The long weekend is June is upon us and around this time of the year it is John’s birthday so we went out for dinner to celebrate. I decided to pick somewhere different and I read a review on Chapter One Restaurant in Subiaco. So we decided to give it a go.
Chapter One Brasserie in Subiaco offers diners a little slice of Europe with an intimate setting and fresh, uncomplicated rustic fare. It is family owned and operated by Jason and Hayley Walker, with Jason running the show in the kitchen and Hayley spinning her magic at the front of house.
Jason Walker began his career at The London Hilton before moving onto a string of five star restaurants working with Europe’s top chefs, including Marco Pierre White, Eric Chavot, Gary Rhodes, and Pierre Koffman. He gained valuable knowledge as well as a great passion and enthusiasm for cooking whilst in London, and brings this passion to Perth in Chapter One Brasserie.
Hayley Walker learned the very best in hospitality systems and procedures under Rocco Forte, Europe’s premier luxury hotel operator. From there she set up a bistro in Spain, beginning a love affair with Spanish cuisine. Back in London after five years, Hayley set up a modern wine bar on The Kings Road in Chelsea, before moving up the road to work for Terrance Conran as a head waiter at The Bluebird Gastronome.
With seating for only 40 guests, Chapter One Brasserie in the heart of Subiaco is an intimate little place brimming with rustic European charm. I love their outdoor dining both in the front of the restaurant and back as well and I’m sure on a beautiful summer night it would be lovely having your dinner and sipping on a glass of crisp Sem Sav in their outdoor dining area. It is family owned and operated by Jason and Hayley Walker, with Jason running the show in the kitchen and Hayley spinning her magic at the front of house. Their collaborated experience ensures diners are treated to simple, fresh seasonal food served with a warm, genuine smile.
We decided to share an entrée and there was only one that caught both our eyes. The blue manna crab, tomato sugo and angel hair pasta dish is so deliciously simple, it’s almost impossible to choose anything else! The fresh chunky pieces of crab meat were sweet and such a perfect complement to the angel hair pasta and simple tomato sugo.
Chapter One’s cuisine has a subtle French influence, evident in dishes like the braised rabbit and wild mushroom pie with parsnip puree and sage jus which was what John had for his main. Home made pie and a crusty pastry and beautiful tender braised rabbit and mushroom filling. Oh and that silky parsnip puree was fantastic as well!
For my main, I had their roasted duck breast with potato gratin, wilted spinach and blackberry jus. The duck breast was perfectly cooked, slightly pink on the inside and so tender. I loved the potato gratin topped with a fried quail egg and crispy bacon.
For a side dish, we also ordered their long beans steamed and tossed in olive oil with salt and pepper.
One piece of advice, though: if you’re after frou-frou fare (food that looks like a work of art, but is barely edible), you won’t find it here. In keeping with Chapter One’s European style, servings are simple and uncomplicated, letting the flavours and textures of the food impress the diner rather than pretty plates.
I must say that their front of house really disappointed the experience the back of house had given to us in our wonderful meal. One waitress was rather unfriendly and when I asked for fresh chilli, she just said that they didn’t have any without even checking. I had to ask again and she basically huff and puff under her breath before walking away to check with the kitchen and then bringing out some to our table. When we asked for second serves of fresh bread, they had replenished the bread using the same plate and didn’t replenish our butter which was only left with 1/3 of the butter.
We were so stuffed that we decided to skip desert and head on home to chill. Dinner came to about $160 along with a few glasses of wine and bread and butter to start. John enjoyed himself and happy birthday to the love of my life.
On the whole, 9 for the food quality, 8 for the atmosphere, 8 for pricing and 7 for service.
Chapter One Brasserie
292 Hay St
Telephone: 08 9388 1323
Open Tue-Thu for lunch 12pm-2:30pm, Fri-Sat 12pm-2:30pm
For dinner 6pm-9pm, 6pm-10pm