I think one of the questions I get asked the most when I recommend No. 4 Blake Street is, "Have you tried that flower pot thing?". I did not manage to on my first visit for brunch a few weeks before I had left for Shanghai, but on my subsequent second visit I kindly requested that I be let in on what all the fuss was about. Truth be told, it's actually one of their dinner menu desserts but if daytime diners are interested, I highly recommend asking your waitstaff for more information - even if it's $18 a pot! As a massive Heston Blumenthal fan and a long time re-watcher of the "Heston's Feast" series, the idea of a food garden hasn't really surprised me. Heston's Victorian Feast episode features a full edible garden as a backdrop for his insect themed main course - the soil was made with ingredients like black olives, mushrooms, tapioca etc. Although I had seen the concept before, I had yet to try a dessert version. No. 4's Chocolate Garden boasts all time favourite dessert flavours like chocolate, salted caramel and macadamias. However, if you were really none the wiser, one would definitely assume that your fellow diner had gone bonkers for digging into a flower pot!
Even though the Chocolate Garden did steal the show, my primary focus was to fulfil my goal of visiting No. 4 Blake Street for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Frequent fellow diner, Sandy of Hungry Again ordered the Barramundi main course. The broth was poured table side hence the tiny splashbacks on the rim of the plate. Whether it be from the warmth of the broth or otherwise, the disappointing thing about the fish was definitely it's soggy skin. The flesh was soft and the broth was flavourful but all in all I will attribute my disinterest to this being not really my kind of dish. The flavours were slightly one dimensional and I'd recommend it for diners who enjoy a fish dish with a distinctly herbal flavour.
The Lamb Burger instantly caught my eye; keywords being Hummus and Eggplant. The lamb patty had a beautiful charred meat flavour and I loved how grilled eggplant was used as a burger-esque accompaniment, rather than usual tomato or onion. It's definitely unique and boasts one of the most delicious house made hummus' I've tried. The chips were crisp as glass and well seasoned, also served along side two miniature pots of tomato relish and aioli, both of which were tasty. Presentation wise, it was slightly messy but I definitely saw it as a sign of a much appreciated, generous slather of that moreish hummus rather than a lack of finesse.
Some may think that $18, (which is just as much as I paid for my Lamb Burger main course) is indeed too much to fork out for a dessert. I definitely agree that this dessert is on the pricier side, especially since it's served in a latte cup sized flower pot. Dig a little deeper, literally and you'll realise that a lot of quality ingredients actually feature in your personal little garden. Firstly, they don't just use any other chocolate; Valrhona is a luxury French chocolate producer that is used particularly by high-end chefs and restaurants. There is also a decent sized handful of macadamias featured amongst the mousse which along with the dacquoise, give the dessert an amazing texture. The textures, along with the cooling sensation that came from the chilled mousse left my taste buds feeling pleasantly surprised, even on my first bite. It's rich and intriguingly flavourful; despite how I am writing this review a month later, the tastes still remain vivid on my palette. My verdict - worth trying, even for those who enjoy chocolatey desserts on a more minimum scale like I do.
Much like how I felt after my first visit, I already cannot wait to come back. The food, even after two visits is a still plus and I simply cannot wait to come back for their dinner service. It carries through a relaxing ambience throughout the day and rumour has it, transforms into a tranquil and opulent atmosphere by evening time. Despite my visits being spaced, I was remembered by the waitstaff whom continued being attentive, friendly and humourous. I might be calling it a little too early, but of all my restaurant experiences in 2013 - this has to be one of the best, especially since it features a menu that really stands out from the norm. No. 4 definitely gets a lot of things right, which currently makes it one of the most popular restaurants in Perth and one of my most highly recommended local eateries.
Brunch - Daily, from 7:00am till 4:00pm
High Tea - Saturday, from 2:00pm till 5:00pm
Dinner - Tuesday to Saturday, from 6:00pm till late.
My blog posts have definitely been staggered lately, as I've been tying up a few loose ends and shamelessly eating my way through Shanghai. For those who haven't already, do reach out to me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for a more day-to-day insight to what delights I've been eating. Look forward to sharing my Shanghai experiences soon, especially since I'll be back in Perth next week (: