jackson’s – highgate
Now, let’s talk abut good service in Perth. It’s so rare in this city, it’s almost extinct. The lack of good service, or for that matter, any service at all, is the way of life in Perth. Blame it on the mining boom, blame it on whatever but really it’s quite sad. Perfect service?
…That is something to behold.
Timely, personal yet knowledgeable service is what we got at Jackson’s. Perfect service – it’s a nice dreamworld to be in, if only for the length of a degustation.
Talking about the length of a degustation we appreciated the speed of which the courses were served. Our last degustation was at Restaurant Amuse and we were not impressed with the four hour length. It was simply too long a wait between courses, even if inebriated. Maybe it would have been forgivable if the service had been perfect. Anyway that is a review for another day. The Jackson’s degustation was about 3 hours from start to finish, with no patience testing waits between courses. It was perfect.
I think big eaters will pleased – I found the courses to be quite generous in size – especially so for a dego. We loved the humorous touches to the menu – “free stuff on the table” and the unexpected touch of our waiter saying goodbye to us while the maitre’d held the door open as we ventured back into the real world.
Okay, I’m going to instill a less verbose approach to degustation write ups – more photos, less kerfuffle. I don’t think a blow by blow write up is appropriate as the menu changes frequently. Leaves a bit of mystery for you, right?
Amuse-bouche. For the life of me I can’t remember what was inside it, only what was on top – olive tapenade – and maybe there was persian feta inside… I blame the forgetfulness on the cocktail.
K’s champagne cocktail – that’s a shard of hard candy stuck to the glass and it’s pretty impressive.
Jackson’s interpretation of the caesar salad: baby cos, shaved parmesan, white anchovies, jamon, soft boiled quails egg, micro herbs and truffle oil. Nice way to begin the degustation on a light note.
Poached salmon coated in vanilla sugar, topped with grated horseradish. Served with a (shockingly red) beetroot risotto and a horseradish mayonaise. This was one of my favourite dishes – delicate, sublime and well balanced.
The bisteeya: crisp filo pastry with a filling of duck leg and spices, sitting atop spinach and rice. It was garnished with a roasted baby beetroot and orange sauce reduction. A bit like a middle eastern interpretation of duck l’orange, but crispy.
Surely the pièce de résistance of the degustation. Styled as a chinese ‘steamed bun’, barbeque pork is stuffed inside a ‘bun’ of scallop mousse which was a light as a cloud. The bun was truly amazing and delicate! Garnished with shreds of fried ginger, and served with lightly stir fried lettuce/greens, edamame (soy) beans, chilli oil and a chilli paste.
Another freebie – bring them on! Cigar of duck liver parfait flavoured with truffle. Liver + truffle = it’s going to be good.
There is a choice between two mains – that night, it was either pork or beef. K and I did what any food lover would do – we ordered one of each and shared!
Crispy pork belly with bordelais sauce and mash.
Now this is where it gets interesting . From the pork belly going clockwise: black pudding, steamed broccoli (okay, not so interesting), pork trotter sausage, crispy breaded pig’s ear and ESCARGOT. That’s right, that indiscernable blob was K’s first ever snail (hopefully many more to come?). One niggle – there was a bone left in the trotter sausage. Otherwise, the dish was pretty good.
The beef main. Angus steak with chestnuts, bacon, brussel sprouts and jus made from beef marrow.
Pre-dessert: beetroot ice cream on chocolate torte. I’m not a fan of beetroot (obviously someone in the Jackson’s kitchen is, which would explain its frequent appearance) but this captured the sweetness of beetroot beautifully. The vegetable sweetness set off the manufactured sugar of the torte well.
Ooooh the pumpkin cheesecake. How I adore pumpkin based sweets. The spoon easily cut through the tender block of cheesecake. The pumpkin spiced ice cream was an icey note to the comparably warm cheesecake. Served with poached pumpkin and crumble.
The most ‘interesting’ course – curry brulee. We anticipated the brulee to be a chai based interpretation of ‘curry’ – we were wrong. The creme brulee and the ice cream were definitely flavoured with savoury curry. If curry could be made of eggs, cream and sugar, and be cold, this would be it. The most contentious course, not sure if I liked it but it was executed excellently.
Petit fours to end the meal. Tiramisu and squares of brownies.
At the end of the day, our experience was pretty much flawless. For comparison’s sake (to a comparable meal), I did like Jackson’s better than Restaurant Amuse for two reasons; firstly, the service; second, even though the food at Amuse is more adventurous, I felt Jackson’s was consistent and every dish was executed perfectly. I liked every single dish – whereas the highs were higher at Amuse, the lows, were also very much lower. The degustation was like a story, not one course was so ‘out there’ that it felt too exotic or odd. I felt the meal told us something about the chef’s style and technique. Jackson’s cuisine is refined and suitably restrained. I like it when the chef explores nuances in texture and flavour, yet knows when to hold back.
Consistency and service. These are the two features I value the most, never mind adventurous food. We got these in spadefuls at Jackson’s and we left incredibly happy and satisfied! So, if you have ever walked past Jackson’s and wondered/wished to go… Well, go!
Up’s: Superb service. Consistent and likeable food. Nice drinks list. Especially good for date!
Down’s: Don’t order the coffee. Curry brulee as a dessert is arguable.
Value: 4/5 (dego’s are generally not cheap – Jackson’s is $125 p/p)
Jackson’s, 483 Beaufort St, Highgate WA 6003
T: (08) 9328 1177
Mon – Sat 7pm – late
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