Restaurant and food reviews from Perth, Australia

Monday, March 28, 2011

1907 Restaurant, Perth

1907 reviews; 1907 Restaurant reviews
Discretely tucked away on Queen Street is 1907 Restaurant - a charming restaurant that offers fine dining away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

1907 is decorated with a mix of old world (think Victorian era, post Victorian and post federation) and contemporary plush furnishings, and completed with black and white photos by American photographer Murray Garrett.  For a restaurant that has a simple street facade and no windows, it does look quite impressive inside.

In March 2011, or more specifically the Eat Drink Perth month, 1907 is offering a special three course menu on Tuesdays to Thursdays for an affordable (in terms of fine dining) $59.  Each course had three options and the choice to be matched with wine for an extra $40.

The menu starts with 1907's special degustation menu and is followed by a mix of modern meat and seafood dishes as well as the odd vegetarian dish.  Prices of mains are mainly in the forties.  To complement the food, 1907 offers an extensive drink list: with a handful of whites and reds, a decent selection of wines (including some half bottles) from around Australia backed up by a few international selections, beers, spirits, and an excellent cocktail menu brought up from 1907's cocktail bar situated below the restaurant.

Seared yellowfin tuna - $26

Our first entree was the seared yellowfin tuna - lightly seared slices that were dressed in nam jim, and served with a slice of grilled watermelon as well as cucumber and fresh coconut salad.  To be honest, the combined flavours of the dish didn't excite me as much as the menu description, and in particular the spicy chilli nam jim seemed quite powerful for the tuna.  However, the tuna was cooked perfectly - rare.

The salad with its fresh slices of vegetables dressed with a pickled flavour was refreshing.  Lastly, the bright red watermelon slice was delicately prepared, retaining a good watermelon sweetness enhanced by the grilling.

Ginger glazed Berkshire pork belly - $27

Our second entree was a visually impressive pork belly dish surrounded by spicy Asian flavours (prawn & peanut sambal, black garlic, chilli vinegar, soy beans, baby coriander shoots).  Apart from also having a fair amount of just about overpowering chilli surrounding the pork, the combined flavours from the well matched prawn to the garlic and coriander gave a burst of welcome flavour to the tastebuds.  The tender and fat proportioned pork itself was also well marinated making this a tasty pork entree.

Cape Grim, grass fed Black Angus tenderloin 200g - $42

Although there was a fish and risotto option for this special Eat Drink Perth menu, the steak main course looked so good on the menu we couldn't get past it.

A black Angus tenderloin ordered medium rare, the steak was very tender and literally melted in the mouth.  A moat of red wine jus added more moisture and rich flavour to the already tender steak, whilst strong thyme and rosemary flavoured crumbs gave this dish more of a roast beef touch.  Although well made additions, these elements almost detracted from the quality of this steak for me.  However, I am a big fan of an amazing steak with something simple like horseradish cream and some sides, but the horseradish mousse was barely noticeable in this dish.

Overall though, this was an excellent cut of steak cooked perfectly.

Strawberries poached & raw, puree & sorbet, vanilla bavarois, crystallized violets - $17

Strangely (well at least for me) this was an unexpected highlight of the night.  I’m not usually one who orders strawberry desserts but this one hit the spot for me.  The sorbet was very smooth, rich in strawberry flavour and low in the otherwise bluntness of ice texture and taste.  Mixed with the creamy and rich, yet light vanilla bavarois, crunchy violets, and sweet strawberry puree, this combination is probably one of the best sweet and refreshing strawberry desserts I’ve tasted.

65% Dark Chocolate marquise - 17

1907’s take on chocolate, this dessert brought French style chocolate elements into this rich dessert.  The dark chocolate marquise was sweet, rich and chocolately for a mousse, and cutting through  it was like cutting through light cream, and melted in the mouth quickly like fairy floss.  Delicious.  The chocolate tuile was light and paper thin, broke apart like a snowflake and also melted in the mouth.

The lemon cheesecake on the other hand was a quenelle of relatively hard and heavy cheesecake to contrast the delicate textures of the chocolate that I thought was a little strange (I could have done with more of that marquise).

Finished off with welcome fresh blueberries, this was a nice, different chocolate dessert.

Petit fours of chocolate and marshmallow

In summary, 1907 Restaurant provides an experience of plush old world charm meshed with amazing black and white photos and contemporary touches.  The food, however, is contemporary fine dining and the service is friendly and attentive.

Points to note: 1907 Restaurant is offering a $59 three course special for Tuesday to Thursdays in March 2011.  In addition to the charming fine dining restaurant, 1907 has a cocktail bar situated below the restaurant that makes for a sophisticated bar experience. 

Go for: Fine dining with a bit of old world charm in a plush luxurious atmosphere

1907 Restaurant
Alleyway, 26 Queen Street
Perth WA 6000
(08) 9436 0233

Trading Hours
Lunch - Tuesday to Friday from 12.00 pm
Dinner - Tuesday to Saturday from 6.00 pm

1907 on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Quarter, Perth

The Quarter restaurant Perth review; Wesley Quarter restaurant
Already a recipient of a star in the inaugural Perth Good Food Guide, The Quarter comes with high expectations.  Its modern British cuisine headed up by chef Shannon Wilson has already won positive comments from a few of my friends let alone Perth food critics.

Despite being in the centre of the business and shopping district of the city, the dim candlelit dining room tucked away behind the old Wesley Church created a very intimate atmosphere.  The Quarter’s fitout looks relatively simple, but completely clean, modern and stylish.  It’s a bit of a classy yet comfortable gem in the heart of the city.

The service from the wait staff varies on the actual staff member.  On previous occasions I've been impressed with the quality of the wait staff, with their great attitude that was friendly and helpful.  I felt that the regular wait staff that have served me previously gave a great level of service, however perhaps some of the newer staff are just a little less friendly and helpful but that’s not to say the service was anything less than adequate.

Tasting plate for two - $30

The chilled gaspacho was light and tangy, offering a little something to start that both refreshed the palate and left it wanting for more.

The pork with crisp piece of crostini style bread had the texture of soft canned tuna, but with a mild pork taste and was quite light on the palate.

Lastly, packing the strongest hit to the palate, was the goats cheese salad.  The goats cheese had a texture like soft cheese portions made for crackers and had a strong salty cheese flavour.  The walnuts and grapes accompanying the salad added welcome taste and texture to the otherwise strong cheese.

Lamb assiette - $39

Probably the signature dish of The Quarter is the lamb assiette (otherwise known as lamb three ways).

Starting with the slow cooked shoulder, the lamb was uniformly cooked with the tender meat easily tearing away from the attractive cylindrical shape.  The lamb was flavoursome and easily enhanced with the slightly creamy spinach puree.

The lamb rack was one of the ribs off the rack.  Mind you, having the whole rack on this plate would have made it a big meal in itself.  However, true to its description, the lamb was cooked as a rack and coming medium rare was tender and just about melted in my mouth.

The Quarter’s take on the traditional shepherd’s pie saw a reasonably lean mince lamb “filling” placed at the base of a bowl that was of a great consistency gourmet flavour, but had a bit too much salt for my tastebuds.  However saying that, I haven't heard anyone else have an issue about the salt in this otherwise excellent dish so perhaps mine had a bit of an accident?  The filling was topped with a decent amount of silky smooth mash that brought together the shepherd’s pie.

Slow cooked pork belly - $35

As expected, the pork belly skin was audibly crunchy.  Tick.  The pork meat itself was quite moist but I felt it needed the accompanying cider jus and apple & sage crumble.  The apple and sage crumble gave the pork a sweet accompaniment that works well with pork, though I could have done with a sweeter punch from the apple.

The potato fondant was delicious.  It was buttery, well seasoned, and had the texture of golden roast potato slices.

Broccolini, herb butter - $8.50

Fresh broccolini was blanched and flavoured with a light herb butter making this dish taste healthier than “butter” normally suggests.

Rocket & parmesan salad, balsamic dressing - $8.50

Shaved parmesan and sweet and thick creamed balsamic gave this fresh rocket salad a nice sweet and salt combination.

Valrhona chocolate tart, passion fruit cream - $14

Quality Valrhona rich chocolate tart.  Could any chocoholic complain?  The rich and thick Valhrona chocolate mix was utterly smooth, had the texture of a thick and rich cheesecake, and a chocolate punch to rival a decadent rich dark chocolate mud cake.

To tone all that rich chocolately goodness back a bit, the mildly flavoured passionfruit (juice and seed) infused cream was light and refreshing.

Orange crème brulee, hazelnut shortbread - $13

I’m not really a fan of adding citrus to my crème brulee (I’d rather add liquer) but this crème brulee was good.  The crème brulee was smooth and creamy and had a good amount of sweetness that was lifted by the tang of orange.

Overall, The Quarter lives up to the reputation already built.  The food is prepared to very high standards and makes for some great flavour combinations.  The atmosphere is stylish and the candlelight ambience just sets the mood.

Points to note:  Remember to book ahead as The Quarter is very busy and I understand there Friday and Saturdays are booked ahead for a couple of months.

Go for:  Intimate fine dining in the city.

The Quarter
Shop 10
93-95 William Street
(08) 9322 2424

Trading Hours
Monday - 7am to 3pm
Tuesday to Friday - 7am to late
Saturday - 6pm to late

The Quarter on Urbanspoon