I used to work in West Perth. That was nearly 2 years ago now but I still miss it. I definitely like my current job but location wise, West Perth was just a lovely place to work. It also had some excellent places to lunch. Several top Italian eateries (Peruginos, Ville d’Este, Julio’s) and also a brilliant tapas spot called Amphoras. It’s where I first discovered that Trumer Pils on tap is a wonderful thing and slowly but surely I made my way through their delicious menu, never straying far from the arancini because they were always perfection. One of my favourite days ever was when a co-worker and I accidentally lunched too long at Amphoras (very easy to do) and the fellow we were dining with missed his flight to Sydney. So the only solution was for us to go back and meet him there for dinner. That’s right we did an Amphoras lunch/dinner double – it was epic :)
So I no longer work in West Perth but I’ve long known that I wanted to head back to dinner at Amphoras and take GG along. I’ve always meant to go but never got around to it, so it was with more than some delight that I was asked along with GG to try out some of the dishes on their new Spring/Summer menu. I couldn’t wait.
We arrived one fine Thursday evening and perched at the bar for a drink before we went to our table. I reacquainted myself with Trumer Pils – probably right up there as one of my favourite beers. We were then shown to our table which was right on the edge of the inside restaurant and the outdoor verandah seating.
The venue’s manager Chris outlined a few of the new dishes for us and we started with the challenge of what to order from a menu that all sounded so amazing. Decisions, decisions! Now back in the day I knew I was a massive fan of their arancini so had to get those and of late GG and I have always tended towards calamari or squid to compare different venues versions, so that was two. Then there was the beef carpaccio that was a new addition, along with the seasonal greens (which this night was asparagus) and finally we ordered the lamb mini t-bones – for two reasons, I love lamb and I thought they sounded cute. Yep I order a dish on a cute description alone.
- Beef Carpaccio, Sicilian capers, parmesan, truffle oil, panna gratta ($24)
- Seasonal greens with a daily creation ($16)
- Roast pumpkin & Italian mozzarella arancini with pesto aioli ($16)
- Calamari “north west” crispy chilli fried, aioli, lemon ($18)
- Dorper lamb mini T-bones, roasted with olive and caper peperonata ($36)
They have a lovely wine list at Amphoras and the staff are all well versed as to the varietals they have available. So I went with a lovely dry Riesling and GG stuck with the red of the day which was an NZ Pinot Noir.
First to arrive on the food front was the carpaccio. Oh my goodness. Anyone else just a massive fan of the incredibly heady aroma of truffle oil? Divine indulgent loveliness! The beef had been sliced wafer thin and artistically sprinkled with capers and then drizzled with truffle oil. It was a beautiful combination that tasted as delicious as it smelled. It was a fabulous intro for my GG to the culinary talents at Amphoras.
Up next were the arancini. As magic as I remembered! Crisp perfection on the outside and this amazing cheesy, pumpkin indulgence inside. The arancini came served on a smudge of pesto and it was the perfect partner to these rice gems. So full of flavour, a wonderful diversity of texture. Brava on the arancini!
The calamari came next and it was a very generous serve. Just ample! It was perfectly cooked and lightly battered. We both liked it, but it was a fair bit of batter once we’d worked our way through the big bowl. Perhaps we should have spritzed on a little bit more lemon. We still did enjoy it though :)
It was nice to follow on from the squid with the seasonal greens. Crisp asparagus spears with a smattering of slivered almonds. I really enjoy veg cooked this way. Still plenty of snap in the spears. Seasonal cooking is where it’s at. Use what is at it’s best for that time of year. The asparagus definitely fit the bill. From night to night I’m sure they have something lovely on offer.
Our final course was the lamb. I was somewhat bemused to see what lamb mini t-bones were. They were just lovingly prepared lil’ lamb chops :) Precious! They presented very well, were a good size and looked nice with the delicate scatter of microherbs. So how was the dish? It was excellent. The lamb was pretty in pink and the rich flavour of the peperonata was delicious! I really enjoyed the inclusion of the olives and that, along with the capsicum and tomatoes was a winner.
Wow. Five dishes in and I was reminded how much I really enjoy the food here, it had been way too long! We were even offered bread for the tasty sauce that came with the lamb dish but we were both feeling pretty comfortable and declined the generous offer.
It had been a delicious dinner and despite some very tempting dessert options (especially a chocolate fondant I spied) there just wasn’t any room. I know, I know! Not too many meals where I decline a sweet treat to end proceedings, but I figured it meant that we would definitely have to head back soon to give them a whirl!
My thanks to the Amphoras Team for the invitation for GG and I to visit for dinner. Chef Stuart is creating some fabulous dishes in the kitchen and I like that there is a distinct focus on seasonal produce in their menu. The flavours are fresh and well balanced and service is efficient, helpful and very friendly.
It has been a consistent performer for years now, so if you haven’t been before or like me, it’s been a while, then go West and visit Amphoras soon :)