We went along this week with a couple of Gooseberry Hill friends for lunch at Embers in Railway Road – part of a little shopping centre which includes one of the best liquor stores in Perth for local and WA wine. However Embers is licenced so we didn’t need to drop in there before hand.
Interestingly furnished – very heavy dark wood dominates making the place feel a little dated – with seating indoors and on a veranda at the front sheltered by café blinds. As it was one of those 40 degree days we opted for the aircon inside.
The menu is quite extensive with an emphasis on Italian and Mediterranean style dishes, but with a nod to India, South Africa and Thailand as well. They are also well known around the area for their wood fired pizzas.
The wine list is well put together with a selection of WA wines available, including Castle Rock, Millbrook and Moss Wood – we chose a bottle of rosé from one of our favourite Great Southern wineries, Abbey Creek, and it was so good we had another!
Seafood chowder was thick and creamy, well-seasoned, with a good amount of tender seafood and potato floating around – would be a better selection on a cold wintry day I thought, but Lady FWO was adamant.
Latino prawns came next – sizzling garlic prawns served in a cast iron bowl, bubbling and fizzing, along with a slice or two of crusty bread to mop up the remains. Good garlic levels, but the prawns had lingered a little too long cooking and as a consequence were a touch too firm. A minute less and would have been just right.
The chilli mussels were plump and juicy swimming in a rich tomato based sauce, with a good wodge of chopped red chilli to spice things up – but although described as “hot” the dish was at best low-medium on my chilli scale, but the flavours were fine and if the chilli zing had been upped a tad would have been spot on.
On to the mains, and first up tortellini stuffed with a mix of chicken and almond in a creamy sauce of bacon and mushrooms, parmesan too. The pasta was al dente, the mix moist and succulent, seasoning on target, the sauce very rich indeed. Nice dish.
My Prawn Hot Pot came as prawn korma, topped with yoghurt and coriander, served with garlic naan. The masala had the right spice flavours (although quite mild), creamy and thick, and just the thing to mop up with the very good naan. However, once again the prawns had lingered too long on the cook top and had swung over to very firm and chewy. Pity because the flavours were fine.
Finally, the Special of the day – prawn salad with Thai flavours – looked good on the plate – greens topped with prawns, sprinkled with sesame seeds and a splash of balsamic adding an acidic touch – the Thai flavours were on point, lacking only in chilli heat, but sadly, once again, the plight of the prawn reared its head.
Embers is a friendly spot, with a good selection of dishes available; I like the wine list too. A bit of a spruce up to lighten and brighten the interior wouldn’t hurt, and some attention to cooking times of the seafood would improve everything immeasurably. But for all that, well worth a visit – it’s been around for quite a time so shows it is a hit locally.