Beluga

Happy Birthday to me! I turned 27 this year. A special occasion calls for somewhere fancy for tea in my books! 

Gugeri Street
Claremont Quarter
CLAREMONT 
Phone: 9383 1638
 
This place is owned (or partly owned?) by a couple of the West Coast Eagles. 
 
I’ve been staring at this post for a while now and I’m not really sure where to start. I have mixed feelings! 
 
Perhaps we will start with dessert first and work backwards. Dessert was an incredible disappointment. The online menu mentions a Chocolate Delice and I had images of Eamon Sullivan’s spectacular Masterchef creation floating through my mind. The menu on the night (and again, this is my own fault for perusing the menu too close to dining!) didn’t have the delice but they were offering a chocolate plate instead – very ambiguous! Upon further investigation it turns out the chocolate plate involved a chocolate brownie, ice-cream and a sesame crisp with a white chocolate mousse. Sounds good, right?! The brownie was round (about 5cm in diameter) with a tiny cornel of ice-cream and a shot glass of mousse. The brownie was dry, the ice-cream was forgettable and the mousse did not taste like white chocolate, was really grainy at the bottom and hadn’t fully set. Tiny dessert that tasted below average and was still $16.00. 
 
The Cannoli wasn’t bad but still very pricey at $9.00. My mum ordered the Peach Melba – I didn’t try it because it had a lot of cream and I am not a big fan of cream. Her main comment was that there was too much cream.
 
Mains. The reason I chose to dine here was for the lamb shoulder. Wow. Talk about falling off the bone! Delicious, tender, juicy. I can see why people talk about it and it must be a signature dish because there was lamb shoulder flying out of the kitchen!! 
 
We ordered it with the Quinoa side salad which was also forgettable. Lots of quinoa with some chopped up cherry tomatoes, cucumber and parsley. I cook a lot with quinoa and I must admit, I sat there thinking I can make better quinoa than this… Also the waiter called it “Quinoa” not “Keen-wah”. Know your menu guys! 
 
Dad got the pasta special which was quite nice. I’m not sure if it was crab or lobster because I think they said crab when describing the special but introduced it as lobster when it arrived at the table. But it was beautifully cooked with a good kick of chilli. Under seasoned but luckily there was a pot each of salt and pepper on the table. I enjoyed the few mouthfuls I stole!
 
My sister got the (surprise, surprise!) Pork Belly with Hummus. The dressing/jus was great, the pork melted in your mouth. Yum. Yum. Yum. There was a lot of Hummus but that was fine by me as I was quite happy to mix it with the lamb. I wish we got some bread to soak up all the juices. I just wanted to lick the plate clean! 
 
We had the special for entrée. Figs stuffed with blue cheese and wrapped in Proscuitto served with rocket and walnuts. Unfortunately, we weren’t warned about the walnuts and my sister couldn’t eat it as she is allergic but Mum and I happily downed the last one! I’ve never tried figs like this before and I’ve always been keen to give it a go so I’m pleased to be able to say I’ve crossed that off the list. We also got beer battered baby squid. Boring and no sauce. 
 
The service throughout the night was attentive, almost too attentive at times in my Mum’s opinion. I didn’t mind so much and I really don’t want to call attention to this as a negative as there are far too many places in Perth that have absolutely terrible service! So, in a way it was refreshing to feel waited on hand and foot. A little whinge is that I ordered a bottle of sparkling water and my glass was then topped up with still. The staff were professional (quinoa pronunciation excepted) and friendly. A bigger whinge is that the tables are too close together which meant the staff were always leaning over you or across the table to clear the plates or fill the glasses which was a little awkward and didn’t allow for flowing conversation as you were constantly dodging the water jug or dirty plates or an arm. It was also very easy to see and hear everybody else’s food and conversation. 
 
The decor was nice, very ‘trendy’ as they advertise. Fantastic location! You can see into the kitchen which I really like! 
 
They also offer a chefs choice option where as the name suggests, the chef chooses what you eat. I would have been keen to try this had I been with different (more adventurous company…)!
 
A mixed review this one. From one extreme to the other with some stand out dishes and some major disappointments. I would recommend going with four friends, ordering a pork belly entrée, then the lamb between four for main with a basket of bread. Then head to KoKo Black for a chocolate fix afterwards!! At over $250.00 for four people with no alcohol included it wasn’t a cheap night for a hit and miss meal. 

The Chocolate Plate 
Brownie, Ice-cream White Chocolate Mousse and a Sesame Crisp
 
Peach Melba
Cannoli with Hazelnut and Pistachio Cream
Greek Roasted Banjo Dorper Lamb Shoulder – between two
Pork Belly with Hummus
 
Pasta Special
 
Quinoa Garden Salad
Beer Battered Baby Squid, Smokey Paprika and Fresh Lime
Figs with Goats Cheese, wrapped in Proscuitto with Walnut and Rocket
 
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