Restaurant and food reviews from Perth, Australia

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Just Bar, Como

Just Bar Restaurant Como reviews, Just Wine and Tapas Bar Como reviews
I'm sure I've heard it's healthier to eat smaller portions of food over longer periods of times.  Grazing over multiple meals over a day is something I've become accustomed to, and I think I've even heard someone allude to the hypothesis that the French are relatively thin despite their affinity for butter and cream due to the dragging out of eating meals over a longer period of time.

Tapas, like those served at Just Bar in Como, could be one way of achieving a slower meal (over some good company, and perhaps a bit of wine) and is also a great way of trying lots of different dishes without filling yourself up too quickly.  Not to mention that I'm a big fan of trying different dishes.  I just have to make sure I don't eat too much in one sitting!

Just Bar is a modern looking, yet simple and smallish restaurant that specialises in coffee, wine, and tapas.  Given I was driving and it was a Friday night when I went for my tapas grazing, I concentrated more on the tapas than the wine and coffee (well I kept it to only a couple of glasses of red).  The tapas on offer easily fit onto a page and had about ten smaller tapas (generally one piece designed for one) and half a dozen slightly larger tapas (generally designed to share).  The tapas were supported by a few dessert selections.

After the initial friendly greeting, table seating and drinks order, we found the service to be a little slow compared to what we were expecting - with a bit of a wait at times for service or wait staff being hard to get a hold of.  However, despite the somewhat inattentive service the staff were friendly and helpful when available.

Scallop - $4.50

The scallop was cooked relying on its natural taste and served with a crispy and sweetened bacon slice, or candied bacon.  The crispy and sweetened thin bacon slice did taste how I would expect bacon candy to taste: bacon and candy = yum.  I could have done with more of this.

Exmouth tiger prawns with paprika - $9

This single prawn was grilled with head and tail intact, and served with a chilli salsa.  The prawn seemed a little on the overcooked side (possibly due to the grilling process) and the chilli salsa seemed a little powerful for the subtle sweet taste of prawns.

Rabbit Terrine - $10

The terrine of rabbit showed chunks of meat when broken apart, was a mild taste with seasoning, and served cold.  Accompanying the terrine was a red capsicum jam, light mustard and pickled caper berries.

Lamb cutlet - $12.50

The lamb was done close to medium and not as tender as a lamb cutlet can be.

The lamb was served with a type of herbed dressing, a bit like pesto.

Tortilla with black garlic aioli - $9

This potato tortilla tasted a bit like a potato and egg quiche.  Thin layers of potato were topped with an egg and red capsicum based mixture and cooked, chilled, and served cold.  Unfortunately, the different layers of potato slices were cooked to varying degrees, some cooked soft and some still crunchy, whilst the overall taste of the tortilla seemed bland and lacking much flavour.

Spiced chicken wings with red onion jam - $7.50

The spiced chicken wings were nicely cooked and juicy.  Marinated with very mild spices and some salt they had a good balance of chicken wing flavour and added spice.

The red onion jam was a sweet caramelised red onion and red capsicum chutney like jam that was very strong in flavour.  Personally, I thought the chicken wings didn't need this red onion jam and could have done with something lighter as opposed to a sauce that could pretty much cover the taste of the chicken wings.             

Grilled Baramundi - $12

The barramundi was cooked perfectly.  The fish was cooked with the inside remaining so lightly cooked it was very tender, and the skin was very crispy.  There wasn't a lot of added flavour to the barramundi apart from crispy slices of shaved garlic but as the fish was cooked so well I forgot the need for sauce.

Duck rillette - $4.50

The duck rillette was quite salty but I guess rillette more often than not is.  However, the crisp bread base when eaten with the duck rillette was a nice appetiser like snack.

Patatas Bravas

Slices of potato were lightly covered in a paprika mix, roasted, and covered with a quite spicy chilli tomato based sauce.  Though the potatoes were cooked till they were soft, they weren’t crunchy – perhaps I’m used to my potato chips, roast potatoes or even a potato dauphinoise.

Frozen nougat - $15

This frozen nougat had the taste of nougat but the texture of cassata, much like a hard ice cream but still smooth in texture.  It was set on top of what tasted like a strawberry and orange juice jelly and topped with a frozen strawberry tasting top layer.  Quite a different dessert, the flavours combined to provide a sugar hit that was also somewhat refreshing.

The nougat was served with a strawberry sorbet that was mild in both strawberry flavour and sweetness generally, as well as rocky road, and chocolate crumbs.

In summary, Just Bar is a different tapas experience which for me was a bit of hit and miss.  However, the combination of some tapas alongside some wine and coffee isn't a bad proposition for a casual meal where you want to graze whilst relaxing to a casually served meal.

Points to note: As a tapas bar, there are tapas that vary greatly in sizes - from small single serving tapas to larger share-tapas.  There are a few vegetarian options available but not a large choice.

Go for: Tapas, coffee and wine of course.

Just Bar
20 Preston Street
Como WA 6152
(08) 9474 1977

Trading Hours
Mon,and Wed to Sun 7:30am-11:30pm

Just Bar on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

That terrine looks okay but a lot of the dishes seemed to have for unnecessary sauces, did you think that aswell?

I also noticed that you used the terrine picture where the nougat picture was meant to go :)

Adrian (The Editor) said...

Hi Simon

Thanks for picking that up. I guess that's what happens when I blog past midnight!

With the sauces, yes I totally agree - I felt that the very spicy and strong capsicum sauces were either not necessary or they should have used something that didn't cover the taste of the main ingredient.

Veronica Weatherby said...

To be honest, the restaurant has aroused some curiosity in me. The place seems to have a good ambiance but what do you exactly mean with their staff? Do you think they are not accommodating enough?

The grilled shrimp and the potato tortilla was among my favorite and by the time I reached the image of the spiced chicken wings, I was already drooling.

I'm kind of surprised with rabbit terrine? What does it taste like exactly?

Adrian (The Editor) said...

Hi Veronica

I actually preferred the scallop, lamb with pesto and the dessert over the shrimp (the way the prawn was cooked and the sauce didn't do much for me), and the tortilla's inconsistency in the potato slices and that I felt it needed more seasoning made the tortilla not as enjoyable for me.

If you haven't had a terrine before, it was like a cold loaf of torn up rabbit meat seasoned and cooked so it wasn't heavy (or too meaty if there's such a thing?) and the meat was tender and broke away easily. It also wasn't too gamey like rabbit can be.

As for the staff, I felt they were definitely accommodating - it's just that at times it would be hard to get their attention as they didn't seem to check or look around very much (eg the time between our drinks order and food order felt very long, especially since we were hungry).