Restaurant in Perth
Fine Dining French-influenced Restaurant
Tailoring a 14-course haute cuisine banquet to each individual guest’s tastes sounds like the perfect recipe for a nervous breakdown; Restaurant Amusé, however, delivers this ambitious culinary experience with aplomb.
One could be forgiven for mistaking the exterior of Restaurant Amusé for just another large, semi-detached house on East Perth’s Bronte Street that has left a curiously esoteric Christmas decoration above its doorway all year round; but what a mistake one would be making. Walk through the swinging gates and into the spacious restaurant and you will be enveloped in the style and sophistication that usually befits an art gallery, its minimalistic yet striking décor creating a serene ambience amid which diners enjoy a menu-less meal that is created from the freshest ingredients that the kitchen team can source on the day of service.
After fortifying us with a pair of sparkling wines from Frazer Woods, Margaret River, the charming maître d’ and co-owner Carolynne Troy discusses any specific dietary requirements that we may have. To my delight, I learn that Carolynne’s husband and Amusé’s head chef Hadleigh is a fellow bananaphobic and that the yellow fruit-of-the-devil never darkens the kitchen’s door. This marks an auspicious beginning and we delve into the triplet of amuse-bouches that whet our already piqued appetites.
A homemade oat and grain cracker acts as a base for which segments of blood limes lie ornately scattered amongst a veritable micro-garden of herbs and esculent flowers. A brace of caramelised carrot strips overlap each other, flecked with rock salt pieces and hysopp leaves nestled next to a tiny dollop of walnut-infused cream. A criminally smooth pumpkin, curry leaf and beurre noisette concoction arrives in a jar that’s sealed with a tin foil lid that peels off to reveal a béchamel-esque goat cheese topping. Your average meal out, this ain’t.
Avoiding (but only just) the temptation to fill up on the sumptuous sour dough slices that are served on warm stones and accompanied by an angelically light homemade butter that’s flecked with black salt, we move on to the ambrosial collection of candied beetroot and tart riberries that lie beneath a long, folded strip of fresh apple. With that delightful palate pleaser settled firmly in our appreciative stomachs, we welcome a perfect marriage of small cuts of marron resting in a creamed fennel sauce with miniature globules of puréed avocado surrounding the crayfish. A young and sprightly Singlefile chardonnay from Denmark, WA performs as an ideal match for the sauce-soaked marron’s complex flavours, in that its soft, unassuming finish neither vies for attention nor disappears without a trace in between mouthfuls of the rich and intensely satisfying dish.
Displaying an oenophilic talent to match her hosting skills, Carolynne offers an in-depth explanation as to why she has paired each wine with its corresponding dish; the passion that exudes from her descriptive and zealous explanations offers a large clue as to how her restaurant can still fill its capacity week in, week out, some six years after it first opened its doors.
Choosing a favourite dish from such an impressive selection is no easy task, but in a gun-to-head scenario the hermetically sealed jar containing seven types of mushrooms stirred amongst a fisherman’s broth-type mixture of runny eggs and pine nuts that emits an infusion of bitumen smoke once we open the lid would have to steal the top prize. Delivering a Proustian rush of Bonfire Nights gone by, this outstanding composite is at once instantly familiar and innovatively mysterious in its smoky brilliance.
How else to extol the virtues of this excellent restaurant? Should I tell you about the tender mini-fillet of snapper and sweet potato mound drizzled in Japanese dashi? Or the smoked pork slice and firm and juicy seared scallop topped with fried pineapple cubes and popcorns served with an earthy Normandy cider? How about the plump cut of venison streaked with a tangy rustleberry purée lying in a rich velouté spiced with cocoa and chocolate?!
When a meal is of this calibre, all of my sentences give way to a simple entreatment to any food lover to make the journey to the restaurant’s door and put the words that I can’t find into your mouth, savouring every last letter.
David Harfield is a freelance food and travel writer
|Reviewer's Rating||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Need to book||Yes|
|Clientele||Locals, foodies and out-of-towners|
|Restaurant good for||Couples, Meeting up with friends|
|Cost per head||High|
|Dress Code||Smart Casual|
The high ceilings and wood paneled walls lend the restaurant the appearance of an art gallery. With the charming and well-informed staff offering information and opinions on each dish, it’s as if they are the curators of the art that arrives on your plate.
The wine pairing is an additional $80pp on top of the $130pp food bill. There is no way that you can pick a bottle that will match each course, so I strongly recommend that you spring for the pairing option! Sparkling wine from $12 a glass, Sake from $8 a glass, wine from $8 glass, half bottles from $30, full bottle from $40.
Last updated on 10-04-2013