Romance is in the air at Balthazar

I’m a really lucky girl I have to admit, and a big part of that is having a wonderful and supportive partner in life. You’ve probably picked up from my blog that my boy’s name is Jeremy and he’s currently studying and training to be a paramedic. I love that he’s found something he’s so passionate about and even though it’s been an adjustment for us both, I’m incredibly proud of him. Even as busy as he’s been lately, when our anniversary rolled around he spoiled me, and planned a wonderful dinner at Perth institution, Balthazar. 

Not having been to this beautiful establishment before we were both excited. It’s dark with dim lighting, walls of wine bottles and intimate tables with couples peppered throughout. Since we’d had a degustation at Restaurant Amuse only the week before, we decide to go ala carte and peruse the menu to make our choices. Naturally we start off with a beverage to kickstart our anniversary meal. 

Jeremy orders a St Bernardus witbier ($12.00), which is a wheat beer that has a second fermentation in the bottle which gives it a specific taste. I really like the flavour of it and find that you really can taste the wheatiness.

Not wanting to commit to any of the cocktails on their list, I ask them for something with gin and berries. It comes back as a sloe gin cocktail with raspberry and cherry flavours ($20.00). It’s a tasty and refreshing drink, with a nice kick from the use of gin.

Moving on to our entree dishes, Jeremy’s venison ($22.00) is plump and juicy, drizzled with a rich jus and accompanied by a salad of peas, radish, nasturtium, pea shoots and herbs. It’s a very simple dish, but full of flavour and the protein is cooked perfectly. We both love gamey meats and venison is one that we enjoy from it’s leanness and the need for it to be treated with respect.

My entree is the crab ($23.00) which comes out as fresh crab meat and soft shell crab, with a watermelon base, watercress and a jalapeΓ±o and shallots relish. I really enjoy this dish – it has the ideal balance of sweet and savoury, the delicate crab meat heightened in sweetness from the juicy and seasonal watermelon. The relish is definitely a star on the plate too, it’s punchy and brings all the ingredients on the plate together. 

Not that we needed extra food, but we also decide to order six oysters to share between us ($4.00 each). They come out and look beautiful, topped with verjuice ice and wild pepper. I so love my oysters and these were refreshing and tasty, with a nice creaminess combined with the natural sweetness. You could really taste the ocean as we happily gulped these down.

After our plates are cleared from our starters, we’re both presented with a complimentary palate cleanser of passionfruit granita with orange sherbet and freeze-dried raspberries. I love seeing palate cleansers that aren’t just sorbet (even though I’m a big sorbet fan) and this one was inventive in texture and flavour. It’s definitely zingy and has that fizzing sensation from the use of sherbet. I love how it has a sour edge to it, and my tastebuds are wiped and ready for the main event.

If there’s duck on the menu, there is a very high chance that one of us will order it. We’re both a little bit obsessed! On this occasion, it’s Jeremy’s main and comes out with a confit duck leg, lightly grilled duck breast, carrot puree, bok choy, ginger, carrots and macadamia nuts ($47.00). 
As if duck isn’t delicious enough (and this one was easily one of the best we’ve both tasted), the thick jus slathered over the top is just plain heavenly. I love deep, rich flavours that have a robust profile and this one was amazing with a strong umami flavour. In my opinion it was what made the dish one that we’ll remember for some time. 

My main choice is the beef fillet ($48.00) which I choose to have cooked rare (and it was!). It comes out with mushrooms, potato and caramelised onion stack and crispy onion. A couple bites in and I actually find myself stopping and smiling. While I love my meat, I have to admit steak isn’t something I order often when out as we usually eat it at home. But this steak was… and I mean this… in my top three steaks of all time – if not the very top itself.

The meat was well rested and tender, falling apart in my mouth. It’s so juicy and flavoursome, working well wit the accompanying ingredients on the plate. I really enjoy the potato and caramelised onion combination, it’s incredibly moorish and something I’ll take on to try at home myself if I can do it justice.

Because it’s a special occasion and I am known for considering dessert to filter through to a separate stomach, we finish up with a final sweet course each. There’s only three different desserts to choose from which I quite like as I’m easily confused and tend to suffer from order anxiety.

My boy chooses the goats cheesecake ($18.00) which comes with peach sorbet, peach jelly and fresh peaches. There’s also a ginger crumb underneath and a paper thin ginger biscuit on top. These are all flavours he really likes, and we’re both impressed by the tartness in the cheesecake just from using goats cheese. It’s smooth and well balanced without falling into the danger zone of being too sweet.

My dessert choice is the banana mousse ($18.00) with rum soaked raisins and puffed wheat. The mousse and raisins are covered in a thin white chocolate shell which snaps open easily to show the light, cool filling inside. The banana flavour is strong but tastes real rather than that cloying artificial banana taste you get at some places – which I detest so much. The puffed wheat is really great, crunchy and a little savoury to counter the other ingredients on the plate.

Normally this wouldn’t be a dish I would have ordered but there was something appealing about it and I’m very happy I picked it – it was so lovely and enjoyable!

Any dinner with my boy is a great occasion out, but celebrating our anniversary makes it even more special – especially when dining at a beautiful restaurant like Balthazar. While my photos are a little on the grainy side due to their extremely limited lighting, I hope you can see just how wonderful the food was. I enjoyed every bite – though the savoury items were much more impressive than the sweet just due to the flavours and ingredients showcased. The staff were attentive but respectful, staying on the ball all night. I can really see why this restaurant is held in such high regard – it was the perfect setting for a romantic night out!

Balthazar on Urbanspoon

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Sarah
    14 December 2014 at 12:40 am

    Wow sounds like you had a wonderful dinner. Even though it got a bad writeup recently I've still heard wonderful things, might have to try it. Happy anniversary

  • Reply
    Queen of Bad Timing
    14 December 2014 at 2:14 pm

    Thank you! I hope you enjoy it, we had such a great time πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Martine @ Chompchomp
    15 December 2014 at 12:08 am

    Wowsers how did you manage to get such good photos in their horrifically dim lighting?!

  • Reply
    Queen of Bad Timing
    15 December 2014 at 12:50 pm

    Haha it was some very careful jostling and rearranging of plates – and ALOT of photo editing! Beautiful place but not a camera's friend at all.

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