Location: East Perth
I have a more recent food review of Grill & Chill here.
The manager of Grill and Chill, Vikas, kindly invited me along with his wife, to guinea pig test a new concept they’re thinking of introducing. The refined version would be tried out on the first anniversary dinner which took place on the 3rd September 2014. Originating from Maylands, Grill and Chill became so popular with locals that they had to either expand, or relocate. The latter decision was taken and they found a new home in East Perth and it’s now been one year since. An invitation was sent to certain people, including loyal patrons from the Maylands location, to celebrate their first anniversary with an Indian degustation. Yes, an Indian degustation.
I’ve had a few degustations in my time and they are usually of a Western nature in terms of cuisine. Indian cuisine as a degustation left me feeling a little sceptical. I’m not sure how this concept would work but my mind started to change quickly once the different courses were presented and I could start to see the creative genius behind each course. So let’s kick things off in this food journey.
Course #1: Kumani Chicken with Sangria
This dish looked very Western, chicken roulade, a French dish which I like very much and have cooked myself. This looks like a French dish, but the stuffing has an Indian slant on it as it’s a spiced mixture but not too intense and not chilli hot. Lovely moist chicken breast layered with avocado encasing a chicken and apricot mince stuffing with Indian spices. I really liked this interesting take on the dish. A kind of fusion. There is a very slight chilli kick but the blend of spices is just enough to turn it Indian without an intensity that screams Indian. Aside from the chicken, the fresh slices of pineapple present a nice contrast to the dish which may be a little rich due to the avocado, but the slight acidity cuts through this and is very refreshing. The dish is also paired with sangria. I don’t drink so this was wasted on me but I did dive in and drink it. The alcohol went straight to my head but the flavours were lovely, tolerable for me as I don’t like alcoholic drinks as such, but this was muted and the pear adds a nice touch.
Course #2: Double Barrel Kebab with Godfather Beer
The second course caught me by surprise as I didn’t realise the kebab was actually two layers of different meat, hence the “double barrel” kebab. The kebab is chicken wrapped in lamb and skewered. The kebab is quite moist, not dry and while the flavour of the lamb dominates over the chicken, it’s an interesting blend of flavours that is very enjoyable. I’m enjoying the creativity of the dishes so far. This also came paired with beer but after the sangria, I’ve had enough alcohol for the night!
Course #3: Mackerel Magic M2 with Singapore Sling
There were many highlights on the night in terms of the delicious courses served and this was one of them. Three lovely pieces of mackerel cooked with a lovely spice paste rubbed into the fish. It’s so delicious and enjoyed even more with the creamy yoghurt mint sauce. I loved it. Also paired with a Singapore Sling.
Course #4: Broccoli Munch with Cucumber Cooler
One of the signature dishes is honey chilli cauliflower which is unbelievable. The kids joined us at the table and their favourite is also this same dish which also happened to be brought for the kids, but we helped ourselves to the amazing cauliflower too. I was secretly delighted. For the fourth course we were presented another vegetarian creation – broccoli with cheese in a special spice mix – wow! This challenges the honey chilli cauliflower and is so good it’s a dish that could turn you vegetarian, or a lover of broccoli at the very least. It’s slightly cheesy and gooey and stringy, the spice mix is amazing and the flavours are even better. This course is a great example of using Indian cheese in a dish to impart it’s own unique flavours. What a dish! You will never glance over the vegetarian section of a menu again if they can make vegetables taste so amazing!
Ok, I’ve waxed lyrical about how good this course is, but I’ve completely glossed over the cucumber cooler, a non-alcoholic drink that I was glad to sample. It looks quite like a cocktail but has such delicious flavours you will be wondering what just hit you! It’s super refreshing and so tasty. This course is an absolute knockout!
Course #5: Green Heaven
Zucchini stuffed with cheese and cauliflower – this follows on in the same vein as the previous dish, however, employs a different Indian cheese. You would think you’re eating a chunky slice of zucchini but it’s stuffed with an Indian cheese and cauliflower mixture which is delicious. Thoroughly enjoyed with a lovely naan that is filled with a thin layer of spinach, hence, the greenness.
Course #6: Dum Potato with Kishmish Naan
Potato stuffed with minced lamb in a Kashmiri curry and served with a Kashmiri naan. The soft potato is like a thick shell encasing a minced lamb mixture which is hard to detect (part of the mystery). It’s immersed in a lovely Kashimir curry carrying lots of flavour, slightly intense, but subdued to an extent by the lovely naan buttered in ghee, the lovely aroma just wafting and making your mouth water.
Course #7: Chicken Rizala with Shiraz
I was pretty stuffed and hoping we were nearing the end so I was glad when Vikas told us we wouldn’t be eating the seventh course, but this was served on the anniversary dinner. Judging by the dishes before it, I’m sure it was delicious.
Course #8: Mystic Dessert
Milk pudding – I’m not a huge fan of Indian desserts and not particularly of puddings, but this was enjoyable. The milk is a little creamy but not sweet and the pudding is nice and soft and enjoyable. I was told before eating this dish to detect what the secret ingredient to this dish is. I carefully ate and savoured but came up short. Only when I was at the final spoonful, all was revealed. The massive twist to this dish is you’re eating 100% pure thinly flaked, garlic. Yes garlic. I could taste something on my tongue that tasted a bit like garlic without the strong garlic taste but couldn’t believe it actually was garlic. I just ate through a whole dessert, enjoying each spoonful, blissfully unaware I was eating garlic. And garlic in a dessert! Who does that? Grill and Chill, and they pulled it off. Unbelievable.
Grill & Chill Food Review Summary
Verdict: Who thought an Indian degustation could work? A culinary experience that does not stray away from it’s Indian roots but doesn’t carry the intensity normally associated with Indian cuisine. Rather the spices are carefully selected in creating each unique dish, lending flavour, but creating a different profile to anything you’ve previously eaten. At the same time, it doesn’t become too much like fusion. I really liked the food and the concept is different and interesting and hasn’t been done before. So why not? I can only see this being successful. With the dishes they rolled out, I enjoyed every one of them. While I was guest of the restaurant, the tweaks were minor and mainly concerned with the sauces or condiments. The very essence of each creation was left intact. For the time being, you’ll have to keep your eyes peeled as plans are underway to make this a more frequent event. Check their website http://www.grillandchill.com.au/ and their facebook page http://www.facebook.com/mygrillandchill for potential details.
Grill & Chill Restaurant Details
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