Good-bye, SRM

I was a little depressed last week (actually, I’m still feeling a little down) because my workmate and friend SRM had his last day of work last Wednesday. He, his wife and daughter have moved to Canada. They flew out today, actually. SRM’s wife is Canadian and it was always part of their plan to someday go and live in Canada.

And so on SRM’s last day, we went to lunch at The Royal (60 Royal St, East Perth). We had an outside table in the sunshine by the water. A lovely setting.

My boss loves risotto – she ordered the wild mushroom risotto (AU$26.00), with wild mushrooms, spinach, semi-dried tomatoes and gorgonzola. She really enjoyed it.

Wild mushroom risotto

SRM and J both ordered the battered barramundi with shoestring fries, salad and tartare sauce (AU$19.00).

Battered fish with fries

J said the fish was a little disappointing; the batter on the outside was crispy, but the fish on the inside had a mushy sort of texture – we think probably it had been frozen and then not thawed out properly before being battered and deepfried. I don’t actually mind if fish has been frozen (we eat frozen fish all the time at home), but I do mind if I can tell it’s been frozen when I eat it.

Battered fish innards

L had the steak sandwich (AU$22.00), which consisted of scotch fillet in toasted ciabatta bread with baby cos lettuce, cheese, bacon and sweet chilli and onion aioli, served with shoestring fries – she enjoyed it, but found it very oily. Whenever she picked it up to bite into it, the oil dripped freely from the sandwich. Sorry I didn’t get a better shot of the sandwich fillings. L was really hungry and I didn’t want to delay her eating for too long.

Steak sandwich and fries

C had the caesar salad – you can have it with chicken (AU$23.00), five-spiced squid ($23.00 – personally I reckon five-spiced squid in a caesar would render its flavour quite un-caesar!) or plain ($19.00) – she chose the salad plain. She found the high bowl a little difficult to eat out of. If you think the salad’s looking a little dry, you’ll be right – but only because C asked for her dressing on the side. She was given a huge amount of dressing in a ramekin filled to the brim.

Caesar salad

I ordered the Cajun chicken salad (AU$24.00). It arrived looking quite spectacular, piled high and colourful on this large and unusual triangular-shaped plate. The chicken thigh pieces were succulent and seasoned with Cajun spice; the mayonnaise was a Cajun mayo. I thought that may have been too much Cajun, but surprisingly, it was really good. The chicken was probably a tough spicier than the mayo and they went very well together. There was a lot more chicken than the photo actually suggests. The salad consisted of English spinach, avocado, cherry tomatoes, red onion and roasted cashews, and was topped with a light sprinkling of desiccated coconut. I felt that the coconut needed to have more of a presence or none at all; it didn’t really have much of an effect on the overall flavour of the dish. The chef went a little nuts (hah) with the cashews – there were way too many. They’re actually quite rich, especially when eaten coated in creamy cajun mayo dressing, with avocado and everything else, and I couldn’t actually finish all the cashews – I was forced to leave a small pile of uneaten nuts behind on the plate. Still, this was a really tasty dish, and I’d eat it again no worries.

Cajun chicken salad

Anyway… SRM’s already got a great job lined up, and he’s going to live in the land of maple syrup (and my workmate J would say it’s the land of poutine too!), so while I’ll really miss him, I’m also happy for him. Keep in touch, SRM!

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