A Once in a Lifetime Degustation @ Restaurant Amusé
by Savour The Moment
Restaurant Amusé, East Perth
Warning: This long review is deliciously photo heavy
I have had a fair share of degustations in my life so far, including Red Cabbage in South Perth and The Press Club in Melbourne. I always enjoy degustations, although the small size of the dishes can come at a shock as I love to eat (in case you couldn’t tell). I recently celebrated my six year anniversary with my boyfriend and I had been wanting to go to Restaurant Amusé for a number of years now. It’s the perfect place to celebrate any special occasion. On the night I visited, there were many birthday celebrations.
It was somewhat problematic when we tried to make a booking, but not difficult. I had kept track of the reservation availability for a few months and decided to book a date about a month and a half prior. At the time of booking, Restaurant Amusé advised online that the next available days to reserve were months away! Yikes! Weekends are very popular, where they are booked out months in advance. Restaurant Amusé only takes reservations online (we had tried to call but they do not answer their phones during service hours, as they put their undivided attention to their patrons). I received an email promptly the next day advising that they would be closed for that week as they were attending the Gourmet Escape in Margaret River. Unfortunately, my inbox decided not to show me this email until I had to specifically find it and only saw it a few weeks before the date. So I booked again for the week later at 8pm and away we went!
My boyfriend was confused as it seemed like we had arrived at a residence, despite my efforts to explain that it was the restaurant. We arrived 10 minutes before our reservation time with another couple and sat down. We were offered water by one waiter and I asked for tap water (as I had not realised they carbonate and filter their own water at no cost to the guest). His reaction was rather dismissive as he walked off, as I had nearly finished talking to him. We were pretty shocked at what had happened but I didn’t take it personally. He probably didn’t mean it but he should maybe brush up on his general courtesy.
I had advised during the booking (and confirming via email) that we had one seafood allergy. At 8pm, we were approached by the one of the staff and listened to the explanation about dining at Restaurant Amusé, re-confirming the seafood allergy. They were happily able to make non-seafood versions of their extravagant dishes.
Our experience started at 8pm on the dot. One of the waiters gave us a brief menu of the dishes, to which it was up to us if we wanted to keep the degustation a surprise. We didn’t look at the menu much throughout the night, but only referred to it when we were not sure what we were eating. We skipped on the wine and each ordered lemon, lime and bitters, which was divine. Each dish was perfectly memorised by the wait staff, describing what we were about to eat and the process of creating the components of the dish.
We received our delicious warm bread with whipped butter. The bread, which were rye and sour dough, was lovely and soft, served on top of hot rocks to keep the bread warm. The whipped butter was amazing and there was plenty of it. Salt was sprinkled on the butter, giving it an extra tangy taste. The night kicked off to a good start.
The next dish that came out was intended to be the start of the degustation. I don’t think it was written on the menu, however this dish was most definitely interesting. The orange balls, resembling oversized caviars, popped in your mouth as you bit into it, giving off a fishy taste in the dish. The shaved white chocolate on top was sweet, breaking and melting softly in your mouth. It was quite odd and definitely the first time I tasted seafood and chocolate all at once.
My boyfriend obviously could not eat my seafood dish, so he got another alternative. Not quite sure what it was, as I could not catch what our waiter said, but my boyfriend thought it was also interesting, and didn’t know what to make of it. (COMMENT ON THIS MORE)
My fourth dish was called “Asparagus, squid and oyster”. This one was also one of my favourites. The asparagus was crunchy, soft, and cooked perfectly. The squid was tender, with that familiar chew, and crunchy with the black balls scattered around the dish (I’m not sure what these were). The sauce was sweet and blended all the components of the dish together.
My boyfriend’s version was called “Asparagus, herb, and rye”. He found it okay, but at this point, my carnivore boyfriend was wondering when the meat was going to arrive.
Dessert already? Noooo! How is it that time already? The seventh dish was called, “Blueberries and pink geranium”. The blueberries were infused in apple vinegar, giving off that odd, fizzy and acidic taste as soon as you ate it. The pink geranium was of the sherbet kind, which quite literally “kicked you in the throat” but not in a bad way. It was uber tangy and sweet at the same time. The whole dish came basically in the size of a tea light candle. It was tiny, but it was enough to cleanse my palate, preparing us for the final dessert dishes.
The eighth dish was called, “Grapes, coconut and spice”. The grapes had been carbonated, so it almost felt like you were drinking a fizzy drink. It was peculiar but pretty cool. The spices ice-cream was absolutely freezing. It looked like popcorn, but was ridiculously cold. It was hard to bite through, as it was frozen solid, and tasted of cinnamon. It was delish!
The second-last and ninth dish, was called, “Rustleberries, hay and brown butter”. The dish looked amazing as the plate decoration looked like it was a part of the dessert. It reminded me of cherry blossoms. I wasn’t a huge fan of this dish, thus I couldn’t remember too much about how it tasted. Not sure what it was, but the top layer of the dessert tasted like fish to me. I don’t know how; it was savoury, however when you eat it with the sorbet, it was sweet and delicious, so you could barely notice that fishy taste. The base was sweet and crunchy. The dish looked beautiful but I didn’t fancy it that much.
I thought we had received our final dish for the night, so I made a quick stop to the ladies, and had arrived back to the table with our finale dish. My boyfriend was surprised that they had served it whilst I was gone. We have been to countless fine dining restaurants before, both within Australia and internationally, and some restaurants had waited for the patrons to arrive back at the table before serving. If Amusé was all about giving excellent service (and food), maybe they could take note of this next time. Anyway, enough of that. The final dish, “Mint and pepper berry” tea, with “Desert limes and burnt lemon”, was a nice touch. By this stage, we were three hours into our degustation, which was their recommended dining time. The tea was just what I needed to end the night, before hopping into bed. I love mint tea, so it was really nice, and the waiter even offered if we wanted more tea (I didn’t realise he had meant more tea until my boyfriend told me that that was what he meant, whoops!). The marshmallows were soft and moist, and the desert limes were chewy, sweet, and flavoursome, that went exceptionally well with the tea.
Most of the diners had left at this point, and we decided it was time we went, too. I handed my Entertainment Gold Card (25% off total bill) and a massive deduction was taken from the bill (woohoo!). I was really excited to use the card for Restaurant Amusé, and I’m so happy that they accept the card. The degustation comes to $130 per person, without wine pairings. With the discount, excluding our two drinks, the final cost came to $110 per person.
I was definitely full at the end but my boyfriend wasn’t. He wasn’t very impressed with the restaurant, considering how much the degustation was and how it was been getting excellent reviews consistently. We both had agreed that the Red Cabbage degustation, which we had went to for our five year anniversary in 2012, was much better across the board regarding food, service and price. I don’t know if it was because of the hype surrounding Restaurant Amusé, that I was expecting it to be mind-blowing. I’m not the greatest degustation diner but Restaurant Amusé isn’t regarded high on my favourite fine-dining restaurant list. It was rather disappointing to experience because I had always wanted to try Restaurant Amusé, and after hearing it takes months to get a booking, I was expecting more from them. It is definitely for special occasions, unless you have a lot of money to burn. I probably wouldn’t go back; once is enough for me. The food was still amazing, and the creativity of the chef deserves a standing ovation. All I am saying is that I expected more. Regardless, it was memorable, and I’m glad to say that I have tried one of the regarded best restaurants in Perth.
Address: 64 Bronte Street, East Perth WA 6004
- Only open from Tuesday to Saturday for dinner from 6:30pm.
- Bookings only. Make sure you check the reservations page on their website, as they frequently update their booking availabilities.
- If a date is not available, you can be put on the wait list.
- 2013/14 Entertainment Book Gold Card – 25% off total bill.