No4 Blake Street – 30 Jul 2015


Cuisine: Modern European
Location: North Perth

I’m in need of some creative food in a fine dining setting so I made a booking and headed to Tom Randolph’s No 4 Blake Street. I’ve gone for the 7 course degustation and am looking forward to the night ahead.

 

Amuse Bouche

Puffed Pork, Beetroot, Goat’s Curd, Sturgeon Flowers

Amuse bouche - Puffed pork, beetroot, goats curd, sturgeon flowers. Great way to get the taste buds going!

I love the fresh creamy taste of the goat’s cheese. It contrasts well with the crunch of the puffed pork and richness of the beetroot. A nice bite size item to get the taste buds going.

 

Bread

House made sour dough bread with seasoned butter and cultured duck fat spread

No 4 Blake Street - House made sour dough bread with cultured butter and duck fat spread

Two very large and thick slices of warmed sour dough were presented. I love the bread and that amazing cultured duck fat spread. Fat is flavour and it comes in spades. There’s a nice crunch from the crust and the soft warm bread is delightful. Unfortunately, the meal has been so filling I couldn’t tuck into all of the second slice but had a little with the butter which was excellent.

 

Course #1

Cured Swordfish, Home Made Creme Friache, Onion Leather

No 4 Blake Street - Cured swordfish, home made creme friache, onion leather

Each bite has an initial burst of juice, a touch of acidity, before the meaty flavour of the fish shines through, then the creamy creme fraiche takes over with the peppery flavour of the onion and chilli sprinkles. I’m liking it.

 

Course #2

Potato Risotto, Season Crab, Manjimup Truffles
No 4 Blake Street - Potato risotto, crab, Manjimup truffles

This is an interesting dish. The potato is used instead of the rice. The potato is cut into smallish rectangles, slightly underseasoned. However, this allows the saltiness of the sea and the crab to shine through and enjoy it’s flavour against the earthy tones of the potato and the truffle. It has just the touch of creaminess but hides in the background so as not to overpower the dish in anyway. Excellent clever dish. A real winter warmer special. Thoroughly satisfied.

 

Course #3

35° Smoked Hen’s Egg with Pearl Barley, Pepita, Manjimup Truffle, Tuna Benito

No 4 Blake Street - 35 degree smoked egg with pearl barley, pepita, Manjimup truffle, tuna Benito

I don’t like eggs but after eating this, I’d happily eat this again and again. The smoked flavour adds great flavour to the smooth pillow soft poached egg. The tuna Benito adds a nice touch of saltiness and the pearl barley adds a chewy texture that contrasts to the soft egg. It also beefs up the dish and is enjoyed in the delicious gravy like sauce at the bottom of the dish. Talk about being surprised on the upside!

 

Course #4

Rankin Cod, sous vide and then pan fried, served atop Manjimup marron bisque, alfalfa sprouts, basil oil, crispy duck skin

No 4 Blake Street - Rankin cod, sous vide and then pan fried, served atop Manjimup marron bisque, alfalfa sprouts, basil oil, crispy duck skin

The cod is really tender and has a lovely crispy golden skin. It is underseasoned allowing the thickish marron bisque to add flavour. For my mind the bisque is a little too overpowering. It has a strong flavour, but is slightly softened like a tomato puree. I was looking forward to the duck but while crispy, it tasted quite burnt even though it wasn’t.

 

Course #5

Pork Costals, Cauliflower Puree, Cauliflower Florets, Lardo, Mushroom Jus

No 4 Blake Street - Pork Costals, Cauliflower Puree & Florets, Lardo

I loved the juicy tender pork costals (meat from the pork ribs), a different cut of meat that most people will not eat but very different in mouth feel and texture. The pork flavour is really amped up in intensity, a major flavour overload that probably needs something acidic like blistered cherry tomatoes to take the edge off. The pork costal may seem small on the plate, but the intensity in flavour and richness ensure that it’s the perfect size. Anything large would be too much to handle. Nonetheless I tucked in and loved the lardo on the edge of the plate – creamy pork fat flavoured into the bechamel sauce. The cauliflower puree is smooth and compliments the pork. So too the cauliflower florets which add a liitle crunch. For more crunch, the pork rind is nice and crispy and so full of yum, much like the rest of the dish. A naughty comfort food meal that is so delicious.

 

Course #6

Soft Smoked Curd, Beetroot Ribbons, Beetroot Jus, Chocolate Tuille

No 4 Blake Street - Soft smoked curd, beetroot ribbons, beetroot jus, chocolate tuille

The first bite was amazing! Soft creamy light salty curd balanced with the acidity of the beetroot and it’s slight sweetness. The bits of chocolate also add a touch of sweetness but also that back of the mouth cocoa flavour. On other bites the saltiness of the curd dominates and it’s a bit overpowering. Interesting combination. I like the creativity.

   
 

Palate Cleanser

Frozen Roman lettuce and burnt lime segment

No 4 Blake Street - Frozen Roman Lettuce with Burnt Lime Segment

The acidity of the lime juice mixes in nicely with the lettuce and certainly works to cleanse the palette. I’ve never eaten a savoury palette cleanser just before a dessert.

 

Course #7

Valhrona chocolate soil and mousse, tempered chocolate shards, pistachio sponge and ice cream, lemon balm

No 4 Blake Street - Valhrona chocolate soil and mousse, tempered chocolate shards, pistachio sponge and ice cream, lemon balm

The trees at the front of the restaurant are lemonade trees and these lemons are a touch sweeter. They’ve pureed the peel so the bitterness and extra touch of sweetness balance each other out. Wow! This is a stunning dessert! The chocolate soil is fantastic, as too the smooth chocolate mousse. The pistachio sponge adds a nice soft flavour and it’s excellent for mopping up any melted ice cream. I love the pistachio ice cream which just ties everything together and is full of flavour and not rich. I’d leave off the lemon balm which is tasty but the lemon flavour doesn’t flow with the dish. Despite there being many elements, they all compliment each other and give variety to the diner. Deliciousness in every bite. So full! But satisfied.

Salted caramel truffle and a pate de fruit to finish, yum!

No 4 Blake Street - Salted caramel truffle and a pate de fruit
 

No 4 Blake Street Food Review Summary

Verdict: No 4 Blake Street is Tom Randolph’s vehicle to showcase his creativity in the kitchen. This is clearly on display through the 7 course degustation. On Sunday’s, a long table is held instead where new dishes are displayed and tweaked, influenced by feedback, some of which make their way to the main menu. For something less relaxed, a wine bar with tapas is available at Next Door at No 4, which is literally next door to the dining room. For tonight’s 7 course degustation, I particularly enjoyed the potato risotto which substituted rice for small rectangles of under seasoned potato, allowing the salty flavours of the sea and tender crab to shine through. While I normally avoid eggs, the 35° smoked hen’s egg with pearl barley for some meatiness to the dish and tuna Benito for seasoning was a dish that surprised on the upside. The pork costals was another highlight of the night, presenting tender succulent rib meat with a pork intensity off the scale. It needs an acidic element to balance out the meatiness and flavoursome lardo, but I loved it. It’s hard to pick a winner, especially when the night finishes strong with a fantastic dessert! The pistachio ice cream was a standout element amongst the Vahlrona chocolate soil, chocolate mousse, chocolate shards, and pistachio sponge. I also loved the sour dough bread and particularly, the duck fat spread. The creativity did deliver a few misses with some dishes that need a little balancing in my opinion, but I’d rather take creativity over safe and there were enough hits to leave me a thoroughly satisfied diner. Don’t let the rain keep you away when you can enjoy quality, creativity, and deliciousness in a comfortable soft ambient setting.
Price: Expensive
Taste: Delicious
Value: Excellent
Recommendation: Highly Recommend

No 4 Blake Street Restaurant Details

http://www.no4blakestreet.com.au/
No 4 Blake Street on Urbanspoon

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No4 Blake Street - 30 Jul 2015, reviewed by Shaun on 2015-07-30T18:16:16+00:00 rating 4.7 out of 5
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