Affordable fine dining at Blu Grill

The last time we visited where Blu Grill is now, it was with burger boy’s nanna for lobster and fish & chips when it was known as Café Z years ago. Tucked away in the burbs opposite Jackadder Lake in Woodlands,  if we hadn’t received an invitation to experience the newly renovated venue, we wouldn’t have known that the casual cafe we had visited has since transformed into an affordable fine dining restaurant.

Blu Grill

The owner of Blu Grill, Rob Grant tells us that Blu Grill was the realisation of a 5 year conversation between him and his close friend who owns Punjab, an Indian Restaurant in Innaloo. As with most foodie businesses, Blu Grill started with the appreciation for good food and wine…

“We got to know each other after my wife and I single handedly drank him out of his reserve cellar in about 6 months. I live about 400 metres from Blu Grill which was Café Z and one night just simply asked Adam who owned it previously if he would consider selling it to us, he said yes and the rest happened in the blink of an eye. We then set about rolling out the concept which pretty simply is just to provide good uncomplicated fresh food with good service, good wines at a everyday affordable price.”

Uncomplicated fresh food with quality service was exactly what we experienced at Blu Grill thanks to the restaurant manager Ryan and his team. Our glasses were never empty, service was prompt and friendly. It was no surprise that Blu Grill was a finalist for three Gold Plate Award categories – Best Steakhouse, Best Breakfast and Best New Restaurant.

As we enjoyed a glass of champagne and snacked on the popcorn, we admired the open kitchen and watched the chef cook up our starters from a distance…

Champagne & popcorn @ Blu Grill

The Blu Grill kitchen…

Blu Grill kitchen

For the starters I had the Beef Trio ($14)

Beef Trio

Starting from the left of my plate…the slow braised beef cheeks just melted in my mouth, I didn’t have to chew and the gravy complimented it beautifully.

I’m not a fan of anything raw (i.e. I don’t eat natural oysters or sashimi) so I hadn’t planned on having the beef tartare featured in the middle of the dish but with a bit of convincing by the restaurant manager, Ryan, I took a brave bite. Ryan explained to me that the beef was cured and it wouldn’t taste like mince (my assumption based on past experience) so I took a small bite and he was right, it didn’t taste like raw beef to me liked it looked ;)

The beef pate spiral tasted just like burger boy’s Italian mamma’s homemade sausage rolls, the pastry was crisp when you bite into it and there was a nice zing from the szechuan pepper.

burger boy had the Seafood Trio $16 to start…

Seafood Trio

Starting from the left to the right of the plate, the bloody mary wasn’t too strong, the oyster was fresh and a good size.

The salmon tartare was burger boy’s highlight of the trio and he also enjoyed the chickpea buttered soft shell crab, which was served with a mixed sprout salad. He found the crabmeat tender.

For the main I had Vish’s Blu Pork $32 which was a rib eye stuffed with sage, swiss cheese and five spices in parma ham and then encased with puff pastry. The dish was beautifully presented and was served with butternut mash, potato, sautéed bok choy, creamed polenta with beetroot puree and garlic cream.

Vish's blu pork

I thought the sides were nice and complimented the dish well but the pork wasn’t as tender as I would have liked it. Being used to my mum’s Chinese cooking where pork is used a lot and my love for American style slow-cooking (pull pork, ribs etc) has made me fussier with how pork is cooked – I prefer it falling off the bone. In saying that, I think this was still a good dish, but I should have ordered steak instead as Ryan tells me they will cook it medium to well done to my liking ;) Side note – lots of restaurants these days refuse to cook my steak the way I like it so I get a bit excited when the few restaurants (Hippo Creek, Adelphi Steakhouse are some of the few) cook it to my liking. I think it’s fine if chefs refuse to cook my steak medium to well done but I would prefer if I’m told this upfront so I can choose something else instead of receiving a steak I can’t eat.

burger boy had the Blu Ocean $28 for his main…

Blu Ocean

burger boy loved the creamy vanilla and white wine sauce which was served with the atlantic salmon, barramundi, squid, king prawns and mussels. He thought the sauce tasted a bit like masala and complimented the seafood beautifully.

The salmon was really fresh, mussels/prawns a good size, barramundi really tender and the cous cous was fluffy.

The cocktail list looked great, so before moving onto dessert I enjoyed a Caprioska $15

Caprioska cocktail

Blu Grill’s kitchen is headed up by Jean Pierre, a personal friend of Rob and a chef from South Africa. Jean Pierre baked his first batch of scones at the age of 4 so no surprises our desserts were scrumptious!

We had heard all about Blu Grill’s dessert from one of my work colleagues so I was really excited to see that the crème brulee and pannacotta she spoke about was still on the menu.

It was tough choosing between the crème brulee and the pannacotta but I went with the Vanilla and Nutmeg Pannacotta $14

Pannacotta

Oh and it didn’t disappoint, the pannacotta was firm and on first bite there’s a beautiful vanilla flavour followed by a nutmeg after taste. The pannacotta was served with a mango & berry coulis and vanilla icecream, which complimented the vanilla & nutmeg flavours well.

burger boy had my second choice, the Creme Brûlée With a Twist $16

Creme brûlée

The crème brulee was infused with indian spices and served with mango sorbet, mixed berry coulis and white chocolate and saffron coated cherries. I’m glad I chose the pannacotta as I love my sweets ;) the crème brulee was not as sweet as I usually have it (the twist).

I was completely surprised and impressed by the quality of service, food and classy yet modern décor at Blu Grill. burger boy and I loved our dining experience at Blu Grill and we’ve been recommending it to our family & friends ever since. A big thank you to Rob, Ryan and the Blu Grill team for introducing us to their affordable fine dining – we’ve had pub meals that would cost us the same as Blu Grill!

Blu Grill on Urbanspoon

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foodie cravings

I’m a foodie who enjoys trying new food anywhere / any place (restaurants, cafes, bars, market stalls, fast food joints…anywhere just name it!) both in Perth, Western Australia and on my travels. I’m not your ordinary foodie, I’m often described as ‘fussy’ but I really really do love my food - I guess just not everything that’s put on my plate. Though, my other half, ‘burger boy’, eats most foods so I’ll be blogging about what he eats too…and as the name implies, burgers will be a regular foodie blog for all you burger lovers outthere. I love showcasing my yummy food finds with pics so I thought why not share my passion for food with other foodies with my blog, foodie cravings. Follow my food journey as I discover new keepers and rave about my all-time favourites. 

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  2 comments for “Affordable fine dining at Blu Grill

  1. January 2, 2013 at 5:18 am

    The food looks fabulous! I would love the seafood trio, that would definitely have been my pick!

    • January 2, 2013 at 7:14 pm

      burger boy chowed that seafood trio down pretty quick ;) so I didn’t get a chance to try/pinch any!

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