Sexy, sophisticated, Melbourne-ish; all this and much more is the wonderful Petition Kitchen in Perth’s revamped and renovated State Buildings complex, alongside Cathedral Square. The restaurant is but one part of the whole building, and what an amazing building it is. An eight-year-long restoration project has seen this unloved old state govt building, transform into a cosmopolitan centre, housing a six star hotel, a beer and wine bar, several bespoke retail stores, and a handful of stylish restaurants.
Petition Kitchen was the setting for dinner with a few friends, and we were instantly impressed by the generous layout, the rustic floorboards, and the sheer enthusiasm of the wait staff. I was even further impressed when our jugs of chilled sparkling water were topped up during the evening – for free. I don’t of any other place on this planet that serves free sparkling water, but as I am addicted to the stuff, this dinner was on a train ride to the Elysium Fields.
The menu – it’s short but it’s intriguing and interesting and has dishes that just make you want to order them for the sheer hell of it. We opted for several share plates and would have fit in several more if it were possible. For me there were three standout dishes: the raw kingfish with beetroot, the duck liver parfait with grilled bread, and the chopped broccoli with puffed grains, sheep’s feta and walnuts. Oh my. How does a simple broccoli salad become so brilliantly crunchy, salty, creamy and damned delicious? I eat truckloads of the little green trees and they never taste like this.
The dish of raw kingfish looked mighty purdy, and it tasted mighty good too. The waferish slices of fish were hunkered down amongst purple-red beetroot bites and whispy green beetroot leaves. A hint of horseradish and a zesty ginger vinaigrette added punch to this light and colourful concoction. I did not want to share. I wanted to take that plate and sit in the corner, savouring every forkful and not sharing a smidgeon with anyone. It’s OK to be selfish, right? When something is that good and you just want it for yourself?
The duck liver parfait – another culinary revelation. I’ve long loved the version offered by Cantina 663, but this was another contender for the best duck liver parfait in Perth award. It’s hard to pick a winner out of these two as both are bloody amazing, yet both are different. This one was less dense, creamier, served with thick fingers of grilled bread, and worth fighting over when there was just enough left on the plate for one more bite. OK, I may have been a little selfish again….
Our remaining two dishes were less memorable. Forget the baby qukes and carrot with onion creme – a waste of tummy space in my opinion with far more interesting options up for grabs. Yes they were OK – but they’re plain, unadorned carrots and cucumbers. Ergo, they are bog standard veggies and are not going to win any kitchen awards. Ditch the mundane and go for the innovative.
The roasted mushroom dish looked so beautiful and promising with its trendy warrigal greens, salted ricotta and potato, but it didn’t compare to my fave three dishes. I love mushrooms on any given day, and these mushrooms were absolutely fine; they just didn’t wow me the way the other dishes did.
I loved my experience at Petition Kitchen. It is my new favourite place in Perth. I might well return to get me some broccoli salad and some kingfish, and there is no way I am going to share. And I just might squeeze in a dessert; they looked mighty tempting too, but sometimes one has to just abide by what the gut says. “Nope, can’t fit any more in there”. Next time…..there’s a burnt meringue with my name on it 🙂