The Aviary organised an lovely blogger meet-up a few weeks back to try The Bird Cage Restaurant’s new menu designed by Head Chef Luke Firth. I love blogger meet-ups because it’s so nice to put name to faces and to just meet some incredible, talented and inspiring people, who just loves Perth and the growing Perth food and wine scene, it’s fantastic! (There was Bri from Eat Meets West, Laura from Yelp Perth, Rory from Top Ten Perth and Claire from We Love Perth At the Bird Cage they showcased their Feasting Dinner, a menu that uses WA’s finest seasonal produce and offers a mixture of Asian inspired dishes designed to be shared by 4 or more people. It’s ideal for groups and people who want to explore different flavours and try everything. Sharing is caring after all, right?
So our menu on the night consisted of a couple of things from the small shared section, shared dishes for the table and desserts and each feasting dinner that is ordered comes with coconut rice and kai-lan.
Kai-lan is almost a staple vegetable in my household and is simply cooked with oyster sauce and garlic on the wok, so to have a buttery kai-lan was something different and something new for me to try and imitate at home.
I still think that caucasian restaurants still don’t know how to cook rice, so I avoided the coconut rice that way I won’t ever be disappointed.. haha
The smoked salmon cakes, dipped in green tea and coconut caramel sauce was something a little different to what most people would associate the traditional Asian style fish cakes with. I loved the fact that it was with smoked salmon but I just felt that it didn’t have enough of a sour or chilli component to completely pull it off. It wasn’t bad at all, you can really taste the smoked salmon and it wasn’t dry and went well with the sauce, just needed that oomph.
The wild mushroom, truffle with wontons were delicious, silky and buttery in texture and such delicious earthy smells and taste. I loved it.
The ginger chicken, baby vegetables and cashew in oyster sauce was very much a nod to an Asian stir-fry. It came out in a cute little fry pan. It was definitely a stir-fry mum would have been proud of.
I found the five spice lamb ribs with chilli caramel rather salty, but that could just be me and my very low salt tolerance. I think that also made me not taste the chilli or the caramel, because all I could taste was the salt… Apart from that, it was rather enjoyable and everyone around me seemed to have loved it, because a fight almost broke out for the ribs.
The sweet & sour pork belly, tomato, coriander & peanut salad was sticky and sweet. For those who believe pork belly should always have that crunchy crispy layer (like my bf seem to think it should), let me disappoint you by saying that this is not the dish. This is cooked in a very Asian style where the pork belly doesn’t have that crispy layer but instead oozes with the flavours of sauce that it is cooked and drizzled with.
Ah everyone’s favourite.. the salt & pepper soft shell crab.. this dish disappeared a little too quickly and I think it was suppose to have an avocado & sesame salad and yuzu sauce, but I didn’t get to taste any of that as it was eaten up quickly by everyone.
Then the plank of dessert came… I didn’t get a chance to take a photo of it because as soon as it touched the table it was everyone for themselves for a bit of the dessert. But we had a chance to try all three dessert on the menu..
The five spiced apple pie with rum & raisin ice-cream – OMG that apple pie was so bloody good and especially so on a winter’s night!
The Banana fritters with coconut ice-cream and palm sugar the coconut ice cream was delightful, but I just didn’t have room for the fritters so I didn’t have any of that.
The chocolate custard, cherry jelly & coconut panacotta, inspired by the cherry ripe chocolate was a brilliant idea, but because I don’t like cherry ripe this wasn’t my favourite although I’m sure many would disagree with me.
To add to the lovely night spent with other fellow writers and bloggers, there was a live band playing soul music, which was lovely except that the volume, it was a tad too loud as we were shouting over the band to talk to each other.
Overall, the dinner and their The Bird Cage’s new feasting menu is a great idea and perfect for a place to share some food and have a drink after work or to relax after some shopping. I must say Luke did a good job coming up with a menu that everyone would be happy to try.
Disclaimer: I was invited to a blogger meet up to try the Aviary Bird Cage restaurant new menu – the feasting menu, however all thoughts, opinions and photos of the food are like always are my own.
I’m happy to announce the two winners of the Menulog vouchers are as follows..
BUT… before we do anything.. just a reminder about the T & C
On Saturday, after sleeping in until midday (I was watching the quarter finals of the world cup so I slept at like 330am so give me a break ok! No judging!), my bf and I enjoyed an afternoon out on an oddly warm winter’s day. It almost felt like spring.
We decided to go out for brunch… (or in everyone else’s case it would have been lunch..) We were suppose to go to The Old Crow, but it was fully booked, major bummer, because bf already picked out what he wanted from their brunch menu on our way to Northbridge. The Tuck Shop next door wasn’t any better. So I suggested Brika Meze Bar, which was just down the street from the two ever popular restaurant/cafe (to be exact down the street across the park on Striling street, near Maccas).
Brika is one of those places that I always drive pass and notice that it’s always full and is a place that I always make a mental note to try. Our rejection meant we finally had that chance!
Brika is a greek-themed bar. Brika in Greek means “I found”. The first thing you would notice about Brika would be the feature graffiti wall, “Athenian street art” courtesy of talented street artist Jerome Davenport. The next thing would have to be lights giving off that ancient rustic lantern feel. Then there is the feature wall of recycled and old wooden window blind thing – you’ll know what I mean when you see it. The interior is a little on the dark side despite the sun streaming in through the windows. It keeps the place feeling very mysterious, like you’ve come with a group of friends to sit in a dark corner, drinking, eating and talking secrets that no one else can hear because it’s been drowned out by the noises of others. It’s nice like that.
The menu is made to share. It is unfortunately not suited for brunch (like we were hoping but we were hungry and the food sounded great so we weren’t fuss what meal we were supposedly eating). It’s definitely more catered for lunch or dinner and this was evident from their operation hours 12pm onwards, Wednesday to Sunday.
We decided to order the bigger bites, a dip with pita and to round it all off a small bite for just the “in case it wasn’t enough”.
You can’t go to a greek-themed bar without having tzatiziki dip. The dip doesn’t come with any bread or pita so it was ordered separately. Both the pita and tzatiziki came out together. The pita was warm and charcoaled and slightly buttered. The tzatiziki was delicious. Creamy greek yogurt with strips of cucumber throughout the dip. It was so bad for you that it was great. Diet out the window with just this dip alone!
The dip was followed by our small bites of Sardines with delicious charred bread. Oh the bread was warm, crunchy and buttery goodness. The sardines were very fresh and were simply presented in oil with sprinkle of chilli. The char bread and the oily salty fish went so well together. But add the tzatziki dip to it all, the saltiness of the fish is lost but the combo made my tummy happy.
The sardines were soon followed by our bigger plates of slow-cooked house marinated charcoal lamb. It wasn’t much to look it but it smelt absolutely divine. It tasted even better! It fell apart as soon as you touched it. It was succulent, tender (no tender isn’t even the right word).. it was melt-in-your-mouth goodness. There was a generous amount, especially for two people and could have easily been divided into 4 shares. Favourite dish for bf and myself.
Our last tapas dish to share was the Stifado – beef cheek that has been marinated with ouzo and herbs (rosemary, aniseed(?)) for 24 to 48 hours before being braised for 12 hours. Again, it was so tender that it didn’t need to be cut, it just fell apart. It melted in your mouth. However, I don’t know if I was a fan of the gravy and I felt as though the onions could have been carmelised so that it was sweeter, but I think the ouzo gave it that slight bitter taste to it. Nonetheless a sensational dish. Clearly Brika knows how to cook their meats!
The dishes are aimed at sharing and the produce is clearly fresh and of a high standard. It would be a very different vibe coming for dinner than for lunch. I guess the downside of coming for lunch is that I don’t really like to drink too much during the day as I’m often running around doing errands and it would have been really nice to have non-alcoholic options on the menu, even if it is just tea, coffee and milkshakes. Perhaps a traditional greek coffee, they are so lovely. But having said that they have a good range of Ouzo’s that have been imported from the island of Mitillini, home of Ouzo. You are able to try some Ouzo’s that you would be hard pressed to located anywhere else in Perth.
Brika Bar is a refreshing addition to the part of inner city Stirling street and is one to definitely try. I’m glad to say I’m glad I brika (I found) this place! (excuse my poor attempt at using a new found word…)