Cafes, Restaurants and Dining in Perth, Western Australia.

Basq Restaurant

Basq Restaurant

T26A Currambine Central 1244 Marmion Avenue, Currambine

Ph: (08) 9305 4666

www.basq.com.au

Bask in the Hospitality

Basq, a brand new, fully licensed restaurant in Currambine has brought the City to the suburbs in a relaxed Perth venue with suburban prices, and is even a bit Melbourne-ish, says Head Chef Neil Herbert. “I realise people are doing it tough now, and putting prices up will only drive people away,” he said.

We were lucky enough to sample the menu at Basq on day two of its soft opening, where family and friends were able to try the 4 course set menu, a trial run for the opening of the a la carte menu that started late November. Locals have taken advantage of the new cuisine, with the restaurant fully booked on both nights.

Neil’s vision for Basq is: sustainable, relaxed, rustic and fun, suitable for any occasion, with a casual side if you just want something light such as tapas and a glass of wine before a movie for instance. The other section of Basq has a more formal feel, with effective lighting and décor for a more intimate/romantic rendezvous.

On the opening nights, diners got to try Basq’s homemade bread and delicious olives. One of my favourite dishes was Gambas al Ajillo, Gremolata or Spanish Garlic Prawns. The fresh meaty prawns were delicious with the combination of spices and a squeeze of lemon to pull the flavours together. Another favourite was the Wild Mushroom Ragout on toast, with young herbs, lemon oil and peppered goat’s cheese – demonstrating rustic earthy flavours.

It’s refreshing to see chefs with the desire to utilise and incorporate our natural resources such as locally grown produce like fish and seafood, sustainable, free range and organic produce whenever possible, including the use of natural bush herbs and berries. What you get here is fresh – all seafood is local or it comes off the menu. With the whole sustainability of ingredients in mind, Neil believes in keeping it simple, with just two or three ingredients on the plate.

The Market Fish with Confit Fennel Potato, Asparagus, Dill and mustard butter sauce was a delectable delight, the fish being Barramundi. We also tried the Butter roasted Spring Chicken, with greens, baby carrots and peas. Neil refers to this dish as comfort food, with its chicken crackling and pan juices adding to the succulence.

Neil brings a wealth of experience with him to Basq Restaurant, with twenty-four years as a chef. He trained in the UK at Michelin Two Star and Four Rosette restaurants, where the cuisine is first class, before moving to Australia, where he has worked in a variety of top restaurants. Then while holidaying with his family in the UK and Europe he was inspired with renewed passion for a restaurant with a modern European cuisine.

In setting up Basq, he says he surrounds himself with the best chefs, including his Sous Chef Josh Vears, with whom he has worked previously. Owner Kris Dunne and Neil are both proud of their team at Basq, and while Neil considers he is relatively easy to work with, he says he runs a tight ship in the kitchen. Team work is important to him. “You are only as good as the people you work with,” he adds.

It is casual dining, including a children’s menu with mini steaks and mini pasta dishes. With a large alfresco area decorated with planters: the array of plants, including fresh herbs, add to the visual ambience of the restaurant and are also effective, acoustically.

Another thing I found refreshing is the fact that Neil likes to keep in touch with people and encourages honest constructive feedback from diners – valuable in maintaining good service delivery.

Basq is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, Monday to Thursday from 12 noon until 9.30pm, and weekends until 10pm. Restaurant staff are flexible, catering for vegetarians and special diets if needed. Just ask, and they are happy to accommodate.

By Ingrid Rickersey

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