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Equateur - 21 Aug 2014

Equateur - Creole Snapper Curry

My second visit to Equateur’s Reunion Island creole inspired dishes was just as good as the first. The ever smiling Mickael looks after his customers very well and provides excellent service. I started with an amuse bouche of an Emmenthal filled samosa with a creole vegetable salsa which was delicious. The entrée of pumpkin & choko gratin was an interesting pairing of elements with juicy tiger prawns and those lovely strands of intensified sweet potato. The chunk of creole snapper curry was tender, succulent and contained an interesting mix of flavours – tomatoey, acidic, spicy. With the spiced rice, lentils, and tomato onion chilli salsa, there was plenty to amuse the tastebuds. To finish, the vanilla crème brulee was nothing short of superb. A definite favourite, this version was unusually not rich which made it easy to eat and I truly polished it off with much glee. The 3 course meal at $60 is excellent value and with excellent friendly service from Mickael and quality flavoursome dishes, I can see why booking is essential. . . . → Read More: Equateur – 21 Aug 2014

The Painted Bird Bar & Kitchen - 30 Jul 2014

Painted Bird - Nougat Gelato, Brioche Doughnuts, Rhubarb Compote

Cuisine: Italian, French, Modern Australian Location: Perth CBD – Wesley Quarter

Obviously the Perth dining scene is very competitive and it seems the sudden explosion of restaurants in Perth over the past few years is unsustainable with a slow down in mining and cutbacks in corporate lunches. Hopefully things will pick up and . . . → Read More: The Painted Bird Bar & Kitchen – 30 Jul 2014

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

Chez Pierre - 22 May 2014

Chez Pierre - Creme Brulee

It’s been a long time since my visit to Paris and I haven’t eaten food that comes close. While tonight’s meal didn’t blow me away, I was satisfied with the consistency of the flavours in each dish. The roasted tomato veloute is something I haven’t eaten before and I really liked the creativity of this pocket dynamo. It packed a punch, full of intense flavour and sweet acidity. The tender succulent escargot and mushrooms in a rich delicious sauce made the dish superb. The perfectly cooked lamb may have seemed initially underwhelming but when paired with the sweet tomato flavour of the ratatouille, the dish was transformed. To finish, the creme brulee had the perfect amount of caramelisation and the spoon cracked through the thin, not thick, top, revealing a rich, vanilla flavoured custard that was fantastic. Considering the lovely setting, the efficient service, the delicious and well executed quality of the dishes served, for $58.50, the experience is a steal. I can see why this restaurant packed out so quickly. And this is a fine dining restaurant. . . . → Read More: Chez Pierre – 22 May 2014

VIC, Melbourne - La Parisienne Pâtés

La Parisienne Pates - Rabbit Pie & Chocolate Eclair

A place like this deli / café epitomises Melbourne. A place selling lovely produce, delicious food, excellent friendly service. This isn’t a full blown café with a menu. It’s more a deli selling cured meats and all things French, like French pastries, tarts, and quiches. Yet for the pastry items, you can dine in and have them warmed up. You just don’t get the warmed up item like the rabbit pie I ordered, but the food is served on a plate, with cutlery and a serviette, and also with beetroot relish which went perfectly with the delicious rabbit pie. Likewise, same treatment with the chocolate éclair, it also came with a dollop of Chantilly cream which is definitely needed. A glass and bottle of water are provided along with excellent friendly service. You get a lot more than just the items you’re ordering. The items I ordered were perfectly paired with the extras I wasn’t expecting which made the food far more enjoyable. . . . → Read More: VIC, Melbourne – La Parisienne Pâtés

New Zealand, Christchurch - St Germain

St Germain - Brioche Perdue & Foie Gras

St Germain offers up some delicious dishes on their menu. With so much to choose from, I selected The French Way – a degustation of dishes on the menu in smaller servings. This is also an excellent way to be introduced to some typical and famous French dishes. I love the French bread and the French onion soup to start off with was delicious and heart-warming. The escargot in a lovely blue cheese sauce was also excellent and then there was the cleverly put together foie gras. A recreation of a savoury apple crumble, the brioche base formed the crumb, a soft and flavoursome apple filling the apple component, and then the foie gras’s rich and creamy characteristics were used like whipped cream. A lovely pear sorbet with a dash of whisky followed to cleanse the palette before the main of cassoulet was served. The duck was just fantastic with the sauce even better. The highlight of the meal, I loved this dish. I love cheese so a selection of 4 French cheeses with salad and toasted raisin bread were an excellent pairing to enjoy. Lastly, if the experience couldn’t pack in any more food, 2 silken crepes immersed in an orange and grand marnier syrup were thoroughly enjoyed with Chantilly cream. An excellent representation of French cuisine. Superb. . . . → Read More: New Zealand, Christchurch – St Germain

New Zealand, Auckland - La Cigale French Markets

La Cigale French Markets

Cuisine: Cafe, Breakfast, Markets Location: New Zealand, Auckland – Parnell

La Cigale French Markets

Last day in Auckland and as the food on foot tour was cancelled, the operator who runs it, Lynn from Finding Flavours, happens to be a fellow foodie and blogger. She suggested I head to the French markets . . . → Read More: New Zealand, Auckland – La Cigale French Markets

New Zealand, Auckland - Chateaubriand

Chateaubriand - Quiche & Rocket Salad

In a purely residential area lies this quaint little French café that has a strong following from the locals. Unlike other cafe’s, they don’t have a menu. There are a bunch of pre-prepared items to help yourself to and pay at the counter. You can have those items dine in as I did, where my quiche was warmed up and I was also offered a simple but delicious rocket salad. The quiche had lovely bacon surrounded by a fluffy filling and excellent pastry. I also treated myself to a delicious chocolate éclair. Delicious. . . . → Read More: New Zealand, Auckland – Chateaubriant

New Zealand, Auckland - French Cafe

As I slowly savoured the first few items that were presented, the couple next to me who were just leaving mentioned I was in for a treat. How right they were. Fine dining at it’s best, I enjoyed a selection of delicious, creative, and well executed dishes that delivered on flavour, all enjoyed in intimate surrounds with professional service. From the appetizer of the potato crisp, to the amuse bouche of pumpkin soup, to the house made bread with flavoured butter varieties, the start of the meal was excellent. I really loved the creativity shown in the first course of snapper cerviche. Perfectly balanced flavours presented an excellent dish. The next course was the highlight for me. The roasted quail was superb with that earthy chestnut puree. The last course of snapper was an equally delicious dish. Despite having to forgo dessert, the palette cleansing ginger and pear granita was just the perfect end to the meal. . . . → Read More: New Zealand, Auckland – French Cafe

USA, New York - Per Se

Per Se - Nova Scotia Lobster

An interesting experience in a setting with wonderful views, ambience, and professional service. I much preferred the style of menu in tonight’s dinner compared to 11 Madison Park if comparisons can be drawn. Many of the dishes were lovely, some fantastic, but what was a recurring issue, maybe issue is too harsh a word, was that some elements just didn’t marry up effectively. The halibut, lobster, quail, and cheese were examples. Fantastic proteins cooked to perfection but let down slightly, or worse with the halibut, by elements which didn’t truly complement the dish. The additional elements should have their place to counteract other flavours (eg sweet v sour), or provide a textual contrast, and most importantly complement and better yet, elevate, the overall dish. But on several occasions, this didn’t occur. The salmon cornetto, caviar, summer melon, and desserts were excellent meals and overall I had a positive experience and was comfortably full. It did come with a hefty price tag though, so on that basis I’d still lean towards The Ledbury as my first choice and Petrus second. Just my opinion and what suits my tastes. Others will no doubt disagree. I’m very happy to have experienced dining at such a well regarded restaurant. . . . → Read More: USA, New York – Per Se