Eat Drink Perth 2014 is on during April in the City of Perth and I was invited to attend the opening event, The First Feast, held the Perth CBD’s premier dining precinct, Brookfield Place.
Feasters walked the red carpet to gather under a domed marquee where swing band Darling Buds of May played a set of groovy tunes that got our toes tapping, and the first tastes of the evening were eagerly received: Watermelon Moscow Mules by Bar Lafayette and Choo Choo’s, and a fresh and exotic amuse bouche of spanner crab, macadamia, finger lime and ginger on betel leaf, created by celebrity chef Matt Golinski.
We took our assigned seats at an impressively long long table in the lobby of the Brookfield Place commercial office tower. Chef Golinski and the chefs from Brookfield Place restaurants had a marvellous meal in store for us, with matching Vasse Felix wines chosen by Print Hall’s award-winning sommelier Daniel Wegener. Throughout the evening, MC Mark Gibson introduced to us the chefs and mixologists behind the food and cocktails, who took to the stage to talk about their contributions to our feast.
The entree by Sushia Izakaya & Bar was hamachi carpaccio kingfish sashimi with Asian style pesto, yuzu soy and wafu gelee. Entree variations were spotted along the table, catering to people with special dietary needs – gluten-free (pork belly), vegetarian, pregnant (saucy beef and mushroom yakitori) and seafood allergies (seared beef carpaccio). Kingfish is my favourite sashimi fish and this was exquisite, every fleshy slice a juicy, salty-sweet mouthful.
The main course by The Trustee Bar & Bistro involved share platters. Communal dining with (mostly) strangers really wasn’t an appealing proposition – individually plated mains would’ve been preferred by the diners, but of course would have been significantly more labour-intensive for the kitchen to plate up and the wait staff for serve. But the servings were generous and despite initial polite awkwardness as dishes were passed around, we were able to feast reasonably freely and eat our fill.
The chunks of confit Margaret River Arkady lamb were fall-apart forkable, as was the beautifully tender fillet of Cone Bay barramundi (I had seconds). These were served with tasty accompaniments of rosemary roast garlic mash (lamb); white truffle potato puree (barra); warm salad of wild mushroom, radicchio and snow peas; and tangy Italian coleslaw. The little pots of herb aioli on the table went equally well with lamb or fish. All of this hardly left room for the warm chewy bread rolls, served with the one small misstep of the meal: disappointingly hard butter.
The cheese course by The Heritage was one for die-hard blue vein fans: a creamy, crumbly, distinctly pungent lump of Papillon Roquefort served with cabernet poached pear, thyme salted doughnut and an equally funky blue cheese sauce that crept across the plate like lava flow, wrapping itself around everything in its midst. Addictively good – but oh, stinky mouldy cheese breath.
Print Hall gave us ‘Whisky and Cigars’ for dessert. The smokey cocoa ‘cigar’ with crisp parchment-like exterior and Lochan Ora whisky-infused cream were paired well with the toffee-sweet 2012 Vasse Felix Cane Cut Semillon. But after consuming the cheese, I really craved something sweet – I’d have liked that to come from the dessert rather than the dessert wine.
Last of all, Bobèche’s signature iced tea. It’s a refreshing but potent concoction, made with vodka, gin, rum, brandy, sweet spice tea, fresh lemon and lemonade. At Bobèche it’s served in an ornate teapot (AU$62) with cups for four people. It’s dangerously easy to drink, especially late on a Monday night. We were invited to kick on at Print Hall for an after party, but for most of us, not on a ‘school’ night.
The First Feast
- The First Feast was a one-off event held at Brookfield Place, 125 St Georges Terrace, Perth CBD on Monday 31 March to launch Eat Drink Perth 2014.
- Tickets were AU$275 per person and included live entertainment, goodie bag and all food and drinks including pre- and after dinner cocktails and Vasse Felix wines.
- The Brookfield Place bars and restaurants involved in The First Feast were:
- I attended The First Feast upon invitation by pSquared Communications on behalf of Brookfield Place.
Eat Drink Perth
Eat Drink Perth 2014 is a food and drink festival on throughout the month of April in the City of Perth.
I’ve been an official blogger for Eat Drink Perth in previous years but this year declined the opportunity, happy to do my own thing.
More Eat Drink Perth at Brookfield Place
- Sushia Izakaya & Bar – ‘West Meets East’ – $185 per person for a 5-course dinner matched with WA wine every Thursday in April, a different WA winery featured each week
These offers and more are included in the Eat Drink Perth Passport 2014:
- Print Hall – Three courses for the price of two, Monday to Wednesday lunch
- The Trustee Bar & Bistro – ‘Best of the West’ $55 for WA marron, duck fat potatoes and slaw, with your choice of WA beverage: Westwinds gin, Little Creatures beer or Howard Park wine