Set in a converted house on Harvest Rd, Habitue was the perfect lunch spot on a sunny afternoon. Underneath the leafy canopy shading the front courtyard, Scotty and I enjoyed the casual atmosphere and excellent food on offer. Another courtyard out the back looked very inviting, and I could picture the different rooms inside coming alive in the evening.
Habitue’s menu is perfect for sharing, so we selected several dishes that were so darn good that we wished we could have fit in several more. The zucchini flowers with fromage blanc and basil was a no-brainer choice for us. For some reason you rarely see these on menus here and we were excited to try them. I wonder what happens to all those lovely flowers on zucchini plants; do they just get tossed out? Seems a damn shame as you could play around with the fillings and batters and they’d be great starters for dinner parties. I digress…. This version with light batter was creamy with the soft, warm fromage blanc filling, crunchy with the light batter and perfectly complemented by the subtle basil dressing.
Chargrilled tiger prawns were served with creamy Israeli couscous and shavings of fresh fennel. We loved the crunchy, smokey WA prawns and the contrasting fresh flavours of the fennel and fresh dill.
Everyone seems to have their own version of cauliflower these days, and Habitue’s was a revelation. Served with smashed dates, chick peas and pureed almond paste, the cauli was redolent with cumin, and served a lovely toasty roasted brown colour. Dee-Licious.
Hand-cut chips was our final choice – a pedestrian choice perhaps, but still scrumptious served fat and crispy, and accompanied by celery salt and aioli. All in all, a very satisfying luncheon .
Naturally we had to sample one of the sweet treats on offer, so we shared the chocolate marquis with malted milk and salted caramel macadamias. The chocolate marquis was rich but light in texture, and well matched with the salted caramel macadamias. Whilst we appreciated the flavour of malted milk, we felt it might have been improved if it was a bit thicker, rather than being served as frothy but runny milk. A minor quibble, as the dessert itself was delicious and beautifully presented.
Habitue was a delight. The setting, the cheerful service, and the food; all were brilliant. Our only grumble was with the price of wine – the cheapest glass was $12 and the cheapest bottle $56 ,which seems outrageous for a casual, non-five star restaurant. I don’t understand why we are forced to pay so much for wine in a country that produces so much good stuff at reasonable prices.