Mushroom Mania: Clarke's of North Beach
We've wanted to dine at Clarke's of North Beach ever since last year's Largesse Dinner but various things kept popping up to thwart our dining plans. When I saw Clarke's on the list of Perth restaurants participating in Mushroom Mania, I didn't hesitate to make a dinner booking.
On July's menu is a first course perfect for mushroom celebration month (not that I'd need an excuse to order it) - saute winter mushrooms, toasted brioche, porcini caramel, warm chestnut espuma and Manjimup black truffle (AU$20).
As soon as I saw the dish, I thought of an artist's palette splattered with paint. The colourful ribbons of shaved vegetables, dainty little purple flowers, pea shoot tendrils, splodges of bright yellow and cream, golden toasted brioche, and mushrooms in delicious shades of brown piled on lusciously green spinach. My anticipation grew as the waiter shaved fresh black truffle onto the mushrooms.
The winter mushrooms consisted of shiitake, oyster and tiny baby enoki mushrooms, all cooked beautifully, bouncy and juicy. I loved all the colours, textures and flavours assembled on the plate - the crisp vegetables, the savoury truffle shavings, bright sunny pumpkin puree, sweet creamy chestnut espuma, a scattering of crunchy crumbs, the decadently buttery brioche. Jac wasn't so keen on the blobs and dribbles on the plate, but for me, it was all about the taste. It was delicious, interesting and fun to eat.
While I loved the intricate detail in the presentation of the dish, I must say I'm not a fan of these slabs of basalt, which seem to be the latest rage in restaurant plating. I find the flatness of the surface makes it difficult to scrape sauce off the plate, and I'm more likely to get food on the tablecloth as I eat, due to the plate's lack of angle, height or rim.
We also shared a side dish of saute royal blue potato and mushroom gnocchi with pancetta (AU$14). The gnocchi and mushrooms were served on another slab of basalt, in a little copper pan with a dish of hollandaise sauce.
The gnocchi were ever so lightly browned, perfectly soft and delicate little pillows. The pancetta added salty bursts in every mouthful. The mushrooms were cooked nicely. I didn't think the sauce was necessary. I enjoyed the gnocchi and could easily eat a big bowl of it - but it's pricey for a side dish.
I'll post an extended write-up about our entire meal at Clarke's of North Beach soon.
Clarke's of North Beach
97 Flora Terrace
North Beach WA 6020
Telephone: (08) 9246 7621
Open for dinner Tuesday to Saturday, 6.30-11pm
Menu changes monthly
About Mushroom Mania, July 1-31
Join the Mushroom Mania fun this month!
- Get the free Mushroom Mania app for your smartphone/iPhone or check out the locality guide online to find your local participating restaurants
- Order mushroom dishes when you dine out
- Post a review of a mushroom dish you've eaten for your chance to win $100 - there's a giveaway every week in July
- Join the Mushroom Lovers Club for mushroom recipes, cooking tips, news and more
- Follow Mushroom Mania on Twitter and Facebook
TFP dined at Clarke's of North Beach with compliments of the Australian Mushroom Growers Association as part of Mushroom Mania month. All opinions expressed are my own.
My Mushroom Mania posts