The Trustee Bar and Bistro

For me it’s just some kind of wonderful to know that you are booked in somewhere new and exciting for lunch. Even if it’s a work/businessy affair I tell you what, the morning just flies by when you know that come lunch time you’ll have a glass of something white in hand and the heady aromas from the kitchen fill the air and make you realise how hungry you are!

Such was my day on Wednesday. I’d managed to score an invite to lunch with the boss and two of our bankers – Mr G and Mr S. And as chance would have it, we were asked to suggest a venue. Well, well, well…. Decisions, decisions! What with two impressive new venues opening up in Perth just last week, the choice of going to one of those was relatively easy. And as it was I’d spent a little more time studying the menu from the Trustee since their website launched a few weeks prior so that had my vote and we managed to get a booking and it was all a waiting game until May 30th rolled around.

We arrived and initially did a quick lap around the bar upstairs. I perhaps had managed a sneaky visit to snoop around the week before, but I don’t think I’ll quickly tire of the impressive wine vault in the centre of the bar or the outstretched arms of the guardian angel of sorts that they have spectacularly displayed above the bar. Can’t fault the fit out. They’ve put together  a very slick venue.

So after a brief spell there, we were shown downstairs to the Bistro. I liked how the floors have been done, a mix of polished concrete and floor boards and also the exposed copper pipes winding their way along the walls with little light bulbs. It all works. So there’s a blend of seating options available in the bistro. Some table and chairs outside or inside, some booths, some larger tables with higher stools. Something for everyone.

In our case we were shown to a booth. I like booths. And they work quite well when you are out for a business lunch. There’s more of an element of privacy to your conversations.

To start things off I partook in a cleansing ale (Little Creatures Pale Ale to be precise) with Mr G. Didn’t want him to drink alone! So while we enjoyed our beer, important decisions were made as to what wine off the extensive 39 page wine list should be have? It was narrowed down to a white and then to a chardonnay so we were getting closer. The team decided on a French Chardonnay, more specifically the 2007 Domaine Roulet Meursault Premier Cru “Les Miex Chavaux”. The white was decanted at our table, which was a nice touch. The sommelier is a particularly knowledgeable fellow, who played a big part in putting together the impressive wine list that the Trustee boasts 🙂

Now I’ll admit that given that I’d thoroughly perused the menu ahead of my visit I had perhaps already decided what I fancied, but I still politely took in the menu, thoughtfully displayed on their embossed wooden boards. I think I like these, because it gives them scope to change the menu frequently as its just the paper that needs to be replaced. Well played Trustee 🙂

So for starters my heart was set on the pork belly parcels, apple, cress, fried shallots ($19) and the boss also went for this, while Mr S chose the beetroot carpaccio, goat curd, walnuts ($24) and Mr G decided he’s pass on an entrée.

Presentation wise I liked how different dishes were served on different sized and styles of plates. The Carpaccio was creatively presented on a more traditional round, white plate….

while the pork belly came elegantly displayed on a rectangular silver plate. It was something different. As was the pork belly itself. So often just served as squares (which I’ll admit I’m a fan of) but I quite liked it in its crispy outer parcel. Almost like spring roll pastry or maybe filo. Very thin and texturally just added a little crunch. I thought the pork itself was very well cooked. Full of flavour, with still enough of the luxurious fattiness that is synonymous with pork belly. I liked the julienne apple sticks too. It was all very pretty. For my first plate of food from the Trustee I’d have to say I was a fan. It was a decent size, lovely flavours and it looked good.

Now for mains we all decided to embrace the Trustee’s “Nose to Tail” mantra. Reading through the menu they let you know that “All our beef comes from Boathaugh Farm, we work closely with farmers Dave Hohnen and Miles Brierley to bring you this grainfed Angus product. Our nose-to-tail ethos means a more sustainable approach to this important WA industry.”

So with that in mind, the boss went for the Cheek option – beef cheeks, garlic mash, poached bacony peas, pedro jus ($36)…

Mr G went for the Rump – rump cap, onion soubise, fried onion rings ($40)……

and myself and Mr S both professed to be huge pepper steak fans so locked in the Flank – the trustee pepper steak, horseradish and celeriac remoulade, pepper sauce ($38).

We decided to switch to red at this point and after some consultation with our friendly waiter and it was a partiaulry indulgent drop – 2008 Craggy Range ‘Le Sol’ Syrah. Delicious! I’m not the hugest red drinker, but I suspect on a cold, winters night, snuggled up on the couch in front of a fire I could perhaps knock off a bottle of it pretty easily 🙂

Timing wise, they did well with the delivery of our entrée and mains. Our steaks were bought out and they were exceptional bits of meat. Mine was cooked to medium perfection, still fairly pink, which was great. My only disappointment with my dish was that it just wasn’t that peppery. All Mr S and I could taste was mustard. We pondered whether that was the horseradish that had been mentioned on the menu, but it tasted more like mustard and it was really strong. Now don’t get me wrong it wasn’t bad mustard, its just that if I order a pepper steak then I would quite happily have it inundated with peppercorns. Black ones, green ones, pink ones – some of each, I’d be happy with them all. Perhaps if the kitchen could just pepper up their pepper steak a little more it would be perfect. But as for the actual steak itself, they are sourcing great beef. Moo 🙂

We also ordered some sides for the table, including chefs salad ($13), broccoli with manchego and jamon ($13) and mash ($13). My mains was quite filling but I politely sampled some of the sides. Didn’t have any of the broccoli though, but I did think jazzing it up with manchego and jamon was cool. The salad was an interesting mix and the mash was wonderful. I love good mash and this was just delish.

So it was at the pointy end of the lunch and I was the only girl in attendance, which has proven to reduce my odds of dessert in the past. But they let the good times roll and I was given the greenlight to order dessert. Happy days. Two of us, including myself, ordered the chocolate salted caramel, crème fraiche ice cream ($15.50) and the boss and Mr G went for the banana soufflé, sticky date ice cream ($15.50).

A few coffees were also ordered at this point. Short macs seemed to be the order of the day and the coffee received two thumbs up from the table’s panel of self professed coffee snobs, so that was a bonus 🙂

Dessert looked beautiful and what a rich, decadent dish it was! Oozing caramel from within the chocolaty mousse, it was lovely. It was only the crème fraiche ice cream that didn’t do too much for me. I suspect it was there to help counter the quite intense sweetness of the chocolate, but I kind of found it a bit watery. But I’ll admit that it’s the first time I’ve had crème fraiche ice-cream. It could well be how it is meant to taste. As desserts go through, chocolate is always going to win me over.

The soufflé selectors had enjoyed the flavour, but did note that their soufflés were just slightly overdone around the edges… but hey a week in, could well be a learning curve with the oven.

So my first visit to the Trustee and I’d got to have my dream three course lunch selection. Sometimes I’m so spoilt I can’t even believe it 🙂

The Trustee is a beautiful restaurant with a solid menu and an impressive wine selection. While some of the wait staff may have been a little green, they were all very friendly and the few minor things we noticed during lunch, I’ve no doubt will be ironed out in the weeks ahead and the Trustee will establish itself as a popular dining option in the CBD.

Congrats to Team Taylor 🙂

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