I am incredibly spoilt. There’s just no two ways about it. My fellow GG is just amazing. I am the luckiest girl in the world. So I may have mentioned to him my wishlist of dining places for my upcoming 29th birthday…. at the top of the list was Dear Friends.
I was lucky enough to sample some of Dear Friends wares at the Largesse Dinner (http://perthmunchkin.com/2011/10/08/largesse-dinner-5/)- they were responsbile for the incredible dessert – all chocolate and honeycomb and rosemary and fabulous yumminess.
So I crossed my fingers when November 5th rolled around and hoped that my “subtle” hints had done the trick. Ohmigosh they totally had! GG announced we had a booking for 7pm at Dear Friends. So we dolled ourself up and stood on the driveway to wait for the taxi at 6.30pm. I had no idea the extent of my spoiling until I looked down the road from the end of the driveway and saw a fancy car driving down the street. He had hired a jaguar. What a man! Talk about driving to the Swan Valley in style!
I definitely wished that the Valley was a little bit futher away because I entirely enjoyed holding hands with my delightful man as we drove to dinner.
I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect on the inside of Dear Friends. I had driven past it stacks of time and it looked like a cute old house, and I did smile as I walked inside. It was very warm and inviting. We started the evening with a glass of champagne. A flute of sparkly wonder.
We then moved into the dining room and it probably wasn’t what I had expected but I loved it. It was so intimate with its soft lighting and its collection of colourful pictures adorning the walls. The place wasn’t that full when we took our seats but during the next hour there was all bar one table taken.
GG had booked us in for their Seasonal Tasting Menu ($115 per person) with matched wines (7 pours for $70)….. what a birthday I was having! We were first bought some freshly baked bread with butter churned on site (oh the creaminess!) and also some tomato salsa (which had a fabulous smoky flavour throughout).
It was a brilliant introduction to our meal and made all the more special with the amuse bouche that we were also brought out. A dainty stack of scallop and salmon – it had a delicate sweetness to it. Simply amazing. I think it took the bite of the amuse bouche, following on from the bread and I was under no illusion as to why Dear Friends had been the recipient of so many awards in the past and especially in 2011. They definitely belonged in the upper echolon on Perth eateries.
A ‘Charcroute’ plate came next with a 2010 Larry Cherubino The Yard Bimbimbi Vineyard Riesling, Porongurup, WA. The different plates they used definitely warrant a mention. Some were on the more traditional china, while some like this one were on wooden plates. There were three items of this dish were all individual taste senations – so well prepared. A little sausage, some black pudding, pork – so much to enjoy!
Next up was a cheese course. I quite enjoyed having cheese so early on. This was a Jersey cows milk cheese which came with Red Pepper, yellow masa, preserved lemon, garlic along with a 2007 John Kosovich Bottle Aged Reserve Chenin Blanc, Swan Valley, WA. It was something different all those flavours together but it had a pleasant lightness to it, would have been difficult to eat a heavy cheese course at this stage of proceedings.
Years ago I had, had a chicken and egg course at Restaurant Amuse, which was enitrely memorable. So when the egg course was brought out at Dear Friends and they outlined how the egg had been perfectly soft boiled for around an hour and a half I just couldn’t wait to try it. Open range hens egg with chicken, almond, split pea and cheddar. There is something so indulgent about a yolk so perfectly prepared. With the chicken the yolk became the most deliciously silky sauce. Amazing. One of my favourites!
Following on from this was a “mystery course” one that the chef changes on a daily basis depending on the available ingredients he has. On this particular Saturday they had some lamb, which came served with carrots, broad beans and a little horse radish. The lamb literally melted in your mouth, cooked to pink perfection and was well balanced witht he tasty vegetables.
The size of each course was ideal. Wasn’t left feeling too full at this stage, just comfortable and still incredibly keen to see what would be coming next!
It was time to embrace all things pork, another beautifully prepared meal, Linley Valley Pork with fennel, orange, nasturtium. There was something precious about nibbling on such pretty flowers, very indulgent. Oh happy days! I do love some pork on my fork. Seriously enjoyed this course.
The final savoury course was beef – Wayne Brocks Grass Fed Dexter Beef with Masterstock, cucumber, plum and lotus. The softness of the meat, the crunchiness of the lotus with the deliciousness of the masterstock and plum sauce was just wonderful. There was such a wonderful attention to detail with each dish. All so carefully prepared with the delicate balance of flavours.
And then the sweetness started with a little predessert. An elegant spoonful that included granita and a little Pimms jelly that prepared the taste buds from that switch from savoury to sweety sweet sweet.
I was especially pleased when dessert was presented and it was very similar to what we’d had at Largesse. Instead of rosemary through, today it was eucaplytus. The combination of flavours was equally as delicious. The fluffy marshmallow, the chewy honeycomb, the richness of the chocolate, perfectly matched with freshness of the eucaplytus sorbet. I can easily say that getting to relive the magic of this dessert, cemented it as one of my favourites for the year.
In all I thought my birthday dinner at Dear Friends was so special. Amazing flavours, sensational wines and wonderfully polished service. It was a very memorable evening and with my lovely GG at my side I know that I’ll remember my 29th birthday dinner for many years to come.
Thank you Dear Friends!