Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Nine Fine Food - Northbridge

Nine Fine Food was recently selected as a one star winner for the West Australian Good Food Guide 2013 and it was this, and my love for Japanese that prompted my most recent visit.
Nine Fine Food serves Japanese cuisine with twists of Modern Australian delicacies.
After declaring I wasn’t extremely hungry this particular evening, we ended up being swayed by an impressive four course menu (Osusume) for $63 per person!
I think I’m going to have to get hungry…

For our entrĂ©e’s we ordered the:
·         Beef Tataki ($18)
Light grilled, sliced beef tenderloin fillets (rare), fresh herbs, garlic, red onion, yakumi condiments, yuzu lime ponzu dressing.

The refreshing dressing was certainly the highlight of this dish which had a tangy lime flavor and brought the simple elements together on the plate. The dish was presented beautifully and looked like a work of art. Each vegetable was sliced so fine they were paper-thin and delicate.

·         Fresh Sashimi ($27)

Salmon, tuna, snapper, prawn, octopus, squid

Another highlight, the sashimi was ultra fresh. The squid was my favourite which was dressed in a creamy unknown sauce. SO tasty!

·         Kinoco Caviar Pasta ($18)
Mixed asian mushrooms, tobico and masago caviar, sauteed red onion, angel hair pasta, creamy sake rice wine sauce.

This dish was a stand out for me. I didn’t expect to see PASTA on a Japanese restaurant’s menu, but the flavours of the gorgeous meaty Asian mushrooms combined with the creamy sake rice wine sauce, took this dish to another level. The pop’s of caviar did not dominate the dish and simply added a depth of flavour! Very rich and with a strong flavor, you could definitely not eat too much of this dish – but far out, I kept coming back for more. Absolutely delightful!

·         Agedashi Toothfish ($18)
Katakuri dusted fried Patagonian Toothfish fillets, fried soft tofu, mushrooms, wakame seaweed, all in agedashi soy broth.

This dish was a big disappointment for me. The broth itself lacked seasoning and did not have any flavour. The mushrooms were beautiful, but plain. The fish and tofu were also cooked perfectly but again, with no flavour in the broth, this was simply a soup of floating fish and mushrooms. The seaweed makes the broth look quite dark in the photo, but it was difficult to photograph this dish. Overall - disappointing.
For mains we tried the:
·         Barramundi & ‘Spider’ crab ($34)
Egg fruit wrapped steamed barramundi fillets, fried “Spider” soft shell crab, fresh herb salad, vegetable pan cake, creamy rice vinegar reduction.

The ‘Barramundi’ component of this dish was two small wrapped fillets which were beautiful - but if only there was a little more!! The herb salad had a beautiful texture and zingy flavour of lime. The creamy rice vinegar reduction was delightful. The soft shell crab another winner.

·         Snapper & prawn ($34)
Poached snapper fillets, grilled chilli garlic prawns, seared scallop, vegetable pan cake, sake rice wine, tomato, ricotta and basil sauce.

It was so bizarre to have tomato, ricotta and basil sauce in a Japanese restaurant! However, these Italian flavours were a stand out and teamed beautifully with the accompanied sides. The “chilli prawn” had no chilli at all which was disappointing from a chilli lover.The scallop was cooked to perfection, but they weren’t lying when they said “scallop” – unfortunately there was only one. The vegetable pan cake was a delightful surprise as it had an egg omelet texture but was seasoned nicely. The snapper fillet was a generous size compared with the small serving of Barramundi on our other main.

For dessert we both had the Sesame Ice cream with black bean sauce.

This dish was slightly disspointing for me.
The sesame flavour in the ice cream was not very prominent and could be mistaken for vanilla ice cream. I am not a huge fan of sweet beans, so although this went well with the mild sesame flavour of the icecream, I didn’t particularly enjoy it. The dried fruit and nuts was a nice addition but not something I would go back for.

Overall, Nine Fine Food impressed me incredibly! Four courses for $63 is a steal! The food was presented beautifully, the service impeccable and the dishes fresh and creative. I love the fusion of Italian throughout the menu with elements such as pasta and basil, ricotta and tomato sauce.

Highs: Caviar and mushroom pasta and the Snapper and Prawn dish
Lows: The Agedashi Toothfish and Sesame icecream.
Overall: It was a wonderful dining experience! Definitely recommend the set four-course menu.
Will I return? Definitely!

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