ve eaten beef bourguigon so I thought I’d try this and from the first bite, the hit of aniseed is obvious. This isn’t what I was expecting but it adds another dimension to the beef. The beef has been slow cooked with a hint of cinnamon and was very tender, just pulling apart. This was enjoyed with the sauce and the potato mousseline which I’ve not eaten before. It’s like a creamy mash that is gooey, as if it has lots of cheese and looks stringy, but has it’s own flavour is completely different to that of mash potato. Along with a few greens, the flavoursome and tender beef, along with the gooey potato mousseline made each mouthful so delicious. A real winter warmers dish.

 

Chocolate Fondant

Equateur - Chocolate Fondant

Equateur – Chocolate Fondant

I was weighing up whether I should order dessert and had asked at the beginning if I had to make a decision then and was told no, however, some desserts required 10 or so minutes cooking time. As I was half way through enjoying my mains, I let Mickael know. I asked what he recommended and he suggested the chocolate fondant so I went with that. I was not disappointed. I love chocolate fondants and this wasn’t any run of the mill fondant with the dessert taking on it’s own identify. The fondant immediately oozed molten gooey chocolate once I cut into it and it had it’s own flavours that included something more than just chocolate. To the side was a syrup, I detected honey and orange. It wasn’t too sweet but along with the fondant and ice cream, made the dessert one to remember.

 

Equateur Food Review Summary

Verdict: I love trying new things and Equateur’s Reunion Island creole inspired dishes were fantastic! From the moment you walk in the door, you are warmly welcomed by the friendly Mickael who looks after his customers very well, which is refreshing in Perth. I started with an amuse bouche of pea soup with creole flavoured onions, a delicious starter that oozed flavour. The entree of creole vegetable salsa stuffed inside the crispy spring onions were delicious, as too the cabbage and sesame salad which was so unboring! The aniseed and cinnamon flavoured beef bourguigon was tender, just pulling apart and was enjoyed with the sauce and potato mousseline. To finish, the chocolate fondant was indulgent, oozing thick gooey chocolate. Along with the orange and honey syrup, vanilla ice cream, and mint, this was a truly delicious dessert to end what was an excellent dining experience. The 3 course meal at $50 is excellent value and with excellent friendly service from Mickael, I can see why this place is booking out regularly. A new experience in cuisine and service for Perth diners. Booking is essential.
Price: Moderately Expensive
Taste: Delicious
Value: Excellent
Recommendation: Highly Recommend

Equateur Restaurant Details

Equateur on Facebook
Equateur on Urbanspoon

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Equateur - 29 May 2014, reviewed by Shaun on 2014-05-29T13:33:58+00:00 rating 4.8 out of 5
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Restaurant Rating System

It's subjective but I base my reviews on 4 key areas:

Price: Bargain > Reasonable > Moderately Expensive > Expensive
Taste: Poor > Average > Great > Delicious
Value: Poor > Good > Reasonable > Excellent
Recommendation: Eat At Home Instead > Try Once If You Want But Not Worth Visiting Again > Worth Visiting > Recommend > Highly Recommend

The final recommendation will consider the price, taste and value. Value will be based on price and other factors like service and serving size.