Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Star Anise

Before Chef David Coomer opens up Pata Negra and before Restaurant Amuse being on the talk list of "Restaurant must visit in Perth", Star Anise was once the talk of the town and also one of the top 5 restaurant in Perth.

After listen to my colleague animated description on how good the food was, I've decide to bring my best mate for her birthday dinner together with another friend.

Thank god we've made a reservation, as this small little restaurant quickly filled up by diners waiting to enjoy good food created by team David Coomer.  The dining room is quite small, but was decorated with lots of modern-Asian inspired decorations such as bamboo and wooden cupboard; just like their menu, it is modern and Asian inspired. Warm lighting and soft-textured elements like curtains making it quite an intimate place to bring your love ones for dinner. Having said that, most of the table were set up for big groups too.

Service was prompt, as we seated, water was offered and after we ordered our food, a serve of house bread and chicken liver pate with brandy (on the house) is already on the table for us to savour. I love pate on toast myself, we were scoffing it down without realising that I haven't take a picture of it, what a shame! There goes a picture of evident to show that we wiped up the plate of pate happily. (updates: After searching high and low, realised that my mate actually took a photo of it before we scoffed it down)

Entree are all priced at $29.50 with only 5 selection to choose from, the birthday girl - D had Jamon Serrano, house smoked octopus, tomato, piquillo pepper and olive, whilst I had the 'Claypot' glenloth pigeon, pearl meat, funghi, wintermelon, flowering chives with xo sauce.

I certainly didn't expect my pot of pigeon to be that big in comparison to the smoked octopus that D had, but it was a pot full of hidden gem. There are different kind of texture going in the pot, the pigeon meat was braised til tender and juicy, and then the slightly crunchy black funghi complimented very well; as far as i can remember, this is my first time eating pearl meat, while I was eating I couldn't figure out what this is, the texture is kinda like glutinous flour ball but with taste of scallop, it's quite nice and exotic. After going the menu again when ordering dessert, only to find out that I was actually eating pearl meat. Being an Asian myself, I would love a bowl of freshly steamed jasmine rice to go with this pot of godness.

On the other hand, D's Jamon and smoked octopus was just ok, nothing big to shout about though!

Crispy Aromatic duck, stir fried choy sum, sweet &sour valencia orange & ginger sauce.

Alot of ppl said this is their best dish including the colleague of mine, but i personally find the sauce lack of dynamic, it needs more punch from the ginger. On the side note, the duck breast was cooked to perfection, the skin was seared to crispy, giving it a very nice brown colous, the meat was slightly pink in the middle and very tender. And the highlight of this dish have to be the crispy stuffed duck leg, it was done up quite smart. Duck leg meat was braised and then deboned and then the meat was wrapped up with other parts of duck meat with the bone, and then the skin was wrapped up nicely like a paddle pop ice-cream stick. It was joy eating the crispy skin stuffed duck leg, because it was full of surprises.

Hiramasa Kingfish, hand picked blue manna crab, green mango, pomelo, hot & sour dressing.

D's Kingfish was nicely cooked, the serve of fish was generous, big chuncky of fish complimented by refreshing salad with lots of fresh Asian herbs (pretty similar to Thai salad) and chuncky blue manna crab claw meat, it is indeed a very wonderful summer dish. The birthday girl enjoyed her mains thoroughly.

Western plain suckling pig, figs, carrots, celeriac, brussel sprouts.

We all had a taste of this dish, it was very nice with creamy celeriac mash at the bottom, the suckling pig skin was sucklingly awesome and the caramelised figs goes really well with the saltiness you get from the pig.

We can wait for dessert to come because souffle was on the menu. I've been longing for souffle every now and then after having eaten an awesome souffle made by yours truly. I know, i know ... I could have just make them again so that i can eat them everyday, but at times I'm kinda lazy to bake at home, especially making souffle involve many complicated steps. Because of that, I will order souffle whenever I'm out for dinner and these days, not many restaurant serve souffle!

So I have great expectation on their souffle especially after enjoyed both my entree and mains very much. However, things with great expectations normally does end up with what i have expected. The texture of their Passionfruit souffle more like a soft-cotton cheese cake than an actual souffle, because it just wouldn't sink as they normally would after sitting for a while. Although the texture of souffle wasn't what I'm expecting, but the passionfruit parfait that is sitting at the bottom of the souffle was quite good honestly.

Luckily for the birthday girl, her dessert was very good. We requested for a candle to go with it when she went for a toilet break. It's chocolate mousse layered with crispy poppy seed sheets with banana ice cream topped with malt, the poppy seed sheets was light and crispy and it melts in your mouth, just like fizzy pop candy, very nice and you can't go wrong with chocolate flavour and banana, they are so meant to be together!

It's an enjoyable dinner but a bit on the pricier side.

Food Quality: 4 claypot outta 5
Ambience: 4.5 claypot outta 5
Service: 4 claypot outta 5

Star Anise
225, Onslow Road,
Shenton Park,

Ph: 08 93819811

Open Tue - Sat from 6:30pm onwards

Star Anise on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Conor @ HoldtheBeef said...

I've only been here once, years ago, for their degustation and was very impressed by it. It was my first ever dego though, so I'd love to go back and do it again after having now been to a few around town. Erm, once I save up enough cash.

Having said that though, I think I'd be very happy trying the claypot and the duck. Or maybe the pig. Or both :D