Restaurant Amuse is situated in the quieter residential side of
East Perth. The restaurant looks like a former house that has been renovated and transformed into what makes the charming venue it is today. Whilst not “stuffy”, the atmosphere at Restaurant Amuse is not casual either – offering a true fine dining experience without being pompous. Many of the tables are geared towards intimate dinners between couples and the whole night geared towards an “experience”.
According to Restaurant Amuse’s website, Restaurant Amuse has won many accolades including Two Hats from The Top 50 Restaurant Guide 2010, Two Stars from Australian Gourmet Traveller 2010 Restaurant Guide, as well as many other industry and awards for being best WA restaurant and/or chef.
Restaurant Amuse is run by husband and wife Carolynne and Hadleigh Troy. Chef Troy has a long list of credentials including Perth's The Loose Box and Jackson's Restaurant, as well as Michelin star rated restaurants The Greenhouse in Mayfair, London and La Noisette in Knightsbridge. With a resume like that, and the awards previously mentioned, this does create a high expectation.
Restaurant Amuse’s menu only offers a degustation, including a vegetarian option. The full degustation is $120 or $185 with matching wines. For ten courses and in comparison to other similar style degustations, I think $120 is quite reasonable. Alternatively, if you dine on Tuesday to Thursday, you have the option of taking the Petite Degustation instead for $85. Given I had nothing else better to do that night, coupled with my seemingly insatiable appetite, I elected to graze on the ten course full degustation to occupy my quiet weeknight dinner.
Even with ten courses in the full degustation, Restaurant Amuse’s menu is in a state of constant change, with courses continually being updated by various modifications or new creations. Over the course of a month, you can expect all courses of the degustation menu to change. I am a big fan of surprise degustations or ever evolving menus that capitalise on available fresh produce or continually improving and changing global culinary techniques.
The service at Restaurant Amuse is also matched to the style of dining. The staff are well groomed, attentive, and knowledgeable about the menu and wine list. Another plus is that the staff have tried every course on offer and are able to describe and provide personal insights and comments on each dish. To top that off, the staff are also friendly and personable. In my opinion, this helps create a more pleasant and friendly dining experience, and the ability of staff to have a quiet chat or laugh makes me feel more at ease.
The snacks were light and included crostini sticks and wagyu prepared like proscuitto. These were served on a plate made of stone and were a nice light starter before the meal to come.
Olive, caviar and foie gras
This dish included a soft white chocolate base topped with two types of caviar (or fish roe for those who believe “caviar” should be reserved only for sturgeon), foie gras and olive. The flavour combination worked very well with the subtle sweet white chocolate matching the fresh tastes from the subtle caviar, slight olive saltiness, and hint of foie gras.
In particular, I thought the soft white chocolate’s mild sweetness gave the dish extra flavour to compliment the subtle caviar taste without masking it. The caviar, which included salmon roe, was more subtle flavoured and textured than sturgeon caviar which probably made this dish work that much better.
The raw kingfish was cured and sat on a slice of dried watermelon and topped with a powdered horseradish. The strong sweetness of the dried watermelon gave a big contrast to the cured kingfish and light horseradish that made me want to have a bit of every ingredient in each bite as the sum of the parts tasted better than each part individually.
The marron was topped with chicken skin, and mixed with pickled cucumber and a bit of sliced onion. As the course was served, the wait person poured a tomato parmesan consommé into the plate to finish off the dish.
The marron was fresh and slightly crunchy and the chicken skin was light in flavour and crunchy. The tastes of the consommé were light with notes of smooth tomato and less distinct parmesan. The pickled cucumber was a good refreshing additive that made the dish more interesting.
This dish consisted of barramundi accompanied by a crab ravioli and topped with a corn and crab froth. The barramundi was cooked right such that it was not tough or overcooked. The crab ravioli consisted of fresh, soft textured, and light flavoured crab covered by a “pastry” that tasted more like a soft and light omelette. I did like the subtle and well matched texture of the overall ravioli.
The froth was light in texture and flavour and the dish was accompanied by pieces of corn kernels and peas.
Pork, pineapple and brandade
The pork was tender and seasoned which included a reasonable amount of salt thus bringing out the flavour of the pork and making it far from being bland and dry. The pork was accompanied by a light tempura battered ball of soft barramundi, and pineapple. Shaved pork crackling was also sprinkled over the top of the dish.
Being a fan of nicely done pork, I was glad the pork was done well without being too fatty. The soft barramundi tempura ball was also really smooth and subtle tasting with only a slight hint of the “fish” taste of the barramundi.
Lamb, ricotta and eggplant
The lamb was very tender (I am a fan of rare/medium-rare and tender red meat) and placed on a small bed of pureed eggplant. A piece of gnocchi that was light and fluffy with a slight lemon taste sat beside the lamb, and then the dish was sprinkled with a light, crumbly ricotta.
Beef, bordelaise and carrot
Starting to get quite satisfied with the amount of food already served, the next course was another red meat. Its main beef component was an aged and grain fed sirloin that was cooked rare to medium-rare and tender. The beef was topped with thin slices of bone marrow and topped with a beef filled and rolled pastry. The dish was served with nicely peeled, carved, and shaped baby carrots, bordelaise and topped with a potato sprinkle.
Lemongrass and lime
The palate cleanser was light and fluffy lemongrass and lime sherbet that was very refreshing and not as temperature contrasting on the mouth or teeth as say a frozen sorbet. We were amply refreshed and cleansed enough after this to say “Bring on the dessert!”
Cheese course (Optional) - $10-15 per 25g
To accompany your meal, Restaurant Amuse offers servings of cheese from its trolley of carefully pre-selected cheeses. Each cheese is picked for its own distinctive taste and to offer diners a good variety – from creamy, to light, to blue vein and heavy strong cheeses. The cheeses on offer varied from Australian and imported.
At this stage, knowing I had a pre-dessert and dessert to come, I didn’t think I needed the extra course of cheese… but I knew I wanted it. So after much discussion and indecisiveness over the cheeses on offer, we made two choices – the Taleggio and an Australian goat’s cheese. The Taleggio was a very “meaty” cheese with a strong cheese flavour. The goat’s cheese was in comparison mild and light but had a distinct but light goats milk taste.
No, the cheese course was not regretted!
White chocolate, vanilla and walnut
The pre-dessert was smooth vanilla and walnut ice-creams topped with light white chocolate and surrounded by shaved walnut. The dessert also had drops of a light, soft and creamy chocolate and small little lemon flavoured soft jelly drops that added some contrast and a refreshing taste to the overall pre-dessert such that I could easily have more knowing I had a main dessert to come.
Honeycomb, caramel and malt
The dessert consisted of honeycomb parfait and a malt ice cream quenelle on a base of salted caramel and decorated with aerated chocolate. The taste combinations between the very sweet but also salted caramel and the smooth, soft parfait and ice cream matched very nicely.
At this stage, reflecting on the meal, I have the impression that Chef Troy does like to dabble a bit in contrasting and complimenting flavours. I do respect chefs that think outside the box, and even more so when they pull it off well.
The petit four consisted of 3 items: a dark chocolate filled with a creamy and soft white centre, a Baileys truffle, and a light moist honey flavoured cake on a chilled plate made from granite. I am pleased that Restaurant Amuse uses matching temperature plates for the courses (e.g. to prevent ice cream and chocolate prematurely melting).
The petit four was also served with a choice of coffee or tea.
By the time we finished our meal, which was about 3.5 hours after we began, our bellies were very satisfied and I was ready to hit the hay.
In summary, Restaurant Amuse’s degustation is an experience of expertly prepared food and great service. My experience is that weeknight dining at Restaurant Amuse is more relaxed than the busier weekends.
Points to note: Restaurant Amuse only offers a degustation menu. The dishes that comprise the degustation menu are constantly changing – after a month you can expect all the courses to be different. The full degustation takes approximately 3.5 hours, is quite satisfying and can be matched to 7 tasting pours of wine, or if you prefer there is a wine list. Remember to make a reservation.
Go for: One of the best overall restaurant experiences in
(08) 9325 4900
Tuesday to Friday: from 7pm