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
Oh that lamb pie would def be my choice! Oh mama!
Ooh I went to Must recently and the food was beautiful – not as good as Jackson’s though.
My favourite restaurant in Perth is Cream. Moody lighting, dark decor, amazing food, brilliant service. Can’t go wrong!
I have never heard of Cream or Jackson’s before. Apart from the ambience and service, what specific dish from Cream did you like since it is your favourite restaurant?
Gah, my brain keeps reading “must” as “musty” and going “ewwww!” Because I’m a grown-up. :S
That aside, love the sound of the porcini mushroom souffle! I’ve only had a savoury souffle once and it sadly didn’t blow my socks off.
Love the modern vibe there. And that lamb dish definitely caught my eye — and stomach! 😉
That’s a lot of wine bottles! I absolutely love angel hair pasta, even more when paired with crab hehe I squeal over savoury souffles too, I find the sweet ones too sweet for me
The restaurant interior looks really lovely. Esp the wine bottle display in the dining room.
Must Winebar is close to the Highgate apartment we used to live in when we were still living in Perth. We never got around to eating there, most probably because the food was priced out of our freshly-graduated-from-uni budget. It’s ironic because we now spend that much on a meal without blinking an eyelid, but we’re overseas – the main reason why we can afford to. The food looks good, but I have low threshold for rich and creamy food, so I wonder if I’d enjoy eating the food as much as I like looking at the presentation. You ate well on your trip to Perth
Hi Expat Gourmand
There are some really good honest restaurants in Perth and we certainly enjoyed this meal even though it was a tad heavy but definitely a place I would consider if ever in Perth in winter.
I dined here when I was in Perth and the food was great-rich and very satisfying!
OMG.. i want three serves of that Porcini souffle thingamajig!!! YUM!
The food sounds delicious, however if provincial here means “from Provence” (south of France), in reality this region almost never uses cream and even less potato purée. They also don’t use heavy sauces, actually sauces are very rare in Provence. It doesn’t change the fact that it must have been fabulous! I love especially the lamb dish
Looks great! Is it sad that I want to go to Perth for the food and not my family? Lol.
I’m sure you can do both, unless that wasn’t your intention.
Has it really been around for 10 years? I can’t believe it! Still remember its arrival on the Highgate scene. Always seem to end up there whenever I visit Perth.