New name in Applecross

COULD there soon be a new restaurant in Applecross? There has been talk for some time that the former Heathcote Hospital site, with its exceptional views, would be a good home for a restaurant. Gusto has heard that two prominent Perth restaurateurs have taken a keen interest in the site. It is expected that announcements will be made in coming weeks about whether or not a restaurant will open at Point Heathcote.

The sale of Jessica’s at the Hyatt and its conversion by Perth chef Andrew Peaston to Chanterelle at Jessica’s has captured the food news of late.

To Andrew’s neighbour, Clive Bevan at Friends Restaurant, the more custom attracted to The Hyatt Centre the better. In fact Clive is aiming to lure Perth’s foodies into his restaurant with the promise of fresh French truffles. French black truffles have become one of the finer ingredients for food lovers around the globe. It’s the height of gourmet eating and, according to Clive, “fine people want fine food”.

The French black truffle is the fruiting body of the fungus Tuber melanosporum, and while that may not sound too tasty, numerous food critics believe it to be the finest of edible fungi, placing it alongside saffron, caviar, foie gras and, of course, fine wine in the gastronomy world.

Friends head chef Stuart Bell has incorporated fresh French truffles into several dishes to create a special menu. Dishes include seared scallops on sliced fresh black truffle on truffle oil vinaigrette, lamb medallions on truffle mash with truffle jus, and Wagyu beef on truffle mash with cabaret truffle jus. Decadence is assured. At a purchase price of $2200 per kilo, it should be.

There are an abundance of outdoor activities, besides the cinemas, that are providing a good deal of night life. Upper Reach Winery’s Twilight Concerts are $22 general entry and $39.50 for the gourmet BBQ and concert. The concerts will be held on February 8, 22 and March 15. The bands performing range from cool jazz to salsa.

Araluen Botanic Park is hosting its annual Blues in the Night concert on Saturday February 8, but will also showcase two new festivals this year. For those who like it hot the Chilli Festival is one to check out. Organisers say the event, held on February 15 and 16, will have a carnival atmosphere and will include activities for the kids. The other new event for Araluen is the Kulcha World Music Concert to be hosted at 6pm on Saturday February 22.

The team at the Hyatt will showcase the many things that can be done with herbs in the WA Fresh Produce-Garden Herbs promotion next month. The Café at the Hyatt will be serving dishes such as scarlet perch with lemon thyme, chickpea salad with coriander and lavender infused creme brulee.

For those star sign addicts and the tarot inclined wanting to discover what’s in store for 2003 then Windows Restaurant may be able to provide some insight. You may want to gamble your financial future at the casino but if you’d rather enjoy good food and wine and discover your love, finance, work and health future, then the Destiny for 2003 lunch is the place to be. It will set you back $85 but you’ll get your tarot card reading, sit with those who gaze into crystal balls and enjoy a three-course meal. Friday January 17 is the day. That’s tomorrow, so the cards say.

A Perth company has started marketing frozen Italian produce to Perth restaurateurs.

According to the products importer Nicola Luciani, the vegetables and pre-prepared food will save chefs time and money.

He has set up B.B.Billabong Foods, which is based in Perth, and is currently looking for a distributor to take the large product range into Perth restaurants.

Several Perth restaurateurs were treated to a sample of the company’s products at Perugino Restaurant this week.

The products included sliced grilled capsicum, grilled eggplant, and borlotti beans.

Nicola says that one benefit of his snap frozen food is that it reduces the volume of kitchen waste.

“To make one kilo of grilled eggplant you need three kilos of eggplant. They have to cut it and then grill it. With this they cut open the bag and use it straight away. When they buy a kilo they get a kilo,” he says.

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