On Monday 31 March 2014, 250 Perth foodies descended upon Brookfield Place for The First Feast, the kick off event for this year's Eat Drink Perth. I was lucky enough to score an invite to this swanky do, as did several other food bloggers. Thankfully we were all sat together so the constant flashing of our cameras was pretty much routine behaviour.
The night was beautiful - cool air with clear skies embraced us as we walked the red carpet. Purple and blue lights were prominent, illuminating the white marquee that hosted us until the feast began.
There's live music by the gorgeous Darling Buds of May, with gorgeous watermelon moscow mule cocktails circulating - the collaborative brainchild of Choo Choo's and Bar Lafayette. This is definitely my favourite drink for the evening - light, tantalising and a little too easy to drink (uh-oh!).
We're offered an amuse bouche which is created by celebrity chef Matt Golinski, who overseas the entire menu creation for the night. His dish is betel leaf, with spanner crab, macadamia, finger lime and ginger. Crab is one of my favourite meats ever, so this is right up my alley - and I'm loving how much I see finger lime making an appearance on menus these days. It's tangy, pretty and gives a great citrus kick.
While most people have a hamachi carpaccio (kingfish sashimi) in asian style pesto with yuzu soy and wafu gelee from Sushia, others have seared beef, yakitori, pork belly and even vegetarian sushi. For so many variations, it's really nice to see that they have put in such a personal touch in looking after all the first feasters.
This entree has definitely inspired me to visit Sushia soon to try the other menu items they offer. If they're anything like this, it'll be amazing!
Speeches take place throughout the night, with a strong focus on just how iconic Perth is becoming as a food destination. This meal is a great testament to the quality of restaurants we have in our city, with each course being provided by a different Brookfield's eatery.
The mains move away from individual portions to shared dining with a new set of wines coming out - all from the lovely Vasse Felix.
The Trustee has created the ever impressive mains for the evening which includes shredded confit lamb on rosemary roast garlic mash, Cone Bay barramundi on white truffle potato puree, warm salad of wild mushroom, radicchio and snow peas, and finally an Italian coleslaw. There's also adorable little jars of herb aioli and bowls of bread buns to "mop" up the precious sauces from the lamb. It's a feast for sure!
There's a bit of fighting between us diners over which protein is the winner for the mains. I love truffle anything, so the barramundi ticks the box for me - but at the same time that lamb is to die for. Tender, just a little bit fatty and completely falling apart. I could eat this every day and never tire!
I love the mushroom salad which comes out with the mains - full of assorted wild mushrooms, snow peas and raddichio it's warm, fresh and oh so tasty. Just thinking about much I enjoyed this dish is making me fall in love all over again.
While I love share dining normally, I have to admit it is a bit of a strange experience sharing food with basic strangers. I was lucky enough to be sitting with the lovely other bloggers, but it still felt a bit daunting to go in and really pig out like I secretly wanted to!
After mains come our cheese platter from The Heritage. It's papillion roquefort, with cabernet poached pear and thyme salted doughnut. Blue cheese isn't up everyone's alley but this one is creamy, tangy and has enough of a bite that you're best to combine each mouthful with some of that savoury doughnut and the sweet pear.
A big thank you to the City of Perth for putting on a fun and delicious night, and for the wonderfully generous invitation to attend. Eat Drink Perth is going to be a month of absolute fun and gorging for sure.