Three Five Three, Wembley
I’ve been to Three Five Three four times in the past two months. Yes, it’s true. For my mother’s birthday I booked a 50% Urbanspoon discount for a Sunday dinner (because my parents, ever Asian, revel in their discounted food offers) and another for exactly a week after for a catch up with friends. Two weeks after that, the Dimmi offer popped up once again and I booked another time for a table of five. Three days later I booked there again with my sister’s boyfriend’s family (whew). We were starting to feel as though we were monopolizing the place. I and my fellow dining patrons had no complaints though – Three Five Three has some of the best food and service you will get in Perth, WA. Period. Please excuse the photos – they were taken across a variety of different cameras (some of the digital kind and other from the less sophisticated mobile sort).
Three Five Three is a classy joint, dimly lit and romantic. On our first outing, my family and I were lucky to secure a corner table with a black leather booth running along the wall, the table so broad that we had enough room to flap our arms about (not that we did, as such an action would be eternally embarrassing). A very nice waitress with a sunny disposition topped up water for us and handed over our menus. A friend of mine had gone to Three Five Three a week earlier on the same offer and had recommended the wallaby, but it unfortunately wasn’t on our current menu, replaced instead with a small list of bar menu items. I was a little sadden by the change but nevertheless thought that bar food would be more substantial than the fine dining dishes that they usually offered at night, suiting my fine-dining-is-not-fun parents.
Whilst we waited, we were given several complimentary bowls of truffle popcorn. My brother dived headlong into it, effectively finishing the whole bowl. The few kernels that I did get to sample were delicious, crunchy, melt in the mouth and infused with the heady aroma of the mushroom delicacy. The third time I dined there, Matthew (the restaurant director of Three Five Three) had a bowl on the table ready and raring to go. Throughout the night, as we waited for the drinks and entrees to arrive, a seeming endless supply of truffle popcorn was delivered to our table. My sister’s boyfriend could not stop eating it, to the point that the carpeted section beneath his feet was submerged in a layer of trampled white kernels.
For starters the first night we went there, my sister had a Sweet Sweet Lovin’ cocktail ($16), which swayed me into an incredibly off-tune rendition of Summer Nights from Grease. The cocktail contained lemoncello, chambord, vodka and lime. It came out in pearly pink with slender slices of apple. She offered me a sip and I found it pleasantly sweet and fruity with a good hit of alcohol in it. She almost purchased another one but was quickly reminded that she had Uni the next day and was suitably reprimanded.
For entrees we shared the honey glazed prawns ($16) and Hervey Bay Scallops ($19). Both sets of seafood were beautifully cooked, the prawns fresh and succulent, the scallops seared just beyond translucent. The prawns came with a hot spicy wasabi aoili, that my dad particularly enjoyed. I on the other hand, avoided like it was the plague because I couldn’t take anything remotely chilli (a common attribute for both A and I). It apparently gave the dish a good kick and left a burning sensation in my dad’s mouth, which he appreciated.
A week later, I had the same two dishes again and both were executed well, yet again. The scallops are gorgeously presented with the gleaming shell intact. The creamy leeks resonated with a delicious bechamel flavour and sported a similar consistency. The leeks complimented the scallops very well, bringing out the slight natural saltiness of the seafood. The scorched chorizo was the ingredient that contributed to the dish’s spicy hit, its savoury meatiness compounding the smooth, fleshy texture of the scallops. The black garlic that came beside it was something else special – smoky with a treacle-like sweetness. Two times over this dish impressed. Loved it!
My dad had the Three Five Three Tasting Board ($44) which came with an assortment of goodies. The baked cheese was my favourite component on the platter, though it was still a little chilled inside. It would have benefited from another few minutes in the oven. My sister loved the little pebble-like olives which were rather fleshy despite their size. The bread was appropriately crusty, served alongside some crispbreads. The battered prawns were another exemplary example of care taken with cooking the seafood, light and crisp from the flash frying and generously plump inside. A beautiful sample of many different treats, which could have easily come from the famed Margaret River region, a place that certainly treats their natural produce with high respect.
I had the confit duck with parsnip, asparagus and raspberry chilli glaze ($35). The confit duck was wonderfully cooked, just pink on the inside and came off the bone instantaneously. It came with a sticky jam like sauce, which worked nicely with the gamey flavours of the duck. The waitress was kind enough to explain the different elements on the plate, including a peculiar line of dehydrated raspberry. It fizzled in my mouth like sherbet, and true to the waitress’s word, when combined with the duck and sauce, really bought out the natural richness of the duck. A very nice dish, paired with asparagus for some green value.
My brother had the Wagyu Burger with shropshire blue, balsamic onion and pickled beetroot ($25) which I had originally ordered without blue cheese. I’m not the biggest fan of blue cheese and had automatically assumed that my baby brother (with his delicate palate) would be exactly the same. As our mains came out, the waitress regretfully informed us that blue cheese had indeed been put inside the burger and gave us the option of either having the burger: a) now, as it were, or b) settling back for another ten minutes while they dished up a new one. At this point my brother was so hungry that he looked like he was going to chow down on the nearest person in his vicinity, so we gave him the burger to try, the waitress quickly saying that if he didn’t like it they would replace it with a new one. Surprisingly enough, my brother loved it. He ate the whole thing ravenously. The burger was huge, towering over the wedges, the pattie cooked medium rare. I had a cautious bite – they certainty had put a good amount of blue cheese in it, but the meat was nice and tender. My brother finished it before any of us even got a chance to ask if he was okay – he appeared to love it! Refined palate much? Am I cultivating a mini foodie monster in my midst?
The third time I went there, we were seated right up the front at our own private dining table. It was beautiful and cool that night, blessed by the sea breeze. We were personally served by Matt, yet again. My friends and I felt like VIPs! The amount of popcorn that was delivered to our table was insurmountable. I also had to delay the booking by about half an hour as we were running late, but the staff at Three Five Three were perfectly understanding about it letting us in at our allocated time, giving us ample opportunity to pursue the menu and munch away on the popcorn. We started by ordering a few mocktails including the Bella Rose mocktail, containing elderflower, apple, pineapple and strawberry. It was refreshing and fruity, with a strong presence of smashed strawberries. Also it came served in a beaker. Cool or what?
My mocktail, the Le Matt’, was zesty with a dash of lemon and a good hit of ginger beer. A fruity sweetness came from the apple, with a spring of mint stuck in there for good measure. It came out in a jar, very rustic and homey. To stop the seeping of water across the table, black coasters were popped on our table before our drinks arrived. The mocktail was a quick favourite, with the rest of our party ordering a few more of them.
Complimentary bread was delivered to our table after repeated bowls of truffle popcorn. Two crusty slices of multigrain bread sat on top of the wooden board, with a small pot of olive oil and balsamic on the side. It was Margaret River good (yet again, making comparisons to my favourite WA food region). It was a great pre-starter before our entree and ensured that we had something substantial before the rest of our food came out.
This time around, we were given a special leather bound menu including entrees, mains and sweet treats. The bar menu had been replaced by their standard dinner menu! We started with two shared entrees including an amazing soufflé. The twice baked capel club aged cheddar soufflé ($16) was phenomenal. The soufflé was like consuming a cheese-ridden cloud, airy and light with a bite of cheddar. The cream at the bottom of the dish was glorious, peppered with chives and soaked up by the sponge-like soufflé. The toasted almonds added a nutty crunch, the micro salad completing the dish’s delicate presentation. I could have easily downed another three of these.
The Flinders Island Wallaby Loin ($18) were wonderfully succulent pieces of meats placed carefully on the board, charred on the outside and glamorously pink on the inside. The majority of our party had never had sampled wallaby before, but being prime meat eaters we wanted to give it a try. The wallaby itself drew comparisons to a well cooked lamb, with only a touch of gaminess. Flinders Island Wallaby’s are said to be extremely low in cholesterol and fat whilst also retaining a high level of minerals and protein, meaning it was one of the more healthier meats to consume.
The wallaby came with pureed pumpkin, watercress and koko black chocolate. The koko black chocolate was a unique addition to the meal, added to bring out the earthiness of the wallaby. Our group debated whether or not it worked whilst we sat in silence and masticated. The general consensus was that the bold, almost bitter combination of the chocolate sauce, accentuated the natural flavours of the wallaby. We appreciated the creative pairing of the chocolate with the meat, which worked together to intensify the target hot spots on the palate.
My Mount Barker Turkey Escalope ($38) was stuffed with chestnuts and wrapped in prosciutto. Turkey has a tendency to be dry when overcooked, but undergoing the escalope-beating-process had allowed the meat to become moist and tender. A creamy section of pureed chestnuts inserted into the middle gave the dish additional moisture. Cured meat like prosciutto can often be overpowering with its saline like sharpness, but this time the ham worked well with the turkey adding a chewy component to the whole dish.
The kumura fondant was a fleshy cylinder of mashed sweet potato, baked brown at the very edges. The fondant enacted with the turkey to create a Christmas Roast and Potatoes dinner themed dish. The Christmas colour theme was further enabled by the presence of roasted carrots, a rich red wine jus and greens (including asparagus and broccolini). My favourite part was the juicy pop from the spread of pomegranate seeds. A fantastic main, executed with great care and precision.
On a separate occasion (my forth time there) I had the Carnavon gold band snapper ($35), which my sister also had tried a few nights earlier. I’m usually not a fish person, but this snapper was exemplary. Flaky and a little translucent, the fish flesh broke apart easily and had the expected crispy skin. Alongside it were two large shark bay prawns, also cooked with care. The warm fennel and witlof sat beneath the dish. The large pieces of fennel had been caramalised in a pan with a good amount of butter and the natural bitterness of the witlof had been wiped clean.
The dish also came with dill pollen and a citrus salad, small segments of orange and grapefruit, which sat on the border of the dish and off to one side. The combination of the honeyed sweetness from the warm fennel salad and the delicate, moist snapper fillet was commendable. I would have this dish again in a heartbeat.
The favoured dish of that day was the angus chateaubriand with shark bay prawns, vine tomatoes and wedges ($35) with four of our party selecting it. The angus beef was requested to be medium rare, which was delivered promptly. The steak was a succulent piece with a rosy redness in the middle, the true mark of medium rare! The shark bay prawns were again cooked well, placed carefully on top of the meat. The truss tomatoes were juicy orbs with split skins from appropriate oven roasting, topped off with a velvety jus. The wedges were thick cut, piping hot and sprinkled with sea salt. Beside the meat was a line of dark cocoa, which in similar fashion to the koko black chocolate in the Wallaby dish, was included to enhance the flavour of the meat. An appreciated dish.
My sister’s boyfriend wanted to have the Three Five Three dessert tasting plate ($29) for his main, primarily because we saw a few leave the kitchen. All looked fabulous, so we ordered two to share. Featured on the board was a triple layered chocolate bavarois, silky smooth with pop rocks ingrained in the bottom that smarted in the mouth. It was accompanied by an icy raspberry sorbet, acidic to counteract the richness of the bavarois. My sister couldn’t get enough of it!
Next to it were a set of delicate chocolate truffles, filled with a gelatinous liqueur with a herbal aftertaste. The macarons were delicious, crisp, chewy and bite sized, perfect to devour. The set of sorbets were delicious – they included a coconut lemon ice cream which was reminiscent of a key lime pie (my personal favourite), a rich ice cream chocolate scoop and a scoop of white chocolate macadamia ice cream. The week after, my sister ordered the bavarois by itself, her boyfriend a dessert board on its own and another one for the rest of the table. The desserts at Three Five Three were standouts.
The dessert tasting plate was a definite highlight for all of us. We had at least two on every visit including the last time we dined there … even when it wasn’t on the menu. Matt divvied several up for us quickly and immediately positioned one in front of my sister’s boyfriend who looked as though Christmas had come early. The macarons, truffles, icecream and bavarois were standard items on the board, but we were lucky enough to have another item on there a few weeks later (the bannoffee pie). Dessert board: worth every single penny.
The banoffee pie ($16) with white chocolate milk crumb and pistachio ice cream was amazing. I almost died and went to food heaven, it was so good. It had a crumbly chocolate pastry casing, crammed with fresh slices of banana and a gooey viscous salted caramel sauce. The pistacio icecream carried its nutty flavours proudly and the whole thing was finished off with a good amount of light, fluffy cream.
The white chocolate milk crumb was scattered like snow across the tasting board, similar in texture to dehydrated chocolate. It was parts crumble and powder, sweet to taste. The third time we dined there, one of our lovely staff members dropped off a complimentary banoffee pie on our table, saying we had to try their new in house dessert. I loved it instantaneously and would have paid for ten of these banoffee pies.
To top off a night of good food and conversation, we had another array of desserts only to have ANOTHER complimentary dessert plopped on our table by Matt: “This is the only dessert you haven’t tried yet!” he proclaimed before he disappeared off. It was of the specials for the night, a Plum Pudding. The Pudding had become saturated with an egg nog anglaise, which was silky smooth and combined with sticky sweet brandy butterscotch. The pudding itself was crammed with juicy pieces of plum, eaten by the spoonful with the accompanying honeycomb ice cream. We were checked on once again to see if everyone was happy with the selection of sweets. We were spoilt for choice!
Service, service, amazing service. The service on every single occassion was wonderful, personal and friendly. The restaurant staff gave us an overview of all the dishes as they came to the table, providing a small tutorial for the addition of many ingredients (whilst also not boring us to death). The waitresses were professional, attentive and eager to please. Our first time there, we had the opportunity to talk to Matt, who had already been seen by all dining patrons there that night (including two of my friends, a separate couple who were dining on another table). He was as a very nice gentleman, who floated through the tables at periodic intervals to check that all his patrons were happy campers.
To exemplify how generous the service is at Three Five Three, I’ll outline a brief incident that happened the second week we dined there – our table of six had ordered three burgers without blue cheese (substituting it with cheddar instead). After a 20 minute wait, Matt came by to tell us personally that once again blue cheese had been put on the burgers (as per my brother’s one a week earlier). He apologised profusely, no excuses provided and insisted that they were being remade pronto and offered us an on the house tasting board for an entree as he was certain that we would be starving by this point in time. It’s great when restaurants acknowledge the plight of their customers, and he seemed sincerely sorry for the misshap. Anyway, the tasting board this week not only had tempura prawns thrown on it, but also some scallops for good measure too. We were thoroughly satisfied and didn’t have to wait long till our mains came out, just as good as the first time we dined there. Three Five Three understands that it is business, but takes customer care into great consideration.
Throughout the night, my sister was jugging down cups of hot lemon tea which came with little jars of honey as she was pretty sick and hoarse sounding. The honey, lemon and hot water was was consistently replaced throughout the night and by the time the bill came around, we were pleasantly surprised to find it missing from the final cost – it had come complimentary! The first night I dined at Three Five Three, we were also celebrating a special occasion. My mum’s birthday candle was popped neatly on top of our ordered dessert, the bavarois (upon my request, after a secret “bathroom dash”). We sung happy birthday to the amusement of the other people at Three Five Three. Nothing was too hard for the busy Three Five Three team, who did everything with a smile and a laugh. The second week I went there, they were quick to recognise my name as being a double booker and cheerily greeted our group the week after, just like we were old friends! Eager to engage in conversation and personalised service, the service team truly made us feel at home.
After receiving horrible service at Beaufort Street Merchant the previous week, it was so refreshing to have such personal and genuine assistance from the team at Three Five Three. Matt and his staff always greet you with a smile and have a delightful sense of humour, setting the standard for places to beat in Perth. The fourth time I went there, he was now well aware of my walnut allergy, joking that he had sprinkled some on my main for good measure as he set down my plate. Thanks, Matt. There were also no qualms about placing our 50% Urbanspoon offer on the four separate occasions and they consistently asked us if we were indeed satisfied with their service and food. Even without the discount, I certainly think that Three Five Three is value for money: top quality food, great ambiance and wonderful service. I will be a regular in the coming year at Three Five Three and look forward to seeing their business grow and evolve. Highly recommended.
Rating: 8 out of 10.
Address: 353 Cambridge St Wembley, 6014
- Three Five Three is open Tuesday (4 pm till late), Wednesday to Friday (10 am till late), Saturday (8am till late) and Sunday (8 am to 9 pm).
- Breakfast, lunch, dinner, bar menus, degustation, set group menus are all available at Three Five Three (a small glass section towards the back of Three Five Three also offers private dining for small parties).
- Dates next to the menu items denote the total journey of every product in the dish – (d.) stands for days representing the amount of time, effort and attention to detail for each ingredient.
- Parking bays available right next door, free of charge.
- Reservations available and recommended.