7.42am, Thursday 30th June, Royal Street, East Perth, Western Australia
**Special End Of The Financial Year Moment**
It’s a good time to get stuck into the blog folks, driven out of my breakfast cafe – Ba Ba Black – by the two surgeons at the next table comparing stomach surgery tequniques – including ‘pinholes opening in membranes’ and the tendency of certain muscles in the area to want to ‘squirt liquids’! Not good first thing in the morning!
But Ba Ba Black deserve a mention. They’ve looked after me and the local sales team with coffee, breakfast and lunch on previous trips, and they are doing exactly the same this time. I especially like the fact that they’re probably the only hole in the wall cafe in Australia lit up by a single – very tasteful, thanks – chandelier. The muffins are baked in house each morning, and they give away the leftovers at 2pm every day as they close at 3 – and they like whatever they’re serving up to be fresh. What a top old school approach. You can see why we get on well. I dropped in some Haighs chocolates (from Adelaide) for the team this morning – best choc in Australia for my money – because that’s a nice way to start any day! Yesterday I had their lunch special – homemade moussaka pot with salad at $10 – yum on a drizzly old Perth afternoon. I’ll put some photos in for you this afternoon. If you’re over in East Perth – drop in, it’s a good spot for coffee, to relax, and to brush up on your abdominal surgery information!
Now to catch up our Rare & Fine Dinner from Tuesday night across town in West Perth at Perugino’s. Come on in to the traditional white linen world of Francesco ‘Frenchy’ Pagliaricci – very able bodied front of house maitre d’ for the family operation opened by mum and dad Rosalba and Guiseppe in 1986. Guiseppe is still up to his elbows running everything in the kitchen, but finds time to come out and chat to diners when the heat’s off. We had a lovely degustation-style dinner with dishes matched to single wines, and I got so caught up in answering questions at tables that I completely forgot to get photos of everything. So here’s what I did get.
With the 2008 Yalumba FDW 7C Adelaide Hills Chardonnay – which, by the way folks, is fast winning people back to the Chardy Revival – was this really simple but flavour fab ‘Gamberi Ubriachi’. That’s ‘West Australian Tiger Prawns tossed with the Chardonnay, herbs and butter’ in English. Yes that’s correct … butter. Salted butter – the X factor that we love, and the reason why I only ate two of those lovely things in that bowl! But the fresh acid of the FDW 7C cut through the sauce and cleaned up nicely, leaving just that hint of garlic and herb behind after polishing off those succulent Tiger Prawn crescents.
The other combo is the natural overlap between lamb and our 2006 The Signature Cabernet Shiraz. The big solid layer cake of fruit and elegant oak was spot on with the slightly fatty-in-a-nice-way racklets of lamb done almost ‘french crumbed cutlet’ style. This is Guiseppe’s ‘Carre D’Agnello Con Fichi’ or ‘Rack of lamb crusted and served with caramelized figs’. Oh yes – figs reduced almost to relish with the spice and fruit jumping out of The Signature – tick that box.
And for the record folks, Frenchy’s coffee is worth the trip to West Perth on its own. He’s a very tidy parcel of black-tie, ‘The Godfather’-suited, old-style Italian charm this lad, and we love being on his wine list. Thanks for a great night out. It was my first meal at Perugino’s and definitely won’t be my last.
I’d best get organised now, as I’m out in the trade today with Pia – our gal that looks after restaurants around Perth – and then off to The South Perth Yacht Club for their Yalumba dinner tonight. The plastic will be coming off the dry-cleaned Sarah Palin lookalike twinset tonight people – anything could happen!