Category Archives: Dinner

Miss Kitty’s Saloon, Inglewood

As a replacement for the old eyesore Avenue 9 on the northern end of Beaufort Street, Miss Kitty’s Saloon is decidedly much more interesting.

The Western-themed bar/restaurant is as kitschy as they come despite looking rather ordinary from the outside, decked out with old saloon doors, a worn piano and a background soundtrack of Johnny Cash.

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I’m not sure whether it was because it was a Wednesday night or because it’s the norm, but as soon as we sat down the service was hard to fault.

Miss Kitty’s Saloon is dedicated to the fine (albeit fatty) cuisine of the US and Canada, so those looking for something a little more complicated and upper class should head further up Beaufort Street.

I barely had time to look at the wine list when our waitress came back and took our complete order, which would normally annoy me but since it was the most disgusting weather that I’d seen in a while it wasn’t hard to make a decision – particularly on red wine.

Taking the saloon feel to another level we were given a bowl of peanuts to shell and by the time our food came we’d only just finished the entire bowl.

The traditional-style buffalo wings came out first, and for the Wednesday special of $14.80 it was total value for money.

They’re pretty much exactly what you’d expect: greasy, crunchy, hard to eat and drenched in US culture (and mild sauce).

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However, since I’m not a massive fan of fried chicken, I found the trout croquettes with pickled onion and capers a nice change. Not only were they tasty but the trout was smooth and almost melt-in-your-mouth.

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The roast duck waffles with sweet potato were possibly one of the most deliciously different dishes I’ve ever had. I never imagined that duck, maple syrup, waffles and sweet potato would mix but I was so wrong. The sweetness of the maple syrup paired with the roasted duck was perfect, and the duck-to-waffle ratio was almost even – there was even duck inside the waffles, which I was quite excited about at the time.

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For two coffees, a glass of Pinot Noir and four dishes a bill of $78 isn’t even remotely expensive.

Miss Kitty’s Saloon is summed up in its mac and cheese: it’s okay, it’s simple and it’s fun, but you don’t really expect better than good from a place that serves US-style food and drinks.

It’s just a shame it’s away from the main Mount Lawley strip.

 

Miss Kitty’s Saloon

882 Beaufort Street

Open for dinner Tuesday to Saturday.

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Circa, Mount Lawley

Brand new bistro and wine bar Circa on Mount Lawley’s Beaufort Street strip is easy to miss, painted black and tucked away opposite Malt.
Once I walked in I was taken aback. Although it was dimly lit and narrow, it was stylish and overly confident.
Unfortunately, we were sat at the back corner of the restaurant next to the doors to the kitchen so we didn’t experience the ambience the designers were going for.

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To start we ordered the chorizo, smashed broad beans and manchego crostini and field mushroom and valdeon arancini with arrabiata sauce and were both surprised and disappointed – the chorizo dish was packed full of flavour but the arancini were a little lacklustre as the rice wasn’t fully cooked.

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Our waitress promptly cleared our table as we ordered our mains and a bottle of Salitage pinot noir.
Minutes later we were presented with a wine that we didn’t order, and when we asked for the correct wine we were told that she “didn’t think we wanted the more expensive bottle”. Slightly insulted, we thanked her when our pinot arrived and anticipated our main.
My spaghetti with crab, lime, chilli, white wine and crème fraiche came moments later and I nearly forgot all about our wine mishap; it was beautifully presented and smelled delicious.

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However, my partner was disappointed after being given the wrong main. Originally he’d ordered the ricotta gnocchi with tomato and pecorino ragu and basil crumbs but was given the beetroot ravioli. The two sound nothing alike, and the waiter was most apologetic that our waitress had gotten it wrong. About five minutes later he came back with the right main and I could finally stop feeling guilty that I was eating first.
The house-made spaghetti was perfectly cooked, and the serving of crab meat was generous. The chef was clearly very experienced – each ingredient in the dish had its own part to play and came together to form a pasta dish that was light but flavoursome, and even the chilli was cut to perfection in fine strips.
As always I couldn’t finish my main, but had saved some room for dessert.
I ordered the fried Venetian custard with blood orange ice cream and pistachios, and although it wasn’t something I usually order, it was an excellent decision.

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The custard was velvety yet crispy on the outside and the blood orange ice cream was subtle, while blood orange sauce brought out the flavours of the ice cream and cut through the rich custard.
In the end it was a night that could have been much better, right down to the smaller details of decent seating to the more important details of service and knowledge of the menu.
Maybe wait a few months until it finds its feet – it’s still got a way to go.

Circa
676 Beaufort Street
Monday to Thursday open for lunch and dinner
Friday open til late
Saturday open from breakfast til late, and Sunday from breakfast til dinner

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Pimlott and Strand’s Truffle Dinner

The tiny cafe in the same complex North Perth Coles isn’t in the most glamorous location, but it’s trying hard to break into the foodie market.
Its most recent 20-seat truffle long table dinner, with British head chef Sophie Budd, was testament to the cafe’s longing to be included in the Perth foodie scene.
To start we had a brief introduction to the Italian bubbly plonked on our table and some bread and butter. I thought there would’ve been truffle butter to use instead of normal butter considering it was a truffle dinner, but a clean start wasn’t the worst thing.
The entree was a Jerusalem artichoke soup with fresh truffle served in an espresso cup, and it was delicious.

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The soup had body to it; it wasn’t watery in the slightest and the subtle flavour of the artichoke highlighted the unique taste of truffle shaved on top.
With one glass of wine down the noise started to pick up and the small cafe-turned-restaurant became a lively place to be on a Friday night.
Entree was next, and the pan fried gnocchi, parsnip puree, truffle tree hazelnuts, sage butter, parmesan and fresh truffle dish caught my eye as soon as it was put in front of me.

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The gnocchi was crispy enough to retain its creaminess, and the parmesan, sage butter and fresh truffle complimented it nicely.
However, the parsnip puree and tree hazelnuts weren’t a great mix as the sweet flavours overpowered the savoury gnocchi, parmesan and truffle flavours.
In saying that, I didn’t leave anything on my plate.
The wait between entree and the main event was much longer; a well-deserved break as wine and food started to fill up the stomachs of diners.
As soon as a glass of juicy, tangy Shiraz was put down I knew it was time for the braised beef cheeks, creamy potato, seasonal vegetables and beef and truffle jus that I’d been looking forward to.
Ultimately, this was the winner of the night.

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The beef was cooked to perfection while the truffle and beef jus didn’t take over, as truffle tends to do. The vegetables were fresh and tasty and the creamy potato mash was the perfect tool to mop up the tasty jus.
With three meals down and one to go I was nearly so full that I considered not even touching my dessert when it came out, but luckily there was enough of a relax between meals that I was ready for the next.
By now everyone was shouting and the jovial nature of the long table dinner had finally peaked after three glasses of wine.
The final dish, a wattleseed tiramisu with freshly shaved truffle, was delivered in a small jar with a glass of port.

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I like port at the best of times, but this was a rough drop and quite hard to drink with the creamy dessert.
The tiramisu was nice but I found there to be too much cream and not enough sponge. I sat there trying to figure out whether the tiramisu and the shaved truffle went well together or if the flavours were too separate and too different, and I’m still unsure.
Pimlott and Strand would be a great place to buy a sandwich or small treat during the day, like it’s designed, but they haven’t quite nailed the long table dinners yet.
It was a good try, though. Maybe next time they’ll nail it.

Pimlott and Strand

Shop 21/391 Fitzgerald Street

Open for breakfast and lunch 7 days.

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Jackson’s, Highgate

Originally, the plan was to head to Rottnest for a Moss Wood wine dinner as part of Rottnest Lodge’s wine dinner series but, as fate would have it, the weather stopped us in our tracks.
With an adventurous budget and a fire in our bellies, the most sensible thing to do was score a reservation at one of Perth’s most renowned fine dining establishments.
Despite the rough weather and quiet streets, Perth bars and restaurants were alive and pumping behind closed doors and Beaufort Street was no different.
Jackson’s is the brainchild of Englishman Neal Jackson and is close to the trendy bars of Mount Lawley/Highgate like Clarence’s and Must.
Although we were left waiting at the door looking awkward as we waited to be seated, a smiling and apologetic staff member glided towards us and you couldn’t help but feel at ease.
The main thing that I noticed about Jackson’s, apart from the wonderful ambience and sophisticated, moody design, was that you never felt like you were in a high-end, snobby, fine-dining restaurant. The staff members were friendly, although sometimes a little too casual, and you didn’t feel uncomfortable asking questions about the food or wine. For those just becoming interested in the fine dining scene, it’s a good place to start the journey.
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We opted for the degustation with wine pairing, starting off our dining experience with a glass of sparkling rose.
It wasn’t long after finishing our drinks that a complimentary entree was offered, and we were left wanting more.

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The scallops in our first course were cooked perfectly and blended well with the citrus flavours on the plate. Although the citrus was too overpowering at times, the French champagne cut through the tang and left a clean finish.
Scallops
The marron, crab, chicken and mayo sandwich was a very unique dish that benefited from the truffle flavours drizzled over the dish; once you took a sip of the viognier, the truffle flavours finished and the next bite could begin afresh.
Marron
The next three courses involved the incredibly rich, delicious meats of pork, lamb and venison – a personal favourite of mine.
Each dish was cooked perfectly and the pork and lamb dishes complemented each other well as the flavours slowly built up to the venison.
The beetroot element of the venison course made the difference between a good dish and a great one, with the horseradish noodles a welcome palette cleaner from the complex flavours.
Although I didn’t order the cheese course due to nearly bursting from my full stomach, the men on the table decided to give it a go. Between mouthfuls of an apple and bacon strudel, I was told it was very different but “f-cking awesome”.
I always look forward to the desserts in degustations; mainly because they’re always fantastic, but also because there’s no other way to finish a meal than with a kickass dessert.
To my delight, a thin chocolate brownie with edible gold foil was placed in front of me surrounded by coconut soil, raspberry coulis, milk chocolate gel and lavender ice cream.
Dessert
It’s easy to scoff at lavender ice cream, but when it’s used the way that Jackson’s did with the incredibly intense chocolate brownie and tart raspberry coulis, it allowed it to come into a world of its own. The sparkling sweet red that was paired with the course was unusual for a dessert wine but could have easily been one of the best inclusions in the menu.
After the restaurant cleared out and our voices only became louder and louder after a few glasses of vino and a final coffee, the staff never made us feel unwelcome; as always, we were the last ones left after midnight.

Best dish: Marron, crab, chicken and mayo sandwich, truffle, asparagus
Best wine: CassioDorus Amarone Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, Margaret River
Although it was on the sweeter side of cabernet sauvignon, when paired with the pork belly the wine really opened up and enhanced the flavours of the pork.

MENU

Jamon Iberico, seared scallops and blood orange
V. Testulat Carte d’Or Brut NV, Epernay, France

Marron, crab, chicken and mayo sandwich, truffle, asparagus
Whicher Ridge Viognier 2009, Geographe Bay, WA

Roast pork belly, black pudding, scotch quail egg, sprouts
CassioDorus Amarone Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, Margaret River

Amelia Park lamb rump and belly, white bean, parsley gravy
Domaine du Espiers 2010, Cotes du Rhone, France

Venison loin, horseradish noodle, beetroot, bitter chocolate
Morgante Nero D’Avola 2010, Vendemmia, Sicily, Italy

Optional cheese course
Camembert, apple and bacon strudel, waldorf salad
Le Pere Jules Cidre, Normandy, France

Chocolate and lavender
Trentham Estate Maestri Frizzante 2012, Trentham Cliffs, NSW

Jackson's Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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