I headed down on the Friday afternoon with fellow bloggers Cyn from the Food Pornographer, Martine from Chompchomp and Michelle from Foodie Cravings, thanks to Taste of Perth in partnership with Electrolux. After participating in an evening where we got to preview dishes on offer, I was really excited to sample more of what the event had to offer.
I love a good cooking demonstration, not just because of the food nerd that resides inside me, but it also allows you to interact and observe with the chefs leading Perth’s culinary scene. I really appreciate the style of cooking Scott has, with his respect for Australian produce and showcasing our native ingredients. To this end, it was great to see that he was cooking Bib and Tucker’s Taste Icon Dish – a Flinders Island wallaby shank with puffed wild rice and pickled grape agrodolce.
You could also purchase this at their stall for 14 crowns (= $14), which opened the doors for many diners who hadn’t tried wallaby before. And yes, it was slightly tortuous sitting there smelling that beautiful rich meat which had been slowly cooking away in the oven for 3 hours prior… my mouth was literally salivating. Such is the magic in beautiful food being prepared before your eyes.
After the cooking demonstration we exited the Electrolux Theatre and began a series of tastings for dishes on offer. Restaurants with stalls at Taste of Perth were Asado, Bib and Tucker, El Publico, Lalla Rookh, Mary’s, Next Door at No 4, Print Hall, Propeller, Bistro Guillaume, Modo Mio, Nobu and Silks. All stands had four different dishes on offer, including one at only $6 and another being their ‘icon’ dish. Sadly too many options for one person to try them all, but I was willing to give it a decent shot!
Our first dish was also the most expensive on offer at $32, a grade 9 wagyu carpaccio with quail egg, ahi amarillo aioli, fried salt bush and soy salt. Silence. There was no time to speak, no words to explain, just the light echo of wooden forks against cardboard plates.
Soft, unctuous and melt-in-your-mouth meat was as good as it gets with those beautiful ribbons of fat marbling the beef. The aioli was tangy and vibrant; the salt bush crisp and living up to it’s name. I really enjoyed the quivering quail eggs, sitting quietly, unassumingly, awaiting to be burst and spill forth glossy orange yolk. It was cohesive, playful and a flavour explosion to get me sitting up straighter and peering around curiously like a meerkat determining what would come next.
I also enjoyed a serving of their street corn ($6.00), which is charred and braised, served with cream, chilli, lime and fresh cheese. This dish… I’ve spoken of it several times on my blog. For me, it is all kinds of goodness featuring some of my go to ingredients – and it is a great showcase of how cheese can be integrated into a Mexican dish but remain fresh, not overladen or stodgy.
And for those who don’t like to eat corn in public from fear of getting kernels stuck in your teeth… never fear, this has been removed from the cob making it a festival friendly dish that you can walk around while munching away on (sans buttery corn smeared across your cheeks).
Once we’d finished up our bites at Bib and Tucker, it was time to venture out on our own to get some feasting under way. Cyn and I decided to pool our crowns together so we could maximise the number of dishes we got to try – something that we were both all too happy to do!
Making a beeline to Mary’s, the fried chicken wings were calling our names. Molten hot inside, we were careful when biting down to discover the delightful filling of kewpie mayonnaise and roe. Yummmmm! Slathered in an Asian style soy and chilli sauce, these deboned wings were all kinds of guilty goodness, with crunchy, cream, juice and packed full of flavour.
I’m having a ridiculous love affair with this restaurant at the moment, and find myself waiting anxiously for the sun to go down so that Mary Street Bakery will shift into it’s alter ego state. Was I surprised to hear the aged beef rump tartare was the runner up dish at Taste of Perth? Hell no, because it’s easily one of my favourite dishes there full stop.
I promised myself I’d come back here for their $6.00 dish on my way out – a peanut butter and jam donut with chocolate crumb. More on this later… but in the mean time, yes just think about how damn good that sounds.
Cyn and I made ourselves a little picnic on the grass, happy to get stuck into our ceviche and dessert after getting some snaps of our food. The ceviche ($12.00) was made from a market fish, topped with avocado, coriander, lime, chilli, cherry tomatoes and a side of house tortilla chips.
Ceviche is definitely up there with my favourite ways to enjoy fish thanks to the zingy flavours and the lovely freshness it brings to each bite. The corn chips are a nice contrasting texture to the softness of the fish flesh.
With not much time left to go before my driver was picking me up at the close of the session, I split away from the pack to grab some sweet treats to take home with me. Though the chicken liver parfait at Bistro Guillaume was demanding my attention… somehow I managed to escape the call.
At $8.00, the duo of macarons at that stall was something I knew I just had to buy. One salted caramel, one strawberry, both equally perfect in their crisp shell and gooey marshmallowy centre. I really enjoyed these and was reminded just how fantastic a good macaron can really be.
Wow, what a day. With food like this, it’s no wonder I love a good food festival – especially because you can try so many different places or you could stay loyal and feast away at just one or two. Taste of Perth is good fun, and with yummy bites that offer you a ‘taste’ of what some of our great restaurants are doing without having to commit to a full meal there. For me, I find it inspiring as it gears my tastebuds up for a full blown visit.
Thank you to the lovely team at Taste of Perth in partnership with Electrolux for treating me to such a fun day out celebrating the Perth food scene.