The Standard. If I think about this relative newbie’s name, it could be considered a fairly bold proclamation. Were they saying that they were the new standard for food in Perth? Ooo la la. I liked their style and I was excited to see what standard they were setting. I had seen much social media praise for this new establishment and was hanging out to pay it a visit. The opportunity presented on Sunday – the last day of GG and my five day Christmas long weekend. We took the opportunity to take a brief sojourn from watching India rack up run after run on the third day of the Boxing Day test and headed to Northbridge for lunch at The Standard.
We arrived a touch after it opened at 12 so it was easy peasy to secure a table. The friendly staff brought us water and cutlery and gave us a few minutes to ponder the menu. It’s a very good looking menu and one that had so many dishes we wanted to try that we had to start a short list and our final cut was:
- Lamb Belly, Sweet & Sour Eggplant, Grapefruit ($24)
- Spanner Crab Salad, Orange, Buttermilk, Herbs ($19)
- Pork Croquette, Beetroot, Horseradish, Hazelnut ($16)
- Beef Carpaccio, Wasabi, Soy ($12)
We also ordered a glass of wine each – a Portuguese white for me (Muros Antigos 2013) and an Italian red (Umani Rochi “Podere” 2013) for my fellow. We chose European options in preparation for our European holiday in April. It’s good to be prepared.
The dishes soon started to arrive in an exciting flurry. Exciting because everything looked delicious and it was tricky business to know where to start. We kicked things off with the spanner crab salad. It did present differently to what I had imagined, mainly I suppose because I’m used to seeing shredded crab in salad. I quite liked the chunky compressed disks of crab though that had been elegantly stacked throughout the greenery. It was all so artistic as if each sprig of radicchio and the microherbs had been perfectly placed just so in the dish. And the flavours were beautiful. There was a delicious elegance to the whole plate, with the slight bitterness from the radicchio offset by the sweet citrus slices and a decadent creaminess from the few dollops of buttermilk.
We turned our attention to the hot dishes next, launching into the pork croquettes. I loved them. Loved everything about them. The perfectly shredded pork centre, the crispy coating, the dramatic smear of vibrant beetroot purée. It was a delicious and dynamic combination and if I had only had these I would have left a very happy lady.
But then there was the lamb belly. I fell in love with lamb belly just this year when GG and I visited St Michael and collectively it was our favourite dish. It was very much ‘move over pork belly, it’s time for the belly focus to be on lamb’. Lovely, lovely lamb. Now I’d read this menu item but I was slightly surprised at the Asian influence of this dish. Surprised but in no way disappointed because what a flavour explosion it was. The accompanying salad was a sublime blend of sweet, spicy and a little bit of spice, so well balanced and very refreshing. It really helped to cut through the indulgent fattiness of the lamb belly. Oh that lamb, the two slabs were cooked perfectly and again it was two thumbs up all round for another delicious dish.
So this meant that on the savoury side we were ending with the beef carpaccio. Again it was different presentation to what I had expected, as I was more used to seeing the wafer thin slices of beef arranged flat on a plate. athe Standard had put a spin on their version and it was almost more of a salad. It was another very pretty salad with the pieces of beef scattered amongst greens and some peaks of wasabi cream. It was light and flavourful and it was a nice way to round out lunch.
We were both feeling comfortable at this point and I was grateful because I knew I needed to save room for dessert. Oh yes, it was an ‘I need’ not just an ‘I want’ moment. I’d heard much praise about their Vanilla panna cotta, strawberry, lemonade ($14) and so when the waitress cleared our plates I locked that in. I think what is particularly great about this dessert is that there is a little bit of theatre to it. I don’t mind a bit of razzle dazzle and they delivered this in spades when the elegant glass was placed on our table, filled with vanilla panna cotta and a few freeze dried raspberries and fresh strawberries. Then they poured in a splash of strawberry liquor before it was topped up with homemade lemonade. Oh it’s fun!
So you drink the cocktail topper, then throw in the horseradish crumbles and it’s time for your panna cotta. A two in one dessert. What’s not to love about it? The panna cotta itself was beautifully creamy and I found the horseradish crumbles an interesting inclusion both for texture but also as a nice contrast again some of the sweeter fruit.
What a lovely lunch! A late contender but very much up there as one of my favourite lunches of 2014. I have no doubt this relative newbie will continue to establish itself as a firm favourite on the foodie scene. Can’t wait to head back!