As any kid learns in school there are five senses: taste, touch, sight, sound and smell.
Smell was the first sense taken care of by this (relatively new) bolthole of a Thai restaurant in the heart of Subiaco. I could smell it before I could see it, delicious flavours of garlic and spice, the warmth of Thai food, seeping across the street.
Tiny as it is, squashed between shops at the low end of Rokeby, directly opposite the entrance to the Station Street Carpark, I eventually could see it. Dark wood, panels of glass, subtle lighting inside enormous woven wicker shades which match the woven panels on the wall. Six Senses may be small but it is sophisticated. It reminded me of the dark and fluid design of Nobu.
Inside, they have squeezed as many tables as possible into the two small rooms. They really need to, as it is very popular. Once seated we were immediately offered a bottle of water and menus. Chatting madly, as women as wont to do, we weren't ready when the waitress returned to take our order. We were then left alone in preference for more organised customers, and it was a bit of a wait until we attracted the attention of our waitperson again.
The menu at Six Senses is contemporary Thai. Beautifully presented, it is reminiscent of a coffee table book. All your favourite Thai dishes are on offer: satay chicken (6 for $9.50), prawn cakes (4 for $11.50), tom yum soup ($13.50), warm Thai beef salad ($23.50), papaya salad ($25.50), Thai green curry ($17.50), salt and pepper squid ($28.50) and pad thai noodle ($17.50).
There are also some more exotic and unusual dishes on offer such as the traditional betel leaf snack where a mixture of prawn, herbs and sauce are presented on a betel leaf (3 for $11.50). You then attempt to roll the leaf around the filling and eat it all in one mouthful. Not first date food.
The betel leaf starter, image courtesy Six Senses
For vegetarians the pumpkin salad sounded delicious ($17.50) with stir-fried pumpkin, snow peas, capsicum, mushroom, tofu, egg and coriander with Six Senses' special sauce. I'm sure non-vegetarians would love it too.
The spiced pumpkin dish, image courtesy Six Senses
You can choose from crispy basil soft shell crab ($28.50), five spice roast duck with plum sauce and shitake ($28.50), or salad of deep fried salmon with mint, cherry tomatoes and green apple ($28.50). They are all reminiscent of my wonderful experience at Blue Ginger in Sydney.
Spring rolls, image courtesy Six Senses
We elected for serving of spring rolls (4 for $9) to tide us over while waiting for our main course. I think next time I will choose something a little more exciting
The massamun lamb shank curry ($30.50) is regarded as a must-try by the Good Food Guide. It comes on the bone so you will need to get your fingers dirty. Luckily it is, as they say, finger licking good. That's touch taken care of.
We stuck to the staples and also ordered a King Prawn Pad Thai ($29.50). I regret not taking a picture as the prawn that graced the top of the mound of noodles was about the size of my first grade daughter. Enormous. Naturally, everyone was too polite initially to take the lobster-parading-as-a-prawn, and availed themselves of the more modestly sized specimens that peppered the dish. Eventually I nabbed the monster. It was juicy and had that lovely smoky BBQ flavour to it.
Our final dish was gang phed ped yang ($28.50) a punchy red curry dish with roasted duck, lychee, pineapple and cherry tomatoes. The skin was still crispy. Delicious. Definitely taste taken care of.
Five spice duck, image courtesy Six Senses
We ordered three main dishes between the four of us, and we suffered that initial concern when they arrived that there would not be enough food. Silly us. We tried our best to scrape the plates, but only the restaurant closing around us gave us an excuse to admit defeat.
The only problem we had with this beautiful little restaurant was the fact that they are not licenced and you must BYO. However on their website they praise their 'inspired wine list and original cocktails'. We had to make do with water. I suspect that this particular webpage was lifted verbatim from another of their affiliated restaurants.
But you have been warned: bring a bottle from home. I was not popular with my dining companions for making such an amateur mistake. The sound of wine being poured into the beautiful wine glasses they provided, was the only thing missing from this fantastic experience.
Oh, and the sixth sense? Call it intuition that I will be back again. This is a pithy little restaurant and I am looking forward to working my way through their menu.
Over priced, food's OK but the final insult is the recent EFTPOS and credit card minimum of $30. This is nonsense and treats people as idiots with more money than sense. Avoid this place - there are better places with better prices both in Subi and over in Leederville.