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Monday, May 13, 2013

Bites: The Trustee Bar & Bistro @ Perth CBD

Having heard rave reviews about this place in town since its opening last year made this place the perfect dinner venue for us hungry people.  Some things said by my accomplices include good value, lovely venue and the perfect steak.  Coming in at 7.30pm, the Trustee is an extremely busy place but hidden behind a curtain is a dimly lit section for dinners.  However, other venues are available too within the Trustee such as the bistro and the garden bar.   My pick would be the garden as it is airy, green and very nice to relax with great food on a Friday night.
Service was impeccable and our section waiter greeted us with a smile.  He was cheerful and sociable in way where he puts effort into building warmth unlike the inconsistent service faced at some restaurants. These for me are little things which make night outs great!
The starters for the night include the little darling’s French Onion soup served with a crisp toast and a roasted marrow @ $14.50.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWith the onion caramelized perfectly, its natural sweetness is what makes a delicious soup.  Bone marrow was a bonus and the dipping bread was the perfect accompaniment for her soup.  I am not exactly sure what a real onion soup should taste like because everyone creates a different kind of soup, but the one at Trustee was warm, hearty and for a wet Friday night, absolutely yum!  The one at Guillaume was definitely too overpowering for her taste buds!
For me, I chose the twice baked gruyere soufflé @ $24.50.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI have had heaps of chocolate soufflé before but never once a cheese soufflé.  But my expectation would not differ.  This was light in flavor but a bit dense on the inside.  The fragrant of the gruyere was mildly floating in the air but its taste did not lack intensity.  More importantly, this delicious hot pot of melted cheese did not make me feel sick when I reached the bottom!
Fishman ordered the roasted bone marrow @ $22.00OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
His dish too was nice with roasted mushroom and gremolata topping his roasted bone marrow.  It was another fine tasting dish although he would have wanted more marrow on the bone.  It was a little miniscule to enjoy!  I do not blame him especially when the entire marrow would have been no more than a tablespoon full! As for Yvonne, she ordered the  pork belly parcels, apple salad and fried shallots @ $19.  This for us was only an OK dish.  Its flavors were good but fell short of next level awesomeness.  Its flavors were not special enough and maybe was because its Asian influence did not bowl us over as we have had better before.
As we finished our entrees, we enjoyed being in the quaint dining area which is quite well insulated from the hustle and bustle of the trustee bars.  One the walls were stained mirrors and some really old school light decorations which had an Oriental touch hung off the high ceilings. Felt like a dining a derelict home @@!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter a 20 minute wait, our mains were out.  We had a whole lot of food to share tonight.  The Chateaubriand for $95 gets you 700grams of thick cut beef fillet, thick cut chips, bourguignon mushrooms, béarnaise sauce, a salad and some other carbohydrates which I suspect were potato cakes!  As recommended by the waiter, the meat should be cooked medium-rare.  Maybe I can take back my word about steaks falling in the medium price range because this perfectly cooked chateaubriand was so tender it melted in our mouths! Close enough :P! Yet it was such a lean cut with very little or no sinewy bits at all!  No wonder it is said that in the right hands, the Chateaubriand is a delicious cut of steak .  If I had no main except this to share, I would still walk away full as it was a very generous serve of meat.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis was the braised organic beef shin gnocchi @ $36.50.  Definitely one of the most expensive gnocchi in town.  Is this worth the money?  I reckon every single bit.  The gnocchi while not of the fluffy or light consistency, it was still delicious without being too doughy.  It also had beautiful charred outer bits with a very nice smell from the oil it was cooked in!  What was not so much of a hype was the beef shin.  It had great flavors but in terms of texture, it was just rough and not something I would like.  This gnocchi to me was good enough to be a dish even without the beef shin!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe next main we ordered to share was the pressed confit lamb, split pea and cauliflower purée.  Sitting on the plate, I cannot help but feel how this dish looked rustic in presentation but at the same time implemented a modern technique like the mint jelly.  While this all looked very nice, I found myself not too impressed with the lamb.  Confit in my term is strong flavor as it is cooked in it own fat but somehow, I would have very much preferred something more like a rack of lamb.  While this dish might have been executed well, it was just not my thing!  So next time, definitely no more confit.   Overall it was ok, but did not wow-ed anyone around the table.   
The Trustee tonight gave us a very good meal.  With hit and misses apparent in a few dishes, we were very satisfied with 4 out of the 7 dishes we called.  While that barely makes it a passable score, it was the addition of the great service that captured our fondness for the place.  Pair it with interiors of various feeling from a derelict house to an airy garden or a modern bistro, one cannot help but feel impressed.   But one thing was for sure tonight.  The lack of appreciation for some of the main would have came from our tummies which were already so full from the entrée that we wasted the confit lamb and the gnocchi. It was a terrible waste and something we all felt sorry for.  Perhaps next time just 4 appetizers and a Chateaubriand so that the four of us can share desserts?  I have seen reviews and really, the ice cream pops look so tempting!  Asking the homies whether they were keen for a re-visit, I noted their nods of approval!  Definitely coming back ;)! 
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