The Silver Spoon : Vic Park

Life is like a musical and I often find myself mimicking Olivia Newton John by walking to the beat of my own theme tune (minus the leather and John Travolta) depending on what I’m doing. I feel it is only human to sing Sadie the cleaning lady while vacuuming (it’s a rare sight) or humming mission impossible while covertly obtaining my 3rd Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. My day leading up to attending dinner at The Silver Spoon in Vic Park consisted of Ugly Kid Joe warbling Cats in the Cradle in my mind “The cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon, little boy blue and the man on the moon….” The more that I sung it, the less the chorus lyrics started to make sense and I could only hope that the 6 plate degustation menu ($70 p/head or $100 with matching wines)  wouldn’t leave me scratching my head more.

I was first to arrive and sat at the table feeling like I was the loner kid at school needing to eat their lunch in the toilet. Once the remainder of the clan turned up service was prompt serving water and champagne immediately. The food promptly followed with the paper menus being left at the table for the diner’s to refer to while eating each course. I liked this idea probably because my goldfish memory doesn’t allow me to retain all the components of a dish after being told once by the wait staff. (Probably why I eat the food rather than serve it).

First off the rank in the ‘tour de food’ was Amuse Bouche ( For the unpretentious among us Amuse Bouche means “a small bite sized offering from the chef to get the taste buds tingling”) For tonight’s degustation it was a carrot coriander soup served in a Demitasse Cup (Espresso cup ….2nd tick in the pretentious column). It was a nice start but I don’t go to restaurants to order soup, so my mind moved on quickly to looking at what was coming next that being seared scallops, black pudding, cauliflower pomegranate & mint (gf).

Seared scallops, black pudding, cauliflower pomegranate & mint (gf)

Based on the fact that I embrace my inner nerd I will not lie and admit that I ride on the vampire loving bandwagon E.g. Vampire diaries and  True blood (Twilight not so much).  Despite this nerdy addiction when faced with getting my ‘vampire on’ and eating congealed dried blood in sausage I tend to lose my appetite. One of my biggest pet hates however are people who say they don’t like something before trying it. These people can usually be found eating at overseas McDonald’s rather than trying the local delicacies (Yes I am judging you). By pushing the black pudding to side and not tasting it I felt that I would have to hate myself. Not wanting to have a low self-esteem I channeled my inner Edward (lame Twilight reference) and shoved that little slice of black pudding into my mouth.  Chew, chew, chew, chew mmmmmmm interesting enough there was no need to reach for my napkin and expell the mouthful. The combination of the perfectly seared scallops with the cauliflower puree and pomegranate, off set the strong taste of the black pudding to make a nice dish.

Pheasant & ham hock terrine, tomato chutney, piccalilli & cucumber (gf) was up next. Not being one to leave food by having a plate removed from me with food still on it, usually means I felt it was a waste of calories which could be better spent on something far more delicious. This dish left me underwhelmed with the flavours of the tomato chutney and piccalilli overpowering the meat itself. I also felt that the consistency of the terrine was quite fatty and didn’t make for an enjoyable eating experience. By not having a photo of this plate may also be a clear indication that I wanted to remove this course from my memory.

Grilled King snapper, shellfish & Israeli couscous, crackling & rouille (gf)

The standout dish for the night was the Grilled King snapper, shellfish & Israeli couscous, crackling & rouille (gf). Although I enjoy degustation and the food journey it takes you on, I could have ordered this as a main meal and been exceptionally happy. The fish flaked and pulled apart with ease and was beautifully complimented by the rouille, which I was mopping up with every mouthful of the fish. Use of the Israeli cous cous provided a different texture in the dish  creating a ‘risotto’ like base.

Slow cooked pork belly, carrot & honey, broccolini, king prawns & masterstock (gf)(n)

After being on such a high from the fish anything that followed was going to have to be good to impress even further. This was not the case with the slow cooked pork belly, carrot & honey, broccolini, king prawns & masterstock (gf)(n) being a huge disappointment for me . Nothing brings me more joy (sad but true) then biting into a crispy tasty piece of pork crackling. Just chewing on that pig fat brings back memories of Christmas and family roast night. All that I am saying is that to  serve a piece of pork belly with soft skin and no crackling in sight is sinful, reprehensible and in my opinion criminal. The inclusion of pork crackling would have been an excellent touch as the textures in the dish were one-dimensional. That’s all I have to say on this matter (The Fat Cow is now stepping off her soap box and moving on).

Chocolate tart, burnt meringue, raspberry cloud, raspberry compote

If you love at San Churro’s and can polish off a block of Cadbury’s chocolate by yourself in one sitting then this is the dessert for you. The two small squares of chocolate tart were smooth, rich and full of chocolate goodness. For me eating both of the chocolate squares was a little intense despite having the meringue and compote there to offset the intense nature of the tarts. For the 1st time in my life I showed some discipline and only ate half the dessert leaving me happy rather then resembling Georgie Porgie. Looking around the table it was clear the dark chocolate lovers were in a happy place, indicated by the scrapping of spoons and contemplations of licking the plates clean.The raspberry clouds were reminiscent of our childhood days of eating cloud lollies at 10 cents a pop. After an up and down menu this dish was an enjoyable way to end the evening.

Although there were a few dishes that left me underwhelmed and disappointed, the Chocolate Tart and King Fish made me happy to have visited this restaurant.  Althoug the food may not be as well executed in comparison to well-known degustation restaurants E.g. Amuse and Halo, it is defiantly more affordable for those on a smaller budget wanting to have a degustation experience.

Negatives: Long tables were not a great environment for large groups, no crackling with the pork belly and  fatty terrine with overpower condiments.

Positives: Attentive wait staff, prompt service of food, exquisite king fish  & gluten-free friendly menu.

Overall: 2.5/5. A pleasant well priced experience which requires some tweaking. As it states on its website it is a casual dining experience in a sophisticated environment.

Love The Fat Cow xo

The Silver Spoon Food & Wine on Urbanspoon

The George: Perth CBD

Some weekends are dedicated to catching up with friends and family which inevitably means travelling from one cafe to the next. This weekend was no exception and left me visiting a variety of Perth pastures (restaurant’s/cafe’s) with some leaving me slightly underwhelmed.

The Indi Bar located at

3 Hastings Street Scarborough Western Australia 6019
ph: +61 8 9341 112
fx: +61 8 9341 1899

Kicked off the weekend on Friday night with local talent Carus Thompson getting the crowds in. I hadn’t seen or been to the Indi Bar before, and from the initial observation I felt as though I should have parked closer to the door or in a more well-lit area. As the main attraction was not playing in the front bar when we arrived, we took it upon ourselves to get into the bar/bistro theme munching on some turkish bread with homemade dips ($9) , wedges ($9) and chunky chips ($8). I know this isn’t a gourmet choice, but when in a pub it seems like the natural thing to do. I washed this down with a nice glass of Cab Sav Pepperjack which is great in any situation. The turkish bread and dips did not impress with the dip tasting like Philadelphia cream cheese. As for the wedges and chips….. well they were moreish, as indicated by the empty bowls with only remnants of the fried joys remaining. From observation the bar looked like it fulfilled its role of good standard pub food specialising in steak, burgers and chips. So if you’re in need for some pub grub and don’t mind dated decor then The Indi Bar will provide you with what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for something a little more gourmet then somewhere like The Brisbane might be a better option.

Rating 2.5/5

The local talent

All the action from The Indi Bar

The Windsor Hotel was my next stop on the weekends eating adventure.

112 Mill Point Rd, South Perth

windsorhotel.com.au

This is my local stomping ground and have eaten and drunk a few to many wines here on many occasion. Being there on a warm Sunday afternoon under the shade cloth’s in the beer garden got me in a good mood straight away. This was quickly taken back however when after observing the menu I came to realise that my usual salt and pepper squid with Nam Jim salad had been removed from the menu. This dish was my clear favourite and forced me to deviate from tradition onto the wood fired pizza list. Service was adequate with attentive wait staff taking our food and drink orders straight away. It was however disappointing to see that the wait staff could not advise us if the barramundi listed on the menu had been caught locally. With the waiter returning to the table to inform us that it was local produce, half the table opted for a plate of traditional battered fish and chips ($29) while I ordered The Triple P  wood fired pizza (Red curry chicken, satay sauce, pineapple, coriander, spring onion, capsicum and sweet chilli topped with mozzarella ($23). Meals were quick to be delivered to the table however due to the pizza oven being in a different kitchen, the rest of the table was made to wait  while my pizza came out separatley…..some peoples manners are better than mine. Reviews of the barrumundi were all positive with the batter being light and the fish remaining moist. The pizza was enjoyable and had the wood fired crunch to the thin base however did appear quite oily on top when placed in front of us.

The final verdict – Good atmosphere and ambience in the beer garden when warm. Adequate service but limited knowledge of the menu. Good pub food at adequate prices. Rating 3.5/5

Slightly full from the Windsor I was craving something sweet to top off my day. What better way to end a busy weekend with a High Tea full of bite sized delights and fine china. I had been fortunate enough to be invited to The George by a friend to help celebrate her birthday.

The George

216 St Georges Tce, Perth

http://www.thegeorgeperth.com.au/

I never knew The George specialised in High Tea, after seeing it mainly as a place that the rat race flocked to on Friday afternoon to drown their sorrows about the stressful week they just had and what was installed for the next. But as I entered the doors (after finding a park at the overpriced Atrium car park) the room was packed with young and old women grazing on scones and pastries, with the odd male sitting there formulating an exit strategy. Due to our large numbers we were in the function room which was good as we were able to mingle with ease between the two tables. There was a good selection of teas available however due to being a coffee addict I ordered a long black. Should I have been traditional, Chai tea would have been the tea of choice. Sipping on champagne tied us over until the tea and coffee came out with scones, jam and cream to accompany it. The scones were light a fluffy and the jam was clearly homemade with the cream having a nice taste of vanilla to it. It was unfortunate however that after this course it was a long time till the tiered cake stand presented itself with the remainder of the food. By this stage another round of coffee and tea would have been nice but must not be included in the price of $37 p/p. The wait staff ensured that each party member was told about each individual item on the stand, which I was impressed by. It did seem strange however to be tucking into rare beef and smoked chicken sandwiches after starting on sweet scones. The highlight of the assorted cakes was the small lemon tarts topped with passionfruit, although the chocolate pistachio cake was also another clear favourite. Ialso  commend the chef for catering for my gluten intolerant friend, who was served an individual assortment of cakes and pastries which was equally as appetising.

Lemon Tart

A few tasty treats

Although the food was enjoyable, the odd presentation and lack of refills with the tea and coffee left me a little underwhelmed considering the price. I did not walk out the door feeling like The George was Perth’s best high tea restaurant, which was a shame as it seems to have the potential to do so.

Rating 3.5/5

So there it is my friends. 3 restaurants later and 3 kg’s heavier The Fat Cow has had a busy weekend. Leave me a post should you recommend any places to review.

Love The Fat Cow