Dessert degustations always seem like a good idea, and they often are – as long as you know what you're getting into. The dessert degustation at The Trustee in Perth's CBD is a sensation, and with the correct mental (and clothing) preparation, can make you very, very happy.
The menu at The Trustee is small. Pint sized in fact, with five entrees, seven mains and five desserts – and that's if you count a cheese plate as a dessert and oysters as an entrée. One of those mains is a $126 Chateaubriand for two (800g of roast beef fillet plus sides), which is ranked as one of Perth's top dishes, and something that probably needs to be budgeted for, rather than a spur of the moment decision.
However, those handful of dishes are nothing short of spectacular – both aesthetically and flavourwise. I'm not even sure if that is a word, but it should be, especially when used to describe my entree of 14 hour slow cooked pork belly with crackling and caramelised cauliflower ($25). The crackling was so light and crunchy, the other people at my table stopped and smiled when they heard me bite into it. It's not every day that food makes people stop and stare, but this was one of those times.
Our resident vegetarian had an easy time selecting a meal at this meat-lovers paradise – (there were only two choices) but enjoyed her mushroom ravioli ($32) with parmesan cream, truffle oil and brown butter crumbs.
Other main dishes include fish of the day, lamb shoulder, beef cheek, pork shoulder and scotch fillet, with prices ranging from $32 to $44.
The mushroom ravioli is one of the few options for vegetarians
But here is my tip – if you plan on doing a solo attempt the dessert degustation, you might want to stick with an entrée, and while you're at it, don't fill up on the delicious fries and aioli like I did. They may prove your undoing.
The dessert degustation is a marvel at five courses for $26. There is no other way to describe the value of this ever-changing mouth-watering confection. While we were expecting tiny, bite-sized pieces for each course, we were staggered by the quantity and quality of the food presented at each course. They may be smaller than the full-priced desserts, but not by much.
The dishes are a selection of the chef's favourites, and since they are based on seasonal flavours, they will change over time. When we visited in August 2017, they included the Trustee signature dessert, the Snickers Bar – a cube of peanut butter ice-cream on a crisp chocolate base, creamy mousse and salted caramel.
A chocolate eclair was one course of the 5 course degustation
This was followed by a surprisingly large éclair, filled with chocolate cream, a delicious dessert both crunchy and soft and which made us slightly alarmed how we would go with another three courses ahead of us.
The next course sounded simple but was probably my favourite – spicy poached pears with rum and raisin ice-cream and crumbled walnuts. It was the flavours of winter made beautiful and once again its generous proportions made me wish I had worn a looser skirt.
By this stage, our dining companions had easily finished their standard sized desserts, and we still had two courses to go. The waiter discretely kept an eye on us, trying to find the correct speed for bringing out each course.
The fourth course was a refreshing bowl of peach sorbet on a biscuit crumb. Although it was light and tasty, I knew I could not finish it if I had any hope of attempting the fifth and final course. I had been hoping that the last dish would be the vanilla crème brulee with strawberry sorbet that my dining companions had ordered, and I wasn't disappointed. It was easily two thirds the size of the full price dish, and I am ashamed to admit I couldn't finish it.
Peach sorbet was the light course before the finale
If you have a sweet tooth, the desert degustation at The Trustee should be on your bucket list. If you want it to complete a meal, then consider sharing with a friend – there certainly is enough to go around. If sharing's not your thing, and you want to go it alone, keep in mind the serving sizes are very generous, and you won't need a large dinner beforehand. In all honesty, you could probably skip dinner altogether and just enjoy the full effects of the sweet spectacle, but then you would be missing out on all the other delicious dishes The Trustee has to offer.