Petite Mort opened in 2011 on the site of the old favourite Star Anise in Onslow Road, Shenton Park. Run by New Zealander Todd Stuart, Petite Mort is renowned as one of Perth’s finest fine dining establishments.
I don’t know why it took me so long to visit, maybe it was the restriction of only having a degustation menu at the weekend, but as it was our anniversary we decided to celebrate in style and the degustation seemed perfect.
As we are now both intolerant to too much dairy, I emailed ahead to ask about the dairy content of the menu and Todd was most helpful in his reply giving me an approximate percentage of dairy in each course, he offered suitable alternatives, and gave me the heads up about which items we might want to go easy on.
When we arrived the restaurant was buzzing with conversation. It’s a classy establishment with interesting artwork mounted on rough brick walls. Unlimited still and sparkling water is included in the price of the degustation menu, and there’s an option where you can have wine matching. We chose to have glass of wine to start, but in future I will definitely try the wine matched menu – looking at neighbouring diners, the matched wines seemed generous and varied.
We chose a cremant wine to start, not too different from a champagne, a little less effervescent but still with the biscuity edge and dry fruit that champagnes carry – we really enjoyed it.
Bread was lovingly prepared and tasty – we had a French baguette slice and sun dried tomato bread. The waitress exchanged our butter for olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
The first course of the degustation soon arrived – a butternut pumpkin veloute poured over coconut, squid and nam jim. Wow what a start. Who knew that soup could be so special. Every element added value to the dish – the heat from the nam jim, the sweetness of the pumpkin, the soft coconut cream, the texture of the squid. It truly was a great dish, and the bread came in handy to soak up every last morsel of the veloute.
Next came another triumph – Cured salmon, wasabi sorbet, wakame (seaweed) and ponzu, served with a rice cracker. Again every taste and texture added something and the wasabi sorbet was a standout item – not too hot but intense enough to know that it was wasabi. We now knew that this meal was going to be something special.
The next dish was a palate cleanser – a pineapple sorbet with pineapple pieces, tapioca and a dash of Angostura bitters. There was nothing plain about this palate cleanser, it was exquisite – everything had been well thought out, and it was a lovely refresher.
The first of the main courses was pork belly with pomelo, avocado and corn. The pork was presented as a slice of crispy roast pork belly – one of my favourites plus an amazing croquette of pork that had a wonderful intense and rich flavour. Corn was presented in 3 ways – as a mini cob, as char grilled kernels and as popcorn, and everything was set on a bed of avocado puree with a gorgeous blob of pomelo reduction.
The next main course consisted of beef, potato pave, quail egg and onion jam. I asked for my quail egg to be left off (because I am very allergic to quail eggs), so the photo is of my partner’s dish. The beef came as a succulent round fillet and piece of rich slow cooked brisket. The potato pave was small, but packed a punch with its intense earthy flavour (potatoes are my favourite vegetable), and definitely brought a dreamy smile to my face. It was topped with a delicate lacy tuile and accompanied by bearnaise sauce. Wow yet another stunning dish.
For the next main dish we had a choice of fish or duck and I chose the fish – barramundi with olive, witlof, beetroot an dill. The braised witlof was the most delicious form of witlof that I have ever tried, sitting atop the fresh sweet barramundi, with blobs of beetroot and dill, pieces of olive, and a wonderful radish pickle. A lovely symphony of flavours.
My partner chose the duck with fig, buttermilk and pumpkin. This included a delicious confit and a juicy tender breast fillet on top of pumpkin and fig pieces and a pumpkin puree. He thoroughly enjoyed the dish.
Next came a pre-dessert palate cleanser – a hazelnut sorbet with other seeds and nuts and some puffed rice. Simple and smooth, this was a good palate reset before the main dessert.
The main dessert was death by chocolate consisting of chocolate macaron, a white chocolate coated truffle, a dark chocolate truffle, a brownie, chocolate mousse, raspberry sorbet and aerated chocolate sitting atop chocolate soil and butterscotch sauce. This dessert was special and memorable and finished off a wonderful meal, or so we thought – there was still more to come….
We didn’t choose to have tea or coffee, but the wait staff brought box of petit fours – a cookie, a madeleine and a macaron. More exquisite goodies that we polished off despite being very full.
It’s not often that we eat a meal where every course is perfectly constructed for texture and flavour, but this meal was faultless from start to finish. The staff were knowledgeable and helpful, and the evening was well paced. I will definitely return for more of this outstanding food finery. Absolutely amazing.