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Been to Lamont’s for a few occasions at their Smith Beach and Cottesloe’s restaurant. However, this is the first visit to Lamont’s Bishops House at Perth and joining the wine dinner – Australian Seafood and Shiraz at 8th July 2013…Lamont Bishops House (1)

The main attraction for this wine dinner is the Australian Seafood.  From time to time, there’s theme of lobster, scallop or marron from other restaurants, but Not much wine dinner is offering full seafood menu. Also, the pairing of seafood with Shiraz would be quite unusual. Really can’t wait to try this purely Aussie’s combination.

First time to visit the venue where I only discovered it from watching MasterChef TV last year… I think we can call it a gems hiding in the Perth CBD !

Lamont Bishops House (2) Lamont Bishops House (3) Lamont Bishops House (4)

As the host introduced, this wine dinner pairing seafood with Shiraz is really challenging the comfort zone of many people. The chef developed these seafood dishes hoping people would have the layer of favour extended dish by dish. Lamont Bishops House (5)

That’s right, I can’t recall if I have chosen Shiraz to match with any seafood. Normally I will only pick a Pinot Noir as a red for seafood, like Salmon or pan-fried fish.Lamont Bishops House (6)

The menu design to me is quite interesting as well, it has a raw tuna (sashimi) served after the cooked snapper. I would rather turn this two dishes around.

Also, Sparkling Shiraz is matching with a truffle risotto as the last course before the dessert. That’s the first time I had as the sequence to put the sparkling wine not at the beginning but at the last.

Somehow the sparkling wine glass was removed. The host explained they found some cork problem for the sparkling wine originally prepared. To substitute, they swap with a Tempranillo. Again, this is hard to understand… my thinking is simple:

1. If the original sparkling Shiraz is spoiled, it should be easy to find another sparkling or sparkling Shiraz.

2. If sparkling is not available, it should be replaced by another Shiraz as the theme of the night is Shiraz.

3. To have a Tempranillo finally, either the sommelier thinks it is a perfect match or that Tempranillo is the only available alternative (quantity-wise) for a venue of about 40 pax !

In fact, for the first wine (Lamont’s “Bunyip” Rose 2013), the host is offering an alternative (a SBS plus something else which I can’t remember) for all of us. In which another question marks ??????? for me…

Lamont Bishops House (7)

Anyway, food-wise it’s more satisfactory.

Even though the prawn dumpling and crisp fried river prawns as an amuse bouche, it’s delicious but the dumpling was cut and served with the middle portion of the dumpling, which told me one dumpling is cut at least three parts, or could be more…

Paired with Lamont’s “Bunyip” Rose 2013 – good aperitif, low acidity and balanced.Lamont Bishops House (8) Amuse bouche prawn dumpling and crisp fried river prawns

Our table is good, with a window view…Lamont Bishops House (9)

The second course: Snapper taco with roast capsicum aioli and saffron. I would say the snapper was slightly over cooked. Per the host said, the favour would be developed layer by layer, deeper and deeper… paired with Teusner “Joshua” 2012. A very fruity Shiraz.Lamont Bishops House (10) Snapper taco with roast capsicum aioli and saffron

Brief introduction of the dishes and wines…Lamont Bishops House (11)

Third course: Sesame Tuna, seared belly with Yuzu soy, paired with Villa Maria “Private Bin” Syrah 2010. a light bodies, non-spicy, again fruity Syrah.

As mentioned, I would prefer to put this as the second course, before the cooked snapper taco !Lamont Bishops House (12) Sesame Tuna seared belly with Yuzu soy

Favor-wise, it’s still mild, not over-developed. Even for my dish of the day – Patagonian Toothfish with potato puree, oven roast Caponata, matched with Both Barrels Shiraz 2005. The toothfish is a deep sea fish caught under 500m of the ocean, and not easy to get it through leisure fishing… as the host explained.

Perfectly cooked, the layer of fat under the skin is to die for !Lamont Bishops House (13) Patagonian Toothfish with potato puree oven roast Caponata

The fifth course: Manjimup truffle risotto with tiger prawns and Jamon, matched with Jupiter Estate Crossing Tempranillo 2011, finally, to replace the sparkling Shiraz. Haven’t been to Jupiter Estate in Margaret River but I remembered I tasted a bottle in Must Restaurant in Margaret River downtown before. The Jupiter’s Tempranillo is grown in Ferguson Valley anyway.

The Aussie tiger prawn is still the best ! As the host mentioned the chef is looking for sustaining fishing seafood as possible for this menu.Lamont Bishops House (14) Manjimup truffle risotto with tiger prawns and Jamon

Dessert wine: Lamont’s Navera NV, which is a muscat based sweet wine. It replaced the Lamont’s Tawny Port listed in the menu originally. Apart from promoting this new release wine (sold out anyway), the sweetness of this wine is far better than the Tawny Port I reckon !Lamont Bishops House (15) Lamont's Navera NV

Savarin with rum and raisin ice-cream, apple cider chantilly.Lamont Bishops House (16) Savarin with rum and raisin ice-cream apple cider chantilly

Lastly, finished up with a coffee…Lamont Bishops House (17) CoffeeAll in all, we were quite happy with the food although it may not be on par with what we had before in other locations. The total let down for me would be the wine selection.

It might be a good experience to try different combination of the food and wine and in this case, the objective was partially achieved.

Purely looking for the wines, I would say there’s just no surprise on it. Perhaps it’s lacking of focus and benchmarking among the wines… especially it was offering other alternative and unexpected (most importantly “inappropriate”) replacement of certain wine.

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