A quick run to Freo, post-movie, saw us bolt through the rain into the warm and brightly lit interior of The Monk. What a sanctuary it provided in more than just a snug place to rest our (soggy) feet, but also to fill our tummies with lovely winter comfort food. Dining with my food-wife is a super experience, as we agreed after finding it hard to narrow down the menu to share our two dishes half-half. It felt like we were having two dinners!
Wheat beer ($7.5) and Custard Ginger & Apple Cider ($7.9)
The choices as to what to drink were difficult, as The Monk provides such an array of their own brewed beers, and many other alternatives (Custard cider on tap!). I settled on the wheat beer, while my companion chose the intriguing ginger and apple cider. We were both happy with our choices, my cloudy beer providing nice fresh flavours to cut through the rest of dinner.
Beer Battered Fries ($9)
These crunchy rough-cut chips were a great starter, super fresh (read: temperature hot) they went amazingly with the sweet but zesty home made tomato sauce. This reminded me of the sauce my Nanna would make with boxes of tomatoes each year in my childhood (not quite Italian tomato day, but the English, almost chutney version). I loved the presentation, but the small opening to the jar meant we had to be strategic, eating the short chips first so we could still reach the bottom when we were nearing the end.
Harbour Risotto ($36)
I am always a bit hesitant ordering risotto out, because I’m the person who likes it on the soupy side of the moisture scale, I can’t physically eat dry risotto. The huge amount of local seafood populating this (snapper, tiger prawns and calamari) was great to see - and taste!. Fresh Italian parsley and cherry tomatoes had a similar role as the tomatoes did on the pizza at Dough, cutting through the creamy sweetness of the amazing saffron broth. This was seasoned perfectly making a really great risotto!
Monk Duck ($38)
Clay baked braised porter duck with star anise was amazing! The flavours coming from the heavily scented gravy were to die for (As long as you didn’t hit a solid piece of star anise unexpectedly). And the duck was cooked to perfection so soft and tasty. The sides of Chinese broccoli and lemongrass scented rice were a bit hit and miss. The greens provided a necessary fresh break for the palette, but the rice was terrible! Almost plastic and weirdly stuck together. Unfortunately they also both got cold really quickly which was a bit disappointing.
We couldn’t stomach anything more, even though the dessert menu looked amazing (sticky date, rhubarb… heaven!) so we settled our stomachs with a Mocha and Chai and said our goodbyes to the friendly staff of The Monk. I will be back to try some more of their beers, maybe in the Summer to take advantage of the huge outdoor area.
The Good: Warm havens from winter nights.
The Bad: Gross plastic rice.
The Money: Medium, the flavours justify every cent.
33 South Terrace,
08 9336 7666