Cuisine: Latin American
Location: East Perth, cnr Adelaide Tce & Victoria Avenue (opposite The Duxton)
Today I decided to have dinner at Public House Kitchen & Bar which I have visited on a few occasions, dining here for lunch, but not for dinner. The interior is casual but smart, with the venue predominantly comprising of a bar area, an alfresco area, and to one side, the restaurant. However, you are free to grab a table in the alfresco area if you wish. The menu is comprised of smaller dishes for sharing, but you can order a few mains dishes too if you want it all to yourself. With a group of people however, sharing is the way to go as you get variety and are not stuck with one thing. So here is what we ordered:
Empanada $6 Each
I’ve had these on a prior visit and the filling changes. Today’s version presented a lovely pastry with a dense fish and corn filling which was pretty good. The filling had gone a little dry which made the empanada a tad less enjoyable than what it could be.
Salchicha – House Chorizo & Burnt Lime $14
This dish is very different to the chorizo you get at the supermarkets or any restaurant I’ve eaten chorizo at. This version didn’t have as intense a paprika flavour and the meat wasn’t as tightly packed and dense. Instead, you could taste the chunks of meat which had a lovely flavour. With a squeeze of the smoked lime, the acid combines nicely with the lovely flavours of the chorizo.
Clásico (white fish) Aji Rocoto, Coriander & Lime $14
Ceviche is a South American classic comprising raw fish which is cured in lime juice and typically paired with coriander. In this dish, several thin slices of fish were stacked in a pile with a freshness provided by the acidity and flavours of the coriander, herbs, and roe. I really like ceviche and this version was excellent.
18 Hour Pork & Pork Scratchings $32
It wouldn’t be a South American restaurant if there wasn’t meat so the 18 hour pork and pork scratchings looked very appealing. This cut like butter, very tender and succulent. The parsnip puree was excellent too, but the pork could have done with a sauce or additional seasoning. It also had some crunchy bits (the pork scratchings) and kind of like a dehydrated skin for some extra crunch and contrast in texture.
Tomato, Palm Heart & Smoked Mozzarella $16
With a heavy meat dish in the pork, I thought a refreshing salad would make a great partner so the tomato, palm heart and smoked mozzarella was ordered. It’s a very fresh salad with plenty of sliced tomato and the light acidity from the lime juice providing a nice refreshing taste to one’s palette and helps ease one from the meaty flavours of the pork. The pickling juices of the palm hearts also provide a muted acidity and the soft mozzarella cheese provides a slightly salty touch. I really liked it.
Brazilian Espresso & Honey Lamb Ribs $14
We were still a bit hungry so an order of the ribs, which I’ve eaten before, was added to our table. Tonight’s version was disappointing as the lamb was tough and chewy. It didn’t have as much of the honey and coffee flavour as I had enjoyed last time which was a real shame. Coffee and honey make an unusual combination, but believe me, it’s magic! That green stuff smeared on the plate where the wedge of lime sits is super hot. It looks a bit like wasabi but is something entirely different, but really nice!
Alfajore $4 Each
I didn’t order the alfajore specifically, as I got one with my dessert. An alfajore is like a macaron.
Ecuadorian 70% Tart, Dulce de Leche & Salted Caramel Macaroon $14
When I had attended Public House Kitchen & Bar’s First Year Anniversary, they had 4 stations serving different cuisines from 4 different countries in South America. One was a chocolate tart which was delicious, so when I saw a similar chocolate tart type dessert on the menu, the choice for dessert was easy. A decadent dark chocolate tart with a smudge of salted caramel to hold in place a alfajore, and a delicious chocolate ice cream to provide creaminess and moisture to help liven up the strong dark chocolate flavours of the tart were presented. Quite a nice variety for a dessert. The chocolate ice cream was fantastic! Such delicious flavours from the chocolate made each spoonful one to savour. The dark chocolate tart made the dessert present strong deep flavours, the gold leaf adding glamour, the ice cream providing moistness. I also got an alfajore, a different flavour though to the version available separately. The pastry is more crumbly, unlike a macaron which is chewy and crunchy. The salted caramel smudge upon which the alfajore sits is lovely, as is the light filling. Lastly, the crumb which is slightly sweet and salty, presents another element to the dessert, a bit of crunch, and a contrast to the sweeter flavours on the plate. Quite a dish to indulge oneself.
Public House Kitchen Food Review Summary
Verdict: A visit to Public House Kitchen & Bar will provide you with an array of dishes from South America to be enjoyed in comfortable, casual surrounds, with friendly service to boot. We ordered a bunch of dishes to share, starting with the empandas – a fish and corn filling surrounded by a lovely pastry. The house made chorizo with smoked lime was excellent, and the classic ceviche refreshes the palette with the acidity of the lime juice cured fish. For something more substantial, the 18 hour pork cut like butter, tender and succulent, but lacking a touch of seasoning or a sauce. The coffee and honey lamb ribs were disappointing compared to my prior visit. The lamb was tough and the honey and coffee flavours muted. The tomato, palm heart, and mozzarella salad was a welcome partner to the pork and ribs, cleansing the palette of the meaty flavours. Lastly, for indulgence, the Ecuadorian chocolate tart, chocolate ice cream, and macaron like alfajore with salted caramel were excellent. Lots of variety on the plate, lots to enjoy. I certainly did.
Public House Kitchen & Bar Restaurant Details
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