Firewater Grill, the signature restaurant of the Duxton, is entered off the elegant and stylish lobby of the hotel. It also houses a separate bar area to one end which is quiet, private and a great spot for pre-dinner drinks.
On this visit, as on our previous, Lady FWO and I were on our way to the Concert Hall, next door, and stopped in for a meal before going on to the show. We were quite early which was just as well as the bookings were heavy and any later we may not have managed a spot. But we did and were quickly seated with menus, wine lists and water handed out.
The restaurant has a modern looking fit out – metal, stone, water running down a glass wall as a centrepiece. As before I was somewhat taken aback by the moose heads hanging gloomily from the walls, but I guess some may find them interesting, if not attractive.
The waiters were all very friendly, welcoming, helpful and knowledgeable as you would expect from a restaurant of class. Good quality cutlery and stemware added to the occasion.
The menu is not extensive but has some very interesting and innovative dishes on it. We were only looking for a light meal, so went for three entrée sized dishes.
Thinly sliced mango served as a casing for creamy mashed avocado in our mango and avocado cannelloni. Juicy and sweet the mango was complemented by fresh lifted flavours of gravlax infused with gin and tonic draped over the cannelloni, and all sat on a wonderfully caramelized prawn cooked with lemon to provide added zip.
We followed up with a crisp, refreshing Caesar salad – crunchy cos, nutty aged parmesan scattered across – and with an additional bowl of the cheese supplied – white anchovy fillets – salty and redolent of the sea, slow cooked egg oozing out to coat the leaves, and sprinkled throughout crisply cooked bacon and garlicky croutons; oil and lemon dressing adding fragrance and flavour. Just the thing.
The final of our choices, Szechuan pepper and salted calamari displayed the skills of the kitchen, with the squid so tender it could be cut with a fork. Siracha lime mayo added zesty, garlicky and citrus flavours, while a pineapple and chilli salsa gave dimensions of sweetness and heat. Another top notch dish.
The wine list deserves special mention with a great range of varieties and regions, and an emphasis on WA wines. We chose a cabernet from Margaret River – Clairault – this had intense blackcurrant notes on the nose, with some hints of tobacco and spice. The palate is smooth, a lot of mid palate dark fruit, with tones of spice and cherry, enhanced by good use of oak and smooth tannins.
Firewater Grille is deserving of its place inside the 5 star Duxton – the food is well cooked, very well presented, the menu and wine list thoughtfully put together; it hits all the required notes. We enjoyed it greatly – and also loved the concert later – Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings – great food, outstanding music, special night. Recommended.