Restaurant Amusé, East Perth

IMG_3989 To celebrate our third anniversary, Dan and I visited Restaurant Amusé in East Perth. The restaurant looks like an ordinary house on the outside, but the interior is simple and sophisticated, and their waitstaff provide perfect service from start to finish. The night’s menu was filled with both classic and imaginative combinations, and showed a lot of impressive technique.

Before we began the degustation, we were given a ‘cheat sheet’ with ingredients for each course and the wines served if you decided on wine pairing ($80pp), which we opted out of. When each dish is placed in front of you it is explained in detail, and truthfully some dishes had so many elements I couldn’t exactly remember, but I’ll try my best to recall each dish.

We started off with canapés, which were Curried Egg on Cos, Salt and Vinegar Cracker and Cheese Puff.

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Following that we had a small portion of Buttermilk Dashi, Crab and Lemon Verbena, which was so delicious I wanted more.

IMG_3995 After that some Bread and Butter was brought to the table, the bread is baked in-house and comes in two varieties, Rye and Sourdough. I preferred the sourdough, which went perfectly with their churned smoked butter. It’s great that you aren’t restricted to two slices each, they offer you more bread if you want it!

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The first of the savoury courses arrived, which was Nashi Pear, Sunflower, Turnip and Cheddar. This was a simple yet exciting dish, the sweetness of the pear went really well with the saltiness of the grated cheddar.

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Next on the table was the Marron, Carrot, Quinoa and Buckwheat. Underneath the smokey bisque, was a risotto made from quinoa and buckwheat, lovely pieces of marron and a textural element of crispy quinoa.

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One of my favourites from the night was the Beef, Apple, Coal and Celeriac, with shaved egg yolk. I was very interested to see how they would use the coal, and in this dish they made a coal mayonnaise. The sweetness of the apple and crispness of the celeriac, really complimented the medium rare barbequed beef.

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The next dish was the Barramundi, Artichoke, Mushroom and Black Garlic, also topped with grilled zucchini. The barramundi was cooked perfectly; it didn’t taste fishy at all and melted in your mouth. The shitake mushrooms made this more of a Japanese dish to me.

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The dish that didn’t really hit it off for me was the Duck, Cauliflower, Kohlrabi and Pomegranate; maybe it was because I was very full. The duck was cooked two ways, and is under layers of kohlrabi soaked in pomegranate juice. Thanks to Wikipedia, I learnt that a kohlrabi is also called a turnip cabbage and it tasted just like that.

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Before dessert, came out a dish made of Caraway, Passionfruit, Coconut and Pine Geranium, which I didn't really enjoy too much. The caraway is used in a rye cracker, which then has passionfruit and coconut gel piped onto it.

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For dessert we had Quince, Prune, Jasmine and Chocolate. This consisted of shards of dehydrated chocolate mousse, poached quince pieces, a jasmine cream and a surprisingly delicious prune sorbet. The flavours worked very well, but I felt as if there could’ve been less shards of mousse or it could have been broken into smaller pieces.

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The last treat for the night consisted of Mint, Pepperberry, Lychee and Bergamot. Mint and pepperberry were made into a tea like drink, to help aid our digestion. The waitress also brought out a little dish of lychee jelly and bergamot caramel, for additional sweetness.

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Overall, the food was creative and well balanced throughout the night. If you have $130pp to spare, and around 2.5-3 hours I definitely recommend dining here! For those of you who do have the entertainment book, make sure you take advantage of the voucher for $40 off the total bill.

Rating: 9 out of 10

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The Gaya, Applecross

IMG_3479 I have been to the Gaya once previously, it was pleasant and I didn’t think too much of it then. This time when head chef and owner Leo invited me to dine, I thought, why not. It gave me an opportunity to catch up with one of my good friends, Zoya who is always open to trying different foods, like modern Korean fusion.

Before we even ordered, the waitress brought out a complementary starter of homemade potato chips and cheese puffs. The homemade potato chips were a great snack, but the cheese puffs were a little strange, but we ate them all up quickly.

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Zoya and I started with the Beef Cream Roll ($15) and the Seafood Jijimi ($15). I ordered the Beef Cream Roll as I had heard great reviews about it, and it didn’t disappoint. This was my favourite savoury dish of the night, and although the ingredients sounded strange at first with fried garlic chips, asparagus, enoki mushrooms, capsicum, cucumber and cream cheese, wrapped up in beef, it worked very well.

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The Seafood Jijimi is more of a traditional Korean style pancake with spring onion, onions, carrot, squid and fish. Unlike other Korean pancakes I’ve had, this one was full of fresh ingredients and was cooked evenly, it was not too oily or soggy in the middle as some can be.

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For mains we decided on the 36Pork ($32) and the Gaya BBQ Rib Galbi ($32). The last time I was at the Gaya, Dan ordered the 36Pork and I immediately regretted that I didn’t order it. This dish is made of pork belly sous vide for 36 hours, put with pumpkin potato puree, soybean paste sauce, chives and apples.

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The Gaya BBQ Rib Galbi, is a grilled beef short rib, with daikon roll salad, potato egg salad and coconut rice. All the elements on the plate were tasty but didn’t really work very well together. Both mains came with some traditional Korean sides, which were Seaweed, Potato Salad and Spicy Beansprouts. The seaweed and beansprouts were a nice side dish, but the potato salad had a strong sourness I couldn’t get used to.

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After all this we were so full, but still decided to get the dessert. We shared the Redmisu ($9), a homemade Tiramisu with red bean paste, which is presented similar to the flowerpot dessert I had at No. 4 Blake St. This tiramisu is delicious with the addition of red bean and also has a right balance of coffee within it.

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We also got the Ho-Tuck ($10), a Korean style sweet pancake with dark brown sugar inside, topped with walnuts, sunflower seeds, pine nuts and strawberries. This pancake was surprisingly delicious and the flavours tasted very similar to Spanish churros.

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Apart from the A la Carte menu, the Gaya also offers a set menu, which includes a choice of a starter, main and dessert for an affordable $50. Overall, I had a very good time here and thank Leo for the opportunity to taste his creations. I would recommend to order the set menu, to try the beef cream roll, and definitely don’t miss out on dessert.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Disclaimer: Although I was invited to dine at this restaurant, the views and opinions presented are 100% my own thoughts.

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