Set centrally in James Street, Northbridge the bar and restaurant are part of the Doubletree by Hilton complex –with the airy and open bar at the front facing the passing traffic of James Street and the restaurant behind a dividing wall.
With a voucher in hand we dropped in during the week to try some of the restaurant dishes – we have had many a drink in the front bar and were keen to try the dishes in the dining room (I had been before just as it was opening late last year to sample some of the kitchen’s wares and was impressed at the time).
We just so happened to book on the night of Hilton’s 100th birthday celebrations so we were close to staff members having a good time with a parade of tempting looking small dishes, birthday cake and some Happy Birthday songs! That all added to a festive atmosphere.
Anyway down to the food and drink – we shared three dishes – first off tuna tataki with watermelon, noodles and vodka was perfectly on point – the fish ever so lightly seared, juicy and meltingly tender, touch of wasabi in the cream added a little zing – beautifully presented.
Smoked curds of cauliflower an outstanding vegetarian dish – the smokiness imparting a wonderful bouquet and flavour, supported by the nuttiness of al dente freekah and the creamy deliciousness of Persian goats cheese.
Finally, soy glazed salmon with crunchy mildly spiced Asian slaw and an aromatic coriander and lime dressing – again beautifully cooked fish, flakingly tender, the soy adding an earthy salty note, while the dressing added citrus zip.
The wine list is pretty well put together, although I would like to see a few more of the innovative wines coming out of WA, and Australia more broadly – especially to compete with some of the excellent wine lists nearby.
Having said that we have enjoyed a very good Great Southern Cabernet Merlot from Forest Hill – lots of blackberries and ripe plums on the nose, silky tannins on the palate – rich and smooth chocolate, mulberries and blackcurrants.
To round things out – after we had decided to forgo dessert – we were presented with a plate of the aforementioned birthday cake and a couple of delicious chocolate macarons from the staff celebrations – a nice and very welcome touch!
We were impressed by the quality, and value, of the food at James Street Bar and Kitchen – as the hotel’s signature restaurant they are hitting all the right notes. Well worth getting along and sampling what they have to offer.