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Pure food enjoyment at Amuse in Perth

I finally got around to trying Restaurant Amuse, the Perth dining establishment which opened to rave reviews in early 2008 (I think).

The restaurant is tucked away on an unassuming side street in East Perth in what looks pretty much like a converted house. The dining area is quite spartan with dark, muted tones but still conveys a welcoming feel. You get the feeling that the surrounds are set up so that you focus on the food and not some over the top, tricked out dining area.

The menu is degustation only with no a la carte, which is fine with me as I prefer degustation anyway. A matched wine progression is also offered.

The front of house staff are led by Carolynne Troy, the wife of the chef Hadleigh Troy, and all staff appear well drilled. They are attentive without being intrusive, discreet but available at a seconds notice should you require something or merely wish to discuss the food or wine.

Your menu is presented to you in an envelope leaving you free to peruse it or leave it closed so that each new course is a pleasant surprise.

And a pleasant surprise they are! I loved every single one of the dishes I was served. From a perfectly cooked marron with a divine orange sauce, eaten with hands for extra finger licking goodness, to a combination of chicken, runny egg and sweet corn presented in a jar so that you could mix the ingredients together easily, all dishes were divine. The pace of the meal is also good.

The wine matching is solid with a variety of local and international varieties that complimented the food well.

All up, I'd have to say that having dined around a few of Perth's best restaurants, this is clearly a cut above the rest. I dined at Jackson's the night before Amuse and, although it is quite good, Amuse just seemed to kick that little bit higher. Jackson's has been my favourite Perth restaurant for a while but I may be on my way to the Amuse camp like many others in Perth.

Hong Kong help!!!

If you're after a traditional French restaurant I can highly recommend Gaddis and Caprice.

Or for something left field try Bo Innovation for the molecular approach and a fun night out.

But really you can probably get similar to these in NYC so I'd listen to Charles and M_Gomez and follow the 'authentic' Cantonese path. Yan Toh Heen and Lung King Heen are both very nice though LKH does struggle to justify a 3* rating over YTH's 1*

Lung King Heen
Finance Street, Hong Kong , HK

Going to HK... again!

I really enjoyed Bo Innovation when I was in HK. Very different in presentation and style. You'll either love it, like I did, or dislike the molecular approach.

A Week of Gourmandise in the West

I haven't been down Freo way for a while so would be unwilling to single any place out.

From reading various other opinions around town though, the current fave is Harvest apparently. It's on my list to get to at some stage in the future. So little time, so much good food...

A Week of Gourmandise in the West

Uopn noticing that the tasting menu at Jackson's, my favourite Perth restaurant, had changed over I immediately booked a table for my first day off work. I then realised that since I had the entire week off work I could dine out every night. This would give me a chance to try all the places I hadn't been yet whilst padding out the Perth department of Chowhound which is lacking occasionally. So I cleared my credit card, prepared my stomach and set forth into the night.

Monday - Jackson's

The tasting menu at Jacksons's is always fun and matched well with accompanying wines. The staff are discreet but attentive and happy to cater to the solo gourmand. The menu flowed well with each course holding it's own and I enjoyed them all. There were no weak links that I could find and I look forward to my return when the menu changes again.
My favourite restaurant in Perth.

Tuesday- Opus at The Richardson

The Richardson hotel is a discreet boutique hotel in a leafy street in West Perth. I had heard about its restaurant, Opus, from a few different websites and the menu looked great online so I hooked in.
The Pumpkin Soup with Blue Swimmer Crab was exquisite whilst the main of Beef Tenderloin with Shallot Fricasse was also a winner. The wine matching was also quite good. Again the staff were attentive had happy to cater to and chat with the solo diner.

Wednesday - Rockpool Bar and Grill

I always meant to visit a Rockpool over east but never got around to heading that way. So they helpfully opened one up here in Perth.
The entrance to the restaurant is a stunning walk along a candle lit corridor with some gfeat looking cuts of meat reclining in the fridges behind some glass.
The menu is upmarket bistro/steakhouse with a fantastic wine list. I went with some steak tartare and chips to kickoff followed by a delightful dish of roast squid, pork belly and chilli.
The sommelier came to my rescue with the wine list which is truly massive. Their red wine of the month would not go well with my steak apparently but should be tasted anyway I was told. They were right as the wine, a 2009 Jean Foillard 'Cote du Py' Morgon from Burgundy was a great drinking red that would have been slightly too delicate to go with the steak. For the steak I went with a half bottle of 2005 Reverve de la Comtesse from Bordeaux, one of a number of suggestions the sommelier proffered. It was great.
The steak was great and presented well. Exactly what you want in a steakhouse really. By this stage I was too stuffed and couldn't manage dessert for the first time in my life
A great addition to the Perth dining scene with Dom Perignon available by the glass, something I haven't seen here before. Heaven!

Thursday - Divido

Divido is a small Italian restaurant in Mount Hawthorn that cracked a top recommendation from Gourmet Traveller.
The degustation menu is smaller than the others I tried but not lacking in taste in any way! Each dish was thouroughly enjoyable with the main, a Beef agrodocle with celeriac puree, a true highlight. The matched wines also worked well with the staff again attentive.
This place also gets a nod on price as the degustation was half the price of any other that I tried this week. Recommended.

Friday - Friends

I had always heard that this place was slightly overrated but I hadn't looked in a while. Well I was pleasantly suprised to see that a new chef, from a former 2 Michelin star joint no less, had taken over and revamped the menu. The 10 course tasting with matched wines seemed the ticket although with truffles in season it was a tough call to pass up the truffle menu.
I kicked off with a glass of Dom Perignon which is also available by the glass here and is never a bad way to start a night.
The 10 course menu was fantastic. It was a great meal all round with great wine matching again. No course was lacking and I would happily eat any dish again, anytime.
The staff are also good with the owners patrolling the floor and happy to discuss wine and food between dishes. The location and views from this restaurant out over the Swan River are also a joy to behold.
I can't wait to return, again and again and again

Hopefully this helps anyone out who is heading West and looking for good food. I can't wait to try these places again and would whole heartedly recommend any of the above to anyone.

Yours in Food,

A Gourmand in the West

Singapore Trip Report 14-20th February

Flew in to Singapore Monday afternoon and headed in to stay at The Raffles. Had a full list of dining experiences lined up and I couldn't wait to get started.

14th Dinner - Raffles Grill
Being by myself in a romantic restaurant on Valentines Day felt slightly awkward to begin with, but I was here for the food so who cares. Constructed my own 6 course degustation off the ala carte menu and set to work. Great food. The beef tournedos rossini was the the highlight for me. Also a special shout out to sommelier Dhareej Bhatia who matched each course superbly and then walked me through his astonishing array of Armangac. Truly a highlight of the trip with a 1944 distilled, 2010 bottled Bas Armangac finishing the night off in style.

15th Lunch - Iggy's
Woke up feeling slightly the worse for wear after my adventures the previous evening but soldiered on to Iggy's. Sitting at the bar overlooking the kitchen was great. The 3 course set menu for lunch was solid but not spectacular. The desert was probably the standout, a chocolate creation of high quality. I'm not sure why this restaurant rated so highly in the 'Top 50' awards. The food wasn't bad but I thought it could easily be matched or even bettered elsewhere.

15th Dinner - Cut by Wolfgang Puck
Looking forward to this as I'm a steak man. Bonus when I got there. Turns out all the celebrity chefs from the Marina Bay Sands were in town as it was the official opening of the complex! Got to meet Wolfgang and score an autograph and photo. The food was good upmarket steakhouse fare. The 3 steak main course I had highlighted 3 of the different steaks on the menu with the Japanese wagyu, of course, being the best. Melted like butter. The chocolate souffle for desert didn't really hurt either.

16th Lunch - Les Amis
Lovely little restaurant tucked away on a surprisingly busy side street. Lovely selection on the menu. The double boiled beef broth was very tasty. The veal though was superb. Lovely and moist, full of taste. they even brought the bone out for you to gnaw on and get very last bit of meat and marrow. Great restaurant.

16th Dinner - Fifty Three
Walked past the place twice before I was certain it was the restaurant. Very unobtrusive building and discreet signage. The dining room has a somewhat spartan feel to it but the food definitely makes up for it. A great degustation with good matched wines. The main of pork belly and black ginger paste was probably the best. The G&T surprise at the end was great. A fantastic, fun restaurant that everyone should try.

17th Lunch - Gunthers
Whilst perusing the lunch menu the wait staff informed that the degustation could be tailored to any requirement I wanted. I just had to set a price limit and they could set me up. I agreed and set a price higher then a normal lunch degustation (but short of insanity). I also requested that the menu be kept a surprise so that I could be delighted by each new creation. What followed was a 3hr delight of the senses as each course, with matched wines, brought new sensations. I think it was about 10 courses but the wine has clouded my memory. All dishes were great but the signature cold angel hair pasta with caviar was the standout. Definitely a recipe to try and knock off at home. Stumbled back to the hotel after this one and spent the rest of the arvo lounging by the pool in preparation for....

17th Dinner - Waku Ghin
Wonderful idea with the small dining area facing the cooktop. The early dishes were light and full of flavour. When the chef came out to prepare the next few courses it was a real treat. The wagyu beef was a delight to eat with the freshly grated wasabi. The real torture was sitting and watching as he cooked it. Another bonus with Tetsuya Wakuda himself dropping in for a chat. Another photo and autograph for the file! A world class restaurant that I thoroughly enjoyed.

18th Lunch - I'd left lunch today clear to head out to a hawker centre but I was still recovering from the day before. So I recuperated in my hotel room by ordering hainanese rice chicken and satay from the room service menu. Not the greatest way to 'experience' Singapore street food to be sure but it was all I had in the tank. The rice chicken was well poached with the sauces a good accompaniment. I have always had a weakness for satay and scoffed these down. Sorry to all those who will hit me up for not tasting the 'real' Singapore but... well I was hungover.

18th Dinner - Guy Savoy
An elegant dining room looking across the water to the downtown area. Great looking menu but who could resist the seasonal Black Truffle Tasting Menu? Wonderful progression of flavours with the turbot a highlight. Well coooked fish in a truffle infused broth. Heaven. Met Guy Savoy but at the end of the night when I tried to get a photo and autograph he had already departed! Nevertheless, I was allowed to enter the kitchen and meet Chef Eric who runs the place. A great meal.

19th Lunch - DB Bistro Moderne
What a great place for brunch/lunch. A true example of a modern bistro as the name suggests. The eggs benedict (a good comparison test for any bistro) were delightful. The DB burger was a beast. A thin fillet of steak wrapped around some ribs and then filled in with foie gras. Wow! The profiteroles with warm chocolate were a great finisher. A really nice place that I could have wasted the rest of the day in.

19th Dinner - The Tippling Club
This was sadly meant to be Santi. But due to his unfortunate passing the restaurant was closed. I had really been looking forward to dining here but what can you do. After a cheeky attempt to get into Restaurant Andre by utilising the concierge staff at The Raffles failed (I always knew deep down it would) I went with my back up The Tippling Club. This was a really fun place to hang out on my last night in town. Great food, fun drinks and a relaxed atmosphere. The green curry quail was my favourite but everything was good. Not a bad place to fall back on.

20th Lunch - The Champagne Carving Brunch @ The Raffles
I died and went to heaven and it was the Carving Brunch @ The Raffles. Food as far as the I could see. All different tastes acoounted for. Some of the dishes were true gourmet cuisine that you do not expect in a buffet. Unlimited champagne pours. My words cannot convey how great this expreience was to finish my food hoilday. You really have to experience for yourself and I wholeheartedly recommend it to all.

Sadly I had to fly out later that evening and so ended the trip to Singapore. My thanks to all at The Raffles hotel for making my stay a delight, especially Dhareej the sommelier (extrordinaire) and Bong my butler. I look forward to returning to Singapore one day for another gourmand adventure.


[REVIEW] Jackson's Restaurant, Perth

Had the degustation menu at Jackson's last weekend with my brother and couple of friends of ours.

Simply fantastic. I had the accompanying premium wines whilst everyone else had the normal matched wines. This was not really an issue as we tried them between us and you couldn't really go wrong with either one. The premium wines were simply from more eclectic areas and vintages.

I won't run through the whole menu here but I'll put the link in to the current menu. Suffice to say that simple things like Cheese on Toast and Peaches and Cream are not as plain as they appear on face value and there were a couple of surprise courses mixed in which were a bit different (Peach icecream with curry powder? It worked!).

Best meal I've ever had in Perth. Great service with all dishes and wines explained by the service staff and sommelier. Don't hesitate if you are in Perth.

REVIEW: The Gala Restaurant, Perth

Visited the Gala a couple of nights ago with my brother. Tucked away just off Canning Hwy on a sidestreet, the location is both accessible and quiet.

The dining room is not overly large but big enough so that the tables are not crowded together. A couple of large german beers prepared us for the meal. The chef is German so the whole place is quite European. It was nice to see a European focused restaurant that isn't French for once.

The menu is A la carte with a ggod spread of dishes. I had the Beef Carpaccio and Tartare starter and my brother had the Pork and Tiger Prawn dish. Both were excellent. The carpaccio melted whilst the tartare was finely diced and nicely spiced.

A choice of 2 palate cleansers are available which I was pleased to see as you don't often get them anymore.

For mains I had the smoked duck with pepper sauce whilst my brother had the barramundi with lemon, capers and parsley. Both dishes were truly excellent. The wine list is not the biggest but incorporates a wide range which will match any dish on the menu and any palate. A French Chardonnay was suggested for both of us. The wine was bold in fruity flavours which stood up well as both our mains were strong in spice without being overdone though.

Desert was the banana split for the bro and the cheeseboard for me. Again excellent.

All up this was a fantastic dining experience. The service is smooth and friendly without being obtrusive and the food is fantastic. This is a family operation with the wife as head chef and the husband in front of house. I would heartily recommend this restaurant to anyone living in Perth or just visiting.

Singapore 14-20 Feb Eating Plan - Feedback requested

Rest assured I have a voracious appetite that will leave plenty of time for grazing from the hawker centres between Breakfast and Lunch and Lunch and Dinner.

Singapore 14-20 Feb Eating Plan - Feedback requested

I'll be in Singapore 14-20 Feb and this is the outline for the restaurants I would like to hit up. Any feedback from those in the know would be appreciated

Monday - Arrive early evening so just going to eat at The Raffles where I'm staying. Probably the Raffles Grill

Tuesday - Lunch - Iggy's Dinner - Cut @ Marina Bay Sands

Wednesday - Lunch - Les Amis Dinner - Santi

Thursday - Lunch - Gunthers Dinner - Waku Ghin

Friday - Lunch - DB Bistro Moderne - Dinner - Fifty Three

Saturday - Lunch - Jaan Par Andre or The Tippling Club. Can't decide! Leaning towards Tippling
Dinner - Guy Savoy

Sunday - Lunch - Sunday Carving Champagne Brunch @ Raffles and then flyout in the evening

I'm open to any suggestions or feedback.

DB Bistro Moderne - Anyone know when it's open?

I'll be in Singapore 14-20 Feb. These pictures are making the wait all the harder!

Anyone tried Waku Ghin yet?

I am unfortunately allergic to shellfish. Would Waku Ghin and Santi still be worth it? I'm assuming they'd be able to cater to this dietary requirement.

DB Bistro Moderne - Anyone know when it's open?

Thanks for that!

DB Bistro Moderne - Anyone know when it's open?

Now that I know Cut is open, does anyone know when DB Bistro Moderne is opening at the Marina Bay Sands?

The website just insists on saying 'Coming Soon' instead at least listing a month. Frightfully unhelpful!


Cut at the Marina Bay Sands

Thanks everyone. Can't wait to get over there and try it.

Joel Robuchon vs Caprice

Definitely Caprice if you can only get to 1 of them. Both are pretty good though

Cut at the Marina Bay Sands

Does anyone know when Wolfgang Puck's CUT is opening in Singapore? Trying to plan a trip and would like to hold off until it opens.

HK trip in Jan 2011

I can vouch for Caprice. Wonderful dining experience. Great view as well.

Bo Innovation - do people seriously rate this?

I ate at Bo earlier this year and thought it was great. Alvin was in attendance and running the kitchen. Interesting, tasty, fun food.

My experience of fine dining is pretty limited but I had a good night there.

Hong Kong Trip Report - May 2010

Thanks for the tips!

I'll look to throw together a list and post it before I head over

Hong Kong Trip Report - May 2010

Forgot to mention the amazing phenomenon of Dom Perignon being served by the glass! Unheard of in Australia and definitely deadly on the old hip pocket...

Hong Kong Trip Report - May 2010

Sorry this post is a bit after the fact but have been reading up a bit on the site and decided to chime in with my first post. I went on a trip to Hong Kong for 4 days in May and checked out a few of restaurants. Below is what happened...

(Disclaimers: First Post, First food trip abroad, First Michelin restaurants, Travelling solo)

Night 1 - Plane 3hrs late getting in so missed reservation at L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon. No worries though as the helpful Peninsula concierge rebooked me for lunch on my last day. There was a note in my room by the time the Rolls had gotten from the airport to the hotel confirming the change. This was an unexpected bonus however as I was able to 'discover' the wonderful Peninsula Club Sandwich on the room service menu.

Day 1 - Lunch at the Kee Club. Taking the advice on the boards here I got the concierge to get me in to the private members club on the 4th floor. Everything was pretty good including some wonderful sweet pork dumplings (correct name escapes me after all these months.. sar chui?). The goose, which this place is famous for, was a little disappointing as it was a little cold and a bit greasier than I expected. Not a bad flavour though. All up, I enjoyed it. Nice place to entertain by the looks of it

Night 2 - Dinner at Caprice. Fantastic. One of my favourite meals. I had the 8 course tasting menu with matched wines and it was good. Personal favourites were the White asparagus, jambon(I think) and a perfect hollandaise sauce. Best meal of my life.

Day 2 - Went on a tour to Lantau Island so wound up having lunch in the Vegetarian restaurant at the monastery. I'm an avowed meat eater but it wasn't bad. The sweet corn soup was excellent.

Night 3 - Dinner at Bo Innovation. Definitely the most fun I had out at dinner. Was fortunate to sit at the counter overlooking the kitchen and get most of my dishes served to me by Chef Alvin himself. Really exciting restaurant with good tasting food. Loved all the dishes and looked forward to each course with wonder at what creation might be put before me. Different to Caprice but just as high quality.

Day 3 - Lunch at Yan Toh Heen. Good quality place with an even better view. The deep fried frogs legs and szechuan beef were pretty good. Close to the Peninsula as well so I could stagger there whilst recovering from visting the Pawn Shop bar the night before.

Night 3 - Dinner at Lung King Heen. How I wish I had listened to the sage voices on these boards. But 'No', I thought, ' 3 Michelin stars must mean something!'. It isn't a bad place but I fail to see how Yan Toh Heen is 1 star whilst this is 3. Still enjoyed the meal. Looking back would probably have gone elsewhere. probably over to Macau and checked out Robuchon a Galera and gambled on. Come here if you want but you can go elsewhere and get the same.

Day 4 - Lunch L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon. Good stuff this. Ordered about 4 different selections included the mini burgers with foie gras. These were so good that I ordered another serve. Desert was an excellent chocolate creation that melted in your mouth.

Night 5 - Dinner at Gaddi's. A misstep in my planning. Had to be out of the restaurant by nine to Rolls Royce it to the airport and fly home. This meant I coudn't really get the set menu which looked divine. Settled for a smooth, delicious mushroom soup, a lamb dish and warm chocolate desert. Wish I'd had this on another night and done Gaddi's justice but such is hindsight.

Overall, I really enjoyed the trip and Hong Kong in general. Thanks to these boards and regular posters for helping shape my selections (Sorry about Lung King Heen).

Next trip will be Singapore in around November I think. Already dreaming of Iggy's, 53, Gunther's...

Apologies if post was too long.

Yours in Food..