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Equateur - 29 May 2014

Equateur - Creole Vegetable Salsa

I love trying new things and Equateur’s Reunion Island creole inspired dishes were fantastic! From the moment you walk in the door, you are warmly welcomed by the friendly Mickael who looks after his customers very well, which is refreshing in Perth. I started with an amuse bouche of pea soup with creole flavoured onions, a delicious starter that oozed flavour. The entree of creole vegetable salsa stuffed inside the crispy spring onions were delicious, as too the cabbage and sesame salad which was so unboring! The aniseed and cinnamon flavoured beef bourguigon was tender, just pulling apart and was enjoyed with the sauce and potato mousseline. To finish, the chocolate fondant was indulgent, oozing thick gooey chocolate. Along with the orange and honey syrup, vanilla ice cream, and mint, this was a truly delicious dessert to end what was an excellent dining experience. The 3 course meal at $50 is excellent value and with excellent friendly service from Mickael, I can see why this place is booking out regularly. A new experience in cuisine and service for Perth diners. Booking is essential. . . . → Read More: Equateur – 29 May 2014

NSW, Sydney - Est

Est - Goat's Feta Panna Cotta

The service element in this fine dining restaurant is once again highly professional. I particularly appreciated the service provided by one of the men who was professional but still friendly. Sometimes service can become very stilted. The whole dining experience at Est was excellent, as was the high quality food served. I find the style of cooking is to use quality ingredients, not do too much to them, and use other elements to provide the flavour, thereby keeping the integrity of the proteins intact. The first course of goat’s curd panna cotta was absolutely outstanding and the highlight of the meal. Unfortunately, while the following dishes were delicious, they didn’t meet the same standard set by this fabulous dish. The silky smooth panna cotta had a lovely creamy texture, a slight richness, but was counteracted by the vinaigrette and Jamon. The Moreton Bay bug and other seafood elements were cooked perfectly and the butter sauce provided the flavour with the peas providing a freshness. The Murray cod was super tender and the ginger vinaigrette provided a lovely Asian inspired flavour to the dish. I also loved the complimentary half bowl of shoestring fries which were crisp, golden brown, and moorish, perfect. The slow poached quince was another dish with beautiful presentation, however, the differing types of sweetness from several elements and the richness of the vanilla cream, overpowered the dish and threw the flavour balance out. A few slight tweaks and this dish can be excellent. I had a really lovely dining experience and am very full. . . . → Read More: NSW, Sydney – Est

Print Hall - 8 Apr 2014

Print Hall - Spiced Mead Baba

Unfortunately my lack of hunger prevented me from fully enjoying what Print Hall has to offer. However, in the dishes I chose I was happy to have what in the end were quite light meals but still carrying flavour. The cold served entree of yabbies and smoked mussels is a really refreshing dish that allows the freshness and flavours of the seafood to shine through without being overpowered by the fennel puree. It’s a very delicate dish that is well executed but could have contained more yabbies for my liking. The smaller main took preference over the larger meals in course 3 of the menu but I was more than happy with my choice of veal pastrami. Another dish with delicate flavours, allowing the braising of the veal to shine through and combining superbly with the slight sweetness of the pickled onions and the acidity of the pickling juices to lift what looks like a nothing dish to something special. I liked the re-invented amuse bouche of cheese and crackers and the palette cleanser was also interesting but maybe a little too complex. The dessert was interesting. I liked the light sponge baba and the passionfruit sorbet with crumble, but the foam contained an unusual flavour which spoiled the dish. Very professional service in an equally smart interior space to match where one can enjoy some very carefully crafted food. . . . → Read More: Print Hall – 8 Apr 2014

The Trustee - 21 Mar 2014

The Trustee - Bone Marrow, Shredded Brisket, Kumera Puree, Parsley Salad

The Trustee offers some deliciously crafted food in a refined but relaxed atmosphere. Their dishes are hearty and generous and offer a level of uniqueness and creativity. My entree of bone marrow is something I have not ordered on a menu but was pleasantly surprised with dish served to me. It presents well, offers various elements that compliment each other, and delivered on flavour. The brisket was moist, succulent, and so delicious. It partnered effectively with the slightly rich, but not sweet smooth kumera puree and the slightly sharp flavour of the parsley salad contrasted to the meaty flavours on offer. The soft slices of bread to mop up the juices and the lovely marrow made the dish a great start to the lunch. Following the near main sized entree was a generous plate of braised venison surrounded by ribbons of parpadelle pasta. The venison was soft, tender, and full of flavour. It’s juices had seeped into the dish to moisten and add flavour to the peas and the bitter rocket. The saltiness of the pecorina was a perfect addition to the dish but more would have strengthened the overall flavour of the dish. A very earthy dish that became a little intense towards the end of the meal and required another element, maybe acidic, to balance the strong flavours. Despite this, it was a delicious meal that contained bold flavours and delivered on taste. . . . → Read More: The Trustee – 21 Mar 2014

Chefz Table - 25 Jan 2014

Chefz Table - Pork Fillet, Tiger Prawn

I was more than happy to visit Chefz Table given the wonderful dining experience enjoyed last time round. Tonight’s dinner was no different. With the likes and dislikes specified ahead of time for our Chefz Table dining experience, the chefs whipped up a selection of 4 courses that delighted us. The amuse bouche of oyster with a coconut tapioca and pineapple topping were an excellent combination in describing the dish as “Pina colada oysters”. The daring rocket soup was a masterstroke in pairing with the tempura covered soft shell crab which is so yum. The fleshy Tiger king prawn was delicious with the creamy remoulade and the perfectly cooked pork combined effectively with the paprika paste smear. The earthy root vegetable and very wintery inspired dish was hardly out of place in summer with the delicious gratin partnering effectively with a range of root vegetables to compliment the tender duck breast slices. Dessert served up an absolutely fantastic vanilla panna cotta with a hyped up flavour intense imperial mandarin sorbet. To conclude, the petit fours were a delicious end to the meal, all enjoyed in comfortable surrounds with excellent friendly service. A solid and consistent effort all round, with the dishes meeting our preferences perfectly. The creative flair of the chefs is certainly evident and they delivered. . . . → Read More: Chefz Table – 25 Jan 2014

Blackbird - 10 Oct 2013

Blackbird - Caramelised Pear

I really enjoyed my dining experience at Blackbird. The service was warm and friendly, constantly topping up our glasses of water, and the kitchen was quick and efficient in delivering our meals at the perfect pace. The portion sizes are on the generous side and well worth the money given the quality of the dishes. Despite having a 50% discount off the food bill, I thought the dishes were easily value for money at normal prices. The European dishes were something different to what I’ve eaten and I really enjoyed the flavour combinations starting the the caramelised pear salad with those lovely blue cheese filled beignets and the mains of confit chicken with stuffing was super tender. The Israeli cous cous was something very different and was really enjoyable. I was fortunate to get a taste of the other dishes and the quality and flavours were consistent and well executed. . . . → Read More: Blackbird – 10 Oct 2013

No 4 Blake Street - 14 Aug 2013

No 4 Blake Street - Dessert

No 4 Blake Street is only 8 months into it’s life, following on from Tom Randolph’s other restaurant, Tom’s Kitchen. No 4 Blake Street serves breakfast/brunch, high tea in the afternoon, and then transforms into a smart modern setting for the dinner service of a multi course degustation with a choice of options. However, they also hold a once a month event, the Rockford Dinner, which I attended today and comprised of a 7 course degustation with matching wines from Rockford Wines. The degustation commenced at 7pm and finished shortly after midnight, a long night of eating and drinking. The first few courses are a little low in intensity of flavour but then the kitchen proceeds to blow you away with some finely crafted creations full of flavour. I really loved the third course of smoked rabbit and pea combination, but then was quickly impressed by the fourth course of pork braise with homemade gnocchi, easily my favourite of the night. This was so delicious and could easily feature as a main on the menu. The fifth course served up delicious smoked duck with a bodied chestnut veloute which was polished off, and then the sixth course presented lamb in three forms: a fabulous tender loin, tasty breast, and sweetbread. I absolutely loved the palette cleanser of the mango sorbet, coconut gel and pickled pineapple which would look fantastic on any dessert menu. But then we were wowed by the seventh and last course of the night, a beautifully presented and crafted array of flavours and textures for our dessert. The Pedro mousse had some alcoholic kick but the soft light pistachio sponge, candied figs, pear, and that delicious refreshing bay leaf and white chocolate sorbet just left you feeling totally satisfied. I really enjoyed my experience at No 4 Blake Street, the setting, ambience, and the professional and attentive service making it memorable. I think the only criticism I would have is the wait time between the courses was a little too long, making the night a 5 hour event, however, given the care, detail, and attention placed into every dish and serving 7 courses to a packed out restaurant, the kitchen certainly has it’s work cut out. . . . → Read More: No 4 Blake Street – 14 Aug 2013

UK, London - Petrus

Petrus - Mains: Roast duck breast with confit duck leg & granola, spring onion and Szechuan pepper jus

I’m really being spoilt but I must indulge while I’m all the way over here. Another fantastic dinner in a lovely polished setting with professional service to match the professional food served. I thoroughly enjoyed my dining experience with the highlight being the main course of roast duck. What a fantastic jus so full of flavour it absolutely transforms the meal and steals the show from the perfectly cooked and roasted succulent duck. Of course, there was consistency across all the dishes and the signature dessert of the chocolate sphere presented not only theatre, but such amazing chocolate decadence. If there is a meal to finish off the night, this was it. . . . → Read More: UK, London – Petrus

UK, London - The Ledbury

The Ledbury - Course # 1: White Asparagus, Ham, Morel Mushroom

My first time to a world ranked and Michelin starred restaurant, I loved every moment of my dining experience. Not sure if because I’m an Aussie I got slightly special treatment given the restaurant is run by Aussie chef, Brett Graham, but the dining experience from the fantastic service in a wonderful setting, the quiet, reserved, and classy ambience, topped by delicious food made for a wonderful night, worth every cent. The highlight in food terms was the pork jowl. I did eat something a little similar (using veal) in Paris, but I have never eaten anything which made pork taste so good. The different level of flavours and textures of the dish were brilliant and all elements, not just in this dish, but every dish I ate, just sang in harmony. I was also impressed with the first course which was predominately vegetarian, yet packed so much flavour, it didn’t really make you miss meat. The dessert was another highlight of the night. I’ve made souffles at home but never eaten one at a restaurant. The passionfruit souffle presented to me was superb. Light, airy, with just enough sweetness and passionfruit flavour, a superbly balanced dish. I was very impressed and rated this amongst one of the top fine dining experiences of my 6 week holiday. I would easily go back again in a heartbeat, if only I didn’t have to travel across the other side of the world. Memorable. . . . → Read More: UK, London – The Ledbury

Chefz Table - 27 Mar 2013

Chefz Table - Dessert

While open for breakfast and lunch, I think Chefz Table’s real strength and appeal lies in it’s name, the Chefz Table – degustation. For it’s location in East Perth away from the main CBD, I don’t think it will appeal to executive lunches. The al a carte menu is a bit too pricey for lunch and dinner, but the degustation is where the true potential lies. The variety and freedom afforded to the chefs in allowing them to create what is more than just a 4 course setting (or more courses depending on your preferences and budget) allows the restaurant to deliver a standout experience. I’m not sure if patrons may find the concept of being able to specify your likes and dislikes in designing a menu to your taste daunting or confusing, but they are definitely not limiting themselves to a set menu. I think the freedom and creativity shows in the meals which are well thought out, present numerous flavours and elements without being too confusing but complementary. The beef entree needed a little work but the fish entree, pork mains, and dessert were absolute standouts. A little more refinement and the experience can easily rise a few more notches to a very high standard of dining. Hopefully they can gain more exposure as this is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. . . . → Read More: Chefz Table – 27 Mar 2013