Tucked away in the Fraser Suites at the beginning of Adelaide Tce, it’s a bit tricky locating the Heirloom restaurant. It’s even harder to find a parking spot, and one of my three dining pals overshot the Terrace and ended up on the Causeway. It’s worth persevering though, as our dining experience was well worth the effort.
Don’t you love Groupons? The Heirloom ones enabled us to enjoy a superb lunch with a glass of bubbly for only $25 each. That will barely get you a toasted focaccia and a coffee in Perth in 2015, so this was a particularly amazing deal.
Our first course was a generous antipasto plate, comprising fresh figs, pork terrine, mixed meats, olives, grilled eggplant, sundried tomatoes, sauerkraut and crisp pita triangles. There’s your $25 value, on that one plate.
We didn’t finish our first plate as we sensibly wanted to leave room for the other courses, and we were glad we did. A little palate cleanser was presented next with watermelon, dragon fruit, goats cheese, pine nuts and dried kalamata olives. Sounds like an unusual combo, but it worked well, with beautiful colours and presentation.
On with the big girls plates, starting with crispy skinned barramundi on a bed of subtly flavoured tahini, slivers of fresh sliced fennel and cubes of roasted beetroot. Barramundi is not my favourite fish, but these were delectable fresh fillets, beautifully cooked and presented.
The remaining dishes were served together, and the Burmese beef cheeks were a bit hit with my gal pals. Now, I’ve read complaints from other diners about the beef cheeks, but as they are cooked Burmese style, the flavouring is deliberately subtle. None of the robust red wine flavours here, but simple, slow-cooked, delicately spiced cheeks in a thick sauce. The meat was melt-in-your-mouth tender. You may or may not know that I don’t love red meat but I did manage a tiny taste in the name of reporting, and my friends were not exaggerating. One almost licked her plate clean, but our death stares were a sufficient deterrent. We’re ladies after all.
For me, mains are only as good as their side dishes – I adore vegetables – and the two presented were Sicilian vegetables with pine nuts, raisins and gremolata, along with cauliflower rice. The Sicilian vegetables was a pleasant, mildly flavoured mix of vegetables including the under-utilised okra. Once again, the presentation of the dish was visually pleasing.
I’ve wanted to try cauliflower rice for ages. I’ve heard about it from various friends who have eaten it in place of rice when they’ve been dieting, and it’s purportedly tasty, filling and a healthy alternative to heavy starches. The verdict? Cauliflower rice is one of those side-kick dishes that lends itself well to other richer dishes. It’s mild, soaks up other flavours, and is a perfect healthy alternative to rice or pasta, so with our lunch of several dishes, it worked really well. If I was ordering only one side or vegetable dish, I probably wouldn’t order it.
As if we hadn’t eaten enough, we were presented with a plate of house-made chocolates. Now, dessert or chocolates were not included on our set menu, so this was a pleasant surprise and the perfect finish to our meal. And bless their little cotton socks, the serve was four chocolates of each variety, so that no-one would miss out. Don’t you love that?
Our experience at Heirloom was positive from start to finish. The service was attentive and friendly, the restaurant blissfully quiet and comfortable, the food delicious, the use of ingredients innovative, and the cost an absolute bargain. Even at the full price of $50 each, we would have been more than happy. Heirloom has received a bit of a drubbing on dining sites, but I can only tell you that our dining experience was wonderful. This restaurant has undergone recent changes and it is trying hard to present good food and provide a high level of service in a competitive environment. It’s a shame if its location at the far end of Adelaide Terrace deters would-be diners, but it’s well worth the effort. Even without a Groupon voucher.