Archive for the 'Fine Dining' Category



The Goose Cafe @ Busselton

The trip to Busselton/Margaret River was so long ago (back in September 2009!) that it now remains a distant, fuzzy memory. But ask me about the highlight of the trip and I would say‘The Goose Café’ which remains a clear beacon of our long weekend Down South.

The Goose Café is conveniently located opposite the famous Busselton Jetty. But the gorgeous views and great location was lost on us because we couldn’t see much of it that night.

The café itself wasn’t even near Bistro Felix in terms of fine dining surroundings, but the service was pretty good, the atmosphere was warm and friendly and most importantly, the food was delicious.

Before the trip, A said to me firmly ‘ If venison is on the menu, order it’. So I knew I had to order the Margaret River venison which came on a bed of risotto. I don’t remember much about the venison but I know it was tender and well cooked, not seasoned enough but the sauce made up for it. The risotto itself was nice but it wasn’t wow.

But my ‘award winning’ (not sure what award)  seafood chowder which came with a chockful of seafood including snapper, tiger prawns, scallops, mussels and a cured salmon crostini ($37.50) was wow. It was beautiful and exactly what I expected a really good seafood chowder to taste like. The chowder was creamy but yet not overly thick and of the right consistency, The seafood was fresh, the broth so tasty and flavorful that we lapped up every drop and mopped it up with the crostini. So good we were smiling from ear to ear. Richard loved the scallops so much that now whenever we eat scallops he’ll say ‘can’t compare to the scallops at The Goose’.

Our dessert was the chocolate fondant with vanilla icecream. It was sinfully rich, chocolatey and sweet, sweet, sweet. Perfect end to the night.

Why was the night so memorable? Could have been because it was the first night of our long weekend and we were floating on air. Maybe it was the bottle of sweet white wine that we shared. Could be the magical atmosphere that permeated the entire night which started from dressing up in our finest and getting lost but happily finding our way through the trusty GPS. But personally I think it was the food and being with a fellow foodie, someone who is as enthusiastic as you are about fresh seafood, experimenting seasonal product, discussing cooking techniques and dissecting magical sauces. Eating good food was fantastic, but sharing good food with a fellow foodie was even better.

Daitaoha ratings:

Food: 8/10

Service: 7/10

The Goose Cafe
Geographe Bay Rd
Busselton WA 6280
(08) 9754 7700

Bistro Felix

Bistro Felix, or Atlantic as it was known back then, was one of the first fine dining restaurants that I dined at in Perth. I remember sharing a lovely and generous seafood platter for two and feeling like a duck out of water amongst the men in suits and fine dressed ladies.

Fast forward many years, Bistro Felix has changed ownership, the interior has been repainted and is dark wood elegant. I’m feeling a lot more comfortable in fine dining surroundings but still worry that I may break a wine glass or two. The surroundings are dim, refined and quiet, the tables candlelit and romantic, quiet couples are dotted around and yes, they still dress up here.

We were served complimentary bread rolls with butter at the start, there’s something about butter at fine dining establishments, they always taste exceptionally good and Bistro Felix’s butter and bread wasn’t an exception.

I already knew what Richard was going to order. The young man is passionate about his steaks and we’re now on the hunt to find the best steaks in town. While we haven’t sampled the obvious steak experts such as Char Char Bull, Tony Roma’s, Victoria Station etc., they’re definitely on our very long list of must-eat Perth restaurants. It’s funny how so many Perth restaurants get steak wrong, I don’t really cook steaks myself, but I’m guessing the key is the timing and the right temperature, many times we’ve chewed our way through tough overdone steaks or slimy underdone steaks, I can’t decide which one’s worse. But Bistro Felix’s Harvey beef eye fillet ($42), fondant potatos, confit onions, cavalo nero, with sherry glaze was really very good. Richard’s eyes lit up and we both knew ‘finally… a good steak’.

Despite being very thick, the chef managed to cook the fillet perfectly (we asked for medium rare), the meat was blushing pink tender and succulent and the sherry glaze was the perfect accompaniment and absolutely delish.We savored every bite of this.

My choice was a healthier version of the fish of the day which was the kingfish, ratatouille, asparagus, béarnaise sauce and kipfler potato ($40). My fish was really lovely as well, everything was light, tasty and went well together.

We were both pretty stuffed but decided we couldn’t leave without trying a dessert. Whenever there’s Crème brulee on the menu, it’s a must order for us custard lovers. Our crème brulee came with almond biscotti which we used as spoons to scoop up the delectable wobbly and smooth custard. There was something special about this custard, I can’t remember, hints of peach or some kind of fruit. At one point I left to go to the ladies and I knew I hadn’t been missed while I was gone because Richard was still attacking the crème brulee with a glint of satisfaction in his eyes that he didn’t notice my return. It was actually quite funny to watch.

I should mention that the service was good, our waitress wasn’t overly friendly, but she was polite and attentive. Our entertainment card gave us ‘buy one main get one main free’ but they didn’t scratch off my card allowing us to return again, and return we shall, after we’ve made our way through the other Perth restaurants. Surely, Bistro Felix is amongst one of the best in town.

Daitaoha ratings:

Food: 7.5/10

Service: 7/10

Bistro Felix
118-120 Rokeby Rd
Subiaco 6008 WA
Phone: (08) 9388 3077
http://www.bistrofelix.com.au

C restaurant: ‘Pay what you think it’s worth’ lunch special (Sept)

C restaurant is extending its ‘pay what you think it’s worth’ lunch special till November! I’m guessing they will be changing their menu every month because their September menu is different from the August menu and in my opinion, tastes better 🙂

I have yet to blog about the August lunch where we tried every single item on the menu, but here’s a review of some of their September dishes for those that are interested to go this month. I only went this afternoon with my colleagues so these pictures are hot off the press.

Also, I was using my new camera to take the pictures. Jo, HC and H surprised me with this camera to replace my slightly wonky one last week, it was a ‘ we-know-you-will-refuse-to-get-one-so-we-got-one-for-you-instead’ present. It’s bright pink and very cheery, so thanks guys!

Please note that I’ve only just had a look at the manual and figured out how to switch off the date stamp which explains all the date stamps below (= ^___^=), also, in terms of the prices at C’s, it’s normally $45 for a 3 course lunch, we only chucked in about $20 each, hehe.

This was my manager’s entree which was potato and spinach gnocchi with a Napolitana and gorgonzola cream sauce, roasted tomatoes. She really liked this and said she liked the ‘touch of gorgonzola’ in the sauce.

prawns

T my lunch buddy had the grilled Exmouth prawns, garlic and herb butter, potato saffron pave with tomato and fennel concasse. I asked her how the potato thingy tasted like and she said it was like a polenta cake. Taste wise I think she thought it was alright, but the dish came lukewarm so she wasn’t impressed ‘they couldn’t decide whether to serve it hot or cold, but it would be nicer hot’.

risotto

Most of the hungry munchers in my team had the spring asparagus and forest mushroom risotto with crème fraiche and walnut crumble. They said it was good.

I knew I was going to order the brown sugar and lime cured salmon, avocado carpaccio with a blood orange and basil vinaigrette because I love salmon, avocado and orangey flavours, yeah, all my favs rolled into one dish. The salmon wasn’t great, avocado was well, avocado, but I still enjoyed the dish because it had some of my fav ingredients, plus the orange and basil vinaigrette was light and refreshing.

T’s main of garlic and rosemary smoked lamb shoulder with a pumpkin, English spinach,pine nut and feta salad wasn’t what I expected, I guess I was expecting a different presentation , something  like a lamb shank, but it was instead pieces of lamb tossed in a salad. She said it was nice though and I tried some of her lamb which was very tender.

D had the velvet chicken breast with kimchee cabbage, jasmine rice and a green onion sauce. I asked him for his comments and it was ‘good but not enough! I’m going to need chips afterwards!’ D is a big man who needs his meat and chips.

I was really happy that S ordered the cracked pepper Buffalo and red wine sausages, smashed potatoes, confit cherry tomato, basil pesto and roast garlic aioli because I really wanted to take a photo of the dish but thought no one would order sausages and mash for lunch, but she did! She said the sausages were lovely.

The rest of us had the crispy skinned saltwater Barramundi fillet, caponata vegetables, lemon basil aioli. Caponata is a Sicilian cooked vegetable salad made from chopped fried eggplant and celery seasoned with sweetened vinegar, and capers in a sweet and sour sauce, Z my colleague said that her impression of it was ‘veggies cooked in a pot’. I enjoyed the fish, it was simple, nicely seasoned, crispy skin, flaky texture. The vegetables were quite nice but the aioli tasted more like very thick tartare sauce with pickles. Everyone else who had the fish liked the dish too.

Dessert time also known as happy hour. Seriously, I was really stuffed by the time we reached dessert, I’m not used to such heavy lunches anymore and was starting to feel uncomfortable.

The favourite had to be the trio of ice cream filled profiteroles with chocolate sauce which was also on the August menu and the clear favourite then. Everyone just went ‘aah’ when the dish came and then there was silence as they scooped up the icecream profiteroles.

Z loves pavlovas and she really liked this pavlova with fresh seasonal fruits and a Chantilly custard cream. I am not a fan of pavlovas thinking they’re too sweet but this one was very pretty with custard in the middle, I half wished I ordered it as well. Z made little ‘ummm’ ‘goood’ noises and grunts while devouring her pavlova, so I guess that means it was great.

A and I had the vanilla bean crème brulée, blackberry compote and almond tuile. I like crème brulées because I like eggy custardy textures, this one was quite nice but I found it too sweet and a little too watery.

Close up of the crème brulée.

My colleagues were all very amused at my photo taking and A told them it’s because I have a food blog, so shy (=^^=). They asked for the address, I thought of my Grey Hoodie Boy posts and said ‘sorry, it’s kinda private’. Come to think of it, GHB has also asked for my blog address and I had to reject him. They were all really nice about it though and humoured me by letting me take all their plates before digging in.

We had a really nice lunch, service was speedy unlike the last time and the food I thought was better than the August menu. BUT .. it could be because my colleagues are much kinder food critics than my foodie friends. Overall, I wouldn’t go to C restaurant at their normal rates, the view at the revolving restaurant is great, I’m told it’s super romantic at sunset, but while their food is quite nice, it wasn’t outstanding.

Still, their lunch specials are really a great deal, I’m quite keen to find out what their October menu will be now, anyone up for an October C restaurant visit?

p/s Book in advance if you’re going for the lunch specials, they’re very popular!

Daitaoha ratings:

Food :6.5/10 daitaohas

Service 6/10 daitaohas

C Restaurant
Level 33, 44 St Georges Terrace Perth (located inbetween Barrack St & London Court)
Phone: (+61) 08 9220 8333
http://www.crestaurant.com.au


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