It Just Has To Be Delicious

Archive for December, 2017

Katsuya, Joondalup

Katsuya Japanese Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Katsuya is a fairly new Japanese restaurant/cafe in the centre of Joondalup CBD located in the Central Walk area between Reid Promenade and Boas Avenue.

It is quite spacious inside with plenty of seating, and has a busy takeaway service and a faithful lunch patronage.

The menu consists of many regular japanese starters – gyoza, spring rolls, octopus balls, agedashi tofu, crab claws etc. They also provide a range of sushi rolls, sashimi, tempura, bento boxes and katsu/teriyaki sets.

Unlicensed, there is a range of soft drinks and Asian drinks in the fridge, and the waiters are always happy to provide chilled tap water.

We chose some spring rolls and gyoza to share. There are 5 in each portion but I forgot to take the spring roll picture before we ate some.

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The spring rolls were nice, served with a sweet chilli sauce, and the gyoza were plump and juicy. A very good start.

I chose a high protein meal of agedashi tofu and mixed sashimi. The agedashi consisted of three large pieces of tofu and some tempura vegetables in a lovely tentsuyu broth. The silken tofu is dusted with potato starch and deep fried giving a lovely contrast of textures.

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The mixed sashimi was beautifully fresh and skilfully cut, served with spinach, light soy and wasabi. Some of the best sashimi I have tasted worldwide.

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My companions ate teriyaki salmon bento and a katsu curry set.

The bento boxes contained a portion of teriyaki salmon with rice, salad, edamame, and miso soup. Every element was well presented and tasty, the salmon very fresh, and the sauce sweet and luscious.

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The katsu curry was also well presented. The chicken was a nice thickness in a lovely crispy crumb with a mild and fruity flavoured curry sauce. It was accompanied by a miso soup and a bowl of salad.

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The staff at Katsuya are very helpful and willing to answer all questions about the menu. Everything is served with a smile and created with care. This restaurant serves food of a high standard and is well loved by the locals. I will definitely be a regular at Katsuya.

Sun Kwong, Whitfords Mall

Sun Kwong Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sun Kwong is a shopping mall food counter that I have been happy to use for over ten years. I tend not to have the pre-cooked dishes that are kept warm, I like to order the ‘made-to-order’ dishes such as the noodle soups and the char kway teow. You pay for them in advance and get a numbered ticket, and within ten minutes you will be given a most delicious meal.

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I would say that the char kway teow is authentic, and the wanton noodle soup delicious and nourishing. The char kway teow is certainly as good as any that I have tasted in Malaysia and Singapore.

This the wanton noodle soup – great value – lots of wantons and noodles and a delicious broth full of veggies:

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They also provide chilli oil in a little pot if you prefer things a little hotter.

The staff are friendly and helpful, and the fridge has a plentiful supply of soft drinks.

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There is always a plentiful suply of dumplings, spring rolls and dishes ready to take away.

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I definitely recommend Sun Kwong for your lunch while you are shopping at Whitfords and your ‘go to’ place for your northern suburbs char kway teow fix.

 

Hamptons, City Beach

Hamptons City Beach  Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We came to City Beach several weeks ago and visited Clancy’s which was a nice experience, so we made a special visit last week to check the menu at Hamptons and make sure that it had several options suitable for my parents. My dad loves a steak, and they had a nice fillet on the menu so we booked for a Thursday night.

It’s an impressive building in an impressive location right on City Beach with a vast inside dining area and a more casual decking area.

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We were seated fairly close to the panoramic sea view window just before sunset, and the waitress brought table water. Another waitress took our drinks orders, and I asked for lager shandy for my parents, just one bottle of lager shared between two. Although the waitress seemed to understand what I wanted, a different waiter delivered the drinks, and they were given a full pint glass of lager shandy each! I ordered freshly squeezed orange juice, but received a juice from a bottle – it was okay, but not really what I expected.

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We ordered some bread and crispy buttermilk chicken with chilli lime aioli to share as a starter. The chicken was plentiful, and nicely cooked with a beautiful crunchy coating. The aioli could have been plain mayonnaise – I couldn’t detect any lime, chilli or garlic. However it was nice mayonnaise, and the bread with olive oil and balsamic was fresh and tasty.

Apologies for the chicken photo – I didn’t take the picture until we had eaten half of it.

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For mains, my dad ordered the beef fillet – medium to well done (not my preference, but he knows what he likes), my mum ordered the gold band snapper, and myself and my husband ordered the prawn and crab linguine.

When my dad’s fillet arrived it was delivered by a different waitress to the one who took the order and she stated that it was medium. Dad questioned this, and the waitress said that she would check with the kitchen, but she didn’t come back. He started to eat it and it was in fact medium, so not his preferred version, but he did enjoy it and ate it all. His only gripe was that the asparagus was very undercooked and he found it unpleasant to eat.

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Undercooked veg seemed to be a consistent problem. My mum’s snapper was delicious and the mash was lovely, but the broccolini was almost raw and she left half of the broccolini because she couldn’t eat it. I understand that most veggies are just blanched now, but there’s a fine line between cooking them enough and leaving them almost raw. It felt as if the restaurant staff were very busy and under the pump.

The blue swimmer crab and prawn linguine came with garlic, rocket, tomatoes and chilli. The first thing that we noted was that mine was fairly dry whereas my husband’s portion had a lot of sauce, so we transferred some of his sauce to mine.

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The rocket was dry and brittle and to be honest, I left most of it. The pasta was very nice but I did find quite a few shards of crab and prawn shell in it, which made it a bit tricky to eat. I understand that seafood can come with some shell fragments, but I found that I was picking a piece of shell out of every second mouthful. I did eat most of it, but left a pile of prawn tails, shells and fragments.

My husband had a much worse experience with his linguine. He had the same experience as me in terms of shell fragments, but towards the end of his meal, a prawn leg became lodged at the back of his mouth and he started to choke. He rushed off to the gents and was luckily able to dislodge it after retching and coughing, however it did spoil his experience of the meal. He tried another mouthful, but that mouthful had some shell in it, so he left the rest.

When the waitress collected the plates, I asked her to mention this to chef, saying that it wasn’t pleasant to have so many shell fragments and almost choke on the meal. I also mentioned the undercooked veg. When she came back, she pretty much disagreed with us ! She said that she had spoken to chef and the crab meat is ‘bought in’ as a de-shelled item, and she shrugged as if to say it’s not their fault. She then brought the dessert menus, which we decided to ignore.

When paying I told the cashier that the meal was not up to standard and she apologised but did not offer any other compensation. She asked if I wanted to speak to the manager, which I did, and although very apologetic, this is a summary of what she said:

  • you get shell when you order seafood
  • it’s not unusual to have this problem with shellfish pasta
  • the crab is bought in, so they just cook it as it comes
  • the only shell that they leave on is the prawn tails (clearly not true!)
  • we ate most of the meal
  • they have a business to run

She did apologise a lot, and after my dad pointed out that we shouldn’t pay for the linguine, she very reluctantly deducted the cost of one of them. However I could tell that she was unhappy with doing this and I felt that we were being accused of making a fuss over nothing.

Hamptons is a spectacular venue, but the chefs need to take more care with all of the dishes. If they want to charge top class prices then the food should be perfect every time whether they are busy or not. I also wondered why they were not using fresh crab – as a restaurant right next to the ocean, you would expect the fish and shellfish to be freshly prepared, not bought in and pre-packaged. I would expect fish chefs to pick over any crustacean meat to ensure that all shell is removed in the same way that fish should be filleted properly, and if the chef is filleting and preparing fresh shellfish, then they have full control of what goes into the pan.

The customer experience was the worst part of the night- they were very unhappy with any criticism, and I felt that we were not important to them. I won’t return for this reason.

If they had apologised straight away and showed real concern for my husband’s experience then maybe I would give them a second chance, but tonight I left with a very bad taste in my mouth.

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John Street Cafe, Cottesloe

John Street Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I have been making the trek to John Street for brekkie/brunch for quite a few years now, and although it seems to have changed hands in recent years, the quality is still the same.

Using wonderful quality ingredients, there is a selection of food for breakfast and lunch, to eat in or takeaway. Breakfast is served all day and lunch starts at 11:30am. There are also tables on the pavement which makes for a dog friendly cafe.

Staff are friendly and welcoming, and even when the cafe is packed to the rafters, you can often get a table with less than a 20 minute wait.

The fresh orange juice never disappoints – delicious, freshly squeezed and sweet:

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On this visit, the coffee was not particularly good, quite strong and bitter:

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I usually like the John Street ‘Lot’ for brekkie, but on this occasion chose the Hash n Smash. Very nicely constructed veggie hashcakes with two poached eggs, spinach, chunky tomato relish and a heap of bacon. Also available with smoked salmon:

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My companions chose the eggs benny with ham. Nice soft muffin with fresh thick hollandaise and perfectly poached eggs:

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By the end of the meal, the plates were clean. Another triumph for John Street. The only minus points were for the lacklustre coffee. A great way to start the day followed by a walk along Cottesloe beachfront.

 

Distrykt Coffee, Beldon

Distrykt Coffee Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I used to live in Beldon and felt quite nostalgic visiting this coffee shop. It’s situated at the smaller Beldon shopping centre in Gunter Grove, and is a nice clean welcoming shop.

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There is seating inside and outside, and lots of healthy looking savouries and nice muffins and pastries in the cabinet. We didn’t eat on our visit but were impressed with the great coffee and the very fresh juice.

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The cafe seems to be linked to Kinky Lizard in East Perth as the menu mentions Kinky Lizard Espresso Roast. I also love Kinky Lizard, so that’s a good sign. The staff were also really friendly and seemed to know all of the locals.

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I will definitely return to sample the food, but I can vouch for the drinks – they were great and nicely prepared. Lovely little local gem.

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Peninsula Tea Gardens, Maylands

Peninsula Tea Gardens Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Peninsula Tea Gardens is situated at a pleasant leafy spot on the Swan River at Maylands, next to Tranby House and on the site of Peninsula Farm (one of the first colonial farms in Perth). It’s a popular place for hen parties and baby showers and they do not charge corkage, so there were plenty of champagne corks popping when we visited.

We chose the standard Parisian High Tea. Peninsula provide two serves of drinks with this and you can choose from a variety of loose leaf teas, coffee, sparkling juice and iced drinks.

I chose the Lovers Leap tea which was a caramel floral option. When the three tiered high tea arrived it looked appetising and carefully put together.

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The first layer consisted of 4 varieties of sandwich and a meat pie each. Sandwiches were ham and egg with Dijon mustard, beef and horseradish cream cheese, garlic herb chicken with avocado sour cream, and smoked salmon, cucumber and mayonnaise. My favourite was the garlic herb chicken, and although the pie could have been any supermarket party pie, it was nonetheless tasty and the pastry was nice.

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The next layer consisted of a large scone each with cream and jam. The scones were a good recipe, great consistency and the jam and cream were good quality. We didn’t have enough jam and cream for everybody, but they provided additional portions when asked.

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By now we were getting fairly full and ordered another drink before moving on to the cake layer. I ordered an iced coffee, which was a little weak and milky, but the ice cream was nice.

The cake layer consisted of 4 cakes each – a macaron, an oblong raspberry biscuit, a lemon meringue pie and a cup cake. The cupcake was really nicely textured, soft and spongy, and the macaron was perfect. The meringue was nicely presented but nothing special, and the raspberry biscuit was again well presented but could have had a stronger raspberry flavour.

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All in all it was a very pleasant high tea, the waitresses were very helpful and the location was lovely. All served up on Royal Albert bone china complete with tea strainers and silver napkin rings. They also provided take away boxes for the left over cakes. One of the nicest high teas in Perth.

Click here for more information on Peninsula Tea Gardens

Felix & Co. Specialty Coffee, Nedlands

Felix & Co. Specialty Coffee Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Felix is a small coffee bar in Hampden Road, Nedlands, with some tall stools and tables inside plus one outdoor table. However, what it lacks in size, it makes up for in quality.

They serve a few toasties, pastries and cakes, but it’s all about the coffee here – coffee is clearly their passion.

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There were 2 special single origins on offer when we visited, and we chose to try the Guatemalan ‘Huehuetenango’ with tasting notes of milk chocolate, red berries and almond. The other single origins available was a Rwandan ‘Kabuye’ – earl grey, baked orange and honey. A loaded seasonal blend with tatsing notes of super juicy, vanilla, apple, berry, caramel and chocolate was also available. This was just the list for espresso roast.

Other options included the batch brew Mantis blend and the cold brew Honduran ‘Juan Contreras’, and no less than 5 filter coffee single origin options from Costa Rica, Honduras and Rwanda.

We both chose the Huehuetenango – I chose an iced soy version and my partner chose a flat white.

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Luscious, rich, smooth, and displaying a complex palate of flavours, this coffee certainly brought a smile to our faces. The staff are knowledgeable and friendly, and they all share the love for the humble coffee bean. The cafe also sells beans to use at home as well as other coffee related paraphernalia. We’ll definitely be back to explore the menu further.

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Bistro 38, Joondalup Resort

Bistro 38 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bistro 38 is situated in the heart of Joondalup Resort, a classy hotel with an adjoining golf course. I went there recently with three work colleagues for a nice local lunch. There are tables inside and out, and on our visit we were seated at an outside table with an enchanting view of the pool. Some days, when the temperatures is just right, you can see kangaroos on the golf course.

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The waitresses were very helpful and offered us the a la carte menu as well as the drinks and smaller lunch menu. Table water arrived quickly and we were greeted with smiles every time. We all chose to have a main course (or combination of dishes that constituted a main) and a dessert. Some of the group asked for adaptations to the menu, and the staff were happy to oblige.

I chose the grilled prawns from the lunch menu with Asian style salad, caramelised chilli cashews and nam jim dressing. The prawns were plentiful and the dressing was spot on.

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One of my colleagues chose an entree meal and asked for it to be made main course size. She chose pepper caramel pork bits with a charred pineapple salsa. Although delicious, it was essentially a plate of pork and she would have preferred an additional side salad to contrast the protein. Although this was a disadvantage of choosing something ‘off menu’, maybe the chef could have suggested how to make the plate better.20171205_125409

My other two colleagues chose to share the pan fried pea and potato gnocchi with mushrooms, asparagus, truffled cream, parmesan and pine nuts. This was tasty, but the pea flavour was masked by the other ingredients. The chef obligingly divided the dish into two plates.

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They also chose to share the curried cauliflower with roasted sweet potato, cashew cheese, beetroot gel and rosemary and sesame crisps, again helpfully divided into two plates. This was a nice dish – very well presented – however the cauliflower had been cooked for a bit too long. Of the two dishes, the gnocchi was the winning choice.

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We all decided to try dessert and I chose a berry bliss sundae. This was a perfect amount with freeze dried strawberries, strawberry and boysenberry ice cream, cream, meringues, and strawberry coulis. The freeze dried strawberries did not look too appealing but tasted divine, and each mouthful was nice, not too sweet and sickly.

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Some of my colleagues chose the vanilla brulee with apple and blackberry compote and cinnamon shortbread. The brulee was nicely finished with a lovely crisp caramelised top and a rich creamy custard. The shortbread had a lovely measure of warm spices.

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On the whole we enjoyed our lunch. It was a nice setting and apart from a few minor issues the food was tasty and well presented. We paid around $45 a head, and left the resort with smiles on our faces.

Five Bar, Mount Lawley

Five Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I haven’t been to Five Bar for five years, and came back here for a work related Christmas lunch. As a Friday, with not long to go before Christmas, I was a little surprised that the bar wasn’t packed. There were a few random tables with couples or fours, but no other Christmas events happening.

With approx twenty of us, we were given two tables with the tall chairs – this was okay bit not the most comfortable arrangement.

Considering that we had booked in advance and pre-booked our mains, I was a little surprised that they weren’t more organised. We were there for approx 45 minutes before any food made it to the table. The staff were really nice and fixed up drinks as we arrived.

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Starters included polenta bites (which were on a squash/pumpkin puree) and a charcuterie board with bread.

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There were 3 plates of polenta bites (18 pieces) between 12 of us on our table, but only one charcuterie board. The charcuterie board clearly wasn’t enough to go around and they could have made it easier to share by dividing it up into two or three smaller boards. The bread was okay, but had a denseness to it which suggested that it was either frozen or baked the day before.

For main I chose the beef wellington which was  little disappointing. It came with a jus in a glass but I think that I would have preferred a richer gravy. The beef was a little overcooked and the pastry a bit doughy. When it sliced, it fell apart rather than holding together into nice rounds where you can taste everything in one forkful. The veggies that came with it were okay but not stunning. No crispy roast potatoes here, just a mixture of soft roast veg. At a price of $28 on the a la carte menu – this wasn’t good value.

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A colleague had beer battered fish and chips which was plentiful and she enjoyed.

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Another colleague had the vegetable fritters which seemed to be entree sized. I didn’t get a photograph, but they were very small and not really substantial enough for a lunch compared to the other portion sizes.

We also had sharing desserts (again no picture – sorry). A board of almond cake (6 slices) and passion fruit panna cotta (4 portions) which made it very difficult to share among 12. They tasted delicious, but we only had a spoonful of each.

The whole meal took 3 hours, and I don’t understand why the kitchen didn’t organise it better. If our budget was the problem then maybe they should have suggested skipping dessert and having more substantial starters or vice versa. With the portions sizes being so variable, some people were very happy with their meals and others were disappointed. If the kitchen had taken the trouble to portion out the starters and desserts into sizes that could be easily shared between all of us, then maybe my review would be a lot more favourable.

I remember the menu here five years ago being quite tasty, but this group lunch was a bit of a fail on Five Bar’s part. It was nice, but not amazing and certainly didn’t make me feel inclined to book it in the future. Just a little thought into how it was presented, and the general organisation of the meal would have made a big difference.

This is my previous review from 31 March 2013:

Last night we wandered around Mount Lawley looking for somewhere to have dinner, and ended up in Five Bar (or is it Bar Five?). I like this bar, I have had a pre-dinner drink in here before and the bar food looked interesting and appetising, so thought we would give it a try. They also have a nice wide selection of beers, wines and spirits.

I love the bars around Mount Lawley – you can fit right in no matter how old you are, how dressed up you are, there are tables of casually dressed seniors sitting comfortably amongst tables of giggling model lookalikes, along with surfer dudes that look like they have stepped off the beach, and dating couples occupying quiet corners. Some visitors enter quietly, others sashay in as if on a catwalk, but it all seems to work and fit with the ‘anything goes’ comfortable vibe of the area.

We sat in a comfy chair and ordered some tapas style dishes from the menu. You can also order meat and cheese platters and larger meals, but we fancied a selection of smaller items.

Table number playing card

Table number playing card

When your order is taken they give you a playing card for a table number which is quite quirky (like Sayers – they give you an alphabet character).

Mixed meat terrine

Mixed meat terrine

I loved the mixed meat terrine. It tasted like Christmas in a mouthful – chicken, pork and turkey, with a lovely citrus chutney – I wished we had more bread to accompany it though.

Steak Tartare

Steak Tartare

This dish was the star of the meal – perfectly shredded raw beef with egg, horseradish and red onion. The horseradish was ‘proper’ horseradish – nice and punchy, not the mild creamy version that is so often used. Whole dish perfectly executed. Again we could have done with more bread. I would happily have this dish again.

Chorizo with capsicum

Chorizo with capsicum

The chorizo in this dish was very very strongly flavoured. The capsicums were nicely cooked and went well with the chorizo, but the overall flavour was too strong and overpowering. I would give this a miss next time.

Chips with curry aoili

Chips with curry aoili

Chips don’t get much better than this.

Will I be going back to Five Bar? Yes I will, I won’t choose the chorizos again, but I know that I will get a very satisfying meal. Looking forward to trying other items from the menu when I go back – the goat balls looked interesting.

Chilli Orange, North Perth

Chilli Orange Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Situated on Angove Street in amongst the buzz of the local bars in North Perth is Chilli Orange – a modern Asian restaurant. It’s a really stylish place, with easy parking (car park next door), romantic candlelit tables, and is obviously a firm favourite with the locals. When we visited, there was a mixture of older and younger clientele, and a comfortable casual atmosphere – it’s the kind of place where the dress code is smart-casual.

We ordered a glass each of the Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, a really nice brand called Whitehaven. Very fruity with a lovely clean pineapple and gooseberry finish.

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The menu is full of Asian style favourites and modern Australian cuisine with an Asian twist. Starters included Pork belly tacos with asian pickles, tempura prawns, seared scallops, duck bao buns, sashimi salmon and san choy bow. We chose to share two dishes.

The tempura soft shell crab was crispy and succulent with a wonderful wasabi mayo dressing.

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We also chose duck pancakes with spring onion, cucumber and hoisin sauce, a lovely reminder of the crispy duck pancakes that are available in every Chinese restaurant in the UK, but somehow quite rare in Perth.

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My partner chose the red duck curry for his main course. This was very authentic with Thai holy basil and aubergine among the rich creamy curry sauce. The duck was ‘melt in the mouth’ delicious, and a plentiful supply of rice made sure every drop of sauce was mopped up and his plate was left clean.

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I chose the fish of the day which was swordfish (a nice change from the ubiquitous snapper). This was served with a delicious som tum (green papaya salad) and pink grapefruit. The fish was fresh and perfectly cooked, making for a lovely healthy and zesty main course.

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We also chose tempura mushrooms as a side dish – a lovely flavoursome dish to nibble on. Again, very authentic with light crispy batter and delicious ponzu sauce.

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At this point we were heading for a food coma, but couldn’t resist sharing a dessert.

We chose the ginger creme brulee with almond cake, crispy tuile and honey cream. Perfectly presented, this really hit the spot – the almond cake was moist and rum baba-like, the top on the brulee was delicately crunchy and the honey cream divine. An absolutely well constructed dessert.

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A lovely meal in a great environment, with attentive service, and above all, fresh and well-presented ingredients. Definitely one of Perth’s finest restaurants.

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