Thursday, 19 September 2013

Au Printemps

I had dinner with my girlfriends at one of our favourite restaurants in Perth, Chez Pierre, which is located on Stirling Highway in Nedlands.  For those who remember the wonder that was Eminem (the Turkish restaurant, not the rapper), Chez Pierre is located at the same venue.  Oh Eminem, how I remember those days.

Enough of the reminiscing.  The food, service and atmosphere of Chez Pierre make it a worthy successor to Eminem.  I would not eat there so often it this were not the case.  One of the great features of Chez Pierre is that they release a seasonal menu every two months, which features a different menu for each week and that I think is not only a great way to have a wonderful lunch or dinner but is also great value.  Five courses under $60 in a lovely French restaurant, what could be better?

The 'Taste of Spring' menu was launched at the beginning of September and each week until the end of October their menus will feature spring produce served up classic French Provencal style.  Although it's technically spring, you wouldn't know it with the weather these last couple of weeks.  Rain, rain and more rain.  What's that saying though? Spring showers means no summer water restrictions, or something like that?

These special set menus are available all week except for Friday and Saturday, and each week's menu is representative of a region in France.  It is only recently that they have no longer allowed for these menus to be ordered on Friday, which I wasn't aware of when I booked but they were very gracious to allow us to do so.

We had the 'Biarritz' menu, which was composed of a creamy mushroom soup for our amuse-bouche, a tiger prawn and pumpkin risotto for entree, a crisp lemon sorbet to cleanse our palate followed by a half roasted spring chicken and chocolate tart for dessert.

I always love their amuse-bouches, and you never know what it will be until it's placed in front of you.  It was so creamy and rich, it definitely delights the taste buds.  The prawns in the risotto were plump, sweet and fresh.  The chicken was not the best main course I have had at Chez Pierre.  I found it to be quite bland in taste, which is a departure from the richness of all the other main dishes I have eaten there.  That said, I do understand that this is obviously how the dish is intended to be, a lighter tasting chicken dish flavoured with a tarragon herb sauce and served simply with roast vegetables.  Any lack of richness of the main was certainly made up by the very rich chocolate tart served up for dessert!  A slice of baked chocolate tart served up with creme anglaise and ice cream - mmm mmmm!!!

I don't have any photos of the dishes from that night, however, I do have some to share of a dinner I hosted there last month in their private dining room, which is a great choice if you have a large group or a function.

Private dining room

Pumpkin veloute amuse-bouche (from a prior dinner)

Smoked salmon salad entree (from a prior dinner)

Roast lamb main (from a prior dinner)

It's unfortunately not always common to find a restaurant that has great food and great service, it's often one or the other.  It's a shame because sometimes you want to return somewhere because the service is so good, but the food not so much and other times the food is fantastic but the service really puts the whole experience down a notch or two.  At Chez Pierre, the service is exemplary.  The staff are so very attentive but they're not intruding.  They just sort of move in silence, almost invisibly, clearing away your plates, brushing the crumbs off the table, filling up your water and generally being there, without being there.  If you get what I mean.  Hello!  They even have someone who stands out the front to direct your parking.  That night the poor person who pulled the short straw was standing out in the pouring rain.  That's dedication.

In my opinion Chez Pierre is somewhere you could go for a variety of reasons - family events, business lunches or dinners, romantic evenings or dates or just wanting to have a good meal with friends.

Chez Pierre on Urbanspoon
  

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