It Just Has To Be Delicious

Posts tagged ‘Fine dining’

Scents of Siam, Joondalup

Scents of Siam Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

This restaurant is one of two Thai restaurants in Grand Boulevard/Reid Promenade, Joondalup. They are entirely different in their approach, the other one serving traditional Bangkok fare that you would find in most cafes and hotels in Thailand. Scents of Siam is different – it is a labour of love for its owners. Dan, who manages front of house, is Chinese, and his wife who is the Thai-Chinese brainchild behind the dishes, manages the kitchen. They strive to present a fusion of old and new dishes crossing the boundaries of Thai and Chinese and covering the whole geography of Thailand from north to south.

Generally, I don’t like pan-asian restaurants that try to serve more than one cuisine in order to please everybody, but Scents of Siam doesn’t do this – it brings us a very special insight into the food that the Thai-Chinese communities eat, and if the recipe isn’t perfect then chef doesn’t put it on the menu.

Dan explained the menu to us in detail and he also talked about the journey that he and his wife had travelled to find the location for their cafe. He explained that the dinner menu is still under development – they are new to Joondalup – and very much testing the waters with their unusual range of dishes.

I chose a special drink to start with – a butterfly pea flower iced tea. When presented, it is blue and tastes quite floral:

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Then you add a shot of lime juice, and some theatre happens ! It turns purple and tastes much more fruity:

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For our starters we chose mixed mushroom rice paper rolls. Containing button, enoki, shiitake and oyster mushrooms they were very juicy and tasty. A wonderful start to the meal.20170701_182959

Next was Son in law eggs:

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Wonderfully oozy with a crispy coating and a delicious chilli tamarind sauce, Dan told us the two stories of how they were named. Story 1 tells that a father wanted to know if his daughter loved him more than her husband, so he challenged his son-in-law to a competition where they would cook eggs for her to see which eggs she preferred. He was convinced that his daughter would choose his version, but sadly for him, she chose her husband’s eggs and they became known as son-in-law eggs. Story 2 tells how a lady was cooking at the bottom of her house, which was a house on stilts (built for the monsoon). She accidentally dropped an egg into hot oil but when she scooped it out, she realised that it was very tasty, cooked quickly with a firm white and a soft yolk. She was thinking about what to call this egg recipe when she looked up, and through the gaps in the floorboards she saw her son-in-law walking above, wearing nothing but a sarong, and she rather rudely got the inspiration to call them son-in-law eggs !

We ordered 3 dishes for the main and first up was a delicious chicken penang curry. It usually comes with quail’s eggs, but I am extremely allergic to them, so I asked for them to be omitted. This dish had such a wonderful depth of flavour, that I could eat it again in a heartbeat. Complete with thai holy basil leaves, the brightness of kaffir lime, plenty of good quality chicken, and a rich smooth coconut sauce, it was an absolute pleasure to eat.

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We also ordered roti, wonderfully light and crispy and perfect for dipping in the curry.

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Pad Thai was served with extra chilli in case of need, and was a wonderful mix of noodles, beansprouts, chicken, tofu and prawns, perfectly balanced and absolutely delicious.

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Dan was so happy that we liked the food, and asked if we would like a dessert. We said yes, not knowing exactly what to expect, and we were presented with a lovely thai creme caramel with mango sorbet.

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The creme caramel was sprinkled with nuts and there was a hint of chilli in the caramel. Very yummy and a perfect end to the meal.

The bill was also a pleasant surprise $58 for all this. A wonderful host, lovely food, and very reasonable prices – now I can’t wait to return.

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Seaduction – Surfer’s Paradise QLD

Seaduction Restaurant + Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Seaduction is a modern Australian fine dining restaurant and bar in the Soul Building at Surfer’s Paradise. It boasts an attractive position overlooking the beach on the main Esplanade road.

When we walked in the ambience was quietly sophisticated with a nice simple and classy decor and smooth jazzy background music playing. The staff were friendly and warm and led us to a wonderful table near the window. The menu has a choice of a la carte, degustation/tasting menus and wine matching.

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Soul Building Foyer

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Seaduction Restaurant

We chose the 5 course degustation menu, which actually turned out to be 7 courses including the tomato bread at the start and the coffee/petit fours at the end.

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The bread with herbs and tomatoes was flavoursome and attractive to look at, quite substantial and a very nice start to the meal while we sipped on a glass of sauvignon blanc.

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The first course from the menu was beetroot and sugar cured ocean trout, local sand crab rillettes, lotus crisps, yuzu pearls and lime emulsion. The little yuzu pearls were bursting with citrus flavour, the trout was fresh and delicious and the crab very moreish. A wonderful start to the evening.

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The second course was Bangalow pork belly, twice cooked in tamarind and yellow rock sugar, green paw paw salad and black Asian vinegar. Tender and tasty, with a hint of spice, this was a beautifully constructed course and a perfect amount.

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Course three consisted of lasagne of Harvey bay scallops, tempura foie gras, caviar and sea foam. Chef was generous with the scallops which were the star of the dish, beautifully enveloped in silky pasta and complemented by the other flavours on the plate.

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Next came green tea house smoked duck breast, duck and shiitake spring rolls, sour cherry gel, hoisin and orange marmalade. A very appealing dish to look at, and a wonderful example of duck served in a combination of ways with classic hoisin, cherry and orange flavours. Lots of nice flavours and textures to tempt the tastebuds.

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Dessert was coconut pannacota, passion fruit sorbet, ginger and passion fruit curd macaroon with elderflower gel. The pannacotta was beautifully silky, the sorbet wonderfully zingy, and the macaron perfectly constructed. A nice light dessert, again with lots of interest on the plate.

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Petit Fours

We finished with coffee and some delectable petit fours to complete a perfect meal. Every course was a treat, well thought out and beautifully put together. Definitely a location to return to for a wonderful treat.

Click Here to access the Seaduction website

 

Co-Op Dining, East Perth

Last time I went to Dear Friends, which I have always considered to be the best fine dining restaurant in Perth, the waitress told me about the new venture from Kiran and Kelli Mainwaring called Co-Op Dining in East Perth.

Co-Op Dining Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

It has the same philosophy as Dear Friends, using fresh local ingredients, nose to tail butchery, and each plate being well thought out in terms of balance, texture and nourishment.  On arrival, the waiter was an absolute treasure – he is from Nantes in France and was very knowledgeable and courteous in recommending an aperitif without being too pushy. I chose the ‘New 75’ cocktail – vodka, champagne and lemon juice.

New 75 Cocktail

New 75 Cocktail

The restaurant is more contemporary in style than Dear Friends, the music is a nice eclectic mix and the atmosphere is comfortable and stylish. We were seated in a semicircular booth, scattered with comfortable cushions and probably one of the nicest tables I have ever dined at.

We chose the 10 course degustation menu. Some may say that at $120 it is quite expensive, but in my opinion it is perfectly justified for the fine dining experience, the quality, the flavours, and the thought and workmanship that has been invested in the presentation of the food. I wouldn’t spend that much every week, but I am happy to do so for special occasions.

The amuse bouche was a real stunner – marron tail served on a hot salt block – the marron is initially served raw like sashimi, and you can allow it to ‘cook’ on the salt block to your taste. I chose to keep mine fairly raw – the freshness shone through. Served with a prawn cracker made from the claw meat of the marron, nothing is wasted, and a slice of radish was added for texture. I could have happily eaten a whole plate of the marron tails, an excellent start to the menu.

Marron tails on salt block

Marron tails on salt block

The second course was cuttlefish with rabbit chorizo, squid ink sauce, kimchi paste and brussel sprout leaf. Cephalopods like squid and cuttlefish match nicely with spicy sausages such as chorizo and black pudding, so this was another match made in heaven, very enjoyable.

Cuttlefish

Cuttlefish

Next we had a vegetable course, and I never knew that vegetables could taste so amazing. There was a presse of Jerusalem artichoke on a Jerusalem artichoke puree with zucchini, nasturtium flowers and mushroom powder.

Jerusalem Artichoke

Jerusalem Artichoke

Next we were served with another vegetable course – chestnut creamy soup with parsnip crisps. Again this was a fantastic example of how a vegetarian dish can taste incredibly good and I found myself scooping every last drop of soup from the cup.

Chestnut soup

Chestnut soup

On to non-vegetarian courses, next we had morcilla blood sausage with a slow cooked egg, dijon mustard, poached pear, mint jelly and horseradish powder. There were a lot of ingredients on this plate, but they all matched nicely, my only slight disappointment being the horseradish which did not taste punchy at all. I like strong horseradish.

Blood sausage

Blood sausage

The next course was possibly the most perfect plate of food that I have ever tasted. Pork loin and pork belly on a purple carrot puree with gnocchi, button squash, kumquat sauce and pea sprouts. Wow this was so nice – the combination of pork and kumquat making an interesting change from the traditional pork and apple pairing.

Pork

Pork

Then we were served home made tofu with leek and a medley of mushrooms, garlic emulsion and mushroom powder. Wow more amazing vegetables – the mushrooms were perfect and earthy, such an incredibly good dish.

Tofu

Tofu

The last meat plate was wagyu beef, perfectly rare, with picallilli sauce, curried cauliflower, beetroot and parisienne potatoes, and pickled cucumber. This was like the cheffiest version of having ‘cold cuts’ the day after a roast dinner. It reminded me of home and the pickles were perfect with the quality meat slices.

Wagyu Beef

Wagyu Beef

Next came a palate cleanser of mandarin sorbet on lemon cured fennel.

Mandarin sorbet

Mandarin sorbet

Dessert was pink lady apples with rhubarb sorbet on apple puree with pistachio and oats. Yum. Apple and rhubarb is a classic combination, but this plate had texture, heaps of flavour, and was a perfect end to the meal.

Rhubarb and apple

Rhubarb and apple

Coffee was served with petit fours – the petit fours were nougat, berry marshmallows, and aerated heritage chocolate. Perfect again.

Petit Fours

Petit Fours

Would I come back to Co Op Dining again ? Hell yes. I now believe this to be the best fine dining experience in Perth, every course was pretty much perfect, the staff were fabulous, the timing was perfect. A great evening and a great experience.

Dear Friends – currently the best fine dining experience in Perth

UPDATE – Sadly, Dear Friends is now permanently closed, but I can highly recommend Co-Op Dining in East Perth which is also run by Kelli and Kiran Mainwaring.

Last night I went to Dear Friends. It was my fourth visit, and as ever, it was perfect. Everything about this restaurant is perfect – the food is fine dining, the chef matches ingredients with brilliance; they offer a degustation menu which means that I don’t have to choose and every dish is a surprising delight; the meal is always evenly paced, so you don’t feel too full or hungry at any point; the wine list is carefully chosen and the sommelier is knowledgeable and entertaining; the dining room is cosy and relaxed like somebody’s dining room at home; the wait staff are enthusiastic about the food that they are serving and they always remember the ingredients, even if there are a multitude of elements on the plate; the restaurant is located in the Swan Valley and the chef sources local fresh ingredients and uses every part of the ingredient with a nose-to-tail approach; everything is delicious (fulfilling my only requirement of food – it just has to be delicious).

So yes – that is why it is the best restaurant in Perth right now, and it is the reason why it has won various gold plates and other awards. Some may think that it is expensive, but if you are happy to spend money on good food and a wonderful experience, then it is worth every cent. The current degustation menu is $115 per person, and if you would like a wine matched degustation, the wine is an extra $70 per person.

It is run by Kelli and Kiren Mainwaring, Kiren is the chef and Kelli deals with front of house – she is delightful, knowledgeable and very very helpful.

This is a picture diary of my meal – I can honestly say that every dish was sublime. Apologies for the quality of some of the pictures, the light in the room was not ideal and nor are my photographic skills. I have tried to remember the ingredients as best I can, but the dishes are so intricate that I will not have reproduced every detail perfectly.

I shared my evening with some very dear companions, and we worked out that we each have a birthday every season, and we plan to go back every 3 months for a Dear Friends birthday special. How splendid.

The first course – the amuse bouche was scallop and radish served on a salt block (you will not believe how much difference the salt block makes), with beef cheek pressé and parfait on a mustard tuile.

The second course was a perfectly cooked egg yolk with air dried ham, ajo blanco (which is a white garlic soup/sauce), pickled onion and nettle.

The third course was ocean trout with frozen aerated goats cheese, a clear gel layer of ocean trout stock, fish roe and cucumber.

Next we were served with triangles of open range chicken with green olive, the yellow squares were leek pressed into a firm mousse, and the sauce was a eucalyptus ice cream.

The next course was a selection of locally grown root vegetables with hand made goats cheese and crispy cabbage.

Course 6 was pork loin, purple carrot puree, stinging nettle gnocchi, lemon sauce and dehydrated red capsicum.

The next course was lamb – pressé, saddle and loin with blood orange sauce, taro chips and nasturtium leaves.

Course 8 was the pre-dessert of crushed macadamia, pumpkin jelly, pumpkin mousse.

Dessert was aerated fine chocolate, iced beetroot, beetroot powder and oxalis ice cream. It sounds weird but it was amazingly good.

The meal was washed down with coffees and liqueurs, served with almond and orange cake and macarons.

The wines we chose were:

1. a New Zealand sauvignon blanc from Marlborough – 2008 Jackson Estate Grey Ghost

2. a South African Shiraz from Stellenbosch – – 2008 Rustenberg Brampton

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