I was recently very fortunate to be asked along to The Aviary to try out their Lazy Sunday menu. I hadn’t actually heard too much about how Lazy Sundays worked, but I had a quick look on the website and found out that Lazy Sunday is held from 12pm – 4pm in the Bird Cage Restaurant and had something to do with dim sum.
Now clearly I had forgotten the location when I rocked up because we accidentally headed upstairs before being directed downstairs to the correct location of the restaurant. There was a decent crowd upstairs, enjoying more of the luxury of Perth sunshine in winter and folks were perhaps a little more sparse downstairs. But we were shown to a wonderfully plush couched up booth and it really did seem like the perfect location for a chilled out event called Lazy Sundays.
We’d hooked ourselves up with a drink before we wandered downstairs and now that we had found our seats it was time for the fun to begin! On the food front it’s been branded “Dim Sum with a twist”. The selection of 8 dim sum style items came at $30 a head, which before you eat you wonder about….. will it seem expensive or reasonable when we get to the end?
I have visited the Aviary on a few occasions, generally for a cheeky bevvy when I’m meant to be shopping, and it is a very cool venue and they’ve done so well with the fit out.
Before too long our first course arrived. Red curry tartare, young coconut, peanut crumble. It looked delicious! This delicate balance of tartare with the sweetness of the peanut crumble and the indulgent creaminess from the young coconut was wow. Honestly, how wonderful is fresh coconut! We made sure there wasn’t a skerick left on the plate! It was an impressive introduction to the menu. Expectations were high!
Next up was round 2 - Wild mushroom, truffle, wonton chips. At this point we were also asked if we were keen to sample the Aviary’s dipping sauces. We were! Always nice to have the full experience. So four small dishes arrived – soy sauce, ponzu dressing, chilli oil and a garlic and lime infused oil. We set to work dipping the crunchy wonton chips in the various oils and loading them up with mushrooms. It was a winner. They were such great crunchy chips and all those mushrooms – yum!!! Was a hard decision as to which oil was my favourite. I really enjoyed the ponzu dressing through. Great amount of zap to it.
While we worked our way through the generous serve of wonton chips the next dish arrived. Crab, sweet corn, kaffir lime dumpling. Again, no faulting presentation, everything had been precisely placed on the plate, down to the orange caviar delicately balanced on top. I didn’t mind the dumpling. It had quite a strong crab flavour, but this was balanced in part by the sweet corn and the zesty lime.
I had been really curious about the next dish – Confit champignon, white truffle, egg wonton. It was the confit champignon part…. there seemed something kind of wonderful to me about a mushroom prepared in such a luxurious fashion, I couldn’t wait to try it! I’ll admit I was surprised when it arrived, not quite what I had expected. Perhaps I should have expected something a little more wonton. Regardless though, it was so delicious. The mushroomy goodness of the champignon further enhanced by the inclusion of the earthy goodness of white truffle. Really quite a tasty morsel.
Onwards and upwards next we delved into the Pink pepper squid, garlic, lime, shallots. My photos are sans the wedge of lime on the side. GG was more than a little excited about sampling it and launched straight into spritzing the squid with lime. Well played GG :) Now the squid itself was beautifully tender and well matched with the lime mayo, but mention has to go to the pink peppercorns. Such a pleasant flavour and definitely underappreciated in my kitchen! Black and green peppercorns get a look in, but pink, they need more air time and after their inclusion in this meal, i’ll ensure they get it.
And the food kept on coming! Red braised bbq pork buns were the next one dish to arrive. They came served with a sweet sauce. I quite liked the bun itself, very light and fluffy and the red braised pork just melted in your mouth, but both GG and I found the accompanying dipping sauce probably a touch too sweet. But eating the buns without the sauce really solvered that problem :)
It was time to get dirty next with Bourbon & coke spare ribs, black salt, pepper. I really enjoy ribs. There’s something decadent about their slow cooked goodness, lathered in a rich sauce and then just going to town as you pick all the meat from the bones. These were very well cooked ribs and we thoroughly enjoyed the sweetness from the bourbon and coke sauce. Very, very tasty and well worth the messy hands at the end! Half the fun right!
Our final savoury dish was Yellow curry whiting, pickled cucumber. Beautiful light flakey white fish which had been thoroughly seasoned and pleasantly matched with the refreshing salad on the side. This was a nice balanced finish to proceedings. No real trace of fishy flavour to the fish, which I know some could argue that meant the dish was perhaps lacking, but it’s just how I roll I suppose - I really liked it this way :)
Now at the start I’d mentioned that GG and I had questioned the $30 per person price tag, but after leisurely making our way through these eight inventive dishes we were both feeling more than a little comfortable and I really feel that $30 for the quality and quantity of food we were served was actually a real bargain!
We were then asked if we could be tempted with the dessert option. I am hard pressed to ever pass up dessert, but on this occasion I was a little on the full side. However after declining one friendly waitress, another came up to ask about dessert and queried… had I heard what it was?? I knew that I had to give it a go because clearly it is something pretty amazing and it did sound special…. Happy Panda Donuts with red bean ice cream and passionfruit sauce. I knew when it arrived that our decision to share a dessert plate was a wise one and what we found pleasant was that it really wasn’t overly sweet. Particularly the red bean ice cream, it was actually quite refreshing with warm donuts. And the chocolately middle – fab!! There were even a few crushed up lil Happy Pandas on the side. A cool textural addition :)
So we finished our desserts and once forks were down we gave ourselves pause to sit back and reflect on the dishes we had enjoyed. I was feeling particularly fortunate to have this event bought to my attention. If you know you are going to be in town shopping up a storm one Sunday, then you are going to need sustenance, so why not call through to 9226 0259 and make a booking. Good value and a wonderfully chilled vibe, in a very trendy setting.
GG and I thank the Aviary team for their invitation to have us along for Lazy Sundays. Will definitely aim to get back again soon! Quite a delightful way to round out a weekend.
Time to get Lazy! :)