I’ve certainly got room for a few more darlings in my life. And Northbridge’s Darlings Supper Club will be one of them. The modern asian fusion eatery can be found on Lake Street in the city, and is one of Perth’s newer late night venues boasting sexy cocktails, an extensive decadent menu and a rocking late night experience. Perth bloggers gathered Sunday afternoon to try the “new and improved” Darlings experience including the knife wielding expertise of Iron Man Thailand’s “The Chopper” aka Youngwoo and new opening hours, including Sunday lunch. The restaurant was buzzing with activity when I arrived, and the staff were full of beans and ready to please.
I was feeling a little worse for wear after a night of socialising with friends over (too many) Pimms, but we all know the saying “hair of the dog” and I could not pass up the Hello Kitty Spritz – an asian inspired version of a traditional Aperol Spritz. It was sweet, featured coconut and blueberry flavours and went down a treat. And it was pink! Too pretty. Post cocktail consumption we were ushered out to the terrace (an intimate spacious outdoor area) to commence our Sunday feast. This awkward blogger was the first, and only attendee to ask for a knife and fork at our blogger banquet – my lack of patience and unco-ordinated hands has left me without the skills to wrangle a pair of chopsticks. Guarantee a few other bloggers were jealous when it came to the crispier of dishes that required a sharp knife. No shame! Now let’s get onto the main reason we were invited – the food!
Crumbed Quail Egg with Lap Cheong Sausage Another first for this blogger, I’ve tried the delicate bird before but never its egg. The gooey, soft yolk worked perfectly with the strong, flavoursome Chinese sausage. A great combination. Sashimi The salmon was thick cut and melt in your mouth fresh. Served with a Wakame Salad I was in heaven. Two thumbs up to the new sashimi chef – yum! Rottnest Scallops with Coriander Pitsou, Potato Foam and Five Spice Black Pudding I am a huge scallop fan, and Darlings had them down. The fresh sea beauties were perfectly prepared. The potato foam was delicious – who knew foam of all things would taste so good! I was also lucky enough to sample a dairy-free version of the dish featuring a strong pesto sauce and black pudding. Another winning combination of flavours.
Pork and Prawn Rice Paper Rolls Dish of the day! Packed with fresh Asian vegetables, flavoursome meat and served with a thick, nutty sauce Darlings version of the classic were nothing like the rice paper rolls I’ve had in the past. Explosion of flavours. Teriyaki Octopus and Soba Noodle Salad I found a perfect flavour balance in this dish. The saltiness of the seafood worked beautifully with the fresh zest of the noodles. I’m not much a lychee fan so I left my portion of them for those who would enjoy them. Fried Japanese Tofu in Chilli Peanut Sauce Another melt in your mouth dish. The sauce was hard to decipher at first; a slow burn down your throat with every mouthful against the sweet nutty flavour of the satay, but it worked! This dish was another favourite, I could have eaten the entire plate. Crispy Confit Pork Belly with Chilli Palm Caramel I’m a little bit pork obsessed as of late, and Darlings pork belly was crunchy, sticky and tasty (this is dish you need your knife for). I could almost say the sauce was too sticky, but the rich flavours counteracted the thick glaze. Braised Black Bean Beef Cheek on Coriander Pesto with Red Cabbage Marmalade Can I have three favourite dishes? The beef cheeks melted in my mouth. The thick chunks of beef practically broke apart like a hot knife through butter when we cut them up to serve. It was so soft and decadent and absolutely heavenly. The black bean flavour was on point. Still thinking about this dish.
A meal is not complete without a few signature desserts! We were lucky enough to try the Darlings Snickers and a colourful array of Macaron flavours. I’ve heard a lot of good things about the Snickers inspired dessert, and it was exactly what I was expecting. Rich, decadent and sweet, the valrhona chocolate brownie was topped with caramelised peanuts and spiced condensed milk. Chocolate lovers heaven. We also drank our weight in cold and warm Sake. It was actually my first time trying the rice wine, and I was pleasantly surprised. It actually taste like food in a liquid form – interesting description I know, but I was instantly converted. All new places have their teething problems, but what I saw, tasted and experienced at the very much improved Darlings Supper Club was a fabulous and tasty afternoon out in the city. Open till 3AM Wednesday to Saturday there is always a chance for you to pop down and visit the newest darling in my life. Would you give a restaurant a second chance? E x