Propeller served up what was one of my favourite meals last year – the flavours and presentation of their Middle Eastern inspired cuisine, combined with the atmosphere and ambience of the building, the excellent and extensive wine list, as well as the welcoming and friendly and helpful waiters all combined for a wonderful experience. So it was with some anticipation I went along on Friday for lunch on a lovely warm and sunny autumn day – and I was not disappointed. Once again Propeller absolutely nailed it.
A bottle of Si Vintners 2017 rosé helped us through lunch – made largely from Cabernet Sauvignon, with a dash of Malbec, it is all strawberries and cherries on the nose, with a lush but dry palate, red berries and red apple skin flavours abounding.
And to the main event – the fabulous food.
The menu is designed to share in the traditional Middle Eastern style and we began with a dish I fondly recalled from last visit – seared scallops, plump, juicy, sitting on a daub of nutty, earthy white bean purée and a smear of zesty chilli sauce – beautiful combination of flavours.
Then onto sautéed mushrooms – thickly cut field mushrooms, earthy and meaty, along with straw, button and more varieties – all oozing flavour and juices, accompanied by smoked Turkish chilli adding a depth of smokiness and mild heat, akin to the smoked paprika so popular in Spain. Excellent.
They certainly do mushrooms well – last visit I had a manoushe of mushrooms and blue cheese – it was on the menu again, but on this occasion, we opted for another of these, for all intents and purposes, Lebanese pizza –cooked in the oven, with a crisp pastry base topped with succulent smoked ocean trout, over fried zucchini and scattered with flaked, nutty almonds. Beautiful.
Well last time desserts were overlooked but on this occasion room had been left and so for my dining chum – knafeh – a traditional semolina tart, soaked in syrup, layered with cheese, scattered with pistachio strips and flowers, served with a small bowl of finely diced pear and pomegranate jewels, and a jar of aromatic and richly sweet orange blossom syrup. He was in raptures.
For me, awamats – Lebanese doughnuts – dough fried to a crispy consistency, dunked in syrup – and these were served with Turkish Delight ice cream. Well I have to say, I love Turkish Delight and I love ice –cream and this was simply exceptional – sweet, sticky, aromatic, rose flavours, specks of the confectionary throughout – one of the best ice creams I have ever had. Loved it!
Propeller does not disappoint. Every dish I have had there is outstanding. It is a jewel of the North Freo strip and a must for lovers of great food and drink – and it is open for coffee and cakes as well. Just a really special place.