Nuffnang Ads

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Bites: Restaurant Amuse @ Perth

A special occasion demands a special venue.  While it is nothing new for little darling, I did want us to have a good night.  With countless of praise from bloggers and food critics alike, there seemed no better place than Amuse.   Often renowned as one of the best if not the best in Western Australia, I booked well ahead of time to ensure we both had a place for our anniversary.  The decor of Amuse is minimalistic with art pieces showcasing symmetry and it all seems very textural from where I sat.  Was this a sign of things to come that night?  Multi-dimensional food with significant textural elements fit for heaven? I wonder.
Simple sitting!

As this was our anniversary I told myself not to be that geek with the camera but realise that I have the little darling with me. A few dishes I have missed out due to poor lighting and I did not take more than 1 shot of each course. But that was alright, the night was one to remember!

Drinks for two!  We decided to leave the menu a secret until we finally gave up waiting in anticipation after 6-8 courses.

Ocean Trout with Honey Mustard.  Good first impressions creates lasting ones and this was here to say.  This was an enjoyable yet fairly straightforward snack which can be applauded for so many reasons.  One in particular was the honey mustard where subtleness of the mustard gave a really good taste to the fish while the sweetness of the honey was just spot on!  Well toned flavours for this one.  The crisp gave it a nice crunchy too!

Potato Crisps were really good but I did not quite get the dollop or something.  I think the waitress mentioned brine or something something?  I remember that it was salty and sweet. Not bad!
Two other snack that were served was the Oat crisps and Prosciutto piped with Bone Marrow.  The oat crisp was nice but the snack with Bone Marrow was even better.  Darling and I were pretty sceptical at first but oh boy we were wrong.  The meat used to encase that lovely bone marrow was so nice!  So was the bone marrow itself.  Felt creamy and really tasty!

After the snacks came the bread with a really nice spread which I think was butter and solidified olive oil!  Basically really good in-house crusty bread where you have both wholemeal and white.  Free flow for the whole night.  Neither of the condiments were salted as the bread was already salty.  I have to say, I love my bread fresh.  That smell and the satisfaction of pulling it apart is gorgeous.  Saying this, I rarely eat bread, but when I do, I love it!

King Fish, Nashi Pear and Tea Tree.  This was the first proper course.  I hate sashimi.  But this was wow! No seriously, wow!  The fish was so fresh it was hard to hate.  Nashi pear slices really paired well with that fish.  Good thinking in the kitchen.  Tea tree hmm how does it even taste?  Not quite sure whether the crowd was necessary but as it is, the pear and the king fish was kickass! Nonetheless, I cannot say that having the tea tree did any harm.  Thumbs up!

Manjimup Truffle and Risotto was an additional course which I added on. No regrets.  Truffles really went well with that delicious risotto.  Definitely could have more risotto to bring everything together.  The flavours here were really  good. But was I liked most was the fact that it had that smokiness in it as if it was smoked or cooked in some bacon or something. So good!  It was also cooked to the extent of creaminess and silkiness that Masterchef judges always want. So this for me a thumbs up! 
After that came the all time catchy half-cooked egg in a jar course with enoki and hickory smoke. DAMN it was good.  I really enjoyed it.  Did not feel like it was something difficult to make but WoW! I do have a theory of how the hickory smoke is captured in the jar but some things are better left unknown.  The eggs and mushroom really felt like a modern reinterpretation of a Chawan Mushi crossed with an Onsen egg. Flavours were significantly Asian but had that Western flair.  Do I even know what I am talking about @@? Probably not.  Still suffering from after effects.
Also, there was the marron course served with guacamole on a thin layer of crisp with lemon dip.  I have had many marrons over the past few months. This one did not disappoint but neither was I wow-ed.   Good stuff but not “blow me away”.

Duck with red and gold beetroot on chestnut puree.  Perfectly cooked with a pinkish middle, these little morsel was of perfectly executed.  However though, it felt a little too small to feel the perfection of a duck breast. But the pairing with beetroot and chestnut was good. From the earthy feeling of the beetroot to the sweetness of the chestnut.  The combination was spot on.  There was also a textural component which brought a nice crunch to the whole dish!

Lamb three ways – diced, fillet, and pulled with chickpea was another dish that felt special.  Textural spectacular was here.  Two almost melt in your mouth lamb and a slightly chewy yet tender tongue finished with a creamy  chickpea names the reasons for the “wows”. The taste albeit slightly blend was really celebrated the flavour of the meat which I did enjoy.

Parpadelle with Sear Scallops and shaved Octopus.  This was one of the dishes that I was really looking forward to that night.   I started the dish with the parpadelle and some of the vegetables with a slice of the cuttlefish with some sauce.  And I really felt disappointed. The taste was blend. Really blend.  Another dive into the dish did not taste until different.  All until I popped that juicy scallop into my mouth and BAM it was a score.  While one could not fault with the scallop, I did not enjoy any of the other elements which followed.

Finishing the mains, we moved onto the the dessert dish where we started with a dehydrated mandarin slice and long pepper.  Just in time to prep us for our dessert course :)!

The first one up that night was a Hazelnut Sorbet with Lemon Curd and Pear with crushed nuts.
Upon my first glance, I was left wondering where was the lemon curd.  Apparently unsuspectingly shaped into long string.  Hazelnut sorbet was silky smooth like how ice creams should be.  Controlled sweetness with good flavours made this dessert every bit delectable.  The foamy pear element was another applauded creation that night.  It was foamy slightly sticky .. are there even words to describe it?  Crunchy hazelnut with all these other texture and once again, textural brilliance by the amazing crew at Amuse!

The final dessert that night was a game of balance and creation.
Passionfruit Meringue two ways with bitter chocolate mousse, sticky toffee, white chocolate and to finish, a sprinkle of salty caramel.  Passionfruit flavour was strong and so was the sweetness from the white chocolate, but the intensity of the bitter chocolate was spot on.  And like how many have mentioned before, a little sweetness can really bring the chocolate to another level.  The fragrant salty caramel was just so good!   Could have had seconds!

To finish the night was petite fours and hot drinks.  Darling and I were too full for drinks but we gladly picked on the little desserts.
I found the chocolate mediocre but the rest pretty good! Unfortunately the jubes did not leave me on a high note.  Previous dining at Le’Atelier de Joel Robuchon had me drooling for their berry jubes.  They had aced the consistency, and the fruitiness.  Amuse version of the fruit jubes was fruity but it was just soft through.  A little bit more of chewiness would have really made it perfect!  Then comes my favourite of the petite fours, the jam doughnuts which felt like a reminiscence of my holidays to Melbourne in my university days.  Was its that fluffiness of the pastry or that well proportioned jam and pastry, or perhaps both?  Having it warm fresh out of the kitchen was that added bonus. Delectable!!

I could summarise all that I have said once again.  But with the word good, yummy and all those words representing delicious so overused, I believe the contents have summed itself up.  High and lows were eminent but did I enjoy Amuse? Yes, I did.  The hosts were perfectly. Attentive in every sense and always prepared to help, what more can be asked of the crew?  Judging the food it was cleverly put together and despite the simplicity of some, sometimes less is more.  Amuse @ Amused. 

Restaurant Amuse on Urbanspoon