Cuisine: Italian, French, Modern Australian
Location: Perth CBD – Wesley Quarter
Obviously the Perth dining scene is very competitive and it seems the sudden explosion of restaurants in Perth over the past few years is unsustainable with a slow down in mining and cutbacks in corporate lunches. Hopefully things will pick up and in the mean time patrons can take advantage of the many offers available such as via sites like Dimmi. Which brings me to another of those 50% offers which I decided to snap up and dine at The Painted Bird for lunch. The Painted Bird is located in the Wesley Quarter secluded from the hustle and bustle of the nearby Murray and Hay St malls. I did notice this restaurant when it popped up but has been one if those restaurants on the to try list. Chef Ben Toye is from Ecucina with the menu taking on an Italian, French and Asian influenced theme. The interior is smart and carries a quiet ambiance where one can enjoy a relaxed meal. With friendly service to boot and a good choice of dishes on the menu one is spoiled for choice.
We were presented with the menu and also a number of specials for the day. I was considering the Panko crumbed oysters but instead chose the Chef’s Canapé Tasting Plate from the daily specials.
Chef’s Canapé Tasting Plate $17 (Daily Special)
Raw big eye tuna, miso mayonnaise, wakame, barramundi & jamon croquette, lemon mayonnaise, steamed truffle custard, potato crisps, pork tea with coriander
The tasting plate of canapés presents four items:
- Pork tea – The pork tea is so full of flavour, a delicious and flavour brimming broth. Absolutely loved it and my favourite of the four.
- Raw big eye tuna – Lovely chunks of perfectly cubed tuna with a lovely creamy miso mayonnaise to add that extra punch.
- Croquette – I loved the croquette. A lovely golden brown crunchy crumb encasing a delicious soft filling. The barramundi was not too fishy and combined beautifully with the Jamon and creamy rich filling to make each bite so satisfying.
- Steamed truffle custard – The steamed custard was a little unusual but partners effectively with the crisps. The truffle adds a lovely flavour to the soft smooth custard and the potato crisps present a textual contrast.
Half Dozen Oysters Naturale with Chilli & Lime Sorbet $19
Other members of my dining party ordered the half dozen oysters natural with a chilli and lime sorbet. I had a taste of the sorbet which is initially refreshing but then you get the hit of chilli with the soothing citrus flavour of the lime. A really interesting element to add to the oysters. I haven’t seen a sorbet used in this fashion and it is also a kind of a savoury sorbet. Clever cooking.
Homemade linguine, spanner crab, local squid, vongole, garlic, chilli, olive oil, parsley & pangratto $32
I didn’t have a taste of this delicious dish packed full of seafood but it was tasty and filling by all reports.
Fish of The Day (Daily Special)
Grilled saltwater barramundi, hand cut fettuccine, tiger prawns & truffle sauce $41
I did have a little taste of this dish. The barramundi was perfectly cooked and didn’t have a strong fishy flavour. The tiger prawn was chunky and also well cooked, the fettuccine was soft and tender, covered in a lovely sauce. Another dish thoroughly enjoyed.
Pan fried potato gnocchi, slow braised osso bucco, tomato, garlic & oregano, aged Parmesan & white truffle oil $29
The plates may be large but so is the serving! My plate was piled with plenty of large sized pan fried gnocchi, a chunk of tender osso bucco in the middle of the plate, covered with coarsely grated Parmesan and the meat juices. The gnocchi on their own are a little bland but the strong flavours of the Parmesan adequately compensate. Along with the rich meat flavour of the falling apart osso bucco, this is a very hearty winter warmer. I’ve never seen large size gnocchi but they were soft and spongy and tasty. It was a real challenge to finish this dish off, so much so, I had to forgo dessert much to my disappointment.
Nougat Gelato, Brioche Doughnuts, Rhubarb Compote $15
I instead I had to watch on as dessert was enjoyed. I did have a taste of the vanilla like gelato which paired beautifully with the stewed rhubarb which was a tad too sweet. The crunchy sugar coated brioche doughnuts were tasty. A nice combination of flavours.
Painted Bird Food Review Summary
Verdict: The Painted Bird offers a solid selection of dishes with lots of choice to suit your tastes. Ranging from Italian, French and Asian inspired dishes, there’s also a nice selection of dishes among the daily specials. I took advantage of the daily special to choose the chef’s canapé tasting plate which was enjoyable, with special mention to the pork tea which was brimming with flavour, and being a sucker for anything fried, I thoroughly enjoyed the golden brown crumbed croquette filled with tender barramundi, Jamon, and a creamy rich filling. The chilli & lime sorbet served with the half dozen oysters was an inventive element which was very clever. The mains came with a much too generous serving of super sized pan fried potato parcels of gnocchi which were under-seasoned but adequately compensated for via the addition of the strong flavours of the coarsely grated Parmesan. The chunk of osso bucco which just fell apart was full of meaty flavours, with the juices combining nicely with the gnocchi. A very hearty and filling meal, I had to forgo dessert. However, I did have a taste of the stewed rhubarb compote which was a tad too sweet but offset by the nougat gelato and the crisp sugar coated brioche doughnuts. I really enjoyed the selection of dishes, the quality and flavours of the meals, the ambiance, setting, and lovely service.
Price: Moderately Expensive
The Painted Bird Bar & Kitchen Restaurant Details
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