[Feature]: Taste of Perth 2014

As many of you would have read from other social media, Taste of Perth was held on the first weekend of May as part of the Eat-Drink-Perth celebrations. It’s the first time it’s been held in Perth, and I was fortunate enough to go along to this and have an amazing time! ‘How’ you ask?

Well, I entered the Mother’s Day giveaway on Perth Food Engineers and because I never win anything (not even raffle draws), I hardly expected any positive outcome. To my great surprise, I won 2 free ticks plus 50 crowns (i.e., $50 worth of the currency)! 

Unfortunately, I couldn’t take my mum. She flew out to Bali for a family friend’s wedding the very same weekend of Taste of Perth so I took my brother GC instead, which was a great idea because he’s my little foodie buddy and loves these events as well!
If I had to use one word to sum up our experience, it would be “Amazing”. Each day of Taste Perth was made up of a lunch and dinner service – we went for the dinner service on Friday night. Obviously, being the super-organised OCD person that I am, I looked at the menu card beforehand and told GC to check it out too, which just heightened our excitement. 
Out of the restaurant menus, we purchased the following:

Nonna’s meatballs (Lalla Rookh)
Lalla Rookh menu
Nonna’s meatballs

Unfortunately there was a lot of parmesan on these and I don’t really like cheese so I couldn’t enjoy this as much. GC did manage to uncover some non-contaminated meat for me, and it was pretty nice. You could definitely taste the meat, and the texture wasn’t the non-specific ground meat type of texture. GC doesn’t mind cheese, and thoroughly enjoyed this. It was one of the dishes he eyed when we read the menu earlier and he definitely wasn’t disappointed. The price, however, is probably a little steep given the small size of the dish. Nevertheless, it was enough to pique our appetites and interest in the food at Lalla Rookh, and we plan on visiting the restaurant. 

Amelia Park Lamb cutlets (Bistro Guillaume)

Bistro Guillaume menu
Lamb cutlets

These were SO GOOD! And totally worth it. I am extremely picky about my meats – they have to be cooked on the spot, otherwise it completely dampens my enjoyment. These cutlets were cooked perfectly! They had this charcoal aroma, and were extremely tender without being bloody. I do wish there was some more relish to go with it, but GC and I thoroughly just eating the meat off the bone (there was no time to be decent and try to use knives and forks…and gosh, I hope no one saw me haha).

We’ve eaten at Bistro Guillaume before, and thoroughly enjoy the food there so this just reinforced my belief in their quality. Definitely a place to try if you haven’t done so already.

Black Valley Beef cheek (Greenhouse Perth

Greenhouse Perth menu

Black Valley beef cheek

Greenhouse is a place I find very inspiring on the food front. I personally love to garden and grow my own vegetables, so Matt Stone’s step towards sustainability and homegrown produce is right up my alley. Having eaten here before, GC and I were pretty sure we wanted to try one of their dishes. We bought the beef cheek and it was fork-tender amazing! Slightly salty for my taste, but GC would tell you that I eat very little salt anyway so it might actually be fine for most people. I imagine this dish would be perfect with some crusty bread to soak up the juices. GC particularly enjoyed the saltbush which tasted a bit like curry leaf to me. I’m still trying to find which type of saltbush Matt uses! He said there’s a lot along the causeway! The portion was a bit on the small side though…

Chocolate Garden (No.4 Blake Street

 No.4 Blake St menu

Chocolate garden

This was AMAZING!!!!! GC and I both voted this the best of the night—funny thing, we actually voted the same food in the same order of enjoyment! But I digress. We both loved the play on textures—peanut dacquoise which was crunchy, slightly salty and reminded me of peanut butter which I love, caramelised nuts added a nice nutty touch and an extra crunch factor, and the salted caramel which was fragrant and salty. All of this was interlaced within smooth milk chocolate mousse. The entire dessert was perfect for the two of us—I did find it too sweet overall so it was perfect to share with GC, though we were both craving something savoury afterwards. Having said that, we both couldn’t stop eat it. GC especially liked the edible chocolate dirt and this was, in fact, the thing he was most excited about when I told him on Thursday that I wanted this.

Another upside is that I now have a mini garden pot in which I’ll plant some microherbs…when I get around to buying the seeds =.=’ 

 New garden pot =P 

Brazilian cheese puffs – these are sold at supermarkets across Perth! 
There are a lot of other stores and what I love about these events is that everyone is so passionate about their products. They’re all very happy to answer questions you have, and let you have a taste. So taste, GC and I did! We walked around trying everything and enjoyed discovering new and interesting products.

I’ve been trying to find a good haloumi cheese (one of the rare cheeses I eat!) that’s not too salty and the Simon Johnson stand had one which was delicious. We also couldn’t stop sampling the bread at New Norcia Bakery of which we bought a loaf…that we finished by Sunday! The wasabi macadamia nuts at Morish Nuts were also very delicious.

 ‘Rose in bloom’ – the vanilla is hidden in the centre

We also purchased a “Rose in bloom” ice-cream from Marie Antoinette with strawberry sorbet, lime & basil sorbet and vanilla. My friend loves this place so we decided to give it a try. Unfortunately, it was a bit too sweet for us, but we loved how refreshing the lime and basil sorbet was.

Rekorderlig Tent – I loved the look of this!
Apart from food, there’s good entertainment too, with a live band singing the night away and a beautiful Rekorderlig Tent. There’s plenty of seated areas where you can enjoy the foods you purchase, or if you need to give you feet (and stomach) a break before sampling more!

There’s also cooking demonstrations and classes – I watched the demonstration by Matt Stone of Greenhouse Perth. He made this delicious-looking kangaroo dish with various sustainable greens, fruits and nuts. Unfortunately the last piece of meat was snapped up by this man before I could get it for GC and I =( But we managed to try the greens, etc, which were very interesting!

As I said earlier, the entire experience was amazing. I don’t like to eat out much because I love to cook, but GC and I always like to explore new restaurants that have that little point of difference. Coming from a large family, this isn’t always feasible as it gets too difficult to cater for everyone’s preferences and also gets quite pricey. So Taste of Perth was a great way for GC and I to sample certain restaurants, and we’ve decided to go back to Lalla Rookh and No.4 Blake St for a meal one day! 

Greenhouse Perth
I also spotted a few of my favourite bloggers, but was a bit too shy and preoccupied by food to introduce myself. My blog is, by far, tiny compared to their presence! 
Since the event, I’ve read quite a few complaints that Taste of Perth isn’t worth it as it’s quite expensive. In a way, I do agree that it’s quite pricey and I honestly would think twice about going given the entry fee, plus having to purchase the crowns currency. Having said that, if I did decide to go, I wouldn’t be expecting it to be cheap and I think this applies to all such food events. But you definitely get a good feed I think, especially with all those tasters!
Print Hall – the guy was very enthusiastic about me taking a photo! 
Lastly, I’d like to say a huge thank you to the Perth Food Engineers for the tickets and crowns because it really was a great night off for GC and I since we were both so busy and inundated with work! A downside though, is that we were both dreaming about the chocolate garden the next day!!! And weeks later too! =P 
If you’re a foodie, I’d definitely recommend this event if it’s held next year! You can even meet & greet your favourite chef!
Thanks for reading!! ^^
Check out the coverage from a couple of my favourite bloggers, whom I spotted there =)

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