Any excuse for a nice meal is fine by me and what better reason to don on a fancy frock and head out for something of the degustation persuasion than for GG’s Birthday! And this year it meant a return visit to Red Cabbage. We’d been to Red Cabbage for New Years and really enjoyed it, but thought it would be nice to try it out on a non-set menu night.
So off we set to sample their degustation menu and matched wines, we couldn’t wait! Red Cabbage are located in South Perth, just off the Mill Point Road fwy exit, on the corner of Mill Point and Labouchere Road. The first thing I really like about this place is the glowing red apple lamp that lights your way into their fine establishment and then that there are an abundance of tassels makes the décor entirely appealing. I also like the eclectic collection of images they have printed along on of the walls. Another added bonus about Red Cabbage is that they are on Twitter and the man behind the Tweeting is none other than chef and owner Scott O’Sullivan. And he’s a big UFC fan, so that was always going to bode well for GG and I as we too are quite partial to some octagon action. But I digress. I mentioned Twitter because in passing I had broadcast that this is where we were headed for GG’s birthday.
So it was more than a little lovely to be lead to our table and find that menu’s had been printed up that actually said ‘Happy Birthday GG’. Loved it! How entirely precious 🙂 And what a menu is was! Everything sounded amazing, I couldn’t wait to get started. We were first bought out a dinner roll, which was similar to the one we’d had at New Years. They are fantastically fresh and soft. Good bread – one of life’s joys.
We had an excellent waiter looking after us, very attentive and well versed in the intricacies of the wines that we were to enjoy with each course.
The first course was Rabbit and Stone fruit (2010 Joseph Drouhin Chablis)…. A little light on for description, but it just built the mystery of the meal. What we were told though was it was a terrine. I’ve always been a little on the fence about terrines. They can be a bit hit and miss from where I sit – rhyming unintended there 🙂 The presentation of this one though was beautiful. Such attention to detail and the colours all balanced so nicely. I was smitten before my first bite. And I’d have to say that if they all tasted like this one, then I could be the captain of Team Terrine. It was delicious!! The tasty rabbit matched so well with the sweetness of the nectarine. I was in food heaven and it was only the first course!
Up next was Scallop, pork and pineapple (2010 Balthasar Ress Hattenheimer Schutzenhaud Kabinett Rieselin). I couldn’t wait to try the combination of those three flavours together, especially with a little of the coconut mousse dramatically smeared beneath the three delicatable morsels. It was as divine as I had imagined. The carefully prepared cube of pork just melted in your mouth and the pineapple served to further enhance the sweetness of the plump scallop. Just a sensational course!
Now back last year, GG and I had been lucky enough to first sample some of Scott Sullivan’s work at the Largesse Dinner when he made this amazing sort of take on bacon and eggs (http://perthmunchkin.com/2011/10/08/largesse-dinner-5/). It was such a creative and delicious course and having seen what he had done with egg once before my curiousity was definitely piqued by the next course on our degustation menu – Steak, eggs and frites, bearnaise ice cream (2009 Picardy Pinot Noir). It was presented to us and we both smiled – another gem! Thinly sliced carpaccio beef, with a perfectly rounded egg yolk, a side serve of crunchy potato frites and the piece de la resistance was the bearnaise ice cream. Texturally it was just a wonder and the flavours did not disappoint. There’s something wonderful about egg yolk. Whether you are dunking toast soldiers into it or in this case utilising it for a more creative endevour to cap off a beautiful plate. Another winner! That was three from three!
We’d enjoyed a scallop earlier but it was time for another salute to seafood with Trout and Chilli Squid (2011 Paul Nelson Fume Blanc) The plate looked fairly similar to the one we’d had at new years (http://perthmunchkin.com/2012/01/11/red-cabbage-food-and-wine/), only the trout had replaced pork belly. I just love how creative they are with cucumber. They must have some very cool cutters in the kitchen 🙂 The fish was perfectly prepared and I enjoyed how it was dusted in a light spicy coating, then there was the refreshing cucumber. Much to love about this dish too! Plus visually the team in the kitchen at Red Cabbage do plate up beautifully. It’s really art on a plate! And this isn’t just me getting gushy, because we’d tried 4 fabulous wines up to this point 🙂
Marron Waldorf (2010 Bastainich Fruilano) was an incredibly elegant and refined dish. The sweetness of the marron and the crunchiness of the salad, plus the surprising chill from the carefully placed ball of sorbet was both refreshing and entirely enjoyable. I probably haven’t eaten too much marron in my time and I’ve never cooked with it, but it is just a beautiful shellfish.
Time to get our palate cleansed with some divine Lychee Sorbet. Oh lychee, you are such a tropical treat!
The final savoury was the Venison and Foie Gras Snow (2008 Zema Estate Cabernet Sauvignon), with the plate bought to the table then completed with its theatrical dusting of fois gras snow. It was quite a generous slice of venison and cooked to pink perfection. Plus the jus that came with this dish had such an intense richness to it, really tied all the components together and was a wonderful way to complete the savoury side of our journey.
We were both feeling fairly comfortable at this point and knowing we had predessert and then dessert to get through we were confident we could do it. The size of the predessert definitely surprised to the bigger side though! We had been more expecting some sort of sweet spoonful but this was quite an indulgent size! But hey I’m a dessert fan from way back so I was in no way disappointed! How could you be with this fabulous combination of pistachio, pear and cherry. There was the fluffy cake and the contrasting sorbets with the sweetness of pear and a litle tartness from the cherry – all of it just bursting with flavour. Loved it! Bring on dessert 🙂
And then dessert arrived and it was a vision and another special treat for GG with a special banner on his plate with more birthday wishes. He was very spoilt! On the menu for dessert was Jelly and Ice cream (2007 Chapoutier Muscat de Beaumes de Venise). I love how such simple descriptions are given but you just know that what you actually recieve is going to be much more than just “jelly and ice cream”. The dainty jar of jelly – topped with the crunchy caramel popcorn was such a fantastic contrast of texture and once we’d made our way through that we still had the little ice cream to enjoy too. And it was such an indulgent item with its thick white chocolate coating and its dusting of crumbed pistachios. It was a perfect end to a sensational degustation menu.
So our second visit, what had we thought? Well no doubt about it, it had cemented itself as one of our favourites. Service had been so wonderfully friendly and attentive and the food really was brilliant. I think Red Cabbage is just a perfect special occasion place. It really feels like an experience to eat there. Thanks to the team for helping GG have such a memorable birthday. And now to check the calendar and find the next special occasion 🙂