Saturday, December 18, 2010

Just Bar, Como

Just Bar, Como

Tapas in Australia or Perth, often gave off the impression of being expensive, overpriced and tiny serving portion. Having said that, there are a few outstanding Spanish Tapas places in Perth that are leading the current dining trend - Pata Negra and Andaluz.

Just Tapas was once known as Just Espresso 

Forget lawyers in suits or diner driving a Maserati, here in Just has a more laid back atmosphere nestled along an IGA and a local theatre. The prices here wouldn't hurt your wallet that much, their tapas degustation menu starting from $39 per head for 8 tapas to 18 tapas for only $75. If you think that's too much, you can go for the A la carte tapas menu, which was what we did.

A la Carte menu

Me and my other friends decided to catch up with each other over light lunch on a quiet weekday. We were greeted shortly after walking into the empty restaurant, and were given menu promptly after being seated. Coincidentally, there was an electrician trying to fix their heater and the waitstaff sort of got distracted. I believe we would get better service from him if there wasn't any other distraction as he was trying his best to juggle between providing service and attending to the electrician (There was only one waitstaff on that day).

interior of restaurant

Menu was simple and straightforward, without many choices, we ordered a couple of dishes to try on. But
first, we got to quench our thirst with a glass of wino.

Rose Charles Melton 10 "Rose of Virginia" Barossa, South Australia
Cider NV Bress Brut Harcourt Valley, Victoria

For a restaurant size like this, they have a pretty good looking wine list sourcing mainly from Australia and some other European country too.

Duck liver and brandy pate with port & cranberry jelly and baguette - $9

For starters, we indulge in duck liver pate. I love pate or liver parfait, I would order it if it's on any of the menu. Friend of mine - IA have never tried pate or anything to do with liver, but she was game enough to give it a try that day and fallen in love with Just's pate. We had to ask for more baguette to mop up the rest of it.

Arancini with Aioli - $9

Everyone loves a good arancini ball, but Just's Arancini balls were JUST ok. If I'm not mistaken, it was pumpkin with sage Arancini, but the flavour was on the bland side and the aioli was too runny to my liking. On the upside, it was fried to perfection.

Pan seared quail, cauliflower puree, caramelised garlic & mushroom jus - $12 

This was the dish that we all wished it can be our mains. Quail was cooked to perfection and we were all fighting to lick the last bit of cauliflower puree.

Ras el hanout spiced lamb rump, with housemade black bean mole - $13

I was actually looking forward to this dish as it sounded really good. However, it came out looking unattractive at all. The lamb rump was way too rare and the black bean mole resembling of an unforgettable weekend.

Confit duck and pea risotto, rocket and Grana padana - $18

While tasting all those little morsels, we thought it might not fill us up, so we ordered the lunch special - confit duck and pea risotto. Serving size was quite alright considering we were paying $18 for it. The texture of the risotto was perfect but my only gripe was the chef being too heavy handed on salt. Alas, the peppery rocket did help us go through it.

There were some great dishes at Just, but some needed finesses and seasoning to make it JUST right. I don't mind coming back to try their degustation menu because there were some other dishes sounded really good to me. Unfortunately, we were there with a Muslim friend, and not to offend her, we didn't order the spiced confit pork rillettes, maybe next time.

We didn't stay for dessert though as there weren't many interesting choices on offer and we ended up went to JACS Cafe  for dessert.

The total bill came up to approximately $20 each without the wine. With the price we had to pay and the environment we were in, I am not complaining. It was indeed a pretty relaxing place to have some drinks and tapas food.

Food Quality: 3 outta 5 Just
Service: 3.5 outta 5 Just
Ambience: 4 outta 5 Just

Just Bar
20, Preston Street,
(08) 9474 1977
Just Wine and Tapas Bar on Urbanspoon

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