“What was your favourite dish?” A tough question at the best of times, even more so at June's Largesse Dining finale – or is it? – at Petite Mort in Shenton Park.
For the discerning diner’s consideration: Kiren Mainwaring’s artfully plated house-cured ham, yolk and wild herb number that might well have suffered from being first cab off the rank. Initially it was to be Scott O’Sullivan’s dish of squid, chilli soil and an almighty C-size battery of smoked trout that was opening the batting, but events led to a last minute top order shuffle. The night was none the poorer for it.
Jason Jujnovich’s dazzling tortellini with radicchio leaves and a shower of Fontina cemented Divido’s place atop Perth’s Italian food leader board. Duck, chanterelle and cep mushrooms and a thumb-sized “sausage” of braised venison and liquorice root ended the savoury courses in typically meaty territory. Props, respectively, to Todd Stuart and Shane Middleton of Clarke’s of North Beach, Stephen Clarke’s stand-in on the night who lived up to his boss’ reputation.
To close, chocolate marbles, a puddle of ridiculously good caramel and Styrofoam-like triangles of sorrel “meringue”: typical of Restaurant Amuse’s leftfield yet brilliant desserts. Make no mistake, each chef and his brigade brought their A-game to the kitchen while wives – many of them managers at the restaurants involved – played their part in keeping the ship out front on an even keel (with the exception of Todd Stuart’s missus Esther who, as she did for the first dinner, scrubbed dishes out back. Now that's love).
Meanwhile, ace matching wines and the feel-good factor of supporting a worthwhile charity like the Royal Flying Doctor Service helped keep diners warm on a brisk winter Monday night.