ENRIQUE’S SCHOOL FOR TO BULLFIGHTING, 484 BEAUFORT STREET, HIGHGATE
Enrique’s is a pop up restaurant next to Beaufort Street Merchant which was originally only supposed to be open from October 2013 until February 2014. But lucky for me that they have decided to extend until February 2015 – or this particularly late blog would have been for nothing! The plans are to knock out the wall when this pop up is no longer, to increase the size of Beaufort Street Merchant.
The menu came out in an old hollowed out book with pink lighting to light up the page. We loved the brief menu descriptions such as ‘pork parcel’, ‘fried chicken’, beef hash’ – we had no idea what was going to come out. There was a full description of each dish at the back of the drinks menu, but that spoils the fun!
Gin is a main feature on the drinks menu, cleverly set out so you can basically customise your G&T. There are 15 different gins, a choice of five different tonics, and then you select your garnish – from stock-standard lemon, lime or cucumber to the not so common thyme, capsicum, kaffir lime leaf. Gav had Gin Mare with Fever Tree tonic and apple.
We had not a clue what ‘Pig and Parmesan’ would consist of and were surprised to find out we were starting off with – jamon tuille, organic reggiano parmesan ice cream. The salty, crisp tuille with a small amount of creamy parmesan ice cream was a nice combination. Not overly cheesy – there was just a slight, subtle taste, a clever and tasty amuse-bouche to kick off our night.
The Prawns were Gavin’s choice, I’m not the biggest fan, but these prawns, described as – nor west prawns, confit chilli sofrito, peach squid ink – were plump and juicy and perfectly cooked.
Our Peruvian chef friend did cringe a little bit when I, on a later date described the ‘nontraditional’ ceviche we had at Enriques, whilst I was saying “I know it’s probably not authentic but..!” White fish, blood orange salt, blood orange ice, avocado cream, dehydrated orange, apple slaw – was, flavour-wise, one of the most exciting ceviche dishes I have ever had. The fish was super fresh Red Emperor and there were so many surprising, complimenting flavours and textures going on, my favourite mouthful containing the granita-like blood orange ice.
Fried Chicken – crispy chicken, saffron aioli, sesame powder, witlof. Little pieces of moist chicken with a crunchy coating, but I was more excited about the sesame powder, and the feeling when it disintegrates in your mouth – yum!
Pork Parcel – confit pork, brik pastry, yuzu, jerusalem artichoke puree, fennel – was probably the only dish that I didn’t really enjoy during the evening, flavours were there, but the meat was really dry.
The sangria was cleverly presented deconstructed on a little wooden board with stunning glassware. The spices were contained in a little blob of cotton candy which disintegrated when you put it into the drink, but I did eat a little bit too!
I can’t decide if the Beef Hash or the Ceviche was my favourite dish of the night – very different dishes so I declare it a draw! Organic beef hash, carrot compote, jalapeño remoulade, smoked beetroot – charred on the outside, rare and tartare like in the inside – the dish was original, the beef tasted incredible, with crunchy beetroot chips adding texture. A stand-out dish.
I have read a lot of recent reviews about Enrique’s on Urbanspoon which were negative regarding the food, the service, the cost and the portion size. I could not fault anything – the service was professional, with knowledgeable wait staff, LOVED the food – and the prices – we are Perth so I am completely used to paying higher prices than other cities and don’t feel the need to constantly complain about it. It was just after the opening (and on a school night) when we dined at Enriques, which shouldn’t be a factor, so I may have to revisit before this pop up is no more and I hope the next visit will be just as enjoyable as this one.