If you are shopping in some of the eclectic shops along Beaufort street in the suburb of Highgate just north of Perth CBD, it might also be worth your while to check out Must Winebar, an elegant place to have a drink or tuck into some casual bistro style food.
This decade old bistro with its polished she-oak bar houses over 500 different types of wines from France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Argentina, USA, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
However, the wine is not what we came for today. Here with my mum, my sister Alice and Mysaucepan, we are eager to sample the cuisine of Chef Russell Blaikie where the menu is driven by seasonal produce with contemporary and provincial French influences.
It is lunch time on Monday so we find ourselves among the only few tables in a dining room that is laden with wines from all over the world.
The decor has a modern feel with clean lines running the length of the restaurant.
The menu is concise with only about a dozen items making up the entrees and mains. There is also a selection of either freshly shucked oysters or having them cooked in various styles.
As there are only four of us today, we decide to order four dishes to share – Asian style dining so that each person can taste every dish.
A Must lamb plate arrives consisting a herb crusted lamb loin, lamb shank pie, lamb neck croquette all sitting on top of a cushion of white bean puree.
This is an interesting dish where each part complements the other. Various cuts of lamb have been cooked differently to bring together golden flaky pastry, crispy crumbed textures and smooth silky puree.
A pan-seared ocean trout with king prawns and cauliflower puree arrive with a the skin of an ocean trout fillet seared to a golden brown crisp. I find the creamy puree a little too decadent in masking what is really fresh seafood.
The contemporary French influences of this bistro is revealed with the arrival of the twice baked porcini mushroom souffle.
“A savoury souffle at last!”, I thought to myself being someone without a sweet tooth. The souffle is drenched with a savoury thick and gooey cheese and mushroom creme sauce. This is my favourite dish as every mouthful is earthy with melting cheese, butter and the unmistakable aromas of porcini mushrooms.
An angel hair pasta is nicely al dente and has soaked up the flavours of crab, tomato, chilli, basil and cream. While this dish is tasty and flavoursome, I find it a little heavy as being capellini, the pasta seems to have absorbed even more of the creamy sauce than regular spaghetti or linguine.
It is a hearty lunch where flavours are hitting the mark and portions are generous. However, we find the dishes that we ordered a tad heavy on the cream and thick sauces. Another cursory glance of the menu seem to show almost every other dish containing a puree or thick creme sauce. I guess it is a provincial French style menu after all.
This menu might be good in the height of winter which may be the next time we visit when we think of hearty dishes to keep warm.
So dear readers, do you have a favourite restaurant in Perth to share with us?
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519 Beaufort street
+ 61 8 9328 8255
Open 7 days from 12 noon to 12 midnight