My first Taste of Perth experience and I loved it! It’s definitely on the pricey end of the food and wine festivals but in my opinion, with the variety of food, wine, produce, cooking demonstrations, wine tasting experiences and top Perth restaurants dishing out their wares, this is one of the best.
Living so close to Langley Park I decided I couldn’t miss it this year and I’m definitely hooked and already looking forward to the next one. I originally only planned to go with friends on the Saturday night and had splurged and purchased the Platinum Garden Bar tickets, but once getting there and realising how much there was to eat, drink and experience I quickly planned a subsequent visit for the following day.
My first experience on the Saturday night was great, girls night out, bit of a party vibe and with our three complimentary drinks, access to the garden bar and lots to taste, what more could you want. I think the Platinum tickets are great value, it’s really not that much more than general admission when you consider the included drinks and at this time of year, when rain is a possibility, it’s always a good idea to have some shelter. My only gripe was the drinks on offer, only one wine (red and white) and it wasn’t great. I drank it anyway but I just felt with all the great wineries offering tastings I was missing out.
After deciding we needed to divide and conquer we went our separate ways to source some dishes to try and meet back at the garden bar. First up on our table was the wood roasted chicken (winner of Best of Taste) and blackened carrots from Manuka Woodfire Kitchen. The chicken was juicy, tender and well cooked, which together with the salty, sweet miso sauce and the tart, pickled red cabbage, was definitely a stand out dish. The blackened carrots were good and I enjoyed the combination of accompaniments, feta, coffee and date, dukka, but although I do like my vegetables on the firm side I felt these could have done with just a touch more cooking.
Next up thanks to my fellow tasters I got to try the braised beef shin massaman curry from Lucky Chan’s and the roasted Fremantle octopus from Bib & Tucker. The massaman had good flavour although there wasn’t enough sauce, it was quite a dry dish, not what I was expecting but still enjoyable. The octopus was delicious, soft and tender and looked pretty as a picture with the ink cracker (which tasted like a rice cracker), beetroot skordalia and kohlrabi (third place in Best of Taste).
My next choice was from The Shorehouse and I couldn’t go past the blue swimmer crab linguine with prawns, tomato, chilli, garlic and pangrattato. This was the most expensive dish at $28 but it came in a proper, lovely big bowl, as opposed to a paper plate, and was a main meal sized serving. The linguine was perfectly cooked, as was the seafood, and came with bags of flavour. It had a chilli hit, which was a bit warm for me, but I devoured it anyway. YUM.
When I was ordering my linguine I thought it was only fair to order dessert, so waiting for me was the chocolate fondant. I’ve seen this dish look better, so feel the presentation wasn’t consistent, but it really didn’t matter once I started eating it. This was a dessert I did not want to share. The bits of fondant like cake were rich and fudgey which was a match made in heaven with the creaminess from the cookies and cream and the sweet, sticky caramel sauce. This was just the right size to leave me wanting just a little more and rightly took out second place in Best of Taste.
Done with food for the evening we had cocktails from The Shorehouse to finish off what was a great night and I couldn’t wait to do it all again the next day!