As I approach my first anniversary on this blog there is no doubt that American barbeque is the hottest trend in the past year. It is not simple cuisine, but certainly isn’t the most difficult to execute, and has the favourable aspects of being easy to share, and completely delicious in both a high flavour and high guilt fashion.
Having been past for a drink a few months ago, I have had Pleased To Meet You on the short list for Perth ever since. Tonight is the night Catherine and I get to try some of the offerings of the chefs here.
Luckily we are here relatively early and get a seat at the bar. Unusually you order your food at the counter, so the bar is actually the only place you get service without going up. I say unusually because it gives the instant impression at busy times that this is akin to a take away or dine in style restaurant. To me, that impression is not commensurate with reasonably expensive food.
Looking down the menu I am expecting high quality and great execution given the price for one slider is $9. To my pleasure, I can say that my expectation was generally met. Interestingly my first impression that this is American barbeque is tempered by some of the dishes on offer that have their origin in Vietnam, China and other Asian countries. American fusion perhaps?
Besides a slider each, we order the squid bahn mi, beef tongue ruben bao, chicken taco, and peach salad. The first dish we received was the peach, fennel and palm heart salad. Peaches are amazing at the moment, and they are amazing in this salad which is inspired. The combination is beautiful, and the dressing only adds to the flavour with dill, almonds and rocket thrown in too. It was initially questionable that the salad came first given the rich food we were going to be eating, but we kept half of it to refresh ourselves through the meal.
Next came the chicken taco which is tiny. It packs a good punch of flavour from the chicken which has been on the rotisserie (you can have a plate of the chicken if hungry or in a bigger group for only $30) along with a gorgeous sweet corn salsa. It’s a nice dish but hardly there and the pickled cabbage addition (a theme in a few dishes) is not needed. The bahn mi on the other hand is more substantial. The make or break in this roll is the squid, which is beautifully cooked with a smoky grill flavour. The roll is fresh and after one bite I couldn’t stop until it was gone!
Next came the pulled pork sliders which are a better size. The pulled pork is tasty, but no more or less than most good cafes, but the brioche bun stars along with a good helping of chipotle tasting sauce. Last I tried the beef tongue ruben bao. The execution here of the bao makes it easy to tell that steamed buns are not the focus of the chefs. The beef tongue is excellent, but the bao needs improvement.
We had enjoyed our meal, getting to try some terrific snacks and an amazing salad. Instead of trying one or two more dishes we decided to share the chic sundae. There is gimmick in the presentation, but the whole dessert does not work. It is one of the most disappointing desserts we’ve eaten in some time. Soft serve lacking in flavour, a few peanuts and some chocolate sauce that is plain. I completely understand it is only $6, but my suggestion would be do it properly or take it off the menu.
With a nice selection of beer and wine, the bar is a worthy place to just have a drink. While it is counter service, the staff on the bar were good at answering questions and offering suggestions, and the food came out in good time. The space works with several communal tables, some more intimate spots towards the front, and plenty of bar space. It is refined, playful, and attractive.