Must Wine Bar in Perth has been a staple on the city’s “top ten best restaurants list” since it opened late 2001, and for good reason. Renowned Chef Russell Blaikie’s menu is influenced by the contemporary French bistro and he changes the menu with the seasons. Blaikie is an avid fan of sourcing local produce such as Torbay Asparagus from the Great Southern Region of WA (think Albany), Scallops from Rottnest Island, Plantagenent Pork from the South West of the State, and ‘Over the Moon’ Organic Feta from Albany. The result? Simply outstanding food.
Choosing what to have is never an easy choice at Must as it all sounds so deliciously tempting. We opted for three starters and then would wait and see if there was any room left in our tummies for more.
Our meal started with complimentary (thanks!) chicken liver parfait, grenache jelly and crunchy sliced baguette. The parfait was rich, smooth, and very moorish.
A special on the menu was ceviche of half shell Rottenst scallops compressed watermelon and citrus salad. The freshness of the watermelon and citrus complemented the scallop and the shaved fennel topping added a crunchy texture and together, it was like eating a summer’s day, so fresh and light. The perfect starter to get the taste buds warmed up.
The twice-baked goats cheese soufflé with roast red pepper coulis was a marriage made in heaven and beautifully presented. Sharing this dish was difficult!
Angel hair pasta tossed with Blue Manna crab, tomato, chilli, basil, cream and 34 Degrees South Organic Olive Oil from Margaret River is a constant on the menu. It is a crowd favourite and didn’t disappoint my dinner guest who ate every late morsel.
I couldn’t stop thinking about a recommendation the waitress gave us for a main that featured on the specials menu, Plantagenent Pork Plate with crispy pork jowl, prosciutto wrapped fillet, cauliflower purée, baby carrot, apple salad and jus. When the waitress passed our table, I stopped her and ordered it. She gave me a wry smile as if to say, “good choice, you are going to love it!”. She was right. We did love it! The crackling was crispy, salty, and after the first few crunches, it just melted away on my tongue. The pork was tender and juicy, the shredded apple salad was fresh and crisp, cleansing the palate, but what was really outstanding was the just. I would have liked a glass of that to drink it was that good!
Could we fit in dessert? No, not really, but we’d give it a try anyway. My dinner guest loved the sound of the warm chocolate moelleux, white chocolate ice cream. We learned that a moelleux is another fancy word for fondant, or a small chocolate cake with a gooey chocolately centre. The moelleux was floating on a bed of delicious vanilla bean custard and topped with a house made white chocolate ball of ice cream. Rich, sweet, and delicious.
The wine list is as impressive as the food and features over 500 wines from around the world with a good selection of Italian and French varietals. There was also a good selections of wines by the glass and I was delighted to see a Fraser Gallop Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 offered by the glass – one of Margaret River’s premium wineries, in my opinion. Only one Western Australian chardonnay from the award-winning Lenton Brae Estate was offered by the glass.
On a Tuesday night, Must Wine Bar was almost full, including a couple of tables of well-girthed middle-aged types that obviously love to eat. Not surprising really when some of the best food in the city is on offer.
Must Wine Bar, 516 Beaufort St, Highgate WA 6003
Tel: 08 9328 8255
Open seven days per week from 12pm til late.