I miss Ja Rule. Who? Remember back in the early noughties Ja Rule had hits such as Always on Time, Living it Up, Mesmerize, Thug Lovin and was famous for his feud with 50 Cent. Now he’s in jail for tax evasion and I miss hearing him on the airwaves. I couldn’t think of a better title for this treat than Ja Rule’s song Living it Up because that’s what my share buddy Rochelle and I were doing on a random Monday night. Andaluz in Howard Street in the city do free wine tastings and tonight’s offering was Champagne Perrier Jouet. Tonight I would be drinking champagne that cost more than my outfit. The highlight was the Perrier Jouet Belle Epoque, which Andaluz normally sells for $400 a bottle. To quote Andaluz’s function manager, the bubbles just melt on your tongue and there’s a honey after taste. I got down to a quarter and did the math; there was about $40 of champagne in my glass. I savoured every drop. After this exciting hour we decided to get dinner at one of the new restaurants on St Georges Terrace. There’s a new restaurant opening left, right and centre on this strip. After glowing reviews in both the West Weekend and STM we decided to venture to Print Hall and continue living the life of high rollers. I learnt the food reviewer’s lesson and asked for filtered water instead of falling into the sparkling or stilled trap. Ok so we were living like high rollers on a budget. The Print Hall menu is set out very clearly and the options aren’t overwhelming but I was still overwhelmed. This chronic indecisiveness reminds me of a crystal reading I had done in Mykonos where I was recommend charoite, this pretty purple stone. How the crystal lady knew purple was my favourite colour I do not know. Actually I think I was wearing it at the time. Apparently charoite can be used to overcome compulsions like indecisiveness but I have yet to test this theory. Anyway back to the dining experience at Print Hall and I was deciding between the smoked ocean trout or the white rocks veal. I asked for the trout while my friends Kristen and Rochelle chose the veal. I had immediate regret. However lucky for me the waitress misheard and thought I had asked for the veal. So it was an unexpected win. The chef recommended the veal be cooked medium well but I didn’t listen and asked for medium. I don’t know why I like blood but I do. The beautifully designed dish was a feast for the eyes and the stomach. One of the favourite components of the dish was the sweetbreads. We had no idea what it was till our plates were polished off and we could ask the waitress. The answer was a gland from the calf stomach. It was delicious but thankfully I didn’t know what it was before because I might have not tried it. The corned cheeked just melted in your mouth and the salty capers helped the richness of this dish. After the mains I couldn’t help myself I had to have dessert. Except we decided not to be greedy guts and share one of the desserts. The winner was bitter sweet chocolate fondant with hazelnuts and vanilla ice cream. I forgot that at work that day I made a pledge with my colleagues to give up chocolate for the week. The good news is this pledge died after day two and we have been sharing a box of Favourites today. So I didn’t have to feel bad after all. The fondant was nice and gooey in the centre and the vanilla bean ice cream was a perfect partner to this rich dish. I can’t wait to go back to try the Mille feuille of spiced quince. Imagine layers of pastry with custard and quince. I absolutely adore quince especially on a cheese board as evident on a trip to Margaret River earlier this year (see Treat 17: Road Trip). I am a big fan of Print Hall and am excited to see St Georges Terrace become a hot spot not just for working hard but playing hard.
THE FOOD JOURNEY