I finally got around to trying Restaurant Amuse, the Perth dining establishment which opened to rave reviews in early 2008 (I think).
The restaurant is tucked away on an unassuming side street in East Perth in what looks pretty much like a converted house. The dining area is quite spartan with dark, muted tones but still conveys a welcoming feel. You get the feeling that the surrounds are set up so that you focus on the food and not some over the top, tricked out dining area.
The menu is degustation only with no a la carte, which is fine with me as I prefer degustation anyway. A matched wine progression is also offered.
The front of house staff are led by Carolynne Troy, the wife of the chef Hadleigh Troy, and all staff appear well drilled. They are attentive without being intrusive, discreet but available at a seconds notice should you require something or merely wish to discuss the food or wine.
Your menu is presented to you in an envelope leaving you free to peruse it or leave it closed so that each new course is a pleasant surprise.
And a pleasant surprise they are! I loved every single one of the dishes I was served. From a perfectly cooked marron with a divine orange sauce, eaten with hands for extra finger licking goodness, to a combination of chicken, runny egg and sweet corn presented in a jar so that you could mix the ingredients together easily, all dishes were divine. The pace of the meal is also good.
The wine matching is solid with a variety of local and international varieties that complimented the food well.
All up, I'd have to say that having dined around a few of Perth's best restaurants, this is clearly a cut above the rest. I dined at Jackson's the night before Amuse and, although it is quite good, Amuse just seemed to kick that little bit higher. Jackson's has been my favourite Perth restaurant for a while but I may be on my way to the Amuse camp like many others in Perth.