Come here for: a special night out. A romantic dinner
Don't come here: on a budget. Expect to pay $100 pp + wine for a 3 course meal
I was excited about our dinner at Pearl. I've been there once before for lunch and had an amazing meal.
Pearl has a great atmosphere. The decor is mostly white and minimalist; large pale lampshades spread around the room give an elegant, yet intimate feel.
Thinking about it, elegant is a good way to describe Pearl. Everything from food to white linen napkins, from background music to service, works discreetly and seamlessly well.
The menu is quite small and changes seasonally. We ate the following:
Entree: Mozzarella burrata with smoked ham and mushrooms. The burrata is basically a large ball of fresh cheese with a soft creamy centre. The smoked ham was crispy and its strong taste was well balanced against the delicate flavour of the mozzarella.
I loved the presentation our 2nd entree - whole garfish. Bite size, sushi roll style morsels of garfish, sticky rice and pork were wrapped in crispy rice paper and served with a deliciously fresh and sweet chilli sauce. Although there were a lot of different flavours, the dish worked really well as a whole. With every bite, the combination of sweet pineapple, fresh mint and hot chilli burst in my mouth with flavour.
For mains, we chose quail with chestnut risotto and celery leaves salad. The quail was stuffed with port soaked muscatel grapes and was cooked perfectly. The stuffing infused the meat with a very delicate sweet and sour taste. Chestnut risotto was the only downfall of the night for me. I didn't like the heavy texture. Caramelised witlof was delicious and added another layer of complexity to this dish with its slightly bitter taste.
I loved the presentation of the lamb rack. Again, the meat was perfectly cooked. Pine nuts and currants complemented the red lamb quite well. The dish was served with a parcel of ricotta enclosed by katifi - thin streams of flour-and-water batter dried into long crispy threads. Beautiful.
For dessert, we ordered these cute looking dumplings. Basically, a thin outer layer of dough enclosed white, dark and milk chocolate balls. As the dumplings were deep fried, chocolate melted inside as you can see in the second picture.
Unfortunately, the dish didn't taste as good as it looked. Nothing wrong with it, but not the complexity of flavour I had learned to expect based on my first two courses.
Crispy fried taro dumplings with dark, milk and white selvatica chocolate, vanilla custard and gold leaf ($19)
Second dessert was chocolate and turkish delight suffle served with lemon syrup soaked doughnuts. The suffle was light and fluffy, but a bit too sweet for me. Even though I am normally not a fan of doughnuts, these were really good - the bitterness of the lemon contrasting really well with rest of the dish.
Bittersweet chocolate and turkish delight soufflé, lemon syrup soaked doughnuts with clotted cream ($23)
We had a great night; everything flowed perfectly well.
Pearl doesn't come cheap, but I think it is worth the price tag. I have to say I liked the savory dishes better than the desserts. Sweets were good, but lacked the complexity of flavours - which was what I liked the best about the rest of the meal.
Would definitely recommend for a special night out.