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guys are so
airy texture. This simple dish is then elevated by
a dollop of foamed truffle, lending an earthy
robustness. It’s a great example of advanced
technique used well. The chardonnay ser ved with
it was a standout. Developed and full-bodied, the
Giaconda Nantua Les Deux chardonnay roussanne
from Beechworth balanced the dish. A lesser,
perhaps more subtle white would have been lost.
There was Gordon Ramsay’s pot au feu of
pigeon. Best eaten with your fingers, it brought
back memories of family dinners and my nanna’s
pigeon and polenta. An acquired taste, the little
bird is cooked sous vide, the legs at 63°C and
the breast for less time at 56°C, ensuring they’re
moist and succulent. Clarified chicken stock and
Italian herbs guarantee flavou r.
There were five more courses to come – you get
the idea. A tender shoulder of braised milk lamb,
braised then reduced, was made all the better by
the 1995 Mt Mary Quintent from the Yarra Valley.
While still a tad young, this superb wine from a
wonderful vintag e still drank very well. Then finally
came the 1983 Grange. With plenty of oak and
spice and hint of leather it went so well with
the full bodied Jindi triple-cream brie. At about
$1000/bottle, every drop was savoured.
A symphony of fruit purees (an Anton
Mosimann dish), although a swirled visual feast,
was too sweet for most. The hot apple crumble
soufflé (Paul Heathcote), however, was divine.
Fluffy, with the crumble in the middle and on
top and ser ved with 1995 Chateau Rieussec
Sauternes Premiers Cru, it was a great way to finish
off a truly memorable dining experience.
Such a meal is to be savoured and appreciated
for what it is: a rare chance to experience very
celebrated dishes, made famous by some very
accomplished chefs, prepared by someone who
was head chef at a two-Michelin-star restaurant.
Enjoying it at Friends, a restaurant with a rather
niche and very loyal following, means each dish
can be accompanied by a wide selection of
excellent wines. Spoil yourselves – it’s worth it.
Friends Restaurant, Hyatt Centr e, 20 Terrace Road,
Perth WA 6004, (08) 9221 0885
SIP SIP HOORAY
Friends Restaurant has more than 800 bottles
of wine listed, including first growths from
Bordeaux going back to 1948. There are
also 30 different vintages of Grange and a
big selection of difficult-to-find local and
international wines. If you are so inclined, do
as one diner recently did: order a $4500 bottle
of 1986 Romanée-Conti and sit down to lunch
– alone! Now that’s indulgence.
“Such a meal is to be savoured and
appreciated for what it is: a rare chance
to experience very celebrated dishes”
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