There’s not much that will get me out on a school night in the middle of winter, I’m a serial hibernator in the cold climate and have been known to turn down many a midweek invitation when the temperature drops. But a food safari is a surefire way to get me dusting off my winter coat and venturing out into the night cold.
I was invited to attend the Perth Night Food Safari by Cork and Cheese on behalf of The Publican Group Australia. First stop: The George. We were greeted by the lovely Melissa of Cork and Cheese and glasses of Moët to kick off a night of fabulous food in the company of Perth food bloggers. My first impression of The George (although I have been there many, many years ago) is of style and understated sophistication, as in a ‘cool kid’ kind of way. A bit like Kate Moss of the restaurant world. With its modern decor and warm, moody (in a good way) ambience, I liked it.
From The George we marched through the streets of Perth (we really do have a pretty little city don’t we?) to The Aviary. If you haven’t visited The Aviary yet I suggest you get there quick smart! Perth’s largest rooftop bar situated in the heart of the city, The Aviary is a popular Friday night venue for after-work drinks. Too bad I don’t work in the city or I could see this spot becoming my ‘regular’. Unfortunately I was too busy feeding my face to snap any images, however you can check out The Aviary at their website.
Here we dined on 5-spiced lamb cutlet with chilli caramel, chicken and chive dumpling, and chilli salted cuttlefish with a hint of a delicious curry sauce. Our host for the evening was Telina Menzies, executive chef of The Publican Group. She talked to us about her career thus far and gave us an insight into the three venues we were visiting.
Following entrée we headed back to The George for mains. There were two options on the menu – braised beef short ribs or cauliflower custard with shaved Manjimup truffle, smoked baby onions and turnip. I went for the cauliflower custard and was pleasantly surprised. I have always sat on the fence when it came to cauliflower – do I or don’t I like it, I was never really sure. This dish confirmed that I in fact do. Deliciously mild and slightly salty, the cauliflower custard was divine.
Two beautiful salads graced the table – endive, shaved fennel citrus segments and shallot was the first, the second was a selection of autumn greens with almonds and butter pecorino. These were accompanied with a selection of bread and Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir for the red lover and Cloudy Bay Sauvignon for the white. All in all a fabulous meal with fabulous company. I was meeting the voices behind blogs I have been reading for some time and I was finally able to put a face to some of the twitter handles I’ve been following, and all in the setting of these gorgeous restaurants.
Lastly for dessert we ventured into Wolf Lane. As a longtime fan of King Street, I have heard great things about this venue and have been somewhat intrigued. King Street is one of my favourite city spots (for browsing, not shopping – champagne taste on a beer budget people!). Up until it closed down my brother and I frequented King St Café for long lunches for years. Tucked away down an alleyway off King Street, Wolf Lane is all art and eclectic vintage touches. It’s the type of bar you’d want to nestle in on a cold winter’s night and take refuge in one of the comfortable armchairs pondering their fabulous selection of beverages and snacks. It played host to the perfect end to a great evening. Plus there were frozen chocolate martinis and white chocolate mud cupcakes. No explanation needed here.
If you are food-inclined and like to try something different, head to The George, The Aviary or Wolf Lane and check out what’s on offer. I recall a time when I used to often hear people complain that Perth lacked variety with night spots and great eateries, but thanks in part to The Publican Group, I don’t think anyone can complain about that anymore.
What venues have you visited in your hometown lately that impressed you? Do you like to sample something new when you dine out or do you prefer to stick to your usual?
Disclosure: I was invited to join this media only event as a guest. Opinions on venues and meals are of course my own.