Overlooking the serene, pristine waters of Woodland’s Jackadder Lake, Blú Grill has managed to combine two words that I never thought I would use to describe a dining experience in Perth: affordable and classy. Perth has recently been bombarded with a wave of restaurants that are said to be ‘oh-so-Melbourne’ with a bill that seems to include the airfare there (please, people of Perth, don’t we need to establish our own identity?), it has sort of been a mission of mine to find a restaurant that can offer the best of both worlds. And Blú Grill did just that.
The first thing I noticed about the interior of the restaurant was the spectacular glass panel separating the kitchen from the dining space. Although some would find it distracting, I thought it was a marvellous idea. With a sort of teppanyaki feel to it (without being anything near teppanyaki at all), I saw it as a sign of the restaurant’s honesty and bravery, almost as if to say: “Here’s our kitchen, come up, have a peek, we’re not hiding anything”. Even though you would have to walk right up to the glass to have an adequate view, I liked the idea of merging the dining with the making of.
My partner (a recurring character!) and I were warmly greeted at the entrance and we were led to our table. Our gorgeous waitress for the night soon came over and asked us if we would like to start the night with any drinks, she also unfolded our napkins for us and placed one on each of our laps. She returned to take our orders and when I requested the pork, she apologetically explained that they were not serving that dish for the night. Albeit a tad disappointed, I chose the other item on the menu that I was eyeing.
I decided on the seafood trio for my entrée and my man chose the grilled vegetables. On my plate was a bloody mary oyster shot, salmon tartar and soft-shell crab. I was never one to throw back shots like a depressed cowboy or a hooters girl so I approached my shot a bit tentatively but I was glad with my choice: the shot was flavoursome yet still allowed room for the oyster to shine, the salmon tartar was nothing short of exceptional and, although the I found the crab a bit bland, it was well-cooked. The grilled vegetables were also good, so I heard, well seasoned and the perfect start to the mains ahead.
Out next came the mains: I had settled on the “Blú Ocean” (all seafood!) and the boyfriend ordered the pan-seared Atlantic salmon. Although it doesn’t look like much on the plate, with not enough colour popping out to tempt the eyes, each component sparked fireworks in my mouth (sorry for being lame). The sauce that appeared to be haphazardly poured over the plate was phenomenal and brought all of the components together; the salmon and the barramundi were perfectly cooked and the eggplant couscous was to-die-for. The Atlantic salmon was also something to rave on about; as well as the salmon being wonderfully prepared and cooked, the potato rosti was equally spectacular.
Last but not least, my partner ordered the chocolate trio for himself and the pannacotta for me. When our desserts arrived, I couldn’t wait to dig in! The vanilla ice cream was superb and so was the chocolate biscotto, but when I got to the pannacotta (which I left for last because I adore pannacotta with an unbridled sort of love that I really should be ashamed of), I was morbidly disappointed. With too much gelatine in it and only nutmeg to flavour it, I was left with an uneasy feeling, the moment it went into my mouth, I felt like I was ingesting nutmeg or cinnamon water. I’m not sure if I was expecting too much and received my just desserts (harhar) for it, but it certainly was not a pleasant end to my meal. The chocolate trio however was good, and there certainly weren’t any complaints coming from the other side of the table.
En conclusion, I would definitely return to Blù Grill for a meal that appears to be higher-class dining with an affordable price tag ($15 entrées and $30 mains). Although the dessert was a bit of a downer for me, the mains, entrée and outstanding service are things that would, almost without a doubt, bring people back.