Lamont’s Wine Store, Cottesloe

There’s no mistaking this is a wine store. All around us were wine bottles with local and international labels – on shelves, caged in racks, sold by the case. With bottles, boxes and wooden crates stacked high, it felt like we were sitting in a store room or had come for lunch on moving day – I won’t forget this wine cave in a hurry.

DSCF4329For Lamont’s Wine Store diners, there’s a wine list with the day’s recommendations, but if nothing on it takes your fancy, you have the whole shop floor to choose from, adding $18.50 per bottle ($37 for a magnum) to the retail price for the ‘drink here’ price. Wine connoisseurs, this means you get access to a spectacular range of wines

Feels like a store room or moving house

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For my birthday in April, my family gave me a $100 Best Restaurants of Australia gift card. I decided to use it recently for a weekend lunch at Lamont’s Wine Store Cottesloe. We’ve dined at Lamont’s Bishop’s House in the Perth CBD and Lamont’s Smith Beach in Yallingup. Now that we’ve ticked Cottesloe off the list, there’s Lamont’s Swan Valley left to try.

The menu at Cottesloe consists mostly of tapas dishes including half a dozen items that are available in both tapas and main sizes. We liked the idea of shared plates for lunch. Add a couple of rounds of baguette and glasses of Lamont’s Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (AU$9 per glass), and we were all set for a leisurely meal.

Baguette with olive oil (AU$2.50 per person) Baguette with olive oil (AU$2.50 per person) – the olive oil proved redundant as soon as the tapas dishes arrived

We sucked on the tails of the sweet, bouncy grilled tiger prawns, served with fall-apart cooked saffron tomatoes (here’s where chunks of bread came in handy), and fresh herbs and leaves dripping in buttermilk, pleasantly cool and slightly sour. There were three prawns in this tapas serving, the third prawn we meticulously divided in two.

Grilled tiger prawns, saffron tomatoes, buttermilk dressed greens (AU$18.50 tapas size) Grilled tiger prawns, saffron tomatoes, buttermilk dressed greens (this was the tapas size, AU$18.50. This dish is also available in main size for $37.50)

Two years later, I still remember and think about the exquisitely moist and juicy piece of chicken I enjoyed at a truffle degustation dinner at Lamont’s Bishop’s House, and I had great expectations for the sesame poached chicken with courgette ribbons. I was not disappointed – the fragrant slices of cold chicken were tender and delicate, the lightly pickled courgette the best of the vegetables on our plates.

Sesame poached chicken, courgette ribbons (AU$16.50) Sesame poached chicken, courgette ribbons (AU$16.50) – I secretly wanted this all to myself

The duck rillettes came in a generous serving, with croutons, greens and wafer-thin cross sections of fresh pear. The rillettes had a sweet, almost cake-like aftertaste, but a texture that was all meat – any carnivore would be immediately entranced. We slathered it thickly on chunks of baguette (hence the need for a second serving of bread).

Duck rillette, shaved pear, caramelised walnuts (AU$16.50) Duck rillette, shaved pear, caramelised walnuts (AU$16.50)

Whenever I order grilled scallops, I want them with a golden brown crust just like this. Each scallop was topped with more caramelised goodness – shredded sticky sumac lamb – and strips of fresh basil. We had a pipsqueak of a specimen on the plate – at just over $4 per scallop, you’d be understandably outraged if this was the sole scallop you received for your $4. Thankfully, there were three scallops of a decent size on the plate, including a monster that I christened ‘Jabba‘ before I ate it. I could consume a scary number of these delicious bites – scary because of the subsequent damage to my wallet.

Grilled local scallops, sticky sumac lamb (AU$16.50) Grilled local scallops, sticky sumac lamb (AU$16.50). That’s Jabba in the foreground

Our final dish was the venison chorizo, a dozen slices served with a wedge of grilled lemon. The open kitchen is right next to the dining room, and we enjoyed the sizzle and savoury aroma of the chorizo on the hotplate even before squeezing the lemon and tasting the chewy, peppery sausage.

Venison chorizo, grilled lemon (AU$10.50) Venison chorizo, grilled lemon (AU$10.50)

For dessert, Jac ordered the honey panna cotta, served with stewed strawberries and crushed pistachios. The silken honeyed pudding was superb and in my opinion didn’t really need the nutty debris, but that didn’t stop me sneaking in tastes between mouthfuls of my own dessert.

Honey panna cotta, strawberries and pistachio (AU$9) Honey panna cotta, strawberries and pistachio (AU$9)

I chose the warm ginger cake, fancified with dollops of lemon curd and thickened cream. The lemon dominated the ginger, but no complaints from me. The best way to enjoy this hot and cold dessert is to eat it quickly – too easy.

We split a glass of Lamont’s Muscat (AU$10) for a warm fuzzy finish. We’d caught the train to Cottesloe (Lamont’s is a short walk from the station) so had no worries about drink driving.

Warm ginger cake, lemon curd and cream (AU$9.50) Warm ginger cake, lemon curd and cream (AU$9.50)

The service was outstanding. When we walked in at noon, it was just our table and one other, gradually building up to half a dozen or so tables, comprising of twos, a three, and fours. And for most of it, we had one waiter looking after us all, and one chef cooking his heart out in the open kitchen. Our waiter apologised on two occasions for not returning sooner to our table to pour the wine – but we didn’t mind. We could see how busy he was and how hard he was working to serve everyone (including hefting a couple of cases of wine for a customer) – we could see the concentration in his expression. I know I’m raving about nothing more than a waiter doing a his job well, but this is something we don’t see enough of when dining out in Perth, and we were very impressed.

The bill came to just over $160, with drinks. Not a cheap lunch, so I can’t see this becoming a regular casual outing, but even if I hadn’t paid $100 with a gift card, I’d have still gone home perfectly content with my food baby. Kate Lamont’s signature is evident: dishes presented simply, flavour the star of the show. It’s been a while since a tapas-style meal and service has impressed this much. If all dining experiences were as good as this, no restaurateur would ever fear Urbanspoon.

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 Lamont's Cottesloe Lamont’s Cottesloe – don’t let the underwhelming shop front fool you – beyond the boxes in the window, magnificent things are waiting

Lamont’s Wine Store Cottesloe
12 Station St, Cottesloe WA 6011
Telephone: (08) 9385 0666
Kitchen is open 12noon to 10pm
Bookings can be made via Dimmi on the Lamont’s website – very convenient.

Lamont's Wine Store Cottesloe on Urbanspoon

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  • It sounds like a wonderful meal. While I haven’t drunk alcohol for a few months (self-imposed sobriety!), I can see my father-in-law loving this restaurant. He’s a big wine collector and his cellar is incredible – he’d be in his element in this place!

    • Amanda, we’re no wine aficionados but I can see how exciting it would be for a real wine buff being surrounded by such an amazing range. And all available to you if you can afford it!