Situated in the quiet of North Perth, outside of the hectic Northbridge world and next door to Rosemount Hotel, sits a relatively new restaurant which is a cross between modern Australian and Asian cuisines.
The inside is gorgeous. Funky chairs wooden chairs with dark curtains. Candlelight and wooden beams across the ceiling and down one wall. It is simple but elegantly beautiful; warm and welcoming.
Linda's choice for our shared entrees is the Tempura King Prawns with Soy Dipping Sauce ($15.90). It comes out adorably presented in a mini fry basket, with five golden prawns steaming hot. They're crunchy on the outside and soft inside, cooked just right. I like the thin soy dipping sauce which is light and flavoursome.
It is gorgeous. Beef so tender it basically melts in your mouth; the centre soft and moorish. Tatsoi is a spoon-shaped leaf that is also known as spinach mustard, or rosette bok choy. It's a lovely salad leaf, that is crunchy and fresh, and works well with the sweet onion and peppery radish slices.
The dressing is mild and not overpowering as I had worried initially. There's just the right amount of seasoning, and the flavour is spot on with that beautifully cooked beef.
Since she's been here before a few times, Linda has tried a decent variety of the main dishes. She decides to try something new, and settles on the Seared Local Scallop and Five Spiced Crispy Duck with Gourmet Salad and Grilled Eggplant ($38).
The dish is vibrant, the scallops cooked per-fect-ly. Lightly grilled, and the duck is pink and juicy. It's delicious and refreshing, and Linda says she's really enjoyed it.
It is just... wow. Salmon that is so, so soft that as I prod it with my fork it just flakes apart with a nicely pink midsection revealed. The teriyaki sauce is like a silky glaze; thin but flavoursome. I absolutely adore the salsa of avocado, corn and coriander. It's punchy and electrifying to the palate. There's just nothing I could even consider changing about these elements.
The bread crumbed prawns (3) are crisp and golden. These days I find myself completely enamoured in wasabi mayonnaise, and it works so well with the prawns and more of that delicious radish - a vegetable I love, but is highly undervalued in my opinion.
I highly recommend this dish - it ticked all the boxes and more!
Once our choices have been made, our waiter hedges a guess that at least one of us will be ordering the Chocolate Lava Cake with Macadamia Ice-Cream and Raspberry Coulis ($16). He's right! It's Linda's dish and it's the most popular one that this place serves.
As her fork dives into the cake, I watch as the most tantalising volcano of chocolate sauce comes bubbling up, oozing and tempting. The cake is light but bitter, with just the right amount of sweetness. The macadamia ice-cream on side is nutty and flavoursome, the cookie crumble underneath a nice textural component of the dish. I love the sugar work which Linda kindly offers me half of - yummy!
It comes out as a long plate with nicely thick lemon curd that is vividly yellow and velvety smooth. The diced strawberries, kiwis and banana are fresh and sweet; a playful tease on the tongue. I like the vanilla cream mounds which are sugary and thicker than your standard cream, and work well with those crunchy meringue sticks. It's a modern day take on a pavlova, and very fun to spoon all together or enjoy individual elements.
When that final spoonful is swallowed, plates are cleared and my new skinny jeans are feeling a little too damn tight!
Our dinner at Chilli Orange was a night of fantastic flavours and beautiful food. I love the style of cooking which is very modern Australian, but with Asian influenced flavours. There's a great respect for ingredients which is showcased with delicious dish after delicious dish.
While the pricing isn't at all on the cheap side, I didn't feel like we were paying for dishes unworthy of the associated tag. I'm definitely looking forward to going back with Jeremy as I know he'd really enjoy this place.