More Mushroom Mania! We enjoyed a wonderful dinner recently at Friends Restaurant in East Perth. I’ll post an extended write-up of the entire meal soon, but for now, here are the mushroom dishes.
One of the three (yes, three!) complimentary amuse-bouches was creamy mushroom soup served in dolly cups. In the soup were soft slivers of inky black mushroom. If Jac noticed me sneakily sticking my finger back into my empty cup to mop up the dregs of that tasty soup, she didn’t say anything. ;)
For my first course I ordered scallops seared St Jacques with tomato and herb risotto (AU$25). The six small but plump scallops were caramelised on the outside and, despite the rather scorched appearance of one or two, cooked to springy perfection. But what made my heart sing was the layer of tender Swiss brown, shiitake and oyster mushrooms I had not expected to find served on top of the scallops and the risotto. The risotto was rich, well seasoned and creamy, one of the best I’ve had in any restaurant, but the texture of the mushrooms made this dish such a pleasure to eat – they practically stole the scallops’ show! The mushrooms were not mentioned on the menu description, so if you go to Friends and choose this dish after reading about it here, I’d check when ordering whether mushrooms will be included.
For my main course I ordered the Mt Barker chicken breast with wild mushrooms, truffled mash and truffle foam (AU$45). Regular readers know I’m a dark meat gal, but this chicken breast was cooked to moist perfection with crispy golden skin that crackled under my teeth, and was served on a bed of lusciously green juicy spinach. The dish was a delight to eat – the more I tasted and poked around with my fork, the more mushroom I discovered. Under the sweet wrinkled roasted grape tomatoes was creamy mushroom sauce. The wild mushrooms were the same varieties as in the risotto dish – Swiss brown, shiitake and oyster. There weren’t many mushrooms scattered on the plate but they were intensely strong and quite salty, the oyster mushrooms especially – each one held enough flavour for two or three mouthfuls.
The foam on the plate had a wonderful flavour but I’ve never been a foam fan – I like interesting textures in a dish but personally find foam unappetising. To be blunt, whenever I see foam on a dish, I can’t help thinking of (someone else’s) saliva. It wouldn’t put me off ordering or enjoying a dish, but I really don’t care for it.
The truffled mash potato was served in the shape of little pears, visibly speckled with black truffle and garnished with another delightful mushroom discovery: delicate spires of deep-fried enoki mushrooms. My eyes were as tantalised as my tastebuds! I fell in love with and devoured all the intricate details of this dish.
If you think these dishes were impressive, wait till I tell you about the rest of the meal – it was easily one of this year’s more memorable and epic meals. It was certainly fantastic for the mushroom lover in me. I must thank the staff for so cheerfully answering my questions about the varieties of mushroom used in my dishes.
20 Terrace Road (the Hyatt Centre)
East Perth WA 600
Telephone: (08) 9221 088
Open for dinner Tuesday to Saturday
Open for lunch Friday
Open Sunday and Monday for functions
Entertainment book card discount, up to $45 off (that’s the price of a main course)
I made our reservation online at their website – so easy!
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
And don’t forget to tell me all about the magnificent mushroom dishes you eat this month – I don’t just love eating mushrooms, I love talking about them too. What’s your favourite way to eat mushrooms?
TFP dined at Friends Restaurant with compliments of the Australian Mushroom Growers Association as part of Mushroom Mania month. All opinions expressed are my own.
See my Mushroom Mania posts