It was time to catch up with CS, and since we both work in the city, I thought we should treat ourselves to a nice dinner at Balthazar. This was after hearing rave reviews about the food that was served up at this establishment for the longest time. Needless to say, it was overdue.
Twas certainly a long day at work and I couldn’t wait to catch up with CS over a nice glass of wine, and hopefully good awesome food.
Upon arriving, I quickly sneaked in to find CS who had already arrived. We were nicely seated along a row of tables that had the booth seats on one end. Being the gentleman he was, I got the booth seat that evening. (:
First impressions when entering, is this lovely homely but finely decorated place, with a rustic element to it in its simply wooden chairs.
As we deliberated through the wine list, CS was quick to notice at the rather high prices for the wines that they offered, which to him, were not what he was really expecting (i.e. more expensive than he would have expected it to be). Not being the true wine connoisseur at the table, I noted it. Not being too blown away by the list, we decided to just order a glass of red wine each before deliberating further on the food.
- Glasses of the Bannockburn Douglas – $11
The wine was okay. I wouldn’t say it’s the best red wine I have tasted, and for $11, it was a little on the pricey side.
The menu was simple without too much description, so we prompted the waitress who served our tables. It seemed that all the mains were cooked in a similar way – which was to ‘poach’ (I couldn’t remember the technical term for it) the main ingredient at a constant temperature for a set time.
In the end, we decided on an entree and main each (dessert was to be decided upon after we had the two courses).
- Cured pork belly, garden peas, honey, balsamic – $20
- Quail, tomato, olive, basil – $23
- Salmon, wheat, basil, yoghurt – $42
- Pork, jamon, black pudding, scallops, cherry, radish – $42
CS had two serves of pork this evening. And it was partially my fault because we both wanted the quail, but for variety, he decided to give that quail to me and ordered the cured pork belly for entree. Aww.
Entrees were served elegantly, and I couldn’t wait to dig in because they looked rather appetising.
The quail that I had was cooked well, tender and moist, and all of the elements mentioned in the menu complementing the dish nicely. Great start to the meal.
The pork belly looked far more enticing than my quail, and by this time, I was kinda regretting ordering my quail! And then to make things worse, CS says it’s awesome. (-.-) Either way, the cured pork belly was tasty (I got a little bit to taste!) and again, all the elements complemented the main ingredient well.
By this time I was looking forward to the next course, but before that, we were served with a nice little palate cleanser – a lemon sorbet for this evening. YUMMO! Did not realise CS was not interested in his share until it was too late – would have helped him clear it up!
Then mains came, with simple presentation. I think the salmon’s presentation was on the plain side but that was fine by me as long as the taste was good. I was looking forward to digging in though because of how fresh the salmon looked.
As we dug in, CS crunched on his crackling, and I had the salmon melt in my mouth when I combined it with some wheat and the yoghurt.
The salmon was perfectly cooked, and I loved the wheat as an accompaniment to this dish because it provided that variety of textures to the dish. I really enjoyed my dish.
The pork was interesting in that it had a lot of elements to the dish, but CS enjoyed it too. Unfortunately, he dropped part of his second crackling, so that was a little bit of a pity since he was enjoying that crunch earlier in the meal!
The service here is alright. We did bear witness to a little disagreement between the table next to us and the floor manager, which was a little disappointing considering the establishment’s reputation. All it was about was the blinds that were behind the lady, who thought the lighting from outside was appreciated. The floor manager had wanted to lower them because he wanted to create the mood for the evening. The lady then explained that she was an interior designer herself and knew a little or two about lighting. It wasn’t long before the floor manager had his way. But this did not leave the lady at the table next to us too happy!
Overall, Balthazar was a good experience, and perhaps I was bearing a little too much expectations for this place, but I wouldn’t rate it top top notch. Would I go back? Yes but I wouldn’t be rushing.
Rating: 3.7 out of 5 stars (largely for the well cooked food)
Rating by: S.T. a.k.a. Miss Egg
Telephone: (08) 9421 1206
Address: 6 The Esplanade, Perth