One of the hardest parts of leaving Perth was the fact that I had to move away from my Bestie, B. We’ve known each other since we were 12 and she’s more like a sister than friend. When it came down to organising our farewell dinner, we really only had one place we wanted to go to – Jackson’s Restaurant in Highgate. Both B and I hadn’t been before and we couldn’t think of a better occasion to treat ourselves.
At first, we tried booking for a Friday or Saturday night but of course, they were fully booked. B and I then decided that instead of going elsewhere on a weekend, we’d head to Jackson’s on a weekday.
I’m so glad we made this decision after hearing last week that the Jackson’s dego is soon-to-be dead! From the 1st September Jackson’s will be serving up only their a la carte menu and there will also be a new dining concept to be introduced.
When we arrived, we were seated to a table on the side. Jackson’s has opted for the layout of well-spaced tables which provides you with a private dining experience. We didn’t once overhear a conversation which is a lovely aspect of a complete dining experience.
We chose the degustation but opted to choose our own wines as I had to work the next day. To start with, we ordered a glass of San Martino NV Prosecco from Treviso, Italy ($12).
Our first sample of the food at Jackson’s were the G&T cured salmon, pickled cucumber and cream cheese in an anchovy flavoured cone. There was no better way for Jackson’s to kick off our evening – these cones were brilliant! The cured salmon had a distinct G&T flavour and the salmon was wrapped throughout the entire length of the cone (which is genius for those who don’t enjoy eating an empty cone!). The anchovy flavoured cone had a perfect mix of saltiness and sweetness, which matched the salmon and light cream cheese perfectly.
Our second dish was Jamon Iberico, seared scallops and blood orange. While I was in Barcelona in May, I ate a lot of Jamon Iberico. While at Jackson’s, I couldn’t tell that I wasn’t back in Barcelona – the Jamon was authenticly subtle but flavoursome and its texture was soft and moist. The seared scallops were cooked perfectly and the blood orange around the plate packed a lot of flavour and zest. An excellent dish!
I loved the next dish, which was Marron, crab, chicken and mayo sandwich with truffle mayo and asparagus. This deconstructed sandwich had a perfect mix of flavour – sweet and subtle flavours from the marron and crab and the uniquely strong flavours from the tiny bits of truffle mayo and asparagus.
As a surprise course, we received one of my favourite dishes of the night – Braised mushroom and potatoes with Manjimup truffles. Thanks to the truffle season, we were treated to a lovely dish that was simple in thought but had wonderful flavours. Jackson’s wasn’t tight on the truffles either – there was a good heap in this tiny bowl.
When B and I looked at the menu at the beginning of the night, we were a bit iffy about one particular dish – the Roast pork belly, black pudding, scotch quail egg, sprouts. Both B and I aren’t huge fans of pork belly or black pudding and even the thought of what black pudding consists of makes us a little queasy. Nevertheless we were looking forward to seeing what Jackson’s does with these two ingredients.
When it arrived, it looked really appetising and the scotch quail egg was the first element I tried. I had never tried a scotch egg and have to say that it was strange but delicious! Who knew a hard boiled quail egg wrapped in sausage meat, coated in breadcrumbs and then baked could taste so good! The flavour combination of the sprouts, black pudding and well-cooked pork belly went surprisingly well. Even though B and I are still not fans of black pudding or pork belly, this dish had a good crack at converting us.
The Amelia Park lamb rump and belly, white bean, parsley gravy dish arrived next. The lamb rump was super tender and a perfect pink. It tasted delicious too. The white bean puree was subtle in flavour and went well with the lamb and parsley gravy. Overall, a great dish.
The standout of the night for me was the Venison loin, horseradish noodle, beetroot, bitter chocolate dish. The venison was cooked perfectly and I’ve never tried anything like the horseradish noodles on this plate but the flavour was amazing!
I love palate cleansers, which I’m pretty sure I said in my No 4 Blake Street post, especially those that are unique. Jackson’s served us another one that I loved – basil seeds, praline and rhubarb sorbet. These little bites were a lovely way to end our savoury experience. The tart, soft rhuburb sorbet mixed with the sweet, crunchy praline and spherical jelly coating of the basil seeds popping in your mouth made for a high flavour and textural experience. We loved it!
Both B and I were keen on the dessert from the beginning of the night, so as much as we were both struggling to find room in our full bellies for water or wine, we knew we’d be able to finish the Chocolate and Lavender dessert. When it arrived, I was surprised to find a ‘farewell’ message on my dish to commemorate our farewell dinner. It was a very sweet gesture from the kitchen.
The chocolate and lavender dessert had lots of elements – a chocolate tart with gold leafing, chocolate mousse, raspberry puree and lavender ice cream. I loved the flavour contrast of the rich chocolate tart and the lavender ice-cream. This was an amazing dessert and an amazing way to end a fantastic meal.
As you can see, B and I were not disappointed during our 6 course dego at Jackson’s. It’s quite sad that Jackson’s is getting rid of the dego but I’m sure it will still serve delicious dishes, regardless of the menu format.
Up until 31st of August you can still order the dego (now nicknamed ‘the goodbye dego’), which costs $130 per person and you can upgrade to a ‘meal deal’ for an additional $60 or $110 for wine pairings. If you can’t make it before then, a lot of the dishes mentioned above can still be ordered from Jackson’s a la carte menu.