Must Winebar: A Taste of Must

Beaufort Street has always been a popular destination for diners. Situated in the middle of the hustle and bustle of this popular strip you’ll find Must Winebar – Perth’s very own “little slice of Paris”. Must has been a Perth favourite to many diners and wine lovers for 15 years now. Deeming it a truly must place to visit.

On Tuesday the 6th of October, I was lucky enough to experience the first of Must Winebar’s seasonally themed 4 course set menu, specially created by Must’s Owner and Head Chef, Russell Blaikie. Chef Russell is all about fresh produce and seasonality and the theme of this Spring night was asparagus – a vegetable prized for its succulent taste and tender texture. We were seated at the Mezzanine level overlooking the busy restaurant.

Before I get into the food, I just want to commemorate Russell and his team on the sensational meal – what a well designed menu and organised event. The service was exceptional, food was well presented and tasty, timing of each course was spot on – an all rounded perfect meal (and night out with fellow food lovers). The restaurant has a large dining area but it was still a full house that night. I expect the next 3 events to be sell outs so get in quick to avoid disappointment.

This night started off on a high! I was so excited to catch up with some familiar faces. I was so busy chatting away I forgot how hungry I was.

Must wine bar

To get the night started, the waiters brought out the first course of the night – Blue Manna crab custard served with asparagus and prosciutto and white asparagus crostada.

Even though we were all starving, we couldn’t go past taking million food photos from different angles before digging in. Imagine how long it took with ten foodies dining together. The restaurant is quite dark so we had to “BYO lighting”.

Serious foodies in action...
Serious foodies in action…

After finishing the silky smooth crab custard I was so convinced this was going to be the highlight of my night. It was simply heavenly! The small shot glass serve was such a taste buds teaser.

I’ve had prosciutto wrapped green asparagus before. This white asparagus variation was slightly milder in flavour and a bit more tender than green asparagus.

Left: Blue manna crab custard & asparagus tip Right: Prosciutto & white asparagus crostada
Left: Blue manna crab custard & asparagus tip
Right: Prosciutto & white asparagus crostada
Left: Blue manna crab custard & asparagus tip Right: Prosciutto & white asparagus crostada
Left: Blue manna crab custard & asparagus tip
Right: Prosciutto & white asparagus crostada

Paired with this course was an asparagus infused gin sour named the ‘Season of Love’. Gin is my go to drink (on par with red wine) so naturally I loved this refreshing and slightly sweet cocktail shot.

'Season of Love' Asparagus Infused Gin Sour
‘Season of Love’ Asparagus Infused Gin Sour

For entree, we were served an asparagus and shallot tart tatin topped with mushroom foam and white wine gastrique. Traditionally tart tatins are made with apples or pears. I loved this savoury variation!  Sweet and juicy shallots, tender chunky asparagus pieces, fluffy foam infused with mushroom, all strategically arranged on a melt-in-your-mouth pastry base and drizzled with sweet, yet tangy, white wine gastrique. What was there not to love about this course? I couldn’t fault a single thing.

Paired with this course was a glass of Right Reverend V ‘Industria’ Chardonnay (Margaret River). I’m not a fan of white wine but this was really something else. Surprisingly enough, I much preferred this to the red wine served with the lamb.

Asparagus & shallot tart tatin, mushroom foam, white wine gastrique
Asparagus & shallot tart tatin, mushroom foam, white wine gastrique
Asparagus & shallot tart tatin, mushroom foam, white wine gastrique
Asparagus & shallot tart tatin, mushroom foam, white wine gastrique

For mains, we enjoyed the Middle Eastern spiced lamb rump, asparagus two ways (“risotto” and raw salad), shanklish and walnut tahini.  This became my favourite dish upon first bite. The lamb was cooked to perfection!!!!! Overcooked meat turns me off any restaurant instantly.  I have lost count of the number of times I have requested my meat to be medium rare and it has come out almost well done. I loved the amount of detail that went into this dish. Russell requested his chef to hand cut the asparagus into tiny pieces that represented grains of rice to be used in the asparagus “risotto”. 

A glass of Rockcliffe ‘Third Reef’ Shiraz (Great Southern WA) accompanies the lamb. I’m not a lover of dry red wine so I can’t comment on this wine choice.

Middle Eastern spiced lamb rump, asparagus two ways (risotto and raw salad), shanklish, walnut tahini
Middle Eastern spiced lamb rump, asparagus two ways (risotto and raw salad), shanklish, walnut tahini
Middle Eastern spiced lamb rump, asparagus two ways (risotto and raw salad), shanklish, walnut tahini
Middle Eastern spiced lamb rump, asparagus two ways (risotto and raw salad), shanklish, walnut tahini

For dessert, we were served a very delicate Chocolate ‘aero’ served with salted caramel ice-cream and samphire (European plant of the parsley family that grows on rocks and cliffs by the sea. Russell called it “Asparagus of the Sea”). We were all wondering at the beginning of the night how Russell would incorporate asparagus into the dessert. No one would have guessed it would be samphire! The chocolate taste was strong and on the bitter end. Well balanced by the sweet and salty ice-cream and salty samphire. What really stood out for me was the frozen chunks of creme fraiche – adding a nice touch of tart/sourness.

The best part of dessert was the wine it was paired with. Oh my gosh – Rockford ‘Cane Cut’ Semillon (Barossa Valley) – I love you! It was like drinking a glass of honey.

Chocolate aero, salted caramel ice cream, samphire
Chocolate aero, salted caramel ice cream, samphire
Chocolate aero, salted caramel ice cream, samphire
Chocolate aero, salted caramel ice cream, samphire
Wine pairing
Wine pairing

I went through the entire dinner thinking “mmmm this is my favourite dish” and then being pleasantly surprised and blown away by the next dish!

Russell will be showcasing 4 main ingredients in this year’s A Taste of Must series. Take a note of the below dates! I have my eyes on the Cheese one especially!

  1. Tuesday 6th October – Asparagus
  2. Tuesday 10th November – Egg
  3. Tuesday 1st December – Cherry
  4. Tuesday 5th January – Cheese 

At a very affordable and reasonable price of $ 65 for 4 courses (additional $35 for matching wines), I know I will be running back to taste as many as I can!

Must winebar

Thank you Russell and the Zomato team for inviting me along to experience such a sensational and well put dinner. I haven’t stopped yapping about it to family and friends (and some not-so-friends) since I left the restaurant.

Joshgetsfat can vouch for me when I say that I have been having consecutively disappointing meals of the late…I was feeling down from paying for bad meals. This sensational dinner at Must has uplifted my spirit again! It’s definitely going to be a hard one to beat 🙂

10 happy faces from Perth's first Zomato Meet up! =)
All happy faces (and bellies) from Perth’s first Zomato Meet up! *Missing @Cinthya84

Must Winebar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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