Last night Jeremy and I went to see Anh Do at the Concert Hall in Perth, which was the tour for his book – The Happiest Refugee. I absolutely adored reading this book so to say I was looking forward to seeing him live was a bit of an understatement. And yes, the performance was incredible – funny, heartfelt, tear inducing and an emotional roller coaster that left you feeling fuzzy and grateful for life. How phenomenal!
Before we went to the show we decided to go for dinner somewhere along the Terrace. Since I’ve heard really great (and some mixed) reviews about Greenhouse, we decide to stop by for dinner. We don’t have a booking but we manage to grab one of the final tables available and sink down happily while perusing the menu.
If you haven’t been to Greenhouse before, it is incredibly funky. There’s a great use of wooden materials inside combined with a very modern, hipster like interior. And let’s not forget the rooftop bar which looks like it’s covered in vines amid twinkling lights. I love it.
Since we know we’re on a schedule for time, we order quickly, picking four of the larger dishes to share for our dinner. Our waitress is really great, she tells us straight up it’s probably too much food and recommends which one to take off – and also that she thinks we should add a small one in its place. I love that she tells us the pumpkin dish is her favourite and we’re happy to go with her recommendation (I’m so glad we did!).
After we place our meal orders, our drinks arrive. Jeremy chooses a Stone Wood beer which he really enjoys throughout the dining experience. I’ve had a bit of a headache all day so I go for the bartender’s choice mocktail. They give me the option of citrus or berry for which I choose the latter. It comes out as pretty as a picture – pink, berry flavoured with a kick of lemon afterwards. I really enjoy it and am actually craving it right now!
Our first food item for the night comes out quickly which is a plate of Raw Snapper, Avocado, Native Citrus and Herbs. This is fresh and fantastic. I’ve never had raw snapper before and I have to say I really enjoyed it. The flesh is firm but tender; the citrus flavours used tart and zingy. There’s a nice slick of avocado under each piece of fish and a scattering of herbs to balance it all out.
Next up comes a gorgeously presented serving of Marron with Tomato, Herb and Radish Salad. The marron is cut in half with each lightly grilled, giving it a smokey taste. The meat is lightly translucent in the centre and has this incredibly freshness that screams today’s catch. The strong flavours of the herb salad and the slightly peppery radish slices all compliment the gentle profile of the marron. It’s a very smart and savvy dish.
Our bowl of Ox Heart with Mustard Greens and Fried Onions comes out looking like a visual feast. We squeeze the accompanying lemon wedge over the top which brings some acidity into the dish and enhances the richness of the meat. Those slices of ox heart are just plain delicious. They’re lightly pink in the centre with a melt in your mouth quality.
The fried onion scatterings taste like little mini onion rings that are jam packed with flavour. We use a lot of fried onion in my house with noodles, rice etc but I love this alternative style use. They make this non-traditional meat cut much more fun and exciting – and acceptable to the everyday Joe.
Our waitress’s recommendation of Spiced Pumpkin with Labne and Sumac is our final savoury for the night. But by no means is it the least worthy of talking about – it is my absolute favourite for the evening. The roast pumpkin is coated in a light spice rub that has a small kick of chilli and the flesh pulls apart with the sweetest aroma.
The labne it sits in is creamy and has little chunks of sliced nuts throughout which contributes to the texture and flavours. It’s hard to believe that so much flavour can be injected into these few ingredients, but it all works so well.
Since we’re making really good time for the show we decide that we’ll indulge in a dessert each so we’ve maximised our dining experience at Greenhouse. Jeremy chooses one that consists of pistachio foam, stewed fruits and gingerbread cream.
It comes out in a beautiful terracotta pot that is actually quite big and full to the brim of food. The mixture of ingredients is very wintery with rhubarb a key flavour. The dessert itself is almost like a custard and it has both savoury and sweet nodes. Very non-traditional.
The only downfall with it is that there is an over-abundance of mint leaves throughout. They get a little wet and slimy from the dessert mixture and he ends up picking them out.
My dessert is actually something I wouldn’t normally see myself ordering. It’s a liquorice and berry parfait with homemade marshmallow. Since I’m not the biggest fan of aniseed I ask the waitress how strong it is and she reassures me it’s quite mild – so I decide to be brave and give it a shot.
It’s quite a pretty dish, with the parfait a mottled mixture of green and red. My first bite is probably the heaviest liquorice flavour but as I go on it mellows out and I realise it’s quite enjoyable. I love the berry compote type outer which has frozen into an icy pole like consistency. The ice-cream itself is light and creamy and the crumbs on the side give some much needed crunch and savouriness. The marshmallow is just plain yum!
It’s a lovely way to end our dinner and head off to our show, with bellies full and a fantastic range of flavours lingering on the palate. I’ll have to come back soon to try the breakfast!