I have driven by Perri many times, always intruiged by its name and location. Firstly I was annoyed, because I loved Next Door Diner, the previous inhabitants. I was confused; Perri? Like peri peri? Are they affiliated with Nando’s? When I found out F had chosen to dine there for her birthday, I was excited to see what the food was like. So yes.. my emotions are on high rotation.
If I ever need to drive to the city, St Georges road is my arterial of choice. Driving with trams and bike riders is fun.. never. I need to thank the lovely people who decided to stick both of these modes of transport in the middle of the road and importantly, outta my way. One day I will live close enough to bike to the city on St Georges! In the meantime, I’ll just be staring at these (mostly indie) bike riders, when I attempt to zoom by in the traffic.
Perri is a cosy place, with quite a few spots for 2 and 3 and a few large wooden tables for groups. The lamp shades were lovely! Then again, it seems that you can’t open up a new place without some sort of artsy lighting.
We started off with some tapas; portions are charged per piece, and are difficult to share unless you enjoy half a mouthful. First up was the chilli salt morton bay bug, spring onion and cucumber relish (5). I was actually really surprised with the freshness of the bug, and it was like a nice twist on your Chinese takeaway salt n pepper squid (I recently had this at 4am… but hey at that time anything deep fried and salty will hit the spot).
Next was the slow braised lamb shoulder with kasundi, lane and corn tortilla (4.5). Textures here were good, with pretty presentation but somehow it didn’t hit the spot for the price. That being said, I do have a soft spot for lamb shoulder.
Goats cheese fritter, beetroot, peas and onion marmalade (3.5). Fried cheese? Get me there!
The 5 spiced smoked crispy duck salad, chinese pancake and chilli jam (4.5) was the only starter that didn’t come to the party. It was a play on Peking Duck, but somehow didn’t quite have the crunch or flavour I wanted.
In terms of larger dishes, there was influence from all over the globe, and we decided to dabble all over the place. The Master stock pork belly with Vietnamese coleslaw and ginger lemongrass caramel (26) was delicious, with the vibrant salad being a standout. The pork belly even took a backseat flavourwise due to the punchy flavour of the caramel… savoury caramel is damn good. I am still recovering from a pork belly OD ever since my dad figured out how to make it at home.. but I’d definitely order this again.
The Truffle Gnocchi, forest mushroom and fricasse (25) looked a lovely contrast on the dark plate, but boy was I glad we shared this. Good if your craving something heavier or love anything with a generous swig of truffle oil.
Dessert! For a birthday…? Of course! The Chocolate Garden (16) was always going to be ordered. I wish I had a photo of it before it was covered with the cream, but it was many elements making up the ‘garden’ on the plate. Chocolate brownie, raspberry sorbet, mint, white chocolate tart with blueberries and a chocolate soil. All up, I think it looked more interesting than it tasted, but it was a nice play on textures and good to share.
All up, thumbs up (Y). I enjoyed the atmosphere and service was very attentive. Next time I will perhaps try a few more of the tapas! It didn’t seem like a really busy Sunday night for them, but I’d book if you have more than a few people because it’s a small place. Perri is also open for breaky and lunch, so I’ll be happy to swing by, bike or no bike.
204 St Georges Rd
Call: 9078 6136