Firewater Grille

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Duxton Hotel
1 St George’s Terrace, Perth
Ph: (08) 9261 8000
5 Senses in the City

FIRST impressions are pretty important to me, and the refurb of the Duxton is just beautiful. It is warm, comforting, fresh and interesting and a true joy to sit and eat and watch.
I had a quick chat with Exec Chef Aaron Burrows and he informed me that the new grille was a celebration of WA produce cooked and served in a simplistic fashion (although to me it was a little bit fancy). When you order a steak you get the veg with the meal and are not charged extra. They buy their beef (which is grass fed and hormone free) from just one farm: Treeton farm in Cowaramup. I get the feeling this is ‘the new old-fashioned’, where service with a smile is a must and the food speaks for itself.
We started with Mango cannelloni, Broome bug tail, avocado, and pickled onion. I must confess I have a massive aversion to avocado, so I picked around the edges and those bits were delish. My friend tucked in to the whole dish and commented on its lightness and clever combination of flavours. Don’t be fooled – no pasta in sight, just thin slices of mango creating a stunning cannelloni illusion.
Next up was the Charcuterie tasting plate, a cut above any sharing platter I have had lately – soft creamy fois gras parfait, rich venison with chocolate sauce, Serrano Jamon, pressed rabbit, pear and pork terrine and a Korean spiced beef tartare, truly influenced by the blend of cultures in any kitchen these days. Every element was perfect and every mouthful divine, matched with Hamlin Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Margaret River, an ideal match with the crisp wine cleansing the richness of the platter.
The two other entrees we tried were the Grilled Banana Prawns with chilli pepper, bok choy and basil and the Seared Emu Fillet, shitake mushrooms, asparagus, ginger plum jam. The prawns were just gorgeous, really sweet and juicy and the emu was a joy to eat and a joy to see on the menu.
Next up came the best bit, the steak. You choose your steak and how you would like it cooked: all steaks are served with a gratin
potato, asparagus, roasted tomatoes and your choice of sauce, and then the wait staff come around with a condiment service, just great. The wine match for the steak was Red Tractor Merlot 2011 Albany.
The Swordfish with parsley potato and a fennel, beet and citrus salad was light and tasty with a sneaky chimmi churri sauce that really hit the spot.
The Barramundi was served very different to the usual way – steamed with black mussels, bok choy and mirin essence. A good one for ladies watching their figure but still super tasty.
The Kangaroo – is man food – kangaroo loin, fenugreek and pumpkin puree, courgette and rosemary olive jus, full-on flavour and a good serve. The roo was matched with Annie
Brook Shiraz Tempranillo 2011 which worked perfectly with it.
General Manager Bruce Doig told me that the Grille is open for breakfast, coffee, luncheon, afternoon tea (including a delicious high tea) and dinner. The restaurant has been designed to change in mood with the times of the day – as night comes, the fire wall is lit, and the fire and water wall become one. Even the cutlery and crockery is unique and beautiful, with quirky shaped veg dishes and funky forks. They have bought back the 70s booth seating and you can dine as a group with intimacy.
I really enjoyed this dining experience and I am heading back for the juicy Treeton farm steak with garlic cream prawns and a big dollop of horseradish!

By Chef Sophie Budd
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