I always look forward to a birthday dinner with my boy – whether it’s his birthday or mine. We both love to pull out all the stops and make a real occasion of it. This year for mine he treated me to a delicious and utterly filling dinner at the well reputed Must Wine Bar in Mount Lawley.
For so long Must has been sitting on my eating wishlist that it actually surprises me that I haven’t been there before! So finding out this was the destination for my birthday dinner, I was so excited that I quickly went online to look at the menu and decide what I’d order.
The weather had turned from sunshine to rain for the night, and after only eating at breakfast and a small little brownie around lunchtime I was famished! Thankfully we managed to avoid the downpour with some lucky timing and were soon seated in the restaurant where a basket of fresh crusty bread was brought out to the table with cold, creamy butter.
How I love bread! Let me count the ways… but honestly, good bread for me is the ultimate indulgence. Must’s serving is generous, with slices of baguette that are crisp on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. The butter is a little hard to spread since it’s cool, but it’s so so tasty and I love spreading on a bit more than I should because the taste is that enjoyable.
It’s a sin that it tastes so good!
The menu at Must is a bistro menu with a great range of European influenced dishes that all sound so yummy. On our visit they also have a second menu to choose from – French Bistro Classics. We’re spoiled for choice!
Before we pick our entrees and mains we decide to share a half dozen oysters between us ($21). Normally I will always insist on natural oysters but Jeremy’s really taken with the others on offer so we decide to get 2 of each of the cooked oysters for some variety.
We start off with the squid ink battered oysters with a side of lime and tobacco mayonnaise. This is Jeremy’s favourite of the group and I have to agree. Creamy and succulently fresh on the inside, the black batter is thin and crisp. The mayonnaise is zingy and punches you in the face with some flavour – the perfect combination of flavours.
Next up is the rockefellar which is my least favourite of the three, though still really tasty. Consisting of a grilled oyster topped with spinach, pernod cream and gruyere cheese, it reminds me of a lobster mornay. I like the crust that forms on top from being grilled!
The final oyster is chickpea battered sitting atop of a lime, avocado and tomato salsa that reminds me of guacamole. It’s so delicious – crunchy and fresh. I could have eaten quite a few more of these.
We decide to share our entrees, with each of us choosing a different one. Jeremy opts for the steak tartare with potato crisps and a slick of horseradish cream on the side ($20). A perfect dish to accompany our glasses of the Matsu El Picaro Tempranillo.
This is one of the best dishes of the night with the tender steak and creamy egg yolk coating the ingredients on the plate. I love the balance of flavours so much – every bite is wonderful!
My choice for the entrees is the escargots baked in the shell with garlic, parsley and pernod butter ($20). It’s a small serving but I’m actually pleased about this since I want to have mains and desserts too (and maybe cheese if my tummy can fit it!).
The snails are hot and buttery, with a great flavour from the garlic and herbs. They’re a little tricky to fish out with the toothpicks provided, but when you manage to get them out boy do they taste good. While they’re not the prettiest of food items, I always really enjoy them whenever I order them at French restaurants.
After our entrees are cleared and we enjoy some more wine, our mains are soon served. The moment I see Jeremy’s choice of duck leg confit with paris mash, crispy black pig bacon, apple and radish salad and jus ($44) I have an immediate pang of regret. I was going to order the duck and changed my mind! Argh!
It is the dish of the night as far as we’re both concerned. Soft, moorish duck with mash that is decadently buttery, whipped to perfection. The bacon on top is like shards of glass, shattering with just the slightest touch – and jam packed with porky goodness.
My dinner is from the French Classics menu – salmon escalope with cauliflower puree and sorrel cream ($40). It’s a rich dish and initially as I start to eat I wonder if I’ve mischosen since there’s a real abundance of cream. But as I continue I start to pick up on all the different delicate flavourings that make this dish what it is.
The salmon is soft and flaky; the cauliflower puree sweet though a little hard to locate initially. I like the addition of sorrel, which is like spinach but with a more distinct sharp taste. It’s an enjoyable dish but is a far cry from the amazingness of Jeremy’s duck. I have the worst order envy ever!
I had been planning on ordering cheese before dessert but after our mains are finished we’re both feeling quite full. We decide to skip the cheese and go straight to dessert knowing really we don’t need either. It’s my birthday though – so it’s a time to go all out!
For his dessert my boy opts for the vanilla creme brûlée with raspberry sorbet and sesame snap ($16). It’s a lovely light little dessert, with a great perfumed vanilla flavouring. The toffee layer on top is thick enough to make a satisfying snap when his spoon clunks on the top carefully.
My dessert of apple tarte tatin with vanilla and apple ripple ice-cream ($16). The apple is soft and yields to my spoon with complete ease. There’s a caramel like flavour to the cooked apple, with crunchy pastry underneath. I really like the tart and creamy ice-cream on the side, it just adds another dimension to the dish.
I can barely get through the dish though – I am that full.
What an absolutely amazing restaurant! I actually hate myself a little that I haven’t been earlier because it impressed me so much. I’m already making plans to go back soon – I loved every minute of it. It’s no wonder it’s such a popular venue in Perth.
Thanks babe – you treated me to an amazing day, and an incredible dinner too! X