Two Rocks is quite new to us and we've never been there before. It was quite an excursion for us as it was about a one and a half hour drive from the city, let alone from Baldivis haha. On the way there we saw a lot of new housing developments. A lot of people are definitely moving further to the South or to the North of Perth.
There was a hidden gem, I called this place a hidden gem because it was located inside the local Two Rocks shopping centre area, called The Pickled Herring. Two Rocks is famous for the giant King Neptune Statue which was restored back in June this year due to vandalism on the statue.
Head Chef Neil Herbert who formerly worked at Basq and Bistro Felix is running the place now. For our dinner, he prepared 7 small plates of the Chef's Selection with 4 decent sized entrees and 3 main dishes.
We started the entree with the freshly shucked natural and tempura oysters that tasted really fresh. Chef Neil informed us that he only kept a small batch of oysters which he got fresh daily every morning.
This entree was then followed by a beautiful dish with prawns cooked in garlic, chili butter cream and served with garlic bread. This was one of our favourite entrees of the evening. The sauce wasn't too creamy for our liking and the serving of garlic bread married well with the dish.
Hubby really liked the smoked salmon with dill cream, pickled radish and cucumber. In terms of presentation, this dish looked really colourful and refreshing especially as part of the Pickled Herring's summer menu. Again, the salmon tasted really fresh and the whole thing was so flavourful. Hubby usually try to avoid cucumber but this time he finished the whole dish without any complaint.
We were expecting more awesome dishes to arrive and pork rilettes didn't disappoint us. The slow cooked pork was very savoury and enjoyable without being too salty. The potato chips on the rilettes was a good addition for presentation as well as taste.
Char-grilled lamb chops with potato, French beans and red wine jus was really tasty and tender. Chef Neil explained that he wanted his food to be delicious and also affordable to his customers, lamb chops was a perfect option because it can be served in so many different ways.
The roasted pork belly that came afterwards had crispy skin on it and it was served together with braised red cabbage and cauliflower puree. The pork meat retained its tenderness very well, we really liked this.
The last winning dish arrived on our table just after we finished our pork belly. It was the special of the night, the threadfin salmon which was cooked in cream butter sauce with garlic and lemon. This dish was quite light and when we cut the fish it was showing us the fresh white flesh. It was moist and tender with all ingredients worked well to enhance the freshness of the fish. Chef Neil mentioned that this dish was one of customers' favourite and he'll definitely be keeping it in the seasonal menu.
The dinner was very enjoyable and the drive was worth it for us. We were really happy to be able to had a chat with Chef Neil after our amazing dinner. He encouraged us to give some feedback about the food and the restaurant and we did. From our conversation it was clear that Chef Neil's vision for the restaurant is to make it more appealing to the younger crowds who lives around and outside of the Two Rocks area. He was planning to do some re-decoration of the Pickled Herrings as well as revamping and adding new items to the menu. I can't wait to see what will Pickled Herrings look like in a few months time and to taste more of the fresh local produce through his awesome cooking skill.