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Aug 25

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Chefz Table 23/08/2013

Chefz Table on Urbanspoon
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Eager to indulge in what Chefz Table describe as innovative cuisine from locally sourced produce we opted to play it safe by ordering straight off their al la carte menu as opposed to challenging the chef to design a menu specifically tailored for us (creating a customer specific menu is Chefz Table signature mark).  We were confident that our decision to order from the al la carte menu would translate into our food excelling in both flavour and technique as the chef would have confidently plated these dishes on numerous occasions BUT unfortunately Chefz Table failed to execute on both. 

We have to give absolute credit to the attentive service that we received. It is the major contributing factor for our gracious overall score. Sadly this was counteracted by both the food and the atmosphere. Chefz Table quite simply failed to create an ambiance that would get diners into a relaxed mood. The restaurant exuded the feel of a hotel lobby bellowing elevator music rather than a sophisticated warm and inviting French restaurant. To make matters worse we were one of just four tables dining on this particular Friday evening (one of the busiest nights in the week for anyone in the food industry) leaving one with a sense that Chefz Table may have been defeated in this all too competitive foodie market! To succeed in Perth, restaurants need to produce consistently excellent food or face the reality of being pushed out of the market by stronger opponents.

There were some definite highlights to the evening but these were overshadowed by some pretty unforgiving rookie mistakes in the kitchen! The amuse bouche managed a charitable average rating of 6/10, the trout mousse accompanied by an avocado puree and hazelnut crumb with a drizzling of cherry coulis failed to make an impact or create that “wow” factor which left us sceptical of the chef’s approach and skill towards the cuisine for the rest of the night.

Despite the numerous flaws, it would be a shame a write-off Chefz Table. The concept behind creating that unique chefs table experience is something that might justify giving Chefz Table a second chance. Maybe the chef does need to be challenged into creating a specific menu. Whatever the remedy, we hope that Chefz Table comes back fighting with a real stake in the French restaurant market!

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 Chefz Table – Average overall rating (based on food, service & atmosphere): 6/10

 Entrée (ranked):

1. Marron, Pumpkin Bisque, Haricot Beans, Crispy Sage.

Ordered by: KL, Joey

Average rating: 7/10

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2. Scallops, Chowder, Beetroot, Tempura Apple

Ordered By: Emer, Guest (Lenny), Rickie

Average rating: 6.5/10

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3. “The Waldorf” – Poached Pear, Blue Cheese Beignet, Candied Walnut, Celery Soup

Ordered by: Mel

Average rating: 6.5/10

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4. Oxtail Terrine, Deep Fried Croquette, Poached Veal Tongue, Tomato

Ordered by: Ms. D

Average rating: 6/10

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Main Course (ranked):

1. Red Wine Poached *Catch, Cauliflower Puree, Granola, Crispy Pancetta

Ordered by: Guest (Lenny)

Average rating: 8/10

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2. Duck Breast, Stuffed Duck Leg, Parsnip Panna Cotta, Vanilla Olive Jus

Ordered by: KL, Emer

Average rating: 7/10

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3. Crispy Skin Cod, Braised Rabbit, Corn Polenta, Orange

Ordered by: Ms. D/Mel

Average rating: 6/10

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4. Spiced Beef, Carrot & Cinnamon Puree, Bitter Chocolate Tuille

Ordered by: Rickie

Average rating: 5.5/10

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5. Pork 3 Ways, Toffee Apple, Vegetables

Ordered by: Joey

Average rating: 4.5/10

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Dessert (ranked):

1. Chocolate Brownie, Ganache, White Cream

Ordered by: KL, Emer, Mel, Ms.D, Rickie, Guest (Lenny)

Average rating: 6.5/10

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2. Apple Crumble, Pancake, Custard

Ordered by: Emer, Mel, Joey

Average rating: 6/10

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MEMBER COMMENTS

Joey – For entree whilst the flavour combination worked extremely well together, the sweet, silky-smooth pumpkin bisque with the acidity from the pickled carrots, the marron was just slightly overcooked and as such lost its delicate flavour. As I have had the pleasure of previously dining at Chefz Table which I now realise was quite clearly when it was at its peak, I was personally confounded by the quality of the main course. The pork braise was salty to the point of being inedible, the pork belly had completely dried out in a failed attempt to crisp the skin and the black pudding was a let-down, both dry and tasteless. The dessert was a 50/50 mind boggle, the apple crumble was beautiful and delicate with a wonderful glossy-sweet crème anglaise. But this wonderful combination was hit with a sorbet travesty! An apple and guava sorbet that tasted more like the by product of a juicer than a sorbet should not have been matched with such a light and delicate apple crumble. This was in my opinion a failure in creativity and could have done better with a simple vanilla infused ice cream

Guest (Lenny)Not your typical seafood chowder, this entree was more like a deconstructed chowder with a twist of beetroot puree and served with a tempura apple. All the elements were good except for the scallops which were very small. I would have preferred fewer but bigger scallops as I like to bite into big, sweet and juicy scallops. For main I had the fish of the day which was Dhufish and it was nicely cooked, retaining its firmness. The red wine flavour wasn’t too strong and worked well with the cauliflower puree. I really liked the combination of the elements presented in this dish. There were crunchy sliced greenbeans, sweetened orange peel and a nutty granola. All these against the softness of fish and cauliflower puree…it was quite a party in my mouth! The pancetta was crispy as promised, tasty and served as a good looking garnish for the plate, however somehow this taste didn’t match the rest of the dish. Overall, a very interesting and enjoyable main dish.

Mel – Seeing “The Waldorf” listed on the menu, within quotation marks and no description, I had a feeling it was going to be something a little different. My seemingly uncreative mind was lending itself to expecting a deconstructed salad, so when this surprising dish of apple and celery soup with pears that were first poached then grilled and topped with deep fried blue cheese and walnuts arrived, I was excited. My soup spoon now made sense! Each element was tasty on its own, and in combination with each other. There was salty, sweet, tart and texture. I really wanted to love this dish, it had everything going for it, I just had a little difficulty eating it. The soup spoon was unable to cut through the cheese and pear and I found myself needing to alternate between a knife and fork and the soup spoon in order to eat it. I had the crispy skin cod as a main, this dish didn’t quite get there for me – and there’s a lesson in that, as people always say go with your first choice and I changed my mind a few times before deciding on it. It was nicely presented, a clean and colourful plate, however I can only guess that it was the effort to produce a beautiful crispy skin on the cod that led this delicate fish to be a little overcooked and rubbery, and sadly the skin didn’t quite reach crispy either. I really enjoyed the rabbit croquette. For me, the flavour of the rabbit itself was a little lost amongst the ingredients but it was very tasty nonetheless. The jury is still out on the candied popcorn. It was extremely sweet in comparison to everything else on the plate, however I loved the crunch it provided and, without crispy skin on the cod, I think the dish needed that. For dessert the best element was the white chocolate and preserved lemon ganache. It was a new flavour to me and really helped to cut through the richness of this dessert. My first mouthful of chocolate was so bitter that it really tainted my enjoyment of this dish. The brownie itself had a very good flavour, however it was quite undercooked. Whilst I personally don’t mind an undercooked brownie, this one took it a little too far for my taste. The apple crumble was delicious. I’m told the crème anglaise was too, but a consequence of sharing dessert with a fellow diner is that she beat me to it! So on that I will have to take her word for it. I really loved the baby pancakes. Super cute and super tasty but, try as I might, I could not make the sorbet work with this dessert. Much better a simple vanilla bean icecream in its stead.

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Permanent link to this article: http://finediningclub.com.au/fdc/2013/08/chefz-table-23082013/