The Sentinel Bar and Grill, Perth CBD

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I hadn’t seen my Bestie since our last outing together a few weeks ago when we went hunting for my wedding dress.  Once we finally did manage to meet up, we had so much to catch up on that it was hard to know where to start.  I was excited to hear all about her new yoga business venture that she was embarking upon.  I have never seen her so inspired and passionate about something before and it makes me so happy that she has found her calling in life. Not everyone gets to experience such satisfaction.

Late last year during the whole post-Engagement party debacle we stopped in at The Sentinel for a couple of drinks while we were waiting for The George’s manager to get back to us with the whereabouts of my iPod. In sharp contrast to the abrupt, unfriendly service we had received only minutes before at The George; the Sentinel staff all greeted us cheerily as we entered.  This jovial attitude left a lasting impression on our memories.

Recalling our previous experience, we decided to return back for a quick lunch in between errands in the city.  The Sentinel is owned by Stephen Scaffidi who also owns the popular Bar One.  Sentinel’s dining areas are stunning, sophisticated and oh so suave – I simply love all that dark polished wood and massively high ceilings. Initially when the restaurant first opened early 2011 they received a scathing review by The Australian’s veteran food critic John Lethlean.  John scored them a measly 1 out of 5. Luckily for them since then it appears they have picked up their game  receiving much better recent reports in local restaurant reviews  and blog posts.

We bubbled in to the swanky restaurant chitty chatting away like only besties can.  Over the moon to be having some quality “bestie-time” as we like to call it we were determined to make the most of this quick and impromptu catch up.  I hadn’t called in advance to notify the chef of my allergies and so I was prepared to be given limited choices off their menu.  To my surprise, our waiter and the kitchen worked together to provide us with a number of options to choose from and were not bothered at the potential nuisance of my requests.

As we waited for our food to arrive, our waiter brought to the table some complimentary, freshly toasted gluten free bread with whipped butter.  This is not something that happens often and I was suitably impressed.  As it was only a Monday afternoon, we both initially hesitated as we gazed over the wine list until we saw some champagne and from then on our rubber arms didn’t need any twisting. Glasses of Mumm champagne in hand we settled in quickly and managed to cover a lot of conversational ground in a short space of time, spanning from weddings to people management through to newsletter writing and coconut water! (Which by the way I am totally addicted to at the moment.)

"Beetroot" "smoked goat’s cheese" "quinoa" "chardonnay vinaigrette" "salad" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "Perth food blog" "food blog" Chompchomp "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Perth CBD" "St Georges Terrace" "Sentinel Bar and Grill" "French" "Steakhouse" "Bistro" "Wine bar" "Sentinel" "Stephen Scaffidi" "Bar One" "Alto" "lunch"

Beetroot, smoked goat’s cheese, quinoa, chardonnay vinaigrette

Kate and I planned to share a few entrees together and seeing as I didn’t get the quinoa dish I wanted recently at Cullen Wines I was keen to try The Sentinel’s version.  Kate has been a fan of quinoa for years and has been trying to convince me how awesome it is for some time.  It was served with roasted beetroot and dollops of tangy smoked goat’s cheese perched on top of some pickled radish.  I am starting to understand what she has been going on about – if prepared with the right foods it is a lovely treat. I did however struggle to taste the smoky notes of the goat’s cheese, they were too subtle.

"Marinated Octopus" "lemon" "chilli" "fresh herbs" "seafood" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "Perth food blog" "food blog" Chompchomp "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Perth CBD" "St Georges Terrace" "Sentinel Bar and Grill" "French" "Steakhouse" "Bistro" "Wine bar" "Sentinel" "Stephen Scaffidi" "Bar One" "Alto" "lunch"

Marinated Octopus, lemon, chilli, fresh herbs

We also ordered the marinated octopus served with julienned carrot and fennel with a fresh lemony chilli dressing.  The octopus was lovely and soft without any chewiness. My only gripe was the serving size – way too small for something this tasty (and for the price I guess)!

"raw beef mince" "potato crisps" "Steak tartare" "fresh horseradish" "potato chips" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "Perth food blog" "food blog" Chompchomp "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Perth CBD" "St Georges Terrace" "Sentinel Bar and Grill" "French" "Steakhouse" "Bistro" "Wine bar" "Sentinel" "Stephen Scaffidi" "Bar One" "Alto" "lunch"

Steak tartare, fresh horseradish, potato chips

For our third dish we chose the steak tartare.  This is something I have enjoyed a number of times at Rockpool and been blown away every time with its buttery texture and gentle flavours. Recently the Boy and I have been part-time vegetarians so it actually felt a little odd if not a bit scary to eat this dish once again.  To make matter less palatable the meat wasn’t quite as fresh as I would prefer if raw.  The crisp and peppery watercress helped somewhat to disguise the tainted flavour of the meat.

The potato chips served with this dish were nothing like what we were expecting.  I was anticipating some frites, something I consider a classic combination with steak tartare.  Instead there were a neat stack of potato crisps.  They were cut incredibly paper-thin to the point of being translucent but unfortunately they tasted like stale oil and not much else.  This potentially amazing but simple dish was very poorly executed.

Overall our lunch was enjoyable but with a few hits and misses and I would be keen to go back to sample a greater selection of their food in order get a better idea on their overall quality.  The service was friendly and efficient and I look optimistically to my next visit.

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Sentinel Bar and Grill
111 St Georges Terrace, Perth 6000 | (08) 6103 0507 |
Price:                     $$$$ (Entrees/snacks $4.50-21.50, Mains $26.5-45)
Food:                    2.5/5 (raw meat has got to be fresh)
Service:                3.8/5 (brilliant and enthusiastic)
Ambience:           4.5/5 (lovely warm décor, very swanky feel to it)
Drinks:                  4.5/5 (extensive and interesting wine list)
Total:                     15.3/20

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15 Thoughts on “The Sentinel Bar and Grill, Perth CBD

  1. These sound really unusual, and your photos are excellent. There is an art to food photos and I haven’t yet figured that out.

    • Thanks Lisa, I have to be honest I don’t think I’ve worked it out either – some turn out lovely others not so much!

  2. That tartare looks sooo yummy! But you are definitely right. I cannot imagine raw foods which are not fresh. I once had the fish version of steak tartare a Halu. It was every bit delectable! I must try the one at Rockpool the next time around :D!

  3. hahaha I went there back in my stingy days as a student. Paid about $40 without alco so I felt it was slightly pricey. But now that I have started working, I guess it is a lot more decent considering how expensive food around Perth is at the moment :)!

    • Yeah it’s not a place for an Austudy budget. We really do pay a premium for living in this amazing city ….sigh

  4. InTolerant Chef|

    I love the look of the octopus, one of my favourites! Nice to have a catch up and visit with a friend :)

  5. How exciting – did you find your perfect wedding dress?

    I tried Sentinel when it first opened and it was a week day lunch early last year. Food was great but as Wney says it was a bit on the expensive side – costed us each about $50 and we only had still water.

    I do love Bar One though, their breakfast is much more affordable but can’t be having lunch there every week either :)

    • The wonders of working in the city, so jealous! I eneded up finding a dress on my trip over to Melbourne – it’s from Luci Di Bella… so perfect, very “me” with not a meringue foo-foo in sight. Woot!

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