I recently visited Blackbird in East Perth after scoring a half price booking through Dimmi which advertised via Urbanspoon Promos. It was pretty sweet to be honest. Not very often do you get such value especially with European restaurants which are usually pricey in Perth. At Blackbird, the ambience felt romantic with its cozy environment enhanced by the dimly lit dining area.
To fill the growling tummies, we ordered Mini baguette and beurre de paris @ $2 each. Crusty warm baguette is always desirable especially on night when you go in really hungry and slightly cold. This was on such occasion with the butter melting on the warm bread :)!
We called a few starters which included the Pan fried squid, chorizo, black olives, aubergine caviar.While Jimmy boy could not recognize all the elements in there, the slippery aubergine caviar was a give away along with the chorizo which has that slight chewiness but at the same time, an unmistakable aroma. Squid were just little bits which were cook spot on. It was a nice little starter IMHO.
Little darling ordered something a little more healthy. She had the roasted nectarine, bocconcini and rocket salad. Perfectly caramelized nectarines with fresh chewy bocconcini and a simple balsamic dressing. Tempted by its rustic appearance the little darling enjoyed it. It was something she would order again. I found this dish quite appealing to me too. The key here was its simplicity and the good pairing of flavors!
For mains, my sis and Jimmy boy ordered the pappardelle with a cured meat cream sauce (might be pancetta).
Again, the key approach taken by Blackbird is simplicity. There was little distracting dish. It was a simple pappardelle dish with the cured meats very finely chopped. This infused the beautiful smoky aroma into a rich creamy sauce. Combined together with the silky pappardelle and it was a hearty dish all by itself. What buggered us a bit was the duration the pasta was cooked for. It felt a little overdone. A friend J who came here last year felt the same thing too. Perhaps this is Blackbirds preferred pasta consistency.
Around the table, we also had a few people order the beef risotto.
At this point it was very clear what Blackbird tries to do. Their cooking retains all the flavors of the key ingredients. Hence, their products were more subtle in seasoning but relied heavily on the aroma of the ingredients along with its natural sweetness. I found the risotto to be well-cooked with the flavors of the beef, red wine and parmesan present. Salt though, felt lacking. I would definitely have more salt on there.
My main was the seafood chowder.
With a decent serve of fish, mussels, and prawns, it was every seafood lovers joy. First point for the rustic presentation, and the second for the ability of the chef to cook all the seafood perfectly. Dislikes though were the lack of salt once more. But no worries, I could easily shake some onto my dish.
By the time we finished our mains, we were all filled! Blackbird for half price is a great it. But things like the seafood chowder costs $38 without discount, hence it might be a little too expensive as that would not fill anyone up just by itself. I think the risotto was $36 and the pappardelle was around $29. All of which is typical in Perth. I would definitely consider a return but with so many around, Blackbird might find itself in steep competition against other places.