I have to admit, I love a good theme. So it actually surprises me that it took me so long to make my way to this restaurant bar that takes frequenters back to school. It’s famous for it’s cocktails but word is the tapas style menu is nothing to sneeze at.
After a day out at the Beaufort St Festival, Jeremy and I settled quickly on our dinner venue, proclaiming a drink was needed with something fun and different. The Classroom made perfect sense so off we went, arriving at this very adorably decorated venue with curious eyes. If you haven’t been, think lockers, notebooks and backpacks. It even comes equipped with a bookshelf that swings open to reveal another room.
The bartenders are dressed in “school uniform” with vests and ties. It’s not surprising that this place continues to win awards for it’s innovative drinks menu – in our time here I saw marshmallow meringue piled onto a cocktail and toasted with a gas bottle fire.
There was also the amazing smoke infused cocktail that comes out of a Rocky lunchbox with a perfectly round ball of ice in glass. I tossed up between the bunsen burner caramelised bananas in cocktail and the Sidecar (Bob). The lovely bartender recommended the latter, so I took his word and placed my order.
It’s a cocktail made of Hine VSPO cognac, cointreau, fresh pressed lemon, spiced blackberry syrup and summer berry dust ($18). It goes down a treat – sweet but still alcoholic, it’s cool and frothily light. I can see why this was his recommendation.
After sampling Lick Pier Ginger Beer at Chin Chin in Melbourne, Jeremy was extremely excited to see it on the menu here at The Classroom too. It’s a big bottle (660ml) that costs $15 and is best served on ice with a lime wedge. I can see he’s really enjoying it and I’m already making a mental note to look for it at some bottle shops here in Perth – hopefully I’ll find it for him!
The menu here is pasted in a school style notebook with what actually looks like the pages have been glued in with Clag (remember that paste that a lot of kids used to eat strangely!). There’s some interesting and exciting food items to choose from and the prices are really decent.
We settle on what we’d like to share and after placing the order at the bar, we get a buzzer which will sound off, indicating when we can collect our food from the canteen bar. How on theme!
The food comes up quickly and Jeremy goes up to collect it, returning with a food tray laden with goods and cutlery. We start off with the Wild Mushroom Arancini with Tomato Jam ($12). It’s four crisp balls piled that are jam-packed with mushroom flavour and al dente rice. The tomato jam is what makes this though – its tart and thick and delicious.
The Zucchini Fritters with Cucumber & Feta Whip ($14) definitely jumps out at us on the menu since this is I make zucchini and corn fritters alot at home – it’s always nice to compare. These were pretty different though – they’re crunchy on the outside but soft inside.
Sadly they were a bit bland for my liking, with a definite lack of seasoning being the issue. The cucumber & feta whip is also a bit too light and lacks the punch I’d hoped for. However that said, they tasted pleasant enough just not really exciting.
One of the highlights of the night was definitely the Tiger Prawn Tacos with Zesty Salsa and Fresh Guacamole ($15) – pictured at the start of this post. The 4 taco shells are homemade and fried to a greasy but delicious crisp.
The prawn and salsa inside is zingy and works well with the test tube squeeze serving of tobasco sauce. And then there’s the guacamole – well it was really just avocado but it was fresh and creamy, just the way it should be! I have to admit, this dish was a winner.
Our final savoury dish of the night is the Sports Day Dogs ($15). It’s one beef and shiraz hot dog with onions and bearnaise; and another that is chicken and sage with brie and cranberry chutney. For the price, it is a very reasonable serving size and it smells phenomenal. Another favourite of the night.
The hot dog buns are sweet – almost brioche like, soft and fluffy. And the diverse fillings are just as wonderful. We start with the beef and shiraz dog which is decadent and delicious. The bearnaise is creamy and rich, and there’s some asparagus spears on top that offer some freshness with each bite.
The chicken and sage hot dog is just as great – the sausage itself is flavoursome and impressive. The brie has melted inside making it smooth and velvety – and the cranberry is sweet but almost sour at the same time. I have to admit I am floored by how great these are.
Like all good meals, we decide to finish up with some dessert. It’s a small selection, so we choose the two on offer other than the cheese board, which are both $12.
First up we have the authentic Apfelstrudel which is served warm with double cream and cinnamon syrup. It is very traditional European dish and tastes really great – spiced well and chunked full of apples and raisins. The syrup is sweet but somehow not at the same time.
But out of the two desserts we ordered, I have to say it was hands-down winner with the Old School Brownie Ice-Cream Sundae that came with liquid chocolate, praline and aramena cherries. My sort of dessert! It was decadently rich, the brownie a dark fudgey chocolate that worked well with the lashings of whipped cream, crunch of praline and fresh de-seeded cherries. Thank god cherries are probably the only thing in the world Jeremy doesn’t like eating so I got them all to myself. And I enjoyed them way too much!
Our night at the Classroom was one I’m glad we got to experience. The food wasn’t anything life changing but it tasted good for the most part and the drinks are out of this world. We both agreed we might need to go back soon for some more sampling of other cocktails on the menu.