Petition Kitchen is housed within the impressive State Buildings in the Perth CBD and is part of a trio of Petition establishments, the others being the wine bar and the beer corner. The restaurant is long and dimly lit with an open kitchen area, with a variety of regular tables and ‘perching’ tables. I was quite glad that we got a regular table as I can find the higher tables quite uncomfortable.
We were offered bread and olives to start, which we accepted. The bread arrived with some whipped butter, but the olives did not materialise throughout the whole meal.
I think that Petition probably have more of a passion for their alcohol rather than food. The wine list seemed quite impressive, and I fancied a glass of my favourite Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, but couldn’t find one in the ‘by the glass’ section. There was a quite interesting ‘cloudy sav’ from WA, and I originally chose that, but the waitress indicated that it was really cloudy and quite sour, so I changed my order to a South Australian Riesling which was very nice, and if I hadn’t driven, I would have been happy to drink a whole bottle.
The menu is made up of sharing plates from small plates like kingfish and croquettes to more substantial dishes like lamb shoulder and steak. It was very dim in the restaurant and impossible to read the menu without my trusty phone torch.
We decided to go for three dishes to start with, and order a fourth if necessary. First we chose the raw Geraldton kingfish with sweet ginger and creme fraiche which was nice, good quality fish, and clean crisp flavours – a very nice dish.
Then came the foie gras and chicken liver parfait with aged balsamic and grilled bread. My main gripe with dishes like this is that you never get enough bread. The waitress did say that we could order more bread if we wanted (and we did), but why not just provide enough bread in the first place. I love parfait and was expecting this dish to be the star of the meal, but it was really quite average. The texture of the parfait was a bit softer than expected, but the vinegar pearls were a nice touch and added a bit of piquancy.
The third dish was charred cauliflower mornay with chive, smoked brioche and salted egg. This was not a great dish. It arrived as a whole chunk of cauli with the sauce underneath and it was undercooked, so we had carve it up to share it out. I love eggs but I didn’t really detect the salted egg flavour, and at the end of it all, I felt that I make better cauliflower dishes at home. It was frankly disappointing.
We decided to go for a fourth dish and chose the pigs head croquettes with red harissa and aioli. They were nice and crispy, the harissa had a heavy spice kick and the aioli provided a nice contrast to the heat. The filling was very soft and altogether the flavours matched quite nicely.
Although the wait staff were nice, I felt that they seemed very rushed, just plonking dishes on the table with no real explanation and rushing off again. I also felt that our meal was hurried along, something that often happens when we are not indulging in alcohol – I feel that restaurants are happy for clientele to linger when they are spending money on wine and spirits, but when they realise that you are there for a relatively non-alcoholic meal, they seem to want to get rid of you as soon as you’ve eaten, and this is the impression that I got at Petition Kitchen.
I wasn’t wowed by the dessert menu, warm artichoke custard just seemed a bit pretentious for the sake of it, and the only thing that appealed to me was the fig clafoutis with spiced walnut ice cream. We decided to give it a miss.
All in all, Petition was nice, but I wasn’t wowed by it, and it didn’t deliver the fine dining experience that I had imagined. If you love your wine and want to try a range of wines with some nice food to chomp on while drinking, then it is probably the perfect venue, but as a foodie I found it fairly average and I won’t rush back.