Thank you Clint Nolan for the next instalment in your Perth small bar series. In a suite that already includes such gems as Whose Your Mumma in Freo and La Cholita in Northbridge, the newest addition is called Pleased to Meet You. Also located in Northbridge, it looks fairly inconspicuous at its home at 38 Roe Street. From the understated frontage it would be easy to underestimate the culinary delights that it produces.
Now a lovely couple I got to know earlier this year are quite the cool cats and headed along on opening night last Monday. They sent me through an email regaling me with tales of deliciousness and not only was I starving on reading it but I was also keen as mustard to get there as soon as I could! As with his other establishments no bookings are taken, so I thought an early dinner at 5.30 on Friday should put us in good stead to secure a table. I also knew that they are currently awaiting their liquor licence so are BYO, so I arrived with a bottle of chardy in tow. (I have since noticed on facebook that the liquor license has arrived!)
We were actually the first to arrive and were shown to the centre of one of the four long shared bench style tables they have. Each table would likely seat 10-12 I would say. We were actually a group of three and before too long our dining companion Mr A arrived.
There’s a real heady aroma of the roasting suckling pig, which you can see slowly rotating over coals just behind the bar. It smells amazing, and will no doubt work to spark anyone’s taste buds into action.
Friendly staff filled our water glasses and gave us menus and let us know when ready that we could order up at the bar. Now Mr A has a few food restrictions, no gluten being the more pertinent on his list, so we focused on the gluten free options on the menu and there were plenty. It was also helpful to have the menu split into Small, Bread, Animal and Garden. We at least knew from the get go that anything bread was out.
Our initial order was for:
- Raw beef san choy bau ($12)
- Duck taco, corn salsa ($6) – two of these, one for GG and I (we told Mr A just to look away ;))
- Fennel & peach, palm heart ($14)
- Roasted chicken, habanero ($30)
- Coal roasted suckling pig ($10 per 100g) – went with 300g
The dishes arrived as they were ready and up first was the Raw beef san choy bau, which ideally for us, came in 3 portions. Lettuce cups held a creamy mix of the raw beef. The flavour was so delicious! I’m a long time steak tartare fan and done right, raw beef is a joy, don’t be put off by the rawness! The meat just melts in your mouth and it goes so well with the refreshing lettuce case and the crunch from the light sprinkle of corn chip pieces. For my first introduction to the culinary stylings of the PTMY team I was thoroughly impressed (and perhaps wishing I could have polished off all three serves solo, but conscious there were other dishes on the way).
Up next was the Duck taco, corn salsa. Wow. A generous kick of what I believe was Chinese five spice coated the plump pieces of duck, which teamed perfectly with the sweetness of the lightly charred corn. I felt bad for Mr A that he couldn’t have any taco so I gave him a piece of the duck, which he agreed was delicious. It really was a great taco. Again I was wanting more!
The Fennel & peach, palm heart salad and the Roasted chicken, habanero arrived together next. It was a nice looking salad. Looked all very fresh and there was plenty in it. Also as I’ve recently become very pro fruit in salad I was pleased with the chunky slices of grilled peach throughout. This was also the second time recently that I’d enjoyed palm heart in a salad. Potentially a new ‘cool’ veg? I quite like it. Not a huge amount of flavour, but a little different texturally. And I think it’s nice to throw a salad in the mix. Especially because we’d gone with quite a meat heavy line up. Can be both refreshing and also helps to balance out some of the heavier dishes.
The roasted chicken was cut into generous pieces and looked great! I had wondered whether the habanero would really up the heat stakes but thankfully not much. Plenty of flavour and spice but no burny heat. (Phew I had thought!)
Our final dish and the star behind the bar was our serve of the suckling pig. Cut into liberal chunks it came served with a chimi churri (which is a sauce used for grilled meat, originally from Argentina and is a mix of finely chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano, and white or red wine vinegar). The sauce was lovely but the pork didn’t need it. It was full of delicious flavour and so incredibly moist! While not having more traditional crackling like an oven roasted pork there were some pieces which had a little chew to them after their slow roasting over coals, which was all kinds of good!
We finished these dishes and while a significant dent had been put in our appetites, given how much we had thoroughly enjoyed everything we decided to do as is often done over the festive season and over indulge. With that we ordered another 400g of the pork and a serve of Fries ($6.50). Tis the season!
Round two of the pork was equally as magic and seemed to disappear in a flash as the first plate had! We were a ravenous trio! The fries too were really nice. So much so these were all gone before it occurred to me I hadn’t taken a happy snap of them. I can assure you though that they were really nice! Well salted and with a dish of aioli on the side.
I think a crazy part of us entertained the idea of even more pork but with the small amount of room I had left there was something on the dessert menu that I just had to try. Ice-cream nachos ($6). How could I not? I was so intrigued by them.
They arrived and we all peered into the dish as to how they had turned a typically savoury dish into something sweet. Well I’ll tell you how. Unsalted corn chips, cinnamon icecream, strawberry salsa and some very cool strips of mango that looks like cheese – looks like nachos and tastes like yum! The flavours all worked so well together! The right amount of dessert sweetness and some interesting crunch from the chips. Bravo on this unique dessert, I have no doubt it will be very popular!
What a first visit it had been! Service had been so friendly and attentive and I really enjoyed the food. By the time we left a healthy crowd was in attendance and I’m sure as word spreads of the tasty offerings being dished up that the line will be out the door!
Pleased to Meet You? You bet I am!