Bistro 38 is situated in the heart of Joondalup Resort, a classy hotel with an adjoining golf course. I went there recently with three work colleagues for a nice local lunch. There are tables inside and out, and on our visit we were seated at an outside table with an enchanting view of the pool. Some days, when the temperatures is just right, you can see kangaroos on the golf course.
The waitresses were very helpful and offered us the a la carte menu as well as the drinks and smaller lunch menu. Table water arrived quickly and we were greeted with smiles every time. We all chose to have a main course (or combination of dishes that constituted a main) and a dessert. Some of the group asked for adaptations to the menu, and the staff were happy to oblige.
I chose the grilled prawns from the lunch menu with Asian style salad, caramelised chilli cashews and nam jim dressing. The prawns were plentiful and the dressing was spot on.
One of my colleagues chose an entree meal and asked for it to be made main course size. She chose pepper caramel pork bits with a charred pineapple salsa. Although delicious, it was essentially a plate of pork and she would have preferred an additional side salad to contrast the protein. Although this was a disadvantage of choosing something ‘off menu’, maybe the chef could have suggested how to make the plate better.
My other two colleagues chose to share the pan fried pea and potato gnocchi with mushrooms, asparagus, truffled cream, parmesan and pine nuts. This was tasty, but the pea flavour was masked by the other ingredients. The chef obligingly divided the dish into two plates.
They also chose to share the curried cauliflower with roasted sweet potato, cashew cheese, beetroot gel and rosemary and sesame crisps, again helpfully divided into two plates. This was a nice dish – very well presented – however the cauliflower had been cooked for a bit too long. Of the two dishes, the gnocchi was the winning choice.
We all decided to try dessert and I chose a berry bliss sundae. This was a perfect amount with freeze dried strawberries, strawberry and boysenberry ice cream, cream, meringues, and strawberry coulis. The freeze dried strawberries did not look too appealing but tasted divine, and each mouthful was nice, not too sweet and sickly.
Some of my colleagues chose the vanilla brulee with apple and blackberry compote and cinnamon shortbread. The brulee was nicely finished with a lovely crisp caramelised top and a rich creamy custard. The shortbread had a lovely measure of warm spices.
On the whole we enjoyed our lunch. It was a nice setting and apart from a few minor issues the food was tasty and well presented. We paid around $45 a head, and left the resort with smiles on our faces.