Treat 19: Les poissons, les poissons, How I love les poissons (a song from the Little Mermaid for those playing at home)

This restaurant has been on the radar for awhile now, especially for my friend Fran and I who are mad West Coast Eagles supporters. Beluga Restaurant in Claremont is partly owned by West Coast players Andrew Embley and Dean Cox but Fran was disappointed by their lack of presence. Not a bad thing though since they won that weekend’s game, good to see them keeping their focus on footy. Actually she might see Embley there now that he’s injured but I digress. The décor suits the Claremont crowd, simple and elegant are words that come to mind. The open kitchen is a revolution that has taken over Melbourne for awhile now and is starting to make it’s way across the Nullabor. For my friend Davina, open kitchens are a put off but that’s simply fixed by her sitting with her back to it. Now Beluga’s menu is on the shorter side compared to fine dining establishments like Rockpool with it’s novel. If you are a vegetarian I would probably avoid Beluga because it does pride itself on its seafood. The Little Mermaid is one of my favourite movies and seafood is one of my favourite foods, they have no correlation but I just thought you should know. The menu for this evening included:

ENTRÉE
• Special On The Night – Scallops On Cauliflower Puree
• Exmouth Prawns (Disclaimer: this was done better at The Heritage Brasserie – prawns were larger and juicy)

MAINS
• House-made linguini, tomato, garlic, chilli, lobster
• Special – Spanish curry mussels
• Special – hook line sinker fish of the day Nile Perch with a fennel salad

DESSERT
• Cannoli Hazelnut & Pistachio Cream
• Citrus Tart
• Mini Crème Brulee (with a secret ingredient)

The night started off with a delicious New Zealand Pinot Noir (great suggestion Fran). Four of us lucky birds had the pleasure of trying the perfectly cooked scallop. The presentation was so pretty. The prawns had a nice crunch to it but weren’t all that memorable and without sounding too much like Manu it could have done with more sauce. The mains then came out perfectly on time and a reasonably sized serve. I ordered the linguini. My favourite pasta dish is linguini alle vongole, I love the simple flavours of chilli and garlic. I wish I could bottle up their smell when you first fry them off. The dish was simple, the pasta cooked al dente and all the right flavours with the basil perfectly marrying the tomato. However, I do agree with Fran it needed more spice. The flavours worked well together but it needed a bigger kick to take it to another level. For $45, this dish has a lot of pasta so it might be a good idea to share it with a companion and order another dish just to add variety to your night. My friends Kirsty and Davina ordered the fish of the day and loved how delicately cooked the fish was and enjoyed the accompanying fennel salad. Let’s just say the table was awfully quiet for a group of five girls at this point. Fran was a big fan of her Spanish curry style mussels and she kindly gave me a taste test. I wish my dish had that bit of spice because that one mussel was definitely a taste explosion. There is always room for dessert. Even though I was full to the brim (not bream…it’s a fish joke get it because we are at a seafood restaurant… lame I know) I had to order the crème brulee. It’s as if Beluga could read my mind as they had mini versions on offer. The first mouthful I knew this was no ordinary crème brulee. The table next to me also knew by my squeals of delight…the secret ingredient being popping candy. This is all the rage at the moment and why not it’s so much fun. The actual crème brulee itself was delicious, the custard amazing and there was a definite sugar coating that I was able to crack through. I must admit one of my favourite desserts for the year. The citrus tart won rave reviews from Davina and the cannoli also was a hit. I’m hoping they will bring back their chocolate tart with quince pure cream. I love chocolate and I love quince, it will be nice to see them get back together. So all in all besides Beluga being the place to be for Perthonalities, the food and service is of premiership quality. However the price definitely caters for the Claremont crowd and you might find more bang for your buck at Rockpool of all places. If you love seafood and have a special occasion coming up give Beluga a go.

THE FOOD JOURNEY

How pretty…and after you finish eating it you can recycle it for a Little Mermaid costume.

My favourite pasta combination – chilli, garlic, tomato and seafood.

Beluga on Urbanspoon

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