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

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Bites: the Classic Hakata Ramen @ Ramen Lab, Mount Lawley

When something new opens in Perth, there is very little secret behind it in this small city.  When Ramen Lab opened its doors to the public a couple of weeks ago, I knew I had to get in.  After all, there is plenty of space for more ramen in Perth.

Coming in hungry beyond words can describe, it was safe to say I ordered my heart out.  To start, a single serve of their Bao filled with cabbage slaw, and pork belly with a drizzle of spicy Aioli.

Clearly, each of these little buns were made with love.   The bao itself was light and fully. The starts though were its top notch fillings and spicy Aioli tasted a lot better than what I remember Sriracha Mayo tasted!  I particularly enjoyed the thinly sliced pork belly that had a slight charred smokiness to it. Did not looked smoked or anything though! 


Octopus balls topped with a Worcestershire based concoction, spicy Aioli, Bonito flakes, and Nori.  First thing that comes to mind when I ordered these is that it must have came right out of the bag! So there was little to dislike.  For sure it could have been a little bit more delicate but what do you expect right?  Very few people make their own these days.  Overall, these were pretty nice since I really enjoyed their spicy Aioli!

My pick of the Ramen bunch was Ramen Lab’s Classic Hakata.  This style of ramen is my all time favourite where an honest broth is given the punch of black garlic oil! This was no different as the bowl looked super inviting.

Looking at the noodles used for the Tonkotsu, you can immediately tell that the guys at Ramen Lab had done their homework because they paired their rich Tonkotsu broth with thin noodles instead of using the typical wavy noodle!  That’s like rule no.1 in the Ramen Book.  Then comes the other elements which were all very nicely done.  The egg was a class act, along with the spring onion and fungus.   Then comes the lovely pork belly which was tasted similar to the one in the Bao which isn't a bad thing considering how good it was!   While the Classic Hakata was good, I felt that there were areas where Ramen Lab could definitely improve!  First things first, the Menma or Bamboo Shoots needed a little more marinate because it still had a very strong flavour to it.  Secondly, the black garlic oil.  I love my garlic and the black garlic oil was way too little!  Lastly the soup by itself was lovely but with the noodles I think it could do with a little more salt.  The flavour was good but something felt lacking towards the end.

As noodles in soup continue to dominate the eating scene in Perth along with the craze for American BBQ and Fried Chicken, it must be wary.  Because if logic has it that a good bowl of ramen is like a trip to Heaven, then the converse must also true that a terrible bowl of ramen is a one way ticket to Hell.   Thankfully, Ramen Lab delivered better than expected because the lacklustre reviews prior to me coming were a tad concerning.  Sure there could be improvements but there was little to dislike.  Over all, it still was a solid delivery.  Oh yes, and I eat A LOT.  I would have definitely needed an extra serve of noodles if not for the sides I ordered.   A free serve of extra noodles would be good considering a bowl here starts at $15!  Would also note that the staff at Ramen Lab were extremely courteous as they made sure I got the best from the piping bowl of noodles by telling me to mix it properly and to not eat the strong flavoured Takoyaki and Ramen at the same time!

Check out my other Ramen posts:


Ramen Lab Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, August 3, 2015

Bites: A little Choux @ Chu Bakery, Highgate.

I love my desserts but the ones I like are usually balanced in sugar, not over the top in appearance but potent in flavours that could either be complex or simple. Chu Bakery is the new kid on the block.  Located opposite Hyde Park in Highgate a group of fresh faced entrepreneurs are bringing a new dimension of pastries to this side town.  

Whilst I packed a box of goodies for my friends, I only really tried the Choux Pastry and the Chocolate Eclair.

Needless to say, the presentation here was top notch.  But what tickled my fancy even more was how everything was produced with such refinement.  Just when you thought you have tasted it all, you get blown away by the silky smooth chocolate in the eclair.  The rich chocolate filling was spot on and everything was simply yums!

The Choux pastry itself tasted rather ordinary but in a way that was ordinary good.  Slightly crusty and chewy outer bit with a fluffy inside.  But the cream filling was all the rave for me. It was so rich, and creamy yet it felt very light all at the same time.  Then Chu Bakery's geniusly crafts little blocks of jelly which gave the Choux a different kind of consistency and an extra punch of flavour.

To Marco White’s pleasure Chu Bakery seemed more intent on refining the item and not reinventing the wheel.  I was fortunate to try some of their offerings in the short period of time I was at Chu Bakery.  With its promising offerings, it is only a matter of time before I return.  Next time, I will most definitely try their Choux Pastry with Matcha!

Click to add a blog post for Chu Bakery on Zomato

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Bites: The Perfect Schnitzel breakfast @ Mary Street Bakery, Highgate

When Mary Street Bakery first opened, and if you had ask me whether it was one of my top breakfast destinations, it would have been an outright no.  Trying their bakery goods, I was barely impressed by Mary Street Bakery’s cold-dense doughnuts, and mediocre tarts.  But this time around, Mary Street Bakery has found their grounding.

To start was the salted caramel doughnut and a pistachio-rose water doughnut.
Of the two, it was the Pistachio-Rose Water doughnut that came out tops.  It was the waitress’s favourite and ours too.  It appealed in all the right spots thanks to its fluffy texture, unique flavour and fragrance.  Meanwhile, we decided to try another salted caramel doughnut as we really like our salted caramel.  Unfortunately it did not satisfy our palate as much as the other.  Felt like another case of substance abuse and a “just because” everyone else is making salted caramel doughnuts case.

YH’s choice of breakfast was the Old English bacon sandwich with fried egg and HP Sauce served with a side of extra mushrooms.
The simplicity of such a dish is astounding yet the satisfaction from it can be significant if executed right.  Thick cut bacon, smoked HP sauce and the perfect fried egg.  Just when everything has clicked in place, the most unexpected disappointment kicked in.  The bread.  YH commented how he had to bite so hard it was impossible to eat.  Instead of taking a bite, he was tearing the sandwich to half and his teeth would soon start to ache.  To a certain extent he must have felt as though the sandwich came with free dental service when the crust started flossing his teeth. On the bright side, once the crust was peeled off, it was really enjoyable!  You get the runny yolk, crispy bacon and sweet shrooms all working together. 

My choice for breakfast that morning was the Pork Schnitzel on a base of creamed corn served with Kimchee and Egg.
I simply loved it.  Over the past few brunches, I have had a few dishes that sported creamed corn such as the one in Hylin but Mary Street Bakery pulled it off the best.  Its pairing was sensational and the chemistry was just right.  Crispy pork Schnitzel, earthy yet ripe corn puree and the fermented Kimchee.  All in all, simply immaculate.  It worked, it really did.  I had no criticism whatsoever.  The size was right, the flavours where there and damn it was lovely.  For $20?  Take my money!

The brunch at Mary Street Bakery certaintly had its hits and misses.  Like all experiences, you only remember the peaks and troughs but rarely the “OKs”.  Today, I will be walking away with the peaks.  From my perfect Pistachio-Rose water doughnut to the sensational Schnitzel, I was a happy kid by the time the meal ended.  So for this visit to Mary Street Bakery, a definite thumbs up.

Click to add a blog post for Mary Street Bakery on Zomato

Friday, December 26, 2014

Bites: Modern Dining @ St. Michael, Mount Lawley

Sitting in the place of Jacksons, WA’s legendary status degustation spot, St. Michaels is the new kid on the Beaufort Strip.  While I never knew the exact details of the owners, I did know that St. Michaels were the brainchild of the Red Cabbage establishment which hmmm did not provide me with much confident at all.  Do not get me wrong, Red Cabbage is a fine place but  I was not the keenest person after being scarred by the lacklustre of creativity from my first attempt there.  However, my sister was keen to give this place a chance and so I went anyway.  For those who are not aware, St. Michaels is now open for dinner which had just happened a couple weeks back ;)

However, because no one knew they were open for nights, we were one of the only two tables that night.  I loved being treated as if I had booked the whole place but really, it was just pure luck haha.  The dining style here is a choice of a la-carte tapas or degustation but we went for the degustation which was a no-brainer considering the $89 tag will be quickly surpassed if orders were done a la-carte.

After enjoying some crisp lavosh and bread with whipped vegemite butter, my attention turned to St Michael’s first course, the cold pickled vegetables and Bresola.
Highly acidic on the first bite, I quickly grew fond of this setup.  The musky beefy Bresola paired with the sour-sweet roots  made summer dining a bliss.  The taste was fresh and crisp.  A meal that left a very clean feel to the palate.

Australian seafood is a major highlight during the summer.  St. Michael brings the flavours of South America to plate in this dish of seared scallops.
The perfectly seared scallops were of a decent size but not massively huge. But where flavours were concerned, the dish was well-composed with the tasty salsa and sweet almost buttery charred corn complementing the fresh scallops.  Likeable at every aspect, there was a certain predictability about this setup that might have made the experience all a little too “common”.

The next dish was something a little more special with pumpkin puree, orecchiette and pecorino making their way to the table.
On the plate was pureed pumpkin with little pasta shells called orecchiette and roasted pumpkin, topped with fragrant pecorino cheese.  Sweet, a little cheesy with some pasta is how I would describe this one.  It was quite basic and could easily have been a really good dish.  However, there was an inconsistency across the plate with the doneness of the pasta.  Some were a little soft whilst a few were hard with a few sitting al dente in the middle.  I honestly did not mind it but sitting on the Jacksons’ spot where I had previously dined commands a lot of integrity :P!

The next dish of quail, carrot puree and deep fried crumbled ricotta was absolutely gold.
Cooked spot on, the quail was perfectly pink in the middle and superbly tender.  Then comes the silky gel-like carrot puree that was just sensationally seasoned.  Not too sweet, or salty, but just nicely ripe in the middle!  One its own or together, the crumbed ricotta is every kids dream snack.  Fluffy in the middle, crispy on the outside but more important, delicious. To finish was some popped buckwheat to give the dish a crunch.   Have all the elements at once and you would be thoroughly impressed.

After grazing through the appetisers, the plat de résistance arrived.  It was a dish of lamb. My first bite quickly reminded me of the lamb & scallops dish at Nine Fine Food in Highgate.  The lamb was slow cooked and pulled apart before being formed and temporarily pan fried to caramelise the outsides.  The fat contents were definitely pretty high with this one as it literally melted in my mouth!  Little bits of nifty tricks to break the norm like the mint jelly was quite a joy to have.  To sum it up, the lambs falls into the category which I call “same but different” and I like it.

After resting my buds for a bit, our maitre d introduced me to the pre-dessert course.  Described as being neither savoury or sweet, the dish consisted of a thin carrot cake slice topped with celeriac ganache, little mounds of blue cheese, pear sorbet and poached pear.
I do not know where to start because this was literally my "dish of the night".  Its description falls way short in explaining how delicious this combination was. The spongy carrot cake with a tart almost sweet blue cheese paired with the refreshing sorbet was simply genius.  Add the crunchy walnuts and juicy pears to the equation and it was even better.  This was an exemplary reinvention of the cheese course where one has blue cheese with pear, candied nuts and crackers.

Last but not least was a dessert course after an oatmeal palate cleanser.  Themed parsnip, and honey, this was an all vegetarian dessert.
Parsnip sponge, and parsnip sorbet on cornflakes with honey drizzled all over.  To end the night, it was quite right.  Refreshing, light and over all quite easy to eat without leaving one feeling as if he/she had just eating a block of  meat.  Now, if only it was a little less salty!  For some reason the sponge has salt in it, which I found to be unnecessary because the cornflakes itself already has some salt.  Not a major fault but something that could have been easily prevented for sure.

At the end of the night, I enjoyed the meal at St. Michael quite a fair bit.  Unlike its more established sibling Red Cabbage, I found myself more enticed to the creations at St. Michael.  Dishes like the scallops as well as the lamb were rather predictable in flavour but still, faultless in all ways.  The carrot slice with the walnuts, pear condiments and blue cheese were exemplary in reinventing the classic blue cheese plate.  In saying that, there were a few errors which displeased me especially with the last dessert being quite salty or the pasta dish being inconsistently prepared but otherwise it was good.  Nonetheless, this has got to be one of the better $89 dollars spent in 2014!

St Michael 6003 on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Bites: El Publico @ Highgate

El Publico has long established itself as a social dining scene where Mexican meets modern Australian.  Its food is colourful from good Australian produce and flavours are Mexican-ly robust.   But is it really all that good?

Before jumping into the cliche of tacos, we ordered a couple of shared plates.  From the ceviche to the marinated corn, beef mogo mogo and the classic corn chips & dips, each came with their own merits though special is a word reserved for the beef mogo mogo and chipotle creme.
In essence, the beef mogo mogo was a pulled beef morsel coated with green banana batter and deep fried.  Crunchy on the outside and filled with tender beef on the inside, this was just superb to eat and taste.  Looking in retrospect, the banana was always there to leave a fruity after taste that was not too overpowering to deviate this savoury dish in becoming a sweet one.

Our starter the corn chips & dips were typical and tasted OK, so it was hard to complain about but definitely not praise worthy.   Felt like the order was more of a norm rather than a must.


Looking at the menu earlier, my eyes were fixed onto the marinated grilled corn.  Unfortunately for me, it did not quite come out the way I would have liked it to.  I wanted something a little more charred on the outside and extremely juicy on the inside.  I agree with my sis that it was perhaps better served on the cob.  Pretty decent flavours nonetheless.
Tacos were pretty good here.  That night we had a round of cuttlefish tacos for the table.  The tender flesh was a highlight but its $7 price tag did not quite tickle our fancy.  Instead, I recommend the grilled chicken plate.  Large pieces of chicken with a sides of rice, beans and tortilla, this was DYI at its finest.  None of the elements really stood out on its own but put them all together, and it was burrito party!  So for you people who like to get your hands dirty, this one is for you!

Whilst we were all very full from the meal, we could not help but end the night with a delicious peanut butter parfait. Jim’s take on this was that it had to be the best dish that night!  It had texture, flavour and a general all rounder appeal.  Sweet peanut crumble with a salty and rich peanut butter was easily the highlight.  However, the textures of melting parfait, and crunchy peanuts were all too hard to ignore.  Yums.
So with a $181 damage for 4 people including drinks, El Publico is no standard fare for an everyday’s meal.  It is a little inflated part due to its location but more to its reputation.  Its food was not outstanding, but neither did it disappoint.  For the money we paid, it was a pretty decent eat.  But not life changing.

el PÚBLICO on Urbanspoon

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Bites: Ace Pizza @ Highgate

Sitting on the previous site of Barollo’s is Ace Pizza,  one of the hot new places in town.   Opening its doors to customers no more than a few months ago, it has been very well-received and most have had a great experience here.  With a strong team which also owns Cantina 663 and el Publico, Ace Pizza was almost surely to deliver.  I was excited.  But did it?  Well, looking at the history of the business, I have been to Cantina 663 and was blown away.  Cantina 663’s shared plates were a hit the moment it arrived at the table and that kept us wanting more.  This gave me high hopes for the starters that were about to hit the table soon!
The first appetizer for the night was the Chop Chop Beef.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACoarsely diced beef marinated in salt, pepper, lemon juice and olive oil served with crispy bread.  In the first instance, a spoonful on the edge of the crispy bread felt sufficient.  It was tasty but only very subtle.  But the second round came a little mundane. It needed more flavoring.  Maybe more lemon, salt and a hint of sugar.  Would not mine some heat too.  Sounds a little Viet/Thai/Mod Jap but it needed something.  Beef was mildly tender but this was not your typical beef tartar.  
The next appetizer was the meatball with pepperoni sauce.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis for me was where my sensations were heightened.  I was elated.  The sauce was flavorsome with just the right amount of acidity. I cannot distinguish all the seasonings but it worked.  With the boss bringing in some extra bread to mop up the yummy sauce, it was right on the dollar.  I loved this.  The meatballs were soft and could break apart if not spooned gently, but I could care less.  This was spot on!
Our next appetizer was the Mac n CheeseOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         One of the most popular Mac n Cheese in town comes from Merrywell many would say.  I am a big fan of Merrywell too.  But when it comes to their bite sized Mac n Cheese, it was their HP Sauce which I loved.   Here though, the chunky Mac n Cheese was served with none.  But I get it.  Who needs a sauce when the fillings were already so yummy.  It was salty, and cheesy with a crisp outside.  It was really good.  In comparison, I would have to say that this makes the Mac n Cheese in Merrywell taste a little bland!  I also suspect they might have used a combination of cheeses!
We then move on to the mains.   Our first main was one from the oven, the Beef Short Ribs, carrots and pancetta.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABeef ribs are probably one of the most gifted parts of a cow.  When cooked properly, it literally falls off the bone and its meat, to die for.  Just imagine a beautiful melt full of flavor from that perfect braise.  Here, it was exactly that.  So tender it would fall off the bone under its own weight.  It was its usual fatty self which means I had to cut away huge portions of fat or risk ending my night prematurely full from the lard.  Chopped coriander splashed across a diagonal was a smart herb move which complemented the beef well.  The side of carrots cooked in quality thick diced pancetta gave it an extremely good flavor which together with the caramelization, brought us to heaven.  But BEWARE that this is bloody sickening if eaten alone yet perfect when shared.  This lovely ribs brings me back to my trip to Cantina 663 last year! See it here WenY’s take on Cantina 663
The NY Strip Loin cooked to Medium – Rare was another main we ordered to share.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere, it was cooked perfectly.  The middle was dark red in color and it just looks spectacular when arranged the way Ace Pizza does it.  However, we lamented the cut.  None of us had eaten this part of the beef before and obviously without research, we jumped right in assuming that it would be tender.  But it was not :(!  It was tough but surprisingly flavorful.  I guess that might be its only consolation.  No second time for this one unfortunately!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThat neon. Does Ace Pizza qualify?When I think of pizza, I think stretchy mozzarella, delicious toppings, and a crust to die for.  All the beautiful things a pizza has to offer.  We had two pizzas to share that night.  The pig lovers which was a continuation with my love affair for the meat and the other was a neutral preference, the fungi magico.  Do not worry, no magic mushrooms involved.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo where do I start? Ok, first things first. 
The stretchy mozzarella:  On both pizzas,  I wish there was more.  Maybe double.  As is, it was too little! 
The toppings:  For the pig lovers pizza, the toppings were adequate.  Large slices of pepperoni, and pancetta with two types of cheeses was a nice gesture.  Something I could definitely live with.  But with the magic mushrooms, I was a little astounded by the bareness of the terrain. I wanted generous amounts of mushrooms.  All the different types.  Earthy Portobello, with some thinly crisped, some plump button mushrooms and maybe throw in some Chiodini.  All those beautiful textures and flavors finished with crumbled ricotta.  Saying this,I am immediately reminiscing my on and off affair with Delizioso which makes the most beautiful mushroom pizza. Oh so good! 
Moving on with the base/crust: I soon start to forgive the lack of mozzarella.  At Ace Pizza, it felt as if they wanted to have subtle flavors that complements the base. Not the typical American overload.  The base was thin, crisp and over all good.  But for some odd reason, the fungi magico crust felt like it had a tad too much salt.  But in terms of consistency, I definitely liked this over the doughy ones from other places which includes the famous Little Caesar’s Pizza.  The one here was light and nice.  And then comes the Pig Lovers.  It was an experience which was marred by the fact that the toppings were pretty salty but the base was pretty thin.  At this point, my companions were like “salt overload”.
My take? I found a few slip ups but over all not a bad bite.   
Last but not least, we decided to give the desserts a try.  But we were not going to rush it.  We did it slowly.  If it was good, we ordered a next one.  Our first dessert for the night were the Tiramisu doughnutsOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy preference for doughnuts has always been the good old deep fried ones.  Served warm, preferably, it should be fluffy and soft.  For a Tiramisu filling, fragrant and decadent but more on the sweet side instead of the mature liquor laced ones.  How were the ones here?  In terms of texture, it was a little denser than what I would have liked but definitely one notch better than the ones at Mary St. Bakery.  But it was ultimately the filling that we were not impressed by.  All it had to offer was a slight whiff of coffee fragrance which ended our joy quite prematurely. In the end it was OK only.
If I had to illustrate the enjoyment I had tonight, it started good with the Chop Chop beef, with my enjoyment peaking at the Mac n Cheese and Meatballs.  This followed through to the Short Ribs and it declined after.  Perhaps coming into what seemed like a pizza establishment, we expected a little more where pizza was concerned.  But here it was a little off.  The appetizers were good and so were the ribs.  With some burgers, this could be the best dude food establishment.  Unfortunately, it was not intended to be what it could have been.  Coming in at 6, the service was good but not great.  Still better than most places which are only average.  As for the pricing, I think what I paid for is decent in this environment.  A tad cheaper than Merrywell but easily comparable.  With all the mix comments I have given to Ace Pizza, the ultimate question really is; will I return?  Definitely a yes.  I so look forward to enjoying the starters again for sure.  Next time, I am definitely ordering the Lasagna which my foodie mate Queen of Bad Timing raves about!

See her reviews here Visit 1 and Visit 2.
Ace Pizza on Urbanspoon

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Bites: Mary St. Bakery @ Highgate

Following the lead of several bloggers such as the Queen of Bad Timing and Nini Foodielicious, my sister and I decided to go have our next sibling meet up here.  Coming in around 10.30am, it was relatively quiet and the quirky crew were prompt to have us seated.  I love hospitality like that.  No overcrowding or queues!  One thing for sure though, an empty restaurant can also be a bad signal.  Nonetheless, I was not discouraged to try out a few of their offerings. 

We started with a hot chocolate for me and a coffee for my sister.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf you had your first great drink, and it was the best, then it will be a sensational drink you can brag about.  But when you had one too many, it becomes a norm.  And trust me, in Australia most places serve very decent coffee and this was one of it.   Definitely noteworthy.


As we had already eaten our breakfast, we only ordered a few pastries.  There were plenty on offer but I decided to start with a filled doughnut for both my sis and I.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFilled doughnuts.  What comes to mind is a fluffy, light, and sweet pastry.  When warm, an even more delectable treat.  The fillings here were nice but the doughnut itself leaves much to be desired.  It was not extremely horrible, but for something as bite size as this and for 3 bucks each, I expected a little more finesse.  Especially when it comes to the pastry! I wanted something light and fluffy instead of dense.


Chocolate ganache tartOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOnly two things to get right here, the ganache and the crust. Some things are not best when short but in this case, it was lovely.  The crust was short and crumbly despite appearing very dense at first.  The ganache was rich and really tasty.  However, my sis and I found that there was a slight cherry taste in the ganache which we did not really like. Or perhaps it was a strong cocoa flavor which one gets from a very good quality dark chocolate.  However, it was not stated dark chocolate ganache so? ? ?!  Not bad but not the best.  Bourke St. Bakery @ Surry Hills still wins hands down! In Perth, I go to Harvest Espresso in Victoria Park.  Their tarts are always a sell out!


Last but not the least was Mary Street Bakery’s Peanut Butter Cup.   For my sister and I, this was the sole reason we came here for coffee today.  In comparison with the original Reese peanut butter cups, this one was at least 3 times larger!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABut what is form without substance?  Fortunately, this was pretty damn yummy.  The top bit was a milk chocolate disk which was sweet followed by a peanut butter mousse filling.  The saltiness of the creamy peanut butter brought the best out of the chocolate.  To finish, a bitter base to ensure a complete experience that is not as cloying as what it could have been.  Over all, a yummy bite but I was not blown! In fact, it is the first time that I am eating a peanut butter cup in a non-Reese form. Happy :)!


Mary Street Bakery has been a very good host for my morning tea with sis.  The service was pretty good and we enjoyed a long chat for over an hour.  The pastries on offer is a bit of a hit and a miss depending on what you order, but none is too bad.  However, if expectations are high, you might be disappointed.  In my opinion, Mary St. Bakery is definitely a place worth visiting!  Would like to come back for their sandwiches next time.  The couple next to me ordered a sandwich each which made me salivate @@! Nom nom nom!


Mary Street Bakery on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Bites: Nahm Thai @ Highgate

As an amateur to the fine dining scene in Perth, the suburb Highgate and Mount Lawley has been nothing but surprisingly good (although EXPENSIVE) restaurants.  Located next to one of my favourite Japanese fusion restaurant Nine Fine Food, a Thai restaurant has taken the decadent Thai cuisine to a whole new level.   To start off, I am going to put a little controversial statement that if you dislike Thai food, you probably do not know how to eat. Fact.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor Nahm Thai, this was all business and this was no joke.  Forget messy, forget street style Bangkok food.  At Nahm Thai, it is all about the finesse and matching taste without losing its traditional roots.  Funny fact though, is that Nahm Thai is not run by a Thai person but instead a Vietnamese couple who is passionate about their Thai food.   On Saturdays, only a Nahm Thai set menu is available for $75 per head. 


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGalloping Horse was our first appetizer where little slices of pineapples and orange segments were topped with a paste which closely resembled “belachan”  or prawn paste.  Clearly present were bits of dried prawns which were nice.  It was sweet, and salty with a hint of heat but not too much.  With the fruit, it was really quite tasty although it did not really “wow” the palette as it did to the eye!


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASoft shell crab, watermelon, salad was probably one of the best dishes that night.  Whether it was the delicious sauce or the perfectly crispy soft shell crab, it was yummy!  Underneath all that fried crabs are a bed of diced watermelon which works quite nicely with the crispy seafoods.  I realize that watermelon goes well with deep fried slightly spicy food like the deep fried squid I had at Jacksons and even this dish at Nahm Thai is a really good example.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAScallop, curry and chili  was for me the reason why the first appetizer lost its “wow” factor.  The same paste we had on the fruit were used on these perfectly seared scallops with a spoonful of lip smacking red curry sauce.  For me, this combination was just absolute.  The large scallops means there is no hiding that delicious sweetness of the scallops despite the strong flavored herbed paste.  More importantly, the red curry sauce tied everything together for that one perfect morsel.  I really liked this!


Having the appetizers above, Nahm Thai had my appetizer riding a high although the similarity between the scallops and galloping horse will not have happened had they been able to supply their betel leaf.  Nonetheless, knowing what we ordered for our mains made me drool!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFirst main served to us was the roast duck red curry with lychees and quail eggs.  Unlike previous versions I have had before, this was simply flawless especially the red curry sauce that was rich and extremely fragrant.   The sweetness is well toned on this one although it was a little sweeter than I would have liked.  But more importantly, is that the sweetness did not feel as if it was all from the sugared syrup.  It felt more subtle although its presence is unmistakable.  Also, one thing that made me like this even more was that the curry did not feel oily in anyway.  My previous tries even at the S & T Café was extremely oily.  To put it together, the roast duck red curry in Nahm Thai is simply sublime hitting all the right notes where it matters most!!


Crispy skin barramundi, and herbsOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOur next main was a fish course which to me turned out slightly disappointing.  The fish definitely felt lack luster with it soggy skin being the main cause.  And at this early stage, I am already starting to feel worried.  The little concoction which made the soft shell crab appetizer highly appetizing is starting to feel overused although in fact, the sauces could be different despite tasting similar.  Not sure how that works but I will not mention further.  The grilled vegetables went well with the fish and my praise for this dish is that the fish is very fresh.  I would normally not eat barramundi as I have heaps of bad experience with it being overly fish with a scent of muddiness.



The pork hock was also the victim of the “same sauce”  syndrome with the exception that this also had a thicker syrup on the dish.  But for this dish, it was simply perfect.  The sauce is spot on.  Hard to fault as this combination of sweetness and pork like a classic pork roast and apple sauce.   Or perhaps turkey with cranberry sauce.    But more importantly, the pork hock was crisp on the skin, tender on the inside with absolutely no bones.  This was absolute joy!


Other than this dish, we also ordered grilled prawns which were placed on a bed of cucumber salad.  The crime?  SAME SAUCE problem.  No insults but it did not taste  any different from the sauce seen in the soft shell crab, fish, and pork hock.  To a certain extent, this is going to be a problem for most if not everyone.   To drag things a little lower, we were 1 prawn short which had your sincerely giving up the prawn so others could have theirs.  Fortunately though, I asked for an extra serve of dessert instead of troubling the chef to prepare one large prawn.


After a less than satisfying main (more reasons to come at the end), we were treated to our dessert course:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe lime tart with coconut ice cream was a in house specialty that had me drooling with its presentation.  Taste wise, this dish splendidly displayed the zesty lime flavors that was simply delicious in desserts.  On first bite though, the acidity might feel a little overpowering.  But when the tongue adjusts itself to this velvety smooth lemon custard, it was hard to stop.  The crust was slightly hard but that was hardly enough to fault with the dessert.  For me, I thoroughly enjoyed it but to my dismay, my dining companion enjoyed it even more than I did.  I have always thought that he is no big fan of sour foods but I was wrong.


For my second dessert, I could not have gone any further than to try the benchmark of any Thai cooking, the obligatory sticky rice with coconut milk and fresh mangoes.  Not joking! In Thailand  most electric rice cookers come with multiple levels drawn on the pot which distinguishes between water levels needed to cook glutinous rice and normal rice.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis was delicious in almost every place that screams “I’m authentic” and the version at Nahm Thai did not disappoint either.  But where changes can be made for the better, I felt that the sticky rice was a little tougher than I would have liked it to be.  Pandan leaf taste was way too subtle as if it never existed.  For me, the rice has to be fragrant, light, and cooked just right.  And to me, having deep fried shallots just does not make the cut.    While it seems like I have faulted with every element except the coconut milk and the mango,  it was still pretty good.  But in my list of tops, nowhere near Jim’s mother’s version where authentic Thai is finished with a touch of homeliness.


Another issue I need to point out was the fact that the Jasmine rice was a little hard that night.  But having mixed the coconut and Jasmine rice in equal proportions help bring the carbs back on track!


At the end, Nahm Thai is clearly a winner when it comes to quality food which further reinforces that fact that anyone can cook anything.  But with its highs comes its lows where the food to a certain extent felt slightly one dimensional with the sauce and condiments used over and over again.    Then comes the fact that the waitress seemed more interested in varying our meat than the flavors that day.  But how does Nahm Thai change the Thai food scene in Perth.   For me, the quality here significantly differs itself from other high end places without being pretentious.  Nahm Thai could easily be a whole new level if our choices were made with better help from the waitress.  Unfortunately in this particular occasion, it was good but not great enough to be prided as Thai dining at a whole new level.  I remembered the menu and I know what we should have ordered to avoid the problem of the same sauce issue.  A step which could have made our meal a whole new level.


My pick for a more than 3 person Nahm degustation is:


Scallops on shell

Crispy soft shell crab

Miang Prawns



Roast Duck Red Curry

Crispy Pork Hock

King Prawn Green Curry

Beef Stew (Nahm Thai’s version of the Massaman)






Nahm Thai Restaurant on Urbanspoon