Restaurant Amuse, Perth

Amuse Platter: Breadsticks wrapped in Parma ham, Some other kind of breadstick, Foie gras coated in wine jelly

Nothing was particularly impressive, Parma ham had a nice deep flavour. Foie coated with wine jelly seemed like it would be a really good idea but I didn’t like the texture of the wine jelly, felt a little rubber-y to the bite. Okay

Snacks: Salt,Vinegar Espuma, Tartar Chips

You read correctly, those are tartar chips. A pun that a dip has been made into a chip? Repeat that sentence 10 times. Vinegar espuma was delicious, it had a lot of body for a ‘foam’, I think this was stabilized Xanthan Gum but I can’t confirm this.  Acidity of the espuma was perfect, good.

Snacks:Feta coated with watermelon

I don’t think I’ve ever had the combination of feta and watermelon, but trust me, it works. A spherical cut out of feta cheese coated in watermelon, it had a compressed feel to it, which allowed it to be moulded to coat the ball of feta(This can be achieved through sous-vide), texture was more meaty than… porous(That sensation you get when you bite into a watermelon and juice is released). Feta was strong but was cut beautifully by the sweetness of the watermelon, a very nice combination akin to melon and ham. Very good

Tea and Toastie: Herbs and mushroom tea, Toast with truffles and gruyere

A bowl of foamy substance is finished off tableside with a jar of mushroom tea, and the dish is completed with a tray of toast, with gruyere and tiny minced truffles. This dish was as delicious as it was fun to eat, dip your toast into the tea, have a bite of toast, then have a sip of tea, or eat each component separately, they all tasted amazing. The tea had a very deep, earthy flavour, I couldn’t make out what the foam was, but the herbs added a nice burst of freshness. The toast was crisped to perfection, with a goo-ey, creamy, gruyere center. The truffle bits brought the toast along the same path as the mushroom tea- Earthy, aromatic. Very good

Chestnut, Pear and Sour milk: Chestnut polenta, fresh pear, shaved truffles, and shittake

Another great dish, chestnut polenta was amazing, creamy and rich. There was so much umami in the dish, and the Sour milk added a tartness to the dish to balance that richness; the pear gave the dish a welcome burst of freshness, and contrast in texture. Truffles brought the dish to a new level, aromatic and deep roundness thats hard to describe.  There was a lot going on in this dish, but everything worked really well together. Very Good

Marron, dill and Mussel: Kombu gel, fondant potato, Mussel broth

The marron was incredibly fresh, it had a nice bounciness to it but was cooked perfectly to the point where it was still very soft. The rest of the dish wasn’t as good, Kombu gel didn’t bring much to the table apart from aesthetics, and the mussel broth was so intensely flavoured that it was difficult to drink. Bad

Fish, celeriac and sago: Oyster emulsion

The green-ish sauce on the plate is a Celeriac-Oyster emulsion, it had a nice fullness on the tongue and went beautifully with the fish that was cooked to perfection- incredibly moist but still retaining good bite to. Fried breadcrumbs added a nice contrast in texture, but the sago threw the dish off, they weren’t as soft as I thought they were going to be. You could eat every component of the dish together, but the sago balls kept screaming out for attention in your mouth, like a man digging his nose- unpleasant, but you cant look away. Okay

Lamb, Shallot and Salsa Verde: Sweetbreads, Lamb, Anchovy

The moment the dish was set down, it was made clear that the lamb was braised in lamb fat for 12 hours. Mmmmm…. Lamb confit, expectations were high. There are many instances where sometimes less is more, and this exemplifies that saying. The lamb was cooked to perfection, melt in your mouth tender, rich, the salsa verde added a nice kick of heat while cutting the richness of the fat, that tiny sliver of onion gave the dish a sweet element. The dish I just described would have been perfect, what was served, however, included a nice chunk of sweetbread and a tiny anchovy. The acidity of the anchovy was too strong for the dish, and the overpowering game-y taste of the sweetbread simply had no place on the plate(I do eat sweetbreads, for the record). Good

Pork, Kohlrabi and quince: Homemade black pudding, Pigs cheek, Crisped pigs ears, pickled vegetables

I have almost no notes on this dish, probably because it was pretty pedestrian. Pork was a little dry, nothing on the plate really popped except the Crisped pigs ears, which started out with a crunch, then turned into rich, chewy goodness. Okay

Margarita: Salty Sherbet Powder, Margarita Ice cream, Coriander

I loved the concept of a mini-Margarita as a palate cleanser, and it tasted very nice, but the portions were way too small to write anything more about it.

Rhubarb, Artichoke and oats: Rhubarb compote with meringue, Jerusalem artichoke ice cream and artichoke ice cream

Rhubarb came in a sort of ‘cream’ form, but not as heavy as actual whipped cream. It wasn’t too tangy, and melted on your tongue with an explosion of rhubarb flavour. Artichoke ice cream was surprisingly pleasant considering I’m quite impartial to artichokes, lots of nice textures and temperatures going on, everything came together nicely. Good

Honeycomb, Caramel and Malt: Salted caramel, Aerated Chocolate, Malt sorbet

Very satisfying and to the meal, I love salted caramel, which came in a mousse form in this dessert. Salty on the tip of your tongue, then it melts into sweet, decadent goodness. The flavour combinations were hardly inspiring but sometimes it’s good to go with the tried and tested, I appreciate the effort they made with the aerated chocolate to try and kick the dessert up a notch, but frankly, I’ve had better versions made at home(not by me). Still, good.

Petit Fours and Cuppuchino : Baileys truffle, Dark chocolate with white chocolate center, Financier

Baileys truffle: Thin chocolate crust with a very thick, rich, creamy center. Could have had a stronger alcohol kick. Okay

Dark chocolate with white chocolate center: Similar to the baileys truffle, sweetness of the white chocolate and the bitterness of the dark played well together. Okay

Financier: Had a nice, crisp crust, and the center was beautifully moist and soft. Good


Sea Gardens Cafe, Perth

Our recent family retreat to Margaret River in Australia ended at Sea Gardens Cafe, a quaint eatery overlooking the sea, headed by only French one chef as far as I could tell, my sisters disagree with this and believe him to be Italian. This restaurant is synonymous with the atmosphere that surrounds the region, and most of Perth from my experience, casual, laid-back dining, with really really good food. I picture residents of Margaret River strolling in on a lazy Sunday afternoon, having a cup of tea, some (delicious) breakfast, reading the newspaper with the waves crashing in the background, amidst an air of calming tranquility(The eatery is actually pretty far from the sea so you might not actually hear the waves, though Im sure this can be resolved with a good imagination). It’s not hard to understand why many end up retiring in Perth, have I mentioned that the food is good?

Chocolatey French Toast: Brioche french Toast with Chocolate, Yoghurt, Red Fruits, and Maple Syrup

I absolutely love chocolate on french toast, I love it in any way, shape, or form. But that doesn’t mean I don’t take a greater appreciation when its done right. The chocolate was so freshly melted that you could see tiny pebbles melting under the heat of the toast as the plate is set in front of you. I usually take the side of “more is definitely better” when it comes to chocolate, and it doesn’t look like there is much chocolate on the toast, but the amount was perfect,  the chocolate balanced itself out with the maple syrup on the plate, one did not overwhelm the other. The choice of bread was simple enough: Brioche, the most luxurious of all breads, with a velvety buttery soft center, dipped in egg and cooked to such perfection that it formed a beautiful crust, crisp to the bite despite being coated in chocolate and maple syrup. Superb

Eggs Benedict: Ciabatta Toast with smoked Salmon, Poached Free range eggs, Roasted Asparagus and Hollandaise

Eggs Benedict is something I always order when I go for breakfast, its delicious but also very easy to do badly. While this version wasn’t done badly, it wasn’t great either. Smoked salmon had good flavour but it did somewhat overwhelm the hollandaise sauce, but having the smoked salmon together with the roasted asparagus in every bite brought the dish to life- the sweet, nutty, earthy flavours of the roasted asparagus complimented the smoky, saltiness of the smoked salmon. It was almost like a match made in heaven. The poached eggs were decent, I’ve had worse, but Im going to go on record and say that after having sous vide eggs, I haven’t looked at poached eggs quite the same way. Call me spoilt, but you be the judge. Okay

Mediterranean: Ciabatta Toast with Roasted Tomato, Spinach,  Mushroom, Goat Curd, Pesto, and Poached Free Range Egg

I didn’t have much of this, and I honestly didn’t think it would work together. The plate was like a collage of the sour, even the mushrooms were cooked in a liquid(balsamic I think) that made them sour. Yet strangely enough, everything did work well together, the few bites I had were very refreshing and the quality of produce was incredible. Good

Homemade Baked beans, Grilled Chorizo, toasted Ciabatta and Poached egg

Once again, I didn’t have much of this, but neither the chorizo nor the baked beans really wowed me. Okay

Muffin: Chocolate and Blueberry

A fitting conclusion to our hearty breakfast was this muffin, possibly the best I have ever had, baked with tiny disks of chocolate sitting on its head till the muffin had a crisp, brown crust. But one swipe of the fork reveals its incredibly soft, moist, and fluffy cake-like center, embedded with blueberries. It was not a fancy muffin in the sense that there were no extravagant ingredients or techniques involved, but it was done right, and it was delicious. Very Good