Friday, May 6, 2011

The tale of a fantastic lunch and a dinner to die for!

Dr Wes Soet @ Heathcote
I had a day off work today, and what a day it turned out to be, one of the best days I have had since my Wedding Day a little over two years ago.
I started the morning relaxing at home with a couple of cups of the best coffee, Nespresso of course!
Then after running a few little chores I headed into town to pick up a few mates from work, as one of them was to shout us all out to lunch to celebrate a recent promotion.
My good friend Dr Wes has been promoted to a middle management position, one he thoroughly deserved.
Wes is a doctor of mathematics and has been both a good friend and colleague for the better part of twelve years, we lunch most Fridays and over the twelve years we have developed some traditions, such as special lunches to celebrate such events as this latest promotion.  When he asked me for a suggestion as to where he may take us, I did not hesitate to nominate one of my favourite restaurants, in fact this is the favourite place to go for lunch and especially on a day like we had today, and it doesn’t get any better.
That aside, there was a more compelling reason for my suggestion, that being the fact that Dr Wes had once worked at the establishment some years back and at that time he was in fact a nurse, a Psychiatric Nurse to be more precise.

We dined of course at the beautiful Blue Water Grill on the banks of the Swan River in Applecross, formerly known as Heathcote Mental Hospital.  Today was in fact Wes’s first visit to the premises, since it was closed as a hospital in December of 1994, and whilst the business and cliental are dramatically different today, the views and wonderful surroundings have not changed, breath taking!
Each of us enjoyed a different meal, Wes decided on the Beef Eye Fillet with a mushroom and tarragon sauce, Shahe enjoyed the daily special, Barramundi Fillet with Grilled Prawns, Michael opted for the Beer Battered Gummy Shark with Chips and Tartare Sauce and I chose Grilled Lamb Loin with Braised Shoulder, Sweet and Sour Eggplant, Haloumi Fritter and Salmoriglio, we also shared a Rocket Leaf, Walnut and Blue Cheese salad and Green Beans and Broccoli with Virgin Olive Oil.  All this was washed down very nicely with a Clare Valley wine known as Take a walk on the wild side, a 2008 Shiraz Viognier blend by Claymore Wines and it was all delicious.

Mike, Wes and Jack, beautiful day in Perth
Bluewater Grill on Urbanspoon
Whilst I drove home I was thinking about something Jo had said as she left for work, something along the lines “I guess I shouldn't expect too much for dinner tonight then!”  Which got me thinking, well why wouldn't I have a nice meal for you Darling?  So on arriving home I dug out a new cookbook I received as a Christmas gift from my eldest son and his family, it is a Neil Perry book titled “The Food I Love”, which has the sub title “Beautiful, simple food to cook at home”

The meal I prepared tonight, lived up to every word of that title, I can’t believe it is the first time I have cooked from this book, which is packed full of food preparation techniques and ideas, totally amazing, the guy that puts such beautiful food on so many plates, has put so much into this book it is worth its weight in gold, it will become the most used utensil in my kitchen, whether I am cooking a Neil Perry recipe or one I have found on the back of a noodle box, there is something in this book which is going to give whatever you cook a lift!

Tonight I decided on Roast Barramundi with Roast Tomato Sauce, Burnt Butter Scallops and Asparagus, with a Cherry Tomato, Pea and Potato side salad.  I got started a bit late as it had been a long lunch, so it was 4:45 by the time I jumped in the car to go to the shops to buy the ingredients, and it was not until I returned home and read the whole Roast Tomato recipe that I realised it was going to be a good two hours from starting before Jo sat for dinner.  As it turned out she had a few little jobs to tidy up so she welcomed the opportunity for a late dinner, and thankfully, even I will say it was worth the wait!

The flavours on the plate were unbelievably good, beautiful and really oh so simple.  Until about twelve months ago I was never a big fan of Barramundi, that view has changed somewhat and even more so from tonight, the fish was cooked in 9 minutes and more to the point cooked perfectly, the flesh was beautifully cooked, moist and succulent, the tomato sauce with it was also perfect.
I added the asparagus, which was steamed and then tossed in olive oil and lime sauce and to finish it off I pan fried some scallops finished in a sage and burnt butter sauce.

Jo managed to tell me no less than ten times how much she loved me whilst we cleaned up the kitchen, so there is no doubt about the way to win her heart is through her stomach!

Looking forward to a great weekend, dinner @ Red Cabbage tomorrow night and breakfast with my Mum for both her birthday and Mothers Day on Sunday at the Lo Quay Café Riverton Bridge, good thing I intend to get back to the gym come Monday!!!


  1. Yummo Jack. You can add that one to my list. Pam xx

  2. Thanks Pam for the lovely comment, reckon I may have to try this again when you are around hey!, BTW licked any plates lately? Jack xx

  3. Nice write-up Jack, it was a great lunch, Dr Wes

  4. Cheers Wes and thanks again for a great day out!