Jeremy and I started our Valentines Day planning early this year; throwing around a few names of places before settling on Subi Hotel. I've been here a few times and always enjoyed it, but he was yet to try it - and after looking at the menu he was quite taken.
We booked a table and managed to score one on the outside terrace; arriving on the night right on the dot of our reservation. Inside was already packed, and when we were shown to our cute little corner table, I was pleased to see they'd put little chocolates in the shape of a love heart to mark the occasion. Very cute indeed!
The menu for the night looks great and there's some delicious sounding specials too. It doesn't take us long to settle on our food for the night. We place our orders and do the coupley thing which I suppose I should say is looking longingly in one another's eyes but is rather saying sweet things in between our daily chit chat.
Smoked duck breast
Jeremy's entree was the standout dish of the night. It's Cured Smoked Duck Breast with Chickpea Salad and Fresh Date Puree ($14.50). Firstly, it's a beautiful dish and incredibly reasonable in price. The duck is tender and flavoursome; melting in my mouth with a bite. The chickpeas have a great texture and work well with the pepperiness of the salad and the creaminess of the goats curd. But what I particularly love (and am surprised by how great it is), is the date puree. It's sweet, decadent and marries so well with all the ingredients on the plate. I know some people might not like to describe food like this, but it's a damn sexy dish and I will definitely be ordering this next time I go back here.
Crumbed tiger prawns
For my entree I choose the Japanese Crumbed Tiger Prawns with Sushi Rice, Black Sesame Gyzo and Wakame ($22.50). It comes simply plated but the flavours are beautiful. The prawns are juicy and succulent; the crumbs on the outside crispy and light. The wasabi and mayonnaise on the side are the perfect accompaniments. I love the black sesame gyzo, they're crunchy and lightly salted. A great textural offering on the plate. All in all, pretty good but because Jeremy's dish was so good I couldn't help but feel some dish envy.
To accompany our meals we each order a drink. Jeremy chooses a delicious Magners Irish cider and I opt for a strawberry cocktail that it light, frothy and oh so good on this hot summer's night.
The mains were a bit of a harder choice for our dinner. We both umm and arhh a little before finally choosing on the spot when our waitress takes our orders.
King George whiting fillets
Jeremy's King George Whiting Fillets with Potato Galette, Peas and Bay Leaf Cream ($34) are excellent. The fish is soft and flaky, the peas fresh and full of flavour. I have to admit, once again I'm suffering from food envy - it's a really great bit of cooking. Lucky for me, he's happy to swap partway so we both get to eat two different mains. Excuse the dodgy photo - in my haste to eat it looks like I got a bit too excited snapping away with my camera.
I choose a main that is quite different to my normal preference. It's Twice Cooked Pork Belly Rojak Style with Caramelised Pineapple, Scallops and Puffed Rice ($34). The pork crackling is crunchy but sticky at the same time; the scallops lightly seared. The flavours work well together, especially when combining the sweet charred pineapple and rice which is more like eating rice bubbles. It's a very generous serving despite how it looks and I find myself getting very full.
To accompany our mains we get a side serving of the Handcut Chips with Rosemary Salt ($8.50). They're nice enough, though nothing mind blowing. However I do like dragging them through the bay leaf cream that Jeremy's fish is slathered in. Pretty good together I have to say!
Buttermilk and rosemary pannacotta
Though we're really full, we still go ahead with dessert since we're out for a special occasion. Jeremy's Buttermilk & Rosemary Pannacotta with Black Olive Caramel and Strawberry Ice looks delicate and delicious. I'm extremely curious about this dish since it has savoury elements throughout.
The pannacotta itself is silky smooth; however the rosemary is a bit strong for my taste. That said he really likes it - particularly when combining it with the strawberry ice. The black olive caramel is a bit too intense in flavour and not sweet enough - but when everything is combined in one bite it somehow works.
Sticky date pudding
For my dessert I'm torn between the special of the night - a rich Belgian chocolate tart, and Sticky Date Pudding. In the end, the latter won out somehow and I ended up with an extremely giant dessert portion that was steaming hot. So hot my ice cream melted within minutes! But the taste is so good - decadent, rich and the perfect consistency throughout.
It's a great way to end our Valentines Day meal as we both finish off my dessert together since it's so big it's ideal to share.
I have to say, I really enjoyed our night out at the Subiaco Hotel. This place is an institution for the suburb and a must try for people that love great food at a reasonable price. All this on top of my beautiful roses delivered to my work - I have to say I am feeling pretty lucky right about now!