I get incredibly angry when Perth is dismissed as a city without cool "hidden" restaurants. Sure, we may not have as many as our Eastern counterparts, but I've always believed in quality over quantity. As far as well hidden and downright delicious restaurants in Perth go, I only wholeheartedly trust one. On another note - I've also had a little writer's block over the last couple of days and chronologically, this post will most definitely fall out of a sequence that makes sense, but we're going to do this anyway because it's the morning after and writing about dinners like this just make me so happy.
In between balancing my freelance projects and trying to combat my Sunday blues, I found myself sending an SOS to Tree, as I was in desperate need of wine and comfort food. She's a total A grade pal and instantly agreed; in the spirit of wine by the bottle and getting her paws on some of Lalla Rookh's Porcini & Ubriaco Croquettes. You may remember Tree from previous adventures such as 89% of my Harvest Espresso posts and of course, THAT DEGUSTATION at No. 4 Blake Street. She's been patiently coaxing me into the world of wine since we met last year and she's proud to say that I've made much progress!
Tree and I have a great system going on for us - she always takes care of the wine and I pick our food. It just so happens that I've been on a truffle bender lately ever since the Truffle Kerfuffle launch, Restaurant Australia and a degustation at Amusé (blog post to definitely come on that one) and since it's THE season to be trufflin' we definitely wouldn't be skimping out tonight. The one and only Joel Valvasori sent out a gorgeous salad for us to chomp on whilst we waited for his famous truffle risotto to come to life. To date, I would say that this is my favourite Lalla Rookh salad yet - it was the Godzilla of all Hazelnuts meets the surprisingly perfect pairing of fennel and pear.
I've never eaten so slowly in my life - it was a balancing act of savouring every mouthful and every ounce of Lalla Rookh's hideaway ambiance. I thoroughly enjoyed slicking my spoon through the delicately viscus risotto, the way you'd run your fingers through clear, calm waters - the texture is absolutely perfect. It was kind of one of those moments where I wonder what could I possibly have to complain about in life? Switching between mouthfuls of delicate, house made pasta and the most decadent risotto I've ever had just all sounds too good to be true.
I'm all for being sharing and caring, but I was actually secretly glad that Tree only took one (rather large) spoonful of pannacotta. It's my aftermath of choice and no visit to Lalla Rookh is complete without some Pannacotta Vera - it always without fail brings me to my happy food place.
At some point during dinner, we were talking about first impressions and I asked Tree if she remembered how we met. Sadly (and typically), she doesn't - but I definitely do; we hit it off during a random smoke break in the middle of studying for exams at UWA and bonded over our love for Tenth State coffee. Almost a year later, it's hard to imagine doing an easy late night dinner ft. truffles and wine with anybody else - was it really a downer that she didn't get her croquettes in the end? Not really...we're both Lalla Rookh addicts and it's just another excuse to come back for another bottle of wine and another great night out.
Also, Joel's a total joker and officially wins at being my favourite Head Chef in Perth - he always makes food that tastes better than skinny feels and I always leave the table grinning like crazy.
Got some time on your hands? Check out my other food stories from Lalla Rookh:
Price: $$$$ $50+ per person
Contact: 08 9325 7077
Address: Lower Ground 77 St Georges Tce, Perth City.
Lalla Rookh Opening Hours:
Monday to Thursday, from 11:30AM - 12:00AM.
Saturday from 5:00PM - 12:00AM
Very sadly closed on Sunday.