My husband and I celebrate our 13 Year Wedding Anniversary this year!
To mark the occasion, I wanted to have a fine dining experience… somewhere really, really special.
I chose No. 4 Blake Street, because I had heard so many positive things about their dinner menu. Plus I sampled a few of their dishes at the Taste of Perth Food Festival last year, and really enjoyed their food.
The degustation menu is $110 per person, with additional wine matching options – $70pp for the Classic Selection, and $110pp for the Cellar Reserve Premium Selection.
Since my husband and I don’t drink alcohol (him for health reasons and me for allergy reasons) we decided to just order the degustation dinner.
I was soooo excited!
We arrived at 6:30pm and were the first guests to walk through the door. The decor was modern, sophisticated and elegant. There was still light outside, streaming in from the big windows, and it was just lovely to see the colours in the restaurant change.
We were told that the dinner menu is tweaked every day, depending on the seasonal produce, or from feedback from the customers, or from whatever creations the chefs decided to add to the menu that day. I loved this idea! It sounded so exciting!
(I have to note, my husband is allergic to shellfish and we requested non-seafood meals for him, hence all the photos!)
AMUSE BOUCHE – Slow cooked black angus tendon, red bean puree, beef jus.
Anything crumbed and fried is a winner in my books. That beef tendon melted in my mouth and was utterly gorgeous.
HOUSE BREAD – House made sourdough, served with smoked pork fat, fennel and spinach butter and black garlic butter.
We loved the bread! And the fermented butters were just divine.
I thought the pork fat (looks like ice cream in this photo!) would be delicious too, I mean, who doesn’t love some pork crackling?! But it tasted very weird and we didn’t like it at all.
When the waiter came to gather the plates, he asked us how it was. Although I was trying to be polite, he probably saw my apologetic expression… so I told him the truth: That it wasn’t my cup of tea and I didn’t like it. He was so gracious and kind about the feedback, telling us that the chef had previously used duck fat but it melted too quickly on the plate. It was a very interesting snippet of info which led us to talk about the solidification of fats and lipids in cooking, human digestion and fad health diets (such riveting conversation, I know).
Anyway, I really appreciated that the friendliness and professionalism of the staff.
ENTRÉE ONE – Charcoaled smoked tail of marron from Manjimup, marron claw flesh and shell emulsion, avocado puree, grapefruit supreme, coconut water blanket.
In terms of flavour, this dish was my favourite! The flavours were just so delicate, fresh and heavenly… and it all worked together so well.
There was a kind of coconut jelly over the top which gave it a fish eye lens visual effect… it was quirky, creative, so interesting and absolutely delicious.
ENTRÉE ONE (non seafood) – Home made chorizo salame and house soured cream, matching preserved heirloom carrots, fresh lebanese cucumbers, baby radishes, carrot puree, soft herbage.
This was my husband’s favorite dish too. He couldn’t stop exclaiming how amazing it tasted.
ENTRÉE TWO – Rabbit bacon with rhubarb and pinenut: pickled rhubarb matches rhubarb gel spaghetti and rhubarb puree, on a bed of pinenut paint and sponge with toasted pinenut to finish.
We were so intrigued by the name of this dish that we stopped the waiter to explain what he meant by “rabbit bacon”. He told us that the rabbit meat was cured in three different ways (hence the meat was in three different colours), made into a terrine (er, a French style meat loaf?) and thinly sliced to look like bacon.
It was a pleasure to eat. The combination of textures was so interesting – the soft sponge, the crunchy pinenuts, chewy rhubarb gel, the meaty rabbit. It what a wonderful dish.
PASTA – Italian Carnaroli rice cooked with cauliflower puree, served with cocoa dust and charred cauliflower and burnt rice crisp
I love cauliflower anything, and this was a lovely dish, full of flavour and richness. The rice crisp gave the risotto a nice variation to its texture. The cocoa dust was unexpected, but a very delightful combination.
MAIN ONE – Sous vide Rankin cod wrapped in fermented cabbage leaves, accompanied by braised witlof with a touch of anchovy emulsion, over slow cooked lentils from de puy, garnished with black fennel frond.
I really liked the witlof, but wasn’t too crazy about the fermented cabbage. The puy lentils and cod were cooked to perfection.
MAIN ONE (non seafood)- Slow cooked beef accompanied by caramelized onion lentils, charred onion petals and beef jus.
I forgot to take a photo of my husband’s beef dish!
MAIN TWO – Sous vide South Hampton homestead chicken roulade accompanied by parsnip bark and parsnip puree, puffed buckwheat and buckwheat jus.
By now, I was getting a bit full. This chicken dish was tasty and the flavours were well-rounded, in a warming good-for-your-soul kind of way.
CHEESE COURSE – House made queso fresco infused with liquorice, served with fresh figs and fig blanket over a soil of almonds and olives, matching pistachio sponge and smoked tomato gel, finished with toasted walnuts.
Wow. This was so interesting and different. All the bits and pieces sounded delicious, but unfortunately I didn’t like the “olive soil” and so I pushed everything around the plate (like a naughty 3 year old) and ate everything separately. It was presented like a beautiful artwork on my plate, which I really admired.
I don’t usually like to eat cheese after my dinner. I like to go straight to the sweet stuff.
PALATE CLEANSER – Compressed pineapple infused with mint, matching lime sorbet and goats curd snow.
I pretty much licked this plate clean. Never met a sorbet that I didn’t like! Goat curd snow? Love the description haha!
DESSERT – Kefir gel served with home made banana ice cream and banana brulee, with hazelnut meringue and hazelnut soil, finished with burnt miso.
Again I almost licked this dessert plate clean. I loved the weird and wonderful combination of everything – burnt miso with banana?Amazing!
I enjoyed everything, except the banana ice cream – I found it to be too sweet. I was so full that I couldn’t eat it and left it on the plate.
PETIT FOURS – Sesame and lime macarons, cheesecake.
Unfortunately I was so full that I only took a few nibbles of each item on this dessert plate. They were so well presented.
DONE! Phew what a journey.
My husband and I talked and laughed throughout the whole night. Of course, we mainly talked about the food: the combinations of food, the cooking techniques, the funny posh wording of the food, guessing the ingredients and describing the flavours.
We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves!
I have to admit that whenever I have a “fine dining” experience, I always feel a bit intimidated by all the over-the-top fanciness, snobbery and high brow French words. But I didn’t feel that here. It felt down-to-earth, friendly, warm, and I loved that they featured local produce. We joked around with the staff, who was very gracious, polite, quick to correct his mistakes, and easy going enough to realise that we were just engaging in some foodie banter.
Over all, it was a fascinating and fun gastronomic experience.
Even though I can honestly say that some ingredients of some dishes didn’t suit my taste, we applaud the chef for designing such a considered, creative, modern and incredible menu.
I definitely recommend it for a super-special occasion!