The PFEs were emailed by the sales and marketing manager at the newly opened Llama Bar and Kitchen quite recently about a long table banquet – and this was an invite to join them for the occasion! How could we pass this great opportunity to try a new (old) place?!
The event was set at a time where Miss L was on holiday, so I decided to pull our retired PFE member, Miss Anise to join me, and to my delight, she was interested! Yay!
It had been a long long long day at work, so I was really looking forward to this dinner. I also knew that fellow blogger Perth Munchkin was going to be there too, so it was a great opportunity to catch up with her and GG too!
As we came into the renovated and refurbished bar/kitchen, I was pleasantly surprised. The last time I had dinner at Llama Bar was at least a year ago, and the place has changed immensely in terms of attracting people to come sit down and have a meal together.
Before long, more guests started to arrive, and I saw Perth Munchkin walking through with GG and we caught up for a good 10-15min or so before being nudged to our seats, which were pre-determined.
Miss Anise and I were seated towards the end of one of the long tables (there were two in total for the evening), with two guys from America who have come to work in Perth not too long ago. If they say music brings the world together, then the same can be said about food too! We started talking about food, which then progressed onto work, then back to food, restaurants, work environments, etc.
We were then given a short introduction by the bar manager, about the purpose of the long tables that were placed in the middle of their big restaurant area. The idea was to bring people together in bigger groups, and have dishes to share around (much like tapas)… this means you share a meal, and you share the moments. All very well presented, I have to say.
Anyway, onto the food! We had quite a fair bit of items to taste, so I will just go with the way they have structured the menu.
- Baked rye roll, beetroot balsamic, dandaragon olive oil
The baked rye roll came out as three big rolls, with one knife stuck through one of the rolls for us to slice ourselves. I personally would have preferred it if it were already sliced… as we found out in time, it made for a rather messy little task for us to slice our own bread because of how crumbly the bread was, and we only ended up sharing one full roll amongst the six of us. That said, the beetroot balsamic was absolutely gorgeous! Really light, and fresh, with an acidity that is not too overpowering, as you might get with some balsamic.
- Tea smoked duck, apple, hazelnut rhubarb
- Flash fried baby squid, dill, red tapenade, grilled lemon
- Salad of rocket, pear, baked ricotta
The second part of the service had duck, squid and rocket salad. My personal favourite of the three (did not try the squid though)… was definitely the duck. It was nicely smoked and with the fragrance of that duck as you chewed together with the apple, hazelnut rhubarb, it was a lovely combination. This was something we had wanted more of but only had one each! Definitely one of the best dishes of the evening.
The baby squid was well received by everyone, but Miss Anise found the grilled lemon with the squid to be a tad on the sour side for her.
The rocket salad was the typical rocket salad you’d get elsewhere in my opinion, but I enjoyed it because it’s a dish I’d typically order. *winks*
- Barramundi, pumpkin, coconut, coriander, ginger
- Steak tartare (said to be the Chef’s specialty)
- Pommes frites
For me, the stars of this portion of the banquet were the steak tartare and the pommes frites. The steak tartare was really tasty and had a nice freshness to it. The only thing that I would have liked a little less of was the amount of capers. I thought the capers did overpower the taste of the dish a tad.
The pommes frites was a topic of hot discussion… with a pun in there. Miss Anise was eating some and started touching her lips halfway… Curious, I asked her what happened, and she said she felt this acidity on her lips that she could not explain. Being the forthcoming me, I dismissed her comment, and right after, one of the two guys whom we were seated next to had the exact same comment! I immediately went back to the shell, but when I took more frites to see if I can understand what they were saying, I couldn’t. So we left it till the end when the chef came around, and Miss Anise decided to ask what it was… and it was actually white pepper that was the culprit! Miss Anise had actually guessed it correctly. So that was one plate of hot frites. Pardon the pun.
The barramundi was alright. Nothing much was said about it amongst us.
- Moroccan chicken cigars, spiced mango yoghurt
- Gnocchi, rabbit, slippery jacks, fresh horseradish, clotted cream
- Steamed broccolini, harissa, dates, pinenuts
The final ‘course’ came with some cigars, some rabbit and a forest of broccolini. I decided not to have the cigars as I was rather full by that time and really wanted to save the tummy to try the gnocchi and the broccolini (yes, this is even after the experience at Heritage where I was teased about the forest of broccolini). The chicken cigars weren’t too well received, but the accompanying spiced mango yoghurt was completely wiped clean because it was the honey to the tea. Or so I was told (since I didn’t have it). The gnocchi was nice, but I don’t think I’d be able to eat too much of that at a go because it was quite heavy on the tummy. Tasty dish though and I’d definitely have it again if I head back there with some friends. The broccolini was actually really tasty, and loved it! The harissa gave such a lovely kick to it, and I was more than happy to finish a plate of it… that said, I would have liked it a little more cooked…
We had wines by Henschke & Petaluma, which were lovely. Service was great, and the visit and chat from the chef definitely gave our experience an extra touch. It’s always nice to put a face to the name behind the dishes we have at any restaurant/café! And at the end… we were all given a nice little handmade truffle to enjoy. Lovely touch.
So in summary, we had some great dishes, and some average ones. The concept was proven to be a real success with many of us strangers heading out of the bar and kitchen a little more acquainted, and even organising a group dinner!
Thanks to the Llama Bar and Kitchen for the invite!
Narration by: S.T. a.k.a Miss egg