Cafes, Restaurants and Dining in Perth, Western Australia.

Char Char Bull

Fishing Boat Harbour, 44b Mews Rd, Fremantle
Ph:(08) 9430 5005
www.charcharbull.com.au

Char Char Let’s Eat

With mesmerizing water views over Fremantle’s Fishing Boat Harbour, Char Char Bull offers diners a great dining experience. During summer if you go in the early evening you can sit in the cocktail lounge, have a pre dinner drink, taking in the sunset and perusing the menu before you delight your taste buds with the gourmet delights to follow. In winter enjoy the same pleasure, with the romantic atmosphere of the log fire.

On our recent visit to Char Char Bull we were greeted by restaurant Manager Steve Syvret, a trained sommelier who has worked in hospitality for thirty five years. With his experience and massive interest in wines, you are in very good hands. Having been a national finalist in the UK Sommelier competition 2 years running, there isn’t too much Steve doesn’t know about wine.

2005 and 2009 Gold Plate winner for best Steak House, Char Char Bull’s name originated from ‘char’ as in grilling meat and ‘bull’ representing the steak – hence the name and the delivery of the promise – steaks cooked exactly how you like them. From blue through to well done with the range and degrees of cooking explained on the menu, you won’t be disappointed.

Don’t be mislead thinking you can only have steak at Char Char Bull as it is a modern Australian cuisine with a diverse menu, specialising in steaks – and yes – special they are.  You also have a choice of local seafood, chicken and vegetarian meals while the restaurant is also celiac friendly. A choice of side salads, fresh Turkish bread and dips and garlic bread are also available to accompany the meal or to have as an appetizer. I can recommend the rocket, parmesan & walnut salad for its delightful taste and texture.

We started off with an entrée of ‘Crispy puff pastry tart’ filled with asparagus, blue cheese, caramelized onions with a hint of cumin. To go with this dish Steve recommended the 2010 Skillogalee crisp Riesling from the Clare Valley in South Australia. The crisp dry lime and lemon flavours cutting through the richness of the flavoursome blue cheese along with the asparagus flavours in the wine also complemented this yummy dish.

My companion had the ‘Prawn and scallop skewers’ on a glass noodle salad with Asian dressing, chilli jam & crushed peanuts. The 2010 Verdello Miles from Nowhere from our very own Margaret River with mellow fruit flavours could stand up to the chilli.

Moving on to the main course we tried the ‘Linley Valley pork rib eye on the bone’ served on roasted winter vegetables with cinnamon spiced apple sauce, pork crackling & red wine jus. I loved this dish and the delicious pork crackling was light and deliciously crispy – not hard on the teeth at all.

We saw Steve’s expert knowledge on wine reinforced as he recommended the 2008 Kalleske Pirathon Shiraz from the Barossa Valley. This wine beautifully matched the pork with the spicy overtones of cinnamon complementing the cinnamon in the apple sauce. Wow! This wine, the restaurant purchased in magnums for optimum quality.

In the restaurant business for over thirty years, Restaurateur and owner, Graham Bolton aims to give the public the best value for money using the best local produce. Specialising in char grilled prime beef, all the beef is selected from local WA Murray Grey animals and aged in superior cryovac packaging for 4-6 weeks for optimum flavour and tenderness, without the damaging effects of freezing.

“We lead with steaks and ageing the meat, carrying six weeks stock, assures us of getting a consistent tenderness and flavour for the best steak experience”, Graham said. “We put a lot of time into that”.

Head Chef Shaun Morris has embraced the philosophy of the restaurant, focusing on producing quality food at affordable prices using as much local produce as possible. “It’s simple clean food, not over bearing flavours and fresh quality produce allowing the produce to speak for itself”, he said.

Shaun said one of the favourites on the menu is still the ‘Surf & Turf’ – Porterhouse topped with prawns and garlic cream sauce – hmm mm – that tasty tender steak cooked just how you like it topped with delectable succulent prawns and garlic cream sauce that melts in your mouth. If you like your steak and seafood you will love this one for its superb flavour and texture.

After main course came dessert – an amazing in house ‘pavlova’. Instead of the traditional crisp texture this pavlova is soft baked and coated in coconut giving it a soft velvety texture, served with raspberry coulis, vanilla crème anglaise and passionfruit cream. This was such a light delicious dessert I convinced myself there were minimal calories and I reckon you could do a lot worse calorie wise than pavlova anyway.

Which leads me to the next decadent dessert – the ‘warm chocolate & coffee cake’ made in house and served with cappuccino ice cream and cream garnished with a strawberry or two just to complete the experience. Taken to new heights of pleasure, I’m still reminiscent of the decadence of that little combination.

The desserts were expertly matched once again with chilled dessert wine, Pedro Ximenes from Millbrook estate in the Perth hills.   A pleasant alternative to port especially in the warmer weather, this wine is also great with cheeses.

Char Char Bull is open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner and group or party bookings are welcome with a special event set price menu available. Excellent service, food and ambience – you’ll love it … I’m going back again at the first opportunity, taking whoever wants to come with me.

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

By Ingrid Rickersey

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