Sunday, 18 March 2012

Kitsch Bar

Tel: 9242 1229

Last night, Mr Jae, Mrs Jay and I left our partners to their own devices and went out for a much needed catch up. It has been almost a year since we caught up...just the three of us.  Mrs Jay suggested Kitsch as it was one of her "must try" restaurants on her never ending, always growing list of restaurants to try!! 

Just a tip for those of you who like me, forgets that Leederville does not only comprise of the strip of Oxford St between that of Vincent St and Leederville Parade...Kitsch Bar is not there, it's about a 5 minute walk from the Vincent St intersection...

Once we found it, we were impressed with the atmosphere - lights hanging off the tree, comfy and funky! The outdoor area looked so enticing to be part of but we were seated inside. As you enter the restaurant, you first pass the bar area and then a busy open kitchen...we were seated in the area opposite the kitchen. The decor on the wall is pretty cool, it was cosy and the seats comfy enough.

The menu at Kitsch spells no non-sense, there is not a large selection but everything on offer sounded very tasty.  The three of us decided to share. 

Our order:
Moi - Red Rickshaw (rasberry and vanilla vodka, peach, cranberry) $12.50
Mr Jae - Kitsch gingerbeer (spicy) $12.50
Mrs Jay - Matso's mango beer $9.50
Food to share
Sesame prawn toast with ponzu sauce & Jap mayo $9.80
Deep fried salt & pepper tofu with hoi-sin peanut dipping sauce $8
Spiced corn fritters with green chilli coriander syrup $8.60
Coconut poached ocean trout salad with watermelon, green chilli & candies coconut $16.80
Sticky beef shin (whoops, can't remember the rest) $15.90 
Red velvet cake with chilli ice cream $9.80
Fried pandan pancake and banana with ice cream x 2 $19.60 ($9.8 each)

Food and presentation - 4/5
Definitely one of the better medium priced restaurants I've been to in a while.  The food at Kitsch is Asian inspired (leaning more towards Thailand, Vietnam, etc), well presented (not fancy but funky) and very delicious.  The flavours dance in your mouth and leaves you wanting more!  The spiced corn fritters was my stand out dish - the green chilli coriander syrup was amazing!  I can't complain about any of our dishes because it was just yum...well actually I can complain...the servings are small.  If you are big eaters, you'll need to order a few more dishes.  

Sesame prawn toast with ponzu sauce & Jap mayo $9.80 and Deep fried salt & pepper tofu with hoi-sin peanut dipping sauce $8

Spiced corn fritters with green chilli coriander syrup $9.80
Coconut poached ocean trout salad with watermelon, green chilli & candied coconut $16.80
Sticky beef shin $15.90
My cocktail was served with a strip of sour, rainbow gummy tape which made it a breath of fresh air and Mr Jae was impressed with his gingerbeer with chilli. both of which was something a bit different for a Saturday night.

Red Rickshaw $12.50
Kitsch gingerbeer (spicy) $12.50
I know that everyone's taste buds are different and I can tell you that my taste buds didn't really enjoy dessert at Kitsch.  It wasn't bad, it wasn't good, it was just so.  The red velvet cake was a bit too sweet and the chilli ice cream isn't my cup of tea (Mr Jae and Mrs Jay didn't mind it though).  The fried pandan pancake was definitely different, the banana was just right and the ice cream was salty but the flavours somehow worked with each other, although I wasn't a huge fan.  For me, it was a bit of a downer to what was a magnificent meal.

Red velvet cake with chilli ice cream $9.80
Fried pandan pancake with banana and ice cream $9.80

Service - 3/5
They were quick to show us to our table but we waited quite a while before we were brought menus and water.  Our tea candle was not lit and they did not end up lighting it at all (all the other tables had their pretty tea light candles lit).  Service was a little slow but they were very busy and didn't seem to have enough staff.  However the wait staff were friendly and had a smile on their face when speaking to customers.  Water was not topped up unless asked and it was hard to get hold of a wait person.  We waited a long time for a wait person to get the bill, in the end I went up to ask for it whilst I was taking photos.

Unlit tea candle

Atmosphere - 4/5
Funky!  Decor is Asian inspired, the pictures they have up on the walls are mostly vintage Chinese or Japanese beer advertisements and they are pretty cool.  Seats aren't too comfy and it is very cosy, maybe a bit too cosy.  You can play hopscotch as you enter the restaurant or on your way out with the Chinese beer lady looking down at you. 
Wall art

Value for money - 4/5
We were full, we all had a drink and we paid $42 each.  Not bad considering the food satisfied the taste buds and it was enjoyed in a friendly, funky environment! 

Will definitely be back to try out the rest of the dishes.  Oh and they do cooking class! 

Taste Test Total Score 15/20
Kitsch Bar on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Rockpool Bar & Grill

Tel: 6252 1900

It was our one year wedding anniversary on Monday night and hubby booked Rockpool Bar & Grill for dinner.  I was excited because I had been before with some girlfriends, and the food and service was excellent that time.

A beautiful, long, candlelit corridor awaits when you open the doors to Rockpool.  As you venture further down the corridor towards the restaurant, you will see behind the glass windows their wine storage and their uncooked, aging steak hanging up in the cool room.  Once you reach the end of the corridor and into the actual restaurant, you'll find a bar on one side and a large, clean open kitchen on the other.  The staff at the counter were very professional although not very warm.

The waitress guided us to our table and a bunch of carnations was waiting on the table.  However, hubby wasn't too happy because it was meant to arrive half an hour later and the reasoning...well, he pulled out a piece of white paper and 3 x cotton make up pads from his pants pocket, gave them to me and said "Happy one year anniversary!"  Umm...??

Let's side track for a's a lesson for all you newly weds out there who are coming up to their first year wedding anniversary (<< click on it).  According to Wikipedia, first year wedding anniversary gifts are paper (traditional U.S.), cotton (traditional U.K.), clocks (modern U.S.) and carnations but that doesn't mean you actually give your partner a piece of paper and cotton make up pads for their anniversary (as our friends pointed out to my hubby on Facebook).  If you are planning to follow these traditions, you're supposed to get your partner something made out of paper or cotton depending which tradition you wish to follow.  However, because we are Chinese, hubby did not get me a clock as well because it implies death but that's a whole new back to Rockpool. 

Our waitress was a very polite and friendly lady who was attentive to our needs, she suggested taking the flowers for safe keeping because there won't be enough room for food.  We were asked whether we would like sparkling, still or tap water on arrival which was expected as this is a fine dining restaurant and our water was topped up periodically throughout the night (yay!).  There is such a large selection on offer at Rockpool so it took a bit of time to decide what to order.  I decided to try their famous steak because I had pasta on my last visit.

Our order:
Moi - Rockpool slipper (Ketel One Vodka, Cointreau, Green Chartreuse, fresh lemon and fresh honey dew juice) $19
Hubby - Lemon, lime bitter $6
Entrees to share
Four raw tastes of the sea $29
Live vongole clams steamed with serrano ham, white wine and flageolet beans $30
Moi - Rangers Valley Dry Aged 300 Day Grain Fed Fillet 250g (medium) $69
Hubby - Cape Grim Dry Aged 36 Month Old Grass Fed T-bone 450g 43 days (medium-rare) $49
Sides to share
Royal blue potatoes sauteed in wagyu fat with rosemary and garlic $10
Wood fired grilled broccolini $18
Mango sorbet with yoghurt cream brandy snaps $12
Green tea $7.50

Food and presentation - 4/5
We were offered some bread before entrees came out - the bread wasn't warm and the edges were a bit hard, the butter was nice though! My cocktail was very nice - a bit sour and a bit sweet - just how I like my cocktails.  Our entrees came out and were delicious.  The four raw tastes of the sea was four different types of raw fish topped or mixed with different flavours - the fish was very fresh and the combination of flavours was just amazing.  The clams came out served in a little bit of broth, steamed to perfection (i.e. no unopened clams and not overcooked!), only complaint was it was a little bit on the salty side but apart from that it was delicious.
Four raw tastes of the sea $29
Live vongole clams steamed with serrano ham, white wine and flageolet beans $30
The steaks were cooked exactly how we ordered and I liked the chargrilled flavours.  Hubby's steak was still moo-ing at him but it didn't bleed which he found fascinating.  The steaks don't come with anything on the plate except for a wedge of lemon (sorry the photos are not that great due to lighting).  A gravy jug of bearnaise sauce accompanied the steak and our waitress came with some mustard, barbeque sauce, harissa and horseradish cream which she spooned onto our plate when requested.  The broccolini and potatoes which we ordered for sides were very tasty.
T-bone 450g (medium-rare) $49

Fillet 250g (medium) $69
Royal blue potatoes sauteed in wagyu fat with rosemary and garlic $12
Wood fired grilled broccolini $18

 I was way too full for dessert so I ordered a green tea... but then our waitress gave us the dessert menu.  Hubby doesn't have a sweet tooth at all so it was just me taking on the task of choosing and eating dessert.  All the desserts and cheese on the menu were enticing and if I could fit them all in I would, but I just ordered mango sorbet because that was the only item on the menu which I would be able to finish (and I struggled!). 

Green tea $7.50
Mango sorbet with yoghurt filled brandy snaps $12
Service - 4.5/5
Our waitress was very polite, friendly and attentive so she earned most of the points.  They didn't get 5/5 because of the lack of warmth on arrival and our drinks waiter was a bit abrupt.

Atmosphere - 4.5/5
Rockpool is massive! I felt that I was in a glamorous food hall rather than a fine dining establishment because the fine dining restaurants I've been to before are smaller and cosier.  Saying that it was not noisy, the tables were spaced out enough for privacy and the setting felt nice.  I guess being located inside a hotel they need to be able to cater for their guests and I'm so glad Burswood decided to glam up their previously tired selection of restaurants! 

Value for money - 4/5
Fresh, tasty, good quality food.  You get what you pay for (well, for what we ordered).  I don't know if the $119 Wagyu sirloin steak is worth the price - anyone able to comment? 

Will definitely be back.

Taste Test Total Score 17/20

Rockpool Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon