Taste: Great

Fraser's Restaurant Rib Eye Steak

Fraser’s Restaurant – 21 Sep 2016

Fraser’s Restaurant is an excellent classy venue that played host to a work function. With beautiful views of the Perth City by night and a large area with lots of room for tables, a stage, and a dance floor, the venue caters to a variety of events. I expected a high standard of cuisine and while the food was well executed in technique, it was let down by the balance of elements and in flavours at times. The food was uninspiring, too safe and didn’t give the diner anything special from the experience to warrant a return visit.

The goat’s cheese gnocchi was an interesting creation but the flavour of the goat’s cheese didn’t shine through. The tartness of the roasted pepper sugo, however, was an excellent element to pair and compliment the dish. A cave man sized chunk of perfectly cooked rib eye was served for mains but was really plain and unimaginative with a well cooked potato, caramelised onion for some sweetness, and a delicious jus to add flavour. Such a dish doesn’t need to wow but it needs some creativity rather than the pedestrian effort served up here. The sides were contrasting, a very standard salad which one could better at anyone’s home, and some really delicious smashed potatoes with rosemary and garlic. For dessert, Fraser’s have their take on an Eton Mess and this version was promising, with lovely vanilla ice cream, smashed meringue, blueberries and cream. I like cream but there was so much here it was sickening and I left the dessert. The last thing served was a cheese platter paired with crackers and fruit bread, which was a lovely finish to the meal.

Very generous in quantity, I certainly didn’t go home hungry, but was disappointed they couldn’t have lifted the balance of flavours to match the service and standard of the venue. I’m not sure if Fraser’s has fallen into one of those venues around the world which offer amazing views but can’t offer the food fitting for what you’re paying for.

Jamie's Italian - Gennaro's Famous Porchetta

Jamie’s Italian – 1 Sep 2016

I haven’t visited Jamie’s for a few year’s now since it first opened. We had lunch here with clients and I notice they have a Super Lunch offer of 2 courses for $25 or 3 courses for $30 which looked tempting. We started with garlic bread which presented a lovely soft bread filled with a delicious herbed garlic butter and garlic chips. I ordered Gennaro’s Famous Porchetta. The pork belly was very tender, though the crackling was a little tricky to cut through. The pork belly was soft and tasty and went well with the salsa verde and herbed garlic and chilli mixture. However, the apple sauce, while nice, dominated the pork and vegetables, to the point I left the sauce to the side. The meal was okay, not to the standard I had enjoyed on my first visits. The flavour balance is a bit off. I don’t think Jamie Oliver would be happy with the dish.

Roll'd - Roast Pork Bahn Mi

Roll’d – 5 Feb 2016

I got back to my desk and surveyed the well filled bahn mi. First bite in presented lots of fresh sliced carrots, cucumber, roast pork, and crunchy pork crackling. Chilli is optional but I definitely asked for it. The coriander is distinctive and the bahn mi is tasty, though, lacking in a few areas. The bun is nice though is not like the baguettes made at Le Vietname which are amazing. There is a spread of mayo and pate, though the pate is undetectable. The bahn mi appears a little dry whereas it should be moist. It’s not a bad representation, though it could be better. The iced coffee was excellent though.

P'tite Ardoise Bistro - Escargpt

P’tite Ardoise Bistro -19 Dec 2015

I really love French cuisine but P’tite Ardoise Bistro really didn’t do French cuisine the justice it deserves. I started with the escargot which served up 3 mini dishes, each containing 3 escargot immersed in a rich tomato base and a crunchy mini toast atop. The escargot were cooked well, nice and tender, some a tad spongey but tasty nonetheless. The crunchy mini toasts were tasty and the tomato base was good, though the dish was solid without being wow. I thought more flavour could have been delivered by additional parsley and potentially more garlic. The venison for mains was also perfectly cooked medium rare and served with a range of earthy vegetables which pair well. However, I felt the dish was underwhelming and quite pedestrian, really serving up meat and 3 veg. The French touches of a delicious sauce and flavour that is well represented in their dishes was lacking in this. I was quite disappointed with the outcome, particularly for the price paid, and passed on dessert.

Zapfhall - German Pasta with Speck

Zapfhall – 6 Dec 2015

Zapfhall (translation: beer hall) serves beer, wine, and all things German in a spacious hall with seating inside and out where you can overlook the buzz of South Terrace in Freo. There are a range of dishes from share plates, hot dogs, to heartier meals. We decided to order mains and share a bit. I chose spaetzle, the German pasta with speck. The pasta was pea sized, soft and tasty though a little plain till you got some speck. It provided a salty burst of flavour and tied together the mushroom, kale and herbs, plus the melted cheese. It’s quite a tasty meal but does get rich so the apple and fennel salad with a slight acidic kick is much welcome. I also had a taste of the veal and chicken schnitzels which were large in size though needed more oomph to the dish. The veal was a little chewy in spots but the tender parts were delicious. However, I preferred the chicken schnitzel which was crunchy and enjoyed with the malt glaze. I also liked the blaukraut (sauerkraut but with red cabbage) and the potato rosti hidden underneath the schnitzel.

Dusit Thai - Mixed Thai Desserts

Dusit Thai – 8 Sep 2015

I’ve been to a few Thai restaurants and while I’ve heard good things about Dusit Thai, I didn’t feel the experience lived up to the reputation built up. There are much better Thai restaurants than this. I thought that some of the dishes are not worth the price and there was an inconsistency in execution. The entrees were a great start to the night, different, and were tasty. The beef Massaman curry was tasty but required a ramp up in intensity of flavour, while the deep fried fish fillets in tamarind sauce, while cooked well, could have presented more crunch and more depth of flavour in the tamarind sauce. The papaya salad was really disappointing, moist, but chewy and quite dry in the mouth. The best dish of the night which would do itself proud in any Thai restaurant was the Pad Thai which was delicious. The desserts were a bit of a mixed bag with strong call outs to the delicious mor gang and pumpkin custard, but the thick chewy sticky rice was a let down. Despite getting a 50% discount, I certainly wouldn’t be happy to pay full price from a food perspective. The atmosphere and service though is commendable.

Ribs & Burgers - Old School Cheese Burger and Onion Rings

Ribs & Burgers – 21 Aug 2015

I visited to try the burgers after prior visits where I enjoyed the ribs. I ordered the Old School Cheese burger. I also got some onion rings which were not rings, looked more like soft shell crab, but were tasty. The American cheese in the burger shines through but is dominated by the sourness of the mustard. The sesame seed bun was tasty though cold, as were the contents of the burger which were luke warm at best. The beef patty was pink and a bit raw in places, lacking seasoning and flavour. I found the burger rather underwhelming and would recommend the gourmet burger joints like Grill’d or Jus Burgers as a better alternative. Come here for the ribs, especially the baby backed pork ribs.

Brando's Pizzeria Cafe - Brando's Special Pizza

Brando’s Pizzeria Cafe – 25 Jul 2015

Brando’s is open 7 days a week and been going since 1993. They offer breakfast on the weekends and the menu contains a range of pizzas to choose from as well as mains. I got a takeaway order of the Brando’s special large pizza (other sizes available) and I really enjoyed the freshness and flavour of the tomato sauce. I think it helped make the pizza. The thin base was lovely as too were the toppings. Pretty tasty pizza. I also enjoyed a spinach and ricotta ravioli which had a lovely light tomato sauce and a sprinkle of Parmesan for extra flavour. I also grabbed a delicious cannoli for dessert.

East Village - New York Cheeseburger

East Village – 10 Jul 2015

More and more American styled restaurants are opening up and East Village is the latest addition to that offering, located at 140 William Street. The interior offers a casual relaxed atmosphere gushing with activity and catchy music. While newly opened and very busy on a Friday lunchtime, the wait for a table was quick and service was prompt and efficient, including the kitchen. I ordered the New York Cheeseburger which exuded a delicious flame grilled flavour from the meaty beef patty. I liked the gooey cheese and mustard mayo, along with the typically American pickles, and the tasty bun. The burger was lacking seasoning and oomph which was a little disappointing and the chips were above average at best. I’d favour a visit to a gourmet burger joint instead. I also had room for dessert so ordered the key lime tart which had a lovely thick, heavy, rich curd with ample lime flavour surrounded by a tasty pastry. To take the edge off, the vanilla flecked ice cream was a welcome addition. Pretty good dessert but it needs to be lighter. I’d like to visit again to try some other typically American dishes and see how they are.