Lamont’s, Perth (Small food on small plates and I’ll happily eat one of everything, please)
What do you do when you’ve run out of ‘stuff’ to read on a 5hr plane trip to Perth? Pick up anything that looks like it can be ‘read’ and read it. So I stumbled across the Qantas monthly magazine and inside read a review about a little wine store in Cottesloe, Perth.
The last time I went to Cottesloe beach was pure magic. Sitting on the beach late at night, with no one around in sight, ocean in front of us, a deep black sky above and bright stars that lit up the sky. You felt literally a million miles away, and had it not been the freezing winter air I would have stayed that bit longer. So I was excited to have the opportunity to visit Cottesloe once more.
We called ahead to book, not knowing whether that was ‘the thing’ to do in that area or not but didn’t want to take the chance. Sitting in the front area of the store on high stools gave us the opportunity to enjoy the views out the window, of the car park and the queue of people forming up while we sat happily eating inside.
Being a regular to wine bars in Sydney it was refreshing to see that the atmosphere at Lamont’s was rather ‘relaxed’ in comparison. Brightly lit, hustle and bustle, open kitchen within full view and super friendly service gave it almost a ‘family’ feel.
This was one of the meals recommended in the Qantas magazine so we were keen to try it. The crushed pea was wonderfully thick yet subtle against the strong lemon flavours coming from the birds nest of seasoned fresh swimmer crab. Speckles of lemon juice lined the plate. This is a wonderful entrée to prepare your palette for the rest of the menu, and a delightful summer dish because it’s light and fresh.
This wasn’t in the magazine but it’s always a favourite starter of mine because I LOVE duck. And pate. Especially I love duck pate. The toasted sourdough was wonderfully crisp and didn’t distract from the strong flavours of the cognac. What we loved was the hefty dash of olive oil over the parfait because it maintained moisture within the dish itself. The onion jam was wonderfully thick and served to balance the flavours against the duck.
Another recommended dish on the Qantas menu but when we browsed Lamont’s seasonal menu it wasn’t there and we freaked out a little because we really wanted to try this dish. So when the host came over to our table we sheepishly asked if they would be kind enough to make this dish for us because we’d love to try it, and to our surprise they said yes! Wow this dish was our favourite for the night. I’ve had koftas before, I’m used to eating moderately dry kofta’s but this one was very succulent. The meat was marinated so well, nice and peppery and the smoky flavour of the paprika really shone in the meat. The unique combination of chick peas and mayo on the top was superb. Again, seasoned well, it was nice and thick enough to also absorb all the sauce coming from under the kofta so nothing was wasted.
We felt like a meat pie and this one was a little fancy so we decided to try it. It was served piping hot and the Wagyu beef literally melted as we ate it – so tender. The tomato chutney was again perfectly seasoned and wonderfully thick so all these flavours combined made this dish a second favourite of the night.
So all this time, we had only been eating and sharing the tapas courses. It was high time now to try a mains and we chose the seafood chowder, partly because we were becoming quite full but mainly because we couldn’t leave Perth without trying Western Australian seafood. So chowder it was. Now being soup, you can guess it’s quite hard to share between 3 people. Without asking, the host offered us the option of splitting the dish into 3 separate bowls. Excellent, problem solved.
The chowder was nice and thick, uber fresh seafood was used, the scallop was not overcooked, a generous portion of Moreton bay bug was given, and the smokey paprika butter was infused into the chowder and the flavour was unforgettable. This dish is ideal for a cold winter’s night and a great end to a flawless meal.
This wine store not only offers great food but offers great service to match. It’s the perfect place to share dinner between a few friends in a relaxed atmosphere over a bottle of wine. Or without, like me, I ordered the cloudy apple juice
The last time I had cloudy apple juice was in San Francisco. And the serving glasses there were huge and scary. This wasn’t. Nor was it overly sweet. The apple flavour was crisp.
Before I go, worth mentioning that our table overlooked the open kitchen and I spent most of the night watching the two cooks in the kitchen produce these amazing dishes in a flawless timely manner. I really admired them, if I was in the kitchen all you would see is a huge plume of black smoke. That is why I am here writing reviews of restaurants and not cooking in the kitchen myself.
So for those of you who have perhaps already tried Lamont’s, what was your experience?
12 Station St, Cottesloe
(08) 9385 0666