31 January 2008

Mille Café

The internet reviews for the Mille Café were all excellent, so we were looking forward to testing it ourselves. They night we chose to eat at Mille was a typical Perth summer evening, so we asked if we could sit outside. That was no problem, and the added benefit of being outside was being able to hear the live music coming from the Civic Hotel, without actually having to be in the Civic Hotel. More on that next week.

We received exceptional service from the staff – we especially liked them because they laughed at our jokes. So far so good. We shared an entrée which consisted of a lovely crispy piece of deep fried polenta, topped with roasted vegetables, deep fried fetta (delicious) and then chorizo. We were all extremely impressed.

We were equally happy with our mains. The chicken caesar salad was massive and not stingy with the chicken. The smoked salmon salad was a delicious mix of egg, salmon, tabouleh, mango and parmesan with a raspberry dressing – again, the good bits were well represented. It was presented in a huge filo tart which was crispy and light and perfect to mop up the leftovers. The calamari was hot and tasty, and not too salty. The pork belly was also delicious and came with plenty of tasty mustardy sauce. Yum.

We ordered a few beers and a couple of bottles of wine and were very happy with the reasonable price of booze.

We were getting worried that we wouldn’t find anything to complain about (because after all, this is meant to be a critical review). However, something did come along, something that really gets up the nose of the Beaufort Street Bloggers.

We were charged for tomato sauce. 60c for a tiny little bowl of t-sauce that was probably about 5c worth when you consider how much of the stuff a café buys each week. We think it is perplexing that cafes charging a decent amount for food make their punters pay for sauce. Anyway, enough of that. The only other issue we had was when it came time to pay the bill. We were left with our credit cards in the little leather bill paying thing for ages, which is always annoying when it you have finished dinner and all the wine. This is a common complaint we have – many restaurants leave you stranded when all you want to do is waddle home, lie down, and complain about how much you ate.

In summary:

Service: Friendly, extremely attentive (we were never left without alcohol on the table) but a little slow on the bill paying front.

Food: All fresh and tasty. No complaints.

Ambience: The inside is a bit ‘café-ish’ and not very exciting, but it was very nice to sit outside and watch the world go by.

Highlight: The entrée.

Lowlight: Charging for sauce and slow bill payment.

Rating: 3.5 pieces of fried chorizo out of 5.

Will we be back? yes.

Details: visit
www.millecafe.com.au or call on 08 9271 2288. The restaurant has a good wine list which is reasonably priced. You can BYO and corkage is $4.50 per bottle.

Coming up: Next week we will be getting even closer to the live music coming from the Civic Hotel as we will be sitting in its beer garden having ‘bar snacks’ for dinner.

Mille Cafe on Urbanspoon

18 January 2008

Jolly Good Indian

According to our extensive research, Jolly Good Indian is the restaurant on Beaufort Street with the highest street number (1004 Beaufort Street), which gave it the honour of being the first restaurant on our culinary tour.

Jolly Good Indian is in a cute and colourful 1940s house. There are a number of separate rooms to eat in, which gives the place a cosy and homey feel. The fact that it is not a purpose built restaurant is a great change to eating in one cavernous and loud dining room. The toilet is a fascinating trip back to the 1960s when brown swirly tiles were the height of sophistication.

The menu is reasonably short, but every curry lover will find a favourite. It is also extremely well priced - dinner for 4 cost under $100, with plenty of starters. This is a great price for Indian in Perth, as you often pay around $25 for one curry. The other cost saving factor is that the restaurant is BYO, which is brilliant for booze lovers like ourselves. Any place that you feel comfortable taking a 6 pack of VB to gets our thumbs up.

We ordered meat samosas, onion bhaji's and poppadums to start. The Samosas were good, but not brilliant like the samosas you get at Mela in Northbridge (which is an unfair comparison, because they are incredible). The Bhaji's were the perfect crispiness and quite tasty. A poppadum is a poppadum. The odd thing about the starters is that they came with sweet chilli sauce, which is not something we've seen in and Indian restaurant before. A bit of raita or chutney would have been much better.

We had four curries - lamb bhuna marsala, butter chicken, beef vindaloo and chicken madras. They were all very good. The ingrediants were fresh, they were not too salty and the sauces were delicious. We were hoping the beef vindaloo would be hotter than it was, but we did order it '75 per cent hot'. Next time we will definitely go 100% hot. We were given plenty of rice, and when one bowl ran it out it was quickly replaced by another. When the second bowl ran out, we were offered another but by that stage we had eaten ourselves stupid and had to decline.

In summary:

Service: A little slow to start, but then very efficient and friendly all night. We were very well looked after.

Food: Samosas and onion bhajis for starter were nice, although could have done with some more condiments (raita, chutney, pickle etc) for the poppadums. Curries were all very good, although, while tasty, they could possibly have done with a little more heat. (This could have been our fault though for asking for a slightly milder version of the Vindaloo).

Ambience: Cosy converted house with nice lighting. Had a nice feel to it.

Highlight: The talking poppadum.

Lowlight: Sweet chilli sauce being the only accompaniment to the starters.

Rating: 4 poppadums out of 5.
Will we be back? absolutely.
Details: Jolly Good Indian does not have a website. You can call them on 08 9272 2111. The restuarant is BYO and has no EFTPOS facilities.
Coming up: Next week we will be visiting Cafe Mille at 1000 Beaufort Street, Inglewood.

Jolly Good Indian on Urbanspoon