Restaurant Amusé, Perth WA

Restaurant Amusé (click here for website)
64 Bronte Street
East Perth WA 6004

P: +61 8 9325 4900
F: +61 8 9325 4599

Menu: The Restaurant only offers a dégustation menu priced at $125 per person for food only with wine-matching at the additional cost of $70 per person (pricing as at November 2010)

*we dined there in September 2010

Beetroot, Coffee and Cocoa

Ok this post is incredibly late! But confound procrastination, I must post about one of the best dining experiences J and I had on our wedding anniversary trip to Perth last September. J booked us a table at Restaurant Amusé which appeared in the Australian Gourmet Traveller’s 2011 Restaurant Guide as WA’s highly rated restaurant: they were awarded 2 stars. Of course at that time, J & I were oblivious to the number of accolades they’ve garnered. He googled for a fine-dining restaurant in Perth and Restaurant Amusé came up tops in the search results: I was too busy finishing up my assignments to bother researching so he took reigns of the entire trip. Boy were we in for a treat: we were utterly flabbergasted with our 10 course dégustation meal and can I just commend the team for such excellent service!

Restaurant Amusé is the brainchild of husband and wife team; head chef  Hadleigh Troy and Carolynne Troy who leads the front of house team providing impeccable, professional and highly attentive service. Chef Hadleigh Troy has under his belt, several years of training and experience with some of the big names in the culinary world; Philippe Mouchel who trained under the legendary french chef Paul Bocuse as well as working at  two Michelin starred restaurants in London, UK. Click here to read more about Chef Hadleigh Troy.

Converted from a corner suburbian house that looks rather old-fashioned from the outside, it was a different world altogether once we stepped inside. The dining room reminded me of a modern art gallery; lots of space, wall framed by large abstract paintings and stone/tile wall art decor, the overall colour scheme is charcoal brown, contrasted by tables laid with white linen and equally stylish white chairs. And I suspect that they’ve cleverly matched some of their crockery to the charcoal wall colour as well. Nicely done!

Before I present the food, I must apologise; see, we typed in notes onto J’s phone – minute details of the dishes, how it looked, the garnishes, the subtle flavours but it was (excuse me while I scream—>ARGAHRGAGRA!!), tragically erased when J reformatted his phone 🙁  Well, my fault as well for leaving this post till now. The whole dining experience was outstanding and some dishes left an imprint in my cerebal recesses; it was that awesome! But the notes will definitely come in handy for better descriptions that will do justice to Chef Hadleigh and his outstanding creations. So excuse me if I don’t remember in detail what microherb or seed went into what etc. I’ll let the photos do most of the talking.

First up, compliments of the house, were the Snacks:

Grissini sticks wrapped with cured beef (wagyu I think) that resembled prosciutto, served with some cumin scented labneh (yoghurt) and liver pâté atop paper thin brick pastry. Very tasty and I remember thinking the labneh was well balanced; you could taste the acidity as well as the cumin spice finished off with good olive oil. This was accompanied by the second part of the Amuse Bouche:

Salt and Vinegar Chips! except that the vinegar takes the form of a very airy foam dip for the paper thin fried slices of potato.

And now for the first course on the menu:

1st Course – Marron, Lemon & Dill

Chunky pieces of grilled or pan-fried marron scented with lemon and served with dill puree. The flavour of the lemon and dill puree were quite subtle but that allowed the sweetness of the marron flesh to shine!

Pictured here again is our 2nd course of Beetroot, Coffee and Cocoa – balls of perfectly cooked beetroot, its earthy flavour and sweetness went surprisingly well with the roasted bittersweetness of ground coffee and cocoa and then further complemented by the creaminess of the mozarella (i think its mozarella and not fetta – darn it! I need my notes). I thoroughly enjoyed this dish; seriously it could pass for dessert but it was so good!

3rd course – Crab, Bacon & Sweetcorn

Oh kill me please! I can’t remember what stock went into this delicate dish but it was so good that J and I barely uttered a word to each other throughout the course. I should have taken a photo before the staff poured what I think is crab essence or broth into different layers of bacon foam, corn puree, shredded meat of spanner crab and dotted with not caviar as that lump of black might suggest, but sago tinted with squid ink. Gosh! Once that stock was poured in, it became this magical broth that tasted so divine; all 3 elements of crab, bacon and sweetcorn shone through. This was served with prawn toast.

4th course – Snapper, Hazelnut & Bone Marrow

Ahhhhh..this was such a delight to eat; perfectly cooked very meaty goldband snapper dusted with nori flakes adorn with if I’m not wrong, brick bread dusted with bone marrow. It was incredibly crunchy! Love the fish, the flavours (I remember because this was another no-words-but-ngom-ngom-ngom session for J & I)  but can’t remember where the hazelnut came in and what broth the fish was sitting on.

5th course – Pork, Scallop & Pineapple

Drool!! I remember this dish – tender melt in the mouth pork belly with crispy light as a feather crackling, crowned with dehydrated buerre noisette (burnt butter) served with seared scallop, compressed pineapples and I think a pineapple and (sage?) sauce. The pork was bordering towards being a bit rich for me but the texture of fat and meat was superb; I guess I could do with a smaller bite. I know J enjoyed it tremendously!

6th course – Duck, Squid & Croquant

Ok…I’m hopeless, my memory is failing. What I do remember is the staff explaining to me house-cured slices of duck meat with fine slices of squid, a crispy springroll encasing shredded duck, served with mushroom duxelle because I remember the earthy flavours and confirmed that it was indeed mushroom duxelle. That erm..square piece of green in the corner? That’s herb jelly. No idea what the dome at the front of the plate is made up of but yes, there were lots of things happening on this plate.

7th course – Passionfruit, Grapefruit & Coconut

This made a sensational palate cleanser! Basically, the chef popped some passionfruit pulp into a Soda Stream which turns it into a fizzy delight. Imagine, a passionfruit already has so much zing to its flavour – hey let’s give it a fizzy kick! This was served with coconut wafer or biscuit topped with grapefruit foam.

And now for the best part of our night – the desserts that blew my mind; playfully presented and flavours that totally hit the spot!

Fairy Floss?!! Nay my friend. It is a very special fairy floss because tucked within are hidden treasures

I give you Strawberries, Mascaporne & Blood Orange

Yeah, I think I had a very skeptical but curious look on my face when this dessert was laid before me. Candy floss? Puzzled expressions dissipated when the staff poured a small amount of bloodorange sauce onto the candy floss and what do you think happened?! That cottony puff dissolved to reveal hidden delights of macerated strawberries and a quenelle of mascaporne ice-cream/sorbet and cream. This plate above belonged to J, he pushed half of the fairy floss aside for the photo then let it sink magically into the liquid. Oh I could just clap my hands in glee like a kid; sweet, sour, ice-cold, creamy citrusy..ahhh..bliss….

And now for the Grand Finale, the mother of all desserts I’ve ever had and it looks SO unassuming when it arrived on a stone plate, the waiting staff grasping, on his other hand a mysterious looking bowl of swirling vapour. Liquid Nitrogen? Ooooooooo………

The Grand Finale: Honey, Thyme & Milk

Oh..I’m so in love with this last dish; the room faded away, the other patrons, decor..everything else faded away into oblivion – it was just me and my plate of Honey, Thyme and Milk. For a good few minutes, there was nothing but the sound of me crunching away on the flash frozen (in liquid nitrogen) sweet milk crumbs spooned by the waiting staff onto a plate of honey soaked sponge cubes, quenelle of honey milk ice cream and a thyme sorbet to offset some of the sweetness. J was very quiet too, polishing off this superb dish!

The restaurant had one more treat to accompany our selection of tea or coffee and that came in the form of:

Petit Four: In-house made Orange Marshmallows and Chocolate Truffles (with Baileys I think) sitting on cocoa nibs.

Now I know what non-commercial marshmallows taste like – sublime! almost like eating a cloud!

Oh and we’re not finished yet! The wait staff informed us that little frangipane almond tarts are being  baked. Talk about being fed well! 😉

Well that wraps up a very impressive meal from the talented Chef Hadleigh Troy. Thumbs up to the entire team for a night that completely delighted the tastebuds matched by excellent service! If you ever head to Western Australia, make sure you make a stop at this very fine establishment; as Carolynne Troy mentioned when she paused to chat with us, her husband gets a buzz experimenting and when he does there’s no stopping him, so menus constantly change with his brilliant fresh ideas using the very best of seasonal produce.

Oh and next time, I’m bringing a pen and a notepad! Humph!

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