With a busy Summer doing everything from performing at PIAF, starting a new hiking blog called The Long Way's Better and being a bit frugal as we save for our trip to Tasmania at the end of the year, the celebration of Alissa's birthday served as an excellent impetus for us to head out and tick another restaurant off our State Buildings dining list - Post.
Located in the main hall across the way from Petition Wine Bar and Merchant, Post is located in what used to be the franking room of Perth's original General Post Office. A modern bistro, Post is one of two restaurants that are an official part of Como the Treasury (the other being the fine dining Wildflower, located upstairs).
The restaurant's main dining room features a simple but effective layout that is casual but still stylish. While it may not be fine dining, it is definitely pitched at a higher, slightly more expensive price point than the share plate oriented Petition Kitchen and the very casual and fun atmosphere of Long Chim downstairs.
As with many of Perth's new wave of restaurants, Post features an excellent wine list with offerings at many different price points. Given the French inspired nature of the food, the wine list has a lot of Old World wines, with some excellent but very expensive Pinots on offer. We settled for a reasonably priced Gamay from Bergundy, with its savoury quality proving highly suitable for our chosen dishes.
To start, the obligatory complimentary serve of Bread was brought out. Multigrain and seeded, the Bread was excellent, with a nice and crusty exterior without being hard, and a pillowy softness on this inside. The restaurant was very generous with the bread, and we accepted a second serve to help us sop up some of the sauces in our main courses.
Post's menu works as a standard three course meal of Entree/Mains/Dessert. Although its not my favourite meat, the Beef Tartare, Quail Yolk, Shoe String Fries, Mustard seemed the most enticing entree option. The Tartare was superb, with lovely creaminess, texture and seasoning that was absolutely spot on. The mustard gave the dish a slight heat, with its mildly spicy and salty flavour working very well with the Tartare. Nasturtiums didn't play a major role other than presentation, but contributed a bit of pepperiness nonetheless. The Quail Yolk brought a lovely richness to the dish, while caramelised Onion brought sweetness and savouriness in equal measure. Shoe String Fries, cooked to a level of ultimate crispiness, rounded the dish out with some lovely texture.
When ordering, a number of daily specials were presented, and Alissa went with the special of Seared Scallops, Creamed Sweet Corn Puree, Garlic Butter as her entree. The Scallops were cooked perfectly, with a nice sear on one side, while the rest of the meat was not overcooked. The seasoning was again spot on, with the smooth and buttery Creamed Sweet Corn Puree providing a lovely, sweet bed for the Scallops while a crumbly, bacony crunch on top provided a textural component that would have been otherwise missed.
For mains I chose the Arkady Lamb, Eggplant, Cavolo Nero, Piperade Jus. The Lamb itself was prepared faultlessly, with the fat on the outside perfectly rendered out for a crispy crust, while the middle was pink and tender. The seasoning again was absolutely spot on. The fried Cavolo Nero may have been a bit oily, but its crunch more than made up for it. The Piperade Jus was nice and spicy with a slightly acidic mustard hit, and I enjoyed the little pieces of Egglant and Peppers. This was a superb dish, and I was particularly pleased to have a piece of bread to sop up the jus at the end.
Alissa's main of Rangers Valley Beef, Broccolini, Pearl Onions, Cafe de Paris Butter was equally well prepared. Having a choice between Skirt and Fillet, Alissa chose the Skirt. While tastier than Fillet, Skirt is less reliably tender, however the kitchen delivered steak that was perfectly medium rare and not tough at all. Again, seasoning was on point, with an explosion of flavour from a Parsley Puree, Cafe de Paris Butter and a deliciously rich Jus. With buttery Broccolini and caramelised Pearl Onions to round it off, this was a great steak dish - it may have been the most expensive main, but it was totally worth it.
Knowing that our reservation was for Alissa's birthday, her dessert of Vanilla Creme Brulee, Macerated Plums, Peanut Nougatine, Yoghurt Lemon Sorbet was brought out with a birthday message and a candle. The Vanilla Creme Brulee was soft and creamy, with a good, cracking bruleed top. The Sorbet was Alissa'a favourite component, with its tangy creaminess reminding her of Cheesecake, especially with the Peanut Nougatine suggesting a biscuit base. Macerated Plums provided a lovely, juicy sourness that balanced out the sweetness of the more sugary components like the Nougatine and Creme Brulee.
We both agreed however that my dessert of Coconut Sago, Passion Fruit Mousse, Roast Macadamia, Banana Lime Sorbet was superior, and one that I would happily come back for. I love tangy berry and/or passion fruit desserts, and this dessert had my name written all over it. The dessert was almost like a Pavlova, with a delicious fluffiness combined with toasted Meringue on top for crunch. Bits of fresh Passionfruit on top provided lovely hits of sourness, as did the cool and tart Banana Lime Sorbet buried deep within. Sago provided a nice chewy textural component that worked really well with the coconut and passion fruit to create a particularly tropical flavour combination.
As a final nice surprise, Salted Caramel Petit Fours were brought out to finish the meal. Sweet, salty and well made, these capped off an already excellent meal.
The Verdict: Excellent +
Alissa and I left Post very satisfied with our meals. The very much French bistro cooking was impeccable, with all 6 dishes executed with aplomb. We were particularly impressed by how faultless the seasoning was, and how the Lamb and the particularly difficult-to-cook Skirt Steak were served juicy and tender. Front of house did not let the kitchen down, and we were well taken care of. At $220 for the two of us (inclusive of three courses and a moderately priced bottle of wine), this was hardly a cheap meal, but we felt it was nevertheless reasonable for the quality of the food. While I do have a preference for highly modern food, I do enjoy more classical cooking when it is this well executed. Post have the goods - yet another excellent restaurant in my favourite dining precinct in Perth.