A couple of weeks ago we were privileged to be invited, along with other food bloggers, to Must – one of the best and longest established bistros around town – to get a glimpse of their new menu – and new direction.
The new menu is made up, as chef and owner Russell Blaikie says, of those dishes he likes to cook at home – and along with a streamlined wine list is a major change in direction for this 17 year old icon of Perth dining.
It is still a slinky and inviting spot – with both a casual bar area and more formal dining room to one side, as well as tables outside on the footpath – and perfectly positioned in the heart of Highgate.
To the food, Smoky Bay oysters with Pemberton Finger Lime and Ginger Vinaigrette kicked off the evening and enlivened the taste buds, and then we were treated to a fabulous charcuterie plate – long one of Must’s must dishes and good to see it still flying the flag.
As well outstanding Cauliflower fritters, with green tahini and Aleppo peppers; and brilliant prawn croquettes – these with chilli-prawn oil.
We were particularly taken with a dish of roasted peppers from one of their supplier, Tedesco Farm, with Rottnest Mulloway brandade – stunning.
The menu offers wonderful choices, with a strong emphasis on vegetables as the centrepiece of the meal rather than as an after-thought – but have no fear this is not too say that the meat dishes for which they are famous do not hold pride of place.
A part of the makeover Russell has dusted off his French rotisserie – and we were given a demonstration of its ability to turn out succulent, and luscious chicken – and with both a whole chook marinated with herbs and garlic – and chicken club sandwich on the menu, you will be able to see just how well it turns out chicken.
Desserts also impressed as did the excellent range of cocktails mixed up by the talented bar staff – the wine list has been cut back quite considerably too but still is so well put together – a great range of entrants from Australia and overseas – with some of the smaller, and less known wineries also on display – among them some of my favourites – Blind Corner, Small Fry, Dormilona, Markus Altenburger, Express Winemakers and Arlewood.
This is an exciting new dining direction for Must and Perth diners – it still is one of the go to places around town. Highly recommended.