Birak Season at the Wildflower Perth
I didn’t plan to make a booking at the Wildflower but around November I was surprised that they opened the online booking system. I went to the website and booked straight away because I’ve been wanting to see what the glass box rooftop restaurant looked like. I couldn’t wait to taste what the food would be like and check out the presentation of different dish especially with the beautiful ethos behind everything that Wildflower offers to customers. All meals that the Wildflower served will be created around the Noongar six seasons with six different guest chefs or what the Wildflower called ‘Six Chefs, Six Seasons’ program. As the day grew closer, my excitement grew as well!
We parked across the road from the State Buildings at the CPP car park but as a guest of the Wildflower we were given an option to take on the $30 valet parking as well. We entered the restaurant through the Como Treasury hotel entrance and took the elevator to level 4. I was mesmerized by the view of the golden hour and my excitement was accompanied by familiar “oohs” and “aaahs” from the group of patrons following up behind me.
The restaurant was divided into three different sections: the main dining room which can house 80 guests, the outdoor terrace and the private dining room that can house 24 guests. We were seated at the table next to the big glass where we had a clear view of the Bell Tower and the Swan River. The decoration was quite minimal and I like the colour scheme of grey, white and green especially with the addition of beautiful wallpapers that brought in a sense of calmness and quiet to the restaurant’s atmosphere.
I ordered the Point Zero cocktail just because geographically we were dining at the Perth’s first GPO building. I wasn’t sure whether they still have the Point Zero marker at the corner of the building but the metal plaque mentioned this information: Point Zero marks the site of Perth’s first GPO distances are measured ‘as the crow flies’. Crows are regarded by some Aboriginal people as ‘keepers of the country’ and symbolically represent the coastal Nyoongar cultures. The cocktail was really refreshing with a perfect combination of sweet and sour, it was very easy to drink.
We were served a complimentary house-made fennel, caraway and wattle seed bread and the staff explained to us that the butter was mixed together with shaved macadamia nut. Hubby tore a piece of bread and swiped the macadamia nut butter on it. He loved it so much that he wanted to buy a bag of bread for take-away (and even wanted to eat my share).
I walked around to the open kitchen in between our meals in hope that I’d get a sneak peek of their Urban Cultivator *coughs*. All the fresh herbs used in the Wildflower’s kitchen were grown in their own cultivator. I always wanted the residential one but not sure whether I’d use a lot of it but it’d be very useful to grow my own Kale and have a green smoothie in the morning…
Anyway, everyone in the kitchen was so welcoming and friendly. One of the staff even offered if I wanted her to arrange the wine bottles and condiments better but I didn’t want to bother them especially during a busy dinner period.
We were so excited to eat our entrées when it arrived and I’ve been wanting to try the scampi. The robata grilled Point Sampson scampi was served on top of thinly sliced pickled kohlrabi over the crunchy pig’s tail apple, sprinkled in sea parsley and topped with very fresh barilla (also known as Coorong Spinach). It was very interesting to know that the scampi was slowly grilled over the hot charcoal (robata style). Every ingredient went well together especially with the freshness of crispy barilla and it was a decent sized entrée.
The raw Shark Bay saucer scallops was the next one that I tried. The frozen buttermilk sauce went so well with the sweetcorn, zesty sauce and native basil cream. This time the raw scallop was buried under the ingredients and thinly sliced kohlrabi so when I sliced my knife over it, the saucer scallops slowly came out from below which married well with the whole zesty creamy sauce. The gesture of the presentation created a fun experience to eat and enjoy the meal.
The grass fed Margaret River’s Arkady Lamb that hubby ordered arrived in fresh pink colour and it was served on top of the black sesame sauce with a wrapped warrigal greens on one side, sheep’s yoghurt on top of the thin zucchini and green pea mash. The Arkady flocks were grown specifically for the outstanding meat quality by the Farm House at Margaret River.
I thought the lamb was the winner of tonight’s dinner but the wildfish cooked in squid ink brioche crumbs really won me over. I couldn’t wait to slice the fish open and when I did it revealed a fine-looking white flesh and I could see some warm smokes. This dish was served with cut up lemon flesh, potato and garlic cream, foamy crayfish emulsion and some coastal greens. We also ordered the mixed steamed native greens with seaweed butter on the side to accompany both of our main meals.
The staff explained that the temperature they used to cook the fish needed to be perfect so the squid ink brioche stuck perfectly without the fish being overcooked. The flesh was so succulent and firm, I truly enjoyed every bite but unfortunately couldn’t finish the fish because I was so full.
When the time came to decide on the dessert, our waitress suggested the Bahen & Co chocolate mousse served with banana sorbet but I wasn’t convinced. Hubby decided on the chocolate mousse while I was still thinking of getting the Wildflower Honey with panna cotta so we ended up ordering both.
The Wildflower Honey looked beautiful under the lighting because of the golden coloured of Jarrah honey droplets. It was quite a light milky panna cotta but I felt that the candied desert lime was too sour for my liking. Hubby finished all of the lime because he loved sour food but even he thought that it was a bit too sour.
I should have listened to the staff that suggested the chocolate mousse. It was a beautiful looking dessert of a chocolate mousse cylinder tube that combined very well with sweet baked banana sorbet and wattle seed cream. The mix of banana from the sorbet and the Margaret River's chocolate mousse was very pleasing and smooth.
The staff at the Wildflower was quite attentive and they all showed their personalities by making small jokes, suggesting some dishes without being too pushy and cleaned the table swiftly after every meal.
The restaurant’s ambience was quite beautiful at night especially with the changing light from the Council House building and the Bell Tower. I’d be quite content just sitting down and sipping on a cocktail or two but every good thing must come to an end. I definitely want to have a repeat of the experience and am keen to try on the next Nyoongar season, Bunuru.