Nose to tail at Public House, Perth
As one of the official bloggers for Eat Drink Perth 2014, I've been spoilt for choice in trying to decide which events to attend and blog on to promote this month-long series of events that celebrate food. Sadly for me I've been in Taiwan and Hong Kong during some of the more exciting events like the food truck rumble, so when I returned I took the last week of April as a chance to eat and eat and eat.
Part of Eat Drink Perth is the phenomenal EDP Passport which gives you the ability to visit a variety of venues in Perth and take advantage of not only discounts, but also some special menu creations made just to celebrate this month of eating.
After looking through my passport I spied so many offers that I wanted to try, with one in particular demanding my attention - the Nose to Tail $35 menu at Public House. Throughout April at lunch and dinner they've offered diners the opportunity to deviate from their standard (and what I hear delicious) menu, trying different cuts of pork and pairing it with a Custard & Co apple cider.
Apple & mango cider
Nose to tail dining is very in vogue right now, but it's actually a food philosophy I hold dear to my heart. I think it's so great when a chef can pay attention to different out of the ordinary cuts of meat and showcase them in a way that makes them more palatable to the everyday diner while tasting great. In my family, we basically eat any cut of meat so I was definitely curious to see what we would get on this evening.
I was hoping for a pig's head or ear for a real treat!
Arriving at Public House on the terrace, the decor is just beautiful. Warm woods and dark material covered chairs create an inviting ambiance which is elevated with the dim lights and sparkling staff smiles.
Since we've booked in advance, our table has a cute little 'Eat Drink Perth' cactus and sign promoting the reason we're there for the night. I like the special touch!
Eat Drink Perth signage
Our dish for the evening is ham hock on fresh pineapple with an onion salad and crackling crumb over the top. It's served with a side of sweet potato chips that are fried to absolute perfection, while retaining a soft moorish texture inside.
On the side is a smokey chipotle sauce that gives another dimension of flavour - tying it to the pork dish which has the same sauce drizzled lightly throughout.
Ham hock is the part of the pig's leg that is just above the trotters. Traditionally this cut of meat can be quite tough and plain, but when cooked right it falls apart and melts in your mouth.
Public House's version is a fun and playful use of this ingredient yet respectful of the produce. While the pork is a little tougher than I had hoped for, it's still extremely flavoursome. The crunchy crumb is on point and a welcome garnish.
I love the classic flavour combination of pineapple and pork, so these naturally work together quite well. The pineapple is on the sour side but having that onion salad in gives sweetness to offset the salty pork. There's a good mix of parsley throughout for freshness, and little kernels of sweet juicy corn that again go so well with the other ingredients on the plate.
Sweet potato fries
Sweet potato fries
For our accompanying ciders I choose an original apple cider and my dining companion opts for the apple and mango. Custard & Co cider is brewed in Donnybrook, WA, which really pleases me - I love supporting local businesses where possible. The ciders are delightfully bubbly, tickling our tongue and offering a strong bold flavour with less sweetness than ciders I've had in the past.
Apple and pork are very traditional so this is a nice spin on a flavour pairing most of us are used to. I like how laid back the meal feels and at the same time with the lovely presentation and ambience it's a match made in heaven.
Public House's contribution to Eat Drink Perth was definitely a celebration of food. I hope you found some time to try this or any of the other special meals produced for this event. This particular dish was a large and flavoursome meal which is definitely encouraging me to come back and try the regular menu at this restaurant. I've heard their South American inspired dishes are completely different to anything else around and are worth a visit.
Please note that since I'm an official blogger of EDP I was kindly treated to dinner for 2 at Public House by the City of Perth. The opinions in this post have not been influenced by this invitation.