I’VE never been a fan of pickled vegetables.
So if I had known about the pickled zuni in the mushroom tart ($18) at Blake Street Merchant I probably wouldn’t have ordered it.
Thankfully I didn’t and experienced a vinegar epiphany.
The pickled zuni (paper-thin slices of zucchini) was made in-house and had none of the coarse, bitterness I’d come to expect from fermented veggies.
Chef Navarre’s version had a pleasant tartness that almost caressed the tongue, and went perfectly with the mountain of peppery rocket.
If this genie of the kitchen can make the simple combination of zucchini and rocket taste this good, what about his other salads?
There’s two regular salads, roasted cauliflower, and a roasted Japanese pumpkin with miso and pepita sauce, and some daily specials.
They’re $15 on their own, or you can add smoked salmon ($8) shredded chicken ($10), sliced beef ($12) or grilled chorizo ($8).
The mushroom tart was fantastic, with just the right amount of crunch to the nutty pastry.
It was filled with plump slices of firm mushroom and topped with warm chevre cheese.
The tart’s slightly salty sauce was so good I actually wiped my finger around the plate to scoop up the last morsel. Hopefully no one was looking.
All of Blake St Merchant’s food is made in-house, including the bread and a great selection of cakes.
My diet angel was out to lunch, so I gave in to temptation and ordered a slice of devil’s lair cake ($4).
The sponge cake was drizzled with colourful orange sauce and topped with bitter-sweet dark chocolate slivers and creme fraiche.
Formerly No 4 Blake Street, the eatery was taken over last year by Angie Taylor, who previously owned the popular Beaufort Street Merchant.
By JENNY D’ANGER
The Blake Street Merchant
4 Blake Street, North Perth
Sun–Wed 7am-5pm, Thurs–Sat to 10pm