Pleased To Meet You, Northbridge
Asian fusion. Dude food. My four favourite words. I’ve always loved an inventive twist on traditional Thai/Chinese/Singaporean cuisine and it is even better when the experience can be shared with family and friends. Perth is undergoing somewhat of a food revolution over the past few years – restaurants are becoming more concept orientated than ever before, and unafraid of trying out new combinations, importing over things like dude food, tapas styled joints from America and what not. The sheer quantity of restaurants opening up makes the competition harder, so it’s originality and word of mouth that keeps foodies invested.
Pleased To Meet You was my recommendation for a catch up with my three high school friends. I had heard pretty great things about their food from fellow friends, and my sister, who had visited over a week before. First impressions were that it was very “Melbournian” – foliage crawling up the white washed brick walls, long tables with stools for communal dining, an extensive sparkling bar area and half a dozen Siriyacha chilli bottles, which was found in almost every restaurant I went to in Melbourne. Best of all were the bag hooks (which I did not discover until halfway through our meal) – it made for so much more space in our adjacent area.
The menu is printed out on a long board right next to the till. Drinks and food are ordered at the counter, where it can be prepaid or placed on a food/drinks tab. We decided to just pay for all our food upfront. The menu was divided up into five sections – small plates, breads, garden, animal and sweets. The guy at the till was jovial, quick and on the ball, smashing out our rather extensive order.
The Pulled Pork Sliders ($9) were the first to come out and were a quick favourite between my foodie friend and I. The brioche buns had a nice kick of glazed sweetness, on the chewy, buttery bread that worked well with the delicious, moist pulled pork. They had really packed it on the meat, which had a smoky, tomato-y BBQ like flavour to the pork. Stewed peppers accompanied the meat inside. It was tender, delicious and a true representation of dude food. We had ordered two between the four of us, which was just enough considering the onslaught of food that would be following it.
The Buffalo, Shitake & Blue Salad ($15) was a strong recommendation from the guy at the till (I had originally wanted the watermelon salad, but he quickly suggested I try something outside my comfort zone). I don’t like blue cheese very much, but luckily it was used sparingly in the dish, as a underscored flavour for the dressing. I captured bites of the pungent taste of blue cheese at random intervals, but luckily it had only touched parts of the salad. The salad had been predominately made up of parlsey and cos lettuce leaves, and livened up with a good handful of pecan nuts. My favourite component were the grapes – they had been halved, and were juicy and fresh, scattered liberally throughout. I don’t know if all the elements melded together – it was a slightly mismatched salad with the greens, the grapes, the nuts and the cheese, but it wasn’t too bad.
Love was found in the S&P Squid Banh Mi ($8.50). The kitchen team at Pleased To Meet You had considerately halved the baguettes into four portions for us to share. The bread was soft, stuffed with an abundance of salt and pepper squid. The crunch of the deep fried squid was fantastic – it was brittle, crumbling, flavoursome and provided a great contrast in texture to the bread. Pickled carrot, mayo, parsley and mint made up the rest of the Banh Mi. It was absolutely fantastic. I could have had another few more of it!
We all shared one Beef Tongue Ruben Bao ($6), which equated to about a bite each. This wasn’t as bad as it sounded, because we all weren’t bowled over by this dish. I loved the Ruben Bao, which had been well steamed, with its trademark glossy skin – the downfall for me (and the rest of my friends) was the strong metallic taste from the beef tongue. It came to my attention that this could possibly be a defining characteristic for beef tongue, but its dense condition didn’t really appeal to our personal tastes.
The Ground Rump Burger ($13.50) was another fist pump moment during our dinner. It utilised another brioche bun, which had been grilled inside giving the first few bites a nice toasty crunch. There was a slick slide of sticky tomato sauce, lettuce, a gooey section of cheese and lettuce crammed inside. The beef fillet was phenomenal – burning hot, fresh off the press, the meat just melting away in the mouth. We shared one between the four of us, which still gave us considerable quarters after I butchered my way through it. I can understand why my friends are embarrassed to dine out with me sometimes.
The Coconut Ceviche ($12.50) dazzled the taste buds. It was probably the best refresher for the insurmountable number of “breads” we had ordered off the menu. The fried shallots worked wonders with the coconut milk infused pieces of fish. The fish was iridescent in colour and very fresh, mixed with cubed pieces of cucumber and tomato. It came in a small wooden bowl, but was certainly enough for the four of us – we got a good few scoops out of it.
As crude as this sounds, my favourite form of Ramen is the home cooked-packets-bought- at-the-Chinese-store type. For my well travelled friends, they weren’t singing high praises over the Roast Pork Ramen ($17), as they have had “authentic” ramen over in Japan and Taiwan. They thought the broth was a rather underseasoned and that the noodles had been slightly overcooked. I agreed with the lack of flavour, but I did like the roast pork – thick slabs of meaty pork, with veins of fat still intact. The egg inside was killer, a slow cooked version with an oozy yolk. It also came with a sprinkle of shallots, spring onions, bamboo shoots, straw mushrooms, dried seaweed and big portions of fresh corn (which was my favourite element). A touch more salt in the dish could have made it a good one.
The Ice Cream Nachos ($6) were an enigma. The crunchy, tortilla chips were slightly salty, but had been powered with icing sugar. It had pierced several scoops of ice cream, which had a distinct nutmeg/cinnamon flavour to it. Tiny chopped pieces of strawberry, mingled with fresh mint, had been scattered on top, along with some strips of canned mango. As a whole, it had a unique set of combinations – an organic spice from the ice cream, a slight sourness from the mango, saltiness from the corn chips and a sweetness from the strawberry. They clashed a little bit, and I felt as though the strawberries had been suppressed by the sheer amount of mint that had been tossed in with it.
The S’Mores ($7) were a revelation. First of all, they looked great – charred cubes of marshmallow, globs of cream, quenelles of chocolate mousse and shards of chocolate biscuit. It was an innovative interpretation of the American favourite. The marshmallow was a bit dense, but worked well with the crisp chocolate biscuit which cracked under pressure. The globs of cream were like a delightfully light whipped custard. The chocolate mousse was glossy, smooth and decadent. I loved it.
Our food was ogled at by the party of four seated up next to us and we were happy to point out which dishes had really done the restaurant justice! Between my friends, there were mixed reactions at the end of the day. One of my friend’s was decidedly not impressed with the food, whilst my foodie friend and I thought it was a mixed bag, with a series of highs and some that missed the mark. The pros included the fun, lively bright atmosphere, matched with bubbly and excitable staff who went that extra step to provide a great atmosphere.
I loved the blue patterned vintage plates, which was a throwback to the cutlery plates in my grandma’s house. It made the ambience in the mess hall-like dining area all that more warm and homely. I would certainly return to PTMY and perhaps sample their duck taco and their coal roasted suckling pig.There is so much on the menu to choose from – that is half the fun! The other half, is of course… eating.
Rating: 7 out of 10.
Address: 38 Roe St, Northbridge WA 6003
- Open for dinner Monday to Thursday (5pm to late) and Friday to Sunday for lunch and dinner (12pm to late).
- Sister shop of La Cholita and Who’s Your Mumma (all owned by Lavish Habits).
- The menu is divided up into different sharing plates – small (entrée size), bread (rolls/sliders/burgers), garden (salads and sides), animal (more hefty mains) and sweets (self explanatory). Menu available on the website!
- No reservations available.