Thursday, 18 June 2015

A mixed bag of Persian, Italian and Modern Australian cuisines at Recipe Restaurant, East Perth

Recipe Restaurant
After going through a few difficult months after my grandma's passing, my family has made a more conscious effort to spend more time together. Time is precious, and fortunately for us that means more frequent family dinners, whether that be around the dinner table at home or a restaurant dinner.

After I excitedly declared to my family that I had made a booking at Recipe Restaurant for the week's 'Restaurant Family Dinner', the conversation went a little like this:

Family: What cuisine are we eating?

Me: Persian!

Family: What kind of food is Persian cuisine?

Me (with sudden images of the Prince of Persia computer game popping into my mind): I think it's...bread, and, uh...yeah don't know.

I have never dined at a Persian restaurant before so I was quite ignorant at the type of food involved. I thought I'd educate myself a little by having a look at their menu but was left in a slightly more puzzled state than I was in to begin with. The menu doesn't reflect its claims of authentic Persian cuisine, but is rather a mix of Western and Italian dishes such as pastas, burgers and grilled seafood. It is actually a huge menu and choosing is a bit daunting.
Garlic Bread - $9.90
Our waitress was very friendly and was more than happy to guide us through the maze of choices on the menu. All the mains look very similar to one another as they consist of largely the same ingredients but with different combinations. Will we have the beef and chicken, or beef and lamb, or chicken and lamb, or beef and chicken and lamb together, or just the beef on its own?!
Gosh, it was as hard as choosing my career path!

Looking around us at the restaurant that was filled to capacity, we started lamenting about how long our dinner would take to arrive. Just in those initial moments of sorrow, the basket of garlic bread was plonked onto our table with our other orders following closely behind. The wait time for such a busy restaurant is quite impressive!

The toasted garlic bread did not disappoint - it was fragrant and crispy and perhaps might be a bit too much if you like your garlic bread to be slightly softer and fluffier. The bread is buttery and sprinkled with herbs and 24-month old parmesan cheese, and is extremely moreish and satisfying on a hungry belly.
Caesar Salad with Chicken - $23.90
On the flip side, the caesar salad leaves much to be desired. The serving size is meager, and looked somewhat poorly presented. The taste of the caesar dressing was tasty and strong but there wasn't enough of it to coat the cos lettuce. For its price, I think we could do with more chicken, croutons, bacon and parmesan.
Family Feast - $94.90
The Family Feast was the most anticipated dish of the night and the our first introduction to authentic Persian cuisine after the initial entrees. It is a massive protein feast; a huge plate loaded with skewers of different meats with different tastes. I really enjoyed the variety, which involved two skewers of seasoned hand-ground lamb (koobideh), two skewers of chicken breast and thigh fillets marinated in a mix of saffron, lemon juice and capsicum (jujeh) and one skewer of grilled beef striploin (barg). The description in the menu simply states that the beef has been 'tenderised in the traditional way', and whatever that way might be definitely left the meat deliciously tender.
Fragrant saffron rice (served with the Family Feast)

I underestimated the size of the skewers in the dish, and was pleasantly surprised at how hefty the skewers turned out to be. The chicken and lamb skewers were especially tasty and did not need any more seasoning - they were fragrant, delicious and very easy to finish! The beef striploin was tender but lacked flavour, and caused me to be heavy handed with the salt shaker. The grilled tomatoes, barbequed jalapeno peppers and shirazi salad (tomato, cucumber and onion tossed with mint) sides were not star components by any means, but a welcome addition to a very carnivorous meal.
Chicken Saffron Risotto - $26.90
Again, not an entirely authentic dish is a seemingly authentic restaurant true to Persian cuisine, I wanted a carbohydrate rich dish to fill the carb-hungry void in my stomach (more so my mind hehe!) Unfortunately I can't find any stand-out components of the risotto to speak about highly, as the dish was somewhat mediocre.

The rice is still quite hard and overall the dish is dry. I looked forward to this as I loved each of the individual ingredients - chicken, spicy lamb chorizo, peas, mushroom and asparagus - but compared to other risottos I would probably stick with the dishes that Recipe Restaurant does best by staying grounded to their roots, cooking delicious food that is aromatic from the combinations of herb and spice marinades.

Pay Recipe Restaurant a visit or two if you love your meat and to try the different combinations in their menu. A good idea would be to round up a few carnivores and share the dishes with each other so that a little bit of a lot can be tasted, especially when their dishes are more towards the pricier end. The food is worth the experience if you stick with eating Persian cuisine at a Persian restaurant rather than gravitating towards more contemporary western meals.

The restaurant is very family friendly and when the relatively small restaurant is full (like it was when we visited), the noise bounces and noise levels can become uncomfortably loud. A personal pet hate of mine is needing to compete with other tables just to talk to someone sitting just across the table within arm's reach of you, and this was a constant occurrence on the night.

The service was commendable for such a busy dinner service - our waitress was happy and friendly, and was great enough to share a joke with us that the kitchen did not need to wash our plates as we left them so clean after our meal. The wait time for food was also great for a restaurant that was full house! Positives aside; this is a message for the food photographers among you: You're going to absolutely hate the harsh white lighting inside the restaurant.

Isn't it just the worst when your food just doesn't look as good as it tastes?! Haha!
Recipe Restaurant, East Perth

Monday: 5:30pm - 9:00pm
Tuesday - Friday: Lunch 11:30am - 2:00pm and Dinner 5:30pm - 9:00pm
Saturday - Sunday: Breakfast 8:30am - 11:00am, Lunch 11:30am - 2:00pm and Dinner 5:30pm - 9:00pm

(08) 9225 5484
1/78 Terrace Road, East Perth WA 6004
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