I was recently invited to try a new online restaurant reservation service, Restaurant.com.au
The way it works is simple:
- Sign up for a free account.
- Pay an AU$8 fee per reservation at participating restaurants and get 30% off the total bill, including drinks, with no menu restrictions.
Restaurant.com.au is a national booking system and features restaurants from across Australia including Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Geelong, Adelaide, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
For Perth, there are 10 restaurants currently available for bookings at restaurant.com.au: Bouchon Bistro, C Restaurant, Canton Bay Chinese Restaurant & Bar, Char Char Bull, Chesters (Swan Valley), é cucina, Millbrook Winery, Stewart’s at Brookleigh (Swan Valley), Tsunami and White Salt. Hopefully more will come on board soon.
It’s good value for diners, and a good way for restaurateurs to fill their dining rooms on quieter nights. When we booked for C Restaurant, only bookings for 7pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays were available. The days and times available for reservation differ restaurant to restaurant.
The site was really easy to use. I signed up and I made our dinner reservation on my iPad in a matter of minutes.
The total bill for our meal at C Restaurant came to AU$295.70. The 30% discount reduced that to $206.99. A pretty good return on an $8 investment, especially welcome on a lovely but pricey date night out. My write-up of the meal is below.
For more info and to sign up, visit Restaurant.com.au
Thanks to restaurant.com.au, I had 5 x $8 credits to give away.
The giveaway is now closed. Congrats to the five winners who each received a credit in their accounts.
Dinner at C Restaurant
C Restaurant, formerly Hilite 33, is Perth’s only revolving restaurant, located at the top floor of St Martins Tower in the city. The spectacular sweeping views have made it the romantic venue of choice for many a marriage proposal.
Running a restaurant at one of Perth’s hottest addresses can’t come cheap, and not surprisingly, punters can’t simply take the lift up to the 33rd floor to gawk at the million-dollar view over coffee – there is a two-course minimum for dinner, priced at AU$88 per person for your choice of entrée and main, or a main course with dessert. If romance makes you extra hungry, additional entrées or desserts are AU$15 each.
We began our meal with a glass of Rococo Blanc de Blancs NV for Jac (AU$14) and for me, a Virgin Appletini (apple juice, dash of lemon juice and Gomme syrup, AU$10). It was rather lovely to sip our drinks and gaze at the twinkling city lights, trying to pick out the landmarks we recognised within the slowly but ever-changing view. We were seated under the ceiling lights, right by the windows.
We shared a serving of freshly baked petit pains with creamed salted butter and Chittering Valley extra virgin olive oil (AU$7), crusty and warm out of the oven.
Jac enjoyed her starter of Tasmanian salmon tataki with root vegetable salad and jalapeno dressing.
I chose the seared scallops, pea puree, crispy pancetta, shoots and cumin foam. The scallops were just how I like them, plump with a caramelised crust and bouncy yet tender texture. I’m not a fan of foams and for the most part ridicule their continued use (chefs, it has never been a good idea nor appetising to put anything on the plate resembling saliva) – but was surprised at how well the cumin flavour combined with the pea puree, sweet scallops and salty pancetta.
For main, Jac chose a hearty wintery dish – confit of duck leg, macadamia and celeriac puree, baby boy choy, courgettes, shitake mushrooms and spicy plum jus. I tried some of the duck, mash and jus – delicious, but incredibly rich.
I ordered the smoked lime and chilli marinated chicken breast, baby carrots, roasted garlic mash potatoes, pancetta and creamy morel sauce. I always prefer thigh to breast but have been very lucky lately and have been surprised by/enjoyed many a dish featuring juicy, moist chicken breast. The chilli was very mild, but I could definitely taste the lime. The vegetables (baby corn, orange and carrots, green beans, courgette) were crisp, perhaps a tad underdone. This was the first time I ate purple carrots – they tasted like… carrots. Did you know that carrots were originally purple (purple’s now making a big comeback)?
We decided to pay the extra for cheese and dessert. The cheeseboard comes with your choice of two cheeses (AU$15), or all three cheeses for an additional AU$7.50. We went with all three – Roitelet Brie (France), Fourme d’Ambert Blue (France) and Maffra clothbound cheddar (Victoria). The Brie and cheddar were fantastic and I kept grabbing the knife and helping myself to more – but that blue (and I say this as a blue cheese lover) was as stinky as they come. Fourme d’Ambert is known to be a mild blue, but “mild” would be the last adjective I’d use to describe the blue cheese we were served. I do enjoy a strong socky cheese that smells like a damp cellar, but this had the overpowering smell of ammonia and left an unpleasant, thick lingering aftertaste as if I’d fallen face-first with in the dirtiest corner of a wet cowshed. Perhaps past its best and beginning to turn? The rest of the cheeseboard, including cubes of fruit paste and a generous supply of crackers, was delightful.
We also shared a rather less pungent dessert – vanilla pannacotta, caramelised pineapple and coconut sorbet (AU$15). The pannacotta hit all the pleasure points – it was wobbly, delicate and silky. The smoky-sweet pineapple cubes and coconut sorbet, served on a bed of toasted coconut, added a tropical twist to the elegant but otherwise plain vanilla pudding.
It was a fabulous meal with attentive service, much fancier than most of our usual date nights. The revolving restaurant kept me amused and bemused all evening “Where did the bar go? Oh, right – the revolving.” The stunning views did bring our conversation to a standstill every now and then, when something interesting in the distance caught either of our eyes and kept us momentarily mesmerised. But dinner with one of the best views in Perth costs a premium, and even with a 30% discount, I think the prices will keep C Restaurant strictly on my special occasion splurge list.
Level 33, 44 St Georges Terrace (St Martin’s Tower)
Perth WA 6000
Telephone: (08) 9220 8333
Monday to Friday: 11am to late
Saturday and Sunday 12pm to late
There is secure parking in the basement level of St Martin’s Tower for AU$15 per car. Cheaper street parking may be available, but the basement car park offers a convenient option.
The restaurant has a smart-casual dress code. See essential info for details.
Restaurant.com.au and Wasamedia provided TFP with one $8 credit in order to try out the booking service.
Our two-course meal was compliments of Restaurant.com.au and Wasamedia.
We paid for all other items (sparkling wine and mocktail, bread, dessert and cheeseboard).
From a food blogger’s perspective, the photography proved challenging as the lights revolved throughout the meal, so at certain points we were between the ceiling lights. Jac had to be my lighting assistant with the iPad. I’m sure we looked like a pair of weirdos (mostly to the staff as we did not have other diners seated directly next to us), but that’s how it goes.
My preference is to use natural light. I never use the camera flash. The iPad is always a rare and last resort when I find myself in dimly lit dining situations – I don’t think of it as part of my photographic kit. On those occasions anyway, I’m always careful to ensure the iPad is pointed downwards at the table/food and not outward at other diners/restaurant ie no ‘blinding’ of staff or diners.