If there’s something I’ve learned in seven years of marriage it’s that my husband is AWFUL at keeping a surprise from me – it’s never 100% a surprise. If he’s reading this, he will think this is quite the revelation (sorry Chef). But not too much gets past me; especially when he keeps slipping out little tit bits here and there. On this occasion Chef told me a month in advance NOT to organise anything for our anniversary, as he’d booked dinner. Fantastic. I was stoked.
My one clue was – it was somewhere I’d never eaten at before. I was very excited and racking my brain. My Perth “to dine at” list is as long as my arm. Over the next few weeks, Chef accidentally dropped a few more clues. It was a degustation menu – so that narrowed it down somewhat. I’d then shortlisted the possibilities to about 10 venues. The night before our dinner he suggested that we go to The Royal, in East Perth for a pre-dinner drink. Arrgh!!! That was the clincher. From that seemingly harmless comment, Chef had pretty much told me where we were going. Sure, there were a couple of other possibilities, but based on the proximity of The Royal – it just HAD to be Restaurant Amuse!!
Tucked away down a quiet inner city residential street is the nationally renowned restaurant. From the moment we stepped through the doors we were given a very warm welcome. We’ve dined at many a fine dining and Michelin starred restaurant – many of them are stuffy, snooty affairs. At Amuse – we felt at ease within the cosy and stylishly modern dining room. It was busier that I had expected for a Tuesday night, but then this is an incredibly popular restaurant; with a 3 month wait for Saturday nights.
Chef Hadleigh Troy has run Restaurant Amuse with his wife Carolynne since 2007. Carolynne runs the front of house and she greeted us after we were sat at our table. She asked us if we had any dietary requirements, as well as wishing us a happy anniversary. Carolynne also left us with the dilemma – to look at the neatly folded brown menu or not to look? I stared at the little piece of paper for some time and eventually came to the conclusion that it would be wonderful to let each of the 10 courses come to us as a surprise! Even if you do have a peek – each course is listed just with the 3 key ingredients – so it doesn’t give too much away!
At this point I should mention that due to using my camera phone, not my usual DSLR camera, the pics do not do the beautiful dishes justice at all. I have to admit, I was enjoying this special meal with my husband so much, that I’d taken off my bloggers hat for the night. Well… partially at least!
The staff were incredibly professional. They were very well versed with what the culinary creations on our plate were – including details like where the produce had been sourced from. We found it very interesting. Chef also liked that some of the courses were brought out by the chefs, instead of just the waiters and they also gave a very thorough rundown of what exactly it was that we had before us. We started with some drinkies and fresh Sour dough and butter. House made – of course! The bread was presented on top of a bowl of hot rocks, to keep it just a little warm. The delicious butter that melts as soon as it hits the bread is house made too; using Bannister Downs Cream. It’s smoked, then whipped and sprinkled with black sea salt – it’s so deliciously simple.
Oats and Limes, Carrot and Walnut Beautiful Crudités!!
Pumpkin and curry leaf This was soup was mousse-like in texture, with a little kick of spiciness.
Marron, Apple and Balsamic The Blue Ridge marron claw from Manjimup was great. The flavours worked so well together on this dish. We loved the tasty morsels od crumbed sweetbread too.
Mushroom, roelle and mustard A very tasty mushroom broth, I’ve not had such a delicious broth since I dined at ARIA in Sydney.
Egg, Peas and Parmesan This dish was a favourite. It was very Heston-esque. Its Hadleigh’s signature dish. It came in a jar and when you opened the lid the infused smoke poured out. The free range Margaret River egg was sous vide (cooked in a temperature controlled water bath) at 62.5degrees. It was only just set and deliciously runny. The contrasting crispy chicken skin garnish was sublime.
Arkady Lamb, onion and buttermilk The Margaret River lamb was DIVINE. The depth of flavour of the lamb was out of this world. I was wishing that there was a whole plate of it – as I would have eaten it all!
Rustleberry and lemon myrtle The rustleberry is typical of the foraged local WA ingredients used at Amuse. This variety of berry, only discovered in 2006, is unique to the Southern Forests region (Manjimup).
Chocolate almond and crème fraiche An absolutely scrumptious dessert! So many different textures – fantastic!
Mint and pepper berry This tea was very refreshing and by this point that was all we could manage! We were very full and very satisfied!!
We both enjoyed our dinner at Amuse immensely. Chef’s roots are in fine dining – he did his apprenticeship at Gershwin’s at the Hyatt and then went on to the UK for a couple of years at a Michelin star restaurant. Indulging in such a special meal is something we love to do, but don’t treat ourselves enough! The degustation only menu changes regularly. I’m already wishing to go back very soon, much sooner than our next wedding anniversary!!
At $130pp for ten courses it is worth every cent. Not only is it a fabulous dinner, but an experience. We can’t wait to see what Hadleigh and his talented team have in store next time. We were certainly amused and delighted – HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!
** Restaurant Amuse is in the Perth 2014/15 Entertainment Book – $40 off total bill with gold card**