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Martinis and Oysters at Frisk for Eat Drink Perth

Posted by  | Categories: Events, Featured, Food and Wine Festivals, Perth, Restaurants, Seafood, Wine Bar

This is my second year to join the team of official bloggers for the Eat Drink Perth Festival which is an annual event held over five weeks in Perth City and its surrounds. Eat Drink Perth is a festival where there is something for everyone with all sorts of brilliant foodie events held every day ranging from degustations to walking tours, bar wars to cooking classes and there is even a Food Truck Rumble. We are now half way through the festival and reflecting back over the past few weeks I am happy I have managed to cram a lot in despite my non-blog working life being super busy. I have attended the annual Gluten Free Expo, an intimate long table diner by The Creatives, eaten some velvety raw desserts at CNR and watched a friend eat nearly 900 grams of pork knuckle at Brotzeit.

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In return for our writing and photography efforts for the festival, each blogger has been kindly delegated complementary tickets to some events that we listed on our individual top ten festival picks. For me this included an opportunity to attend Frisk Small Bar’s Martini and Oysters night.

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Along the same lines that I don’t understand people who don’t like cats, I don’t understand those that don’t like oysters. They are so succulent and juicy, slightly sweet and slightly briny all in one mouthful and I could easily eat my body weight of them if I was given the chance.

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Normally I love pairing oysters with French champagne however in all honesty I am generally happy pairing champagne with almost anything! For a change, I was interested to see how the oysters paired with a Martini as this was a combination I haven’t tried before. Would the Martini complement the flavours of the oysters or would it be too overpowering and just drown them out?

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The bar team at Frisk can churn out some of the best cocktails in town and I had confidence that they could pull this combination off with a hit. They have one of the most enormous and amazing gin collections that I have even seen and I figured that if anyone could match a cocktail to an oyster they would be the ones to achieve it.

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And my gut feeling was right. I was soon to discover that sipping Martinis with oysters is indeed a perfect match with the flavour of each seemingly enhanced by the other. The botanical crispness of the martini meant it didn’t overpower the creamy oysters and my palate ended with a harmonious briny finish. This is a combination definitely worth trying again provided I can muster up the will power to say no to champagne. And that is never easy!

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Disclaimer: Chompchomp is one of the official bloggers for Eat Drink Perth ’15 and enjoyed her oysters and martini courtesy of the City of Perth. For more details of Eat Drink Perth events head to their website

Martinis & Oysters Every Thursday during Eat Drink Perth ’15 at  Frisk Small Bar, 103 Francis St, Northbridge WA 6003

$20 | 3pm-midnight | No bookings required | EDP Program details | www.frisksmallbar.com.au

Frisk. Small Bar on Urbanspoon

Best Western Hospitality Inn, Carnarvon and Sails Restaurant

Posted by  | Categories: Accommodation, Gascoyne Region, Hotels, Regional WA, Restaurants, Seafood, Travel, WA Signature Dish

After a long drive through the pouring rain it was a relief to arrive in Carnarvon ready for the WA Signature Dish regional final. It had been a right kerfuffle getting to our destination with missed flights, flight delays and severe weather warnings but we made it albeit one day late.

We arrived in Carnarvon in the late afternoon and checked into our accommodation at the Best Western Hospitality Inn. Our room was clean and simply appointed with a minibar stocked with nibbles, beer, wine and soft drinks. There were also tea and coffee-making facilities, free WIFI and room service however the internet connection was painfully slow.

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On our first night we were a little weary from travelling all day so we ate at the hotel restaurant Sails. Sails is considered one of the more refined dining options in town in addition to being one of the very few restaurants that remain open seven days a week.

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Franklin Bay Oysters served natural ($20.50/ ½ doz, GF)

Having heard great things about Carnarvon’s fresh seafood it was all I was in the mood for. And the best way to start a seafood feast is with oysters. Now I realise the hot climate of Carnarvon excludes it from farming oysters locally this meant the oysters on Sail’s menu would undoubtedly be imported. However, when I get the fanciful idea of eating oysters I just will not stop until I am satisfied. These giant sized babies came from Frankland Bay in South Australia and were plump, creamy and surprisingly fresh. We enjoyed them served natural with a squeeze of cut lemon.

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Seared prawn salad ($22.50, GF)

Before ordering anything else the chef kindly came out to speak with me about suitable gluten free options from his menu. I always appreciate this level of concern as it illustrates to me that they will ensure to take care when preparing my food. Our first dish was a seared prawn salad using local prawns tossed through a mighty sized salad of julienned bacon, roasted pine nuts, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese and baby spinach leaves. It was finished with a lemon, chilli and coriander dressing. The bacon was an odd addition and one we didn’t expect however being cut into such thin slivers it wasn’t overpowering and added just a hint of flavour with each mouthful.

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Grilled ginger scallops ($24.50, GF)

Our second entrée was the grilled ginger scallops. This dish also has a level of curiosity about it as in addition to the enormous scallops served in the shell, there were extra smaller sized ones buried underneath. It worked out quite good value when you consider the price as there ended up being six scallops in total. It came served upon a scoop of steamed rice and wilted Chinese greens.

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Complementary sorbet

An unexpected touch of complementary lemon sorbet was brought to our table in the interlude between our first and second courses. After all the spice and ginger flavours it was a welcoming cleanser to prepare for our main meal.

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Tropical barramundi ($34.50, GF)

For mains we both ordered the tropical barramundi. The fillet was grilled lightly, served on a bed of bok choy and topped with lemon butter sauce plus a spoonful of chilli mango salsa. A couple of poached prawns topped this collection of ingredients as a strange afterthought. Whilst the fish was soft and tender within, I felt the combination of lemon butter and mango salsa was too eclectic with only a small amount of each so that neither had the chance to shine. The end result was actually a somewhat bland dish. Such a shame because those simple flavours had a lot of potential.

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We ended our night which Sail’s cheese platter for two which considering the price once again this was a generous portion size. The chef ensured to serve the water crackers in a separate bowl to avoid any gluten contamination which reinforced to me what a gluten free friendly place this was. There were four different types of cheese; chunks of tasty cheddar, smoked Dutch, Danish blue and Camembert sat among some pieces of fresh fruit and roasted nuts.

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Cheese platter ($24.50 for two)

The complimentary breakfast provided with our room was very basic including some sliced toast, fruit and cheese plus an array of cereals.  There wasn’t any gluten free bread available. You are able to pay a small amount extra for a hot cooked meal if you prefer but instead I bought some gluten free muffins from the local Woolworth’s supermarket which they grilled for me at no extra charge.

We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Carnarvon and whilst the Best Western is by no means the five-star luxury that I love, it was comfortable and clean with friendly service. We wouldn’t hesitate to stay there again next time we are in the region.

Disclaimer: Chompchomp’s accommodation at Best Western Carnarvon was partly funded for by Buy West Eat Best for my involvement in their WA Signature Dish competition.
 
Sails Restaurant
6 West Street, Carnarvon WA 6701 | (08) 9941 1600 | www.carnarvon.wa.hospitalityinns.com.au
 Sails Restaurant on Urbanspoon

WA Signature Dish Gascoyne regional final in Carnarvon

Posted by  | Categories: Events, Featured, Gascoyne Region, Regional WA, Seafood, Travel, WA Signature Dish

I recently travelled up to the Northwest corner of Western Australia as the official blogger for the Gascoyne regional final in the inaugural WA Signature Dish competition. Having never visited this part of Australia before, I wanted to obtain a clear insight into its food industry in order to understand why they call themselves the “food bowl” of our State. The Boy and I flew in via Exmouth, collected ourselves a rental 4WD from the airport and drove straight to Carnarvon in the pouring rain to be ready to start early the next morning.

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The competition event was held at One Mile Restaurant which is housed in the new Interpretive Centre facing out onto the historical One Mile Jetty in the Heritage Precinct. Whilst this ancient but well preserved jetty was constructed back in 1897, the accompanying restaurant was only built recently and hadn’t even officially opened! Their kitchen was so shiny and new creating a perfect work area for our four contestants to create their signature dishes. The fabulous four finalists for the Gascoyne region are Jerolina, Amy, Paul and Gayle. They all live in Carnarvon and show an obvious love for their home town and its amazingly vibrant produce.

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The contestants weren’t scheduled to hit the stoves until mid-morning which gave Channel Seven’s Today Tonight camera team plenty of time to get loads of footage including getting individual interviews with each of them. Also joining the team was professional photographer Anton from Simply Designed, whose talent, skills and awesome equipment reminded me what a complete amateur I am with my little camera!

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"Perth Restaurant Reviews" "Perth food blog" "Perth restaurants" "Perth gluten free" "Perth fructose friendly" "Perth food reviews" "restaurants perth" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "food photos" "gluten free" "fructose friendly" "gluten free cooking" "gluten free recipes" "fructose friendly recipes" "gluten free raw food" "fructose friendly raw food" "food event" "WA signature dish" "buy west eat best" "signature dish" "gascoyne" "carnarvon" "learmoth" "exmouth flight" "flight exmouth" "qantas learmonth" "qantas exmouth" "gluten free snacks" "travel carnarvon" "travel exmouth" "tropic of capricorn" "car hire exmouth" "interpretive centre" "one mile jetty" "one mile station restaurant" "one mile carnarvon" "gluten free carnarvon" jetty carnarvon" "precinct carnarvon" "heritage jetty" "jetty restaurant carnarvon"

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As each contestant was scuttled away for their private interviews, it gave me the chance to have a good chat with those remaining behind and learn more about what it is like living in Carnarvon and more importantly to plug them for suggestions on where to eat locally.

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I was surprised and somewhat saddened to learn that despite being a town surrounded by an abundance of amazing fruit and vegetable plantations in addition to having access to some of the freshest seafood, many of the local eateries preferred to obtain cheaper imported ingredients in order to save on costs. Hopefully with highly publicized and well-run events like WA Signature Dish, it will help promote using local produce and this food culture will start to change. Certainly if the passion and enthusiasm of these four locals was anything to go by, it won’t be long before this happens.

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Once all the contestant’s interviews were completed it was time for them to don their aprons and get down to business. Before officially commencing the cook-off, the region’s mentor chef Peter Manifis from InContro wished the contestants the best of luck before gesturing them into the kitchen.

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Although the four in the kitchen were far too busy to stop and eat, the rest of us were getting pretty peckish. To our delight the newly appointed chef for One Mile Restaurant had kindly prepared a huge spread of food for us to snack on while we anxiously waited to see what the first dish would be. Our lunch included fresh sushi rolls, pumpkin soup, rice paper rolls, scones and a colourful fruit platter. When I chatted to the chef to find out what was gluten free, I was excited to hear she was a huge supporter in using her local produce and plans to promote this in her new restaurant once it opens.

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Each contestant received their signature dish ingredients packed neatly in a crate and seeing them all go through each one was like watching kids at Christmas. Jerolina’s signature dish was a whole grilled Snapper served with Dabu dabu and coconut corn. Dabu dabu is a type of hot sauce found in Manado cuisine from Indonesia.

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"Jerolina Rankin" "whole grilled Snapper" "Dabu dabu" "coconut corn" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "Perth food blog" "Perth restaurants" "Perth gluten free" "Perth fructose friendly" "Perth food reviews" "restaurants perth" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "food photos" "gluten free" "fructose friendly" "gluten free cooking" "gluten free recipes" "fructose friendly recipes" "gluten free raw food" "fructose friendly raw food" "food event" "WA signature dish" "buy west eat best" "signature dish" "gascoyne" "carnarvon" "learmoth" "exmouth flight" "flight exmouth" "qantas learmonth" "qantas exmouth" "gluten free snacks" "travel carnarvon" "travel exmouth" "tropic of capricorn" "car hire exmouth" "interpretive centre" "one mile jetty" "one mile station restaurant" "one mile carnarvon" "gluten free carnarvon" jetty carnarvon" "precinct carnarvon" "heritage jetty" "jetty restaurant carnarvon"

"Jerolina Rankin" "whole grilled Snapper" "Dabu dabu" "coconut corn" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "Perth food blog" "Perth restaurants" "Perth gluten free" "Perth fructose friendly" "Perth food reviews" "restaurants perth" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "food photos" "gluten free" "fructose friendly" "gluten free cooking" "gluten free recipes" "fructose friendly recipes" "gluten free raw food" "fructose friendly raw food" "food event" "WA signature dish" "buy west eat best" "signature dish" "gascoyne" "carnarvon" "learmoth" "exmouth flight" "flight exmouth" "qantas learmonth" "qantas exmouth" "gluten free snacks" "travel carnarvon" "travel exmouth" "tropic of capricorn" "car hire exmouth" "interpretive centre" "one mile jetty" "one mile station restaurant" "one mile carnarvon" "gluten free carnarvon" jetty carnarvon" "precinct carnarvon" "heritage jetty" "jetty restaurant carnarvon"

Her signature dish was the first one to be presented to the judges and she certainly set the bar high for her fellow finalists. The fish was so delicate and moist with a rich, spicy flavour from the Dabu dabu sauce. The chargrilled corn also had a hint of spice which balanced elegantly with the sweet coconut flavours.

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Jerolina’s whole grilled Snapper served with Dabu dabu and coconut corn

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"Amy Shelton" "carpaccio kangaroo" "Oriental lentils" "pickled beetroot" "kangaroo" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "Perth food blog" "Perth restaurants" "Perth gluten free" "Perth fructose friendly" "Perth food reviews" "restaurants perth" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "food photos" "gluten free" "fructose friendly" "gluten free cooking" "gluten free recipes" "fructose friendly recipes" "gluten free raw food" "fructose friendly raw food" "food event" "WA signature dish" "buy west eat best" "signature dish" "gascoyne" "carnarvon" "learmoth" "exmouth flight" "flight exmouth" "qantas learmonth" "qantas exmouth" "gluten free snacks" "travel carnarvon" "travel exmouth" "tropic of capricorn" "car hire exmouth" "interpretive centre" "one mile jetty" "one mile station restaurant" "one mile carnarvon" "gluten free carnarvon" jetty carnarvon" "precinct carnarvon" "heritage jetty" "jetty restaurant carnarvon"

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Those of you who know me well, you will be familiar with my “flying hands of fury”. It is a term used by my friends to describe my ever-moving and highly expressive hand movements. Well, actually they are sometimes more like arm movements.

Within minutes of meeting Amy I concluded we must have been separated at birth because she also sported a similarly fantastic pair of flying hands of fury. Being such an energetic and vibrant person I was excited to see what creative and crazy dish she would create. Her signature dish was a stunning carpaccio of kangaroo fillet served on a bed of Oriental lentils with pickled beetroot. It was plated immaculately and I found it hard to believe she had no chef training.

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Amy’s carpaccio kangaroo with Oriental lentils, pickled beetroot

"Amy Shelton" "carpaccio kangaroo" "Oriental lentils" "pickled beetroot" "kangaroo" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "Perth food blog" "Perth restaurants" "Perth gluten free" "Perth fructose friendly" "Perth food reviews" "restaurants perth" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "food photos" "gluten free" "fructose friendly" "gluten free cooking" "gluten free recipes" "fructose friendly recipes" "gluten free raw food" "fructose friendly raw food" "food event" "WA signature dish" "buy west eat best" "signature dish" "gascoyne" "carnarvon" "learmoth" "exmouth flight" "flight exmouth" "qantas learmonth" "qantas exmouth" "gluten free snacks" "travel carnarvon" "travel exmouth" "tropic of capricorn" "car hire exmouth" "interpretive centre" "one mile jetty" "one mile station restaurant" "one mile carnarvon" "gluten free carnarvon" jetty carnarvon" "precinct carnarvon" "heritage jetty" "jetty restaurant carnarvon"

As I am allergic to kangaroo meat, unfortunately I didn’t try this dish. Roo causes me to develop a rather unusual anaphylactic like response where my throat swells up and I struggle to breathe. Kind of like what I imagine a nut allergy to be. But to roo! It’s not pleasant. I was informed by those who ate the carpaccio that the meat was uber-tender and matched well with the creamy lentils and sweet beetroot.

"Perth Restaurant Reviews" "Perth food blog" "Perth restaurants" "Perth gluten free" "Perth fructose friendly" "Perth food reviews" "restaurants perth" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "food photos" "gluten free" "fructose friendly" "gluten free cooking" "gluten free recipes" "fructose friendly recipes" "gluten free raw food" "fructose friendly raw food" "food event" "WA signature dish" "buy west eat best" "signature dish" "gascoyne" "carnarvon" "learmoth" "exmouth flight" "flight exmouth" "qantas learmonth" "qantas exmouth" "gluten free snacks" "travel carnarvon" "travel exmouth" "tropic of capricorn" "car hire exmouth" "interpretive centre" "one mile jetty" "one mile station restaurant" "one mile carnarvon" "gluten free carnarvon" jetty carnarvon" "precinct carnarvon" "heritage jetty" "jetty restaurant carnarvon"

"Perth Restaurant Reviews" "Perth food blog" "Perth restaurants" "Perth gluten free" "Perth fructose friendly" "Perth food reviews" "restaurants perth" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "food photos" "gluten free" "fructose friendly" "gluten free cooking" "gluten free recipes" "fructose friendly recipes" "gluten free raw food" "fructose friendly raw food" "food event" "WA signature dish" "buy west eat best" "signature dish" "gascoyne" "carnarvon" "learmoth" "exmouth flight" "flight exmouth" "qantas learmonth" "qantas exmouth" "gluten free snacks" "travel carnarvon" "travel exmouth" "tropic of capricorn" "car hire exmouth" "interpretive centre" "one mile jetty" "one mile station restaurant" "one mile carnarvon" "gluten free carnarvon" jetty carnarvon" "precinct carnarvon" "heritage jetty" "jetty restaurant carnarvon"

Gayle runs the front of house for Pickles Point Seafood & Boatyard in Carnarvon. Pickles Point are renowned for providing the local Carnarvon residents with some of the freshest Shark Bay seafood so it was logical that this would be the main feature of her signature dish.

"Gayle Dewar" "Shark Bay Pink Snapper" "Tiger prawns" "sweet potato mash" "lime" "mayonnaise" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "Perth food blog" "Perth restaurants" "Perth gluten free" "Perth fructose friendly" "Perth food reviews" "restaurants perth" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "food photos" "gluten free" "fructose friendly" "gluten free cooking" "gluten free recipes" "fructose friendly recipes" "gluten free raw food" "fructose friendly raw food" "food event" "WA signature dish" "buy west eat best" "signature dish" "gascoyne" "carnarvon" "learmoth" "exmouth flight" "flight exmouth" "qantas learmonth" "qantas exmouth" "gluten free snacks" "travel carnarvon" "travel exmouth" "tropic of capricorn" "car hire exmouth" "interpretive centre" "one mile jetty" "one mile station restaurant" "one mile carnarvon" "gluten free carnarvon" jetty carnarvon" "precinct carnarvon" "heritage jetty" "jetty restaurant carnarvon"

"Gayle Dewar" "Shark Bay Pink Snapper" "Tiger prawns" "sweet potato mash" "lime" "mayonnaise" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "Perth food blog" "Perth restaurants" "Perth gluten free" "Perth fructose friendly" "Perth food reviews" "restaurants perth" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "food photos" "gluten free" "fructose friendly" "gluten free cooking" "gluten free recipes" "fructose friendly recipes" "gluten free raw food" "fructose friendly raw food" "food event" "WA signature dish" "buy west eat best" "signature dish" "gascoyne" "carnarvon" "learmoth" "exmouth flight" "flight exmouth" "qantas learmonth" "qantas exmouth" "gluten free snacks" "travel carnarvon" "travel exmouth" "tropic of capricorn" "car hire exmouth" "interpretive centre" "one mile jetty" "one mile station restaurant" "one mile carnarvon" "gluten free carnarvon" jetty carnarvon" "precinct carnarvon" "heritage jetty" "jetty restaurant carnarvon"

Gayle’s Shark Bay Pink Snapper with Tiger prawns, sweet potato mash, lime & mayonnaise

"Gayle Dewar" "Shark Bay Pink Snapper" "Tiger prawns" "sweet potato mash" "lime" "mayonnaise" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "Perth food blog" "Perth restaurants" "Perth gluten free" "Perth fructose friendly" "Perth food reviews" "restaurants perth" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "food photos" "gluten free" "fructose friendly" "gluten free cooking" "gluten free recipes" "fructose friendly recipes" "gluten free raw food" "fructose friendly raw food" "food event" "WA signature dish" "buy west eat best" "signature dish" "gascoyne" "carnarvon" "learmoth" "exmouth flight" "flight exmouth" "qantas learmonth" "qantas exmouth" "gluten free snacks" "travel carnarvon" "travel exmouth" "tropic of capricorn" "car hire exmouth" "interpretive centre" "one mile jetty" "one mile station restaurant" "one mile carnarvon" "gluten free carnarvon" jetty carnarvon" "precinct carnarvon" "heritage jetty" "jetty restaurant carnarvon"

She cooked a freshly cut fillet of Shark Bay Pink Snapper topped with butterflied Tiger prawns and served on a sweet potato mash with lime and mayonnaise. I looked over at the judge’s faces and I could see they were struggling to choose a winner. It was going to be such a hard call to make as every dish was outstanding.

"Perth Restaurant Reviews" "Perth food blog" "Perth restaurants" "Perth gluten free" "Perth fructose friendly" "Perth food reviews" "restaurants perth" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "food photos" "gluten free" "fructose friendly" "gluten free cooking" "gluten free recipes" "fructose friendly recipes" "gluten free raw food" "fructose friendly raw food" "food event" "WA signature dish" "buy west eat best" "signature dish" "gascoyne" "carnarvon" "learmoth" "exmouth flight" "flight exmouth" "qantas learmonth" "qantas exmouth" "gluten free snacks" "travel carnarvon" "travel exmouth" "tropic of capricorn" "car hire exmouth" "interpretive centre" "one mile jetty" "one mile station restaurant" "one mile carnarvon" "gluten free carnarvon" jetty carnarvon" "precinct carnarvon" "heritage jetty" "jetty restaurant carnarvon"

"salsa verde" "Paul Kelly" "gascoyne tasting plate" "gascoyne seafood tasting plate" "snapper" "prawns" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "Perth food blog" "Perth restaurants" "Perth gluten free" "Perth fructose friendly" "Perth food reviews" "restaurants perth" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "food photos" "gluten free" "fructose friendly" "gluten free cooking" "gluten free recipes" "fructose friendly recipes" "gluten free raw food" "fructose friendly raw food" "food event" "WA signature dish" "buy west eat best" "signature dish" "gascoyne" "carnarvon" "learmoth" "exmouth flight" "flight exmouth" "qantas learmonth" "qantas exmouth" "gluten free snacks" "travel carnarvon" "travel exmouth" "tropic of capricorn" "car hire exmouth" "interpretive centre" "one mile jetty" "one mile station restaurant" "one mile carnarvon" "gluten free carnarvon" jetty carnarvon" "precinct carnarvon" "heritage jetty" "jetty restaurant carnarvon"

The lovely, smiling Paul was the lucky last competitor to serve up his signature dish to the judging panel. This didn’t appear to frazzle him whatsoever and he looked so zen and calm as he prepared his dish. I wish cooking had that effect on me!

"Paul Kelly" "gascoyne tasting plate" "gascoyne seafood tasting plate" "snapper" "prawns" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "Perth food blog" "Perth restaurants" "Perth gluten free" "Perth fructose friendly" "Perth food reviews" "restaurants perth" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "food photos" "gluten free" "fructose friendly" "gluten free cooking" "gluten free recipes" "fructose friendly recipes" "gluten free raw food" "fructose friendly raw food" "food event" "WA signature dish" "buy west eat best" "signature dish" "gascoyne" "carnarvon" "learmoth" "exmouth flight" "flight exmouth" "qantas learmonth" "qantas exmouth" "gluten free snacks" "travel carnarvon" "travel exmouth" "tropic of capricorn" "car hire exmouth" "interpretive centre" "one mile jetty" "one mile station restaurant" "one mile carnarvon" "gluten free carnarvon" jetty carnarvon" "precinct carnarvon" "heritage jetty" "jetty restaurant carnarvon"

"Paul Kelly" "gascoyne tasting plate" "gascoyne seafood tasting plate" "snapper" "prawns" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "Perth food blog" "Perth restaurants" "Perth gluten free" "Perth fructose friendly" "Perth food reviews" "restaurants perth" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "food photos" "gluten free" "fructose friendly" "gluten free cooking" "gluten free recipes" "fructose friendly recipes" "gluten free raw food" "fructose friendly raw food" "food event" "WA signature dish" "buy west eat best" "signature dish" "gascoyne" "carnarvon" "learmoth" "exmouth flight" "flight exmouth" "qantas learmonth" "qantas exmouth" "gluten free snacks" "travel carnarvon" "travel exmouth" "tropic of capricorn" "car hire exmouth" "interpretive centre" "one mile jetty" "one mile station restaurant" "one mile carnarvon" "gluten free carnarvon" jetty carnarvon" "precinct carnarvon" "heritage jetty" "jetty restaurant carnarvon"

His dish was titled the “Gascoyne seafood tasting plate”. It comprised of four equally outstanding components each showcasing a outstanding number of key hero ingredients from the Gascoyne region; King prawns with salsa verde, citrus cured  snapper, pan fried Pink snapper with lime mayonnaise and pickled vegetables; and snapper tartare with basil drizzle.

"Perth Restaurant Reviews" "Perth food blog" "Perth restaurants" "Perth gluten free" "Perth fructose friendly" "Perth food reviews" "restaurants perth" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "food photos" "gluten free" "fructose friendly" "gluten free cooking" "gluten free recipes" "fructose friendly recipes" "gluten free raw food" "fructose friendly raw food" "food event" "WA signature dish" "buy west eat best" "signature dish" "gascoyne" "carnarvon" "learmoth" "exmouth flight" "flight exmouth" "qantas learmonth" "qantas exmouth" "gluten free snacks" "travel carnarvon" "travel exmouth" "tropic of capricorn" "car hire exmouth" "interpretive centre" "one mile jetty" "one mile station restaurant" "one mile carnarvon" "gluten free carnarvon" jetty carnarvon" "precinct carnarvon" "heritage jetty" "jetty restaurant carnarvon"

"Paul Kelly" "gascoyne tasting plate" "gascoyne seafood tasting plate" "snapper" "prawns" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "Perth food blog" "Perth restaurants" "Perth gluten free" "Perth fructose friendly" "Perth food reviews" "restaurants perth" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "food photos" "gluten free" "fructose friendly" "gluten free cooking" "gluten free recipes" "fructose friendly recipes" "gluten free raw food" "fructose friendly raw food" "food event" "WA signature dish" "buy west eat best" "signature dish" "gascoyne" "carnarvon" "learmoth" "exmouth flight" "flight exmouth" "qantas learmonth" "qantas exmouth" "gluten free snacks" "travel carnarvon" "travel exmouth" "tropic of capricorn" "car hire exmouth" "interpretive centre" "one mile jetty" "one mile station restaurant" "one mile carnarvon" "gluten free carnarvon" jetty carnarvon" "precinct carnarvon" "heritage jetty" "jetty restaurant carnarvon"

Narrowing it down to just one winner was going to be very hard and I didn’t envy the judges having to make this decision. The winner of each regional final will go on to battle it out for the title of WA Signature Dish on WA Day in June. The other three regional finalists are from the areas of Southern Forests, Great Southern and Perth. In order to help prepare the contestants for the big finale, each regional winner will receive intense one-on-one training from their mentor chef. I can see the Peter has a strong competitive streak in him so we couldn’t have asked for a more motivated chef to train our finalist!

"Paul Kelly" "gascoyne tasting plate" "gascoyne seafood tasting plate" "snapper" "prawns" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "Perth food blog" "Perth restaurants" "Perth gluten free" "Perth fructose friendly" "Perth food reviews" "restaurants perth" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "food photos" "gluten free" "fructose friendly" "gluten free cooking" "gluten free recipes" "fructose friendly recipes" "gluten free raw food" "fructose friendly raw food" "food event" "WA signature dish" "buy west eat best" "signature dish" "gascoyne" "carnarvon" "learmoth" "exmouth flight" "flight exmouth" "qantas learmonth" "qantas exmouth" "gluten free snacks" "travel carnarvon" "travel exmouth" "tropic of capricorn" "car hire exmouth" "interpretive centre" "one mile jetty" "one mile station restaurant" "one mile carnarvon" "gluten free carnarvon" jetty carnarvon" "precinct carnarvon" "heritage jetty" "jetty restaurant carnarvon"

As the crowd gathered around to wait for the announcement of the winner I could feel the excitement and tension in the air. The judges had used a points system to score each dish, assessing its flavour, presentation and originality but also on its ability to proudly showcase the produce from the Gascoyne region. Before they declared the winner, we were informed that it was an extremely close call with the top two contestants so close they nearly came in at a tie.

"Paul Kelly" "gascoyne tasting plate" "gascoyne seafood tasting plate" "snapper" "prawns" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "Perth food blog" "Perth restaurants" "Perth gluten free" "Perth fructose friendly" "Perth food reviews" "restaurants perth" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "food photos" "gluten free" "fructose friendly" "gluten free cooking" "gluten free recipes" "fructose friendly recipes" "gluten free raw food" "fructose friendly raw food" "food event" "WA signature dish" "buy west eat best" "signature dish" "gascoyne" "carnarvon" "learmoth" "exmouth flight" "flight exmouth" "qantas learmonth" "qantas exmouth" "gluten free snacks" "travel carnarvon" "travel exmouth" "tropic of capricorn" "car hire exmouth" "interpretive centre" "one mile jetty" "one mile station restaurant" "one mile carnarvon" "gluten free carnarvon" jetty carnarvon" "precinct carnarvon" "heritage jetty" "jetty restaurant carnarvon"

"Paul Kelly" "gascoyne tasting plate" "gascoyne seafood tasting plate" "snapper" "prawns" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "Perth food blog" "Perth restaurants" "Perth gluten free" "Perth fructose friendly" "Perth food reviews" "restaurants perth" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "food photos" "gluten free" "fructose friendly" "gluten free cooking" "gluten free recipes" "fructose friendly recipes" "gluten free raw food" "fructose friendly raw food" "food event" "WA signature dish" "buy west eat best" "signature dish" "gascoyne" "carnarvon" "learmoth" "exmouth flight" "flight exmouth" "qantas learmonth" "qantas exmouth" "gluten free snacks" "travel carnarvon" "travel exmouth" "tropic of capricorn" "car hire exmouth" "interpretive centre" "one mile jetty" "one mile station restaurant" "one mile carnarvon" "gluten free carnarvon" jetty carnarvon" "precinct carnarvon" "heritage jetty" "jetty restaurant carnarvon"

And the winner of the WA Signature Dish Gascoyne regional is……..Paul Kelly with his stunning Gascoyne seafood tasting plate. A huge congratulations to you Paul and also a big well done to Jerolina, Amy and Gayle for creating such amazing and individual signature dishes. Hopefully we may all meet again next year? 😉

Chompchomp is the official blogger for the Gascoyne region for WA Signature Dish competition run by Buy West Eat Best.

 

Interview with Peter Manifis of InContro Restaurant & Mentor chef for WA Signature Dish Competition

Posted by  | Categories: Degustation/Fine dining, European, Events, Featured, Perth, Restaurants, Seafood, WA Signature Dish

Prior to travelling up to the North West corner of Australia for the WA Signature Dish Gascoyne regional final, I wanted to touch base with the region’s designated chef Peter Manifis. Peter will be judging the four finalists in a cook off in order to select the winning dish that will represent the Gascoyne for the finale. He will then spend time closely with the regional winner mentoring and training them to give them the best chance at winning the competition.

"Perth Restaurant Reviews" "Perth restaurants" "Perth gluten free" "Perth fructose friendly" "Perth food reviews" "restaurants perth" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "travel blog" "Perth" "Perth travel blog""Chompchomp" "gluten free" "fructose friendly" "low FODMAP diet" "fructose malabsorption" "gluten free cooking" "raw food cooking" "gluten free recipes" "fructose friendly recipes" "gluten free raw food" "fructose friendly raw food" "food event" "WA signature dish" "buy west eat best" "signature dish" "Gascoyne" "Gascoyne food" "western australian seafood" "cooking competition" "InContro" "In Contro" "restaurant south perth" "seafood south perth" "seafood perth" "peter manifis"

Peter is the part owner and Executive chef for InContro, one of the fine dining local restaurants in my area. The restaurant is located on the South Perth Esplanade and overlooks the Swan River facing towards the Perth City skyline. It makes such a romantic spot for an evening meal offering uninterrupted views of the city lights twinkling away on the water. The Boy and I have celebrated many special occasions at InContro so I was excited when I found out that I was to be working with Peter. Upon meeting him I was inspired to see someone even more enthusiastic and energetic than I am. Those of you who have met me will know that this is really quite an achievement!

"champagne" "Louis Roederer" "NV Brut" "mocktail" "strawberry" "pomegranate" "lime" "soda" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "Perth restaurants" "Perth gluten free" "Perth fructose friendly" "Perth food reviews" "restaurants perth" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "travel blog" "Perth" "Perth travel blog""Chompchomp" "gluten free" "fructose friendly" "low FODMAP diet" "fructose malabsorption" "gluten free cooking" "raw food cooking" "gluten free recipes" "fructose friendly recipes" "gluten free raw food" "fructose friendly raw food" "food event" "WA signature dish" "buy west eat best" "signature dish" "Gascoyne" "Gascoyne food" "western australian seafood" "cooking competition" "InContro" "In Contro" "restaurant south perth" "seafood south perth" "seafood perth" "peter manifis"

Louis Roederer NV Brut ($22) & Mocktail (strawberry, pomegranate, lime & soda)

Whilst I understand that Chefs are often very busy people, I was grateful he took time out to have a chat with me and share some of his insights into our city’s food industry. We visited the restaurant on a sunny afternoon so we could kick back and enjoy an InContro seafood feast, something that they are very well known for here in Perth.  Here’s what Peter had to say to me……

"gluten free bread" "pizza oven" "buffalo pecorino" "tomato" "basil" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "Perth restaurants" "Perth gluten free" "Perth fructose friendly" "Perth food reviews" "restaurants perth" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "travel blog" "Perth" "Perth travel blog""Chompchomp" "gluten free" "fructose friendly" "low FODMAP diet" "fructose malabsorption" "gluten free cooking" "raw food cooking" "gluten free recipes" "fructose friendly recipes" "gluten free raw food" "fructose friendly raw food" "food event" "WA signature dish" "buy west eat best" "signature dish" "Gascoyne" "Gascoyne food" "western australian seafood" "cooking competition" "InContro" "In Contro" "restaurant south perth" "seafood south perth" "seafood perth" "peter manifis"

Gluten free bread baked in the pizza oven with Shaw River buffalo pecorino, roma tomato, basil (GF)

Peter, you are obviously a very passionate foodie, when and how did this love affair with food start?

It all started with my grandparents owning fruit and vegetable shops in Perth when I was very young, food has always been in my blood.  Moving on to my parents having fish and chip shops, a fish factory, processing plant and selling fish in my early years from age 2 – 15.  I have grown up very involved in the food industry.  Then of course I got my apprenticeship at the Loose Box.
 
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Gluten Free zucchini & blue cheese arancini with toffee walnuts and endive (GF)

You underwent your chef’s training at the highly acclaimed Loose Box under the guidance of Chef Alain Farbregues who is recognised as one of our city’s best French chefs. How has working with Alain influenced your career today?

Working with Alain has had a great influence on my work and career.  It has given me discipline, a good work ethic and enhanced my passion for food.  Working under Alain gave me all round knowledge of the basics of the European style of cooking this then gives the grounds for everything else to follow.  This is priceless.
 
"zucchini arancini" "blue cheese arancini" "candied walnuts " "zucchini" "blue cheese" "arancini" "candied" "walnuts" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "Perth restaurants" "Perth gluten free" "Perth fructose friendly" "Perth food reviews" "restaurants perth" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "travel blog" "Perth" "Perth travel blog""Chompchomp" "gluten free" "fructose friendly" "low FODMAP diet" "fructose malabsorption" "gluten free cooking" "raw food cooking" "gluten free recipes" "fructose friendly recipes" "gluten free raw food" "fructose friendly raw food" "food event" "WA signature dish" "buy west eat best" "signature dish" "Gascoyne" "Gascoyne food" "western australian seafood" "cooking competition" "InContro" "In Contro" "restaurant south perth" "seafood south perth" "seafood perth" "peter manifis"

Gluten free zucchini & blue cheese arancini with toffee walnuts & endive (GF)

"tuna carpaccio" "Queensland tuna" "carpaccio" "fennel" "garlic" "witloaf" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "Perth restaurants" "Perth gluten free" "Perth fructose friendly" "Perth food reviews" "restaurants perth" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "travel blog" "Perth" "Perth travel blog""Chompchomp" "gluten free" "fructose friendly" "low FODMAP diet" "fructose malabsorption" "gluten free cooking" "raw food cooking" "gluten free recipes" "fructose friendly recipes" "gluten free raw food" "fructose friendly raw food" "food event" "WA signature dish" "buy west eat best" "signature dish" "Gascoyne" "Gascoyne food" "western australian seafood" "cooking competition" "InContro" "In Contro" "restaurant south perth" "seafood south perth" "seafood perth" "peter manifis"

Tuna Carpaccio with fennel, radish, garlic, chilli and witlof (GF)

Over the past few years we have seen Western Australia grow into a State of avid foodies with an abundance of fantastic new venues opening and food festivals being held all over the State. What excites you about the food scene here in Western Australia?

The food scene here in Western Australia is fantastic and I was part of it before it started to get so fancy. It excites me to know that I stayed here in WA to help be a small part of what is such an amazing food industry we have today.
 
"scallop" "Esperance scallop" "pesto" "chargrilled eggplant" "tomato" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "Perth restaurants" "Perth gluten free" "Perth fructose friendly" "Perth food reviews" "restaurants perth" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "travel blog" "Perth" "Perth travel blog""Chompchomp" "gluten free" "fructose friendly" "low FODMAP diet" "fructose malabsorption" "gluten free cooking" "raw food cooking" "gluten free recipes" "fructose friendly recipes" "gluten free raw food" "fructose friendly raw food" "food event" "WA signature dish" "buy west eat best" "signature dish" "Gascoyne" "Gascoyne food" "western australian seafood" "cooking competition" "InContro" "In Contro" "restaurant south perth" "seafood south perth" "seafood perth" "peter manifis"

Pan seared Esperance scallop with pesto, Yarra Valley feta, chargrilled eggplant and tomato (GF)

"scallop" "Esperance scallop" "pesto" "chargrilled eggplant" "tomato" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "Perth restaurants" "Perth gluten free" "Perth fructose friendly" "Perth food reviews" "restaurants perth" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "travel blog" "Perth" "Perth travel blog""Chompchomp" "gluten free" "fructose friendly" "low FODMAP diet" "fructose malabsorption" "gluten free cooking" "raw food cooking" "gluten free recipes" "fructose friendly recipes" "gluten free raw food" "fructose friendly raw food" "food event" "WA signature dish" "buy west eat best" "signature dish" "Gascoyne" "Gascoyne food" "western australian seafood" "cooking competition" "InContro" "In Contro" "restaurant south perth" "seafood south perth" "seafood perth" "peter manifis"

Pan seared Esperance scallop with pesto, Yarra Valley feta, chargrilled eggplant and tomato (GF)

Your restaurant In Contro in South Perth has the reputation for being one of Perth’s top seafood restaurants with much of your produce sourced from our State’s North West. What are you favourite ingredients from the Gascoyne region and what makes it so special?

My favourite ingredients are, Shark Bay wild prawns and Plantation vegetables.  I am so passionate about this as I get to see the love people put into this produce and this reflects in what we get delivered to the restaurant.  This is really special for me.
 
"oyster" "Franklin Bay oyster" "lentils" "orange" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "Perth restaurants" "Perth gluten free" "Perth fructose friendly" "Perth food reviews" "restaurants perth" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "travel blog" "Perth" "Perth travel blog""Chompchomp" "gluten free" "fructose friendly" "low FODMAP diet" "fructose malabsorption" "gluten free cooking" "raw food cooking" "gluten free recipes" "fructose friendly recipes" "gluten free raw food" "fructose friendly raw food" "food event" "WA signature dish" "buy west eat best" "signature dish" "Gascoyne" "Gascoyne food" "western australian seafood" "cooking competition" "InContro" "In Contro" "restaurant south perth" "seafood south perth" "seafood perth" "peter manifis"

Franklin Bay oysters with lentils and orange tomato salsa (GF)

WA’s Signature Dish is an exciting competition hosted by Buy West Eat Best over the next few months. This competition is open to amateur cooks who love food and cooking but are not professional chefs. The aim is to find the ultimate recipe that puts our State on the plate. You have been chosen to be the mentor chef for the Gascoyne region’s finalist. What is your best advice for the four contestants attending the regional cook off held in Carnarvon next Monday?

My advice is this, Regional produce! Use as much of it as you can and just keep it as simple as possible, let the produce speak for itself.
 
"scampi" "seafood" "North West scampi" "garlic butter" "Mandurah prawns" "iceberg lettuce" "avocado" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "Perth restaurants" "Perth gluten free" "Perth fructose friendly" "Perth food reviews" "restaurants perth" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "travel blog" "Perth" "Perth travel blog""Chompchomp" "gluten free" "fructose friendly" "low FODMAP diet" "fructose malabsorption" "gluten free cooking" "raw food cooking" "gluten free recipes" "fructose friendly recipes" "gluten free raw food" "fructose friendly raw food" "food event" "WA signature dish" "buy west eat best" "signature dish" "Gascoyne" "Gascoyne food" "western australian seafood" "cooking competition" "InContro" "In Contro" "restaurant south perth" "seafood south perth" "seafood perth" "peter manifis"

North West Scampi with garlic butter, pilaf rice and tomato salsa (GF)

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Mandurah prawns with iceberg lettuce, avocado, tomato and marie rose sauce  (GF)

I hear you will be starring on the chef line up for this winter’s Truffle Kerfuffle Festival. I am a total truffle addict and have already booked up our weekend to be full of trufflicious indulgence. How will you be involved with this exciting event?

I am also a massive truffle fan and always get involved with anything truffle. I am one of four chefs who will have truffle potato stand.  We are cooking two major dinners for over 200 guests cooking a selection of canapés and protein and celebrating the produce with truffle.
 
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North West Scampi & Mandurah prawns  (GF)

Finally, I have dined in your restaurant many times over the years and always found your staff to be very helpful with respect to my gluten intolerance. Do you have any family members with food allergies or intolerances?

None of my family members have any allergies or intolerances, however, I do have staff members and customers who do.  I also find that as I work on the restaurant floor as well as the kitchen I understand and appreciate people’s requirements and feel they deserve food which is just as varied and exciting as for people who can eat everything.  This is why I try to be innovative and always create new and exciting dishes to accommodate everyone.
 
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Pannacotta with honey comb & popping candy, house made sorbets (quince & sparkling wine, raspberry & beetroot, orange) (GF)

Chompchomp is the official blogger for the Buy West Eat Best WA Signature Dish Competition.
Disclaimer: Chef Peter Manifis kindly offered the above meal for us at InContro for a discounted rate. Thank you Peter, we were not expecting such generosity. 
 
In Contro
79 South Perth Esplanade, South Perth WA 6151 | (08) 9474 5566 | www.incontro.com.au

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Baked whole Exmouth Red Emperor with prawns and lemongrass

Posted by  | Categories: Featured, Gascoyne Region, Recipes, Regional WA, Seafood, WA Signature Dish

The Gascoyne region in the north-west of our State is sometimes called the “food bowl of Western Australia”. It includes the regions of Exmouth, Carnarvon and Shark Bay and forms the gateway to the world-famous Ningaloo Reef where you are able to swim in the sea alongside the majestic whale sharks. The climate is warm all year round with average temperatures ranging from around 25- 30 C allowing an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables to be cultivated including bananas, mangos and tomatoes.

The region is also well known for its freshly caught seafood which includes snapper, mullet, whiting, prawns, scallops and crab. I am really looking forward to our travels up North for the WA Signature Dish regional final in early May as I know I will be literally living on seafood. After a whole month of Eat Drink Perth overindulgence my heart and liver will surely be thanking me.

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In the lead up to our Gascoyne road trip I was inspired to cook one of my old time favourites from a Kylie Kwong book my mother bought me years ago. The original recipe was for a 750 gram snapper however when I sent the Boy to the fishmongers to gather all the ingredients I needed, he came back with a 3 kg Red Emperor. Slight difference! I shouldn’t complain, a whole Exmouth Red Emperor with prawns sounds and looks even more impressive than a snapper.

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His reasoning was that it was much prettier than the snapper. Fair call. Additionally I believe it is one of the most beautiful tasting fish caught from the Gascoyne region. To allow for the super-sizing I have had to amend quantities and cooking times from the original recipe. I have also made some adaptations to utilise more Gascoyne ingredients including tomatoes and fresh chilli. and of course I have ensured it is gluten free and fructose friendly

Enjoy!

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Baked whole Exmouth Red Emperor with prawns and lemongrass | Gluten Free | Fructose Friendly
Author: 
Recipe type: Seafood
Cuisine: Modern Asian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3-4
 
Ingredients
  • 400 gm cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch tarragon
  • Cracked white pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 x 2-3kg whole Red Emperor, scaled, cleaned and gutted
Prawn and lemongrass stuffing
  • 320gm fresh uncooked prawn meat, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced lemongrass
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon finely sliced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon gluten free soy sauce/tamari
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
Garnish
  • 1 tablespoon very finely sliced lemongrass cut on the diagonal
  • 1 tablespoon finely sliced large red chilli
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 150C (300F).
Roasted tomatoes (I don’t start cooking these until the fish has been in the oven for 30 mins, see below)
  1. Place the cherry tomatoes in a large roasting tin, drizzle with half of the olive oil and sprinkle with tarragon sprigs, pepper and half the salt.
  2. Cover the tin with foil and roast for 30 minutes.
  3. Removed foil and roast for a further 5 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft and wilted. Remove tomatoes from the oven and set aside to cool slightly before drizzling with vinegar and sprinkling with the remaining salt.
Baked Red Emperor
  1. Meanwhile, put all the stuffing ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Pat fish dry with paper towel and place on a large, oiled oven tray. Fill fish cavity with stuffing mixture, drizzle with the remaining olive oil and sprinkle with a little pepper. Wrap the tail of the fish in foil to prevent it burning when in the oven.
  2. Cover tray the whole tray with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and roast for a further 25-35 minutes depending on the size of the fish, it should be just cooked through when tested. The flesh should be white through to the bone. If the flesh is still translucent, cook for another minute or so.
  3. Carefully slide the fish into a large, shallow bowl. Pour over reserved tomatoes with their pan juices and garnish with lemongrass and chilli. Serve immediately.
 
This recipe is adapted from Kylie Kwong’s “Heart and Soul”, Penguin Books (2003)
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"Red Emperor with prawns" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "Perth food blog" "Perth restaurants" "Perth gluten free" "Perth fructose friendly" "Perth food reviews" "restaurants perth" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "food photos" "gluten free" "fructose friendly" "gluten free cooking" "gluten free recipes" "fructose friendly recipes" "gluten free raw food" "fructose friendly raw food" "food event" "WA signature dish" "buy west eat best" "signature dish" "Kylie Kwong" "baked snapper" "baked Red emperor" "baked fish with tomato" "baked fish with lemongrass" "roasted toamto" ""raost snapper" "roasted red emperor" "Gascoyne" "Gascoyne food" "western australian seafood" "fish recipe" "baked snapper recipe" "baked Red emperor recipe" "baked fish with tomato recipe" "red emperor"
 

The Heritage Brasserie and Bar, Perth City | Eat Drink Perth

Posted by  | Categories: Bars, European, Featured, Perth, Restaurants, Seafood

We had only been back in Perth from our tropical holiday in Vietnam for 24 hours and yet we were at it again. Eating. Although we covered a fair bit of ground exploring Vietnam and seeing all the sights, the thing that we did most was eat food. All the food. We both have a shared habit of overeating whilst on holidays and this holiday won hands down for being the feast of the century. Consequently, on our journey homeward there was a lot of talk between us about juice fasts, diets and eating a lot less in general. But old habits die-hard and after running around on some errands in City we found ourselves at The Heritage for a late afternoon lunch.

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Moet Champagne ($15/glass) & oysters ($42)

I am a girl who loves her French champagne however I could hardly say that Moet is my favourite. In fact, I have been known on occasion after drinking a glass or two of a more refined champagne to bad mouth it. The Heritage serve glasses of Moet priced at a very drinkable $15 a glass so despite my tendency to champagne snobbery I could hardly say no. We paired it with a dozen freshly shucked oysters from Frankland Harbour in South Australia. Served perfectly with wedges of fresh lemon and Tabasco sauce, each mouthful slipped down our gullet leaving us with a breath of fresh sea air.

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Oysters ($42/doz) and Green salad, grilled mushrooms, avocado and asparagus ($17, GF)

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Roast pumpkin, macadamia, feta ($12, GF)

I was craving salad like a health freak and consequently got a bit over excited ordering us a couple of options. Considering the serving size they were all very decently priced ranging from $9-17. The green salad came with plump grilled mushrooms, avocado and asparagus and although it wasn’t much to look at it hit the spot for me. Fresh herbs such as mint and parsley were generously tossed through giving considerable flavour. When placing our order I forgot to mention to our waitress that I cannot eat onion but the pieces were large enough for me to pick out.

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Cured and smoked salmon, grilled melon, salmon roe ($21, GF)

The richly coloured salmon was cured in-house with sugar, salt and spices before being smoked with hickory chips giving a buttery smooth texture and subtle sweet, smoky after-taste. It was perched atop of slice of sweet watermelon and dotted with salmon roe, microherbs and watermelon foam.

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Cured and smoked salmon, grilled melon, salmon roe ($21, GF)

Initially we had good intentions to exhibit portion control and planned to just order ourselves a couple of light dishes however our holiday binge eating had effectively stretched the size of our stomachs and our waistlines. This meant that after finishing off our oysters, the salmon and all the salads we were still left wanting more.

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Grand platter ($55)

Another round of champagne seemed like a wise idea and so to go with our drinks we ordered the somewhat healthy “Grand Platter” which comes with four oysters, four scallops and four prawns to share along with some dipping sauces and seaweed salad. I was informed that the sauces were all gluten free but the seaweed salad was not.

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The prawns were small, brightly coloured and crunchy fresh. One of our tests to assess the freshness of a prawn is to suck out the head. A prawn head from a super fresh specimen is an absolute culinary delight; do not knock it until you have tried it. Do however make sure you avoid trying this with a not-so-fresh critter as you will be unlikely to want to attempt it again.

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Having dessert at the end of a meal is another hard habit to break and I blame my Mum for inheriting her sweet tooth. I struggle to finish a meal on a savoury note and this was no exception. After a small amount of to-ing and fro-ing by our waitress to the kitchen to determine what desserts were gluten free, I was advised to order the crème brûlée.

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Crème brûlée ($14, GF)

Crème brûlée is one of my favourite desserts and I’m so lucky that it is usually gluten free. The Heritage’s version is a reasonable sized serve and could have easily been shared between the two of us. The custard was set beautifully and ended with a creamy finish.

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Selection of house made sorbet & icecream ($13)

The Boy predictably chose the selection of house made sorbets and ice cream for his dessert. He is never really a dessert person unless it’s ice cream. Or so he keeps telling me. That didn’t seem to stop him from helping finish off my overly generous serve of luscious brûlée.

The Heritage is a lovely mix of the formality and classiness characteristic of their neighbours Print Hall and The Trustee with a more casual styled and priced menu. Their fresh faced staff are enthusiastic and helpful and I look forward to returning.

For the 2014  Eat Drink Perth Festival, The Heritage will be holding a Wine Maker’s Dinner with food matched with Champagne from Piper & Charles Heidsieck on Tuesday 8th April 2014 at 6.30pm. Price is $149 per person for a three course dinner with matched champagne.
 
Chompchomp is one of the official bloggers for the Eat Drink Perth Festival 2014. This meal at The Heritage is not sponsored and I paid for it in full. 

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The Heritage Brasserie, Bar and Boardroom
Brookfield Place, 125 St Georges Terrace, Perth WA 6000 | (08) 9226 5596 | www.theheritageperth.com.au
 
Price:                    $$$ (Entrees $15-36, Mains $29-41)
Food:                    3.5/5 (classic and comforting European dishes with a modern twist)
Service:                4/5 (very attentive and welcoming)
Ambience:          4/5 (classy, classic and with character)
Drinks:                 4/5 (number of very affordable Australian & French wines )
Total:                    15.5 /20

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Kailis Bros Fish Café, Leederville

Posted by  | Categories: European, Featured, Perth, Restaurants, Seafood

People come and go in your life; sometimes through your own choosing and sometimes due to circumstances out of your control. Their departure can often be filled with all sorts of mixed emotions but when you know that their decision is a good one for them personally it makes saying goodbye so much easier.  We recently bade goodbye to a dear friend and colleague who is entering a new chapter in their life; one that I’m certain will give them the security and happiness they deserve. To bid him farewell, we dined at the Kailis Bros Fish Café, Leederville for a simple, fresh seafood meal.

I had spent the earlier part of the day at Feral Brewery for lunch for a friend’s baby shower and was grateful there were many light options on the menu.  I was informed that many of the dishes could be adapted to be gluten free as they only involved simple ingredients while relying on the freshness of the seafood to take centre stage.

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Herb & garlic crusted scallops with fresh chilli

For entrée I started with the herb and garlic crusted scallops with fresh chill. Kailis’s Bros support sourcing local produce and their scallops are West Australian, from either up North in Carnarvon or from the icy water of Esperance depending on the time of year. Each lightly browned scallop was a delicate, tender pillow of flavour and my notion that I was too full from my  lunch passed from my consciousness as I plopped each morsel into my mouth in quick succession. The Boy made a little underhanded comment at my speed of eating which I can only presume meant he wished that I saved him one! His consolation prize was getting to mop up the remaining garlic juices on my plate with his garlic bread instead.

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Octopus a la grec

The Boy couldn’t see any vegetarian meals on the menu and so he reluctantly ordered the octopus “a la grec”. For this dish the octopus is carefully simmered in red wine and then grilled.  Having recently been very spoilt with some mind blowing “pulpo” in Barcelona I was interested to see how Kailis’s version matched up.  After just one mouthful I was left wishing I had ordered this dish instead of my scallops. There was no chewiness or rubbery texture; each piece was as soft and as tender as I recall it being in Spain.

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Whole Grilled NZ Flounder with ‘latho lemano’ dressing

Our guest of honour ordered the grilled New Zealand flounder which he explained was a common dish he ate during his childhood.  Having not eaten it in decades he took a bit of a gamble trying to rehash an old school favourite but thankfully he was not disappointed. The fish was served whole with a “latho lemano” dressing which is a traditional Greek baste made with lemon juice, olive oil, wild Greek oregano and a dash of fresh ground black pepper. The meat flaked away off the bone easily and despite this fish’s huge size our friend managed to slowly but deliberately work his way through the lot.

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Pan Seared Tasmanian Salmon with sweet & sour tamarind glaze

For my main I both ordered the pan seared Tasmanian salmon with a sweet & sour tamarind glaze, sautéed baby corn and bok choy. I was impressed to see the kitchen staff take gluten contamination seriously and ensured my fish was grilled on a separate fresh grill. Not all eating establishments have this level of understanding for what is needed to ensure there is no gluten in their food. The salmon skin was super crispy whilst the steak was just past the point of being rare making it lusciously soft. The tamarind sauce was a touch too sweet for my liking and needed a tiny bit more balance with its other key elements of sourness and spiciness.

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Roasted royal blue potatoes

We also ordered a few sides to fill in the gaps including crunchy roasted Royal Blue potatoes with wild oregano and sea salt, a green leaf salad with shaved Reggiano parmesan and cracked black pepper and some sautéed seasonal vegetables with tarragon butter. The potatoes were crisp on the outside with a lovely soft centre and were one of the first things to be finished at our table.

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Dessert display

Just when we thought we had no room left for sweets, our waitress came over to our table with their daily selection of desserts. She advised us that all their desserts are made in house fresh each day by their dedicated pastry chef.

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Crème brûlée

Once again bursting at the seams I wondered to myself if I would ever gain the ability to exhibit self-control at this point of the evening. I dismissed such a crazy idea and chose the lemon and lime crème brûlée to share with the Boy. Other options included a tiramisu, sticky date pudding and a couple of other more creative looking options. Our choice was a hit all around the table with each couple sharing one brûlée between each other. A well rounded night out indeed.

I have always found Kailis Brothers Fish Café to reliably satisfy me at every visit. They maintain their reputation by staying true to themselves serving the freshest of seafood with minimal fuss.  They promote West Australian produce in particular and remain in my humble opinion one of the best providers of fresh seafood in Perth to the public.

Kailis Brothers Fish Café
101 Oxford Street, Leederville WA 6007 | (08) 9443 6300 | www.kailisbrosleederville.com.au
Price:                     $$$$ (Entrée $12.50-26.50, Mains $27-48)
Food:                    4/5 (exceedingly fresh seafood needs minimal additional work)
Service:                3.5/5 (friendly and welcoming but a bit slow on the drinks service)
Ambience:          3.5/5 (busy, loud and non-pretentious)
Drinks:                  4/5 (a proudly WA heavy wine list with a good selection by the glass)
Total:                     15/20

  Kailis Brothers Fish Cafe on Urbanspoon

Fuku Omakase and Teppanyaki, Mosman Park

Posted by  | Categories: Degustation/Fine dining, Featured, Japanese, Perth, Restaurants, Seafood

There are many memories I have about food from my childhood and most of those involve my father.  Like many Frenchman he appreciates quality over quantity and cringes at the idea of ordering food from children’s menus. He believes that kids have just as much right to taste the finer food in life as the adults do. Growing up I was the child that was always keen to eat anything whereas my sister was exceedingly fussy. My dad embraced having a least one child with the same attitude to food as him and from a young age had me eating snails, sashimi and oysters amongst other delicacies.

One of my favourite restaurants he would take me to was a Teppanyaki restaurant located near his house in Prahran, Melbourne. Japanese cuisine was yet to take off back in Adelaide making this theatrical dining experience so new and entertaining to my young and impressionable mind. Since then Japanese in all its styles; sushi bars, Izakaya and Teppanyaki BBQs have taken off like a rocket in popularity to become commonplace and finding one that can maintain enough balance of tradition with modern flair isn’t that easy.  Fuku Omakase Teppanyaki is located next door to the popular Tsunami in Mosman Park and has been a restaurant on my wish list since its opening about eight months ago.

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Only room for a cosy few at this bar

We have visited their sister restaurant Tsunami many times and although we haven’t returned for a few years I have never been disappointed with a meal there yet. So when I received an invitation to attend their bloggers dinner at Fuku it was an offer just too good to refuse. Fuku offer a degustation style menu, or omakase as the Japanese call it. There are three options: the “Good” which is $100 for 4 courses, the “Better” which costs $135 for 8 courses or the “Best” which is $220 for 10 courses. You can also choose to have matched sake from their impressive wall of bottles for $75 per person.

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So sublime

On arrival you get the feeling you are about to be part of something special.  An intercom button must be pressed at the front door to gain entry upon which glass sliding doors automatically open to let you into the restaurant.  We were openly greeted by our hosts for the evening owner Brett Carboni and his manager Milan and shown to our seats. Warm lighting and a single row of chairs facing the two Teppanyaki BBQs made this feel like a very intimate experience and immediately my mind started ticking over what celebration of sorts I could plan here. The Boy’s 40th is only a few years away……food for thought. Literally!

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Kawa Ebi and sundried crispy nori sheet

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Oi! Don’t steal mine!

Gary our chef for the evening was so humble and gracious and I warmed to him immediately.  He patiently answered all our annoying bloggers questions regarding each dishes details and took due care that my meals remained gluten free. Our first course was presented in a lacquered bento box reminiscent of Nobu and contained gorgeous little flash-fried Kawa Ebi and some crunchy sun-dried nori.  Kawa Ebi are pint sized freshwater shrimp and tasted similar to the fried school prawns we recently tried at The Stables Bar. These crispy morsels are eaten whole as easily as a bowl of pretzels. Washed down with some sake my hopes were high for a night of feasting for the eyes and the palate.

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Preparing our Small Morsels

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Small morsels (clockwise from front): Wagyu beef, Red emperor, Soba noodle tempura, Oyster

Being someone who apparently borderlines on OCD at times, I love the perfection and neatness of Japanese food. Everything is presented so immaculately and without clutter or messiness.  Our second course contained four carefully plated elements. The standard dish contained slivers of soft Wagyu beef with a sweet white sesame dressing, some marinated red emperor with octopus, a tempura oyster with a refreshing ginger salsa and the most curious addition that initially I mistook for a garnish; soba noodle tempura.

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Fried oyster with ginger salsa

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Gluten free small morsels: My oyster was replaced with scampi

The noodle tempura was fashioned like a cherry blossom tree and looked almost too pretty to eat. Although as crunchy as uncooked pasta it had great flavour I found myself not only munching through mine but stealing the Boys “tree trunk” and munching that too. For my gluten free version the tempura oyster was replaced with a meaty scampi topped with some tobiko.

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Fuku take their sake very seriously. This is a sake chiller.

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Sashimi

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Quail

No Japanese meal is complete without sashimi. Absolute freshness is key as its raw simplicity leaves little room for disguise with sauces and other gimmicks.  Chef Gary recommended starting with the snapper with Japanese pickle to clear our palates first allowing maximum appreciation of the remaining pieces. Both the tuna and the salmon dissolved on contact with the tongue and both the Boy and I groaned simultaneously in delight.

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Lamb

Having to have my meals adapted to be gluten free means one of two outcomes; I’m either jealous for what I miss out on, or others around me are jealous for my substitution. You never know which way it will go.  The rest of the guests were served quail with Szechuan sauce wrapped in a soba bean pancake. The quails are farmed organically in the Hunter Valley and are supposed to be the biggest quails in the world.  Not that that makes them gigantic by any dimensions I’m sure.

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Another shot because it was so damn good

As I watched everyone eat their dishes with gusto, I hoped my gluten alternative gave me the same level of eye rolling pleasure. I watched the chef chop up a lamb cutlet in a flash of knives in eager anticipation.  It was served with a potato galette and a ball of grated beetroot flavoured with cinnamon and sugar.  Now it’s easy to imagine tuna sashimi dissolving in the mouth but have you had that experience with lamb? Each cube disintegrated like butter leaving the sweet taste of miso sauce lingering on my tongue. My manners went out the window and I picked up the bone with my fingers and I gnawed off every last bit of meat.

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Scallop, prawn & crispy prawn head

While some guests were a little nervous at the concept of eating a prawn head, I reassured them that once you have tried them you will never go back.  The subtle flavours of prawn meat are humbled by the intensity of the head and my family all consider it somewhat of a delicacy. This dish was served with uni butter which is made from sea urchins. Rich and decadent, uni butter is like the foie gras of the sea and imparted a luscious complex depth of flavour.

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Next up….Fish of the Day

As the fish of the day was being prepared, owner Brett commented with a little snigger that this dish was one of the more amusing dishes of the evening. I caught a glimpse of the cheeky glint in his eye as our dish was presented to us.

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Fish of the Day

As I turned to look at our plates the penny dropped. I’m not sure I will be able to look at eggplant in the same light again! It brought several giggles to the table and made the Boy pause for a few seconds before he could bring himself to eat it. The fish of the day was a wedge of swordfish served with a Japanese citrus (Yuzu) and miso sauce.

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These guys are so nifty!

The final main course allowed our chefs to show us the real entertainment of Teppanyaki style dining. It was hard to catch all the action on film as fast flashes of flames, knives and food were expertly flicked and chopped across the hot plate. The Wagyu beef is the real McCoy sourced from the award winning Mayura Station; one of the top producers in the country.

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Wagyu (full blood) sirloin steak Mayura Station Grade 9+

Having had the chance to eat “real” Wagyu recently at Waku Ghin in Singapore I feel like I can truly appreciate how eye-boggling amazing this meat can be.  Whilst this was not in the ball park of the brilliance we ate in Singapore, the buttery cut was still mind blowing and this quality is not one you will find easily here in Perth. (PS My Waku Ghin review is on its way!!)

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Crème brûlée, chocolate drink and mountain peach

My final course was a cute collection of a vanilla crème brûlée, a warmed molten chocolate drink, curious mountain peach and a plume of wasabi foam. I am a little biased with my opinion on things like wasabi foam. I have been known to mix wasabi with foods like Camembert and Lindt chocolate just to see what it’s like and ended up loving it so it comes as no surprise the wasabi foam rocked my world.  The brûlée had a thin crackable top with a smooth underbelly and the peach was unusually refreshing. 

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Yuzi Cheesecake, chocolate drink and mountain peach

The other guests enjoyed their gluteny dessert of a Yuzu cheesecake. Yuzu is Japanese citrus fruit that is tart in flavour much like a grapefruit.  This dish was also served with the chocolate drink, wasabi foam and mountain peach.

And so the journey came to an end.  Fuku was everything I imagined it to be and I was left feeling a warm glow of happiness I get from a truly satisfying degustation.  I look forward to splashing out on the “Best” menu sometime in the future! A big thank you to Brett, Milan and Gary for providing the Boy and I with such an enjoyable evening.

Fuku – Omakase and Teppanyaki
20 Glyde Street, Mosman Park WA 6012 | 0403 470 964 | http://thefuku.com/

Chompchomp dined as a guest of Fuku. As a result I will not give a score on this dining experience as it is too hard to be 100% subjective when the meal is complementary.  When I return incognito for the “Best” dego I may give a score.

Fuku - Omakase and Teppanyaki on Urbanspoon

A spontaneous visit to Nobu, Crown Perth

Posted by  | Categories: Degustation/Fine dining, Featured, Japanese, Restaurants, Seafood

This year the Boy’s birthday caught us both by surprise as it seemed to come around with lightning speed. Appreciably the first half of our year was a whirlwind hurricane of wedding planning followed by the most fantastic wedding celebrations.  I haven’t even had time to stop and catch my breath yet half the year is already gone by. It is such madness how quickly time can fly when you are busy.  As we really need to try to fit more exercise into our hectic routines instead of catching taxis to restaurants we have been choosing restaurants that are within walking distance from our house and getting ourselves there on foot. Some of these restaurants have been relatively local and close to home such as Pinto Thai, but others have been a vigorous hour and a half trek away like The Stables Bar in the City.

Funds are a little tight this year and so the birthday Boy was happy to settle for a  night out with each other in lieu of a gift.  I think experiences make the best presents anyway. We headed off in the direction of the Crown Casino with the intention for a casual night out at The Merrywell. It was a beautiful 45 minute walk along the Swan River that time of the evening but once we got to the Merrywell we were desperate for a drink. I found a table for us while the Boy went over to the bar to get us a round of drinks. More than ten minutes later he was still standing at the bar drinkless waiting to be served. I received an exasperated sounding text message from him proposing we go to Nobu instead.  My rubber arm didn’t need much twisting; give me Nobu over Merrywell any day!

"Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Perth bars" "Perth restaurants" "Perth food reviews" "Perth pubs" "Crown casino" "Nobu" "Crown Perth" "Burswood Casino" "Merrywell" "Japanese" "peruvian" "sashimi" "sushi"

The chefs in action

We didn’t have a table booked but fortunately for us there were a couple of seats available at the sushi bar. Woot! A spontaneous visit to Nobu is a sure-fire way to amp me up. This was turning out to be a much better way to celebrate the Boy’s birthday. There must be something about this restaurant and our birthdays; I celebrated my birthday here last year.

"Sashimi" "Fresh water eel" "Yellowtail sashimi" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Perth bars" "Perth restaurants" "Perth food reviews" "Perth pubs" "Crown casino" "Nobu" "Crown Perth" "Burswood Casino" "Merrywell" "Japanese" "peruvian" "sashimi" "sushi"

Sashimi: Fresh water eel & Yellowtail

It was a week night and we both needed to switch off from our days’ work so to ease ourselves into it we ordered a couple of pieces of sashimi. We asked our waiter for his recommendations and on his advice we ordered the Yellowtail and some freshwater eel. Both were exceedingly soft and delicately flavoured. Such simple morsels are so easily perfected when they are fresh.

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The Nobu balls

"New Style Sashimi Salmon" "Sashimi Salmon" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Perth bars" "Perth restaurants" "Perth food reviews" "Perth pubs" "Crown casino" "Nobu" "Crown Perth" "Burswood Casino" "Merrywell" "Japanese" "peruvian" "sashimi" "sushi"

New Style Sashimi Salmon

New Style Sashimi is one of Nobu’s classic signature dishes. The idea came to Nobu Matsuhisa whilst he was trying to find a way to convince people who don’t like raw fish to eat sashimi. Thin slivers of sashimi salmon are plated beautifully and sprinkled with garlic, ginger, spring onions, sesame seeds, soy sauce and yuzu sauce. Boiling hot sesame and olive oils are then lightly dropped onto the fish around the plate which lightly sears it. Although this was quite an oily dish, the flavours balanced nicely and the occasional crunch between the teeth of sesame seeds added a bit of fun.

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The Sushi master at work

"Spicy" "miso chips" "Tuna sashimi" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Perth bars" "Perth restaurants" "Perth food reviews" "Perth pubs" "Crown casino" "Nobu" "Crown Perth" "Burswood Casino" "Merrywell" "Japanese" "peruvian" "sashimi" "sushi"

Spicy Miso Chips Tuna

The spicy miso chips tuna dish reflected the fusion aspect of Nobu’s Peruvian Japanese cuisine. The spiciness was a bit disappointingly subtle for my palate but was at the perfect level for the sensitive tastes of the Birthday Boy. The tuna was as soft as avocado and sat coiled neatly on top of a crispy miso chip. This play on textures was really interesting and I will definitely order this dish again.

"Toban-Yaki Mushroom" "sizzling mushroom" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Perth bars" "Perth restaurants" "Perth food reviews" "Perth pubs" "Crown casino" "Nobu" "Crown Perth" "Burswood Casino" "Merrywell" "Japanese" "peruvian" "sashimi" "sushi"

Toban-Yaki Mushroom

Toban-Yaki refers to the method of cooking which involves serving the dish sizzling on a super-hot ceramic dish.   Being a self-confessed mushroom addict, this dish was the highlight of the evening for me.  Layers and layers of slippery mushrooms bubbled away in the piping hot plate including shiitake, eryngii, shimeji, king oyster and the cutest little babies of the mushroom world enoki.

“Sushi rolls” “Nobu House special” “Avocado” “smoked salmon” “Hamachi” “Yellowtail” “tuna” ‘flying fish roe” “white fish” “snow crab” “nori” “daikon” “tobiko” "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Perth bars" "Perth restaurants" "Perth food reviews" "Perth pubs" "Crown casino" "Nobu" "Crown Perth" "Burswood Casino" "Merrywell" "Japanese" "peruvian" "sashimi" "sushi"

Sushi rolls: House special

We had been trying to make a conscientious effort to avoid ordering any dishes off the menu that we have already tried on previous visits to Nobu. Despite the lure of mind-blowing dishes like the Miso Black Cod we have so far had success. However our night was drawing to an end and we forgot our efforts and ordered the Nobu House Special sushi rolls. These tasty rolls are filled with smoked salmon, fresh tuna, flying fish roe, white fish, snow crab and avocado, and then wrapped in nori and daikon. Despite containing what sounds like a considerable amount of seafood to fit in one roll, each perfect bite size roll held together until the end giving a wonderful hit of flavours.

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Sea bass with jalapeno dressing

Our last main dish for the night was the sea bass with jalapeño dressing.  I wasn’t really expecting the appearance of this dish because I think I muddled up the name of this dish with their signature Yellowtail Sashimi with jalapeños.  Thick wedges of sea bass sat semi-submerged in a brilliant emerald green jalapeño dressing that at a first glance looked like pea soup.  The dressing was reasonably spicy with a very smooth and creamy after-taste.

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Sushi rolls: Soft shelled crab

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My mound of ginger

“Avocado” ‘flying fish roe” “nori” “daikon” “tobiko” "Sushi rolls" "Salmon skin" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Perth bars" "Perth restaurants" "Perth food reviews" "Perth pubs" "Crown casino" "Nobu" "Crown Perth" "Burswood Casino" "Merrywell" "Japanese" "peruvian" "sashimi" "sushi"

Sushi rolls: Salmon skin

Sitting right in front of the sushi chefs as they perform at their craft made it very hard to resist ordering more. The Boy ordered us two more serves of rolls; one was his favourite and the other choice was something we hadn’t tried before. The soft-shelled crab sushi rolls were a crowd pleaser as always.  The other choice was the salmon skin rolls. These had a very strong salty taste with a similar crispy inside like the crab. I was nearly home and hosed in meeting my goal of being totally full and only had a tiny bit of room left for dessert.  There is always room for dessert.

"dessert" "dessert" "Bento Box" "Chocolate fondant" "green tea ice cream" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Perth bars" "Perth restaurants" "Perth food reviews" "Perth pubs" "Crown casino" "Nobu" "Crown Perth" "Burswood Casino" "Merrywell" "Japanese" "peruvian" "sashimi" "sushi"

Bento Box: Chocolate fondant with green tea ice cream

There are only a couple of gluten free dessert options at Nobu but who really cares about options when you can have their Bento Box. It’s hard to believe that something this delicious can be gluten free.  The ooze speaks for itself.

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Nobu Baked Cheesecake with passionfruit sorbet

Earlier in the evening when we were ordering our dishes, it came into the conversation with our waiter that it was the Boy’s birthday. It was only a brief comment, yet he secretly took it on board and back to the kitchen in order to surprise us at dessert.  What a lovely gesture!

Read my previous review on Nobu from my birthday last year: Nobu, Burswood and a Birthday Surprise

 

Nobu
Crown Casino Perth, Great Eastern Highway, Burswood 6100 | (08) 9362 7551 | www.noburestaurants.com/perth
 
Price:                     $$$$ (Cold dishes $14-65, Hot dishes $19-85, Sushi $8-28, Sashimi $3-10 per piece)
Food:                    4.5/5 (this is my kinda food. If only I could eat here every week)
Service:                4/5 (Much improved since our last visit)
Ambience:          4/5 (Watching all the action in the kitchen was great fun)
Drinks:                  4/5 (Extensive wine and sake list, I just stuck to my Verve this time)
Total:                     16.5/20 Half a point up from our last visit due to a perceivable improvement on service. 

 Nobu Perth on Urbanspoon

A blogger's banquet at Shun Fung on the River, Perth

Posted by  | Categories: Chinese, Degustation/Fine dining, Featured, Perth, Restaurants, Seafood

There are a lot of things I love about being a food blogger. Despite what some of you may think there is much more to blogging than just eating, drinking, photographing and writing about food. There exists a strong sense of community amongst us, not just locally but across the nation and in some cases around the world. Friendships are easily formed and due to our heavy involvement in social media these are friendships that are relatively easy to maintain! I wish I had enough time in my day to be able to read more food blogs however in a time poor world I find myself having to narrow it down to reading those blogs that I have the strongest connection with.

In the months before I started blogging back in late 2011 I started following a handful of blogs that I found interesting. One of these blogs was Weny’s blog Weny Wonders Why and his blog remains one of those I still manage to keep up with today. We share very similar taste in restaurants and have been known to unintentionally visit the same restaurant in the space of one week and only find out as we simultaneously post our own reviews. Despite communicating regularly to each other via our blogs, we only very recently met face to face for the first time at the Accento Italian Cooking Class Media Launch in May this year.

A few weeks later, Weny kindly invited me along with a couple of other Perth food bloggers to join him for a Chinese Banquet at Shun Fung down on Barrack Street jetty. I have very fond memories of Shun Fung. Nearly 15 years ago when the Boy and I first started dating the bulk of our weekends were spent partying and clubbing. Back then none of our friends at the time were foodies and would have never considered spending their money on expensive restaurants. The Boy and I felt differently and his love for fine dining was an immediate point of connection for the two of us; a match made in gastronomic heaven! In those days Shun Fung was well known for serving top-notch Chinese cuisine and we went there for our very first fancy dining experience. Together we tried sea cucumber, jelly fish and all sorts of other interesting Chinese delicacies. Unfortunately since those heady heydays, while Perth’s food scene grows from strength to strength Shun Fung has suffered a steady decline in both its reputation and patronage.

Shun Fung’s owner Eva has decided that it’s time to bite the bullet and is investing her time and money to get Shun Fung back to its former glory.  She has hired new chefs who have been busy redesigning the menu and will be serving dishes from all the provinces of China rather than just one region. It was intriguing to learn that Shun Fung is actually part of a chain of around 30 restaurants located in China. Some of these are massive establishments having up to 200 chefs working at one time. Perth’s Shun Fung is their only venue here in Australia. Our dining experience that follows is an example of what you can order as part of a $100 per person banquet meal.

I am used to the fact that Chinese food is rarely gluten free as the wide spread prevalence of soy and wheat flour makes choosing suitable dishes hard so I find I tend to avoid dining out at Chinese Restaurants.  After taking my seat at the banquet table I unrolled the menu and was very impressed to see that the kitchen was going to significant effort to design a separate gluten free banquet especially for me.  I wasn’t expecting such care and attention and was very grateful.

"Green Chilli" "special sauce" "Ruccola Salad" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Perth bars" "Perth restaurants" "Perth food reviews" "Perth Chinese" "Chinese food" "Chinese cuisine" "Chinese restaurants" "perth Chinese restaurants" "Shun Fung" "Shun Fung on the River" "Barrack Street jetty" "Perth City" "gluten free Chinese" "dim sum" "chinese banquet"

Green Chilli in special sauce & Ruccola Salad

"cabbage" "Spicy Kimchi" "Kimchi" "Spicy Kimchi Chinese Style" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Perth bars" "Perth restaurants" "Perth food reviews" "Perth Chinese" "Chinese food" "Chinese cuisine" "Chinese restaurants" "perth Chinese restaurants" "Shun Fung" "Shun Fung on the River" "Barrack Street jetty" "Perth City" "gluten free Chinese" "dim sum" "chinese banquet"

Spicy Kimchi in Chinese Style

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Marinated Duck Wings

For the rest of the table who could eat gluten there were four appetisers; green chilli in special sauce, ruccola salad, spicy kimchi in Chinese Style and marinated duck wings. Whilst I was not able to try these dishes I was told the ruccola salad was light and refreshing on the palate and the marinated duck wings were very tender and slightly sweet.

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Squid and tomato salad (GF)

My gluten free appetiser was some freshly grilled soft squid with a bean shoot salad and some slices of tomato. Our host recommended that I place a piece of tomato and squid in my mouth as the same time to maximise the flavours. Although it sounded like a curious thing to do it turned out to be good advice. Sometime the simplest combinations of flavours can be surprisingly exciting.

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Three season platter: Backed Oysters with Foie Gras Sauce, Chilli and salt Mini Dried Fish, Golden Radish Balls

The three season entrée platter was quite a magnificent sight.  In Chinese cuisine there are considered to be three important characteristics; aroma, taste and colour. This platter was vibrantly decorated with brightly coloured vegetables and flowers achieving a successful round of “oohs” and “ahhs” across the banquet room. Carefully placed on the platter were golden radish balls, chilli and salt mini dried fish and backed oysters with foie gras sauce.

"oysters" "Backed Oysters" "Foie Gras Sauce" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Perth bars" "Perth restaurants" "Perth food reviews" "Perth Chinese" "Chinese food" "Chinese cuisine" "Chinese restaurants" "perth Chinese restaurants" "Shun Fung" "Shun Fung on the River" "Barrack Street jetty" "Perth City" "gluten free Chinese" "dim sum" "chinese banquet"

Backed Oysters with Foie Gras Sauce

Golden radish balls are a bit of a misnomer as I believe these tend to contain mainly seafood which is finely chopped and then deep fried.  I believe these balls were actually the highlight of the platter for many.  The chilli and salt mini dried fish looked like whitebait fries and listening to the audible crunch coming from either side of me they were obviously perfectly crispy! Although the Boy isn’t that big on oysters he did comment to me that they were delicious and creamy.

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Seafood Sang Choy Bow (GF)

As everyone started to tuck into their entrees my gluten free alternatives arrived. I was delighted to receive some super fresh oysters with some fresh lime and a gorgeous little lettuce cup of sang choy bow. My sang choy bow had a great nutty texture and was packed full of seafood.

"Sliced Abalone" "Superior Soup" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Perth bars" "Perth restaurants" "Perth food reviews" "Perth Chinese" "Chinese food" "Chinese cuisine" "Chinese restaurants" "perth Chinese restaurants" "Shun Fung" "Shun Fung on the River" "Barrack Street jetty" "Perth City" "gluten free Chinese" "dim sum" "chinese banquet"

Sliced Abalone in Superior Soup

Our next course was the abalone soup. I am fascinated by how much flavour can be found in clear Chinese broths.  Superior soup always looks so deceptively watery but manages to impart such complexity of flavours. This is brought about by careful selection of ingredients including chicken, Jinhua ham (Chinese dry cured ham that is similar to Spanish Iberico), pork, pork bones, dried anchovy and/or dried scallops. This superior soup was smooth and delicate with rich unami flavours.

"Coral Trout" "Fish" "Steamed trout" "Ginger" "Shallots" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Perth bars" "Perth restaurants" "Perth food reviews" "Perth Chinese" "Chinese food" "Chinese cuisine" "Chinese restaurants" "perth Chinese restaurants" "Shun Fung" "Shun Fung on the River" "Barrack Street jetty" "Perth City" "gluten free Chinese" "dim sum" "chinese banquet"

Coral Trout Fish: Steam with Ginger & Shallots (GF)

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Coral Trout Fish pan fried style

With all this food it was hard to believe we hadn’t even started our mains yet. Thank goodness I planned ahead and wore my stretchy dress! Our first main dish was the Coral Trout which was prepared in two styles.  The first preparation was gluten free.  Soft flakes of steamed trout with medallions of slippery shiitake mushrooms and a scattering of dried Goji berries. The Goji berries introduced a tart flavour to the otherwise delicate and sweet tropical fish.  A gorgeous dish. For the second preparation the trout was lightly battered and pan fried.  Not being gluten free I didn’t try this style.

"Wagyu" "beef" "Pan fried Wagyu Beef" "sizzling stone" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Perth bars" "Perth restaurants" "Perth food reviews" "Perth Chinese" "Chinese food" "Chinese cuisine" "Chinese restaurants" "perth Chinese restaurants" "Shun Fung" "Shun Fung on the River" "Barrack Street jetty" "Perth City" "gluten free Chinese" "dim sum" "chinese banquet"

Diced Wagyu Beef on the Sizzling Stone

"Wagyu" "beef" "Pan fried Wagyu Beef" "Lime" "Rock Salt" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Perth bars" "Perth restaurants" "Perth food reviews" "Perth Chinese" "Chinese food" "Chinese cuisine" "Chinese restaurants" "perth Chinese restaurants" "Shun Fung" "Shun Fung on the River" "Barrack Street jetty" "Perth City" "gluten free Chinese" "dim sum" "chinese banquet"

Pan fried Wagyu Beef with Lime and Rock Salt (GF)

As we finished off our fish our host entered the banquet room carrying sizzling stones topped with juicy cubes of Wagyu beef. I had to presume the meat was marinated in soy because I was advised not to eat it and given my own individual serve.  My portion of Wagyu was equivalent to several portions for the others and I could feel a number of pairs of eyes staring at my plate longingly.  Only the Boy was game enough to try and steal a piece.

"Honey and Mustard King Prawns" "Honey prawns" "Mustard prawns" "King Prawns" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Perth bars" "Perth restaurants" "Perth food reviews" "Perth Chinese" "Chinese food" "Chinese cuisine" "Chinese restaurants" "perth Chinese restaurants" "Shun Fung" "Shun Fung on the River" "Barrack Street jetty" "Perth City" "gluten free Chinese" "dim sum" "chinese banquet"

Honey and Mustard King Prawns

"Szechuan Spicy Chicken" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Perth bars" "Perth restaurants" "Perth food reviews" "Perth Chinese" "Chinese food" "Chinese cuisine" "Chinese restaurants" "perth Chinese restaurants" "Shun Fung" "Shun Fung on the River" "Barrack Street jetty" "Perth City" "gluten free Chinese" "dim sum" "chinese banquet""Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Perth bars" "Perth restaurants" "Perth food reviews" "Perth Chinese" "Chinese food" "Chinese cuisine" "Chinese restaurants" "perth Chinese restaurants" "Shun Fung" "Shun Fung on the River" "Barrack Street jetty" "Perth City" "gluten free Chinese" "dim sum" "chinese banquet""Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Perth bars" "Perth restaurants" "Perth food reviews" "Perth Chinese" "Chinese food" "Chinese cuisine" "Chinese restaurants" "perth Chinese restaurants" "Shun Fung" "Shun Fung on the River" "Barrack Street jetty" "Perth City" "gluten free Chinese" "dim sum" "chinese banquet""Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Perth bars" "Perth restaurants" "Perth food reviews" "Perth Chinese" "Chinese food" "Chinese cuisine" "Chinese restaurants" "perth Chinese restaurants" "Shun Fung" "Shun Fung on the River" "Barrack Street jetty" "Perth City" "gluten free Chinese" "dim sum" "chinese banquet""Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Perth bars" "Perth restaurants" "Perth food reviews" "Perth Chinese" "Chinese food" "Chinese cuisine" "Chinese restaurants" "perth Chinese restaurants" "Shun Fung" "Shun Fung on the River" "Barrack Street jetty" "Perth City" "gluten free Chinese" "dim sum" "chinese banquet""Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Perth bars" "Perth restaurants" "Perth food reviews" "Perth Chinese" "Chinese food" "Chinese cuisine" "Chinese restaurants" "perth Chinese restaurants" "Shun Fung" "Shun Fung on the River" "Barrack Street jetty" "Perth City" "gluten free Chinese" "dim sum" "chinese banquet""Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Perth bars" "Perth restaurants" "Perth food reviews" "Perth Chinese" "Chinese food" "Chinese cuisine" "Chinese restaurants" "perth Chinese restaurants" "Shun Fung" "Shun Fung on the River" "Barrack Street jetty" "Perth City" "gluten free Chinese" "dim sum" "chinese banquet""Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Perth bars" "Perth restaurants" "Perth food reviews" "Perth Chinese" "Chinese food" "Chinese cuisine" "Chinese restaurants" "perth Chinese restaurants" "Shun Fung" "Shun Fung on the River" "Barrack Street jetty" "Perth City" "gluten free Chinese" "dim sum" "chinese banquet""Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Perth bars" "Perth restaurants" "Perth food reviews" "Perth Chinese" "Chinese food" "Chinese cuisine" "Chinese restaurants" "perth Chinese restaurants" "Shun Fung" "Shun Fung on the River" "Barrack Street jetty" "Perth City" "gluten free Chinese" "dim sum" "chinese banquet""Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Perth bars" "Perth restaurants" "Perth food reviews" "Perth Chinese" "Chinese food" "Chinese cuisine" "Chinese restaurants" "perth Chinese restaurants" "Shun Fung" "Shun Fung on the River" "Barrack Street jetty" "Perth City" "gluten free Chinese" "dim sum" "chinese banquet"

Szechuan Spicy Chicken

"BRAISED MUSHROOMS" "Braised King Oyster Mushrooms" "Shallots" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Perth bars" "Perth restaurants" "Perth food reviews" "Perth Chinese" "Chinese food" "Chinese cuisine" "Chinese restaurants" "perth Chinese restaurants" "Shun Fung" "Shun Fung on the River" "Barrack Street jetty" "Perth City" "gluten free Chinese" "dim sum" "chinese banquet"

Braised King Oyster Mushrooms with Shallots

The next dishes of honey and mustard king prawns, Szechuan spicy chicken and braised king oyster mushrooms with shallots all contained gluten and so it became my turn to gaze longing at everyone else’s plates until my next alternative dish arrived.

"Backed King Prawns" "Special Sauce" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Perth bars" "Perth restaurants" "Perth food reviews" "Perth Chinese" "Chinese food" "Chinese cuisine" "Chinese restaurants" "perth Chinese restaurants" "Shun Fung" "Shun Fung on the River" "Barrack Street jetty" "Perth City" "gluten free Chinese" "dim sum" "chinese banquet"

Backed King Prawns in Special Sauce (GF)

I didn’t have to wait long and was soon presented with a large King prawn served “backed” like how they do it in Thailand. It was flavoured with “special sauce” which has is a slightly sweet, slightly salty sauce is made from garlic, ginger, Chinese rice wine, oyster sauce, sesame oil, honey and white pepper. The prawn flesh pulled effortless out of its shelled and before finding its way very quickly to my mouth!

"Mixed Mushrooms" "Superior Soup" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Perth bars" "Perth restaurants" "Perth food reviews" "Perth Chinese" "Chinese food" "Chinese cuisine" "Chinese restaurants" "perth Chinese restaurants" "Shun Fung" "Shun Fung on the River" "Barrack Street jetty" "Perth City" "gluten free Chinese" "dim sum" "chinese banquet"

Mixed Mushrooms in Superior Soup (GF)

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Sizzling Runner Beans (GF)

My next special gluten free dishes included mixed mushrooms in superior sauce and some sizzling runner beans.  The beans were very moreish and briny which contrasted nicely with the more delicate flavours of the soup. While the rest of the table tucked into the Dim Sum platter, to finish off my meal the hostess brought me a bowl of seafood fried rice with egg yolk sauce. It was a lovely gesture but in all honesty I didn’t really need any more food!

"desserts" "asian desserts" "Dim Sum Platter" "Pumpkin balls" "durian pastries" "coconut" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Perth bars" "Perth restaurants" "Perth food reviews" "Perth Chinese" "Chinese food" "Chinese cuisine" "Chinese restaurants" "perth Chinese restaurants" "Shun Fung" "Shun Fung on the River" "Barrack Street jetty" "Perth City" "gluten free Chinese" "dim sum" "chinese banquet"

Dim Sum Platter: Pumpkin balls, durian pastries, coconut

For desserts, there were three options to choose from; mixed sweet beans with ice cream, deep fried ice cream or the red bean pancake with ice cream. I got a pang of nostalgia when I saw red bean pancake on the menu. Many years ago when we used to frequent Shun Fung, the red bean pancake was one of my absolute favourites. Those days of carefree gluten eating are well and truly over for me! Sigh!

"desserts" "asian desserts" "Deep Fried Ice cream" "ice cream" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Perth bars" "Perth restaurants" "Perth food reviews" "Perth Chinese" "Chinese food" "Chinese cuisine" "Chinese restaurants" "perth Chinese restaurants" "Shun Fung" "Shun Fung on the River" "Barrack Street jetty" "Perth City" "gluten free Chinese" "dim sum" "chinese banquet"

Deep Fried Ice cream

"desserts" "asian desserts" "Sweet Yam Cake" "rice flour cakes" "taro" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Perth bars" "Perth restaurants" "Perth food reviews" "Perth Chinese" "Chinese food" "Chinese cuisine" "Chinese restaurants" "perth Chinese restaurants" "Shun Fung" "Shun Fung on the River" "Barrack Street jetty" "Perth City" "gluten free Chinese" "dim sum" "chinese banquet"

Sweet Yam Cake (GF)

For my gluten free dessert I received some freshly baked sweet yam cakes.  Eva informed the kitchen only just baked them that day. These yummy little dumpling-like cakes are made from rice flour and taro. I love the gluggy texture of Asian style cakes and I soon got over missing out on the red bean pancake as I chowed down a couple of these beauties.

I am so hopeful that Shun Fung’s return it’s slumber will be successful. Our banquet evening reminded me how much we adored this place and knowing they are able to cater for gluten free diners is a huge plus in my books. The banquet provided a huge amount of food for $100 a head and we all rolled out of there bursting at the seams. Thank you once again Weny, Eva and all the staff for providing us with such an enjoyable evening.

Shun Fung on the River
Old Perth Port, Barrack Square, Perth WA 6000 | 08 9221 1868 | http://www.shunfung.com.au/

Chompchomp dined as a guest of Shun Fung. As a result I will not give a score on this dining experience as it is too hard to be 100% subjective when the meal is complementary.

 Shun Fung on the River on Urbanspoon

Ocean Restaurant by Cat Cora at S.E.A. Aquarium Singapore

Posted by  | Categories: Attractions, Restaurants, Seafood, Singapore, Travel

Our post wedding stopover in Singapore consisted of four days of non-stop eating, drinking and sleeping.  After having our whole week in Thailand planned down to the minute, it felt like a luxury to be somewhere on holiday without any schedules and we made the most of it. One of the few tourist attractions I wanted to see was the new marine park S.E.A. Aquarium opened on Sentosa Island.  Just a tip, there are two marine parks on Sentosa. The original one is called Underwater World is hideously out-dated and not worth wasting your time. S.E.A. Aquarium in Resorts World is the second addition and is contrastingly modern, huge and very impressive.

"Strait of Malacca" "Andaman sea" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Singapore Food blog" "Singapore restaurant reviews" "Singapore food" "Singapore" "travel blog" "Singapore travel blog" "Singapore aquarium" "singapore marine park" "Sentosa island" ""sentosa resort world" "S.E.A. Aquarium" "Ocean Restaurant" "cat cora" "celebrity restaurant"

"Strait of Malacca" "Andaman sea" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Singapore Food blog" "Singapore restaurant reviews" "Singapore food" "Singapore" "travel blog" "Singapore travel blog" "Singapore aquarium" "singapore marine park" "Sentosa island" ""sentosa resort world" "S.E.A. Aquarium" "Ocean Restaurant" "cat cora" "celebrity restaurant"

Strait of Malacca & Andaman Sea

S.E.A. Aquarium is home to over 800 species of marine animals which are divided up into regions around the world. Amongst its many breathtaking tanks, S.E.A. has the world’s largest aquarium which you can view from a massive viewing panel measuring about 36 metres long and 8 metres in height. Swimming in this vast man-made structure are many of the gentle giants of the sea including a “flock”  of graceful manta rays, leopard sharks, saw fish, mahi mahi and goliath groupers.

"manta rays" "leopard sharks" "saw fish" "mahi mahi" "goliath groupers" "Open Ocean tank" "Ocean Restaurant" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Singapore Food blog" "Singapore restaurant reviews" "Singapore food" "Singapore" "travel blog" "Singapore travel blog" "Singapore aquarium" "singapore marine park" "Sentosa island" ""sentosa resort world" "S.E.A. Aquarium" "Ocean Restaurant" "cat cora" "celebrity restaurant"

Open Ocean tank view from Ocean Restaurant

Ocean Restaurant by Cat Cora is the Aquarium’s celebrity restaurant located inside the venue directly facing the main tank. Cat Cora is the only female chef from Iron Chef America and her signature dishes tend to reflect her Greek heritage and southern US upbringing. Her restaurant strives to help protect our world’s marine ecosystems and only serves sustainable seafood.

"manta rays" "leopard sharks" "saw fish" "mahi mahi" "goliath groupers" "Open Ocean tank" "Ocean Restaurant" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Singapore Food blog" "Singapore restaurant reviews" "Singapore food" "Singapore" "travel blog" "Singapore travel blog" "Singapore aquarium" "singapore marine park" "Sentosa island" ""sentosa resort world" "S.E.A. Aquarium" "Ocean Restaurant" "cat cora" "celebrity restaurant"

Our table was right up next to the action.

The marine park is quite a size and took us some time before we found ourselves at the restaurant by which we were informed we only had half an hour to order and eat our meals as they were to shut the restaurant for 1 hour before reopening for dinner service. To maximise our dining experience on such a strict time restriction we ordered three entrées to share between us and asked for them all to be brought out a once.

"Sous Vide 48 C King Salmon" "Sustainable caviar" "prosecco pear crushed almond" "vine tomato jelly" "garden cress" "sustainable salmon" "sustainable fish" "seafood" "sous vide" "slow cooking" "fine dining" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Singapore Food blog" "Singapore restaurant reviews" "Singapore food" "Singapore" "travel blog" "Singapore travel blog" "Singapore aquarium" "singapore marine park" "Sentosa island" ""sentosa resort world" "S.E.A. Aquarium" "Ocean Restaurant" "cat cora" "celebrity restaurant"

Sous Vide 48 C King Salmon

Cat Cora’s signature dish of sous-vide King Salmon may as well have been butter it was so soft. It needed no encouragement with a knife and was slipped onto our forks and down our hatches perhaps a little too quickly to truly allow us to appreciate its perfection.  This slice of heaven was served with a generous scoop of sustainable black caviar, a dwarf little pear marinated in Prosecco and coated in crushed almonds, some tart vine tomato jelly and what was meant to be water cress but really looked more like chicory.

"Tuna tataki salad" "Sustainable tuna" "pickled sumac onions" "cucumber mint yoghurt" "curried oil" "sustainable fish" "seafood" "fine dining" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Singapore Food blog" "Singapore restaurant reviews" "Singapore food" "Singapore" "travel blog" "Singapore travel blog" "Singapore aquarium" "singapore marine park" "Sentosa island" ""sentosa resort world" "S.E.A. Aquarium" "Ocean Restaurant" "cat cora" "celebrity restaurant"

Tuna tataki salad

The tuna tataki salad was also made using sustainable tuna and came with cucumber mint yoghurt and curried oil.  A couple of pixie sized pickled sumac onions created a bit more balance on the plate. Seared lightly on the outside the tuna was delicate and soft but nowhere near as impressively velvety as the salmon. Each condiment brought an interesting layer of flavours and left us feeling teased as we knew our half hour was soon to be up.

"Tuna tataki salad" "Sustainable tuna" "pickled sumac onions" "cucumber mint yoghurt" "curried oil" "sustainable fish" "seafood" "fine dining" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Singapore Food blog" "Singapore restaurant reviews" "Singapore food" "Singapore" "travel blog" "Singapore travel blog" "Singapore aquarium" "singapore marine park" "Sentosa island" ""sentosa resort world" "S.E.A. Aquarium" "Ocean Restaurant" "cat cora" "celebrity restaurant"

Tuna tataki salad

"Trio Tacos" "seafood tacos" "fish tacos" "prawn taco" "salmon tacos" "Mexican" "fine dining" "seafood" "hokkadio scallop" "pineapple salsa" "Japanese sweet prawn" "asparagus verde" "silky salmon" "avocado" "sous vide" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Singapore Food blog" "Singapore restaurant reviews" "Singapore food" "Singapore" "travel blog" "Singapore travel blog" "Singapore aquarium" "singapore marine park" "Sentosa island" ""sentosa resort world" "S.E.A. Aquarium" "Ocean Restaurant" "cat cora" "celebrity restaurant"

Trio of tacos

Our trio of soft tacos included a perfectly browned Hokkaido scallop with pineapple salsa, diced Japanese sweet prawn with asparagus verde and the third one came with more of that silky salmon topped with some avocado. Each taco tasted like its ingredients were plucked fresh from the sea making this was a hard dish to share as each taco was a stand-out in its own right.

"Trio Tacos" "seafood tacos" "fish tacos" "prawn taco" "salmon tacos" "Mexican" "fine dining" "seafood" "hokkadio scallop" "pineapple salsa" "Japanese sweet prawn" "asparagus verde" "silky salmon" "avocado" "sous vide" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Singapore Food blog" "Singapore restaurant reviews" "Singapore food" "Singapore" "travel blog" "Singapore travel blog" "Singapore aquarium" "singapore marine park" "Sentosa island" ""sentosa resort world" "S.E.A. Aquarium" "Ocean Restaurant" "cat cora" "celebrity restaurant"

Trio of tacos

"manta rays" "leopard sharks" "saw fish" "mahi mahi" "goliath groupers" "Open Ocean tank" "Ocean Restaurant" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Singapore Food blog" "Singapore restaurant reviews" "Singapore food" "Singapore" "travel blog" "Singapore travel blog" "Singapore aquarium" "singapore marine park" "Sentosa island" ""sentosa resort world" "S.E.A. Aquarium" "Ocean Restaurant" "cat cora" "celebrity restaurant"

Manta ray

As we tried to divide up each taco the aquarium suddenly burst into life.  It was feeding time and the previously calm fish quickly grouped into schools and started to swim themselves into a frenzy.  The manta rays began gracefully swimming large loop-the-loops scooping up all the debris from the mêlée.  It was quite a sight to watch as we finished of our meals. We had barely raised the last mouthful to our lips when our waitress came over informing us we had to make our way to leave shortly.  I found it odd that we weren’t allowed to sit in the empty restaurant for a bit longer to digest our food and gaze on the spectacle in the tank. Upon asking this request I was told there was some training held during the hour they are closed and so all customers have to leave.

"Trio Tacos" "seafood tacos" "fish tacos" "prawn taco" "salmon tacos" "Mexican" "fine dining" "seafood" "hokkadio scallop" "pineapple salsa" "Japanese sweet prawn" "asparagus verde" "silky salmon" "avocado" "sous vide" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Singapore Food blog" "Singapore restaurant reviews" "Singapore food" "Singapore" "travel blog" "Singapore travel blog" "Singapore aquarium" "singapore marine park" "Sentosa island" ""sentosa resort world" "S.E.A. Aquarium" "Ocean Restaurant" "cat cora" "celebrity restaurant"

Trio of tacos

Despite being a bit of a whirlwind experience for us we thoroughly enjoyed our experience at Ocean. If fish are your thing, a visit to the S.E.A. Aquarium is an absolute must-see sight of Singapore. Be sure to book a reservation at the Ocean restaurant at a time that affords a more relaxed normal style of eating than we had.

Travelling to Singapore? Be sure to checkout the Lonely Planet Singapore City Travel Guide before you go!

Ocean Restaurant by Cat Cora
S.E.A. Aquarium Resorts World Sentosa, 8 Sentosa Gateway, Singapore | 65-6577 8888 | www.rwsentosa.com/language/en-US/Homepage/ThingsToDo/MarineLifePark/SEAAquarium
 
Price:                     $$
Food:                    3.5/5 (not exactly a fine dining experience but fresh produce and clean presentation)
Service:                2.5/5 (maybe would have been less abrupt if we had dined at a more appropriate time)
Ambience:          4.5/5 (be sure to get a table next to the aquarium)
Drinks:                  3/5 (hard to fully assess as ordered a glass of house white in a hurry)
Total:                     13.5/20

Sukishi Charcoal Grill & Japanese Restaurant, Central Festival Phuket

Posted by  | Categories: Fast Food, Japanese, Korean, Restaurants, Seafood, Thailand, Travel

After nearly two years of preparations and a lot of blood, sweat and tears here we are……finally in Thailand for our wedding week extravaganza! With my insane desire for attention to detail, we had arrived 4 days prior to our wedding guests to finish off all our last minute preparations.  There were welcome presents to arrange for each of our guests, gifts for the parents, cake testing, hair and make-up trials and so much more! For the final touches to our wedding welcome gifts we headed into Phuket’s largest shopping centre Central Festival.

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Strawberry daiquiri AKA “The Boy’s Pink Drink!”

I was trying so hard to be super adherent to my dietary requirements as I didn’t want any last minute facial eczema to ruin my bridal beauty preparations. Sushi is always a good option for me in these circumstances provided I stick to simple options. With this in mind we stopped at Sukishi Japanese Restaurant for a bite to eat.  I didn’t have any gluten free soy with me and hoped the sashimi would be fresh enough not to need any.

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Japanese Green Tea

After weeks and week of being subjective to Slim Pasta, the Boy was rebelling against any form of weight loss and got back in to the Thai rhythm of things ordering himself a strawberry daiquiri. Despite not having a girlie bone in his body he certainly loves his pink drinks! I opted for some Japanese Green tea knowing that coffee in this place would be bound to disappoint. The tea was refreshing and uplifting and perfectly calorie free.

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Sashimi set

The menu was more like an encyclopaedia and it took us some time to look through all of its pages.  It contained a combination of Japanese sushi and sashimi with more Korean style BBQ meats.  Normally when we eat out we love ordering unusual things but with only a few days to go I didn’t want to risk any sort of reaction.  I stuck with a simple, but enormous serve of sashimi. The prices were dirt cheap compared to Perth with the whole “boat” costing us about 350 Baht (about $11 Aussie dollars). Bear in mind that this restaurant was in the middle of a touristy shopping centre so I’m sure it was considered pricey by Phuket standards meaning you could get such a meal even cheaper elsewhere.

"Viking Maki" "sushi roll" "salmon roll" "tobiko" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Phuket Food blog" "Phuket restaurant reviews" "travel blog" "Thailand" "Thailand travel blog" "Phuket restaurants" "Phuket food blog" "Phuket restaurant reviews" "Central Festival Phuket" "Sukishi" "sukishi phuket" "Japanese" "Korean" "Sushi" "sashimi" "seafood"

Viking Maki

To fill the Boy up we ordered a couple of plates of sushi rolls in the hope that there wouldn’t be any gluten. To increase my chances of this I showed our waitress my Thai eating card with information regarding my allergies written in their language.  She nodded her head at our menu choices assuring me they were suitable.  Unfortunately however for both dishes the rolls contained seafood extender sticks in them and I didn’t want to take any chances as these are generally not gluten free.

"Norway maki" "salmon" "sushi roll" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Phuket Food blog" "Phuket restaurant reviews" "travel blog" "Thailand" "Thailand travel blog" "Phuket restaurants" "Phuket food blog" "Phuket restaurant reviews" "Central Festival Phuket" "Sukishi" "sukishi phuket" "Japanese" "Korean" "Sushi" "sashimi" "seafood"

Norway maki

After a few annoying attempts at poking the offending ingredient out with a chopstick I eventually gave up and left them for the Boy to eat for himself. Not such a bad thing as it stopped me stuffing me face right before the wedding anyway! The rolls were freshly made and the fish was delicate and soft.  Next visit I will be more prepared and bring my own gluten free soy which by the way, I suggest you bring with you from Australia as it is hard to find in Thailand. I usually bring a bottle with me whenever I travel in Asian countries.

My apologies for the poorer quality iPhone photos in this review.  Lugging dear “Gordon” (my Nikon SLR) with me shopping all day was not my cup of tea. 

Sukishi
3rd Floor, Central Festival Phuket, 74-75 Moo 5 Vichitsongkram Rd., Amphur Muang, Phuket 83000
 
Price:                     $
Food:                    6.5/10 (not bad for a shopping centre sushi joint!)
Service:                2.5/5 (meals were slow to come out but were made fresh to order)
Ambience:          2.5/5 (tables are set up like booths so although big and busy you still have privacy)
Total:                     11.5/20

 

Gluten free potato cake with smoked salmon

Posted by  | Categories: Modern Australian, Recipes, Seafood

These  gluten free potato cakes with smoked salmon make the perfect alternative to the traditional blinis. They take only minutes to prepare yet still taste fabulous.

Gluten free potato cake with smoked salmon
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
 
Ingredients
  • 3 Yukon gold potatoes (about 450 grams), peeled and grated on the large holes of a box grater
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, plus sprigs for garnish
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg white
  • 120 grams smoked salmon
  • ¼ cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • Olive-oil, cooking spray
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 230 degrees Celsius. Combine potatoes, chopped dill, salt, pepper, and egg white in a medium bowl, and stir to combine.
  2. Coat two baking sheets with olive-oil cooking spray. Form pancakes by dropping about 1 tablespoon mixture on tray for each and flattening into disks. Bake until golden brown on bottom, about 10 minutes, rotating trays once during cooking. Remove from oven, and turn pancakes over. Return to oven, and bake until brown on both sides, about 7 minutes more.
  3. Serve pancakes topped with salmon and a dab of reduced-fat sour cream. Garnish with dill sprigs.

Recipe adapted from www.marthastewart.com/food

Bonsai Restaurant & Cafe Lounge, Northbridge

Posted by  | Categories: Featured, Japanese, Perth, Restaurants, Seafood

This winter I have had a terrible time with my allergies.  My knuckles are often cracked and bleeding and my face can just erupt into hives without any real warning. What has made it all even more upsetting and frustrating is that I cannot seem to identify my triggers.  I know very well I cannot touch gluten, but to complicate things I also seem to flare up if I have too much dairy or soy.  The problem with those allergens is I can actually have a small amount, says a small piece of cheese or a couple of splashes of soy sauce and I’ll be fine.  But if I have loads of cheese, or if I eat a gluten free muffin with soy flour…..scratch, scratch, scratch ALL night for days on end.

Eczema sufferers will empathise with this. When your skin is bad, you become overwhelmingly self-conscious of your appearance such that all you want to do is hide away in a dark cellar where no one can see you.  You are so sleep deprived, distracted and on edge because you just cannot stop that burning desire to scratch even though your damaged skin is weeping and sore. With my up and coming wedding, my anxiety levels heightened even more; I don’t want to be a blotchy scabby bride! My mind was in a dark and not so attractive place all week, and so it was a complete relief to learn the Bonsai Restaurant in Northbridge not only have gluten free soy available, but have much of their menu easily adaptable to accommodate for difficult people like myself. Praying for dim lighting I made a partially successful attempt at covering up my skin with some makeup and headed out with the Boy.

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Californian rolls Blanched prawn and avocado sushi coated with tobiko, and finally dressed with caramel soy & aioli

To try and get myself in a better mood I started off with ordering some sparkling Yuki sake.  The waitress described this drink as Bonsai’s take on an alcoholic bubble tea.  In the brief time we sat waiting for our drinks, I envisioned a glass of amber coloured liquid with clear balls of jelly floating around curiously.  What arrived was not what I expected and looked like nothing more than some lemon soda in a wine glass.  I can’t deny I was initially disappointed by its appearance as it was, well, kind of boring. But upon sipping my drink I was taken by surprise as I felt various sized gloops of invisible jelly slurp into my mouth. I was hooked.

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Roast duck slices

We started off with the roast duck slices dressed with garlic soy caramel and shichimi. Shichimi is a Japanese 7-spice blend typically containing ground red chili pepper (the main ingredient), roasted orange peel, yellow and black sesame seeds, Japanese pepper (sansho), ground ginger and nori. It gave an obvious heat to the tender duck breast yet the flavours were freshened by additional citrus notes and more oceanic layers from the nori.

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Shichimi salsa on pork belly slices

I used to hate all things pork but recently I confess I have had some mouth-watering experience and I think my tastes are a turning.  But I have now learnt that cold pork belly however is not my thing.  Pale, fatty slices of blanched pork belly were topped with a shichimi flavoured salsa dressing of red onion, red capsicum, cucumber and olive oil.  I should have thought more carefully before ordering this one.

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Tuna tataki on avocado

The tuna tataki was seared and served on a bed of avocado wedges and thick teriyaki sauce.  The tuna had a wondrous rich dark pink colour and practically dissolved on the tongue.

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Soft shelled crab served with wasabi mayo, salt and pepper

Of course once again the Boy had to order the soft shelled crab.  It is rare that I get to share this dish as it is deep fried and usually coated in a wheat flour batter.  This dish was no exception and although there were loads of gluten free options, all the fried dishes were off the menu for me. A big helping of crispy, meaty crab served with some wasabi mayonnaise quickly vanished off from his plate accompanied by much lip smacking and finger licking.  I was very jealous!

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Pan fried mushrooms with karashi-sumiso

What is a meal without mushrooms?  I am starting to wonder if I can actually survive for more than a few days without my mushroom fix.  Being involved in Mushroom Mania month earlier this year has only proved to make my addiction worse as I feel like I need to continue to “do my bit” to promote their awesomeness! The pan fried mushrooms came topped with a mustard miso dressing and a sprinkle of shichimi.

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Seared scallops with red pepper miso

The seared scallops were cooked perfectly with a small amount of bouncy firmness to the outside but soft tenderness on the inside.

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Eggplant and red capsicum namuru

The eggplant and capsicum namura was unexpectantly one of my favourite dishes of the night. The eggplant had an amazing texture that was close to that of set custard, held together only by its soft but firmer skin.  The goma miso sauce was slightly sweet and salty with a nutty aftertaste. Goma miso is a thick sauce that is made with miso and sesame seeds.

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Seaweed salad

I have to admit I didn’t really read the description of the seaweed salad before ordering and I expected a standard small bowl of brilliant green seaweed.  Out came an enormous salad bowl filled with a variety of seaweeds in addition to cabbage julienne, Swiss chard leaf, mizuna, coral lettuce, tat-soy and red radish all coated well with a sweet mustard miso dressing.  It was really easy to eat and we both crunched and munched happily away like rabbits .

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Crème brûlée

Although we had ordered a lot of food, neither of us were overly full and agreed there was a tinsy bit of room left to share dessert.  There was only one gluten free option; the crème brûlée. The surface of our dessert was hot to touch proving that it was indeed torched traditionally to get the burnt crust that makes crème brûlée such a treat.  With a gentle tap of the spoon the wafer thin caramelised shell cracked and broke into bite sized geographical shaped pieces. Underneath the custard was tasty but its texture wasn’t smooth enough and actually looked a little on the lumpy side.  It was still delicious however, and certainly didn’t go to waste.

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The Bonsai Restaurant and Café Lounge
30 -36 Roe Street, Northbridge 6003 | (08) 9227 5756 | www.the-bonsai.net/
 
Price:                     $$$ (Share dishes $7-20, Mains $17-29, accepts Entertainment Card)
Food:                    4.5/5 (must try the eggplant and the duck)
Service:                5/5 (impeccable, attentive without being obtrusive)
Ambience:           4.5/5 (funky, busy but can get quite noisy)
Drinks:                  4.5/5 (LOVED the sparkling Yuki saki!)
Total:                     17.5/20
 
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Rock Bar & Kisik, Ayana Resort, Bali

Posted by  | Categories: Bali, Beach, Featured, Resorts, Seafood, Travel

It was our last night in Bali and although we had both enjoyed ourselves thoroughly we couldn’t help but feel that we had preferred our recent trips to Thailand. The over commercialised vibe along with the abundance of Australian tourists made our holiday in Bali feel a little bit like we hadn’t actually left Australia.  Not that this was necessarily a bad thing, but I do love the experience of being in another country. I guess we shouldn’t really try to compare the two and regardless of their differences I am still looking forward to returning to Bali; perhaps next time we might get a bit off the beaten track.

We set out in a local cab once again and the Boy set my GPS on my phone to record our route.  He was determined to prove to me that in order for the driver to justify a larger fare we were about to taken on a more extended journey to our destination.  As we got into the cab we requested the driver to set the meter rather than barter with him over a fixed price.  We discovered this can be a better way to obtain a more fair charge.  On the slow drive south of the island to Rock Bar our driver continued to attempt to convince us of a package price deal where he would wait at the other end and be available to drive us home at the end of the evening.  We politely declined his offer and explained we were happy to just hail another cab and use their metered fee also.

By the time we arrived at our destination an hour later he reproached us – obviously being very keen for the return fare and he offered to wait for us for 3000 Rupiah (which is about $3 dollars).  At this point we realised we were being stingy mean tourists; the poor man was willing to wait for hours while we ate and drank the evening away for an extra three bucks.  Feeling guilty for playing the hard arse we agreed as we pulled up at the busy hotel foyer.

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Rock Bar

To get to Rock Bar you must walk through the large Ayana resort to the edge of the cliff face and then board a tiny cable car that takes you about 50 metres down the cliff to the bar.  I recommend you arrive with plenty of time before sunset to avoid the queues to get in.  We chose one of the lounges facing the water, kicked off our shoes and sunk back to soak up the sun.

Because there is no kitchen at Rock Bar all the food is pre-prepared and I was so disappointed to be told that there are absolutely no gluten free options on their menu at all.  We were both hungry so you can imagine my food envy as I watched the Boy tuck into his wedges and curly fries.  It was some consolation to me to hear that the wedges were dry, thin and flavourless, and the curly fries tasted like they came out of a frozen packet.  To make matters worse, only tiny serves of sauce accompanied the dry potato meaning it didn’t sound like I missed out on much.

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Potato wedges, Curly fries and Pita chips with Hummus, Curry Mayonnaise and Ketchup

As I basked in the warmth of the sun like a cat I sipped on my “Rockito” and realised that even without some nibbles to eat life was pretty good.  The Boy wasn’t enjoying the sun quite as much as I was and tried to hide behind what little shade he could find cast by my shadow.  My first Rockito came out with mostly ice and only about an inch of drink in the bottom meaning it only took me minutes before I had guzzled it down.  I ensured to give more explicit directions to our waiter how I wanted my subsequent drinks to be served and from then on they were made to perfection, with just enough of a hint of sugar without being too overpoweringly sweet.

After several rounds of drinks I was beginning to think my stomach had started to digest itself in protest of my hunger. We moved further down the cliff face to the restaurant on the beach called Kisik.  A word of advice for the ladies: don’t wear your high heels here as the restaurant is literally on the beach and your stilettos won’t take kindly to sinking into the sand!  The location and view are fantastic affording great photo opportunities as the sun slowly sinks into the sea as you are surrounded by glowing bamboo torches.

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Kisik restaurant looking over to Rock bar

Kisik offers a variety of fresh seafood displayed on a bed of ice for you to pick and hand to the chef who cooks it for you just how you like it.  Lobster, prawn, seasonal fish, oysters and clams you name it; if it’s caught locally it is likely to be available fresh off the boat and nearly moving.  In fact the lobsters were still actually alive and I felt pangs of guilt for the poor creatures as we selected which one we were soon to devour.

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Gado gado salad

As part of the meal you are served two entrees consisting of an Indonesian Gado gado salad followed by a Jimbaran styled Bouillabaisse.  My Gado gado salad was altered slightly to accommodate for my allergies which by the way the chef found to be no problem.

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Jimbaran Bouillabaisse

Our soup tasted similar to a Tom Yum style hot and sour soup and was refreshing and light. Perfect to commence our seafood feast that we had selected as in true form we had gone overboard and ordered quite a lot!

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Grilled King prawns with garlic

Our first choice was some beautiful looking King prawns and although they were ridiculously priced, nearly more than what we paid at Rottnest last year, they looked so tempting that we just couldn’t resist.  It was worth it! They were cooked simply with some garlic butter and lemongrass and were very fresh, crunchy and mouth-wateringly juicy.

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Clam soup with lime and coriander in a white wine reduction

For our next course we had selected some local clams which the chef made into a very tasty soup with fresh lime and coriander in a white wine reduction.  It reminded me a little of the clam soup we had some time ago at Rockpool and was comparably delicious.

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Steamed Rock Lobster Indonesia style with tofu, chili and garlic

Our last course was the one I really was waiting for.  Steamed rock lobster cooked Indonesia style with tofu, chilli and garlic.  To my extreme disappointment the lobster was overcooked and rubbery tough.  What a sad way to end an otherwise wonderful meal!

Upon our return to Seminyak we realised that our poor driver had spent a total of three hours waiting for us and a further two hours driving.  Now we really felt like the mean stingy tourists so in order to both appease our guilt and show our appreciation we gave him a generous tip as we alighted at our hotel Villa Air Bali.

Overall both Rock Bar and Kisik are experiences not to be missed on a trip to Bali, expect to pay near Perth prices, but for the location, service and ambience it was totally worth it.

Travelling to Bali?  Be sure to check out the Lonely Planet Bali and Lombok Travel Guide before you go!

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Rock Bar and Kisik @ Ayana Resort
Jl. Karang Mas Sejahtera, Jimbaran, Bali 80364, Indonesia | (+62) 361 702222 | Rock Bar | Kisik
  
Price:                  $$$$$ (Live Rock Lobster AUD$185/kg, King Prawns AUD$145, Oysters AUD$4/piece!!)
Includes tax, service charges and two entrees, using current $1=R9166
Food:                  3/5 (Rock Bar – needs GF options, Kisik – amazing meal until our overcooked lobster arrived)
Service:              5/5 (could not fault them – full of smiles)
Ambience:         5/5 (waves lapping on the rocks below you, setting sun, fresh sea air = awesome)
Drinks:               3.5/5 (great variety of cocktails)
Total:                  16.5/20

Nobu, Burswood and a birthday surprise

Posted by  | Categories: Degustation/Fine dining, Japanese, Perth, Restaurants, Seafood

On the last night of my 3 day birthday eat-drink bender we booked a table at Nobu for a romantic night out just the two of us.  My only request to the Boy for my birthday present this year was for him to get me a gift that would be a total surprise!  Upon suggesting this to him some weeks before I was met with a number of retorts and complaints as he was certain that there would be no way he could think of something without any guidance. I knew he was wrong – when he puts his mind to it he comes up with the most awesome present ideas.

As the taxi pulled up outside our house, the Boy handed me a birthday card in a red envelope saying “Here’s your present!”  I decided to wait until we got to (A)LURE for our pre-dinner drinks before opening it.  It was such a fine evening so after ordering our drinks we sat out on the balcony basking in the setting sun.  I opened the envelope and in it was a card containing a printed piece of paper……curious….

“Happy Birthday Beautiful! Hope you’ve had a marvellous birthday and looking forward to an extra special one next year!”  Before even reading the enclosed piece of paper it suddenly dawned on me what he meant and I felt an overwhelming feeling of excitement and happiness! Next year for my birthday we will be in Thailand celebrating our marriage!!! Wooot!!!

To my even greater surprise the paper read as follows:

 “Aerial Combat Flight for Two: If Top Gun looked like fun then you’ll be thrilled by these combat formation flights with your family member alongside you!  Strap into a war bird and get set for an adrenalin fuelled flight!

When you and your companion arrive at the airport we’ll have you looking the part in no time when you put on your flight suit! You are then strapped into the seat behind the pilot and briefed on the mission ahead. Then it’s out to the flight line – the fun is about to begin!

The combat formation flight is performed with two CJ-6A Nanchangs. At the beginning of your flight you will experience the art of close formation as practiced by the air forces of the world. Then it’s time to split the formation. The fight is on! Diving and turning to gain position behind the opposing aircraft, your pilot will take you on an amazing aerial combat adventure, using real military rules and procedures. This is not a simulator or computer game – this is the real thing!

The CJ-6A Nanchang is the current primary trainer of the Chinese air force, with a 9-cylinder Radial-engine and sliding canopies. This aircraft is still in use, being employed by several air forces in training military pilots around the world.

After your aerial combat flight you and your friend will climb out of the cockpits, grinning from ear to ear and buzzing all over with excitement after having experienced an absolutely mind-blowing flight!

Far out!!! This has to be one of the most original and brilliant presents yet! The Boy has totally excelled himself! After guzzling a couple of glasses of champagne we moved over to Nobu to continue our evening.

We were warmly greeted and shown to our table where our waitress offered to bring us the cocktail special of the evening.  It was something sparkling and peachy but unfortunately I cannot recall much other detail.  The drink was very sweet almost overpoweringly so but totally enjoyable nevertheless.   Without even needing to ask, she came back to our table as we were sipping our drinks to remove our normal soy from the table and replace it with gluten-free soy.

Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeno

Our waitress was very knowledgeable about the menu and was thrilled to enthusiastically describe some of the preparation in the kitchen to us.  We started with the yellow tail sashimi with jalapeño – a true example of how Nobu does Japanese differently with Peruvian flair.  For this signature dish, we were advised to eat each delicate velvety slice of tuna with a coriander leaf to experience all the flavours. The cool freshness of the coriander along with the bite of the jalapeño was out of this world!  Being a big fan of wasabi – the heat of the jalapeño is quite a different kind of heat and made a unique and interesting change.

White Fish with Dry Miso

Miso is traditionally used as a paste to flavour a vast number of Japanese dishes. To dramatically increase the flavour Nobu has pioneered the technique of processing the paste to create “dry miso” and he uses it throughout the menu as a powerful seasoning.  To make the dry miso, the miso paste is spread out onto baking paper and cooked for a few hours in the oven at low temperature.  It is then crushed in a food processor to produce small granular chips of intense flavour. Our white fish was served with dried red miso, fried garlic chips, a sprinkling of chives and a tangy lemony dressing.  After the combination of heat and sweet coriander with the yellow tail tuna, the more salty and acrid flavours of this dish was a great progression in flavours.  An excellent second choice.

Miso Black Cod

If you are going to order anything off the menu – the Miso Black Cod is a signature dish that cannot be missed. This is where you really better believe the hype.  After being wowed by a copy of the same dish at Ku De Ta in Bali, I can truly appreciate how the original version here at Nobu has been perfected and mastered.  The fish is marinated in miso for no less than three days allowing it to fully permeate through the thick slab of Alaskan Black Cod.  The texture of the fish is so buttery and slithers into your mouth like silk.

Pork Belly with Miso Caramel

The pork belly with miso caramel is another signature dish but this in no way compared to the show stopping black cod.  The miso had caramelised to a sticky sweetness but the crackling lacked oomph in its crunch which was a little disappointing.

WA Marron Spinach Salad with Dry Miso

The marron spinach salad was a bit of a spontaneous order as we originally wanted to have a mushroom dish but were informed that all the mushrooms were marinated in wheat based soy and therefore not suitable.  Surprisingly the spinach was the highlight of this dish with the dry miso giving such an incredible flavour.  The marron was quite humble in comparison to its salad.

Soft Shelled Crab with Watermelon and Sesame

The soft-shelled crab was one of the specials of the evening and I was so pleased to hear it could be adapted to be gluten-free!  It was served with fresh watermelon and sesame which I haven’t seen before.  Although I know I shouldn’t eat watermelon I did eat some this time and its bursting watery sweetness was an interesting match with the salty crispy crab.  I really shouldn’t have though because I did suffer a bit the next day! Watermelon and other melons are a no-no for fructose malabsorbers.

Sashimi: Squid, Salmon and Smelt Egg and Sushi Rolls: Tuna Asparagus, House Special and Soft Shelled Crab

Now that we had sampled some hot dishes and some cold dishes, we moved onto some of the sashimi and sushi.  We order some squid, salmon and smelt egg sashimi. The sashimi was fairly good quality but not the best we have ever tried.  The squid was particularly well prepared with no chewiness. It was the sushi rolls that we both found most special.  The tuna and asparagus rolls looked so simple but they were like little bombs of flavour and the larger house made rolls were even more so.  I highly recommend all of the sushi rolls we tried.

Bento Box with Green Tea Ice cream

For dessert I ordered the Bento box purely based on it having green tea ice-cream which I adore.  I couldn’t believe my eyes when she opened the box lid and sitting innocently in there was a gluten-free chocolate fondant with one lonely little scoop of green tea ice-cream.  My eyes lit up like a child at Christmas as I cut my spoon into the centre and out gushed delicious chocolaty goo.  My birthday celebrations were satisfyingly complete!

Nobu definitely broke the birthday budget, and it may indeed be sometime before we return there but it was totally worth it!

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Nobu
Burswood Entertainment Complex, Great Eastern Highway, Burswood 6100 | (08) 9362 7551 | www.noburestaurants.com
 
Price:                     $$$$ (Cold dish $18-65, Hot dish $22-52, Sashimi $3-10/piece, Sushi rolls $8-28)
Food:                    4.5/5 (one word – cod! OMG!)
Service:                3.5/5 (although initially brilliant, service slowed significantly as evening progressed)
Ambience:           4.5/5 (great lighting and relaxing but sophisticated)
Drinks:                  4/5 (tried the Hokuetsu Junmai Daiginjo sake – floraly sweet and refreshing)
Total:                     16.5/20

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