Chefz Table, East Perth

Website: http://www.chefztable.com.au/

Entertainment Book 13/14: 25% off total bill (up to $50)

Chefz Table Set UpMiss Anise and I usually had a pact to bring each other to a nice place for dinner in celebration of our birthdays. This year, she turned a notch up by organising a dinner at Chefz Table, which I have seen rave reviews on TV, and also on Urbanspoon. Needless to say, I was excited!

The concept is simple. You give the chef a list of ingredients that you’d like to have in your meal, and the chef will create a menu (it starts from 4-course all the way to even 10+ courses!). At the start and in the middle, you’d get an amuse bouche and the palate cleanser too.

The awesome red wineUpon arriving, we were promptly brought to our seat, with a nice view out into the sunset. Our wine order was taken – which was for the evening, a glass of red wine, from South Africa. I am regretting not writing the name of the wine down because we were both blown away by how good the wine was! Light, fruity, and complemented our food so well, we were delighted that we decided that wine over the Pinot Noir that was on the shortlist.

So, before I go into the dinner itself, the list of ingredients I had chosen included:

  • Celery
  • Beef
  • Smoked salmon
  • Beetroot
  • Ginger/Lemongrass
  • Blueberries/strawberries/lemons
  • Marron (prompted by Chefz Table themselves)
  • Mushrooms
  • Almonds/hazelnut
  • Rocket/Roquette

Fresh breadWe were first served with some bread, and home made butter. Served at such a lovely warm temperature, the butter simply melted right into the bun, and made for such a beautiful start to the evening. Nothing better than some home baked bread and home made butter.

Home made butter

The amuse bouche for the evening was a Tomato Lamington. It looked all springy but when you placed the little cube into the mouth, a burst of flavours came through the foamy soft texture of the ‘lamington’. That said, this was actually the least favoured dish of the evening.

Tomato Lamington

We then had Smoked Salmon Mousse, Smoked Salmon Salad, Lemon Curd, Balsamic Foam. Already we were seeing such a delightful amount the ingredients in our list in this dish! It was also awesome with the wild rice giving it a variance to the overall texture of the dish.

Smoked Salmon

We had not included cod cheeks in the list, but Chefz Table sought our thoughts on this, and we thought, “why not?”. So this dish was Cod Cheeks, Marron & Confit Garlic, Rocquette Soup, Duck Ham, Almonds. This was probably my favourite for the evening. Contrary to what I thought, the cod cheeks actually had a texture like chicken, and with the garlic, rocquette soup, ham and almonds, this was an aromatic dish filled with loads of good stuff! Yummo.

cod cheeks

Our cleanser for the evening was a Watermelon & Mint Sorbet (with a hint of cinnamon). Very refreshing with the mint, I wanted more than just the scoop we had!

palate cleanser

Our mains were next, which was Lamb Topside, king Oyster and Potato Ragout. This was the only ingredient we had that was different to the list we had, but what a beautifully cooked lamb it was. The mushroom element was further accentuated by a powder that was sprinkled on the lamb, giving it an additional oomph to the overall flavour of the dish. I personally loved the potato ragout and thought it went beautifully with the meat.

Lamb

Dessert was the biggest surprise for us. Hazelnut Cake, Strawberry Textures, Lemongrass. The first surprise was lemongrass in a dessert, but the real surprise was that there were celery bits in the dessert! These bits were soaked in strawberry flavour, and it was just wonderful having that additional crunch. This dessert was so good I forgot to snap a photo! But mark my words when I say it was absolutely delightful.

Being a birthday celebration, they surprised us even more by coming out with a little birthday cake to celebrate the occasion! How sweet! We got to take it home too since dessert was already included in the standard Chefz Table menu.

surprise birthday cake

petit foursWe ended off the evening with some home made Petit Fours, which were basically some truffles. It was lovely but by that time, I was bursting with so much food in the tummy that it did become a tad rich.

Service at Chefz Table was superb, with just the right amount of attention given to us throughout the night. The host of the restaurant was a lovely lady who took the time to make the whole experience a special one.

I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at Chefz Table, and would recommend this place for a special occasion, or just for a beautiful meal away from home with all your favourite ingredients.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5 stars

Rating by: S.T. a.k.a. Miss Egg

Chefz Table on Urbanspoon

Silks, Crown

Grand entrance1a

Website: http://www.crownperth.com.au/restaurants/premium/silks/about

Silks at the Crown Perth just opened recently and being a sucker for new restaurants, I called to make reservations for a Saturday evening but found they were booked out every Friday and Saturday nights for the whole of August! Guess I’m not the only sucker for new restaurants! We managed at the end to get a table on a Sunday night.

Everything was grandiose at Silks, from the entrance, lighting and decor right down to the menu and cutlery on the table. I love the warm lighting and ample spacing between each table. Great ambiance!

Lovely settings

 Gold lined plates and cutlery Check out the menu!

For drinks we had the Oolong Tea – Tie Guan Yin King ($6pp) and the Bamboo Garden, Sugar Cane, Lemon Grass and Lime Juice Mocktail ($12). The teapot was kept warm with a burner which I thought was a great idea. Our cups were topped up automatically the whole night – great service which I guess came with the price tag. The Mocktail on the other hand was very average, it had no sugar cane taste at all, it was more a lime juice than a sugar cane mocktail!

Chinese Tea Sugar Cane mocktail

Before our entrees came, we were served with a complimentary Spicy tuna pumpkin with egg yolk starter on a pretty Chinese spoon. Nice!

Spicy tuna pumpkin with egg yolk

For entrees, we had the following:

- From the Hot Appetisers section …

  • Baked Crab Shell with Portuguese Sauce ($18) – the filling was creamy but did not have too much of a curry taste to it as expected from Portuguese sauce. I love it!

Baked Crab Shell

  • Scallop San Choy Bow ($22) – this was tasty and had good serving of scallop meat. The only thing I would complain about this dish is the state of the lettuce cup. At this price, I would expect it to be crisp and fresh and cut like a proper cup.

Staff putting together the san choy bowScallop san choy bow

- From the Barbeque Specialty section …

  • Peking Duck ($11 per piece) – we were disappointed with this dish as the pancake was too thick and doughy and the duck skin was not as crispy as expected.

Peking Duck

  • Crispy Pork Belly ($38) – this was the best dish of the night! The skin was roasted to a nice crisp and the pork was succulent and tender. The mustard seed dip complemented the taste beautifully. I was not too sure about the sugar that came with it as well as it didn’t add to much to the taste. I would be back just for this! Best pork belly I have eaten so far in a Chinese restaurant in Perth!

Crispy Pork Belly Crispy Pork Belly

As I only had one Peking Duck for entree while the rest had two, I substituted it with a dish from the mains, the Braised Pork Belly and Lohan Fruit served with Hollow Bun ($16). More pork belly for me! The presentation of this dish was very cute where the bun is literally hollowed out so that the pork belly can be placed inside. This was delicious!

Braised Pork Belly with Hollow BunThe Hollow BunFinal Product

The next round was from the Soup section …

  • WA Blue Manna Crab Meat Hot and Sour Soup ($28) – another hit, I love the spicy and sour combination of this type of soup and this was cooked really well with the spiciness up a notch. There was generous amount of crab meat as well.

Blue Manna Crab Hot & Sour Soup

  • Double Boiled Silky Chicken with Abalone ($38) – this was another highlight of the table. The soup came with a plump abalone and it was my first time tasting a black silky chicken – the flesh was really silky like its name! The abalone was also soft and smooth and not chewy.

10The abalone! Black silky chicken

For the mains, we had:

  • Steamed Coral Trout with Iberico Ham and Black Mushroom ($48) – this was an ok dish for me but the others on the table did not like it much. The trout was tender but too small a piece. I did not like the ham that came with it.

Steamed Coral Trout

  • Wok Fried King Prawns with Salted Egg Yolk ($48) – this was a great disappointment for me! There was only such a faint hint of salted egg yolk in there that one would not have thought it was this dish unless you ordered it personally. The prawns were huge in size but lacking in flavour.

King Prawns with Salted Egg Yolk

  • Crispy Pigeon served with spiced salt and lemon juice ($48) – my first taste of pigeon and it did not leave me wanting for more. Meat was tough and I could not understand why in the world they would serve this with the head roasted almost black plonked on the dish, and further more with some garnish stucked in between its beak. It was more a turn off than a plus.

Crispy Pigeon

  • Braised Chinese Cabbage with Bamboo Piths ($32) – this was the only dish that the whole table liked for mains. I like the soft bamboo piths, more of those please!

Chinese Cabbage with Bamboo Piths

After the disappointing mains, we had high hopes for dessert but was disappointed again! They were a bit too fusion for our liking and too much happening in one small cup. It may have been better if they laid it out on a plate so that each component can be sampled.

  • Signature Mango Pudding Creme Brulee, Lime Crumble, Coconut Sago and Compressed Mango ($15)

Mango Pudding Creme Brulee

  • Cherry Blossom Tea Jelly aerated Milk Chocolate, Streusel, Cherry Mousse and Chocolate Sorbet ($17)

Cherry Blossom Tea Jelly

We were given complimentary something similar to a petit four of Szechuan Jelly squares and Sesame Seed toffee. The latter was better than the first.

Petit four

The meal costs us approx $150 each, the same as what one would pay for a degustation menu.  Service was slightly hit and miss, there was one staff who was very good (the one preparing the san choy bow pic above) but the rest didn’t seem too sure of what was happening at the table, with wrong dishes brought to us and what felt like ineffective communication between them. They had asked whether we wanted toothpicks and we had said no, but the next minute the toothpicks were plonked on the table.

In general, I think it is great that more fine dining Chinese cuisine are being offered in Perth. Personally for me, I would be back just for the entrees, most of them were amazing.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Silks on Urbanspoon

Clarke’s of North Beach, North Beach

Website: http://www.clarkesofnorthbeach.com.au

MenuI’d been wanting to go to Clarke’s of North Beach for my birthday the last couple of years but had never been able to get a weekend booking in time. This year I decided to organise a dinner there for a uni friend’s birthday. We got a table easily as it was a week night. Yes!

The restaurant interior looked lovely and provided us with the warmth as soon as we entered (Perth has really chilly nights!).  One cannot fail to notice all the awards hanging on the wall. Chef and owner Stephen Clarke is the winner of multiple awards in the industry including being named the ‘Good Food Guide’ Chef of the Year 2012 for Perth. I was really looking forward to the dinner!

EntranceLovely ambience inside the restaurant!

AChampagne to start with – I was the only one drinking that night!

My glass of champagne

We went with the Degustation Menu – 6 courses for $100pp. We also ordered an extra dish each for an additional $20.

  • Amuse Boche – warm soup with a mini glass straw – very cute!

Amuse Bouche - soup

  • Linley Valley pork belly, apple textures, crackle dust - this dish was amazing!! I love the “melt in the mouth” pork belly – more please! My favorite dish of the night!

Linley Valley pork belly

  • Confit Huon salmon, seared Esperance scallop, celery sorbet, fennel & yuzu – the scallop in this dish was a winner. It was also my first tasting of a celery sorbet, refreshing and very unique!

Salmon, scallop, celery sorbet

  • Honey roasted duck breast, confit leg, foie gras espuma – this was an additional dish ordered which I didn’t try but it looked great and was beautifully presented.

Honey roasted duck breast, confit leg, foie gras espuma

  • Queensland spanner crab, brioche, coconut, lime bonito salt (additional dish) – this was art on a plate and my 2nd favorite dish with the crunchy on the outside but fluffy on the inside brioche and the Asian fusion flavor of the crab meat.

Queensland, brioche, coconut

  • Prime fillet steak, braised beef cheek, onion puree & buttered carrots - it was a nice piece of steak, juicy and tender. Love the sides of buttered vegetables.

Fillet steak, beef cheek and vegetables

  • Chocolate & caramel with popping candy – delicious first part of dessert, the highlight being the popping candy. A party in the mouth!

Choc & caramel with popping candy

  •  Lemon meringue with steamed lemon and vanilla pudding - the last course to finish off the night, and another art on a plate. Yummy pudding!

Lemon meringue and lemon & vanilla pudding

Couldn’t finish the night without a cup of coffee – my Cappuccino :)

Cappuccino

Service at Clarke’s was excellent too, attentive but not too overbearing. Dinner here was as excellent as I expected. I will definitely be back again!

Rating:  4.5 out of 5 stars

Clarke's of North Beach on Urbanspoon

****TheatreDining @No4BlakeSt****

From the outsideOne of the greatest things about the blog we have is the invitations to various events and meals. This time, the PFEs were invited by No. 4 Blake Restaurant to experience the theatre of dining. I wondered what this would mean, and it was an educational evening!

Miss L couldn’t make it for this dinner, so I extended the invite to Miss Anise, who was surely excited to be my company for the evening.

No. 4 Blake Street is just off Walcott St and is along this unassuming street filled with a decent amount of parallel parking. One wouldn’t travel into this street if not for knowing about this place. As I got out of the car I noticed that there was a little note along the glass panels that would span the front of the restaurant…

Special Note

Aww! How sweet is that! It was a beautiful, warm and fuzzy feeling within when we read that. Made us feel special for sure.

Inside #1Table for Bottles of Wine and Champagne

Upon entering the venue, we were warmly greeted by Madjouline and Romain – our hosts for the evening. The friendly Madjouline gave a quick introduction and directed us to our table. There was a nice feel to the restaurant, with kitchen enclosed by red velvet curtains, which gave you the feeling that you are coming to watch a show at the theatre.

The room at the backWine Galore

Taste of the MenuWhilst waiting for the other guests to arrive, Madjouline had a quick chat with us, explaining that Romain and herself run the show for the head chef and owner, Tom, whom I only found out later was THE Tom from Tom’s Kitchen! Romain was also the in-house sommelier.

I took the time whilst the place was empty, to also grab some shots of the restaurant itself in its purest form. The back of the restaurant has an impressive collection of wines, more tables, and access to the lavatories.

Bucket full of bottlesAs we chatted with Madjouline, a stream of familiar faces started coming through, PFJ and her partner A, Perth Munchkin, TFP and Jac, Foodie Cravings and her bro, as well as C from Sprinking of Spice (and her boyfriend) whom I met at the Fuku soft opening. It was a sheer delight because it almost felt as though we were having a reunion!

Miss Anise and I were seated with Foodie Cravings and Sprinkling of Spice during this dinner.

As we were chatting with our glasses of the Cava Mas Pere, we were delighted to see Tom coming out of the kitchen to introduce himself to us. A warm and friendly guy, I was personally excited for the dinner to commence. Tom presented us an overview of the place – from the overall philosophy behind the restaurant, to the lighting chosen as décor to provide that ambience that would be carried through the rest of the evening. The idea of a typical dinner is that there will always be two elements of surprise – the Al Dente (a pasta based dish) and the Palate Cleanser. Tom described this as the opportunity for him and his partner in crime in the kitchen to exercise their creativity. And this… is where we get the theatre of dining truly taking shape. Concept – TICK.

Tom RandolphSpecial light for special moods

Bread and butterWe had some bread to start, with a choice of olive, and white sourdough. To complement the home made bread, we were also presented with three freshly made butter selections:

  • Olive
  • Pedro Ximenez
  • Orange

Miss Anise was hyperventilating when she heard Pedro because of her love for the actual sherry. Needless to say she was stoked!

I loved the bread – tried both varieties over the course of the evening, and enjoyed the warmth of the bread (something that seems to be lacking in establishments these days). All the butter had a lovely taste to it, with the orange butter sending out a little bit of a conversation on our table. I likened it to marmalade butter because of how it tasted. Didn’t sit too well with some, but I personally loved it. But the ultimate favourite would definitely be the Pedro Ximenez. Something so special.

The amuse bouche was a vegetarian platter of little shimeji, porcini foam, mushroom glass, sweet corn pannacotta,  and truffled popcorn. This is one of those dishes where you absolutely most definitely judge the book by its cover because the taste of the combination of those elements was simply divine! The sweetness of that pannacotta, with the salty popcorn, and the textures of those mushrooms, all culminated in that mouthful of the amuse bouche. What a wonderful start.

Amuse Bouche

For entrée, we were served on alternate seatings:

  • Rabbit parfait, belly presse, loin and kidney terrine, ginger tuile, pomegranate
  • Goat’s cheese ‘Gnocchi’, aromatic oils, baby herbs, borage blossom, tomato water

Entree #1

Loin & Kidney TerrineBelly PresseRabbit parfait

The rabbit parfait, belly presse, loin and kidney terrine was definitely a winner, with lots of praises going around the table.  Miss Anise had the rabbit combination for entrée, and she was impressed by the dish, particularly the parfait, which seem to ring true for the rest of the table who had the rabbit entrée. I had a taste, and enjoyed, but I have to say I preferred my goat’s cheese ‘Gnocchi’, which was laid beautifully in a bowl of clear (tomato) water broth.

Goat's Cheese Gnocchi

Close up of GnocchiOn first glance, it is difficult to expect what it should really be testing like because of the pale nature of the dish. Yet again, we were fooled by this actor in the entrée because this was one of the best dishes of the evening! The seemingly clear water base was the carrier of a fantastic, refreshing and tasty broth that was made with love over a good number of hours squeezing cherry tomatoes and filtering it. The ‘Gnocchi’ was really interesting as there was hardly any taste of starch in each of those parcels. I am not a cheese person, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. The combination of both the richness of the cheese and lightness of the broth brought much delight to the senses.

We were served with two wines chosen by Romain for the evening:

  • Rockford “Local Growers”, Semillon 2002, Barossa Valley
  • D’Arenburg, The “Laughing Magpie”, Shiraz Viognier 2004, McLaren Vale

I had a try of both over the course of the evening, and found the “Laughing Magpie” sitting better with me, and it went well with the duck that I had for main course as well. The Semillon was good but a tad heavy for me as a white wine.

The Al dente is a course that is served in between the entrée and main. This is one of two dishes on the menu where you will not know about till it appears on the table before you. It is a pasta dish that is creatively thought out by the chefs for the day and it changes. Element of surprise and variety – CHECK!

Al Dente

Close up of sweetbread tortelliniThis evening we were served a sweetbreads tortellini with a champagne cream sauce and orange zest. All pasta is made fresh in house. Having sweetbreads in pasta is something I have never seen before, so I was in a way excited but apprehensive about trying. But that apprehension disappeared in a flash when I took the first bite. Absolutely loved it! The sauce complemented the pasta, which was really well cooked. For those who cannot imagine sweetbreads being in tortellini… and tasting wonderful – come to No. 4 Blake Street!

Mains came not too long after, with 3 varieties of mains on our table due to my fussy eating style these days. The table had the following:

  • Seared duck breast, pencil leeks, poached plum, celery leaves
  • Glazed pork, white eggplant caviar, mustard, cassis, eggplant crisp
  • Barely cooked ocean trout, ink rice cracker, miso, cuttlefish and compressed cucumber

Duck closeupocean trout closeupglazed pork closeup

I would have taken the pork, but there was a bit of a misunderstanding with our special requests. So I ended up with the duck breast (made me feel rather special!). Miss Anise had the barely cooked ocean trout.

No4Blake-28

The duck breast was beautifully cooked, tender, and well seasoned – a tad salty towards the end, but with my palate for salty food, this sat well with me. The plum was a well chosen complement for the duck, with its sweetness cutting through the salty seasoning on the duck.

Barely cooked ocean trout

The barely cooked ocean trout was a winner on the table, with those who had it singing its praises. I had a little bit after Miss Anise put some on my plate without much warning and I found it to be lovely. The ink rice cracker lit Miss Anise’s eyes because of her love for squid ink dishes.

Glazed Pork

The glazed pork was cooked really well too. I had a bit to try from C of Sprinkling of Spice, and found it to be well seasoned, and had a beautiful combination of flavours. In comparison with the duck, I think the pork was the winner for me.

Then came the palate cleanser, to which we were served with a coconut sorbet with a sesame base, popping candy, sago and pineapple granita. Tropical flavours galore! This once again comes as a surprise to the meal, because the chefs get to decide what they would like to serve on the day. This was a clearly loved dish by all with everyone cleaning the plate right up from the moment it was placed on the table. Being the hungry soul that I was, I only took this photo with my phone, which was of poor quality! The most unique part of this dish was the popping candy that brought back that little bit of childhood, and the textural variety. I loved the sago as it brought me back to a place where it reminded me of home and the very many sago desserts we have. Overall a lovely surprising palate cleanser.

textures of passionfruit #2The desserts were what brought everyone to joyful tears. The following were served in alternate seatings:

  • Cherry & Chocolate garden: Valhrona chocolate mousse, salted peanut, dacquoise, cherry
  • Textures of Passionfruit: White basil ganache, mango, salted sesame, coconut sago

Miss Anise had the chocolate garden and I had the textures of passionfruit.

Chocolate Garden

Chocolate Garden FULLIt was clear that the chocolate garden was the dish of the evening in view of the moments of “awwwwwww mannnn” or “wow”… or just simple chatter amoung guests about how beautifully good this dessert was. I had a taste, and found it beautiful, with the mousse made out of wonderful dark chocolate. But I have to admit it was a tad heavy for me, particularly after being fed so well. Wouldn’t say the same view was held by the others with all the chocolate fans in the room finishing the dish up in style.

The textures of passionfruit was put in the back seat by the chocolate garden but I found this to be a beautiful refreshing dessert – really up my alley. The basil brought the freshness of the dessert out, with the mango, sesame and coconut sago giving it the decadence that one would expect to finish a meal with. It was lovely, and I would probably order it again.

Textures of Passionfruit closeup

The evening was very enjoyable – hosts Romain and Madjouline certain made us feel at home, and was friendly to a tee. The one thing I noticed as we guests started to leave the establishment, was the great smiles on our faces, which is certainly indicative of a great evening.

Our greatest thanks to Tom, Romain and Madjouline for a beautiful evening at No. 4. I have certainly marked it as a place to head back!

For those who are keen on knowing the prices:
Without dessert (4 courses) – $70, with matching wines $100
With dessert (6 courses) – $90, with matching wines $135

No. 4 Blake Street also serves high tea that boasts a menu of delectable delights ranging from cured ocean trout, grilled lamb with smoked eggplant, to stawberry and coconut macaron, and lemon meringue tartelette. Prices range from $42 to $62.

Narration by: S.T. a.k.a Miss Egg

Website: http://www.no4blakestreet.com.au/

No 4 Blake Street on Urbanspoon

Bistro Guillaume, Crown

1Website: http://bistroguillaumeperth.com.au/

Bistro Guillaume is one of the recent addition to the Crown Casino Complex. As expected, there was a big hype with its opening. I jumped on the bandwagon and decided to lunch there for a birthday celebration.

Bistro Guillaume is situated where Alure used to be. The entrance to the restaurant is quite impressive as well as the decor with its lime green highlights throughout. They must have spent a fortune with the renovation and interior decorations!

Bistro GuillaumeBeautiful bar areaDinner areaDining area

For drinks we had a Lemon Lime Bitters and a Caribbean Champagne ($18). The Caribbean Champagne is a mixture of white rum, creme de bananes & sparkling wine decorated with a slice of banana. What an odd decoration – the banana’s skin had black spots on it! Hardly something you would use I would have thought!

LLBCaribbean Champagne

Entree:

  • Complimentary bread and butter – the butter and salt were amazing, wish they gave a bigger piece of bread though.

Bread and butter

  • Blue swimmer crab salad with avocado, cucumber & capsicum coulis ($30) – didn’t get to try this but it looked pretty doesn’t it! + for presentation.

Blue swimmer crab

  • Escargot en persillade ($25) – this was my order. En persillade is a seasoning mixture of parsley chopped with garlic, herb, oil & vinegar. It came out looking very pretty but I thought the dish tasted quite bland. The two others who ordered this thought the same. They had tasted better elsewhere.

Escargot en persillade

For mains, I had the Rangers Valley sirloin (300 day grain fed) with crispy kipfler potatoes, watercress salad with bearnaise sauce ($42). Hmm, it tasted very ordinary to me. Nothing much to be excited about. I came to the conclusion that maybe French food is not my thing?

Rangers Valley Sirloin

The rest had the following (only managed to try a mouthful of each dish so can’t give much comments, enjoy the pics!):

  • Berkshire pork belly with salad of lentils, green apples & tarragon vinaigrette ($37)

Berkshire pork belly

  • Venison tenderloin with beetroot, parsnip & horseradish ($40)

Venison tenderloin

  • Veal sweetbreads with a fricassee of mushroom & truffle ($32) – I only had a mouthful of this but I could taste the delicious mushroom flavor in the sauce. The sweetbread was tender and melted in your mouth. I wish I had ordered this instead of my steak!

Veal sweetbreads

I ran out of time as I was in a rush to pick up a friend from the airport so I didn’t get to try their desserts :( Hope I didn’t miss out on much!

Overall, I found the dishes I ordered were all misses! Sad to say. The service was ordinary as well.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Rating by: N.L.

Bistro Guillaume
Telephone: 08 9362 7551
Address: Crown Perth, Great Easten Highway, Vic Park
Bistro Guillaume on Urbanspoon

****FUKU Soft Opening****

Website:
https://www.restaurant-fuku.com/

The PFEs were delighted and honoured to be invited to the FUKU soft opening that occurred during the week ending 14 October 2012.

We had two options to choose from and because of a little bit of a delayed reply we weren’t able to get our first choice and were booked in for the second evening’s session at 7.30pm.

Having been in touch with some other bloggers, I was personally delighted to know some of them were going to be there on the same day as us! Among them were Perth Munchkin, TFP, Life’s a Peach, Foodie Cravings, Sprinkling of Spice. PFEs were happy to see familiar faces and glad to have met the other fellow bloggers!

FUKU (meaning “lucky”, “blessed”, “fortunate”) is an Omakase/Teppanyaki establishment that has been set up by the co-owners of Tsunami Restaurant next door in Mosman Park. I was excited about this dinner and was eager for it to start! As I drove along it was not difficult to spot FUKU with its nice modern sign on the outside. What is less noticeable is the fact that one would not be able to open the door without pressing the ‘doorbell’ which is located on the side of the door.

As the door slid open, I was welcome by the warmth of the décor within FUKU, and by a bunch of diners who were already digging into the Omakase meal. I knew then that it must have been a staggered meal.

One of the things that you’d see stand out with FUKU is that each set choice comes with free flow of mineral/sparkling water, which is wonderful because one would not have to worry about thinking of the number of bottles of water you are consuming as you are enjoying your meal – definitely a great thought! I opted for sparkling on this occasion, and decided on the red wine on offer – a Willow Ridge 2010 Cabernet Merlot.

There are typically three choices when dining at FUKU:

  1. Good – $110 per person
  2. Better – $160 per person (this is what we had for the soft opening)
  3. Best – $250

Onto to the important stuff – FOOD!

The menu we were presented with:

We were also presented with a little ‘cheat’ sheet, where FAQs were neatly typed out for us to peruse:

Due to special request of no raw fish, squid nor octopus, I was presented with a slightly different menu for the evening (I will note this as I move along the dishes).

A little bit on each dish!

The Sashimi and Sushi looked rather fresh, and from neighbouring comments, it seemed that this was a winner start to the evening! I had some sushi as well, but instead of the sashimi, I had a lightly poached (shabu-shabu style) swordfish topped with some sesame sauce, which was absolutely beautiful. I loved how he didn’t fully cooked the fish and left this soft texture with the freshness just slide down the throat. One of the best dishes of the evening for me, easily. Great sushi served too. And… FRESH WASABI. Yes please! More Sir, more!

The next dish was Small Morsels, where the bulk of the people were presented with some Tsubugai (shellfish), Octopus, and a lobster meat and avocado salad. For the replacement of the octopus and Tsubugai, I had a fried quail with some Hawaiian ash salt – thus the black colour. The second dish was also presented with some slices of wagyu beef, complemented with the same sesame sauce as that accompanying my swordfish. The favourite was the beef, which was tender and great with the sesame sauce, then followed by the lobster with avocado… which when taken piece by piece gave a completely different taste/dimension than when you put the whole spoon into your mouth and have the flavours burst in the mouth.

The third dish which was yet another quail for me, but this time, it was with a pomegranate sauce, and a warm salsa, which had us all going “ooooo, interesting…”. I personally thought the sauce of this dish to be rather tasty, but perhaps I was too quailed-out by then, so this dish was a bit lower on the scale compared to dish 1 and 2.

Before we were served the next dish, we had another chef (not chef Tetsuya) come by and started heating the Teppanyaki hot plate, all ready to do some great action! We soon found out that it was jumbo prawns that were going to be on our palates, and it was awesome to see the chef in action, using his artistic skills to deshell the prawns, etc. Scallops were placed on the hot plate not long after. Butter was the highlight taste of the dish, with the other being the prawn head that was presented together with the seafood. I understand the prawn head was awesome with a great crisp. This dish was so decadent and awesome to taste that we were all left rather speechless. A clear favourite!

The fish of the day was served not too long after, and the sauce that accompanied had this taste of tamarind, all tangy, which left me a really happy Miss Egg to say the least! Miss L is not a fan of the sour element, so she did not enjoy this dish as much as I did.

Then came the exciting moment of the meal where the wagyu beef fat was brought out, in accompaniment with some eggs. The eggs were tossed and acrobatically cracked, all ready for some cha-han (fried rice) action! We were told that the wagyu fat would be used for the fried rice, and there would be some butter added, and we sure were excited! Well, I know I was.

 

During this time as well, we were politely asked by the chef how we’d like our beef cooked, with which I replied “medium rare” and Miss L “medium”.

I had my wagyu steak with the fried rice served together because of me being slow to finish some of the other dishes (too busy taking photos and doing the live broadcast, which we thank you for your great responses!).

I was honestly a tad disappointed with the cha-han – would have liked a little more salt in the rice, but it might be me having a less sensitive palate than catered for. I loved the beef. Every bite was tender and melted in the mouth. The sauce that accompanied it was lovely, and had a little bit of spiciness to it. The onions that were served with the beef gave the dish a sweetness to it, that provided a new dimension.

By this time, we were happily chatting to the other co-owner of the joint Brett, and asked us for questions, on top of those already mentioned in the FAQ sheets. Very approachable, we asked questions ranging from the source of the food items (and this is really international from Japan, to various parts of Australia, depending on the produce itself). He was only too happy to answer. We were then gifted with a presentation of this apparatus that serves to chill sake, which is meant to be the way good sake is drunk. It was awesome cool! And this is not engineers’ talk. It is… well, it was just cool. *wink*

As we saw the dessert being served, we were eager to dig in (I know I was), especially in that pannacotta, which sounded so lovely! I started with this, and as I dug in, it was nothing like what I expected of a pannacotta in that it was so silky, smooth, soft, and with that additional green tea flavour, this was just beautiful. I think this was my favourite part of the dessert dish. The mountain peach was so cute juicy. First time trying this, it was lovely. I wonder where we’d be able to get it. Then I finally dug into the Baumkuchen that resembled an Asian layered cake called “kueh lapis”, eaten in Singapore/Malaysia. As I took my first mouthful, I was expecting a sweet flavour to explode, but this was not the case, it was nice and light, and not overly sweet. Kinako is apparently ground soy beans with icing sugar. Innovative!

As most of the guests left, TFP, Jac and us decided to stay back for a bit to have a more intimate chat with Brett, which was awesome. A little side adventure was to the loo, where the female lavatory was very Japan like with a console for you to do various things. Think massage, think etiquette (where music starts playing for reasons both you and I will probably not need to elaborate on *wink*), etc.

The collection of sake on the other side of the restaurant is something that is of a great idea, with a significant portion special imports (only imported to FUKU). The most expensive bottle of sake is $300.

On top of the FAQ, you will find more information on FUKU on their website. Remember that they do not take bookings over the phone – only via the website. If you like to take a risk, then head to FUKU and see if the little lantern you see hanging is amber, it means there are seats available. If not, then you have missed out unfortunately.

FUKU has been a wonderful experience, and I am excited to see Brett and Chef Tetsuya carve themselves yet another big name in the food world here in Perth! Thank you FUKU for the invitation. The PFEs had such a wonderful time.

Narration by: S.T a.k.a. Miss Egg

FUKU Omakase & Teppanyaki
Address: 20 Glyde Street, Mosman Park

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Rockpool Bar & Grill, Burswood

Website: http://www.rockpool.com/rockpool-bar-and-grill-perth/

Rockpool Bar & Grill is a renowned restaurant in the Perth foodie scenery located in the Burswood Entertainment Complex.  I’d been meaning to try the restaurant out for ages but it had always been awfully hard to get the right timing and booking!  I finally managed to go one Sunday lunchtime.

Due to the hype surrounding the restaurant when it first opened, I was quite excited to see what the fuzz is all about.    Just from the entrance to the restaurant, you can tell that they have spent quite an effort jazzing up the place.  The impressive double wooden doors opened up to a candlelit walkway leading into the restaurant.  It  was quite magical.  The inside of the restaurant has a beautiful setting, with an open kitchen and a massive dining area.  What I like the most is the warm colours and lighting.  Very nice!

  

The waitstaff was quite attentive with our table which I thought was great, offering drinks as soon as we sat down, and explained the menu quite well, giving various opinions on the dishes.  He was also friendly which added a nice touch!  I didn’t felt like drinking that day so stuck with sparkling water while my sister ordered a lime drink.

 

To start of with, we were given complimentary crusty bread and butter. yum yum!

For entree, we had the following:

  • Sauteed white rocks veal sweetbreads and marron with almonds, oranges and rosemary ($35)
  • Crudo of pink snapper, ocean trout and yellow fin tuna with sorrel and lime flavoured extra virgin olive oil ($29)
 

This is my first time trying veal sweetbreads, which are actually the thymus glands of a calf.  They tasted quite good, similar in texture to liver but not as strong in taste.  Worth a try.  The crudo fish dish was great too, very fresh.  I like and wanted more!

For mains, we had:

  • Seafood from the Charcoal Oven – Coral trout served with herb salad and aioli ($55)
  • David Blackmore’s Wagyu corned silverside with horseradish, roasted onions and savoy cabbage ($49)
  • David Blackmore’s Dry aged full blood wagyu topside 240g 32 days ($52) with bearnaise sauce

   

I ordered the Wagyu topside and it was the worst mistake of the day!  It was so chewy and tough that I spat 1/3 of it out!  I was actually warned by my sister whilst ordering that I should choose something else as she had tried this a few months earlier and said it was too chewy and was very hard to eat.  In my head I was thinking it can’t be that bad.  Even though it was a secondary cut,  it costs $52, it should at least be edible.  I was totally wrong! and totally flabbergasted that the restaurant could serve something like this!  What a disappointment!!

The Coral Trout and Wagyu Corned Silverside fared better and were actually quite good.  I was glad there were good dishes otherwise it would have been a total disaster of a lunch!

We also had the Wood Fired Grilled Broccolini ($18) and Sauteed Mixed Mushroom ($25) as sides.  The portion was very small and the broccolini was too salty.  Definitely overpriced.

 

Moving on, we ordered a dessert each to make up for the below par mains.  We had:

  • Hazelnut macaron and banana ice cream sandwich ($14)
  • Creme caramel ($21)
  • Black forest trifle ($25)
  • Warm rhubarb, strawberry and almond pudding with vanilla sauce ($25)
  • Long Mac and Vienna Coffee (I was surprised they couldn’t make us a vienna coffee but gave us a shot of coffee and separate cream.  Strange!)
   
I had the Hazelnut Macaron and Banana Ice Cream Sandwich and that was the best dish of the day.  I was quite impressed with it, the banana ice cream was not too sweet which complimented the macaron shell.  Very good!  I didn’t try too much of the other desserts but they were warmly welcomed.
We were also given complimentary Caramel Popcorn which was a bonus.  It was very addictive too!
Overall it was quite a disappointing lunch for me due to the Wagyu topside,  however my experience was saved by the yummy hazelnut macaron.  I did tell the wait staff about the steak and he said he would reflect our experience back to the chef.  At least the service was great.
Rating: 2.75 out of 5 stars

Rating by: N.L.

Rockpool Bar & Grill
Telephone: 08 6262 1900
Address: Burswood Entertainment Complex, Great Eastern Highway, Burswood

Trading Hours

Lunch:  Sunday to Friday

Dinner: 7 days

Rockpool Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Amuse, East Perth

Website: www.restaurantamuse.com.au

Entertainment Book Card: 25% off (up to a value of $40)

Restaurant Amuse is located in an unassuming spot on Bronte Street, its reputation far exceeds its somewhat secluded location in East Perth.  Winner of the Best Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year for three consecutive years, it was opened late 2007 by owner Hadleigh & Carolynne Troy.  We decided to go there this year to celebrate my sister’s birthday.

Due to its immense popularity, it was at least a month’s queue to get a table on the weekend!  Aahh bad planning on my part!  We had to go on a week night instead.  So for those who are planning a dinner there, call early to get reservation!

To my surprise, Amuse has quite a simple decor – dark flooring with white panelled walls, and matching black tables and white chairs.  Simple but nice.

Restaurant Amuse serves only a 10 course degustation menu, priced at $125pp for food only, and does not offer an a la carte menu.  An extra $75pp is charged for wine pairing.

On arrival, instead of a menu with a list of the dishes to be served, we were given instead a sealed envelope and a choice of whether to open the envelope or be surprised!  Being curious, I opted to open!!  Inside was a list of ingredients to be used for the 10 course meal.  Not very informative!  It was explained to us that the menu changes with the season, based on quality produce that is procured and the chef’s creativity, therefore dishes are not listed!  Amusing!

Let the degustation begins!

Oh…but before that…the drinks:

  • Berry & Mint Punch ($10) – berries, mint & cranberry
  • Apricot Fizz ($10) – apricot, apple & lemon
  • Apple Julep ($10) – apple, mint & lime
  • Peppermint Liquer

  

First up..the Snacks - assorted platter of breadsticks wrapped with jamon iberico, crispy onion rings, organic oats cracker with sour cream and tasmanian ocean trout.  Amazing..and this is just the starter!

Next come the Sourdough Bread served with Kailis organic olive oil, and kept warm with heated stones underneath.  Wow!

 

And now the Main Courses…they are all simply delightful!

  • Blue Ridge Marron/Shima Wasabi/Soy Beans/Lime
  • Organic beetroot/Coffee Cocoa/Persian Feta/Wine Granita

 

  • Polenta with Free Range Eggs…came smoking in a glass jar!

  

  • Rottnest Scallops/Ocean Trout
  • Bread with Ricotta
  • Shiitake and Enoki Mushroom Broth
  • Amelia Park Lamb/Sea Lettuce/Potato

   

That’s the end of the main courses…we were given a Chardonnay Jelly to cleanse our palate before dessert time!

The first dessert course is a Rhubarb Compote and oats hidden under you wouldn’t guess what..fairy floss!  The sauce was poured over the floss to reveal the dessert underneath :)

 

Next came a course of Chocolate Dessert and a platter of assorted doughnut/marshmallow/jubes!

 

We also ordered the Cheese Platter option and tea to finish off the night.

 

Overall, it was a very satisfying meal, quite eye opening with the variety of dishes.  The staff were warm and very attentive and we were well looked after.  Explanation came with each dish and table was wiped after each course.  The napkin was even folded nicely and placed on the table each time we left the table, yeah!  Entertaining meal and well worth the price!

Rating: 4.25 out of 5 stars

Rating by: N.L.

Restaurant Amuse
Telephone: 08 9325 4900
Address: 64 Bronte Street, East Perth

Trading Hours

Tuesday to Saturday: 7pm to 10pm

Restaurant Amuse on Urbanspoon

Ha-Lu Japanese Restaurant, Mount Hawthorn

http://halu.net.au

Ha-Lu is located at what I thought was a slightly obscure spot on Oxford Street in Mount Hawthorn.  Its reputation however surpasses this hidden gem with numerous good reports from friends who had dined there before.  I got quite excited when I found out dinner one Saturday night was gonna be there as I’d been wanting to try this place out after reading about it in a magazine!  The dinner turned out to be a belated surprise birthday celebration as well.

The inside of the restaurant is simple in terms of its layout, with wooden tables and suede chairs/lounge.  It is quite tiny too so booking is essential.  I didn’t manage to take any photos of the restaurant itself as I was late from a previous appointment and so had to quickly rush in and concentrated on the ordering instead.   

  

This post is not going to be a review of each dish per say but rather a post full of picture of the dishes we ordered as they are too many to write about.  I have to say though that all the dishes were great!!  Presented well and ‘one of a kind’ - you can’t find some of what they serve here in other Japanese restaurants.  You can’t go wrong if you try this place out.  Its dining style is similar to a tapas bar where small dishes are ordered to share.  This dining style is termed ‘Izakaya” in Japanese.  I especially like eating this way as I love to try different dishes and what better way than to have a biteful of each.  :)

The menu is divided into different sections depending on the cooking style of the food: Cold Dishes; Deep Fried Dishes; Yaki Mono (Grilled Dishes); Ni Mono (Simmered Dishes); Zukushi Tasting; Side Dish and Desserts.

From the Cold Dishes, we had:

  • Wagyu Beef Tataki ($17) – very fresh!
  • Home Made Tofu & Mizuna Salad with Wonton Crisps ($12)
  • Duck Breast with Whole Grain Mustard ($11)
  • Salmon, Anago Eel and Aubergine ($16)

   

From the Deep Fried Dishes:

  • Crispy Pork with Oroshi Ponzu Vinaigrette ($7)
  • Crumbed Camembert Cheese ($9.80) – must try!
  • Vegetable Tempura ($12)
  • Agedashi Tofu ($8.50)
  • Octopus Kara-age and Lotus Root Hasami-Age ($12)

    

From the Yaki Mono:

  • Foiled Baked Scallops and Salmon ($18)
  • Soft Shell Crab Miso Gratin ($16) – wickedly cheesy!

  

From the Ni Mono:

  • Pork Belly “Kaku-Ni” ($14)
  • Patagonian Toothfish Nitsuke ($18)

 

From the Zukushi Tasting:

  • For Anago Eel Lovers ($24) – Anago tempura with with a hint of teriyaki sauce, grilled anago with sansho pepper, aubergine and anago ‘Nikogori’, anago/daikon ‘Kinuta-maki’, anago / potato ‘Dango’

And finally Desserts!

  • Green tea ice cream and Mango ice cream ($6 each) – my favourites!

 

Yum! I’m drooling as I look at the photos now.  Once again, the food here is awesome!  Service is friendly and very efficient as well.  A must try for the special occassion :)

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Rating by: N.L.   

Ha-Lu Japanese Restaurant
Telephone
: 08 9444 0577
Address: 4/401 Oxford Street, Mount Hawthorn

Ha-Lu on Urbanspoon

The birthday girl blowing out the candles and a look inside the cake:

 

As it turned out, the birthday girl was Miss L herself :)  Thank you friends!

 

Zafferano Restaurant, Crawley

Website: www.zafferano.com.au

Entertainment Card 09/10: 25% off (up to a value of $50)

Zafferano Restaurant is located within the Old Swan Brewery compound along the scenic Mounts Bay Road in Crawley.  Driving along this road always give me a dejavu feeling of going back to uni, memories of traffic jams coming from the south especially for the 9am classes!  Eeks!  However driving this time round for a meal here replaced the dejavu feeling with one of excitement! 

I’d dined in the Old Swan Brewery restaurant numerous times and recently even attended a wedding ceremony there, but had never been to Zafferano before this.  I have heard good things about the restaurant, mainly about it being posh and expensive but with great food so I had always wanted to try it.  The perfect opportunity came when we were contemplating where to take my mum for her birthday and my sister suggested Zafferano.  Yay!

“Zafferano is the owner’s fourth restaurant in Perth” – stated in their website..this statement brought great comfort, the owner must be very clued into the restaurant scene to have so many in Perth!  Our dinner will be great! 

Parking is limited and one must go through an underground driveway which leads to a parking lot in the opposite building if none is found outside the restaurant (Note: the parking is costly depending on how many hours you stay at the restaurant).  Having parked there, one must walk across the overpass bridge, through the Old Swan Brewery before arriving to what I presume is Zafferano’s back door.  Not a very attractive entrance I must say but I didn’t think it was worth the trouble going around to the front.

The restaurant itself is medium sized and has quite a nice ambience about it – dimly lit with soft lighting and checked floors, it felt like I stepped into a 80s Italian restaurant.  However the bar looked very modernised.  The host who took us to the table was very formal and serious, an image of an English butler came to mind as he served us.  Table was nicely set with wine glasses teamed with candle light which I thought was quite romantic, it glowed on the table. 

 

Zafferano is a seafood restaurant so the menu is full of all things crustacean with a few selection of meat and pasta dishes.  For entree, we had the following:

  • Ostriche alla Naturale Dozen ($29) – oysters natural, accompanied by shallots, red wine vinegar and cocktail sauce
  • Seafood Chowder ($36) – spicy seafood chowder, Zafferano’s signature dish

 

Oysters were delicious – they were huge, plump and most important of all, fresh.  Loved the red wine vinegar sauce that came with it, it added to the natural taste of the oyster without taking away the freshness.  The cocktail sauce on the other hand though was a bit strong and covered the oyster’s flavour.  The Seafood Chowder surprisingly was also very good.  It had a slight thai fusion taste to it and I had expected something thicker than what we got so was not too impressed at first, but subsequent tasting with the seafood pieces in it make it almost addictive, I couldn’t have enough!  Actually I feel like having one now while writing this review!  No wonder its their signature dish!

For mains, we had:

  • Paella con Gamberoni ($50) – large shelled tiger prawns served on paella rice with mussels and sausage
  • Salmone ($49) – grilled salmon fillet, with a red wine butter sauce, and served with mascarpone risotto
  • Tutto Mare ($50) – Zafferano’s grilled tasting plate of fish, squid, scallop and prawn over spicy fried rice accompanied with sauce
  • Arista d’Agnello ($49) – char-gilled rack of lamb served with eggplant parmigiana, confit bell peppers and red wine jus

and sides of:

  • Funghi all’ aglio ($17) – mushrooms in butter and garlic
  • Verdura ($14) – broccoli and asparagus with parmesan butter

   

The fickle minded me ordered the Zafferano’s tasting plate which came with a bit of everything, just how I like it.  Love this dish as I got to try everything in one plate!  I especially liked the scallop, grilled to perfection..I wish there were more of these on the plate.  The fried rice though wasn’t to my liking so I finished everything on the plate except for that.  I also liked the two Sides we ordered, okay I might be a bit biased as mushroom and asparagus are my favourite veggies but they were yummy, simple but delicious.  Sometimes less truly is more!

Comments for the other dishes were good too except for the Tiger Prawn Paella.  My mum ordered that but didn’t quite like it.  You win some, you lose some I guess.  I had too much on my plate to try the other dishes so no comments from me.

Having finish the mains, we moved on to the desserts and had:

  • Affogato al Frangelico e Biscotti ($19) – hazelnut gelato affogato with frangelico syrup and homemade fudge biscuit
  • Graffe di Mela e Creme Pasticciera ($19) – warm apple and custard doughnuts served with butterscotch sauce and vanilla ice cream
  • Special dessert for the night – Tiramisu ($19)

  

Nice names with the desserts - they sounded so complicated and posh.  I ordered the Hazelnut Gelato Affogato and I must say, it’s the BEST I had so far in ages.  The warm and bitter espresso hit the silky hazelnut gelato turning it into a creamy coffee sensation.  AWESOME! That combind with the homemade warm fudge biscuit is the greatest.  I wanted more!  The other two desserts didn’t fare that well in the poll though – my sister didn’t like the Apple and Custard Doughnuts and didn’t finish it (they ended up in my stomach =)).  Was ordinary I thought.  My mum didn’t like her Tiramisu either.  Oh dear, she didn’t fare too well with her choice of dishes.

Overall it was a great night for me personally as I nailed it with my order of entree, mains and dessert.  First time ever!  The others on my table did not fare as well as me, with the alternate hit-and-miss.  Service was so so that night, the waitstaff was courteous but not friendly and they took ages to clear our table and to give us the dessert menu after our request.  The restaurant being full might be the contributing factor but still, surely it’s not acceptable for a fine dining restaurant and for the price we are paying for our meal!  Personally though I would go back for an occasion and armed with the Entertainment Card discount, the price wasn’t as steep as could be.   The restaurant does live up to its reputation.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5 stars

Rating by: N.L.  

Zafferano Restaurant
Telephone
: 08 9321 2588
Address: 173 Mounts Bay Road, Old Swan Brewery, Crawley

 Zafferano on Urbanspoon