Cafes, Restaurants and Dining in Perth, Western Australia.

Casellas Wine – Tapas – Grill

Shop 19 Waterfront Silos Bonnefoi Blvd, Bunbury
Ph: (08) 9721 6075
www.casellas.com.au

Wining & Dining in Grand Style

Casellas sits on the idyllic shores of Koombana Bay in Bunbury, Western Australia. With a back drop of sailing boats and a sandy white beach a few steps away, Casellas is a stylish restaurant specialising in authentic Spanish tapas. It offers an extensive menu and selection of international wines for a relaxed, fine-dining experience.

Chef Jay-Marc Prieto has been at Casellas since it opened just over two years ago. He has an impressive culinary background, having completed his apprenticeship at The Hyatt in Melbourne and Grace Hotel in Sydney, as well as working as an experienced Banquet Chef and culinary instructor in Manila. With a business background, Jay is passionate about the preparation of food following the technical aspects of cooking while creating a work of art.

With a choice of 25 tapas on the menu, Jay suggested we try the ‘Cinco Tapas Plate’ (‘cinco’ meaning five in Spanish). This selection included prawns in garlic sauce, pork and beef meatballs, lamb skewers, bacon and corn croquettes and artichokes, all with assorted scrumptious sauces and dips. A 2007 Castro Martin Albarino, a crisp Spanish white wine was well matched and poured at the table by the very knowledgeable wait staff.

Jay then introduced us to his ‘Smoked Salmon and Prosciutto’ entree, the idea originating from the humble European smoked salmon bagel. “Being an autumn winter dish with the creaminess of the cheese and smokiness of the salmon, the hint of saltiness from the prosciutto and freshness of dill is reminiscent of summer”, Jay explained. A 2008 Chateau Thieuley Semillon Blanc, a French aromatic white wine with a medium finish enhanced the combined flavours even more.

Jay changes the menu twice a year for variety, retaining favourites including two of his signature dishes ‚ ‘Szechuan Duck’ and ‘Chicken Adabado’. When eating Jay’s food it’s a good idea to taste all the parts of the dish together to experience all the flavours. A mouthful of expertly matched wine will complete the experience.

One of the main dishes – the ‘Crispy Pork Hock’ was a winner – deboned, free range pork served with fresh Asian salad in chilli lime vinaigrette kafffir air (blended kaffir lime leaves) and a side of garlic rice pilaf. Even for me, not usually a pork fan, this was delicious.

Being a seafood fan, I loved the barramundi in saffron vanilla clam fondue with a parsnip puree arrow leaf spinach and salmon caviar. Jay explained that the barramundi dish describes the kind of chef he is. “When you say gastronomy it is really food and culture. To create a dish I need to understand the culture of a food.” he said.

Not only delicious, Jay’s desserts are a work of art. We discovered with one of his specialties, ‘The Grand’, a classic French crème brûlée in a brandy snap cone, topped with cashew toffee and sweet tangy passionfruit sorbet, served with dark chocolate marquise and seasoned fruit compote.

Casellas, with a theme of Spanish tapas focusing on modern Australian food with an accent on different cuisines, Jay allows people to have the whole dining experience. “When I cook, it’s everything around me that inspires me to create a dish,” he said.

Open from 11.30am ’till late, Casellas is the ideal place to celebrate a special occasion. With a grand piano and separate function room, Casellas also caters for large gatherings, such as weddings and corporate functions or anniversary celebrations. Oh heck – any celebration you can think of – go for it.

Casellas has been featured in the Masters of Menu Recipe Book – for more information please click here.

By Ingrid Rickersey

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