I start my 2 week Christmas break from today and to spend the day with friends for lunch was such a great idea. Simone and James have a tradition where they have lunch at Bistro Felix on Mondays so off to Bistro Felix we went.
Bistro Felix was named by Gourmet Traveller as one of the cosiest dining spaces in Perth and the kitchen delivers hearty dishes to match. It is gaining a real following in Subiaco for its confident, exquisitely plated bistro-style food. You can settle in to the casual but elegant space, with vintage French posters, comfy booths and crisp white table linen and a bar to start with some cocktails or maybe a nice crisp glass of French champagne. Originally from Kingaroy in Queensland, Bistro Felix’s Executive Chef, Helen Pratt unknowingly began her cooking career aged six helping her mother to cook and bake at home. Before long she was entering her creations in the local agricultural show, taking home many a blue ribbon. For as long as she can remember Helen has been cooking and she still enjoys every moment of it. Helen honed her skill as an apprentice in a string of Brisbane’s iconic French restaurants, namely tables of Toowong, Baguette and Rhubarb Rhubarb before taking herself off to France where she lived and worked for three years.
Returning to Australia and her family in Kingaroy, Helen attained the Head Chef position of the Kingaroy Hotel. This was a particularly challenging and fulfilling position and one which Helen remembers with a great deal of fondness. Moving to Perth in May 2008 to live with her fiancée Helen accepted a position as Sous Chef with Bistro Felix, after excelling in the role for twelve months Helen was promoted to the position of Executive Chef.
So at lunch, you have the option of the 2 courses for $50 or the 3 course for $60 which was a pretty good deal. We settled on the 2 courses where Gabby ordered the rabbit and leek ballotine with celery dressing, girolle and barley salad (which we shared as an entrée) and the Harvey eye fillet with potato fondant, mushroom duxelle with a sherry glaze. A ballotine is where the rabbit meat is boned and stuffed with bits of leek and then rolled and tied into a bundle where it is then usually braised or poached and can be served hot or cold. Here it is served slightly chilled with a light celery dressing served with girolle mushrooms and barley salad. The rabbit was tender and beautiful and elegantly presented. The eye fillet looked and tasted delicious, perfectly cooked topped with a silky sherry glaze.
James ordered the pan fried quail with pear, rocket and parmesan salad with a raspberry balsamic dressing as an entrée and the risotto of baby beetroot with soft chevre swiss chard and crème fraiche. Quail is such a small and sweet tasting bird which was perfectly cooked and served with thin slices of pear and parmesans tossed with rocket and matched with a deep red raspberry balsamic dressing. What an amazing combination. The risotto looked divine and tasted divine too. I think I had food envy and wished I ordered it as I love beetroot. The risotto was bright red in colour and sweet with bits of baby beetroot and dollops of crème fraiche.
Simone ordered the whisky cured salmon gravlax, pickled vegetables, tomato and basil consommé and topped with crème fraiche for her entrée and we both order the gold band spanner with herb gnocchi with purple cauliflower, artichoke, pippis and beetroot nage. The salmon was beautiful, tender and slightly fermented by the whisky served with pickled vegetables and this light, clear consommé.
Our gold band spanner was pan fried with a crispy skin and perfectly cooked with tender purple cauliflower and pippis or vongale and this creamy yet pinky (from the beetroot) sauce. Oh and not to forget, the homemade herb gnocchi was really good too. The entire dish was absolutely divine. And to finish off our lunch, we shared homemade vanilla ice cream with pedro ximenez and a light wafer. The meal cost us $75 which included a couple glasses of wine. The highlight was the pricing! I thought it was such a beautiful meal for such a good value. The service was pretty good, nothing to complain about.
On the whole, 8 ½ for the food quality, 8 ½ for the atmosphere, 8 for service and 8 ½ for pricing.
118/120 Rokeby Road
Subiaco WA 6008
(08) 9388 3077
Open for lunch 12pm-3pm, Monday to Saturday.
Dinner Monday to Thursday from 6pm till late, Friday and Saturday 6pm until 10.30pm