I wasn’t sure about Taste of Perth when it was first announced, although as more restaurants and exhibitors were added to the programme it became clear that this was an event not to miss – especially since the Good Food & Wine Show format has become a little tired over the last few years. Renay and I tend to go out for breakfast or lunch rather than dinner, so this was a good opportunity to sample some of the great food we hear so much about but haven’t had the chance to try.
We attended the Saturday afternoon session (12 noon to 4pm), and there was already a big crowd waiting to get in when the doors opened. It’s not a cheap event; the price of admission is $38 on the day, or as low as $25 if you bought in advance. There are no freebies or samples once you’re inside – wallet on standby.
The weather couldn’t have been better – a glorious Autumn day in Perth.
Down to business, and from Bib & Tucker we tried the rotisserie suckling pig slider on brioche bun with pickled fennel salad – and some crackling on the side ($8). This was a great start, the brioche was really nice and the pork lovely and soft.
You’re having a better day than this guy at Bib & Tucker.
Textural beetroot salad (puree, roasted & shaved) with Swiss chard, barrel-aged fetta, crispy quinoa and pomegranate dressing ($8), also from Bib & Tucker.
There was plenty of seating available, in all different shapes and sizes – I don’t think I’ll risk the deck chair. Even the free entertainment wasn’t too offensive.
Cheddar perogies (dumplings) with caramelised onion ($8) from Co-Op Dining. These were nice and light, although I would have liked them to be more “cheesy”.
Surprisingly delicious was the “street corn” from El Publico, with mayonnaise, cheese and chilli ($8). We shared this plate, and were tempted to go back for another serving.
Drinks on offer at the El Publico Bar.
Ready for action at the Lurpak cooking school – where can I get one of those tea towels?
Pork belly with spicy miso caramel from Nobu ($12). The pork belly was lovely and soft; this was one of my favourite plates of the day.
From Bistro Guillaume I tried the chicken liver parfait with pear chutney and croutons ($8). This was nice enough, although nothing special – I think I’ve been spoilt by the amazing chicken liver pate from local company Poach Pear. The chutney was very tasty although the croutons were too fragile and there weren’t enough of them.
Food waiting for hungry customers at Bistro Guillaume. All of the restaurants seemed to be very much “on the ball”, turning out lots of quality food without a long wait.
On to dessert, and also from Bistro Guillaume, we have a giant salted caramel macaron ($8). Yum. It’s probably a good thing that macarons this big aren’t easy to come by.
Also for dessert – and the highlight of the day for both of us – was the Chocolate Garden from No 4 Blake Street with edible soil, macadamia “rocks”, salted caramel and peanut dacquoise (not cheap at $16 – but well worth it).
The folks from Leaf Bean Machine were on hand demonstrating a variety of brewing techniques using their locally roasted Karvan coffee. They were kind enough to provide me with an AeroPress coffee maker (as being used in the picture above) and a bag of Karvan coffee which I look forward to trying – watch this space!
There’s plenty to drink, as long as you’re after alcohol.
Maybe you should get back to work…
The only thing I wasn’t keen on was the use of the “Crown” payment system, where 1 Crown = 1$ and you have to buy your meals with a special card. In principle there’s nothing really wrong with this concept, although it’s easy to end up with an unusable number of Crowns if you’re not careful (of course you can always buy extra Crowns to use them up). We both ended up with 6 Crowns left, which wasn’t enough to buy a meal and you can’t split a transaction over two cards – thankfully we found fudge for sale (chilli jaffa and salted caramel, of course!) at 6 Crowns each. It would have made more sense for us as a couple to have shared one card…but hey, we’re there to spend money and the festival is there to make it so I can’t really complain.
We really enjoyed our visit to Taste of Perth, and will be back next year without hesitation. I’m already looking forward to trying some of the other great food Perth has to offer – and have a few new restaurants on my list of places to try in the meantime.