The Laneway Lounge
I don’t celebrate Valentine’s day for the day that it is, simply because I believe that my significant other and I do not need a day to remind each other why we love each other or care for each other. It should be done 365/366 days a year. So we didn’t celebrate it. Instead I went over to my grandparents, cut cake with my younger cousin (V-Day is her b’day), celebrated the end of Chinese New Year celebrations (Lantern Festival!) and had a laugh.
I did, however, manage to spend time with my other half (even though he was on-call) and a few friends on Saturday night at the Laneway Lounge.I haven’t gone out in Perth for ages and seeing as it was post-CNY and post-V-day, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to dress up, chill out, drink, eat and be merry in the balmy air of summer, while the sounds of live acoustics added a touch of nostalgia that comes with catch-ups.
For those who have yet to visit Laneway – you must. It’s a great venue for live entertainment (acoustic, jazz and the likes). Although Ellington Jazz is the original and still pulls in big jazz bands and singers from around the world, I feel as though it doesn’t have the ambiance of elegance, romance or nostalgia of yester-years. Laneway, on the other hand, achieves this. I feel like I’ve been transported to another time and place, where the roaring 20s are well and truly alive.
The Laneway Lounge has three main “rooms”. There is the Live Dining Room where the stage and the seating arrangements transports you to the Jazz Bars of the 20s to the the 40s Americas, the Lounge has private booths decked out in black and white curtains or you can always cosy up to the mahogany-coloured bar and people-watch.
We were seated at the dining room and the guy performing.. Carl Something… was wonderful company. The drinks menu at the Laneway Lounge is selective but creative and everything sounded delicious. I opted for the refreshing and sweet (but not too sickly sweet) Elderflower and Lychee.
My more adventurous friend opted for the Maple Syrup and Bacon cocktail, which really wasn’t bad if you were a fan of Bourbon, while the guys went for the scotch – single malt of course – Dalwhinnie 15 no doubt. I had a sip, it was a lot better with ice and a bit of water than on its own (I’ve tried it on it’s own at the Dalwhinnie’s distillery in Scotland and omg it burns!) – but this – with the ice and a touch of water – was smooth and had a sweet note at the end.
While we waited for the rest of the party to arrive we ordered some love bites to share. There was a lovely selection, all of which sounded delicious. They were on the dear side ($15 on average), so I hoped it would be well worth the spend.
We ordered the Duck Liver Parfait with black grapes, toasted almonds and grilled bread. The parfait was not very good at all. It didn’t have the right creamy consistency, it wasn’t smoothed out, it lacked flavours, it probably needed a bit more fat and salt. The grilled bread wasn’t the best, the black grapes seemed a little sad and the toasted almonds on the plate was the saving grace. It was a pity because we were excited to dig into it and it was just a complete let down and for $15, disappointment was evident amongst us foodies.
The kitchen did redeem itself with the Prawn ‘popcorn’ with creamy delicious chilli mayo providing that nice spice kick. The perfect bite-size with a batter-to-prawn ratio being perfect (less batter more prawn!).
The next love sized goodie was the supposed Tuna and Avocado Lollipop – but I believe they gave us salmon – there was no mistaken the pink flesh. Nonetheless, we didn’t mind, the salmon was perfectly cooked, still that nice pink in the middle. The creamy avocado sauce to add a dimension to the dish. NOTE: you do get 3 skewers, I just wasn’t able to get the photo before people started digging in.
After our love sized bites we decided to skip straight to the big dishes. We were all pretty hungry and the menu sounded fabulous. We ended up ordering the pork, the chicken and the beef.
I had the chicken wrapped in pancetta with a side of potato gratin. The chicken was very well cooked, it was moist, but I felt it lacked flavour if you ate it without the pancetta. The saltiness of the pancetta complemented the otherwise bland chicken (they could have even just needed a little bit of seasoning, perhaps just a bit of pepper to the chicken would be good). It was still enjoyable. The potato gratin was a complete fail. It was so salty, it was inedible. It’s a pity because it looked so delicious. Overall, the chicken pancetta was a nice dish let down by the gratin. And don’t worry we told the waiter when he asked us what we thought of our meals so I really hope he passed on the message to the kitchen.
Bf had the twice cooked beef with bone marrow, spinach, potato and parmesan crumbs. For $39 the beef that came out was a complete disappointment. I think everyone expected a thick slice of beef but what came out was the complete opposite. I was able to try some, thanks to bf. The beef was supposed to be medium, but it was starting to be chewy and bordering on well done. The bone marrow was a delicious silky accompaniment. Overall, it wasn’t bad, but bf really was disappointed by his cut.
Then there was the pork. Probably the winner of the mains. Slow cooked pork belly with fennel, apple, walnuts and bacon jus. Lucky for me my friends and I have a habit of sharing and tasting each other’s meals (typical foodies I guess). The pork was cut into three columns with the crackling on the pork resonating that perfect crunch sound. The pork meat itself was a little dry – just ever so slightly – but nothing that the apple, walnut bacon jus couldn’t fix.
Our mains were accompanied by the refreshing watermelon salad, with a sprinkle of fetta cheese and pomegranate – perfect summer salad really. It was sweet, the fetta cheese wasn’t overpowering. It cleansed our palates and refreshed us from our rich meal.
After assessing our meals for the night, we all agreed that Laneway Lounge has such a lovely ambiance with an interesting cocktail and drinks list that is worth checking out thoroughly. Their table service is also attentive and most of the staff were generally friendly (exception of this one guy who had such a grumpy face and was so blunt, bordering rude and definitely didn’t want to be there!). It’s a pity the food menu is pricey and the quality of the food isn’t that great for the price they charge.
I would come here after I have eaten somewhere else or for a catch up drink and nibble whilst listening to the live band/solo artist perform.I really enjoyed the whole idea of Laneway Lounge and the ambiance is what makes me want to come back.
I also realised that we didn’t show you the dessert. We wanted to complete the night with a dessert, but there was nothing at Laneway that caught our eye so we ventured elsewhere. We checked out Varnish (too noisy, too small and too hot — where was the air conditioner?? – perhaps it will be better mid-week) before catching up with a couple more people and a couple of drinks at Stables Bar, before heading to Northbridge. We ended up having dessert at San Churros. I really don’t like that place. The churros can be hit or miss. The chocolate too sickeningly sweet and rich. But hey, at least it looks nice.