TOP 100 QUEST: PRINT HALL DINING ROOM, Perth
When you walk into the ground floor atrium area of Print Hall, you can’t help but be impressed with the sheer size of the place, the feeling of spaciousness, and the long, long bar that stretches down the middle. Set back from St Georges Terrace this old Newspaper House is a heritage listed building. It’s simply huge, with four levels of bar and dining areas.
It’s the Print Hall Dining Room where you can enjoy the fine dining option and that’s where I was headed. It’s a nicely separate room with its entrance on the other side of the bar. Everything here screams class and it’s a different feel to the casual atmosphere of the bar area. The manager is in a suit and the wait staff are in white aprons, but it doesn’t feel at all stuffy. We’ve come for lunch and we were shown to a table with some nice natural light.
Thankfully, there’s not too much choice on the European-inspired menu at lunch time – five entrees, four mains, three sides, four desserts and a cheese option (two courses for $55, three courses for $65). But even with the limited options it was hard to choose – everything sounded appealing. The two of us decided to share a couple of entrees and mains.
We started with the Snow crab, pressed cucumber, kaffir lime and angelica. This was really pretty with delicate flavours and the sweetness of the crab shone through nicely. The Fresh Fremantle squid popcorn, slippery jack and pig looked and tasted nothing like I’d expected. It was a really interesting mix of textures – crisp and creamy and very tasty.
Onto the mains. First, the Pan roasted barramundi, octopus, rosemary and white anchovy. What a striking looking dish – so beautiful in its stark simplicity. A piece of crispy skinned fish, an octopus tentacle and a circle of red capsicum-based puree. It’s art. Art that tastes great! Then the Duck from Wagin, Clarence River school prawns and Black barley. Loved it. Once again, gorgeous plating, and combining duck with school prawns is sheer genius! We ordered a side of grilled broccolini and it was tossed in a punchy pesto made from rosemary and basil – a real flavour hit.
We decided to indulge in dessert – it just seemed like the right thing to do. But first a palate cleanser of Green tea granita with lime jelly. The first dessert was the lovely Bergamot curd, meringue, raspberry and cream followed by the intriguing ‘Whisky and Cigars’. The cigar is edible – brik pastry filled with chocolate ganache and smoked tea leaves, served with some pastry cream infused with whisky served in a glass. You even have a menu of three cigars to choose from, each with a different level of cacao and it comes delivered to your table in a cigar box. Clever.
In short, it was an exquisite meal with great service. The attention to detail in all aspects is evident. Print Hall Dining Room provides an excellent dining experience.