19/03/2008 - 22:00

Degustation deliciousness

19/03/2008 - 22:00

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Degustation diners who frequent Jackson’s and Star Anise can add a new name to the list of must-go venues on Perth’s fine dining scene, with Restaurant Amusé receiving plaudits from the industry at a recent awards ceremony.

Degustation diners who frequent Jackson’s and Star Anise can add a new name to the list of must-go venues on Perth’s fine dining scene, with Restaurant Amusé receiving plaudits from the industry at a recent awards ceremony.

Husband and wife team, Hadleigh and Carolynne Troy, brought 2.5 years of experience in the London restaurant scene with them when they opened Restaurant Amusé at 64 Bronte Street in East Perth in August last year, hoping to create a new venue focused on degustation menus.

Such has been the reception for Restaurant Amusé from the Perth fine dining fraternity that executive chefs Neil Jackson from Jackson’s and David Coomer from Star Anise have recommended it to their customers as an alternative on nights when they are fully booked.

The Troys’ decision to move back to Perth was rewarded only a few months after Restaurant Amusé opened when they won the ‘best new restaurant’ award at the 2007 Restaurant and Catering Industry Association awards for excellence.

And while industry recognition is welcome, Mrs Troy says there were a number of hurdles to overcome in the very early days.

“Sourcing the food was very difficult as we couldn’t really fly in biodynamic piglets from France,” Mrs Troy says.

The liquor licensing process was also a roadblock.

Their restaurant licence application received one objection from a local resident, which, added to existing delays, meant the couple had to open their fine dining venue as BYO for the first two months.

“When we had BYO we had less control over patrons’ drinking; some people were bringing crates of wine,” Mrs Troy says.

Since the restaurant licence was granted in November last year, the restaurant has retained a ‘cellar night’ on Tuesdays when people can bring their own wine.

Of perhaps even greater concern was whether Perth was ready for another degustation-style restaurant.

“We were a bit worried because Perth has a culture of one-course dinner, and our menu starts at five courses,” Mr Troy told Gusto.

“We charge $75, which is quite cheap for the level of quality that we provide; but if you ask people for $75 up front they are quite shocked.” The restaurant is located in one of East Perth’s quieter residential streets, which according to Mrs Troy gave them more flexibility to focus on what they wanted to do – fine dining.

“Here, we don’t have to cater for coffee and cake or lunch since we have much less overheads than if we were located three streets up.

It worked out really well that way,” Mrs Troy says.

Mr Troy, who is head chef at Restaurant Amusé, worked at Jackson’s before heading overseas.

The Troys say Restaurant Amusé has a large number of regular customers, some who even have a monthly booking.

“We get a lot of industry people; for instance chefs bring their staff to taste the food,” Mrs Troy says.

The restaurant has a romantic and moody atmosphere and offers three choices of degustation menus, from five to nine courses, with the option to include matched wines.

The menu changes every month, but some of the delicacies that can be found at Restaurant Amusé are: prawn, popcorn, chorizo and grilled watermelon; Amelia Park lamb rump, goats’ cheese, potato fondant and nasturtium emulsion; and desserts such as a chocolate caramel millefeuille with jaffa ice cream.

The couple plans to open the room adjoining the current dining area to create a private dining room that will have a bar and a space for patrons to enjoy pre-dinner or post-dinner drinks in a relaxed atmosphere.

The new room will provide a space for private functions and business dinners.

The Troys are still waiting on the licence approval for this space.

Mr Troy has worked in several Michelin Star restaurants during his time overseas.

He was sous chef at The Greenhouse in the Mayfair district in London at the time the restaurant was awarded the Michelin ‘rising star’ award.

Following that, he moved on to the 1 Michelin Star restaurant, La Noisette, in Knightsbridge.

While based in London Mrs Troy worked at the Berkeley Square in Mayfair, before taking on the role of kitchen administrator at the five-star Landmark London hotel.

Prior to that, the Troys helped open the Brasserie By Philippe Mouchel in Melbourne, under legendary Bocuse chef Philippe Mouchel.

Restaurant Amusé is open for dinner only from Tuesday to Saturday from 6.30pm.

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