When I booked this restaurant I didn’t quite appreciate the quality of it. I had skimmed through a few reviews, thought that they did brekkie, brunch, slightly quaint high teas, and I expected the dinner to be bistro style. Before going I had a quick look at the restaurant website to find that the dress code was ‘dressy’ and the evening meal was a fixed price kind of degustation style affair.
The menu is $90 per head, you choose three of the courses from four options each, and the restaurant gives you three ‘surprise’ courses. The wait staff were all French, very friendly and helpful and not at all stuffy. When we chose just soft drinks, they did not behave stand-offishly like some wait staff do, and we were not rushed (some establishments will rush you through the meal to free up the table for alcohol-buying customers).
The restaurant is very stylish and minimalist with tables inside and outside. It is not on the main Mount Lawley Beaufort Street strip, but is a little out of the way and just off Walcott Street.
We were given bread at the start of the meal – the bread was fabulous, still warm from the oven, I chose olive bread, but there were other varieties available. The bread was served with a trio of butters – vinegar, orange and herb – all delicious and lightly whipped.
The first course was an amuse bouche of pig’s tail on a sweet potato and lemon puree – this was one of the surprise courses, and it was very tasty and unusual :
For my entree I chose yabbies with blood orange gel, black pudding (boudin noir), and purple potato crisp. This was a very well executed dish, the black pudding was rich and crumbly, the yabbies were perfectly cooked, and the potato crisps were as light as air.
My companion chose the rabbit parfait, belly presse, leg and pistachio terrine, gingerbread tuile and pomegranate. Everything on the plate complemented the dish and the ingredients worked well together, the parfait being the star of the dish.
Other choices for entree included squab, venison and goats cheese gnocchi.
The next course was a ‘surprise’ course of linguine puttanesca. It looked like a small amount of food, but was actually quite filling and very tasty. We were also offered our second round of bread at this point.
For the main course I chose pan fried Coral trout with smoked sardine pate, samphires, mussels and chenin emulsion. The mussel ‘shells’ were made of something (pasta maybe?) and squid ink, so the whole dish was edible. The trout was amazingly good quality, the pate was smoky and flavoursome, what a wonderful dish.
My companion chose the Ranger Valley beef flank, parsnip, poached quince and brandy braise. He said that the whole plate was delicious and textural, the meat melted in the mouth, the parsnips were light and crispy, and the quince added another dimension.
Other choices for main course were chicken with truffle, lamb with chickpeas and Japanese pumpkin.
The next course was the last of the surprises – a palate cleanser, which was a superb white chocolate and mango sorbet on a bed of tapioca and pineapple pickle. It was lovely and I would have been happy to have it as a dessert.
When the waiter brought dessert, he sprayed toffee essence into the air beforehand to add another sensation to the experience. For dessert I chose possibly the most amazing chocolate dessert that I have ever tasted – called a Chocolate Garden – it was a flowerpot containing layer after layer of surprises: edible flowers, Valrhona chocolate mousse, chocolate crumbly ‘soil’, dacquoise (which is almond and hazelnut meringue), and salted peanut. Every mouthful was pure joy.
My companion chose the Winter Jar – Tonka bean pannacotta, fairy floss, burnt orange jelly, malted crumb and cinnamon ice cream. He said that it was the best dessert he had ever tasted – again layer upon layer of superbly executed elements.
Other choices for dessert were blue cheese with strawberry or rhubarb and white chocolate. A cheese plate is also available for an extra charge.
So – the verdict? No 4 Blake Street is now in my top five of Perth restaurants. It is friendly, stylish, quirky and delicious. My motto – it just has to be delicious…and everything I had here fulfilled the brief. I will be back again and again.