Saturday, 6 August 2011

Petite Mort: it's alive!

The sleepy western suburb of Shenton Park where I currently reside doesn't do too badly for eateries. Within walking distance of our house, we have Galileo (where I have NOT been able to get a booking - everytime I call, there is an answering machine to tell me just how booked out they are), The Suite (which I will post on later), Kiri Japanese Restaurant and Cicciobello's Pizza (a Friday night favourite of the family's -again, a separate post on this later). However, the culinary jewel in the crown used to be Star Anise -generally regarded as being among Perth's finest restaurants. To this I couldn't testify, as I never went there. Not long after I moved into the area, Chef David Coomer made the decision to close Star Anise -possibly to concentrate on his other restaurant, Pata Negra - and my chance was lost forever.

 Lake Jualup -the hub of Shenton Park, a good suburb for foodies.

However, a new opportunity now presents itself in the shape of the currently-under-construction Petite Mort on the old Star Anise site.

Ooh la la!

There has been a restaurant on this site as long as I can remember and I've been living in Shenton Park on and off since 1994. In our early days of courtship - blush! - my partner and I were regular customers at Kemal's Mahal - a decent Northern Indian concern. Later came a rather indifferent and over-priced Thai place whose name I cannot recall. Then there was Star Anise. Now there is Petite Mort and this is the name that is really going to make the haircurlers of the local residents tighten.

You don't have to know a lot of French to know that the name of the restaurant is French idiom for 'orgasm' so here's hoping that the food - currently being promoted as French tapas - is really, REALLY good. The new chef is Todd Stuart (formerly of Bouchard) and I have a feeling that this small plate restaurant is going to give The Suite on Nicholson (also small plate and tapas-style) a run for its money.

I went to have a peek through the windows the other day to see what they have done to the interiors.

 A more relaxed look than Star Anise had.

I had snooped through the window when it was Star Anise and I must say I like the new look better. The walls have been stripped back to the original brick, the floors polished up and there is new casual- and comfortable-looking brown plush seating and shiny grey tables. The down-lights create a cosy, intimate-yet relaxed space. I get the feeling that this is a restaurant that will be more welcoming and less exclusive than Star Anise was and that's all to the good for an average consumer like me.

 Sorry about the reflection - I had my iPhone pressed to the window...

The ads for potential staff say that Petite Mort will be opening in the next fortnight (around the third week in August) or so and I look forward to getting inside for a proper look-see and a taste of what's on offer.

Kemal's Mahal, it ain't.

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