15 May 2008

Jessie's Curry Kitchen and Cafe

Pub folklore dictates that the lyrics go something like "....You know I wish that I had Jesse's girl...",

However, the BSBs have to share with our readers that in our professional opinion there can be no doubt, that prior to its radio release, this classic Rick Springfield hit did in fact make no mention of a "girl", but rather made reference to an unassuming, yet solid curry house situate at 869 Beaufort Street, Inglewood.

From the "blink and you'll miss it" shopfront, Jessie's Curry Kitchen and Cafe makes no promises. In fact, the BSBs were fully prepared to move their Thursday night soiree to another venue, should Jessie's not actually open for evening trade. Fortune favoured the BSBs on this particular night. The lights were on, so we ventured in.

It must be said, there is no mood lighting, nor cosy decor to greet you at Jessie's. There is something much better. It is the genuine, warm hearted greeting of Jessie's husband - the man behind the woman so to speak. So often the BSBs find they are greeted with indifference and at times even annoyance when requesting a table for 4. Baffling really when you consider that the male contingent of our party clearly own big appetites.

But we digress.

Post warm greeting from Mr Jessie, we were immediately accommodated at our choice of table, outside on busy Beaufort Street, yet taking advantage of what was to be one of Perth's last balmy nights for the 2007/2008 Summer. We were then promptly presented with menus and provided with glasses for our vast (of course) array of wine and the excess taken away to refrigeration pending consumption. None of the glasses matched. It has to be said the BSBs take this as a good sign. Having eaten at many a dodgy curry house both here and overseas, the BSBs know that often the lack of matching glassware and cutlery is a good indication that an establishment prefers to concentrate on its food, rather than on needless aesthetics.

Jessie's specialises in Indian and Malaysian cuisine, which makes for a more interesting menu than offered by your average Perth curry house. Whilst both born in Sri Lanka, Jessie and her husband were both raised in Malaysia. Hence the interesting mix.

Even if one were to ignore the obvious handicap of The Deliberator, the BSBs were left...well... deliberating. Thankfully, Mr Jessie came to the rescue with a few recommendations and we were soon on our way.

Starters (to share) included a selection of Dosai (savoury pancake made from rice and dahll), your standard samosas and chapati.

Our mains (also to share) were something of a mystery, with the descriptions on the menu divulging only that we had ordered a chicken curry, a lamb curry and a prawn curry. To play a little safely, we added a Kway Teow to finish. There was definite bite to many of the dishes, however not enough that it took away from the actual tastiness of the various flavours within each curry sauce.

All dishes served were helpfully accompanied with an explanation of the ingredients and origins from Mr Jessie himself. He remained throughout the meal attentive, yet not overbearing nor annoying.

Towards the end of our meal and after much gushing to Mr Jessie, the table was rewarded with a special visit from Jessie who momentarily left her kitchen to check we were happy with our meal and tell us a little of the history of Jessie's Curry Kitchen and Cafe. Of particular note was how hard Jessie acknowledged her husband worked in supporting her in her restaurant endeavours. Aside from running his own business during the day, Mr Jessie helped out as the only wait staff present and also deboned around 100 kilograms of chicken drumsticks per week in order that the chicken used in Jessie's chicken dishes was of the highest standard, without a hint a dryness. Also worth noting is that Jessie is the sole cook behind Jessie's kitchen. The BSBs can say without hesitation that this did not at all affect the timeliness with which their meal was served.

But the best was yet to come. The bill. An inexplicable $70 total!

And so it was that the BSBs left Jessie's Curry Kitchen and Cafe that night with that warm feeling one gets from good food, personal service and a certain smugness with having dispelled a long held myth: Rick Springfield never had a mate named Jesse and even if he did, Jesse is too poncy a name for a bloke to have a hot girlfriend that would make him the envy of his mates. So it stands to solid logic and reason that whilst the BSBs think they made a real find in Jessie's Curry Kitchen and Cafe, it would appear that Mr Springfield made it there and fell in love some 20 years before us.

In summary:

Service: Wondeful, kind, friendly, interesting. We loved it.

Food: Absolutely outstanding curries.

Ambience: It's up to you! You can enjoy takeaway curry-house chic or highway side dining.

Highlight: the warm greeting, Jessie, Mr Jessie and the chicken curry.

Lowlight: there was none worth mentioning.

Rating: 4.5 mismatchng wine glasses out of 5 (our first ever 4.5).

Will we be back? every week if we could.

Details: Call them on (08) 9271 8528. The bill was close enough to zero to not worry about. No corkage was charged. On Friday and Saturdays extra dishes are offered.
Coming up: as we visited Jessie's some time ago, it's irrelevant. We are still going to Third Avenue Cafe this week.

Jessie's Curry Kitchen and Cafe on Urbanspoon

14 May 2008

The Inglewood Hotel

After a short hiatus, the Bloggers have now recommenced their journey down Beaufort Street. Given BITO seems only minutes away from becoming BOOTO (Bun Out of the Oven) we decided to skip the 2 takeaway joints between Mekong and the Inglewood Hotel (being Inglewood Pizza and of course, Ankara). We will save them for the arrival of The Sponge Junior as we are not sure how well s/he will adapt to Thursday night dining in the early stages of life.

So, straight to the Inglewood Hotel we went, which was a stop we had all been eagerly anticipating.

The Inglewood Hotel is a great pub, you can always find a seat, it has equally appealing alfresco and indoor dining, it shows sport, plays music, has a good selection of beer and wine and dishes up high quality pub food. Our visit on Thursday night was no exception.

In a major turn out for the books, The Deliberator was running late. Incredible. So, the rest of the Bloggers headed down without him, relishing the opportunity to engage in some high quality conversation without the constant interruption, belligerent comments and general disturbance that The Deliberator, although much loved, is famous for.

While we waited, we bought a bottle of wine, a pint of beer, Turkish bread with dips and some fried chorizo. The chorizo did not look like chorizo to us, but it was delicious. It came out as very thin slices of some Italian sausage or other, crisply fried and served with lemon. The selection of 3 dips were very tasty, although The Sponge felt one of them was completely out of place and was nothing more than a bit of runny yoghurt. The Turkish bread was hot and oily, just the way it should be. The only down side was that there was not quite enough bread, which is nearly always the case, so to avoid wastage we had to pile the dips on the bread in enormous quantities.

The Deliberator then arrived. He picked up the menu, looked at it for about 2 seconds and told us he’d made his decision. It was so incredible we wondered where The Deliberator we knew so well had gone. He then walked to the bar, bought another bottle of wine, came back, slammed the wine bucked on the table, filled his glass to the brim, flopped on his chair and proceeded to educate us on how life is. Oh, there he is.

The Brains ordered the hamburger, which was the biggest and most wonderful hamburger she had consumed in some time. It came with a ridiculous sized serving of chips, and all the necessary extras – cheese, bacon and egg. As for the other dishes, when The Brains sent an email to the rest of the team asking for their input into this review, she decided the descriptions of the meals were better straight from the punters themselves:

The Sponge: ‘Chicken Parmagiana (ie. a tender chicken breast, lightly crumbed, and served with a topping of ham, melted mozzarella and a tomato sauce).’ [Please refer back to the Tony’s Pasta House post for our previous review of a chicken parma.]

The Deliberator: ‘Pork Sausages on a bed of Mash with Caramelised onions and bacon in top all topped with a very nice gravy/sauce (which I can not remember the name of). The Brains had the burger and chips. The "side of chips" for the table was as generous as I have seen ..... and I have seen a few.’

The Sponge: ‘Pretty sure BITO had some sort of lamb dish?? I also had a lager, and some wine. I’m getting flashbacks of some kind of sausage too. The barman had long hair and looked like a bit of a loser. That concludes my memories of the evening.’

The Deliberator: ‘I am surprised and insulted that you do not remember the giant fart I did at the table.’

The Sponge: ‘If it had been a unique event, I am sure I would have remembered it. On the other hand, if one day we sit down to dinner and you do NOT fart, then I am sure it will instill in me a memory I will cherish for the rest of my days.’

In summary:

Service: very friendly, understated but attentive enough.

Food: Top notch, we love this grub.

Ambience: comfortable, relaxing and not so cool that we’re scared away.

Highlight: the giant side of chips.

Lowlight: the waiter’s hair.

Rating: 4 pints of draught out of 5.

Will we be back? sooner than you think.

Details: Call them on (08) 9370 5511. The bill came to roughly $40 per head with ample wine and beer.

Coming up: We are going to Third Avenue Café next, and we know absolutely nothing about it.

Inglewood Hotel on Urbanspoon