Friday, October 30, 2009

Pearl Restaurant - Richmond

Name: Pearl Restaurant

Address:631 Church St
Richmond 3121 VIC

Phone: (03) 9421 4599

Food: Asian, ModOz
Average price: Entree: $22-28, Mains: $31-44, Dessert: $12-25

Complimentary: 1 slice of soft, sourdough with a lemon olive oil.

Kate's opinion: the bread was awesome. It made me want to make bread again. I wish I knew how they got that dense pillow texture. but I do not think that the oil alone was enough. The little rub we made of salt and pepper brought it all together I think. Gave the bread a base to rise from.

Duck broth with pearl meat and basil

Kate's words: This was smoky with aniseed undertones. basil complimentary, gave it a light sweet like current. Was better when chewed not just swallowed cos it brought out the full realm of Asiatic flavours in the broth. pearl meat.. intriguing. kinda like meat texture.. kinda like freshly made tofu.. and kinda like packing foam. Definitely had a crustacean taste.

We ordered dinner:

Entree: Red lentil and ginger soup with sweet potato and mint bhaji spiced with cumin and coriander, watermelon, rind pickle, fresh green pea and mint salad with soft goats curd - $22

The soup was lentil, a little gritty, with a ginger aftertaste. The sweet potato and mint bhaji were crunchy and chewy and only slightly greasy, they were however quite salty so the sweet watermelon and rind pickle chutney helped to cut through that. The pea with goats curd side salad was refreshing, there were some shoots that were bitter though. Whist separately the three components were lovely, I didn't understand how they went as a whole dish.

A salad of moreton bay bug tails and avocado, shredded peppers and cucumber, two gazpachos: one almond and one tomato and cucumber - $28

Steph loved the two gazpachos but felt the dish was unbalanced with too much avocado for her liking.

Watermark banana prawns stuffed with noosa spanner crab, coriander and coconut cream, hot and sour sauce with cucumber - $34

In Kate's words: well the entree was amazing. Every forkful was a wonderful hit of flavours.. and being one of my favourite flavour combinations that is hardly surprising.. but still it was great. wish I could have it always. Well prepared too. Easy to eat and I could get to all of the prawn meat without having to mess around with shells.

Thrice cooked chips, truffle salt - $11

Kim loved these, they are a side dish but she had them brought out the same time as our mains. They were crunchy, perfectly salted and fluffy on the inside.

Mains: One side only seared yellowfin tuna, sweet smoked fish salad with sunflower shoots, galangal and kaffir lime, pickled young coconut and lemon oil - $40

I was a little disappointed in the presentation to start off. Unfortunately for me there was also coriander leaves in this so I had a hard time picking them out after one mouthful of metallicness. Otherwise this was salty, bitter and sweet, even with a generous spritzing of lime, which cooked the tuna a little too much. I just didn't enjoy this dish too much. Steph on the other hand, enjoyed it.

Zucchini, lemon and ricotta tortellini with green and gold zucchini and lemon oil dressing, slow cooked baby fennel and crumbled ricotta salad - $31

Kim enjoyed this but found one flavour quite strong and overpowering, she couldn't figure out what it was.

Gippsland black angus rib-eye steak, jerusalem artichoke remoulade - $41

Kate's words: The steak.. oh my the steak.. love a good amount of meat.. especially when I'm lacking in iron, and it was a manageable amount for me. Though something to balance it with would've been nice. The remoulade was really lovely. I normally don't like horseradish but it gave the condiment enough kick to aide the meat. Slice of lemon on the side made the seasoning of the steak work beautifully, especially because I ordered mine blue. The seasoning was a slat and pepper crust. The meat had been cooked perfectly for me. Seared just enough to hold most of the juice inside and to heat the flesh without cooking it. Probably the best steak I've ever had.

Dessert: The pearl family sri lankan ‘love cake’ with rhubarb and pink lady apple crumble and granny smith apple sorbet - $20

I liked the presentation. The cake was nice enough, perhaps a little too sweet for me and a touch doughy. It was lacking something. The crumble was tart, not much sweetness there at all which I actually liked. The sorbet had a wonderful, fresh apple taste but was a touch grainy. I loved the dehydrated apple slice. Once again, I felt the sorbet in particular didn't really go well with the cake which was more like a slice in texture.

Kate's words: sri lankan love cake left a little to be desired though. The crumble was my favourite, by far. Kinda wish it'd just been more than that. Though I did like the love cake itself.. just not enough punch.. too much like a Disney princess without any gusto. A shame really because figs and pistachio's are two ingredients I love, and I don't think they get used together enough. I did like the base though.
I appreciated that it wasn't crunchy or tough.

Blood orange jube, orange blossom marshmallow, coconut jam truffle, love cake, fairy floss and “brigadeiro”, a Brazilian chocolate delight - $10

Kim really enjoyed the jubes and marshmallow while Steph liked the coconut jam truffle and love cake. Kate tried some and found the Brazilian chocolate was quite milky. Kate loved the vanilla pashmak. This was a decent serving considering the price.

Cost: $307 - for 3 entrees, 1 side, 4 mains, 2 desserts and 2 dessert tasting plates.

Service: OK. We had to wait a while before receiving our menus. In terms of food it was quite slow in coming out and we only received our desserts at 11pm when we had arrived at 8pm. By the time the next meal came we had already been hungry and wondering when it would be arriving.

Atmosphere: EXTREMELY NOISY. We could not believe the noise level. The restaurant is almost like an army barrack and the tables are packed closely together, too close in my opinion as Kim and I were repeatedly knocked throughout the night. We had to yell to be heard and even then only the person next to us could hear. When 11pm came and half the restaurant had left we could finally relax and have a nice conversation, unfortunately the waiters were packing up the tables around us so we had to leave.

Parking: OK. We went on a Friday night and there was some street parking, but not a whole lot. You might have to walk a bit.


Hours: Daily noon-3pm, 6.30pm-11pm

Would I return: No - it was the atmosphere that ruined it for me, much too loud.

1 comment:

  1. oh you go to all the places I want to go. Pearl is on my radar, but now I'm not too sure. Some of the serving sizes look quite small and its sounds like some of the dishes need a little more attention...something you would expect at a restaurant of this caliber. although, I've seen enough to still want to go!


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