MY burgeoning love affair with Beaufort Street grew stronger over the weekend thanks to the friendly service, great cocktails and phenomenal food at Dainty Dowager in Mount Lawley.
Dainty is Perth’s first Asian roasting house, according to the restaurant’s website, and while it’s not fine dining, the food is fresh, smart, well-presented and packed with flavour.
It’s best to take your time here and I recommend you ease into the Dainty experience with a cocktail prepared by expert barman, Vedran.
I warmed up with the Three Six Nine ($20)—a rum, whisky and bourbon concoction—while Kylie was seduced by the Limping Dragon ($18), a floral, sweet-and-sour gin blend.
We wanted to try a wide range of Dainty’s cuisine, so we ordered a dish from all four savoury menus.
Our helpful waiter recommended the daily dumpling ($14) from the “Smalls” menu.
The intense flavour from the dense pork and ginger filling left us in a state of near-euphoria.
Topped with a mix of fresh and dried chilli and some micro herbs, these dumplings are spot on. They’re the best I’ve ever had in Perth.
The “Middles” menu had us at soft shell crab ($26).
Served on a green papaya salad, the generous portion of deep fried crustacean was pure lip-smacking goodness, thanks to its delicate tempura batter and that solid chilli dressing.
The best-value dish we tried was the wok-fried egg and rice noodles ($26), from the “Substantials” menu.
Big enough to feed four, the dish comes with a mound of crunchy caramelised pork belly and is dotted with tender slices of stocky, baby squid rings.
The combined textures of the firm egg and soft rice noodles makes for a fun, divine dish. When mixed with the caramelised chilli jam, the whole thing is wondrous.
Taking our experience to the next level was the in-house roasted duck leg ($20 350g/$38 700g).
“Our children … you … this duck,” Kylie mumbled through a mouthful of gamey protein, diplomatically listing the top three things in her life.
I nodded in agreement as I gnawed every morsel of sweet duck meat from the bone.
The accompanying plum sauce is made in-house, according to our enthusiastic waiter, who told us we couldn’t try our duck without it. It was a worthy recommendation.
If you like Asian food more upmarket than your average chinese takeaway, but less ritzier than somewhere like Silks, then a visit to Dainty Dowager is essential.
by MATTHEW EELES
564 Beaufort Street,
Phone 9328 9728