I’d always meant to pay a visit to Jacksons but just never got around to the famed Perth restaurant renowned for their superb degustations. Instead the site has now been taken over by a new restaurant that I’m also keen to try, St Michael 6003, so I made my way there as an early Xmas present for me. I’d previously had a look at the very reasonably priced 7 course degustation menu for just $89 but I was more taken with the choices under the al a carte menu. They also have a Prix Fixe $59pp – any entrée, main + dessert off the a la carte menu. This looked like the best option. Walking into the restaurant reveals a lovely understated yet classy interior, excellent ambience, and excellent service which followed during the course of my dinner.
Fried Squid, Cucumber Kimchi $9
I started with one of the dishes under the “snacks” section, fried squid. The very tender squid was coated in a light crispy golden brown batter with the perfect amount of seasoning. It was so delicious. It’s a little bit rich so I enjoyed the cucumber and carrot salad at the bottom of the dish.
House Baked Bread, Vegemite Butter
I may be an Aussie but I cannot stand vegemite so I wasn’t looking forward to the vegemite infused butter served with freshly baked bread. It did taste excellent though. The butter is whipped like cream and it spreads easily over the warm bread. Once eaten, there’s just the slightest hint of the vegemite flavour which is an interesting touch and more than enjoyable.
Pork Neck, Octopus, Saffron, Capsicum $17
I really love eating dishes with unloved cuts and this dish presented very very tender pork neck with a crunchy top. It is super tender, fibrous, falling apart. It is however, quite rich so the touch of sourness from the mustard sauce, the slight acidity from the capsicum salad and a very strong smoky flavour from the octopus balance things out. The octopus could have been more tender as it was firm, though not chewy. An interesting use of smoking balanced with other flavours. Clever and delicious.
Smoked Venison, Apple, Beetroot, Macadamia $35
Next was mains and I opted for the venison which looked like it was cooked a nice medium rare with a touch of pink. Venison has a strong earthy flavour and it was cleverly paired with a sweet beetroot jelly, picked beetroot, and a cream with macadamias for some richness and texture. The venison was a tad overdone, a little difficult to cut through, however, the flavours in the plate worked well and the stewed apple also added a lovely touch of sweetness.
Rhubarb, Vanilla Panna Cotta, Milk Crumble $12
The panna cotta was made with seaweed (agar agar) and not presented in the usual dome mould. It still had a slight wobble and was silken in texture, though didn’t carry a strong vanilla flavour. I would have preferred more intensity. However, the tart rhubarb was paired with the panna cotta counteracting any richness, but the master stroke was the crumble. Adding texture against the smooth elements, the biscuit crumble was just a tad sweet but it was the slightly elevated level of salt which made the dish and tied all the elements together. I really enjoyed the crumble but the dessert as a whole lacked that real wow factor.
St Michael Food Review Summary
Verdict: St Michael’s offers patrons a classy understated intimate interior with excellent service and beautifully presented dishes that are delicious. I really enjoyed the fried squid which was super tender, had the perfect level of seasoning and batter, and while a tad rich, was paired effectively with the cucumber kimchi. The house bread with vegemite infused butter surprised on the upside, even though I can’t stand vegemite. The pork neck entree was falling apart, delicious, and rich but counteracted by the slightly sour mustard sauce. While the octopus could have been more tender, the strong smoky flavour also partnered nicely against the rich pork neck and acidity from the capsicum salad. The venison for mains was just a touch overdone, spongey, though a bit difficult to cut through. The strong earthy flavours were enjoyed by the sweetness from the beetroot jelly and a slight richness from the cream and macadamias. The pickled beetroot added that slightly acidic element. The vanilla panna cotta didn’t carry the intensity of vanilla I was expecting and was rather muted, however the tart rhubarb offset any richness. The masterstroke of the dessert was the slightly sweet but salty crumble which brought all the elements together. The dessert was tasty but could have had a stronger finish. All in all well presented and thought out dishes, just lacking a little oomph and a bit more execution to take the dishes to the next level.
Price: Moderately Expensive
St Michael 6003 Restaurant Details
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St Michael 6003 - 22 Dec 2015,