When I hear the words dessert platter, you can pretty much guarantee you'll have my undivided attention. Throw in a ridiculously reasonable price tag of $18 as part of Eat Drink Perth and you have my attendance.
In the Eat Drink Perth passport the Stables Bar have this particular offer, which I was so keen to try that my best friend Vee and I decided to make a night of it and have dinner beforehand. She hadn't been there before and we both wanted a night of chatting and catching up over delicious food.
Arriving at 6.30pm we make our way to the upstairs dining room which I haven't actually eaten at before. It's quite gorgeous! Bright, comfortable and not pretentious in the slightest. The music is right up our alley to the point we emphatically tell our waiter a gushing word vomit of appreciation for that silky R&B and neosoul that wafts softly from the speakers. The vibe it sets is a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere.
I've read some reviews online which really slam the service here but I'm pleased to say we had nothing but friendly staff, helping us out and allowing us to settle in and chatter before approaching us for our orders.
For her main Vee chooses Chilli Spencer Gulf mussels ($25). It's a half kilo serving with baby capsicum sofrito and slices of grilled sourdough to dunk in the rich sauce that gathers at the bottom of the bowl. I so want to try it but I know doing and eating the capsicum will give me indigestion so I smartly steer clear.
She tells me it tastes delicious - a complex network of spices and flavours knitted together to produce this lovely twist on your normal chilli mussels. I love that they brought out a finger bowl to clean up on and a separate bowl to store empty shells in without her even asking. A nice touch to a dish with truly exceptional presentation.
Unsurprisingly I choose the herb and potato gnocchi ($24) which comes with roasted heirloom tomatoes, shallots and whipped danish feta. Gnocchi is always a go to for me - I love the comforting aspect of this kind of dish, especially on these cooler nights as we move into winter.
The gnocchi itself is pillowy on the inside with a nice crust on the outside, giving a good variance of texture with the other ingredients. The entire dish is very well balanced though I do find the big chunks of onion a bit overwhelming in some bites but that's only a very tiny niggle.
Knowing I'm there to blog on Eat Drink Perth the manager on duty that night kindly sends us over a couple of fresh fruit cocktails. It's completely unexpected but a real treat - those punchy, zingy flavours that cling to your tastebuds with both sweet and sour notes. I like the rim of salt around the edge, it's a nice deviation and brings another level of flavour to our meal as an accompanying drink. Thank you!
Once we've finished our savoury items, the dessert platter makes it's way to our table. Initially I was thinking it would be just a small taster but turns out it's basically a slightly reduced version of three of their standard dishes. It's quite generous!
On our platter is:
- peach and plum eton mess with apricot crisps (gluten free)
- passionfruit and cardamom cream mousse with pistachio mango lassi (gluten free version available)
- the Stables wagon wheel > dark chocolate, strawberry and marshmallow
Everything on the plate looks like a work of art! The wagon wheel is a deconstructed dessert with crunchy chocolate gravel, strawberry sorbet, a quenelle of bitter dark chocolate mousse, strawberry sauce, fresh strawberries and toasted house made marshmallow.
I love fresh marshmallows!
That satisfying squeak and the campfire like trigger from the toasted outside are heavenly. Chocolate and strawberry are natural companions and while the chocolate is bitter, when you mix it all together the balance is a bullseye in terms of flavour.
Passionfruit & cardamom dessert
Passionfruit & cardamom dessert
We then move onto the passionfruit and cardamom cream mousse which is light, airy and delicious. It comes with a set passionfruit gelee, crisp biscotti, sweet puff pastry matchstick and the pistachio mango lassi.
I adore passionfruit and this is all about showcasing a diverse way of using this tropical ingredient. The mousse is definitely the star for this dessert but the gelee is a close second. This is a dish of texture and bags of flavour.
Our final dessert we tackle is our favourite of the three - even though it's seemingly so simple it's amazing. The eton mess is broken up into bite size meringue pieces, with layers of luscious cream encasing slivers of sweet peaches and tart plums. While meringue based desserts can often be too sugary, this one is quite delicate and moorish.
The apricot crisps on top are both crunchy and chewy, giving it a pleasant taste and texture to finish on.
When every last element is finished we both sigh happily with content. This dessert platter is definitely something I would recommend and luckily it isn't a limited offer only as part of Eat Drink Perth - it's also on their normal menu at $20 instead of the EDP discounted price $18. The rest of the menu is also really impressive so making a night or day of it and indulging in a beautiful setting is something you won't regret.
Thank you to the team at Stables and City of Perth for a great night that was all kinds of sweetness.