It’s new menu time at one of my fave joints in Perth: The Standard. I’ve given them lots of love here on my blog and in social, and with good reason. The food is amazing, the venue is perfect to while away a long afternoon in the sun or cozy up in the corner for drinks at night, and it has just the right balance of fun and relaxation.
I get a little giddy whenever I know Chef Chase Weber has been in the kitchen concocting new dishes so I tend to race in and try them quick. But never fear – the popular chicken grill and carpaccio are still present. I might just rebel if they ever disappear.
On our way to a double Fringe WORLD Festival dose of shows (Untrue Detective and Nautilus), I met up for an early dinner at The Standard with my girl gang Laura, Kira, Ai-Ling and Danica.
With glasses of Dormilona’s rose in hand (oh god it’s nearly sold out everywhere so if you find a bottle order it asap!), we decided just to order all the new dishes on the menu. And as fate would have it, it was just the right amount of food for the five of us to share.
First up: Geraldton wax cured ocean trout, rice cracker, lemon aspin and watermelon radish ($16.00). A pretty dish on the plate and on the palate, it was bright and textural and screamed of summer.
Two new vegetarian dishes have made their way to the menu. One has a real Asian flavour profile – made of Thai eggplant with tomato & tamarind, green mango and a spicy hot and sour salad ($16.00). Just a slight heat kick from chilli, this was fresh and full of little crunchy nuggets of flavour.
My pick though was the mozzarella with asparagus, peach, turmeric and blood orange gremolata ($17.00). It reminded me of stracciatella: the cheese was just so beautifully creamy and smooth, and really sung with every bite. This is a must order in my opinion. Refined, exciting and delicious.
Another impressive offering was the scampi with glutinous chive cakes, red vinegar caramel, coriander and belachan ($21.00). Belachan is a dried shrimp paste that I am very familiar with from my mother’s cooking, and it packs a punch.
The glutinous chive cakes are similar to the rice cakes you get with The Standard’s yellow curry and are so good I wish they sold them on their own – I’d order a mountain of them. The scampi, eaten with their shell on, are perfect to spoon a mouthful of with the rich sauce.
The scallop ceviche with green tea noodles, sweet onion cream, daikon and wakame ($21.00) has a gentle nod to Japanese flavours. It’s a very delicate dish.
I did find it more enjoyable when I concentrated on it and didn’t eat it immediately following bites of the other dishes. This would make an ideal starter, as it is mild but sweet and fresh. Oh so fresh.
The pressed lamb belly and cured loin with native plum, pickled kohlrabi and corn bread ($26.00) was our final savoury dish for our early evening dinner. Wow.
I think that sums it up in one, and definitely does it justice. The lamb is unctuous and morish; the corn bread fried crisp for enjoyment. I liked the use of the native plum and kohlrabi which brought in a little sweetness and tartness to offset the fattiness of the meat. A really clever dish in my eyes.
And just like that our dinner was over! But with a half bottle of wine left, and a half hour until our first Fringe show, we decided to try the new dessert on offer. A couple plates of it to share were ordered without hesitation.
Another pretty plate, this was the kaffir lime mousse with strawberry, shortbread, rosé wine gum and mascarpone ice-cream ($26.00). I loved those wine gums and the paper thin sheets of strawberry which reminded me of fruit roll ups, but an adult version.
There’s lots of clever stuff happening here, and it really goes to show the inventiveness and playfulness that the Chef has with his approach to cooking. You could never pigeonhole his style to one cuisine, instead he takes his hat off to many. It’s no wonder The Standard keeps luring me back: it impresses each and every time.