The Windsor, on the corner of Mends Street and Mill Point Road, an historic pub, built in 1898 but renovated and updated, while always retaining glimpses of its past, is a landmark of South Perth.
Last week we were invited along to taste test the menu at a function in the Zephyr Room along with a group of foodies from around Perth – and a very good evening it was. The room itself a blend of old and new is off the main dining hall on the Mill Point Road side of the hotel and we were welcomed with a glass or two of Howard Park’s delightful Jeté, a sparkling rosé with strawberry and brioche aromas, and a crisp, creamy mousse full of berry flavours. Just the thing with the first of the dishes – panko crumbed oysters, plum and juicy, served with mild jalapeno infused mayo.
Seated at a U-shaped table we were then taken through an array of the food on offer at the Windsor – accompanied by more of Howard Park’s range, and with commentary on the wines, and on the food from the chef.
Among the entrées we enjoyed were garlic and chilli prawns – cooked in the shell, in a mildly spiced tomato based sauce, and a slightly more spicy dish – sang choi bao, chopped chicken, cashews and chilli, served in an iceberg lettuce cup and drizzled with Sriracha sauce to add a little more zip.
Steak tartare, finely minced, seasoned meat, topped with a lightly set egg yolk, and served with fries was another of the starters that impressed.
With all of these Flint Rock chardonnay proved a fine companion – with a peach and melon bouquet, and creamy citrus flavours.
The mains included chilli mussels – cooked in broth of tomato, garlic and chilli, with bread to mop up the sauce, and pan fried gnocchi – with roasted pumpkin, goat cheese, toasted almonds and crisp, fresh rocket.
A very large tomahawk cut steak followed, nicely pink, and succulent and juicy, as well as beautifully tender grilled pork cutlet served with potatoes cooked in duck fat.
Goldband snapper, served with grain salad, orange segments and green sauce, and dish of duck – pan seared breast, pulled leg, with crisped pancetta and asparagus, rounded out the mains.
Sides of creamed spinach, more duck fat spuds, steamed vegetables and a very fine mac and cheese, were liberally passed around for those who hadn’t quite had enough!
The accompanying wines, Flint Rock Pinot Noir and Leston Cabernet Sauvignon, were worthy support acts. The Pinot with fragrances of cherries, and a dusty palate overlaid with strawberry flavours; while the cabernet exhibited plums and blackberries on the nose, with mint, vanillan oak, and spicy notes to follow.
Strawberry and pistachio cheesecake was another highlight of the meal – creamy vanilla and almond flavoured custard on a crumbly base of pistachios and drizzled with sweet, sharp strawberry coulis.
Chocolate fondant and a selection of cheeses completed our meal, the Fourme D’Ambert a sharp, creamy French blue my pick of the latter. And how better to finish then with a glass of so of Howard Park’s Swan Valley sourced liqueur muscat – just a lovely expression of this classic fortified.
This was very good overview of the food on offer at the Windsor – well cooked and presented up market pub fare in a great atmosphere – outside our room the place was pumping as was the main bar on Mends Street, indicative of the deserved popularity of the old pub. Get along and have a good time!
Disclaimer: We were the guests of the Windsor and all food and wine was complementary.