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Showing posts with label Burswood Eatery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Burswood Eatery. Show all posts

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Bites: Is this the best Japanese in Perth? @ Nobu, Burswood.

Nobu is a top tier Japanese restaurant with an International presence. Since making its mark in Perth some 5 years ago, Nobu has gone from strength to strength and even took out the title of best Japanese fine dining on some blogs.  But for some reason, I was never quite curious enough to step into Nobu, until today.  Nobu’s menu is a  cross between Peruvian and Japanese but is it a winner against my preferred French and Japanese fusion?  Lets check it out.

New Style Sashimi, Kingfish with Jalapeño.

This is one of Nobu’s most popular dish, but I was not convinced that the freshness and touch of citrus burst in the soy was enough to justify its popularity.


This dish on the other hand was wow!  Start with the thick slices of perfectly seared salmon, wrap the fried leeks in the salmon before dipping it in the complex sauce of yuzu, miso and hot mustard.  Its a real act of balancing here. So many things happening in one bite.  The citrusy beginning followed by a nice salty-almost sweet miso and to end it all was a hint of heat from the mustard!  Complex flavours working in harmony with one another.

Popcorn Prawn with Spicy Mayonnaise

Another Instagram favourite, the popcorn prawn.  Unless you have a prawn allergy, there is very little to dislike about crispy battered prawns.  Crunchy, salty and juicy in each bite, it is a crowd pleaser on its own. Unfortunately these did not pack the crunch I wanted.  Then comes the spicy mayonnaise.  I have had plenty of spicy mayonnaise but I was not satisfied by the spicy mayonnaise in Nobu. It tasted flat and perhaps a little boring.  Perhaps they could bump it up with more Sriracha?  Or maybe I am just too used to having Spicy Mayo made from Sriracha and Mayo!

Black Cod Miso

I talked about favourites at Nobu earlier but if Nobu is famous for something, it has to be its Black Cod Miso.  Presentation was everything I had expected to see and the flakiness of the cod was perfect.  There is something therapeutic about layers of fish flaking off one layer at a time.  It is like enjoying the marbling of a fine Wagyu!  Flavour wise the caramelised miso was nutty, sweet and salty all at the same time! Another high point!  Was it deserving of the hype? It sure was. If only the skin had more appeal hmmm.

Chicken Anticucho

The Yakitori is to the Japanese what the Anticucho would be for the Peruvians (according to google).  Yay/Nay/Ok? At best, it was only going to qualify for an OK.  The Anticucho was unfortunately drier than expected and it not for the punchy sauce, it would have been a write-off.  I guess after going to the Michelin Star Tori Shin in NYC, very few chicken skewers  are able to satisfy me with the exception of a finely executed Chicken Satay :P!

Pork Belly Spicy Miso Caramel

With my favourite Buta No Kakuni not on the list, I thought I would give the Miso Caramel Pork Belly a try.  Bad choice.

Fillet Mignon with Truffle Teriyaki Sauce.

The last savoury dish of the night was the Fillet Mignon with a Truffle Teriyaki Sauce.  Was it simply Beef Teriyaki with a fancy price tag?  Fortunately not! The advantage about using a quality meat like the fillet mignon is that it packs a good beefy flavour without the fat. The Teriyaki sauce was OK, but I was hoping for a more impactful truffle taste in the Teriyaki.  The addition of Truffle from Nobu would struggle to compete with the flavours I get from the drizzling of a quality truffle oil on regular steak.  Sad but true.  Another bummer was that we ordered medium only to be served medium-well! Bummer much?  =/!

Last but not least was dessert to share.  Pictured below is the Miso Cappuccino (we also ordered another Nobu Dessert Bento!)

Talk about Miso overkill!  This was the 4th dish with Miso and while I disagreed with  the order at first, I was actually glad my sister got it.  The Miso Cappuccino was delicious!  Frothy, at the top with a hint of miso.  It was not plain miso in your face but rather layers of frothed milk, miso, chocolate creme and I think some biscuit crumbs? Also, that shine on the froth with that perfectly positioned Nobu badge!  Absolute precision!  Enjoyable in every bite.

The bill was $300 for the night (without drinks) and was not as expensive as I thought it would be.  So yay or nay?  I am giving Nobu a yay but it barely got there!  My expectation for the  night was a 9, but it ultimately delivered a respectable 7.   So where did it go wrong?  Well lets start with what it did well.  The seared salmon with a complex taste composition was definitely a winner along with Nobu’s signature Black Cod Miso.  I also quite liked the Mignon with Truffle Teriyaki but was let down by the lack of truffle flavours.  Oooh did I mention the really delicious Miso Cappuccino too?  Then comes the let downs which were the Pork belly, and the Chicken Anticucho.  Sashimi King Fish and Popcorn Prawns  which are popular among Nobu’s diners lacked a punch!  Sister reckons we should give them another try perhaps for lunch as they are usually less busy and the food is much better! Perhaps I will one of these days. For now I will stick to French Japanese combinations.

Nobu Perth Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Bites: Yu @ Crown Perth.

Chinese food is probably one of the best cuisines in the world with so many techniques and ingredients making the possibilities unlimited.  As Yu places itself in one of the most exclusive venues in town, Crown Perth, I expect not lesser than a grand statement on the plate.  Or maybe not?  I have eaten in almost every venue offered in Crown Perth and I have to say that while many restaurant had me question the cost – quality benefit, it normally still serves pretty kick ass food.


For a birthday dinner, I was invited to join my friend and her family for a meal at Yu where we had the most expensive banquet on the menu.  The Pearl banquet for $110 per head is no cheap dining affair.  But when the list of dish was read out, it felt like an impressive selection of food.  To start the meal, we first asked for tea.  And this was how the whole event unfolded.  Firstly, the stained napkins of mine which still had lipstick stains on it.  Is this even premium dining?  I wonder.  To make things worse, no one bothered refilling our tea pots and even our glasses of water were dirty.    Absolutely horrible.


The first course is a traditional Chinese soup, the shark’s fin soup.                                                                             P3090004Such soup normally uses a rich poultry broth with delicious crab meat and egg swirls with sharks fin in there.  Unfortunately, there was close to no shark’s fin, the broth was horribly watery (and taste wise) and even the egg swirls were curdled as if no one bothered to stir it in.  That for me was an ultimate failure.  It was so bad that the birthday host questioned whether was he drinking a proper soup.


The next dish was the Baked Crab Shell with Portuguese sauce.                                                                              P3090020Digging in with the gold spoon, it looked creamy and luscious.  But when you eat it, it just felt weird.  The meat did not hold its form.  It was a little cloying because of all that sauce that did not pack a punch of flavors.  At the end, most of us did not even finish this.  The highlight? Gold Spoon.


Just when all faith was lost, the Peking Duck came out.                                                                                              OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I love my Peking Duck and my uric acid on the health report shows.  For me, this was a fine example of how things should have started.  A slightly crisp skin with just the right amount of sauce and those crunch from the flavors are just spot on.  It was from this point that I felt maybe there was a chance that things might turn around.  All because I really found this to be delicious and really this is one of the highlights of Chinese food in town.  Pretty good roast and Peking duck! Especially those in Northbridge like HK BBQ and Good Fortune.


XO Scallops and Asparagus                                                                                                                                   P3090026The XO Scallops and asparagus was in no way short of being generous.  It looks rich as it was piled onto a heap of asparagus with tasty looking XO sauce.  But it was in the first bite when things went a little awry.  Most noticeably due to the false sensation of sweetness of the sauce.  It felt a little fake and I am not sure whether it was sugar or perhaps MSG?  Either way, it was a waste to see this dish fail.


Crispy Fried Fresh Tasmanian Salmon


If I was on a mission to find crunchy cardboard to soak in soy sauce, I surely would not pay 100 dollars.  Why would you waste such a beautiful fish?  Only they would know.  Why not batter it well before doing a rapid fry for a crispy batter but a spot on inside?  GOD WHY?   This was another blunder that we did not anticipate.  It was simply cooked way longer that it needs to be.  The whole night really, was starting to crumble.


P3090032The next dish was the Steamed King Prawns.  I quite enjoyed this dish.  it was simple and touched on the basics but importantly, it was done right.  The prawns were worthy of being called king prawns and its garnish was just outstanding.  The simply spring onion and garlic really complemented the flavors of the prawns.  Plus the saltiness and sweetness from the soy, I was pretty keen to eat this dish again.


After waiting for a bit, we had our dessert.  But it was not a sweet ending like we hoped.  When we ordered the banquet, we asked their permission to each have a different dessert.  Initially, they said it was ok and it can be done.  But after making us pay $2000 for dinner, they decided otherwise.  How can this even be right?  Anyways, banana fritter, vanilla ice cream and syrup.


Not much criticism here but neither was this a spectacular finish.  It was just banana.  Deep fried.  At this stage I really have nothing left to say.  It was BORING.  Is this what Chinese food becomes when it is meant to be a level up?


This really was just PREMIUM GONE BAD.  At the end of the night, I had questions.  Heaps of question.  Perhaps simple ones are such as “Why is Yu even a premium restaurant and not in the food court?”  or “How is this even fine Chinese?”.  For me, Yu clearly it did not deserve the hype and respect at all.  In fact, when we made the booking for 2 tables, we were told to make a PRIVATE booking which would incur a cost of $100 buck or more for just a room.  When we said all we needed were two tables, they mentioned that they could not guarantee that we can be seated side by side.  All this threat and after a hefty bill which was close to $2000, this was the food they served.  No wonder I was told that they were going to change with another restaurant called Silk.    Sometimes even a helpful smile or good service can make a difference, but when someone treats you like crap, it makes the meal utterly disappointing.  In fact, this was the 2nd or 3rd worst Chinese meal I have ever eaten in Australia.  Most readers would know I often leave a decently neutral review even for some really mediocre restaurants.   So when it’s a scathing review, it’s a horrible place.  To all who found Yu disappointing, please do no think this is how a good Chinese meal should be. 


For example, this was something which I had in Hong Kong @ Ming Court last year.  See it here.  Funny how I thought Ming Court was only decent before.  Now that I have eaten at Yu, I might not be so harsh anymore!



Yu Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Bites: Bistro Guillaume Pt. 2 @ Crown, Burswood

Promising a return to Bistro Guillaume after a disappointing first visit, I am back here just two days after .   Some say “once bitten, twice shy”, but in this situation, it is a case of “don’t try, don’t know”.  Coming at 10pm, we were promptly seated and served unlike the first visit.  From there it was clear that the atmosphere at the Bistro has calmed down a  whole lot.  The crowds were more settled, the floor less frantic and everything has seemed to have slowed its paces.  In fact, even the waitresses are more composed and able.  For example, our waitress for the night very enthusiastically explained to us their dessert menu and accompanying hot drinks unlike the first time when we were just left with the menu.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJust the restaurant half empty which for me was a perfect setting for a relaxing end to my Friday night.


Having felt disappointed at the complimentary bread initially, I had really hoped to see something worthy produced in this place tonight as part of the renown Guillaume franchise.  For dessert tonight, the little darling and I ordered the petit fours and a chocolate soufflé to share.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe first three are the cocoa dusted chocolate truffles, aniseed cake, and caramel candy.  The petit fours were priced at $5 which was extremely cheap considering the variety we had.   And of course curious readers might be wondering why 5 varieties for something called Petit Fours, that is because the terminology actually means small oven in French and nothing to do with the number of mini desserts.   The chocolate truffles were one of the best I have ever eaten with its bitter cocoa dusting complementing the creamy velvety smooth chocolate filling.   The aniseed cake tasted very familiar but yet delicious.  As for the caramel, it was fantastic.  I am a big caramel fan and I cannot help but enjoy the  buttery rich flavors of a caramel candy!


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAt the other end, the pistachio macarons and fruit jubes were probably my highlight of the lot.  These sugary morsels were top notch.  Macarons had the right balance of sweetness with a hard shell which slowly develops to a chewy consistency through.  Pistachio flavors were obvious and for me, it was lovely.  Lastly were the fruit jubes which I have compared many times across my fine dining experience.  Fortunately, this is an extremely redeeming feature for the pastry kitchen who had initially failed to ‘wow’  me with their complimentary bread offering.  The jubes from my taste buds felt very fruity.  If I am correct, it was guava passionfruit flavor which had a good balance of sweetness and sourness.  The jubes had a good bouncy feel through it too.  This easily tops Jacksons and Amuse while sitting comfortably with the jubes offered by Le Atelier de Joel Robuchon.


The next dessert was the chocolate soufflé @ $22.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Digging in, I was treated to a luscious warm spoonable chocolate that felt so light it was unimaginable.  More importantly, it was rich yet it did not feel cloying.  Pistachio ice cream felt spot on in term of texture and in terms of flavor it had a good pistachio fragrant too.  Judging by the number of these that were coming out of the kitchen, it was clear that this is a house specialty.  And from what I had that night, this will continue to be one of the most highly sought after desserts in town.  However though, I was slightly disappoint as I was imagining a small chocolate lava filling in there as well.  Nonetheless, this was delicious!


Having finished our drinks, we were very happy.  Whether it was a comparison to our dinner two days ago or to our dining experience at previous fine dining establishments, this is how my first meal here should have turned out.  I enjoyed the service we received as the waitress showed passion at doing her task and performs it well.  More importantly, she picks up the little things such as being able to tell that diners are shy for asking more and does it automatically to help us make our decisions. Absolutely helpful.  Even the little darling felt that the service we received was impeccable!  But how do you make a great night even better?  Why not have a picture with the owner Guillaume Brahimi himself? :)! It was super good! I think I can safely withdraw my negative criticisms now.  But even then, there still exist a certain doubt in mewhether we were treated better because they can or because Guillaume was in house or was it just because the crowd was lesser.  Anyways, it was a good start to my weekend! I am pleased!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA



Bistro Guillaume on Urbanspoon

Friday, November 23, 2012

Bites: Bistro Guillaume @ Crown Casino, Burswood

After weeks if not months of anticipation and fully booked venue, the little darling and I landed our booking at Guillaume’s bistro at Crown Burswood, the new restaurant from the renown Guillaume Brahimi.  For me, this could not be a better way to celebrate our 29th Monthniversary, a date I came up with lols.   As we arrived at the bistro, we were served but told that we could not be seated at our table as it was still occupied.    After 15 minutes at the bar, we were finally seated.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABistro Guillaume! Finally!


Sitting down, one of the most notable feature of the restaurant was its quirky interior and how Guillaume has place his name all over everything. For me I liked the interior as it did not feel to cliché or pretentious.  Then comes one of the most dreaded parts of the evening, the ordering process.  On Urbanspoon, one user has even came up with a slogan for it called “French or Frantic”.  Yes the restaurant was full but with so many waiters and waitresses on the floor it should not be that hard.  After trying a few times, I finally got the attention of the waitress who mentioned that she was only here to serve bread and that taking orders were the task of the section waiter.  Ok FINE… I shall eat my bread.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACrusty Bread!   Was pretty damn crusty on the outside but soft on the inside!   Served with the obligatory salt flakes and butter, it was hard to fault although Bistro Guillaume being French, I was expecting a twist in its pastry kitchen.  Maybe a small Croissant?  Ok perhaps that was an insult to think that French only makes Croissant.  But seriously, just a bread basket with 2-3 choices would not be too hard.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASea Salt Flakes and Butter.   Without this, that crusty bread would have been impossible.  This was <3!


After a course of bread, our drinks arrived.  Darling’s Strawberry Frostie and my Butterscotch.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhile  the little darling’s drink tasted very familiar as she has mocktails every now and then, my cocktail of vodka, orange liqueur, and butterscotch felt delicious at first.  And typically being alcohol, it tasted pretty bitter.  But still a delicious treat for those not into drinks that taste too alcoholic!


I have always been a safe eater when it comes to my meals.  It was always legged or some sort of fish that I would call.  But being encouraged by fellow foodie Glenn of Glennlee and Chomp who reviewed this dish before, I ordered the Escargots En Persillade. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJudging by what I was served, these tiny morsels which tasted no more than mushroom with an earthier note was covered in a delicious herb sauce.  Not exactly sauce but rather a perfect mix of parsley, butter and a very obvious amount of garlic.  As a first time Escargot eater, I was very satisfied.  It did not feel chewy and neither did it stink.  Probably the later was more important than the former.  Eating this, I could not help but hoped that I was given more bread to polish every single bit of sauce of this dish.  The bread given has this bloody outer crust that just won’t cooperate in absorbing all that delicious parsley butter!   Luckily enough, the miniature spoon was handy in making this cumbersome task a whole lot easier!  When I was done, I momentarily reflected on what makes a great dish while putting away the exotic ingredient because I felt like something was missing. And it did not take too long before I realized that the dish was missing some sort of depth in flavor.   Yes, a few to share would have been absolutely stunning, but a dozen of these soaking in buttery parsley all for myself?  I was too greedy.


For the little darling, she ordered the Onion Soup.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOnion Soup, Old Bread and Melted cheese.  Typically something soupy would have gone down extremely well with the little darling.   But the onion soup at Guillaume’s was very rich in onion such that every scoop was filled with it.  To some, that might be lip smacking but for the little darling, it was a little overboard.   What she disliked even more was the fact that the soup was overly sweet.  She was hoping for something a little more delicate, more subtle.  The onions were ok but the sweetness was probably the thingy that she disliked the most.    I had a bite too and was wondering whether is even possible for onion soup to have such sweetness.  With no culinary knowledge, I can only assume that sugar must have been a component added somewhere along the line.


After finishing our appetizers, we talked and talked and talked and TALKED.  As we were pushed for time, we patiently counted the minutes and it took the chefs a whopping 35 minutes to bring our mains out despite us mentioning a couple of times that we had a busy schedule planned for the night.   Between the darling and I, we had a discussion about whether it was us being subjective because we were pressed for time but ultimately decided that it was just way too slow.


The mains:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAVeal tenderloin, Beet Root Puree and Baby Swiss Chard.  This was for me really delicious.  The meat was spot on.  Being served with beetroot puree almost felt like a no brainer.  Most gamey meat I have had always works with beetroot.  Lamb especially.  So it was no surprise how this dish went!!!!  Beautiful sweet beetroot which was immensely earthy paired with an earth vegetable.  Seriously a major amplification of taste.  The tenderloins were in a class of its own which was fantabulous!   Melt in your mouth feel was spot on.  This one I like, but was this French? I could not care less.


For the darling, her dish was the spectacle for the night.. or at least it looked great!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor $42, this really had to be a fish and chip with an achievement so high that one could easily pick the clouds after eating it.  Presentation was really cool and unconventional with a fish split up to down when it is normally done the other way around.    The chips were the fattest ones I have seen in a long time and even the lemon felt cut to impress.  The fish came with a slab of parsley garlic butter aka beurre maitre d'hotel that was meant to melt and leave a lingering buttery taste to the fish.  And very pre-maturely, the experience ended.  Promised before hand was a beautifully filleted whiting, deboned, crumbled and deep fried.  From the first few bites which ended just halfway through the fish, the little darling was struggling.  Bones here, bones there and that was it.  I immediately hailed for the Maitre D’ and expressed my dissatisfaction.  He quickly offered a replacement which was a gesture of kindness but as we were short of time, I requested that it be removed from both the table and bill.   Over all, the darling found this dish to be good but lacking in finesse.  The proper removal of bones and a side serve of sauce would have definitely made its price worth it.


It was a moment of coma as I walked out of the restaurant.    This certainly felt like a very premature ending to my night.  There were no desserts, the dinner was not cheap as it amounted to $120 excluding the fish, the darling slightly unhappy and it all felt very surreal.  Was this how my first French experience was to be?  Unfortunately in Perth yes but luckily, not in my life.  I lost it at Le Atelier de Joel Robuchon which was probably a very smart thing to do.    Speaking of food, Bistro Guillaume was not by any standard crappy or lackluster.  It was good.  Perhaps very good for most people.  But for me, it just was not great.  If the little darling’s meal of fish and chips were added to the bill along with two dessert, it was very easily a $200 dollar meal;  and that is my benchmark for fine dining where in all honesty, a picture this decadent bistro would never qualify.  A bistro is still a bistro.  Nonetheless, that does not mean I am not returning. NO that is impossible.  Until that chocolate soufflé with pistachio ice cream please my mouth, Bistro Guillaume is not disqualified from  a rematch.



Bistro Guillaume on Urbanspoon

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Bites: The Merrywell.

The Merrywell is one of Crown Casino’s latest effort to boost its image from what was an aged complex to a more upmarket complex.  This high end pub showcases the dynamic duo chefs Grant MacPherson and Sammy De Marco whom Fishman have seen on the television a couple of times.  With a fancy interior and a new courtyard area, the Merrywell clearly distinguishes itself from other more casual pubs.  Unfortunately, the crowd is still typical. 5 men all trying so hard to woo one lady hahaha.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWalking up to the reception, we were served but was told that to get a sit on the inside, we would need to leave our names and they would call us back.  But guess what?  That is the worst system ever.  Some people take forever to come, leaving many sits empty!  In the end, the little darling, fishman and I decided to sit in the courtyard which means we had to order food from the bar.


When this restaurant first opened, there were rave reviews on food websites giving it a 90% approval rating and such.  Since then, it has plunged to 68%.  Rocking up to the bar counter to order my food, I totally understood why.  Wait for 10 minutes, lean over the counter and the grumpy lady tells you that this is not a service counter, go to the middle to order your food.  Head over to the middle counter, wait 10 minutes to be served and the next young lady says we do not do food at this counter.  It has now been 30 minutes and still no food.  The little darling gave them the WTF treatment and they UNHAPPILY served us.  Add this to half drunk blokes spilling their beers over her leg and that was a really bad and shit service.


For the purpose of this review, the quality of the food is kept separate from the service.

What really surprised us after we ordered is that Merrywell actually serves food quite quickly in contrast to what the reviews have mentioned recently.  Our wait for the food only look us 15 minutes.

For starters, we ordered a Mac and Cheese with in-house HP Sauce to share.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThese delicious morsels of cheesy goodness definitely qualifies to be a Merrywell specialty.  It was crunchy with a balance of stringy melted cheese and macaroni making it absolutely yummy!  And for me, the HP sauce was definitely another highlight with a rich and tangy taste to it, elevating  the taste of the slightly bland Mac and Cheese.


The Lollipop Buffalo Wings were another specialty highlighted on the menu.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAComing from home where American Pub food is enjoyed for lunch, delicious buffalo wings are no stranger.  To start, I was really pleased with the celery although I do not really like celery.  The ones used were well aged and not overly old and fibrous.  The Buffalo wings were not dry and was well-cooked.  But my complain lies in the lack of robustness of the flavor.  I wanted more acidity, more heat and all the other intense taste which one would normally dunk in the blue cheese fondue to cool.  For me and Fishman, it could have been better.


For our mains, the little darling ordered mini Wagyu burgers.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI think these are easily one of the more impressive burgers I have eaten in awhile.  For me, it was the simplicity the stood out.  Its condiments were simple cheddar, BBQ caramelized onions, and pickles.  While the patty was not as juicy as other burger places like Jus Burgers, these little burger were impressive.



The Fishman as his names suggests, ordered the Roasted Tasmanian Salmon with Potato Pierogi, Pickled Beets, Sour Cream.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHe said it was pretty good and I would have to agree.  It was also the first time I have tasted Potato Pierogi which is a potato filled dumpling.  All the elements of this dish worked really well although all I had was one bite.  What might be a little turn off was that the salmon felt a little dry.  To be honest, such thin fillet should not be cooked for too long!


For me, I ordered Granny Grecco’s Chicken Parma with Spaghetti and Napoli Sauce.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAArriving at the table, one thing which instantly caught my attention was the intensity of the sauce.  The flavors of the ripened tomatoes were such a hit in this dish that the slightly soggy chicken parma did not bother me the slightest bit.  The pasta was smooth and plausible but I really did not care about anything because, at that moment, it was all about the sauce.  It was really a good sauce in my opinion.  Most places tend to serve a very light and subtle sauce which sometimes makes me feel that the tomatoes used was barely ripe but the one at Merrywell was really just spot on.


At the end, I was really satisfied with my food.  It was pretty much a class act for pub food.  However though, for $40, it might look a little pretentious because pub food is not only about quality, but QUANTITY.  The serving sizes at Merrywell was OK but nowhere near a typical pub.  Service is barely worth mentioning unless it is about its crappiness.  BUT, would I return?  To be honest, I would.  Perhaps not on a weekends without an inside booking and service.



The Merrywell on Urbanspoon

Friday, April 13, 2012

Bites: Rockpool Bar and Grill Perth @ Burswood

With her brother and sister visiting us from Adelaide, the little darling and I decided to organise a special meal.  Hearing how Adelaide has such good food had us feel the need to make sure that our dinner did not come up short in anyway.  For this occasion, the little darling decided on paying Rockpool a second visit. 
The famous Rockpool entrace!

After being seated and the menu explained, we were served complimentary bread with sea salt and butter.  While the butter was rich, the bread was slightly harder than what I would have preferred!  Having some salt though, seemed to enrich the taste of the butter and bread altogether!
Complimentary bread and butter!

As there were quite a few of us that night, we shared a few appetizers.  It was a pretty good suggestion by our waiter Simon as sharing allowed us to try and taste the different things Rockpool had to offer.

First up was a warm Salad of Wood Fired Grilled Quail with Smoky Tomatoes, Olives and Herbs.
What its reads is what you get.  The quail for me was cooked perfectly with its meat still slightly pink at the bone.  I also felt that the mixture of herbs really worked well together.  But the highlight for me were the tomatoes which had the acidity and sweetness which binds all the ingredients together.  Unfortunately though, the baby olives are never my favourite ingredients as they carry a distinct taste which I reckon is an acquired one.

Next was the Wagyu Bolognese with Hand Cut Fettuccine.
Just like the one I had before two months ago, this was faultless in every level.  Fettuccine was silky smooth and rolled out thin but not thin enough to break messily.  This was just superb.  Meat was juicy with a hint of crunchiness which till today is still a mystery for me.  Bolognese sauce was rich but not the usual thick and sticky one would expect.  This was super yums!

The next appetizer was the Charcoal Roast Chorizo, Potato and White Beans
Despite being sautéed in heaps of oil, it was all good. Caramelized onions were all the hype in that dish. Chorizos were OK while the potato and white beans provided a good medium to have the onions and chorizos with. What I did not enjoy was the bread that came with it.  Too dry that it did not even help absorb the charcoal flavour of the dish.  Still a recommended appetizer!

Charcoal Roast King Prawns, Split and Marinated.
These prawns were highly recommended by our waiter that night.  Nevertheless, it failed to ‘wow’ me because despite being tasty, it was nothing new.  Prawns came out small albeit being called king prawns.  Marinade was delicious but it was all too common.  This felt like something my aunty would do better than what I had at Rockpool.  While it was delicious, it was to me, too simple.

After having 5 appetizers to share, we then waited for our mains.  While doing so, we decided to have a little picture session among ourselves considering that we had the whole VIP room to ourselves :)!
Xin Woei, Yvonne, Nee Nee and Fishman!

Little darling’s brother and sister, Ern Ser and Audrey with her!

After a good chat, our mains were served.
For the little darling, she ordered a Seared King Prawns with Goats Cheese Tortellini, Burnt Butter, Pine Nuts and Raisins.  It was so rich.  Every bite was filled with creamy cheese which was for most people on the table, over the top.  While flavours had a hint of sweetness, saltiness and fruitiness, none was enough to tone down the stench of the goat’s cheese.  It was ok for me but the rest of the people, they still could not accept it.

4 cuts of steak ranging from scotch fillet to rib eye as well as the T-bone!   In a restaurant that prides itself for butchering and dry ageing their beef in house, the quality of the steak surely did not disappoint.  With the scotch fillet and rib-eye cooked to medium, the melt in your mouth feel was sensational!  No wonder Rockpool has been branded as a bovine heaven by some.  Unfortunately though, the T-Bones were cooked to medium-well done which resulted in a tougher than desired steak.  So what would I recommend?  For a budget, definitely the Cape Grim Dry Aged 36 Month Old  Grass Fed Kettle’s 240gm Scotch Fillet.  For indulgence, non-other than the $120 full blood Wagyu Fillet!

On top of the steak, we also ordered sides to share.
Onion rings came out XXX-Large but it was inconsistently crunchy!  Would not complain for 8 bucks though!

Cauliflower and Cheese Gratin was yummy and tasty! It would have been heaps better if the cauliflower was cook through!  I thought that it could have been in the oven for a tad longer!

Royal Blue Potatoes Sautéed in Wagyu Fat with Rosemary and Garlic was full flavoured!  Very tasty morsel to go with the steak!

“Mac and Cheese”! This was the ugliest photo of the night but it was the best side for the night.  The sauce was to die for, the mac and cheese was baked to perfection with a crisp top! Totally yummy!

After stuffing ourselves with all the food, we moved on to the final phase of the night; DESSERT!  While we were close to ditching the dessert, the little darling thought otherwise. 
Nee nee and her sister ordered a Peanut, Caramel Chocolate Tart with Milk Ice Cream.  This beautiful dessert looks like a piece of art but in reality, it felt like a giant ‘pod chocolate’ with a scoop ice cream.   Inside, the caramel was slightly overpowering.  For me, the ratio felt quite disproportionate.  Too much caramel, but so little crust to go with.  As the waiter described it, this was really a monster by all means when it comes to dessert!

The Raspberry Mille Feuille was the little darling’s choice! Her request was sour and she got what she wanted.  Sandwiched between thin pieces of pastry was raspberries and cream before being top with a scoop of sorbet and gold. What was seriously sour on its first bite became deliciously fruity over time.  It was quite an outstanding dessert if you’d ask me!  Slight caramelisation of the pastry is just magic when you realise all the little attention to detail that was put into producing this lovely dessert!

For me, I chose Fig and Hazelnut Tart with White Clover Honey Mousse! The mousse was fragrant with a hint of honey on the tart.  Fresh fig slices were lined with carefully piped mousse over a sponge bed.  Smashing!  Nothing overly sweet or sickening.  The whole dessert was very refreshing and truthfully, it kept me wanting more.  This for me, was the best dessert of the night.  With fresh figs, hazelnut and the honey mousse so there was so much harmony in the ingredients leading up to dessert.  All of it together really;  felt quite mellow.

Overall, I found the meal to be consistent with what I had before.  The multi-award winning restaurant has had some rave reviews recently which to me was seemingly fair considering how our Valentines Day visit went pretty well before and speaking of impeccable service by the wait staff, they were every bit helpful.  While this was all very fancy and superb, it had me thinking from the perspective of just the food quality.   There was no doubt that the food tonight was yummy but if I had not shared my dishes tonight, it would easily cost something like 90-150 per head which is really costly.  For that sort of price there are heaps of other restaurants including Amúse, Jacksons, Nine Fine Food, Friends and so much more.  In places like that, $150 gets you a 7-10 course degustation with impeccable service too.  Would it really be worth it to go for Rockpool? My take? Yes.

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