The Old Crow is a relative Northbridge newbie and I’d heard many positive reports about their food so was very keen to head along. I finally got myself into gear and arranged a booking when a catch up with the lovely Miss E provided such an opportunity :)
Arriving a touch before 6 there were already a few folks sitting in the front courtyard, taking advantage of the warmer evening. I had made a booking (yay for places that take bookings!) and our assigned table was briefly occupied when I first rocked in. Thankfully though by the time Miss E arrived they were just resetting it and we were shown straight to it. I liked the fit out, was all very quaint and welcoming.
I happily sipped on a glass of crisp white wine while we carefully considered the menu – decisions, decisions! Now I had heard rave reviews about their brussel sprouts. Now I love brussel sprouts but they don’t exactly have a reputation as a glamour veg. Now that I think of it I’m not sure what veg would have a glamour tag…. hmmmm the rare seasonal white asparagus maybe? Thoughts for another day, but in my book brussel sprouts go alright.
So we ordered a serve of the Crispy Brussel Sprouts, chilli jam, pine nuts, buttermilk ($16.50) along with the Smoked beef cheek, pickled walnuts, garlic toast ($16.50) and from the larger plates section the Pulled ox tail, mac & cheese, peach ketchup ($30). Hard to know on a first visit to a place if three dishes would be enough but we started with that.
While we waited for our order to arrive we were brought some slices of freshly baked bread. It was very nice bread. The kind of bread that you knew that you should try and resist having a second slice of, with the soft, creamy butter, but deep down you knew that resistance was futile!
But soon enough our food appeared and I’ll admit that each dish came as something of a surprise in terms of its appearance. There were the brussel sprouts. They were definitely a crispy affair! Well paired with the creamy buttermilk and the spicy kick from the chilli jam. They were interesting and vastly different to how I prepare them at home, which is a lot greener I suppose. Good to mix things up and see how versatile a vegetable they can be :)
Up next I tackled the beef cheeks. Again, it was different to what I had expected but it all looked good! A generously thick piece of melt in your mouth, butter soft beef cheek, with the subtle crunch from the pickled walnuts and the flavoursome bready goodness from the garlic toast. Hard to go wrong with garlic. The combination was a delicious, rich and tasty wonder. Lovingly prepared beef and an interesting mix of additional ingredients.
The final dish of the evening had a healthy dash of American flare with a generous bed of indulgently oozy mac and cheese, topped with two large rounds of the slow cooked ox tail. There was plenty of flavour in the oxtail and it just melted, so wonderfully soft. It was well paired with the rich cheese macaroni. I was grateful we were sharing this dish, because it would be quite a heavy dish to indulge in solo.
Wanting to also give attention to their dessert offerings, though more than a little on the comfortable side at this stage, we decided we’d share a serve of the The Old Crow key lime pie ($13). Can’t fault their creativity and it did have all the elements of a more classically constructed pie, but this was a more modern take and was made up a zesty lime curd, some lightly torched meringue, some shards of buttery biscuit base and a sprinkle of chocolate coated popping candy. I didn’t mind this dessert and I’m very much pro popping candy but I thought the chocolate was a little out of place in the citrusy dessert and would have probably preferred it without. A very decent serving size though. More than enough for two after the three dishes we’d worked our way through.
So finally a meal at the Old Crow – about time! And I had enjoyed it. The service was friendly and efficient and they’ve done a great job with creating a really quaint venue. You can tell that the open air section at the front will be very popular in the warmer months. Food wise I had liked it, but on a return visit I think I would opt to include something a bit more salady, just to balance out some of the heavier, carby dishes like the ox tail with mac and cheese. Definitely worth a visit though and easy to see why this place has proven to be such a popular 2013 addition to the Perth eating scene.