Home' Scoop : Scoop 54 Summer 2010 Contents 184 SCOOP SUMMER 2010
FOOD + WINE dining out
“The Imp is just the sort of place we need more of
– exciting, innovative food, good prices and intelligent service”
THE IMP | EAST VICTORIA PARK
Marina Fior e recommends the top spots
to dine, wine and catch a quick bite
Adding some ‘uber cool’ to the Albany Highway strip between the causeway
and the Balmoral Hotel, is the Imp. This small, unpretentious, but very ‘now’
tapas bar is doing everything right. Open every day from breakfast to dinner,
it ser ves thoughtful, well-executed food. Plus, in a fun twist, breakfast offers
Fruit Loops or Coco Pops with your morning Fiori coffee – love it!
Chris Sweeney and Kristan Roach opened The Imp a couple of years ag o.
The very talented Michelle K ays spent three years at Jackson’s before heading
up the kitchen here and it shows in her attention to detail, choice of produce
and innovative dishes. Although a new summer menu is being planned, if they
are on offer, start with the green beans with truffle oil and parmesan ($12).
It’s a simply stunning dish – perfectly blanched plump beans, a hint of earthy
truffle and great quality parmesan. And, a touch of vineg ar gives it some zing.
Another stand-out is baby bocconcini, crumbed and dunked in hot oil and
drizzled with a balsamic glaze – crunchy, oozy and packed with flavour. Order
them with the oven-heated olives, which come swimming in infused olive oil.
Jamon Serrano is a litmus test for tapas bars, as it is so often disappointing.
Not here. Sliced to order, it’s not too thin, is paired with a truffle and cabbage
potato cake, and topped with a just-cooked quail egg ($16). Fantastic.
For something more robust, we opted for the crispy pork belly with apple
three ways ($18). Quality pork is cooked just so, with a seam of juicy fat
between it and the crispy skin. It’s topped with apple puree and apple julienne,
and sits on a bed of spiced apple. There’s nothing new about pairing apple
and pork but, once ag ain, the execution sets it apart.
We fi nished with sticky date pudding and vanilla bean ice cream. All desserts
are made on premise and ser ves are generous, but though the flavours balanced
well, this was a little dry and lacking in sponginess.
However, the dessert was just a small blip on an otherwise fantastic
experience. The Imp is just the sort of place we need more of – exciting,
innovative food, good prices and intelligent ser vice. It’s BYO, but there is a liquor
store about 20 metres up the road. Book in. 863 Albany Highway, (08) 9361 2600.
photography Ross Wallace
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