It's not everyday that I get to be a lady of leisure mid-week through a working week and I plan to take advantage of it fully, especially when two of my favourite gals were also available. We were to have a very New York day, getting our nails done, then eating bagels and jaffas, with cupcakes thrown in between great coffee - doing it all in Little ole Perth, very much far from New York and very much a different vibe of New York.
Alas, our bagel place was closed for renovations (how could I have forgotten that?!) and seeing as Bivouac was on my to eat list we decided it was the best time to go and try it out.
Bivouac Canteen and Bar is located on William Street, part of the newly refurbished Heath Ledger art centre area, opposite Jus Burgers and Arcade 189. It's a quaint little place with simple, uncomplicated decorations and setting with splashes of artworks (which I'm pretty sure is rotated often with different local artists adorning its walls). It's so chilled and relaxed and the staff are ever so friendly and welcoming (which I am so glad for, considering the last couple of places I've been to the service and staff have been appalling or very much not present).
Their menu changes every 2-3 weeks and at times even includes a secret special dish! They food consists of inspired Moroccan/Middle Eastern inspired and fusion Mediterranean dishes, which means it's full of hearty goodness, flavour and spices. The menu has little meals meant for sharing as well as having bigger meals for those who don't like to share. We opted for three bigger meals to taste and share seeing as tapas style dishes just didn't seem right on a lovely day off.
Before our food was ordered Wells and I opted for a glass of red from their rather enticing list of drinks, whilst SM ordered a glass of bubbly. Yes this was at 1pm in the afternoon.
We started off with a serve of homemade fries with beautiful truffle infused aioli. BOY can you taste and smell the truffle in it and it was amazing. This dish really wasn't needed, but it was well worth getting for the truffle aioli.
I was craving so much for pan-fried gnocchi and seeing one the menu I had to have it. The gnocchi was light, fluffy with a bit of bite to it. With the kale, stracchino, pine nuts adding the dimension of crunch along with the sweetness of the raisins it was made to almost satisfy my craving. Except, I still think that their gnocchi wasn't perfect and I would say Cantina edged ahead a little to be the winner. But it was still delicious and light but carbohydrate satisfying =D. Maybe a bit of salt was needed or just a dash of oil so it wasn't dry.
Pan-friend Gnocchi with Kale, Stracchino, Pine Nuts, Raisins, Soft herbs
Then there was the lovely okra and freekeh risotto with confit cherry tomato, mushrooms, truffle oil and taleggio. It was creamy, the mushroom with truffle oil - how can that not be match made in heaven? This meal was hearty, creamy goodness. What the gnocchi lacked in salt and punch the risotto made up for it. It hit the spot. Unfortunately the photo may not be that pretty. I don't know how you can possibly make risotto look pretty.
Okra and Freekeh risotto, confit cherry tomato, mushrooms, truffle oil taleggio
Since our meals were mainly vegetarian, we opted for the secret dish - the seared tuna with crusted with coriander and peppercorn, saffron vanilla fondante potatoes, tonka bean mayo and jamon crumb.
The tonka bean mayo was rather delicious and add the dash of lime to the tuna and the dish was pretty satisfying. Although I don't know if I was a fan of the jamon crumb.
seared bluefin tuna crusted w coriander and peppercorn, saffron vanilla fondante potatoes, tonka bean mayo and jamon crumb.
The only big disappointment in our meal was that we were unable to have our dessert as we were all running late for our manicures. But that just means that we have to go back. And why wouldn't we? The service was attentive, friendly and chatty and yet weren't intrusive. They were patient with one of us running late and Wells and I only ordering drinks to start and then when all three of us were there they were again patient with our inability to make up our minds about what meals we wanted. The food was yum. The wine list well chosen. The desserts sounded amazing.
Overall, Bivouac is a great addition to the food scene in Perth and can't wait to try more of their dishes. I think I be bringing the boy here to try it. I think he'll love the gnocchi, minus the pine nuts (I don't want to kill him!)