restaurant amusé – east perth

Disclaimer: Apologies for the lackluster photos…dim lighting + food + dodgy camera =  embarrassingly bad pictures.

Hadleigh..you are a man after my own heart.

After the disastrous birthday lunch with Lily Munster at The Garden, we decided to throw caution (and wallets) to the wind…and splurge out on the infamous Restaurant Amusé for dinner.

Located in East Perth, Amusé is helmed by the ultra talented Hadleigh Troy, whose previous history reads like a who’s who of kitchen royalty. The front of house is managed by his wife Carolynne who has done a most commendable job honing the skills of Perth’s best FOH team.

Originally a Perth boy, Hadleigh trained at both Jackson’s and The Loose Box…the creme de la creme of the Perth fine dining scene. His astronomical rise continued with stints in Melbourne’s Langton’s Restaurant and London’s Michelin starred Greenhouse. Hadleigh was then responsible for opening up La Noisette in Knightsbridge (in association with Gordan Ramsay Holdings). La Noisette received a Michelin star no more than four months after opening.

It’s safe to say…expectations were high.

Calling up (from The Garden) at around 3pm, we were delightfully surprised when we were informed that a table was available for dinner that evening. At this point, the lovely woman on the phone asked if we were aware of their degustation only policy and if there were any food allergies.

I may have lied and said there were none….. oh dairy allergy, you are the consummate party pooper.

Pulling up at around 7.30pm (doors open at 7pm)…I was slightly wary of the fact that the building Amusé is housed in is more befitting of an over 55s “lifestyle” village than the gastronomic mecca it is touted to be. With it’s terribly 70s sandy brick facade, I couldn’t help but imagine myself pottering about in a zimmerframe and reclining in a faded lazyboy whilst a matronly figure dished out gruel (albeit very fancy gruel).

I quickly dismissed this errant thought and strode in with Lily, only to be greeted by a line of immaculately presented waitstaff decked out in matching aprons. To my delight, the interior bore no resemblance to it’s modest front (as expected). I particularly appreciated the Eames style chairs (Hello Modern Furniture Fairy, I want 3 of those…)

As we sat down, we noticed the equally talented husband and wife team from The Gala Restaurant, Hans and Marianne, dining next to us. Lily and I sauntered over to say hello (Herman and Lily are good acquaintances of them and regulars at their restaurant). Both of them assured us that the food was amazing.

Excellent! What better indication is there of a restaurant’s calibre than than two highly regarded German Masterchefs entertaining their overseas guests there on their night off!

After being asked the obligatory still or sparking question, a lovely young Irish lad (I’m coining him ‘Danny Boy’) sauntered over with a stone slab of Canapes to go with our aperitifs. Unfortunately, though I can’t fault his service, he had a rather strong accent and as a result I only caught half of what he was saying. S understood perfectly (having Irish blood) but couldn’t repeat anything as he had no idea what anything was….Lily caught nothing.

Anyway, my attempt at translating for Lily went along the lines of this:

“Lemon something grissini with cured beef, labne with honey something something and cumin scented bits of something”.

I apologise profusely…..

The labne had a lovely balance between creaminess and acidity and the cured beef was wonderfully soft and flavoursome (canapes pictured above).

We ordered a bottle of Louis Boillot Perle d’Ivoit Blanc de Blanc (aka “that French sparkling”) to quaff with our dinner as the last time I had a wine matched degustation I was so sloshed by the 5th or 6th course that I wandered into the wrong bathroom and had to spend the rest of the night eating dinner next to a slightly obese older gentleman with the full knowledge that I had caught a glimpse of his peepee….a fine dining experience that maketh not.

Soon after drinks were poured, another member of the FOH team materialized at our table and gave us a seamlessly polished introductory spiel. We were informed our options were the full Degustation which contained 10 courses or the Petite Degustation that contained 5 courses (with bigger portions).

Being a school night, we opted for the latter.

First up was the Amuse Bouche. The term Amuse Bouche translates literally to “mouth amuser”….and did it ever. Again the Irish waiter was responsible for the accompanying explanation but thankfully I was ready for him this time. Served in a quaint glass plate only befitting for the smallest of hors d’oeuvres was a concoction consisting of white chocolate ganache, frozen foie gras, lumpfish caviar and salmon roe. (As for the photo…pretend it’s magic eye or something)

I think it’s safe the say that I have never experienced such bold flavour combinations before. It was rich, sweet, salty and creamy all at the same time. At the risk of offending fellow gourmands, it really was a “party in my mouth”.. with all of my tastebuds invited. The effect of the salty roe bubbles bursting on the white chocolate ganache was an experience I don’t think I would have found appealing on paper…but strangely enough it worked, a hint of bigger and better things to come.

The first course of the evening was the Tuna, Watermelon and Horseradish. Danny explained that it consisted of bluefin tuna with watermelon, horseradish granita and microleaves of celery, mint and watercress.

Excuse me Mr Tuna…you appear to be masquerading as a cube of watermelon….

What an absolute illusory delight this dish was….in the dim lighting, the perfectly cut cubes of tuna looked deceptively like pieces of watermelon resting on a thinly sliced carpaccio of tuna (which coincidentally turned out to be the watermelon). How fascinating! Intrigued by the dense tuna-like bit of watermelon we asked a waiter how this effect was achieved and was pleasantly surprised when he launched into a detailed explanation of how they use a VacPac machine and put the watermelon through a couple of times to compress it and achieve the “meaty” texture. Most waitstaff can barely tell you what’s in the pasta sauce let alone be versed on the finer points of kitchen technique. Kudos to Carolynne for her expertly trained team. I must mention that not only were they well informed, they were all extremely enthusiastic and friendly. It’s like they’d all been dipped in a vat of Pollyanna juice.

The combination of the icy horseradish with the fresh off the ocean tuna was sumptously refreshing and resembled a decidedly futuristic sashimi dish.

The next dish of Barramundi, Squid and Mojama was as equally impressive as the first. On a bit of what (again) deceptively looked like arroz negra (squid ink risotto) rested some cauliflower puree, the most perfectly cooked hunk of fish I have ever had, white anchovies, confit tomatoes, thinly sliced serrano ham and a piece of mojama (salt cured tuna).

As mentioned, things aren’t what they seem at Restaurant Amuse. The “arroz negra” actually comprised of very finely chopped pieces of squid, cut to resemble grains of rice (therefore removing the “arroz” from the “arroz negra” in question…oh I pity you commis chef!).

Despite the long and complicated list of ingredients…the blend of flavours was exquisite and can I mention again how perfectly cooked the fish was?! It fell apart with the gentlest nudge of my fork. There is nothing worse than overcooked fish and I often avoid ordering white fish for this reason.

Devan at Bowl of Honey, who was lucky enough to attend Hadleigh’s masterclass has a more detailed explanation of the cooking process in his super informative post.

Up next came the Beef, Bordelaise and Carrot. Carolynne served this course and informed us it was MSA Graded Cape Grimm Beef from Tasmania. S and I exchanged sneaky looks and nodded in solemn acknowledgement as S’s friend is responsible for importing the said beef into WA and we have been lucky enough to receive a few samples in our time. As expected the beef was melt-in-the-mouth perfect and in my opinion, much better than Wagyu. The mouthwatering bovine was topped with a crumbed ball of bone marrow and two perfectly sculpted pieces of carrot that were bursting with flavour. I suspect they had been gently bathed in stock of some description.

As for the marrow ball, it was well spiced and sinfully delicious. I’m sure Hadleigh would be mortified if he read this but it reminded me slightly of a very very high end piece of popcorn chicken. Shhh…

Then came our pre-dessert, and S’s favourite dish of the night….White Chocolate, Vanilla and Walnut. This consisted of a duo of vanilla and walnut ice-creams freshly made inhouse sitting on a bank of white chocolate crumbs which again deceptively masqueraded as nuts (hmm my food is playing dress-ups…Amusé-ing indeed). Again for a detailed explanation of how this was made check out Devan’s post. The only difference between our pre-desserts I think was the addition of little caramel toffee drops in ours.

Finally, the showstopper finale…passionfruit bavarois with coconut espuma and guava sorbet wrapped in a “passionfruit strap”. Drizzled over this masterpiece was a sexy stream of basil seeds. This wonderful concoction was undoubtably the best dessert I’ve had…I’m a very very big fan of sour desserts and this married the bridge between sour and sweet seamlessly. The basil seeds added an exotically different element to the dish.

A couple of days on and Lily and I are still gushing about the experience. Restaurant Amusé is without a doubt, entirely deserved of all their accolades and awards. The food was edgy without going over the edge, the techniques incomparable to anywhere else in Perth and the service second to none.

4.5 out of 5 Golden Spoons (I don’t think I can give a 5 spooner just yet…I’m not ready…I haven’t tried everything! At least for the moment, 4.5 is the highest possible rating)

$$$$

Restaurant Amusé

64 Bronte Street

East Perth

T: 08 9325 4900

W: http://www.restaurantamuse.com.au


Restaurant Amuse on Urbanspoon

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Comments
3 Responses to “restaurant amusé – east perth”
  1. captainoneeye says:

    Your words accommodated the pics well…I captured some beauties (pics) when I dined at Attica a couple of weeks ago and would have kicked myself if they had not been up to the money.

  2. retromony says:

    We’re planning a night there this month 🙂 Great review and now I really can’t wait to go!

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