The eas‘C’ way to impress your CE0

STYLISH, fun and funky was my immediate impression as my guest and I entered C Restaurant, central Perth’s new dining experience.

On moving further into the contemporary confines, I almost felt that I had taken the wrong lift and ended up not in Perth but in a hip and happening part of London, New York or Melbourne.

Now while that sounds just a little bit over the top, I think you will understand what I mean once you experience ‘C’ for yourself.

The ‘C’ concept may take a little time to build up momentum in Dullsville, but once dullsvillians take hold of the atmosphere being created up at ‘C’ there will be no holding back. It wouldn’t surprise me if little c’s started to pop up all over our town.

Looking for somewhere to impress the CEO who has flown into town, or to woo an important client? We looked to see if ‘C’ fitted the bill (I love obvious puns) and for the most part I think you would be happy with the venue.

The image is subtle with a casual corporate uniform and minimalist decor, the music is modern, up-to-date groovy tunes that are not overbearing, yet unlikely to appeal to granny who may have fonder memories of the old Hilite 33.

There is an overall feeling of style but you feel relaxed immediately on arriving. ‘C’ might not engage everyone, however I think you would be hard-pressed not to enjoy your ‘C’ experience, revolving around the bright lights of our fair city.

On arrival just after 8pm, a member of the restaurant staff welcomed my guest and I on ground level of the St Martin’s tower, called the lift and sent us on our way.

They informed the restaurant of our impending arrival so we were greeted personally. One member of our party had already arrived.

We joined him for a pre-dinner drink and sat back to take in the inviting surroundings and Perth’s stunning lights by night. We were not hurried to our table, the attentive staff inviting us to move to our table after an appropriate length of time. There were three of us for dinner on a Thursday and the restaurant was busy. A real cross section of diners seemed to be enjoying their evening, including what looked a formal birthday party, a group of ladies on a night away from their husbands who became gradually louder throughout the evening, couples embracing the setting and business men wooing a deal.

‘C’ is a must for entertaining anyone special from overseas.

It was about 8.40pm when we moved through to our table. We were offered Evian water no less as we settled into selecting our meals from the menu.

We chose the house H2O, and once we had selected menu items to fill our hunger, our knowledgeable waiter guided us through some wines that would complement all three meals. We had invited him do so and his choice of the Oyster Bay Chardonnay from New Zealand adequately matched our entrées.

The invitation to help recommend wines and courses often challenges staff at restaurants, yet this didn’t pose any problems for our waiter and he was knowledgeable and obviously enjoys what he does.

We were presented with our entrées about fifteen minutes after ordering, by which time the wine had already joined us. Our choices were:

• Smoked chicken with a roquette and fetta salad with oven-dried tomatoes, asparagus and a raspberry dressing. This had plenty of flavour and there was plenty of it, the oven-dried tomatoes were a treat, the smoked chicken was flavoursome but could have perhaps been a touch more tender.

• Half scallops cooked in their shell with a black bean and coriander sauce. Tender and tasty, with a sauce that thoroughly complemented the scallops.

• Blue manna crab roll with avocado, wrapped in tuna with a black sesame seed vinaigrette and basil jus. Just about choice of the night, plenty of flavours, a real delight.

We requested a delay between courses and staff attentively ensured we were ready before presenting us with our main dishes. We again enlisted our friendly waiter to help with the choice of wine and together we chose the Salitage Cabernet Merlot. It was decanted at our table, a complementing touch from the restaurant which would be appreciated by most diners. The reasoning for the choice was again knowledgeable and informative.

Our main courses arrived in a time frame that suited our table. You may want to let the staff member looking after your table know as you order that you would like time between courses. This will help out the chef in preparing dishes to order and not having to have them spend any extra time in the kitchen than the chef would like.

• Tender five spiced duck confit on steamed bok choi and sweet beetroot with soya dressing. This dish was looking at a “best on ground” performance. I can still taste its rich flavours.

• Battered King George whiting fillets with big chips and seeded mustard and a caper tartare sauce. Another tasty dish, however it seemed to have been waiting for us a touch too long

• Succulent pan roasted rack of lamb, off the bone with star anise, cardamom and honey, on a bed of roasted root vegetables. Your heart goes out to those poor pommy cousins when you can taste lamb like this that just melts in your mouth, lamb that had ample flavour to invite you back for more.

Dessert, well we weren’t going to but I decided that I could push myself out of bed in the morning and start my swim to Rottnest training program, so dessert it was. We tried out three different choices, all in the act of research. Each had plenty to offer but the winner was the poached seasonal fruits with macadamia nut ice cream and star anise sabayon. Following on from last week’s fresh produce story, the seasonal fruits did indeed include pears and berries that got my “player of the series” votes.

There was only one food for thought that I had and that was the red wine we ordered suffered from being way to warm when it was served. However, it seemed that the staff were looking to rectify what looked like a storage problem. As they have only been open since Australia Day, I am sure that they are still finding a few quirky problems.

Overall, I thought that ‘C’ offered plenty and delivers most. It is expensive and I thought both the wine list and menu had on offer pretty safe choices.

The wine list in particular could probably do with a touch more spunk but, hey, I am a wine snob. The cosmopolitan atmosphere is fresh for Perth. I will be going back to ‘C’ the next time that I wish to impress and remember, if the company is really dull you can count how many times you pass the AMP building, or you can get up to go to the loo each time it is about to pass you by.

Other places you may want to entertain the company CEO are:

Friends Restaurant

Hyatt Centre

20 Terrace Road, East Perth

9481 7100

Windows Restaurant

Burswood Resort

Great Eastern Hwy

Burswood 9362 7777

Frasers Restaurant

Kings Park, Fraser Ave, West Perth

9481 7100

Next week we examine food and wine matching as we take a look at the Brown Brothers food and wine festival.

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