If you’re not familiar with Joondalup Resort you may think that Bistro 38 is just for hotel guests and golfers. Not true! Absolutely anybody can dine there and enjoy its relaxing holiday vibe. I really love sitting by the pool on a sunny afternoon with some drinks and nibbles. Nothing quite beats a cocktail in a jar! I attended a bloggers menu tasting at Bistro 38 recently and the new menu is one of the very best I’ve experienced there over the past few years.
Erick, head chef of Bistro 38, has an impressive CV of hip Perth eateries. He used to work at Balthazar, Duende and Andaluz – some of the best tapas restaurants in Perth. He hails from El Salvador in South America. His menu is bursting with share plates. If you are eating there with friends I’d suggest that you share a few plates as an entrée, before you get stuck into the mains. There’s quite a choice, here’s what we tried… Salt and Pepper Squid ($12) & Soft shell crab, wakame, wasabi mayo ($14)Chicken and duck liver pate, brioche, fig & fennel relish ($10) Gorgonzola & manuka honey ($12)
My favourite was the soft shell crab. Oh my, it was SO delicious. Admittedly, I’d never actually had soft shell crab before, which I couldn’t quite believe. I had to pause a moment to check that the other people on our table were eating the WHOLE tempura battered crab, shell and all, which they were. Pheeww! The pate was also spot on. The gorgonzola pana cotta was something a bit different, which I enjoyed too. Then we tried some of the dishes that feature on the mains menu… Beef cheek cooked in red wine and tomato sugo, polenta ($32) Lamb Cutlets, grilled witlof, radicchio, lemon ($35) & Ricotta gnocchi, wild mushrooms, chestnut and parmesan ($30) Steak house fries ($10) – with extra, béarnaise sauce. Because you just HAVE to have chips in Béarnaise sauce!
The stand out for me was the gnocchi. It was a very tasty dish. The gnocchi was so soft and fresh, coupled with the earthiness of the mushrooms, made it absolutely delicious. It’s a shame I was starting to feel so full, as I wanted to eat so much more of it! The beef cheeks just melted and lamb was also well cooked. Everyone around the table was struggling to find some tummy space. We all said we’d have a nibble of dessert, after one bite we would be well and truly full. Then we saw the tower of desserts – which featured tasters of items on the dessert menu. Usually I’m not too much of a sweets person, but these were scrumptious deserts, made by the resort’s pasty chef extraordinaire Charlie. I loved the choc raspberry parfait the best. Though the Mojito lime cake (with coconut panna cotta) and the rhubarb vanilla crème brulee, were also very nice. The “feature” cheese changes by the week. If the Jackson’s Track cheese is available when you go, you must try it! A whole wheel of the cheese is baked and is wonderfully goo-ey. That is served with crackers and roasted plums and pears. It was to die for. Thanks to , Head Chef Eric and Restaurant Manager (and fabulous cocktail maker) Bianca for a wonderful lunch. Disclaimer – at the time of dining my husband was the Executive Sous Chef at Joondalup Resort If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me where Chef worked, I’d be a rich lady! As my blog has evolved, I’ve become far more aware of the need for transparency than I initially was. I’m happy to tell you that Chef worked at this resort for a few years, till November 2014. If you’d like to take my praise of the resort and it’s poolside restaurant Bistro 38 with a pinch of salt, then that is totally up to you. Also, we used to dine there before he was employed by the resort. If you still think I’m biased, just remember that 98% of the time I am blogging about other excellent places in Perth. I still stand by the fact that if I don’t like it, I don’t blog about it.