Twenty Seats, Highgate
To those who know me, it’s no secret that Petite Mort used to be my favourite Perth fine dining restaurant, and I was lucky enough to be there on the closing night in December 2021. Chef Todd Stuart has now opened a new intimate restaurant in Highgate, which unsurprisingly has twenty seats. He has retained his charismatic wait staff Remy and Adrian (although Adrian will be leaving soon to start a new venture in Pemberton), and Todd’s lovely partner Sue also joins in, presenting the dishes to diners with knowledge and care.
We asked for a slight variation to the degustation – minimal dairy – and Todd happily obliged, which we really appreciated, as it can’t be easy to make exceptions when you only have twenty diners.
We chose a bottle of Maude sauvignon blanc to accompany the meal, from Marlborough NZ, with a soft fruit flavour rather than acidic. Lots of passionfruit and gooseberries on the nose, and served in beautiful delicate stemmed glasses.
Starters were framed as ‘finger food’, lobster on potato, an amazing mini croque monsieur, and a cylinder of snapper and mash with oyster mayonnaise.
Every item tasted delicious, the lobster was my favourite, but the croque monsieur was incredibly good too.
The next dish really blew me away. I had a tomato dish at Wildflower in February and it was nice, but not amazing. Todd presented a tomato consomme that was so tomatoey that I just don’t know how he introduced such an intense flavour into the broth and the cherry tomatoes. Accompanied by bocconcini and tomato sorbet, it was incredibly good – definitely a tomato lover’s dream.
The next dish should have been roasted cauliflower with parmesan and whipped brie, but Todd created an alternative dairy free dish just for us.
Artichoke and aubergine with black garlic sauce and purple potato. Very tasty, the black garlic was a real revelation.
Next came my favourite dish of the meal, cured scallop, coconut broth, coriander oil and chilli. This dish was absolute perfection, soft scallops, intense coriander oil, just a wonderful sensation in every mouthful.
Then another incredibly good dish, ocean trout wrapped in sublimely soft seaweed, with tempura trout skin, umeboshi (sour plum) and a foam of ginger, red onion, and lemongrass.
This set us up nicely for the meat dishes – first a sublime +5 wagyu beef dish with cheek and bacon ragout and horseradish. More excellence.
Followed by another favourite – Wagin duck breast, confit leg, black vinegar butter and XO sauce.
The next dish consisted of raclette, jamon and pickles with some cute bread buns. As raclette is molten cheese, Remy checked if we were okay with it. I knew that it would make me sneeze but decided to throw caution to the wind and have a half portion of cheese, my partner did the same. It was a really good quality raclette and tasted superb with the pickles.
The next dish was a substitution for the standard menu item of coffee custard, white chocolate and banana with caramel. Todd presented figs with caramel and an intense raspberry sorbet. A beautiful combination.
I chose a cocktail to drink with the petit fours – Hazelnut spritz – frangelico, sparkling wine, blackcurrant and lime.
Petit fours were a fitting end to a fabulous meal – nougat, macaron, chocolate truffle, raspberry jelly.
That was a memorable meal, and one that I will be talking about for time to come. Every dish was perfect, and I can’t wait to go back and eat it all again. Todd has really hit the mark with his new venture, and if you are lucky enough to get a table, you won’t regret this experience. Totally 100% recommended and right now, the best fine dining restaurant in Perth.
Last Visit Date – May 2022
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